Cat's headstone was a £200,000 piece of Saxon history

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The Independent Online

A 1,000-year-old stone carving marking a cat's grave sold yesterday for more than £200,000.

A 1,000-year-old stone carving marking a cat's grave sold yesterday for more than £200,000.

Ruth Beeston had no idea of the value of the statue, a memorial to her cat, Winkle, in her garden in Somerset. Her husband, Johnny, who died last year, found the slab in a quarry years ago, and thought it would make a nice headstone.

But, at Sotheby's in London yesterday, a private collector paida total of £201,600 for the limestone carving of St Peter.

The piece dates from the early 10th century and was spotted by a local potter and amateur historian, Chris Brewchorne.

Alexander Cader of Sotheby's said of Mrs Beeston: "It was like winning the lottery for her. She is going to be thrilled and I think she is planning a trip to Kenya. It is going to have a real impact on her."

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