A jewellery box found by an Auckland man in his mother's estate sold for almost $90,000 to a London buyer at auction yesterday - more than $70,000 higher than the reserve.
The Faberge box was originally purchased by a Bohemian prince for £35 in London in 1910.
The piece was discovered by Webb's Auction House amongst items from the woman's estate, many of which had little or no value.
The upper estimate of $20,000 was quickly forgotten as bidding went up in $2,000 lots.
The item attracted interest from "spirited and determined" bidders, a spokesman from Webb's said.
A London bidder eventually won the auction with a bid of $87, 750, after competing in the end with a New York buyer.
Peter Carl Faberge was the foremost jeweller of the Russian empire, and is most famous for his jewelled eggs.
His items are often sought after because of the craftsmanship and history attached to them.
*Note: prices quoted in this article are in New Zealand dollars.
© Auckland Now. 21 June, 2012