20th century Chinese scroll painting – £7800 at Tamlyns.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

Catalogued as 20th century Japanese, it was given a perfunctory £30-40 estimate, but Bridgwater auctioneer Claire Rawle had another look and by sale day the scroll was rated a Chinese work.

The subject is particularly auspicious – the Chinese word for magpie also has the meaning ‘happiness’ – and a signature in characters suggested the artist will be identifiable. After a lengthy phone battle, the scroll sold to a Chinese buyer at £7800.