A bow discovered in a pile of rubbish sold for £3,600 at a UK auction on 13 March. It was found during a house clearance, along with a violin in a heavily mildewed case. Together with a mandolin, the entire lot was given an estimated price of £50–80, making the final selling price an increase of 4,400 per cent on the top estimate.

Dating from around 1900, the bow bears a ‘W.E. Hill & Sons’ stamp, as well as silver fittings and an ebony frog. According to the auction house, Sworders of Stansted Mountfitchet in Essex, the case was the property of a Lincolnshire vicar who had briefly studied music at Cambridge University. On his death in September 2012 the case was discovered in his garage.

According to Sworders managing director Guy Schooling, bidding at the auction rose quickly and competition in the room continued to push the price up.‘The bow was bought by a music teacher who was delighted with his purchase,’ he said.