A bamboo root carving valued at £400 has instead sold at auction for £35,000.
The Chinese carving, believed to date from the early 17th Century Qing Dynasty, depicts a rocky outcrop populated by walking figures.
It was sold on Wednesday by Halls Fine Art Auctioneers in Shrewsbury.
The carving is just 23cm tall and of "humble design", according to the auctioneers, which described it as a "surprising" result.
Similar pieces are popular among Chinese buyers, they said.
As the country seeks to repatriate items that were removed by citizens fleeing the Communist regime after World War Two.
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The auction house said the £400 estimate was "speculative" and "based on the condition, which was by no means perfect".
Though it is "incredibly well carved", it is unsigned "so we have no way of knowing who the artist was", a spokesman added.