An ivory and gold toothpick once owned by Charles Dickens has sold at a New York City auction for $9,150.
It was being offered by heirs to the Barnes & Noble family and was up for sale Tuesday at Bonhams New York. The pre-sale estimate was $3,000 to $5,000. The auction house says the buyer did not want to be identified.
The toothpick is engraved with the author's initials and has a retracting mechanism.
An authentication letter from sister-in-law Georgina Hogarth says the British writer of “A Christmas Carol” and “Oliver Twist” used the toothpick "when travelling and on his last visit to America.”
Dickens died in 1870.