‘WE USED IT AS A GOAL POST’
The owner of this intricately decorated bronze urn and stand said his children had regularly used it as a goal post because of its height – an all-too-common event among families who live with items rather than worrying about the potentially precious value of their possessions.
He inherited the piece from his parents, who purchased it in 1946 as one of several antiques for which they paid £100. In 1991 he took it to the Cleethorpes Antiques Roadshow. Expert Eric Knowles noticed the gilded and patinated jardiniere in the Japonisme style had the French maker’s motif Christofle & Cie engraved on it, as well as 1874. His appreciation of the piece was in no doubt.
VALUED AT: £10,000.
CURRENTLY: The astounded owner made a wise decision to keep it, and 20 years later, when the market for such pieces was more favourable, he entered it for sale at a major London auction house and it sold for an astronomical commission-inclusive £668,000.