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Tunbridge Wells woman could get £20k at Catherine Southon auction for rare games board she found on scrapheap

A Tunbridge Wells woman could rake in up to £20,000 for a games board she found on a scrapheap more than 50 years ago.

The 16th century game was discovered by Catherine Southon Auctioneers & Valuers, based in Bromley, at a valuation day.

The games board was discovered at a valuation day
The games board was discovered at a valuation day

As a young girl, she was collecting firewood and found the rare rosewood multi-game item, which includes backgammon and chess. When she took it home, it managed to escape the fireplace when she realised some of its counters were missing.

She went back to find the missing pieces and managed to gather a full set together. It remained in her possession for its sentimental value and until recently she stored it under a sofa, oblivious to its age and value.

Unbeknown to her, the only other similar example resides in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The crafted games board includes its original set of 30 wooden counters, which feature classical biblical busts on them.

It is believed to have been commissioned by a wealthy person. The owner took it to Thomas Blest, a specialist at Catherine Southon Auctioneers, and when he told her that the item could fetch a five-figure sum she jumped up and down with excitement.

He said: "As soon as the vendor pulled the board from her bag, I recognised I had something of serious interest, but what I wasn’t expecting, was to open the board and find a full set of counters."

It goes under the hammer at the auction house in Sundridge Avenue, Bromley, on Wednesday, February 26.

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