The British auction house Mander Auctioneers sold last Saturday dthe sphinx-shaped statues it had been acquired from a Suffolk County family who did not suspect its true value. The family contacted the entity to get rid of some belongings from their old house during a move, and among the objects were these statues that decorated the garden, auctioneer James Mander told local media.
Mander Auctioneers estimated that the sphinxes were “19th century garden models carved in stone” and set the starting price for the lot at between £ 300 and £ 500 ($ 408 and $ 680). However, during the auction he discovered that they were much more valuable, since, indeed, they were not a mere replica and belonged to the time of Ancient Egypt.
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Colleagues at another auction house realized the lot’s true age and bought it for £ 195,000 ($ 265,400), a sum 500 times the asking price. The name of the buyer is not disclosed, but is known to be an international entity.
The sphinxes, more than a meter long, were not in good condition, and, furthermore, they had been repaired with concrete by their last owners, who thus tried to complete the part that was missing under the head of one of the statues, indicates RT.
The family, who had them all this time in their garden, said he had bought them about 15 years ago for several hundred pounds in East Anglia, without suspecting that they were Egyptian sphinxes.
“There was some pre-auction interest during the preview, but we really didn’t have any indication of its value until the auction started,” confessed Mander.