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Mel Glazer, who put up what some experts continue to argue is a rare Anglo Saxon cross shaft for auction at Norfolk auction house T.W. Gaze and Son, saw the hammer fall at £7500. Antiquities dealer Rupert Wace, the successful bidder, sold the piece at the Grosvenor House Fair in June last year for almost £300,000.

Mr Wace, among other experts, is confident that the cross shaft is a genuine Anglo Saxon piece dating from the 8th/9th century – a view that, importantly, is still shared by his American buyer – and has guaranteed the sale. But his view contradicts the verdict of the Government-appointed Export Review Committee, who advise Ministers on whether works of art should be allowed out of the country.

The committee were advised by Professor Rosemary Cramp, editor of the Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture, and an independent assessor whose identity has been kept secret by the committee but who is understood to be a British Museum curator.

Despite experts disagreeing over the age of the cross shaft, Mr Glazer is pressing ahead with his claim for compensation from the auctioneers through his lawyers.

He claims that the auctioneers were made aware of the possibility that the cross dated from Anglo Saxon England by the editor of Salvo magazine, who sent a circular email to members of the trade and Gaze, but they did not inform the vendor about this opinion (having advised him initially that the cross was a Victorian copy), nor did they consult an expert to clarify the issue. Instead, the sale of farm machinery and reclaimed building materials went ahead with the Celtic cross, described as “4ft stone monolith carved on all sides with Celtic knot decoration”, undated and without a printed estimate as to its likely value.

Mr Glazer argues that the auctioneers were negligent in not pursuing the matter further before the auction.

In an interview last year, Gaze and Son’s managing director Alan Smith told the Antiques Trade Gazette that he had contacted Salvo about the cross but “did not receive comment back about it”. The editor of Salvo, Thornton Kay, said he could not remember exactly what happened.

Mr Glazer remains confident in his claim. “There is always a range of opinions on whether an item is genuine or not but none of our legal team believes this makes any difference to our case,” said Mr Glazer, who drew a comparison with a similar scenario in 1989 when the auctioneers Messenger May and Bavistock were sued by a vendor after selling two ‘English School’ oils for £840 that were later attributed to George Stubbs and sold at Sotheby’s for £88,000.

Although the judge ruled in favour of the auctioneer, the case hinged on whether they had taken appropriate advice on the paintings, said Mr Glazer.

Mr Smith was more hopeful that the verdict of the Export Review Committee would weaken Mr Glazer’s case, and he maintained that Gaze had followed correct procedure. Mr Glazer said that Gaze have until January 7 to respond to his claim.