Surprise Valuables Bought on a Budget
It’s every collector’s dream to snap up a rare or valuable item at a charity shop, flea market or car boot sale, where hidden treasures often lurk amongst the antique vases and costume jewelry. For the lucky people featured on this list, the future value of their bargain buys came as a complete surprise; from a hidden document behind a picture frame to a rare Chinese bowl, see our list below for a few of the most amazing items that were bought as a total steal.
A pretty but seemingly unremarkable bowl was purchased by a local lady from a charity shop in Somerset for just £2 back in 2018. The brightly coloured bowl with a metallic Chinese design was in fact dated all the way back to the 18th century during the reign of The Qianlong Emperor, sixth Emperor of the Qing dynasty. It eventually sold at auction for a very impressive £21,000.
An anonymous buyer who picked up an old Breitling watch from a car boot sale for the already reasonable price of £25, was astonished to discover the purchase was in fact a prop worn by Sean Connery in the 1965 film Thunderball. The watch was central to the plot, allowing Bond to locate missing atomic weapons, and was eventually sold for £131,000.
In 1989, a financial analyst from Philadelphia bought an old painting from a local market for $4 – mainly because he liked the frame. After taking the painting apart, he found one of only 24 original copies of the 1776 US Declaration of Independence, hidden between the painting and the backing. The document later sold at auction for a whopping $2.42 million.
Infamously nicknamed ‘the Tenner’, one lucky buyer purchased what they assumed was a piece of costume jewelry for just £10 back in the 1980s. The ring was in fact a genuine 26.27 carat diamond, believed to have been cut in the 19th century. The ring eventually sold for £656,750 – over half its original estimate.
A cracked teapot was bought at auction for just $19 back in 2016, by a collector who then took it to Woolley and Wallis auctioneers to establish if he had anything of value. Ceramics experts identified it as the work of John Bartlam, who emigrated to America from Britain in the 18th century, and was the first person to make porcelain in the US. Despite its damage, the teapot is a vital piece of history, and was sold to the Metropolitan Museum in New York for $580,000.
At Campbell and McGovern, we believe it’s vital to have somewhere to store your valuables securely, whatever their value. We provide and install a range of fireproof and home safes in Liverpool, with a range of models to suit your needs. From underfloor safes to digital locks, give us a call today or visit our website to discuss which safe is best for your home.