Some people are quite aware of the items in their possession that are worth a chunk of change. Other times, it’s old heirlooms, garage sale finds or unexpected buried treasure that ends up being worth a pretty penny.
For one English woman in Whiteparish, it was a large, squared-off rock.
The woman had found the rock — which was no mere rock at all, but a marble slab — in her garden nearly two decades ago.
After unearthing it, it sat around for some time, but for the past decade the stone had taken up its humble position as a mounting block in the woman’s stable.
As a large and sturdy slab, it was perfect for the task. But at some point, after using it as a glorified stepping stool for years, the woman noticed there was something carved into the stone.
The marble slab bears an inscription and two laurel wreaths. It’s estimated to have come from the 2nd century, from either Asia Minor or Greece, Woolley & Wallis, an auction house in the United Kingdom, reported in a news release.
According to CNN, the translated writing reads: “The people (and) the Young Men (honor) Demetrios (son) of Metrodoros (the son) of Leukios.”
The woman contacted Woolley & Wallis, and is looking to auction the relic off. Before that happens, though, the auction house is trying to find out more about the stone’s origins.
“Artefacts of this type often came into England as the result of Grand Tours in the late 18th and 19th century, when wealthy aristocrats would tour Europe learning about Classical art and culture,” Antiquities Specialist Will Hobbs of Woolley & Wallis said in the news release.
“We assume that is how it entered the UK, but what is a complete mystery is how it ended up in a domestic garden, and that’s where we’d like the public’s help.”
“There are several possibilities of where the stone might have originated,” Hobbs continued.
“Both Cowesfield House and Broxmore House were very close to Whiteparish and were demolished in 1949 after having been requisitioned by the army during the war.
“But we also know that the house at what is now Paulton’s Park was destroyed by fire in 1963 and so possibly rubble from there was reused at building sites in the area shortly afterwards.”
Perhaps someone who knows something more about the stone will be able to add to the slab’s known history.
According to Woolley & Wallis, initial estimates for what this former mounting block could bring in hovers around $13,500 to $20,500 — not bad for a rock from the garden that’s been hanging around longer than anyone knew.
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