Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder after a "hideous" gargoyle statue recently sold at auction for a record-setting £66,000 ($105,000 US).
Despite the statue's grotesque appearance, people fought to obtain the unique objet d'art when it hit the auction block this week at the Wooley & Wallis auction house in Salisbury, England. The statue was created by the prestigious pottery manufacturers the Martin Brothers circa the turn on the 20th Century.
The figure depicts a squat, smiling gargoyle holding onto its ample chest with gnarled fingers, with a beaming smile on its porcine like face. Auctioneers attribute the record sum paid for the figurine to the upcoming release of the new film The Hobbit, the prequel to the Lord of the Rings saga based on the classic books of J.R.R. Tolkien.
Gargoyles first began appearing over 2000 years ago, originating in Ancient Greece and Egypt. They became popular cathedral and building adornments during the Middle Ages, as they were used to decorate buildings and to provide a spout for rainwater to drain. They also became popular as a good-luck charm, as many people believed that placing gargoyles atop structures would help keep evil spirits at bay.