The ‘find of a lifetime’ has been discovered by a Horncastle antiques dealer in a box of old shoes and ties.
Wayne Goodwin, owner of Old Coach House Antiques, found what is believed to be a nearly 300-year-old French made suit at the bottom of a box of old clothes he had bought at an auction.
It wasn’t until a customer at his store saw it laid out and asked if he knew what it was.
“I just thought it must have been a costume because it was just stuffed in the bottom of this box,” Mr Goodwin said.
“I had it laid out in the shop and a gentleman came in and asked if I knew what I’d bought.
“He thought it was an original suit. I contacted the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and gave them a description based on the item and they told me it was the genuine product.
“Unfortunately, they said they didn’t want it because they have plenty of suits like these.”
The frock coat and breeches are made of linen with a silk covering with solid gold and mother of pearl buttons .
The style suggests it is French, circa 1740-1760.
Mr Goodwin would now like to see the suit end up in the hands of a museum or someone who would restore it as some parts of the outfit are in bad condition.
He continued:“As with a lot of things in my shop, it would be fascinating if items like these could talk and tell us what they have seen over the years.
“I want to see someone restore it to its former glory.”
He first opened his store in November last year and it is located in the Bull Hotel’s old coach house which gave the name to his shop - it can be accessed via Banks Street or through the arch in the Bull Ring.