Every once in a while we hear stories on the news where someone bought an item at an estate sale, thrift shop, or flea market because it reminded them of their childhood, thought it was interesting, or they just needed extra seating in their home, apartment, or dorm. Well here are a few of those stories:
In March 2019, Sotheby’s valued a seated Buddha figure at about $100,000-$125,000 even though it had been purchased at an estate sale for about $100. Turns out the statue was made of gilt bronze and dated back to the early 15th century.
After seven minutes of bidding, the Buddha sold for $2.1 million so even Sotheby’s valuation was way off.
In 2014, an American scrap dealer visited a flea market in the Midwest and came across a decorated golden egg. The dealer paid a few thousand dollars for the the egg which he calculated solely on the scrap value.
Turns out it was a Faberge egg valued at about $30 million dollars. Furthermore it had a rich history as it was one of the eight eggs that was made for the then Russian ruling family around the late 1800’s, which made it even more valuable.
We all lose the remote, keys, jewelry, or other small items under the cushions of our sofas but a student struck it rich when she bought a sofa bed for $200.00 at an estate sale. Once home with her new purchase she found an oil painting hidden in the frame. The painting was Preparation to Escape to Egypt and was produced in the 17th century in Italy. She ended up selling the piece for $27,600 at auction.
Don’t however be on the other end of the stick and be the person who unknowingly let go of a high value treasure. Contact a professional before selling of items that could be of value.