“It’s not just a piece of erotica – it’s a work of art and a fascinating piece of social history,” said auctioneer Damien Matthews.

Victorian-era Ivory Dildo
Victorian-era Ivory Dildo

Shawna Scott, who is a sex toy entrepreneur has had her eyes on a very special item for quite some time: A Victorian-era sex toy, an ivory dildo. It was sold to a wealthy private collector from the United States for the winning bid of €3,200.


The Victorian sex toy had been auctioned off in April 2017, it received more than 100 bids from nearly 40 different countries. The dildo is at least 130 years old.

“It made my heart sink when it was sold. It just seemed like such an important part of Irish sexual history,” said Scott who owns Sex Siopa, an online sex shop.

A customer emailed Scott that a same item was up for auction again. Scott didn’t want to miss this opportunity, but there was one problem she didn’t have enough money to buy the antique marital aid, as it was last fetched for the amount of  €3,200 or $3600.

Scott went on to Twitter to solicit donations with a view to purchasing it for relocation to a museum in Ireland. By the time the auction started Scott raised more than $1,100 or €1,000, and this was more than enough this time.

After winning the bid, the next job for Scott was to confirm that it was the same dildo which left Irish shores in 2017. The scuff marks on the sex toy’s fancy wooden case suggest that it is likely the same item. According to the Irish Times, Scott won the Victorian sex toy for $680 at an auction in Ireland.


“I’m 99 percent sure but I need confirmation from the auction house.”

As for where the Victorian sex toy will end up remains to be seen. Scott’s preference is for the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin Castle or the Decorative Arts Museum in Collins Barracks.

“There was so much going on in that time period. People were starving to death and meanwhile someone was bringing this home for their spouse… Sometimes think with Irish history, unless something is tied to the famine or 1916 it gets a little forgotten or re-prioritized.” says Scott.

“I always get asked about how repressed we are in Ireland. I think we’re much more liberal than we think we are,” says Scott.


The dildo which is described on the auction site, Matthews Auction Room as an “antique carved ivory ladies’ companion in scarlet lined leather upholstered carry box with inset beveled glass panel,” the ivory dates back from the 1840s.

Speaking to the Times, auctioneer Damien Matthews said, “It’s a beautiful piece which comes from one of ht well-known Anglo-Irish families.”

“A family member found it in a drawer, and he put it in the auction for fun really. We believe the ivory dates back to the 1840s. This fellow the original owner was in India in the 1840s, where he shot himself an elephant and brought the tusk home,” said Damien Matthews.

Auctioneers believe that the dildo was carved from the tusk of an elephant sometime between 1899 and 1901 in China.

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