An antiques dealer described today how a piece of painted wood he picked up at an Otley car boot sale appears to be a 900-year-old Knights Templar artefact.
Martin Roberts paid £13 for the chest of drawers and set of Victorian glass handles which he swapped for the ornate ten-inch long piece.
Now he is hoping experts from the auctioneers Christie’s will give him a definitive answer to what it is. A series of analysts he has spoken to so far think it could be a door from a Knights Templar tabernacle, which is a box for carrying sacred items, although some think it could be an early Orthodox church artefact dating back 1,300 years.
Mr Roberts, who lives in Leeds, believes the find could even help throw light on the legend that the knights brought the Holy Grail to North Yorkshire.
He said the artefact was found by a friend of his in a box of junk from a house clearance in the market town of Masham, an area which has numerous connections to the Knights Templar.