When an elderly couple passed away, relatives came in to clear out their home. Everything had to go, so they had a local auction house come in to value the contents. A small crackled celadon green pot/bowl (5 inches tall) that sat on top of the couple’s sideboard in their dining room was estimated, buy the auctioneer, to make a mere £500- 800. Once again, the auction room got it wrong; it turns out the pot is from the Song dynasty; it is a piece of Ru ware created 900 years ago. There are only a small number of similar pieces in private hands today.
Three knowledgeable collectors fought for the prize and totally took the auctioneers by surprise when the pot finally hammered at £320K/$440K (£385K/$529K w/p), just ‘a little more’ than the estimate. And I would say the relatives, with their unexpected windfall, are probably out celebrating!