Auctioneers find 14th century French gold coin potentially worth thousands in secret drawer

A rare 14th century gold coin found hidden in a wooden chest which had been gifted to a woman by a distant relative is set to fetch up to £3,000 at auction.

Mum-of-three Amy Clapp, 37, had been left the George II-style bureau worth just £60 by a long lost cousin in a will made when she was just 13-years-old.

But she was left stunned and a 650-year-old Raymond IV Prince of Orange Franc A pied 22ct gold coin was uncovered inside a secret drawer.

Edward Rycroft,a furniture valuer at Hansons Auctioneers, found the hidden treasure when he came to value it for Mrs Clapp.

He said: “I know bureaus like this often have tiny, secret drawers – sometimes called coin drawers – so I always check them just in case.

“But in 10 years of valuing furniture I have never found anything in them – until now.

“I’m delighted for the family. The coin’s worth a small fortune.

“I knew straight away it was gold and really special. It’s the most amazing thing I have ever found by chance.

“If you’ve got an old bureau at home do check for secret drawers – you never know, you may be sitting on a windfall too.”

The coin dates back to 1365 and has a guide price is £1,200-£1,800 but experts believe it could sell for as much as £3,000.

Mrs Clapp, a family support worker who lives near Swadlincote, Derbys., with husband Gary, 53, said: “I’m delighted.

“I was working in London when Edward phoned me.

“As a family, we’ve had some bad luck in the last two years, so for something like this to happen to us is amazing.

“My daughter, Abi, 18, was recently registered as severely sight impaired.

“She has Bardet-Biedl syndrome, a genetic condition which effects vision as well as other parts of the body. I work for the Bardet-Biedl Syndrome UK charity and I’ll be donating some proceeds from the sale to it.

“I would never have found that in a million years.

“We’re so grateful to Edward. We recently blew all our savings on a car and its engine blew up shortly after we bought it, so any windfall is very welcome.

““I can’t even remember meeting my Great Cousin but I received a letter from a solicitor before Christmas informing me that I’d been left various items of furniture.

“Apparently, the will was written when I was 13 years old.”

The bureau, estimate £60-£80, is due to be sold at Hansons, in, Etwall, Derbys., on
February 20, while the gold coin will go into Hansons’ Coins Auction on March 21.

By Mark Cardwell & Joe Mellor

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