A battered storage box a dad bought for $14 from a junk shop is set to fetch thousands – after it turned out to be a rare piece of Louis Vuitton steamer luggage.
The dad snapped up the vintage luggage in 1984 for pocket money, which he then gave to his daughter who was moving into an apartment.
He paid 12 British pounds (14 dollars) for the luggage from a bric-a-brac shop in the village of St. Margarets, a suburb of London, England.
The daughter, who is just giving her first name Melissa, stored sheets and linen in the trunk for years before realizing its true value.
She took it along to the Antiques Roadshow last year and was stunned to learn it was worth thousands.
Melissa, 56, is now selling the 100-year-old luggage- which is expected to fetch up to 6,000 pounds (7,200 dollars) at auction – to protect it from her rescue cats.
The estates officer, who lives in Middlesex, England, said: “We foster cats and I have to keep the trunk covered up all the time to stop them using it as a scratching post.
“My dad bought the trunk in 1984 from an old bric-a-brac/antiques shop in the village of St. Margarets, near Twickenham in London where we used to live.
“He got a job up north but I didn’t want to go. He bought me the trunk to use as there was a lack of storage in my first flat.
“I put linen in it. I’ve always used it but, over time, I kept noticing the name Louis Vuitton crop up more and more on TV antiques shows.
“I realized it might be valuable. Last year I emailed TV’s Antiques Roadshow to get a valuation and they asked me to bring it to the show.
“I was quite surprised. Everyone who knows me was laughing because I don’t like having my picture taken, let alone being on telly.
“I went along to the event at Ham House in Richmond upon Thames and their expert valued it at 3,000-5,000 pounds [3,600 to 6,000 dollars].”
The designer luggage, which is more than 100 years old, is now potentially worth even more.
It will be offered for auction by Hansons London on July 30 with a guide price of 4,000-6,000 pounds (4,800-7,200 dollars).
Inside it is a copy of the Guardian newspaper which shows the date Melissa’s dad bought it – September 3, 1984.
Melissa said: “The trunk has been authenticated by Louis Vuitton.
“According to the serial number on the trunk, it was originally sold between 1909 and 1914.
“I’ve always looked after it but now I think it’s time for someone else to own it and appreciate it.”
The trunk will go under the hammer at Hansons London on Saturday, July 30.
Produced in association with SWNS.
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