A gold chain of office given by King Henry VIII is expected to fetch £300,000 at auction.
The piece – known as the Coleridge Collar – is the only know surviving chain and was given to the monarch’s closest advisor Sir Edward Montagu around 1546.
It was found in the home of poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge in Devon earlier this year and is set to go under the hammer at Christie’s in London on November 6 – the first time such a piece has been made available at auction.
Andreas Pampoulides, director and co-head of sale at Christie’s London, said: “The Coleridge Collar is an extraordinary and fascinating piece of history, both as a work of art, and also as a rare Tudor relic.
“An extremely rare example of early English goldsmith-work, the collar also represents the only known, complete, surviving collar of office from the time of Henry VIII, one of the most renowned of European monarchs.”
The king presented the collar to those who demonstrated strong allegiance to him. The design and quality of the metal represented the status of the wearer.
There are thought to have been 20 chains given by the royal, but no others are believed to be in one piece.