A local dentist made a bid on a peculiar item during an auction in the United Kingdom this past weekend.
Dr. Michael Zuk is now the proud owner of John Lennon’s tooth. He purchased it over the phone, which is one of the strangest examples of Beatle memorabilia ever recorded.
Paying about $30,000 for the rotten tooth, Zuk says it was worth the money and he has big plans for it.
He hopes to rent it out to dentistry schools and also plans on displaying it at his office to encourage patients to take better care of their teeth.
Collecting celebrity memorabilia has been an interest to Zuk for a number of years and he also has a collection of teeth from animals such as a whole alligator’s head complete with a set as well as a mammoth tooth and a cave bear tooth.
“It’s been a passion of mine for a number of years and I also enjoy marketing and helping other dentists market their practice and celebrities are good at marketing so it all fits together,” said Zuk.
The tooth was given to Dot Jarlett, one of Lennon’s housekeepers in the 1960’s by Lennon himself after he came home from the dentist one day and told her to dispose of it or give it to her daughter as a souvenir.
She held onto it for 40 years until it showed up at the auction.
“The tooth was mentioned in a press release sent out by the auction house and anything related to John Lennon is huge,” said Zuk.
He then placed an online bid but wanted to bid on it live by phone.
“My initial bid was surpassed quickly and I really didn’t know how far I would go because you don’t know what the other person is thinking,” he said.
“It was exciting that I got it for the price I paid because I thought potentially it could have gone up.”
Dr. Zuk has also written a book on celebrity teeth called Confessions of a Former Cosmetic Dentist and says he is happy for all the media attention he has received over the past few days.
It was 7:30 a.m. when Zuk won the auction so he couldn’t voice his excitement too loud but snuck upstairs and told his family he had won.
“My wife wasn’t too upset as you would normally think a wife would go crazy spending that much on a tooth,” he said.
“John Lennon is an example of someone who had a toothache and he was a celebrity so it can happen to anyone and it is important to visit your dentist regularly.”