Page last updated at 10:29 GMT, Wednesday, 14 April 2010 11:29 UK

Victorian museum collection fetches 280,000 in Dorset

"Yeti" sold in the auction
The Victorian "yeti" piece sold for 650 at the auction

Five hundred Victorian items including more than 200 taxidermy pieces have sold for more than £280,000 at auction.

The items from the Brading Experience Museum on the Isle of Wight, which shut in January, were sold at Duke's Auction House in Dorchester, Dorset.

The collection included stuffed dead animals and others made to look like mythical creatures.

A giant stuffed tortoise fetched the most at £6,000, a "unicorn" sold for £2,800 while a "yeti" went for £650.

About 400 people packed the auction room which had "queues out the doors", said salesroom assistant Phil Traves.

'Beautiful creatures'

Other items in the sale included a mermaid, a hare with antlers and a cat with wings.

In Victorian times, taxidermy - the process of stuffing dead animals and placing them in lifelike poses - was very fashionable.

Matthew Denney from the auction house said: "There are still some collectors out there who want to buy this sort of thing, and it's a way of appreciating the natural world and the lions and zebras are very beautiful, beautiful creatures.

"You don't normally get the chance to see these items up close. The level of interest has been huge."

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