Childhood 'toy' revealed as ancient Persian relic





An ancient gold cup mysteriously acquired by a Taunton scrap metal dealer is expected to fetch some 500,000 pounds at auction after languishing for years in a shoe box under its current owner's bed.

Owner John Webber says his grandfather gave him the 5.5-inch (14-centimetre) high mug to play with when he was a child, back in 1945.

He assumed the golden cup, which is decorated with the heads of two women facing in opposite directions, their foreheads garlanded with two knotted snakes, was made from brass.

But he decided to get it valued when he was moving house last year and was told it was actually a rare piece of ancient Persian treasure, beaten out of a single sheet of gold hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus Christ.

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