Thursday, May 29, 2008

Now that's an expensive BB-gun target

The 70-year-old John Webber says his grandfather gave him the 14-centimeter high mug to play with when he was a child, back in 1945. He, as a child, used the cup for target practice with his air gun.

The golden cup, which was languished for years in a shoe box under Webber's bed, is decorated with the heads of two women facing in opposite directions, their foreheads garlanded with two knotted snakes.

Experts at the British Museum say the cup is actually a rare piece of ancient Persian treasure, beaten out of a single sheet of gold hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus Christ, AFP reported.

The analysis confirmed that the method of manufacture and the composition of the gold is 'consistent with Achaemenid gold and gold smithing' dating back to the third or fourth century B.C.

The Achaemenid Empire was the first of the Persian empires to rule over significant portions of Greater Iran. The empire was wiped out by Alexander in 330 B.C.
It's worth at least £500,000. Makes the empty shotshells I used for BB-gun targets as a kid look kind of shabby.

via Ninth Stage


  1. Wow. You think the museum would condone using any similar items as targets? I'd like to see a display/shooting gallery.

  2. I bet his target gave off a more satisfying ring when hit than your empty hulls did. I also bet the ring would be more satisfying still if he tried it again.

    And, since it's in the U.K., I hope it nets him more than a few cartons of fags, after taxes, and VAT, and such.

  3. Good thing he didn't have a .22

    I wonder how many treasure like that just ended up in landfills because no one knew what they were.

  4. No, the empty hulls didn't ring, but when you hit them dead center they did make a resounding THOCK!