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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 December, 2003, 01:14 GMT
Sex club drinking cup snapped up
The 18th century drinking cup belonged to the Beggar's Benison
An 18th century wooden cup belonging to a notorious Scottish sex club has been sold at auction for 2,700.

The three-handled laburnum "quaich" belonged to the Beggar's Benison, a club which met in the fishing village of Anstruther in Fife.

Members of the group would perform public sexual acts and watch local girls dance naked.

King George IV and several aristocrats were said to have joined the club.

The cup would have been used for communal heavy drinking during the club's meetings

The price was spot on as far as we were concerned. There was tremendous interest
Lyon and Turnbull spokesman

A spokesman for Edinburgh auctioneers Lyon and Turnbull said they were "very pleased" with the outcome of the auction.

He added: "The price was spot on as far as we were concerned. There was tremendous interest, the phone lines were going and the salesroom was very interested to see what price it would eventually go for."

The club was founded in 1732 by John McNachtane, a minor Highland chief who made a living as a crooked Customs officer in Fife.

Members included the Earl of Elgin, the Earl of Lauderdale and the Duke of Gordon, as well as wealthy merchants and church elders.

Relics of the club are well recorded and include seals, medals, punch bowls and glasses.

Many are adorned with phallic symbols with the inscription "may prick nor purse never fail".

Only in the last few years has the full nature of the club - which had regular meetings for almost a century - been understood.

One story says that carved items from the club were once offered to a museum, but the details were so explicit the curator fainted.

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