An eighteenth century Polynesian necklace that came out of a house clearance and was thought to be worth just £15 has sold for a staggering £99,000 at Surrey auctioneers, Ewbank’s.
The necklace was bought into Ewbank’s by the owner of a house clearance firm who had no idea of its value and priced it at £15. The item was in a batch that was destined for the A3 car boot sale opposite the auction rooms. However, at the last moment, the owner had a last-minute change of heart and instead took it to Ewbank’s.
Senior partner and auctioneer Chris Ewbank explained that it was a rare late 18th century necklace made out of hair and sperm whale bone emanating from the Austral Islands. There was a lot of pre-sale interest that had indicated that it might make as much as £20,000-30,000, but no one was expecting the price to soar to a staggering £99,000.
He said that there was a UK bidder in the room who dropped out at £50,000, leaving the successful French bidder on the firm’s live bidding platform to battle it out with an Australian phone bidder. The price was the highest at the auction rooms in 2016 and the highest sold on their live bidding platform Ewbank’s live, which was set up earlier in the year.