Once we saw Charles Dickens' old cat's paw mounted to a letter opener at the New York Public Library... we knew the author probably had a bevy or quirky items scattered about the world in collector's homes. And indeed, one is headed to the auction today.

His ivory and gold toothpick will be on the block in New York at Bonhams, and its estimated it will take in up to $5,000. Dickens pickens (sorry) is engraved with his initials and has a retracting mechanism. Along with a letter of authentication from his sister-in-law, Georgina Hogarth, it resides in its own original leather box.

Hogarth's letter states, in part: "I certify that this ivory and gold tooth pick was always used by my brother-in-law Charles Dickens when travelling and on his last visit to America and until the time of his death at Gads Hill on the 9th June 1870."