A Norman ale jug dating to 1220 will lead Hansons Auctioneers' Autumn Fine Art sale in Derbyshire, UK on September 28 with an estimate of £30,000-50,000 ($48,098-80,149).
The jug was discovered in 1862, on Burley Hill near the Derbyshire town of Duffield, by a worker draining the fields. At the time of its discovery it was described as "one of the most important and early relics of the mediaeval potters art ever discovered".
Duffield is the site of an ancient castle built by the Ferrers, a wealthy Norman family, in the mid 13th century. Henry de Ferrers, an early ancestor, fought alongside William the Conqueror in the battle of Hastings in 1066. The jug is decorated with the family's heraldic symbols of horseshoes and buckles.
It is rare for ancient pottery to be found intact, especially after almost 800 years. Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, commented: "The early English Medieval jug is from the late Norman period and would date to circa 1220. It really is a magical item.
"On initial assessment of the jug I was informed the pet dog had on a couple of occasions come close to wagging its tail a little too close and knocking it over".
Hanson went on to state that the jug likely owes its preservation to a fireside crack on one side for which it would have been thrown away, eventually becoming buried over the course of time.
Other lots at the auction include a fragment of the standard of Richard III flown at the battle of Bosworth.
We have this extremely rare document written by Henry VII in 1499.
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