Ancient Egyptian cat statuette realises 420% increase on estimate

An ancient Egyptian bronze cat statuette has sold for £52,000 ($79,961) in a sale at David Lay Auctions in Penzance, UK.

The lot exceeded an estimate of £10,000 ($15,430) by 420%.

cat Egypt Penzance
The statuette was found during a house clearance in Cornwall, UK

It was found during a house clearance in Cornwall and would have been thrown away had it not been recognised as an important work of art.

Mimi Connell-Lay, of the auction house, explained prior to the sale: "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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