DAILY FEATURE: By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (September 21, 2020) – In Issue 74 of Steve Kovacs Fun with Maps we learn to always be careful at auctions – you may just bid on ancient history

Stonehenge image (Stock photo)

Do your bidding . . . carefully

Be careful when you are sent to an auction by your wife to purchase a few antique chairs, you might just end up buying a famous prehistoric monument as well.

That is exactly what happened to Cecil Chubb 105 years ago today.  His wife wanted a few more dining room chairs and he ended up successfully bidding for Stonehenge on a whim at a local auction house.

She was not overly pleased, and in a few years, they sold the 30 acres Stonehenge sits on to charity, the National Trust, who owns the site to this day in Wiltshire in southern England. 

Mr. Chubb paid 6,600 Pounds (about $680,000 today) for Stonehenge, and unknown amount for the chairs. 

Stonehenge is a fascinating site, well worth the visit.  Most rewarding is to have a private visit to it in the morning before the site opens to tourists.  It costs extra and one needs to prebook well in advance, of course, but you get one hour to yourselves with the stones.  You can get past the ropes which keep the daily visitors back and you can walk among the stones and touch them.  But you cannot take a stone with you…well, except for the mini replicas the souvenir shop sells.   

Here is a map of the British Isles from 1743 by Sanson.

Map of the British Isles from 1743 (Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Click here to visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Antique Maps & Fun Facts here on Loveland Beacon.