An award-winning charity shop has accidentally sold an antique vase valued at £1,500 for a measly £15.
Now the charity wants to alert the fortunate buyer so the same mistake won’t be repeated.
Co-founder of the shop, Deannie McMaster, 51, said yesterday: “It’s not that we want the item back, it’s to make sure that someone doesn’t put it in a boot sale or something like that.”
The bungle happened at The Community Charity Shop in Academy Street, Inverness at the week-end.
A grubby vase arrived in the shop which last year won the Rotarian International Award for Achievement in its charity work.
Deannie explained: “One of our ladies, Maureen Ross, had been given it for the shop by a lady she knows. She brought it in.
“It was really dirty and muddy so she took it through the back and washed it. It cleaned up beautifully. It was lovely, apparently.
“She knew it was valuable but could not get internet connection to price it. I was out of town so she put it aside for when I came back.
“However, one of our volunteers saw the vase and put a £15 ticket on it.”
Deannie said: “One of our committee members arrived and saw the vase with the ticket on it so she put it in the window.”
And she did not have long to wait.
Deannie added: “Within an hour an elderly woman came in to buy it. Our lady thought it looked nice but was not aware of the true value.
“She said she would bubble wrap it to protect it, but the woman said not to bother, but our volunteer insisted.
“We don’t know if she is local or not. We have a bus stop outside the door and buses come there from all over.
“It might even be heading for the other side of the world, for all we know, because buses from tour ships stop there as well. Whoever has it has got a real bargain and – even if they don’t know it – are the proud owners of a brown antique enamelled cameo glass cabinet vase by Daum Nancy, A Winter Landscape.
“One recently sold on ebay for £1,590 – postage was £15! But it could have been worse. If it had been a blue Daum Nancy vase it would have been worth £5,000-plus.”