Sphinx garden statues that a builder once secured to the ground with CEMENT and were thought to be replicas sell at auction for almost £200,000 after they turn out to be genuine Ancient Egyptian artifacts
- Used as garden ornaments, the statues were believed to be 18th or 19th century remakes
- The statues’ Suffolk owners took them to auction ahead of a house move
- Bidding started at £200 and rose to £195,000 as it emerged that they were Ancient Egyptian artifacts likely more than 5,000 years old
- Carved stone statues are now expected to be displayed in a museum
Two stone sphinx statues thought to be replicas turned out to be genuine Ancient Egyptian artifacts and have sold for almost £200,000.
The owners of the statues, from Clare, Suffolk, bought the items fifteen years ago and believed they dated from the 18th or 19th century.
Wanting to sell the statues as they were moving house, the owners went to get them valued and sold at a local auctioneers.
It was initially thought the carved sphinx statues would sell for between £300 and £500 when Mander Auctioneers in Sudbury first estimated their price.
The statues have a human head on the body of a lion. It was initially thought they would go for between £300-500 at auction and their owners thought they were replicas
They were in very bad condition since they were used as garden ornaments and had become covered in moss.
A builder had also secured them to the ground with cement and repaired them in the past.
But at auction on October 9, the owners were shocked at the prices being offered by bidders.
It was realised that the ornaments are Ancient Egyptian and likely to be more than 5,000 years old, according to the Metro.
Bidding began at £200 but people soon began offering sky-high sums of money for the statues after 15 minutes and they sold for £195,000.
The price they went for made them set a new house record for highest bid at the auction house.
Auctioneer James Mander said: ‘The bidding quickly went up to £100,000 and then seemed to stall, until the hammer finally fell at £195,000 to an international auction gallery, setting a new house record.
Mr Mander said: ‘This was an exciting day at the auction.
‘These are one of the highest value lots to be sold at a provincial auction this year.’
They are now expected to be displayed in a museum, according to the East Anglian Daily Times.
It was discovered that the pair of statues are Ancient Egyptian and are likely to be more than 5,000 years old. They sold for £195,000
What are Egyptian sphinxes and what do they represent?
Sphinxes are mythical creatures which the head of a human, falcon, cat or a sheep. They have the body of a lion with the wings of a falcon. Egyptian sphinxes are typically shown as a man. They were viewed as benevolent but with a ferocious strength similar to the malevolent Greek version. Egyptian sphinxes were thought of guardians and often flank entrances to temples.
The sphinxes depict a human head on the body of a lion and symbolize strength
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