An Alberta dentist has paid more than $31,000 for a half-rotten, brown and tartar-covered tooth of John Lennon's.

Michael Zuk, from Red Deer, won the molar at an auction in Stockport, U.K., on Saturday.

"It's a fair chunk of coin for a tooth," he told CBC News. "It's pretty ugly, most people are quite appalled by it."

Lennon reportedly gave the tooth, which also has a cavity, to a housekeeper who worked for him in the 1960s.

Zuk, who has written a book on celebrities' teeth called Confessions of a Former Cosmetic Dentist, admitted he shelled out a little more than he'd planned.

"It quickly surpassed what I wanted to spend and at some point I thought it doesn't really matter what I spend, it's still going to seem like a crazy amount," he said.

'Most weird and wonderful item'

Paul Fairweather, an auctioneer at Omega Auctions who sold the tooth, told the British newspaper The Independent the tooth is by far "the most weird and wonderful item" ever submitted to the auction house. He said the bidding was very tense towards the end and a huge cheer rang out when the final bid was made.

Zuk said the purchase could lead to a new reason for fans to seek a special memento of their favourite celebrities. 

"I'm assuming there are going to be quite a flood of offers from celebrities that are probably not doing so well that want to cash in on some body parts," he said. "I guess it could open up a whole new idea of owning celebrities' DNA."