A Texas antique dealer purchased a bust of a Roman general for $34.99. She later found out it was a 2,000-year-old relic.
Laura Young bought the bust at a Goodwill store in Austin, Texas, in 2018. “The head was on the floor under a display table. It definitely looked old. It was carved marble,” she said.
Snapping funny photos of the bust in the backseat of her car, Young got the 52-pound bust home in one piece. Thinking the piece looked old, she decided to do some research.
She discovered that it was a Julio-Claudian-era piece depicting the Roman commander Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus, also known as Drusus Germanicus or Drusus the Elder.
“He’s probably the coolest thing I’m ever going to find. The most special. There’s a lot of history,” she said.
In order to get her suspicions about the piece confirmed, she brought the bust to her friends at a London auction house, who confirmed her discovery.
It was later discovered that the bust had been listed in a 100-year-old catalog from a German art museum. It was then brought to the United States by a soldier during World War II.
The piece is currently being displayed at the San Antonio Museum of Art for one year before making its return back to Germany.
Young, now out $34.99 for the bust, is sad to see the guy go. “It hurt a little bit. It was bittersweet. Like, it’s nice that there’s a resolution to it and that it’s working out for the best.
It’ll be a little bittersweet to see him in the museum, but he needs to go home. He wasn’t supposed to be here,” she said.