- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 16, 2009

NEW YORK

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.

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