VIDEO | Most expensive feather sold for $28.000: Owner can't take it out of New Zealand without permission

Photo: Profimedia / Printscreen / YouTube

A feather from now on the extinct Huija bird (Heteralocha acutirostris) from New Zealand set a world record after it was sold at auction for NZ$46.521,50, i.e. $ 28.417, writes BBC.

The feather, which was originally expected to fetch up to $3.000, broke the previous record for a feather of the same species sold by 450 percent.

The Huia bird was sacred to the Maori people. Their feathers were often worn by chiefs and their families, and were also given away or traded. The bird was last seen in 1907, but unconfirmed sightings were reported twenty to thirty years after that year, according to the New Zealand Museum.

Photo: Printscreen / Instagram

The huija was a small songbird of the honeyeater family in New Zealand and was known for its jumping abilities and beautiful plumage, which was distinguished by its white tip.

"The feather sold on Monday is in wonderful condition. It still has its very distinct luster and no insect damage," said Leah Morris, Head of Decorative Art at Webb Auction House.

She adds that the auction house has framed the item behind UV protective glass, meaning it will have a "really long life".

Photo: Printscreen / YouTube

The feather is registered under the Maori Built Structures Protection System. It can only be purchased by collectors who have a license in the system and cannot leave the country without permission from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage.

"In New Zealand we care so much about the land, the environment and our flora and fauna," Morris added.

Photo: no, Credit line: – / Ardea / Profimedia

The New Zealand Museum says that in the past, Huia feathers were a status symbol for the Maori people. A rare bird before the arrival of Europeans, the species became the target of collectors and fashion traders after it gained popularity among those who settled in New Zealand, leading to its extinction.

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