We kept an old antique at the back of our wardrobe for decades and thought nothing of it – now it’s selling for £145,000

A FAMILY were left astonished when a bizarre antique sword they had stuffed in the back of a wardrobe sold at auction for an eye-watering £145,000.

The 32in long curved sword originated from 19th century India where it was used by a soldier of the early modern Mughal Empire.

The sword originated from 19th century India

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The sword originated from 19th century IndiaCredit: BNPS
At auction the artefact received a staggering 225 bids

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At auction the artefact received a staggering 225 bidsCredit: BNPS
The Tulwar has a beautiful, decorated gilt handle

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The Tulwar has a beautiful, decorated gilt handleCredit: BNPS

It was obtained by William Dick – a surgeon who served in the 41st Foot Regiment of the British Army in mid-19th century India.

He brought the amazing artefact back to Britain has since been passed down – or passed around – three generations of his family.

William’s great-grandchild has had it hidden away for many years in the back of a wardrobe.

Before that it had been abandoned up in the attic of a family member’s home.

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The vendor recently dug it out along with other items before taking the sword to the auctioneers Gardiner Houlgate of Corsham, Wilts.

They gave it a low valuation of £100 to £200.

But the owners struck gold after huge interest was shown ahead of the sale, leading to a staggering 225 bids before it went under the hammer for an eye-watering £109,000.

With auction house fees added on the total price paid for it by the overseas buyer was £144,911.

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Chris Baker from Gardiner Houlgate said: “Our vendors are simply staggered and astonished at the result and, with no lavish plans, will look forward to looking after their children and extended family with a few more treats here and there.”

The sword, or Tulwar, has a beautiful, decorated gilt handle and the blade has signs of corrosion.

It came with its original 19th century leather and brass mounted scabbard.

Mr Baker said: “This sword, in particular the handle decoration, can perhaps be traced to the armoury from which it originated.

“Our vendors were aware of ancestors who served in the British forces and in particular having spent time in India during the mid-19th century, a period of notable historically-important conflicts including the fall of the Sikh Empire in 1849 to the British.

“It caused great excitement and interest which drove up the sale price.

“The Tulwar sword will now form part of a curated fine art collection overseas.”

It was originally valued at £100-£200

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It was originally valued at £100-£200Credit: BNPS
The incredible sword came with its original leather and brass mounted scabbard

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The incredible sword came with its original leather and brass mounted scabbardCredit: BNPS

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