'Britain's biggest gold cross' bought for Peterborough gran fails to sell at auction - despite hopes Tyson Fury would bid

Golden crucifix had been given a £30,000 estimate
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‘Britain’s biggest gold cross’ which had been bought in memory of a Peterborough gran failed to sell at auction last week – despite hopes world heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury would put in a bid for the huge crucifix.

Andreo Montanino bought the chain in Birmingham in memory of his gran, from Peterborough, who was a devout Roman Catholic.

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The cross went up for auction last week, with Hansons Auctioneer’s giving it a £30,000 estimate.

Andreo Montanino and the golden crossAndreo Montanino and the golden cross
Andreo Montanino and the golden cross

Before the auction, Andreo said he had high hopes for the piece, saying : “It would work well if it was worn around the neck of a famous boxer on the walkout to the ring, someone like Tyson Fury or Anthony Joshua.

“It’s perfect for a sportsman, celebrity or someone from the music world who likes to make a big statement, perhaps a rapper. I see it featuring on a programme like MTV’s Cribs or being bought by a famous basketball or NFL (National Football League) player.

“I really hope it finds a good home because that’s what nan would have wanted. She lived in Peterborough and was heavily involved with the Italian community and the Catholic church. I remember her buying a statue for her church. Religious icons were important to her.”

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The 9ct gold belcher chain – which together with the cross weighs around 1.5kg, has 28 13mm links, one hallmarked ‘Sheffield 1997 JH & S’. It weighs 1145gms in total. The 9ct gold crucifix is 316.7gms and 21cm in length – longer than an average adult male hand which is 19.3cm or 7.6ins.

Before the auction, Helen Smith, Head of Jewellery at Hansons, said: “I love that Andreo bought this to honour his nan. It certainly deserves to go round the neck of a man who excels in sport or an important celebrity. It’s really heavy so if you plan to wear it for any length of time you need to be strong! Tyson Fury would be perfect as he is a devout Christian. Like Andreo’s nan, he would appreciate the religious significance and symbolism of the item."

Sadly, despite ‘quite a lot of interest’ the cross went unsold.