The piece was identified by experts as a late Iron Age horse harness mount, featuring an engraved curve-linear design complete with red champleve enamel and blue glass.
He was stunned to learn that the item dates back 2,000 years to the late Iron Age and could make him an estimated £2,000 at auction.
The landscape gardener’s rare possession went under the hammer today and soared past his expectations, raking in a whopping £3,800 at Hansons Auctioneers in Derbyshire.
“We will be celebrating – and I must buy my father-in-law something. Without him, I would never have known it was potentially valuable.”
Decorative horse mounts of this kind were popular in the Roman and early-medieval periods, often used as symbols of status.
The unique style can be traced back to South East England, with the British Museum having a similar one from London.
“I never spend much at car boots but like to buy old coins and metal toy cars, that sort of thing. Something else actually took my eye in the box the harness mount was in.
“I had no idea what it was, or that it was so old and valuable. After reading the article, my father-in-law said it might be worth something so we took it to Hansons. When I heard the valuation I thought, this is not possible – it must be a joke.
“But I did my internet research and now know all about its history. It’s by far the most important thing I’ve ever found at a car boot sale.”
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“It’s an impressive example of a late Iron Age harness mount in very good condition considering its age.
“The Celtic artwork incorporates a subtly concealed animal face and I was expecting fierce competition for it at auction.”
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed