Childhood Toy Turned Out to be Ancient Treasure

Photo: Dukes Auctioneers

John Webber's grandfather gave him this golden cup to play with when he was just a child back in 1945. When John was moving house last year, he discovered it in a shoebox under his bed and on a whim decided to get it valued. And a good thing that he did, because it turned out to be a rare piece of ancient Persian treasure worth a million bucks!

Webber, 70, told The Guardian newspaper that his grandfather had a "good eye" for antiques and picked up "all sorts" as he plied his trade in the town of Taunton in south-west England.

"Heaven knows where he got this, he never said," he added, revealing that as a child, he used the cup for target practice with his air gun.

Link - via Boing Boing

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I bet the dude is lying. It wouldn't be the first time an art treasure went "undiscovered" for decades because people are trying to circumvent international law.

He could be trying to establish a fake provenance for this item, which happens with many recent illegally-excavated artworks.

For example, if you see a Greek vase in a museum with "provenance unknown", 99% it was excavated illegally sometime after 1970.

The Metropolitan Museum in New York and the Getty Museum in California have quite a few of these.
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I'm confused as to why the grandfather gave it to John as a toy though, even if he didn't know what it was really worth :P I mean... a cup? What could you possibly do with a cup?
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