A medieval book dating back to between 1250 and 1275 has sold at an Etwall auction house for £5,800, despite only being valued at between £2,000 and £3,000.
The book had been unearthed by a worker from Hansons Auctioneers, in Etwall, during a house clearance.
The discovery was made by Jim Spencer, the head of books, maps and manuscripts at Hansons, who found the book while categorising other items.
He said: "The vendor had no idea the book was of any great value but when I opened it I just froze and uttered aloud, 'this is medieval', at which point colleagues started gathering around me. It was an unbelievable moment for me.
"To see the Latin script and then discover the book could be around 770 years old has been amazing. It’s the oldest book I have ever had the privilege of assessing for auction.
"It's a medieval illuminated manuscript psalter or book of psalms. Manuscript experts tell us it was made in Southern Germany, around 1250 until 1275.
"I am still consulting academics around the world about the exact age of the book. It was most likely created for a wealthy patron, in keeping with similar medieval manuscripts of this period."
The book is handwritten on parchment paper, and has leader binding with remnants of clasps and includes several pages of notes from previous owners.
It opens with a calendar and also includes an armorial bookplate, like a coat of arms, for Ernest Edward Baker, who died in 1931, and was a historian and author from Somerset.
Charles Hanson, who owns the auction house, in Heage Lane, said: "There have been stories in the last week or so saying that stonkingly good finds no longer exist. Clearly, they still do.
"It was a revelation to find this book. It comes from the shelves of a gentleman's library in Aldwick Court in Somerset. The principal contents of the country house have been consigned to us.
"It's incredible to think that this book was being read 100 years before the Black Death reached England in June 1348."
The book, along with around 150 other items from Aldwick Court was sold at Hansons in the Fine Art auction on Saturday, September 30.
More information about upcoming lots at the auction house is available by calling 01283 733988 or emailinng firstname.lastname@example.org.