Garden ornament sphinxes valued at 300 found to be from AnciEgypansolfor 195000

A PAIR of garden ornament sphinxes valued at 300 turned out to be from ancient Egypt and sold for 195,000.

The badly weathered stone lumps had been cemented to a patio after their owners bought them at a country house sale 15 years ago.

One of them had even been crudely repaired by a builder using cement.

But art experts realised they could be up to 5,000 years old, which sparked a bidding war.

Auctioneer James Mander said: We had no indication of their value until the auction began.

The bidding started at 200 and quickly went up to 100,000 until the hammer finally fell at 195,000 to an international auction gallery.

The 110cm-long sphinxes with a human head on a lions body were thought to be 18th century copies.

Their owners, of Clare, Suffolk, were moving house and put the statues up for sale as they did not fit their new homes style.

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Mr Mander, of Mander Auctioneers, Sudbury, Suffolk, said: This was an exciting day.

We were very pleased to inform the vendors who had enjoyed these as garden ornaments with no idea of their true value.

The bidding started at 200 and quickly went up to 100,000 until the hammer finally fell at 195,000 to an international auction gallery

One of the sphinxes had even been crudely repaired by a builder using cement

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