EXTREMELY rare photographs taken in China during the 1860s have sold for more than six times their estimated value when they went under the hammer in South Cerney.

The 46 photographs, which form part of the 19th century China Magazine, show life in the Far East during the 1800s and portray villagers going about their everyday tasks.

Auctioneers at Dominic Winter Book Auctions originally priced the photos at £2,000 but a huge amount of interest among bidders saw the photos snapped up for £12,000 from an anonymous buyer in London on Thursday, April 10.

Chris Albury, chief auctioneer, told the Standard he was not surprised to see the pictures sell for so much.

“We were sure that these photos would be popular. They are exceedingly rare which is always helpful,” he said.

“The pictures arrived here completely out of the blue, they were dropped off by a couple from Cumbria who happened to be in the area.”

The photos, which are among the earliest ones to have been pasted into a publication, were taken from the China Magazine which ran for two years between 1868 and 1870.

Chris said: “These images certainly were the highlight of a big photography section that we had. It was very exciting, I had never seen anything like this come up before.”

“They are very evocative and offer a really rare glimpse into the Chinese culture at that specific period in time.”

Visit www.dominicwinter.co.uk for more information on upcoming sales.