Dirty old plate found in Somerset cottage is sold for £567,000
A chipped and dirty pottery plate that hung on the wall of a Somerset cottage for decades has sold for more than half a million pounds.
The 16th century Italian plate, which measured 16 inches in diameter, was decorated with The Feast of Herod showing the story of King Herod and the beheading of St John the Baptist.
It was spotted in an elderly lady’s cottage by Charterhouse auctioneer Richard Bromell, and sold for £567,000 – more than two and a half times the value of the property. The owner has not been named.
“When I first walked in the house, it was hanging on the wall, kind of winking at me,” Mr Bromell said. “One of the first things I noticed was that it was dirty and grimy. There was no real family history behind it. The owner inherited it from her father, and she had owned it all her life. In three decades it’s the most valuable item I’ve ever sold.”
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The 1540 plate sold for almost three times its valuation. Mr Bromell added: “Life can be full of ifs, buts and maybes, but this is definitely a magnificent discovery. It was literally hanging on the wall liable to fall off.”