An 800-year-old ale jug made for use at Duffield Castle has been sold at auction for £30,000.
Described as “one of the most important and early Medieval relics of the potters’ art ever discovered” the precious item was unearthed in an attic.
And after a fierce bidding battle the pitcher sold to a private phone buyer at Hansons Auctioneers in Derby.
Charles Hanson, manager of Hansons, said: “It is remarkable to imagine what life was like back in mid-13th century England. It was the time of the Knight on horseback and jousting.
“The jug would have been used in the 1220 to 1250 period as an ale jug and may have been filled with a cider or ale in the hot summer months when it was time to gather the harvest in across the Medieval countryside.”
The large jug which measures almost 16cm high is decorated with horseshoe and buckle mouldings which are distinctive crests for the Ferrers family who lived at the castle.
It was discovered by workman draining a field near Duffield Castle in 1862 before being hidden away in an attic.
Mr Hanson added: “The jug would almost have certainly been used by the Ferrers family.
“Servants would have provided ale in the jug which may have been enjoyed by the Ferrers family in the 1220s perhaps in the afternoon sunshine during harvest or with weapon training, hunting or inspecting the manor.
“The ale jug may have been passed by servants at evening supper in the Hall at Duffield Castle - with entertainment.”