Auctioned for more than ten times its estimate, this single feather from an extinct bird was sold for $29,000


Did you know that the world’s most expensive feather comes from an extinct bird? Yes, it belongs to the huia, a giant singing wattlebird that was last seen in 1907, making the feather more than a century old. It is no wonder that the framed tailfeather from the extinct huia bird last seen in the Tararua Ranges in the North Island of New Zealand sold for nearly $29,000. The most expensive feather ever sold at auction was estimated to sell for a measly $2000. Not only did it go under the hammer with flying results, but it broke the record set by the sale of another huia tail feather at Webb’s for $5000 in 2010, according to Stuff.


This feather, with its blue-green metallic sheen, is among some of the most expensive in the world. arts specialist Florence S Fournier told Morning Report the feather was at least 100 years old. “The huia is an extinct bird. The last confirmed sighting in Aotearoa was in 1907. It [the feather] has come from a private collection. It’s been with the vendor for some time and he now feels it’s time to move it on so some other person can enjoy it.” The iconic huia was the largest of the five New Zealand wattlebird species but its been decades since its loud distress call fell on ears. This Framed Huia Feather is the only way to remember the black songbird with long white-tipped tail feathers.

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“What’s really special about this feather is that it has been Y-registered by the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, which means that it is a certified piece toanga tūturu, or a really significant piece of Aotearoa’s tangible history. Only registered collectors of toanga tūturu may purchase this item and it will stay on a ministry register that ensures that it can’t leave the country,” said Fournier.

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With over 15 years of experience in luxury journalism, Neha Tandon Sharma is a notable senior writer at Luxurylaunches. Her expertise spans luxury yachts, high-end fashion, and celebrity culture. Beyond writing, her passion for fantasy series is evident. Beginning with articles on women-centric gadgets, she's now a leading voice in luxury, with a fondness for opulent superyachts. To date, her portfolio boasts more than 2 million words, often penned alongside a cappuccino.