Flower Planter Turns Out to Be $150,000 Roman Sarcophagus

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Rarities auction

A British family has been using what is likely the most valuable flower planter in the world. For a century, the seven-foot Roman marble coffin has served as a garden trough at a home in Dorset, England, until it was recently identified by auction valuer Guy Schwinge, BBC News reports.

Schwinge was performing a routine valuation of the Dorset family’s property when he noticed the casket “peeping out from under some bushes.”

“As I drew closer I realized I was looking at a Roman sarcophagus of exceptional quality,” Schwinge told the BBC.

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Schwinge also found an auction catalog in the home from 1913 that indicated that Queen Victoria’s surveyor of pictures, Sir John Robinson, had imported the white marble coffin. According to the BBC, British Museum experts believe that the sarcophagus was made for a high-ranking official in the 2nd Century. Although the same family had kept the rectangular tomb for almost a century, understanding of its significance had faded through generations, the Daily Mail reports.

The Roman coffin has now been sold again for $150,000, and the owners are “utterly delighted,” Schwinge said.

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