By Lin Taylor

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - British shoppers seeking last-minute Christmas presents may want try their luck at charity stores after a 19th century vase, an original Kermit the Frog puppet and a rare military medal were named among the most unusual gifts donated to good causes.

Animals were also popular items, with a sheep's head, two canaries and a live ferret among many bizarre gifts given to charities, according to the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF).

"People think about giving money, but it is fascinating to see all the surprising and strange items which have been donated to charities either via charity shops or bequeathed as legacies," said Joanna Walker, who oversees private donations at CAF.


CAF said a 19th century vase valued at 2,400 pounds ($2,950) was spotted in an Oxfam charity shop. Other donations included a prosthetic leg, a wedding dress used in British TV show Coronation Street, and a Victoria Cross Medal which honors acts of bravery in war.

But perhaps the most extravagant gifts were properties bequeathed by private donors, including a central London townhouse and countryside cottage.

There are around 10,500 charity shops across Britain, generating about 300 million pounds ($369 million) a year, CAF said.

(Reporting by Lin Taylor @linnytayls, Editing by Katie Nguyen)

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