Rose stone for Elephant Man’s life goes on eBay auction

A STONE from the theatre where East London’s Elephant Man’ first appeared in a freak show has been listed for sale on eBay. The online auction is being managed by Friends of Joseph Merrick, a group dedicated to raising awareness of Merrick’s story and his rare bone growth disorder

By Mike Brooke

A STONE from the theatre where East London’s Elephant Man’ first appeared in a freak show has been listed for sale on eBay.

The online auction is being managed by Friends of Joseph Merrick, a group dedicated to raising awareness of Merrick’s story and his rare bone growth disorder, Proteus Syndrome.

He ended his days in an apartment in the annex of the London Hospital in Whitechapel in the 1880s, considered by science to be the most deformed man in history.

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Merrick’s life was featured in the 1980 film The Elephant Man, starring John Hurt and Anthony Hopkins.

He first performed in a freak show at the Gaiety Theatre in Leicester. The theatre was pulled down in March, but carved stones from its fa�ade have been retrieved.

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One of the rose stones has been donated to Friends of Joseph Merrick to raise funds for Proteus Syndrome research. It measures 12ins by 2ins by two-and-a-half ins and weighs 22lbs.

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Auction online: click here.

The auction ends Saturday (August 15).

Proteus Syndrome involves severe overgrowth of bones and soft tissues, with external and internal tumors affecting the internal organs.

There are fewer than 100 cases worldwide today, with at least one documented in the UK. Merrick’s case is the most extreme example documented in history.

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