Stamford

A rare historic Cadbury’s egg from a 1980’s treasure hunt, which is covered in 22 carat gold, sold at auction for £37,000.

The Cadbury’s Conundrum egg, created in 1983 by the Queen’s official jeweller, was auctioned by Batemans of Stamford on Friday, February 19.

It soared beyond pre-sale estimates of around £15,000-£20,000, and was eventually sold for an incredible £37,200.

The egg will come in its original box as part of the auction. | Photo: Batemans of Stamford

The egg was a unique, secret prize at the end of a national Creme Egg treasure hunt, in which 12 caskets containing scrolls were hidden across the country.

This particular egg was an extra special 13th egg, based on the book in which the clues for the hunt were kept, Don Shaw’s Conundrum.

Batemans of Stamford first sold the egg on July 1, 2017 for a then house record price of £17,200, with the total price going above £20,000 when including the 20% buyer’s premium.

The owner who bought the egg had taken part in the original hunt in the 1980s, and got to finally hold onto the treasured piece for himself until he died in 2020.

A closer look at the magnificent Conundrum egg. | Photo: Batemans of Stamford

His family then contacted Batemans to auction the egg once again, and it has broken its own auction house record.

Managing Director Greg Bateman said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have sold this unique golden egg for another house record, and are so pleased for the vendors who trusted us to sell the egg for them.

“We hope the new buyer enjoys this incredible piece of confectionary history for decades to come, and we can’t wait to see if any more of the original twelve come to light – any current owners know where to find us!”

A grandmother who ran a cocaine dealing operation from her Stamford home was jailed at Lincoln Crown Court on Wednesday.

Louise Wallace was arrested in January 2019 after police raided the home she shared with Michael Rowe and found cash and drugs.

Kevin Jones, prosecuting, told the court: “A number of mobile phones were seized including a Samsung phone found in the couple’s bedroom that contained over 3,000 messages.

“That phone showed a direct involvement in the supply of cocaine at street level.”

Mr Jones said messages found on the phone showed cocaine had been supplied on at least 53 occasions to 13 different people with the amounts involved varying between 0.2gs and 42gs.

“There were over 70 messages offering to supply drugs or letting customers know that they were available for purchase.

“It is clear that Wallace had an existing supply business and when they started a relationship Rowe became a junior partner in the enterprise.

“Cocaine was being supplied in significant amounts. There were messages from Wallace indicating that Rowe would deliver the drugs and collect the money.”

Louise Wallace, 36, of Glen Crescent, Stamford, admitted supplying cocaine and offering to supply cocaine between September 1, 2018 and January 20, 2019.

She also admitted possession of cocaine with intent to supply. She was jailed for 28 months.

Michael Rowe, 43, of the same address, admitted supplying cocaine and possession of the drug. He was jailed for 18 months.

A hearing to consider confiscation of their available assets was adjourned until June.

Judge John Pini QC, passing sentence, told them: “It is clear, Wallace, that you had an existing supply business which Rowe joined as a junior partner.

“It is a sad case but dealing drugs, particularly Class A drugs, requires immediate custodial sentences. These offences have to have deterrent sentences so that others get the message.”

Neil Sands, for Wallace, said she has four children and a grandchild and has no previous convictions.

He told the court that Wallace was introduced to drugs by a previous partner who was a dealer.

“In August 2018 that man was arrested, removed from the property and never seen again. However there was an element of financial support that he had provided.”

Mr Sands said that after the man left Wallace continued selling drugs herself to help make ends meet.

“There is no suggestion of a luxury lifestyle. It was putting food on the table and shoes on the children’s feet. She knows it was wrong.”

Sunil Khanna, for Rowe, said he had been a drug user in the past but in 2004 moved away from the area and got himself a job.

“For the next 14 years he was living a normal family life. Then in 2018, through no fault of his own, his job ended.

“He found it extremely difficult to cope. He had a mini-breakdown and began using drugs regularly.”

Mr Khanna said Rowe moved back to Lincolnshire and later began a relationship with Wallace.

“He was only involved in this for a number of weeks. Since the police raid neither of them has used drugs.”

An incredibly rare 22 carat gold ‘Cadbury’s Conundrum’ egg from the 1980s will go on auction in Lincolnshire next month, three years after first being sold for over £20,000.

The egg was created in 1983 by the Queen’s official jeweller, Royal Goldsmiths Garrard & Co, as part of a nationwide Creme Egg treasure hunt contest.

It was the secretive prize at the end of the hunt, where 12 caskets containing a scroll were hidden across the country, but this one was an extra special 13th egg.

A closer look at the magnificent Conundrum egg. | Photo: Batemans of Stamford

It weighs 323.6g and was based on the front cover of the Don Shaw book in which the clues to the hunt were kept, depicting the book’s title, Conundrum.

The conundrum egg was first sold by Batemans of Stamford on July 1, 2017 for a then house record auction price of £17,200.

The total price paid was £20,640 when including the 20% buyer’s premium, way clear of the £10,000-£15,000 pre-estimates.

The owner had taken part in the egg hunt in the 1980s and couldn’t believe he was now the proud owner of this famous piece of history.

Sadly, he died in 2020 and the egg was inherited by his family, who have decided to part ways with it and allow Batemans to auction it off once more.

It will go under the hammer in an online only auction on Friday, February 19 in the late afternoon, as part of Bateman’s jewellery and watches, silver and gold sale.

The egg will come in its original box as part of the auction. | Photo: Batemans of Stamford

New pre-sale estimates judge the egg to be worth between £15,000-£20,000 and the lot comes with the egg’s original presentation box, as well as a copy of Conundrum, The Cadbury’s Creme Egg Mystery by Don Shaw.

Managing director at Batemans of Stamford, Greg Bateman, said: “It gives us enormous pleasure to offer this unique and spectacular golden egg once again at Batemans.

“We were greatly saddened to hear the original buyer had passed away, being as he was part of the rich history of our own auction house, and hope that we can do him proud in finding another lucky buyer who loved this spectacular egg as much as he did.”

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