15th century golden brooch hammers for $26,000

A remarkable golden brooch discovered in the grounds of a 15th century English castle has sold for £20,000 ($25,614).

The lot was the star of a Historica & Antiques sale at Hanson’s Auctioneers on August 23, more than doubling its £8,000 ($10,232) estimate.

Kirby Muxloe castle

Kirby Muxloe castle began to fall into ruin after Hastings' death 

It was originally found by a metal detectorist near Kirby Muxloe castle in Leicestershire.

This was the home of William Hastings, a wealthy noble who played an important role in supporting Edward IV and the House of York during the Wars of the Roses (1455-1485).

The heart shaped brooch is inscribed "honor et joie" (honour and joy). Hastings probably gave it to his wife as a gift.

It remains in exceptional condition, in spite of its five centuries in the earth.

Hastings was executed for treason when Richard III took the throne in 1483.

During a meeting, Richard accused Hastings of loyalty to his nephews, Edward V and Richard of Shrewsbury (aka the princes in the tower), and had his head chopped off minutes later.

Shakespeare dramatised this event in his celebrated play Henry VI part 3 (1591), which covers the Wars of the Roses.

Auctioneer and owner Charles Hanson told the BBC: "This was a truly phenomenal result.

“The demand for this brooch was so high because of its rich historical pedigree. It is totally unique and has to be one of the most romantic brooches in the world."

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