Nobby sells for twice pre-sale estimate

Nobby, the 1st century B.C. Celtic fertility figurine whose jaunty phallus inspired his nickname, sold at auction for £3,000 ($3,800) hammer price, twice the pre-sale estimate of £1,000–£1,500 ($1,270-$1,900). Metal detectorist Bob Jemmett, Nobby’s finder and pocket buddy since 2018, plans to invest his windfall in home improvements.

Retired lorry driver Mr Jemmett said afterwards: “It was really exciting watching the sale, but I am quite sad to see Nobby go.

“I hope that he brings the new finder as much fun as he’s brought me and my friends over the years.”

Despite its age and rarity — it is the only piece of its kind known — the bronze figure does not qualify as treasure and so was returned to the finder instead of being offered to a local museum for fair market value. Jemmett kept it until a recent burglary spurred him to put Nobby up for auction.