SYDNEY, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- A bronze figurine in an ordinary collection of bric-a-brac, initially valued at just a few hundred dollars, sold for $225,000, an Australian auction house said.
The 25-inch-tall figure of the Greek god Zeus, among a collection of mostly inexpensive reproductions, was originally priced by Kensington auction house Vickers and Hoad at $500, but turned out to be a genuine Renaissance treasure, The Sydney Morning Herald reported in its Tuesday edition.
The bronze, for which a London bidder paid $225,000 at a Sydney auction, had belonged to the late Denis Warrington-Fry, a former clerk who was a regular visitor to Sydney antique dealer showrooms who died in July at age 80, a friend said.
"He spent all his money on his collection. He never traveled to see all the old palaces and museums he loved but he had all the books," friend Geoff Northausen said. "He knew all about the things he was collecting."
Northausen said while his late friend focused on growing his antiques collection, the house around him deteriorated.
"There were problems with the house," Northausen said. "'It had white ants in the floor [but] he didn't have the money to have it repaired. It's hard to imagine what he might have done with the money had he known [the figurine] was worth this much."
When all of the Warrington-Fry estate is sold, the three beneficiaries will be a caregiver, a neighbor and his 65-year-old niece, Keryn Dibble.