A 900-year-old artifact dating back to the Viking era was discovered in the drawer of an Scottish antique dealer who had purchased it in 1964 for only $7.50.
The medieval chess piece passed down through the dealer’s family is actually worth over $1 million and is recognized as one of the missing Lewis Chessman which are intricate, expressive chess pieces in the form of Norse warriors, carved from walrus ivory in the 12th century.
“For many years it resided in a drawer in [my mother’s] home where it had been carefully wrapped in a small bag,” the family, who wished to remain anonymous, said in a statement obtained by The Independent.
Sotheby’s auction house in London said the piece is worth between $670,000 and $1.26 million.
In 1831, 93 pieces were uncovered on Scotland's Isle of Lewis, but five of the chess pieces were missing.
The one unearthed is the first to be found and will be auctioned on July 2.
“There are still four out there somewhere. It might take another 150 years for another one to pop up. It is one of the most exciting and personal rediscoveries to have been made during my career,” Sotheby's European sculpture expert Alexander Kader told the Independent.