London, Jan 22 (ANI): An old urn that has been turned into a gaudy electric lamp has sold for a staggering 445,000 pounds after it was discovered to be a 2,000-year-old Roman relic.
John Barrett, a retired schoolteacher and owner of the 19-inch high ornament, had drilled a hole in the top and bottom of the marble urn to feed a cable through it.
He then placed a light bulb bracket on top before a 1970s-style red lamp was hung on it.
He kept the makeshift lamp in the hallway of his home called Crowe Hall, near Bath, until his death last year.
The item was identified as being a Roman marble cinerary urn dating to about the first century only after auctioneers from Christie's were invited to value a host of collectable items at the house.
Auctioneers put a hugely conservative estimate of 10,000 pounds on the item and were stunned when it sold for 445,250 pounds to a European dealer.It was a bit of a monstrosity and it was a shame that such an historically important item had been turned into a domestic lamp," the Telegraph quoted Georgiana Aitkin, head of antiquities at Christie's, as saying.
"We removed the fittings and were able to date the urn to about the first century AD.
"The alterations and drill holes didn't seem to affect the price which was quite enormous and surprised us.
"We couldn't have predicted that it would do that well," she stated. (ANI)