An ‘outstandingly rare’ object which is around 2,000 years old has been discovered in a small Bucks village, and has been sold for £55,000.

Discovered in Haddenham near Aylesbury, a Celtic Chieftain's chariot brooch was unearthed by a metal detectorist and has been sold for seven times its estimate at a recent auction.

The relic was found by 64-year-old van driver Ray Pusey, in a field in October last year. 

And despite the item going for a five-figure sum, the horse brooch was only given an guide price of £6,000-£8,000 when it went under the hammer on Thursday, February 25.

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But it smashed its estimate to fetch a whopping £55,000 in a result which has been hailed as the best ever by Hansons Auctioneers.

The item, a 2,000-year-old Celtic Chieftain’s chariot brooch, was discovered by 64-year-old Ray Pusey in Haddenham

The item, a 2,000-year-old Celtic Chieftain’s chariot brooch, was discovered by 64-year-old Ray Pusey in Haddenham

Mr Pusey, a detectorist for 30 years, confessed he nearly didn't go out that day but found the brooch eight to ten inches underground after about an hour of searching.

He said: "I watched the auction online and wondered if the brooch would just make its reserve, do quite well or do exceptionally well.

"I was really pleased.

“It was an exceptional result and so exciting to watch.

"The money will be split 50/50 split with the landowner and, when I went round to tell him, he nearly fell over.

"Me and my wife are having a Chinese to celebrate tonight."

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The brooch, which was purchased by a private UK phone bidder, is roughly T-shaped and made from cast copper-alloy.

The front is decorated with champlevé enamel - red glass - forming a flowing pattern of opposed scrolls with tips that curl like breaking waves.

The item was discovered in October 2020

The item was discovered in October 2020

The decoration is in the tradition of the Celtic 'South Western Style', which come from the Polden Hill hoard, discovered in 1800 near Bridgewater, Somerset.

Around 90 items of late Iron age metalwork were found concealed in a pit lined with burned clay.

The contents included horse harness and chariot fittings, brooches, tools and weapons.

Many items in the hoard, dated to AD 50-70, were beautifully decorated and inlaid with red glass.

Hansons owner Charles Hanson said: "It's an outstanding and rare artefact, an amazing find and an incredible result.

"With pre-sale interest strong, I thought it would do well but to see it contested to £55,000 was a proud moment for me.

It was sold for an incredible £55,000

It was sold for an incredible £55,000

"I was inspired to work in this industry after discovering the joy of metal detecting and the ancient treasures beneath our feet as a boy.

"It's one of our best ever auction results - a wonderful moment for our Historica Department and for me personally.

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"The horse brooch would probably have belonged to a wealthy Celtic chieftain in the mid-first century AD making it around 2,000 years old.

"Measuring a substantial 172mm x 128mm, horse brooches are thought to have been used with a blanket or caparison, a cloth covering for a horse.

"The brooch would have been pinned to the cloth to cover the junction between strap and fabric.

"Items like this are not only rare, they indicate high status.

Ray Pusey with his incredible find which was sold for £55,000

Ray Pusey with his incredible find which was sold for £55,000

“There are only a handful of known examples from Britain.

"The one we auctioned was exceptional, not only in its size but because of its state of preservation."