My very favourite stories to write about here at Paul Fraser Collectibles are tales of discovery.
Anecdotes of normal people who stumble across something in a thrift store, charity shop, flea market or in their own attic, which transpires to be exceedingly rare and valuable, gives me a warm excited feeling.
Like the old dress picked up for £70 in a street market in London, which revealed itself to be a significant vintage French designer item, and sold for £7,200 at auction.
The unearthed Meissen pottery, ensconced for centuries in the vaults beneath an Italian palazzo, expected to fetch tens of thousands per item.
Dickens’ wife Catherine, discovered in an antique camera shop in Canterbury, peering gloomily out from a small daguerreotype, sold this very day for £8,750.
A book purchased unsuspectingly at a Liverpool car boot sale, out of which fell a letter from Paul McCartney regarding auditions for a Beatles drummer, then sold at auction for £34,850.
The Montana restaurant that for years unknowingly housed a hundred-year-old talking fortune telling machine, one of only three in existence, worth millions of dollars.
Most recently, I was enchanted by the story of the unemployed Ohioan man who picked up a Picasso poster in his local thrift store for $14, only to discover that it was an original signed Picasso print from an exhibition in 1958. He sold it for $7,000.
So many examples! It can’t be that unusual an occurrence, it could definitely happen to me. I would like to discover something significant and historical, languishing in the dust of some oblivious second hand store. Something like this snuff box once owned by Horatio Nelson. The treasure hunt element of collecting certainly explains how people get the bug, and start hunting around online and in auction house catalogues for missing pieces of their collections.
Are you seeking items to add to your treasured display of autographed rock guitars? Your library of historical manuscripts? Your incomplete collection of Dam Busters Operation Chastise memorabilia? I would suggest having a hunt around the Paul Fraser site at the huge number of items available, and also to seek out a bargain among the items currently open for bids at PFC Auctions. You may discover the missing piece of a long-built project, or come across something striking and unique that kindles a new collecting urge, like this enigma machine rotor.