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Our ancient Egyptian artefact wins major national retail award

A genuine ancient Egyptian artefact unearthed at our Crystal Peaks shop has helped us win a major national award.

Staff at the Crystal Peaks shop were intrigued when they discovered what appeared to be an authentic Egyptian antique in a box of donations left anonymously at the store.

Area Retail Manager Chris Quinlan decided the find was worth exploring further and contacted world-leading archaeologist, author and TV and radio broadcaster Dr Joann Fletcher who quickly confirmed that the broken piece of pottery – its bottom half lost many centuries ago - was indeed an ancient Egyptian Shabti, dating back to the days of the pharaohs.

Shabtis – which look like miniature Egyptian mummies - were placed in tombs among the grave goods of the dead and were intended to act as servants or minions for the deceased, should they be called upon to do manual labour in the afterlife.

The Shabti was eventually sold to an Italian collector of antiquities via the St Luke’s eBay site for £169.

And now the item, dating from around 350 BC, has won the award for Most Unusual Item donated to a hospice shop in the prestigious Hospice UK Retail Conference Awards.

“We are often donated unusual items but the Shabti was one that really took us by surprise, especially as we have no idea who actually left it for us,” said Chris.

“The fact that it eventually went to an Italian bidder proves the value of our eBay site, not only for raising vital funds for patient care but also for spreading the word about St Luke’s throughout the world.”

To unearth more hidden treasures visit our eBay page via  the St Luke’s website at Hospice shops and follow the eBay link in the shops section.