Three Chinese bowls bought for £1 each at a junk shop in Nottingham have sold for £62,000.
The bowls, which are around the size of cereal bowls, were snapped up by Chinese buyers looking to return their country's heritage home.
The bowls sold for £24,000, £20,000 and £18,000 respectively at an auction in Derbyshire earlier this week, smashing their estimates of £500 to £800 each.
The stunned owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, said the bowls would have been bought for no more than £3 by her father from Nottingham junk stores while he was working in Hyson Green in the 1950s and 60s.
The woman, who is from Lichfield in Staffordshire and in her 60s, now says she could retire after receiving the unexpected windfall:
My father was a great collector of Chinese pottery but the most he paid for anything was £1. He used to find pieces in junk shops when he was working in Hyson Green in Nottingham in the 1950s or 60s. My mother thought he was wasting his money so he used to smuggle his finds in the house by tucking them inside his coat. When he died in the 1960s he had more than 50 pieces and I sold some of them off then. I had the Chinese bowls valued in 1968 and was told all three were worth £75. I thought that was an exorbitant amount then but decided not to sell them – I’m so glad I did.
I popped them along to a free antiques valuation day run by Hansons in Lichfield when I had a day off work one Monday, and I was over the moon with the valuation of £500 to £800 each. To make £62,000 is absolutely amazing. I may just retire.