Published: 08:00, 03 March 2015
| Updated: 08:26, 03 March 2015
An artefact thought to be from Ancient Egypt which was used by a Russian Tsar as his paperweight went under the hammer in Folkestone this week.
The unusual item was given to Tsar Alexander III under the guise that it was a genuine ancient Egyptian tablet.
Unfortunately, the item turned out to be a 19th century fake.
Jonathan Riley from auctioneers Grand Auctions based on the Shearway Business Park said: “A gullible courtier gave him the tablet as a generous gift.
“Alexander III was presented with the tablet and used it as his paperweight.”
A fascination developed throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries with Ancient Eygptian studies.
The tablet made its way to Britain after a sale of the Romanov family’s possessions in the early 1900s, Alexander died in 1894.
Even that journey has a bizarre twist.
A cover note was also included, explaining how it arrived in the UK via Pamela Redmayne in 1904, the daughter of Sir Richard Redmayne, who was the Professor of Mining at Birmingham University.
The note adds how the tablet was smuggled into the UK wrapped in the wooden leg of a patient travelling to England for a new leg.
The item was sold to a buyer in Denmark for £170 - over its upper end guide price of £150.