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An ancient Egyptian sarcophagus has been discovered sitting in a living room in Essex.
Experts from Reeman Dansie Auctioneers stumbled across the incredible find after asking to look around an elderly woman’s house when she moved to a nursing home.
Rather than a few bits of jewellery, they found the 3,000-year-old coffin, which they believe was once the final resting place for a noblewoman.
Mr Stacey, the valuer for Colchester-based auctioneer Reeman Dansie, was the first to find the sarcophagus.
‘The hairs went up on the back of my neck when I walked into the room,’ he said.
The antiques specialist also said it was ‘certainly the oldest item I have been asked to look at in my career’.
It is thought that the elderly woman bought the item when a local museum closed down, and experts at the auction house believe the coffin made its way to the UK during the Napoleonic wars in the 19th century.
James Grinter, the auction house’s managing director, said: ‘It was very common for people to collect ancient Egyptian objects then.’
‘It’s quite an eerie thing but absolutely stunning – it takes your breath away,’ he added.
The sarcophagus has an estimated value of £6,000, but at auction could go for much more than this.