While visiting a car-boot sale in the West Midlands, Karl Martin bought what he thought could be used as a toothbrush holder for just £4 and was astonished to later discover that what he had actually purchased was an Indus Valley civilization artifact that dates back to 1900 BCE.
As the Hindustan Times reported, Martin discovered the true value of his toothbrush holder only after he made a trip to Hansons, who were local auctioneers. Speaking about his stunning purchase, Martin explained how he felt drawn to the piece of pottery right away and felt that it was probably quite old. However, after depositing the relic in his bathroom, he promptly forgot his initial thought about the item's age and used it to store his toothbrush and toothpaste.
"I liked it straight away. I used it in the bathroom to store my toothpaste and toothbrush – it even ended up getting a few toothpaste marks on it. I suspected it might be very old but forgot all about it."Fortunately for history enthusiasts, it did not remain this way for long. Martin described how one day he was working with an expert in antiquities and spotted artwork on pottery that was strikingly similar to the art on his Indus Valley toothbrush holder.
"Then, one day at work, I was helping Hansons' antiquities expert James Brenchley unload a van and noticed some pottery which was similar to my toothbrush pot. The painting style looked the same and it had similar crudely-painted animal figures."Martin quickly rushed back to his home to retrieve his little piece of history and had the antiquities expert examine it to learn more about his purchase. Remarkably, it was at this point that he realized the true worth of the item and that his toothbrush holder was in fact a 4,000-year-old artifact that was fashioned long before the arrival of Jesus Christ.
"I rescued the pot from my bathroom and asked him to examine it for me. He confirmed it was a genuine antiquity from Afghanistan and dated back to 1900 BC. That means it's around 4,000 years old – made 2,000 years before Christ was born. It's amazing, really. How it ended up at a South Derbyshire car-boot sale, I'll never know."As Brenchley, the antiquities expert, noted, the toothbrush holder was an "Indus Valley-Harappan civilization pottery jar" which would have been around during the Bronze Age and came from a large region which is now Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan. It is Brenchley's opinion that the artifact was picked up by very well-do-do British travelers and brought back to Britain, where it has remained until this day.
The 4,000-year-old Indus Valley civilization toothbrush holder artifact was recently put up for auction and sold for £80.