The diminutive figure of the four-faced, eight-armed goddess Amoghapasa (the wisdom giver), measuring just 3in (8cm) high, had come for sale with modest hopes of £400-600.
Sworders’ Asian art specialist Yexue Li had first seen it during a routine valuation: “Just before I was leaving the house the seller pulled out the Buddha from his desk drawer.
"He said he had owned it for around 50 years and thought it could be Chinese but wasn’t sure. It’s fair to say he was ‘shell-shocked’ by the price.”
See our main report of the latest UK Asian art sales.