An ancient Egyptian cat sculpture valued at £5,000-10,000 ($7,715-15,430) is to cross the block at David Lay Auctions in the UK later today.
Incredibly the former owners of the lot were about to throw it away, when it was spotted by an expert during a house clearance.
Mimi Connell-Lay, of the auction house, explained: "The cat was taken to the British Museum where the head of their department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan said he was thrilled to see such a finely modelled and beautifully proportioned piece, and dated it as 26th Dynasty approximately 700-500 BC.
"It turns out that the cat had belonged to their late father who had spent his career working at Spink & Son, one of London's oldest and most respected art and antiquity dealing institutions.
"Spink regularly handled sales of Egyptian antiquities. When Howard Carter died it was Spink and Son who handled the sale of his estate.
"The family never put two and two together, and were clueless to the real value of this ornament…It is a particularly fine example that would have been commissioned by an Egyptian of considerable means and high status."
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