Published On: Fri, Jul 4th, 2014 on 1:29 pm

Creepy dummies and bugs: Yorkshire’s oddest donations to charity revealed

British Heart Foundation Dummy

The dummy donated in Leeds

For the first time, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) has revealed the strangest items donated to its shops in Yorkshire and the Humber.

The unusual items were donated to shops around the region and sold to bidders on auction site eBay, raising funds to fight coronary heart disease.

The most odd was a ventriloquist dummy donated to a BHF shop in Headingley, Leeds, which sold for £670.

Its wooden body was constructed using a metal cage with a string mechanism to control the upper lip, mouth and eyes.

Someone even donated bugs and insect magazines, complete with preserved insects and display cases, near 70 in number. Its value took staff at Hull’s BHF shop by surprise when it sold for £205 on eBay.

A wooden box was also donated to a store in York. When it was opened, staff found an antique music box from the 19th century.

The “Musique de Genève” box was made by Nicole Frères, the leading maker of cylinder music boxes at the time. It came with four different tunes and sold for £256.

Another odd item was a classical cittern instrument donated in perfect condition accompanied with its hard case, selling for £425. A brass microscope, dating back to the 19th-20th century, was also sold for £211.

The most odd was from beyond Yorkshire in Walthamstow, London.

An African pygmy hedgehog was accidentally donated to the shop, hiding in a donation bag.

Andrew Shaw, eBay manager for BHF, said: “It’s amazing what people donate to BHF shops. When staff spot high-value and unique items, they send them over to us and we list them on eBay.

“This means we not only get the best price for the rare and beautiful items, but that these objects are available to many more people than they would be if they were just sold in the shop they were donated to.”

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