A MUSICAL instrument with a reserve price of just £100 surprised auctioneers when it sold for 50 times that estimate.

A cello, complete with its case and bow, fetched £5,000 at Thomas Watson auction house, in Darlington, on Tuesday (March 25).

David Elstob, business development manager for the auctioneers, in Northumberland Street, said there was a great deal of pre-sale interest in the item.

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He said: “As soon as the catalogue went online we were inundated with enquiries from specialist dealers on the continent and collectors.

“The cello was not in great condition but people were able to see past that and appreciate its quality.”