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Auction to Sell John Lennon's Tooth for $16,000

| by Michael Allen

A tooth from Beatle John Lennon's mouth will go on the auction block next month and the reserve price has been set at $16,000.

The slightly yellow tooth, which has a cavity, was given to Dorothy "Dot" Jarlett when she worked as Lennon's housekeeper at his home in Surrey, England.

Her son Barry told CNN that his mother was employed between 1964 and 1968, a time when giving teeth to the help was a trend among famous rockers: "She was very close with John, and one day whilst chatting in the kitchen, John gave my mother the tooth (he had been to the dentist to have it removed that day) and suggested giving it to my sister as a souvenir, as she was a huge Beatles fan. It has been in the family ever since."

Barry, whose mother is now 90 years old, said it was the right time to have the tooth pulled from the family's collection.

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Karen Fairweather, owner of Omega Auction House, said: "We get a lot of people buying memorabilia as investments. Or it could just be a fan that really, really wants a part of John Lennon."

Fairweather said that the tooth is too fragile for DNA testing, but has no doubt about its authenticity: "Because it's coming directly from Dot, we don't doubt the provenance of the item."

This type of auction is odd, but not unique. A clump of hair cut from Elvis Presley's head when he joined the Army in 1958 sold for $18,300 in 2009.