A moss-covered old 'doorstep' similar to Sri Lanka's moonstone (Sandakada pahana) found in a garden was sold for £553,250 at an auction in UK yesterday, the Sun reported
Owner Bronwyn Hickmott had been told the 1,300-year-old carved granite from a Buddhist temple might fetch £30,000.
She was amazed when a bidding war landed half a million pounds. She said: “When it reached more than £40,000 my jaw dropped to the floor. We are just overwhelmed.”
Bronwyn had spent ten years trying to persuade auction houses, TV antique shows and stonemasons that it was “something special”.
But she was repeatedly turned away until an expert from Bonhams identified it as a temple step — one of only seven known examples in the world.
Bronwyn said after the London auction: “Everyone just pooh-poohed our belief that it was special.”
Her parents found the stone in the garden of a home they bought from a tea planter who returned to Britain from Sri Lanka in the Fifties.
The family kept the step and it ended up at Bronwyn’s home in Exeter, Devon.