BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)
Pictured: Woolley & Wallis's John Axford with the stele.
A marble slab found propped up against a fireplace in a country cottage has sold for a staggering £554,000 - after it turned out to be a 1,450-year-old Buddhist relic.
The stele - an engraved stone or marble carving - stood for decades in the living room of the vendor's humble home in south west England.
They had no idea how valuable it was until an auctioneer who was invited along to look at a number of objects spotted it on the floor next to a woodburner.