A white truffle from central Italy believed to be the world's largest has sold for more than $60,000 at auction in the US.

Sotheby’s sold the 1.89kg white truffle (pictured) for $61,250 to a buyer based in Taiwan ahead of its fine wine auction in New York at the weekend.

A spokesperson for the auction house declined to give a precise pre-sale estimate, but said it had been expected to sell for ‘in excess of $50,000’.

Proceeds will go to charity, as specified by the Balestra family, of Sabatino Truffles, which found the giant tuber in Umbria, central Italy, around two weeks ago.

White truffles are one of the most coveted food ingredients and are generally hunted for in Italy from October to December. The truffle sold by Sotheby’s is believed to be the largest in the world by some distance.

But, previous giant truffles have sold for more.

In 2007, billionaire Stanley Ho, dubbed the ‘casino king’ of Macau, was reported to have paid $330,000 for a white truffle weighing 1.5kg at a charity auction and dinner. In 2010, he is reported to have bought two white truffles weighing a combined 1.3kg, again for $330,000.

Also in 2010, Jeannie Cho Lee MW – co-chair of the 2014 Decanter Asia Wine Awards bought a 900g white truffle for €105,000 ($129,000) via an annual truffle auction that takes place in Alba, Piedmont.

Written by Chris Mercer