A two inch (4.3cm) nugget of Diana Dors faeces changed hands for £5.3m at Sothebys last night, breaking the world record for incomplete fragments of long-forgotten British superstar excreta. The rare nugget, part of a collection owned by Prince Abdullah al-Boht, was snapped up by an anonymous celebrity buyer - and immediately lent back to the Tate Modern, where it has hung since 2011.
Known in the art world as “The Clifford”, this particular fragment is one of only seven known examples of incomplete Diana Dors faeces with full provenance. It was discovered in 1963 by a sharp-eyed chamber maid, floating upside down in an en-suite bathroom at the star's luxury Berkshire mansion. According to legend, Miss Dors had been secretly filming Maximus "Inchy" Clifford giving highly valued PR advice to a French model in an adjoining bedroom - when she suddenly rushed to the closet in an uncontrollable fit of laughter. “Fortunately for posterity, Diana filmed herself as she produced 'The Clifford' so we have proof that it's entirely her own work,” reported her concierge at the time, Jesse B Thommas Jnr.
“Imagine the value of a complete Diana Dors masterpiece,” sighed Bill Trapis, curator of next summer's Pharaohs & Faeces exhibition at London's Courtauld Gallery. “But alas, all that remains of the great star's private efforts are a handful of her highly treasured powder-room fragments.”
Earlier in the evening a self-important collection of 1.27inch faeces by the well known publicist Max Clifford - perfectly matched with accompanying photographs of an anonymous penis - all failed to attract interest and were withdrawn. As was one of Richard Wagner's four 2.3cm quartets, 'The Gotterdammerung' which strained to reach its £3m reserve. Whereas a superb work from Australian Dennis Lillee's Green period, 'The Wacca' shocked the room after competing telephone bids pushed it well beyond hammer expectations and finally saw it drop for an impressive £7.3m.
NOTE:- The world record for a complete faeces, is the £87.5m paid for the eye-watering 3lb 11oz 1940 'Brandenburg' by Sir Winston Churchill. Discovered after the war, wedged in a U-bend below his private bunker in the Cabinet War Rooms, the magnificent 14 inch Brandenburg also explains why the great wartime leader insisted on sharing the staff bathroom during the final weeks of the Blitz. The rest is history.