Rare bucket could fetch £90,000

A RARE Anglo-Saxon glass bucket found in a grave 32 years ago is set to fetch up to £90, 000 at auction.The five-and-a-quarter-inch tall pale green piece, dating from the 4th or 5th century, was discovered during building work in Westgarth Gardens on the western edge of Bury St Edmunds in 1972.

A RARE Anglo-Saxon glass bucket found in a grave 32 years ago is set to fetch up to £90, 000 at auction.

The five-and-a-quarter-inch tall pale green piece, dating from the 4th or 5th century, was discovered during building work in Westgarth Gardens on the western edge of Bury St Edmunds in 1972.

Subsequent excavation of the site revealed part of an early Anglo-Saxon cemetery containing 68 graves covering a period of both pagan and early Christian settlement.

A few objects from the excavation were retained by the developers and left on loan to the Moyses Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds until being auctioned in 1977.

However, the bucket was loaned back to the museum after being acquired by the British Rail Pension Fund.

In the 1990s, the roughly cylindrical piece - the rim of which contains two loops for holding a "bucket handle" - was on loan to the Corning Glass Museum, Corning, New York.

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Now the spectacular, but functional bucket is on offer at a Bonhams antiquities sale in London on July 14, when it is estimated to sell for between £70,000 and £90,000.

The bucket came from grave number 62, that of an adult male, which also contained part of an iron shield, a spearhead and a small knife.

Its basic form and decoration is similar to a series of cone beakers dating from the late 4th to 5th Century and is assumed to represent a development of Roman vessels.

The bucket is in excellent condition, apart from slight weathering and a few small stain cracks close to the base.

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