Family's 'weathered' garden ornaments sell for $360,000: 'Crazy'

·2-min read

A pair of 'garden ornaments' which were purchased some 15 years ago have sold at auction for over $360,000.

The pair of stone sphinx statues were bought by a couple for around £300 ($A556) and sat in their garden for years in southeast England.

However, earlier this month, Mander Auctioneers sold the pair of sphinxes for £195,000 ($A360,000), as the anonymous buyer thought they could be much more valuable.

Pictured are the Egyptian sphinxes which recently sold for $360,000 at auction
The sphinx statues sold for over $360,000 after sitting in a couple's garden for 15 years. Source: Mander Auctioneers

"Opinion was that they were genuine ancient Egyptian examples, which had somehow passed through recent history as 18th century copies," auctioneers said in a statement, according to CNN.

On the listing, Mander Auctioneers said the statues were 19th century models of Egyptian sphinx and the photos of the statues shared by Mander Auctioneers show signs of weathering.

"All the time they sat there and they [the sellers] had no idea what they had in their garden," auctioneer James Mander told the BBC.

He said the couple who had the sphinxes in the garden had just moved house, so the final sale was a "perfect scenario".

Pictured is one of the Egyptian statues, which is believes to be genuine, also seen i some weathering on the statue.
The statues are actually genuine ancient Egyptian statues. Source: Mander Auctioneers

The bidding for the statues started at £200 ($A370) and were sold some 15 minutes later. 

Mr Mander admitted they had no expectations for the statues but the bidding "just went crazy".

Statues 'thousands of years old'

He told CNN work was being done to trace the provenance of the statues. 

It is unknown exactly when the statues date back to, but he did confirm them to be genuine.

"As it turns out they're thousands of years old and genuine," he said. 

"So it's quite amazing really." 

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