Sphinx garden statues that a builder once cemented to the ground with CEMENT and believed to be replicas are being sold at auction for nearly £200,000 after they turn out to be genuine ancient Egyptian artifacts
- The statues were used as garden ornaments and believed to be 18th or 19th century remakes
- The owners of the statues from Suffolk brought them to an auction prior to a move
- The bidding started at £200 and rose to £195,000 when they were found to be ancient Egyptian artifacts likely to be over 5,000 years old
- Sculpted stone statues are now expected to be exhibited in a museum
Two stone sphinx statues believed to be replicas turned out to be genuine ancient Egyptian artifacts and have sold for nearly £200,000.
The statues’ owners, from Clare, Suffolk, bought the objects fifteen years ago and believed they date from the 18th or 19th century.
Wanting to sell the statues because they were moving, the owners had them appraised and sold at a local auctioneer.
It was initially thought that 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. They were initially thought to go up for auction for between £300-500 and their owners believed they were replicas
They were in very bad shape as they were used as garden ornaments and covered in moss.
A contractor had also cemented them to the ground and repaired them in the past.
But during the auction on October 9, the owners were shocked by the prices offered by bidders.
It was realized that the ornaments are ancient Egyptian and probably more than 5000 years old, according to the Subway.
Bidding started at £200, but people soon started bidding sky-high amounts for the statues after 15 minutes and they sold for £195,000.
The price they went for set them a new house record for the highest bid at the auction house.
Auctioneer James Mander said: ‘Bidding quickly rose to £100,000 and then seemed to stagnate, until the hammer finally fell to £195,000 at 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 most valuable 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 is ancient Egyptian and probably more than 5000 years old. They sold for £195,000
What are Egyptian sphinxes and what do they represent?
Sphinxes are mythical creatures that have the head of a human, falcon, cat or sheep. They have the body of a lion with the wings of a falcon. Egyptian sphinxes are usually depicted as a man. They were seen as benevolent, but with a ferocious power similar to the evil Greek version. Egyptian sphinxes were seen as guards and often flanked the entrances of temples.
The sphinxes depict a human head on the body of a lion and symbolize strength
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