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The Iron Age object is known as a horn cap and dates from between 300BC-43AD. It comprises two copper-alloy discs, both with central apertures which would have been connected by a waisted column.

“Around 20 examples of horn caps have been found in the UK, all in the south,” says Sandra Shaw, chairman of the High Peak Metal Detecting Club, who made the discovery. “As far as I know this is the only one found in the north and it is quite a significant find for the area.”

The purpose of these items remains uncertain. Once thought to have been used as chariot decorations, their use has also been proposed as heads from ceremonial maces or sceptres or as ceremonial objects.

This example was buried 22 inches below the ground with the discs around one pace apart.  

The horn cap has an estimate of £200-300 at Hansons’ Historica Auction. Proceeds of the sale will be shared with the farmer on whose land it was found.