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Family finds amusing 285-year-old romantic gift in late relative's vintage cabinet

The ancient dried-up fruit from the 1700s was listed in an auction for fun but unexpectedly it was sold for a whopping price.

Family finds amusing 285-year-old romantic gift in late relative's vintage cabinet
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Lukas; The Sun | Auctioneer David Brettell

Haven't we all felt excited when we found cash in our old jeans or a memorable object while cleaning the drawers? If finding things from just a few years ago can excite us so much, imagine finding something from hundreds of years ago. One such antique object from the 18th century was found in a vintage cabinet and it was nothing but a dried-up lemon. While fruits are known to perish over time, this sturdy lemon had lasted for almost three centuries, per The Sun.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Lukas
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Lukas

While clearing up their late uncle's possessions, a family came across a 19th-century cabinet. They realized it could be valuable and decided to put it up for sale in an auction. The cabinet was brought to Brettells Auctioneers in Shropshire, United Kingdom. That is when an antique specialist who was capturing the relics on camera found this strange brown-colored ball-shaped object in the cabinet, which was later identified to be a lemon. The sun-dried citrus fruit was also added as one of the items in the auction and the auctioneers were surprised that it was actually sold.

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The interesting part about the lemon was the inscription on its peel. "Given by Mr P Lu Franchini Nov 4 1739 to Miss E Baxter," read the inscription. Based on that, experts believed that the dried-up fruit was a romantic gift brought to England from colonial India. David Brettell, the auctioneer, said, "We thought we'd have a bit of fun and put it in the auction with an estimate of £40-£60." However, the 18th-century fruit was sold for a whopping 1100 euros (around $around $1,185) in Newport, Shropshire. While adding the other charges, the total price came up to 1416 euros (around $1525). On the contrary, the cabinet in which the lemon was found was sold for just 32 euros (around $34).

Speaking of accidental discoveries of antique relics, an antique hunter found thousands of dollars worth of treasure when all he wanted to collect was a grand piano, as per CBC. When a piano teacher, Bette-Joan Rac, passed away in 2020, her prized possessions were listed for auction, which caught hunter Alex ArchBold's attention. "She was very colorful, with multiple layers of interesting clothing, jewelry, lots of rings and necklaces and a bow in her hair. She was just a lovely lady and stood out in the crowd," Archbold said about Rac's personality.


Paying $10000 for the piano and some other possessions of the piano teacher's property, Archbold never knew that a hidden treasure lay among the possessions. While cleaning up the collectibles, the antique hunter found a few silver balls. At one point, Archbold discovered an incredible 100-ounce bar of silver under a mattress. The total value of the acquired possessions was estimated to be $400,000 and Archbold intended to open a cafe with that money. "Her piano, which we've kept back here at the shop, is going to go live in that café, where students of hers or people who are musicians can come and play," the antique collector said.

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