Diss Torc sells for 50k

A rare Iron Age torc, unearthed in the Diss area more than 60 years ago, has been sold for twice its original estimate at auction.

A rare Iron Age torc, unearthed in the Diss area more than 60 years ago, has been sold for twice its original estimate at auction.

The gleaming piece of gold jewellery was snapped up for �50,700 at Spink auctioneers in London on Thursday after experts had predicted it would fetch between �25,000 and �35,000.

The 'Diss torc', which dates back to about 150 BC, was uncovered during the ploughing of a field in the 1940s and put in storage by its finder, who was unaware of its true value.

It was identified as a torc – thought to have been a decoration awarded to warriors for their bravery on the battlefield – only after inspection decades later. It was found to be 85pc gold and the anonymous owner then put forward the artefact for auction.

Auctioneer Richard Bishop, who presided over the sale, said it had attracted attention from bidders nationwide and overseas.

'We had a lot of bidding. There were four telephone bids going on at once,' he said. 'We

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couldn't find an example of a gold torc going up for auction anyway before so it's a first time and we're very pleased we managed to sell it. We didn't know how much interest there would be.'

He said he did not know anything about the buyer as they had secured the torc through a telephone bid.

However, Mr Bishop added that the original owner had been 'very pleased' with the result and had sent the auction house a box of champagne as soon as the hammer fell.