A Corpus Christi Cross From the 13th Century Dug Up in a Wiltshire Garden Goes to Auctio

When Shearer Sellers (correct) was digging the foundations for a new garage in his home in Marlborough, he didn’t expect to unearth treasure.

Yet that’s what happened when his spade hit what he thought was a piece of old metal.

“My hobby has always been restoring classic cars so I was used to dealing with bits of corroded metal. Our home at the time was in an area known for its history so we have often dug up buckles and musket balls and coins but this object was different.

“It had an unusual glimmer to it and I could see it was a cross as it looked gilded and, when you held it to the light, you could see areas of blue glass.”

That discovery in the late 1980s has had Shearer and his wife Susan, who then lived in the Cross Lane area of the town, puzzled over their find. They were told that it might once have been fixed on top of some kind of casket holding valuables.

“I then dug around the property a lot to see if there was a casket but with no luck!” Shearer said.

The couple took the cross to a recent valuation day with TV antique expert, Paul Martin, in Marlborough a few weeks ago and it’s now being sold by Paul at auction in Devizes on Saturday March 9.

Paul said: “I know instantly that it was different and the story is so lovely and shows there are treasures out there waiting to be found. I was thrilled when Susan and Shearer brought it in. It’s a 13th Century Limoges bronze Corpus Christi bearing traces of the original enamelling. Putting a price on this is quite tricky as it could be of interest to a museum or to a collector. I estimate it will sell for between £400 and £600.”

Susan and Shearer, who have since moved to another property in Marlborough have decided the time has come to pass the object on.

“We are both in our late 70s now and we just thought ‘what are we going to do with it?’ and we felt the time was right to let it go to someone who will appreciate it as we have for many years.”

Paul is not only a tv presenter and antiques expert, he’s now Head of Valuations for Henry Aldridge & Son based in Devizes. Details of the Auction of Collectors’ Items, Jewellery, Silver & Antiques will take place at the sale room from 10am on Saturday March 9. More details are available here – https://www.henryaldridge.com