An Egyptian pen case has sold at a Northamptonshire auction for just under £14,000.
The case had been an ornament on the window of a Northamptonshire lady for the last two decades until it was put up as a lot by JP Humbert auctioneers.
Consigned ‘no reserve’ with no expectations of a large sale, the item was listed online with a description and image but only on the day of the auction did interest begin to show.
Auctioneer Jonathan Humbert said: “It was the morning of the sale that we knew something was happening - an initial
commission bid of £800 was most gratifying but then within a two hour period, six telephone lines were booked.”
The bidding started at £500 but soon took off with internet bids outstripping the telephones until one of each remained.
The item finally sold after a 10-minute bidding battle to the telephone trade bidder, bringing applause from the saleroom.
The final hammer price was £11,500 plus a 19.5 per cent buyer’s premium.
Humbert’s now understand from the pen cases’s new owners that, rather than being Middle Eastern in origin and dating to the 1800s as originally thought, it may be of 13th Century Egyptian origin.
Meanwhile J P Humbert Auctioneers Ltd have announced their forthcoming move to their new saleroom and administration centre at Steadings Barn, Home Farm, Church Way, Whittlebury.
The new location will open on Thursday April 14 and a new website will start on the same day.
All other contact details remain the same.