A nude male fertility figure discovered in Little Chishill in 2018 is now being sold at auction.

Retired HGV driver and avid metal detectorist Bob Jemmett unearthed the figure - which resembles the Cerne Abbas Giant in Dorset - during an organised rally.

The figure, which measures 37mm x 10mm and is nicknamed 'Nobby', will be included in a sale of ancient coins and antiquities at Noonans Mayfair on Thursday, June 20, and is expected to fetch up to £1,500.

Bob, who is 75 and from Manningtree, Essex, recalls: "It was on September 12, 2018 that I was metal detecting in a ploughed field at Little Chishill, near Royston on an organised rally.

Metal detectorist Bob JemmettMetal detectorist Bob Jemmett (Image: Noonans)

"The weather was appalling with the rain lashing down, but I persevered and received a lovely signal from my Minelab 3030 detector.

"Digging down four inches, I uncovered a small bronze nude male figure which featured a prominent erection similar to the Cerne Abbas Giant that is carved into a hill in Dorset.

"The figure was identified as a Celtic fertility figure and published on the Portable Antiquities website and subsequently used as a logo by the rally organisers in their promotions.

'Nobby' the fertility statue'Nobby' the fertility statue (Image: Noonans)

"As a result, detectorists from all over Europe at rallies would ask me if they could see 'Nobby' - who I always keep in my pocket as a constant companion!"

Bob has been detecting for close to 30 years, and is married with two daughters and eight grandchildren.

After a recent house burglary, he decided it was time to let 'Nobby' go, and plans to spend the auction money on home improvements.

'Nobby' the fertility statue'Nobby' the fertility statue (Image: Noonans)

Nigel Mills, artefact and coin expert at Noonans, said: "This unique figure dates from the first century BC.


"He has an oversized bald head with deep sockets for eyes, wedges for arms and short legs. There is a loop behind for suspension."

On the same day as the ancient coins and antiquities auction, Noonans is also holding an auction of world coins, and on June 26 will be holding an auction of British and Irish banknotes.

An auction of orders, medals and militaria will be held on June 19.