Is your significant other always nagging you to get rid of Uncle Piet’s junk in the spare room or granny Thandeka’s old boxes in the shed? Don’t do it! They could be worth a fortune.
Let’s be honest … they probably are best given to the local charity shop. But go through everything first, because there may just be something that’s worth more than a buck or two.
Elderly Englishman finds Gandhi’s old glasses
A case in point is the pair of round-rimmed glasses once worn by Mahatma Gandhi and given away in South Africa in the 1920s or 1930s.
They were found by an English man in his ‘80s living near the city of Bristol, who recalled the glasses being passed on to him by an uncle who worked for British Petroleum in South Africa sometime before World War Two.
He sent them off to a local auctioneer, East Bristol Auctions, with a brief note saying: “These belonged to Gandhi, and my uncle was given them.”
Glasses found stuffed in auctioneer’s letterbox
“I saw an envelope hanging out of our letterbox; really, literally, just hanging out,” auctioneer Andy Stowe told broadcaster CNN.
When a colleague opened the envelope, they discovered the unusual contents – a pair of gold-rimmed, circular spectacles.
After doing some research, Stowe and his team realised the glasses could have some value and he contacted the owner, who was quick to say that if they weren’t worth anything, they should be thrown in the bin.
Man ‘nearly fell off his chair’ at the valuation
When the auctioneer replied that they had been valued at up to £15,000 (around R321, 000) he said the man “nearly fell off his chair”.
Secretly, though, Stowe thought they could be worth considerably more. He was proved right.
When the glasses that once belonged to the famous Indian independence leader went to auction recently, they sold for a remarkable £260,000 (R5.5-million) – more than 17 times the initial estimate.
An incredible result for an incredible item
“An incredible result for an incredible item! Thanks to all those who bid,” said East Bristol Auctions in a statement afterwards.
“It’s a phenomenal result. These glasses represent not only an auction record for us, but a find of international historical importance,” Stowe told broadcaster Sky News.
And the moral of the story? Think twice before you throw away ouma’s old‘junk’. It could change your life.