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Family finds a $1.8 MILLION chess piece in a drawer

A newly discovered Lewis Chessman at Sotheby's in London, England. Source: Getty

An Edinburgh family has had a pretty good start to their week.

An ivory chessman, which an antiques dealer bought for £5 (AU$9) in Scotland in 1964, could now fetch over a whopping $1.8 million at auction, after the late owner’s family took it to the Sotheby’s auction house in London for assessment, according to CNN.

The chess piece is called the Lewis Warder, and formed part of the Lewis Chessmen, which were found on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides in 1831. But, with 93 pieces found, the set was missing one knight and four “warders”.

Of the found pieces, 82 are in the British Museum in London, while 11 are in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

It’s clearly a massive historical find.

But how did the family stumble upon the owner’s purchase?

Unbelievably, the family found the 200-year-old piece in a drawer.

A spokesperson said in a statement that the dealer was completely unaware he had purchased an important historic artifact.

"It was stored away in his home and then when my grandfather died my mother inherited the chess piece,” the spokesperson said.

"For many years it resided in a drawer in her home where it had been carefully wrapped in a small bag. From time to time, she would remove the chess piece from the drawer in order to appreciate its uniqueness."

Maybe it’s time we all check our drawers for possible antique artefacts.

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