This American half-cent coin, dated 1796, will be auctioned in Woolley & Wallis’ Salisbury auction rooms on January 22 with an estimate of £25,000-30,000.

The pure copper coin, which survives in its original mint condition, was discovered alongside others in a homemade 'cabinet' of decorated matchboxes glued together by English schoolboy Mark Hillary over 50 years ago.

They had remained forgotten at the back of a cupboard after he died in a climbing accident in Greece at the age of 20.

His passion for coin collecting often took him to the London dealers and the main part of his collection was previously sold at Woolley & Wallis a few years ago.

Contact: 01722 424500.