A retired couple from England were moving and decided that the sculpted garden sphinxes didn‘t really fit the style of their new home anymore. Away with it, they thought. But at the last minute they decided to sell the footage anyway. A gold move in hindsight.
The footage went under the hammer at Mander Auctioneers auction house, run by James Mander. The statues used as garden ornaments were sold for £195,000, which has been converted 229,620 euros. The statues turned out to be ancient Egyptian relics thousands of years old.
The relics had been bought for ‘a few hundred pounds‘ at another auction 15 years ago. At the time it was thought to be 18th century replicas, the auction house says.
“When we were approached, we didn’t ask questions. We offered the footage for 300 to 500 pounds,” Mander tells CNN. “In 15 minutes, bids skyrocketed at lightning speed.” An international art gallery eventually bought the images.
Mander suspects they are items from the Grand Tour. English noble young men often took a tour of Europe in the 18th century, a Grand Tour. Mander thinks the footage was bought back then. “So they‘re thousands of years old. It’s really amazing.”
Mander informs that we are working on tracing the origin of the images.