Junk dealer's $100,000 gold cup found under bed
DORCHESTER, England (CNN) -- Englishman John Webber thought nothing of the small shiny cup, passed down from his junk dealer grandfather and stashed under a bed for years -- until appraisers said it was an ancient Persian artifact.
The 5½-inch gold cup -- which experts have dated as being possibly from the third or fourth century B.C. -- fetched $100,000 at an auction in Dorchester, southern England, Thursday.
The identity of the successful bidder wasn't immediately known.
The relic features the double faced ancient Roman god Janus, the god of gates and doors who always looked to both the future and past and is often associated with beginnings and endings. The cup has two faces with braided hair and entwined snake ornaments at the forehead.
Webber's grandfather, William Sparks, was a rag and bone man, the British term for a junk dealer, Duke's said, who established the iron merchants Sparks and Son in Taunton, Somerset, in southwestern England, in the 1930s.