Vicar's $1.90 wine glasses found at car boot sale make $25,000

 

 

Three wine glasses bought at a car boot sale for a combined £1.20 have made £16,000 at auction.

The three 18th century Beilby glasses were bought on a "hunch" at a car boot event in Portsmouth, Hampshire.

Unsure of their worth, but suspecting they may be of some value, the new lady owner contacted delighted auctioneer Stride and Son of Chichester, West Sussex.


How Britain spends its Sundays: there’s a bargain in there somewhere

The car boot seller will surely be feeling sick at the moment. But the tale is a salient lesson to do your homework before buying and selling and a reminder to alternative investors that it remains possible to unearth bargains.

The wine flutes were produced by Newcastle-upon-Tyne glassmaker William Beilby in around 1765.

They feature the enamelled coat of arms of John Thomas, the then vicar of St Bride's, in the City of London.

Less than 100 Beilby armorial glasses are known to exist.

Mark Hewitt, from the auction house, commented: "The person who bought them said afterwards that because they come up so rarely he had to have all three.

"They are museum quality pieces and it just shows that you can pick things up at car boot sales and make money."

The glasses are believed to have been part of an original set of five. The other two have both been sold at auction recently. One achieved £8,500 at Christie's in 1990, the other made £9,000 at Bonhams in 2010.

Four Beilby tumblers, also discovered at a car boot sale, sold for £18,000 at Christie's in 2005.

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