Huia bird which is extinct now must have never thought that one day it will make history with its only one feather. Jokes apart, sold at NZ$8,000 the brown and white feather far exceeded the NZ$500 that it had been estimated to reach.
Huia bird is thought to be extinct since 1907. Their feathers were traditionally used to adorn Maori chiefs. Webb’s Auction House in Auckland sold this exquisite feather. The managing director of Webb’s described the auction room as spellbound as the bidding mounted.
Brought by a family from the city of Wellington the feather was one of the artifacts from the family’s large collection of Maori artifacts. An unidentified vendor had brought the feather from the family that had been in his family from generations.
Verified for authenticity by experts from New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa, the feather has set a world record. The auction that started at $100 increments quickly leapt into thousands and came to rest at a world record price. Previous record price for a single feather was from a bald eagle sold at US auction for US$2,800.
There were number of reasons for extinction of huia birds. Their numbers had started to see a decline in 1890’s after predatory mammals were introduced in New Zealand. Other reasons included hunting and deforestation.