Chris Mundin, 78, of Phippsville, Northampton, was offered the chance to buy the garage just before Christmas last year. Little did he know it would be packed to the roof with household paraphernalia. However, among many objects of little value he discovered vintage silverware and collectable ceramics.
Silver sugar snips dating back to 1765, an Edwardian silver-topped bottle made in 1901, silver from San Francisco, USA, Lladro and Calrice Cliff ceramics and Egyptian decorative items are among items set to go under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers in June. Together they could make hundreds of pounds.
Chris said: “I had an email from the managing agents of a block of 24 flats where I lease one of the properties. A garage in the block was being offering to flat owners ahead of going on the open market.
“As my flat doesn’t have a garage, I thought it would be an asset. I was told the garage had stuff in it and would need clearing. I made an offer and the garage was mine. However, it took until April to complete the sale and get the key. When I went to inspect it I was taken aback by the amount of stuff inside. I started to sort the wheat from the chaff.
“There was an old three-piece suite, kitchen unit, kitchen broom cupboard – with brooms – three shelves of books, two cine cameras, three boxes of 78 records, a projector and screen, two cameras, paintings, diplomas, a photo album, silverware, china and general bric-a-brac.
“I understand the lady owner, who is in her 90s, lived in the block years ago and had two garages. She sold one with her flat but kept the other for storage. I don’t think the garage had been opened for years.
“I started clearing it and made several journeys to the recycling centre. However, I thought there may be some value in the cameras, silverware, china and bric-a-brac. I contacted a photographic shop but they weren’t interested in the cameras.
“A neighbour was more positive. She looked at the silverware and china and went into raptures. She volunteered to clean the silver and told me there was some value in the stuff. She turned out to be right and I’m very grateful to her. She also told me antiques expert Charles Hanson was hosting a valuation day at Jeyes of Earls Barton in Northamptonshire, so we went along.
“Charles assessed my items and I was pleased to discover some items were worthy of auction. I’m now looking forward to the sale in June.”
Items set to go under the hammer include a George VI silver candlestick hallmarked Sheffield, 1950, £50-80; an American sterling silver and wooden bottle coaster with embossed floral design by Ged C Shreve & Co of San Francisco, £40-60; American reproduction ‘George Washington’ silver salt and pepper shakers, £50-£70, and 18th century silver sugar nips, engraved initials S.D, circa 1765, £40-£60.
Chris also uncovered antique bottles. An Edwardian silver-topped cut glass perfume bottle hallmarked Chester, 1901, James & William Deakin, has been guided at £50-£70 while a set of silver-topped bottles/boxes originating from Chester, Birmingham and London have an estimate of £40-£60.
Other quirky collectables gathering dust in the garage included an Egyptian white metal floral-embossed circular hand mirror and decorated dishes/plates, £100-£150, and, offered as one lot, a dragon-designed brass vase, Bredene Mylius pewter salad fork, spoon servers from Norway, pewter plate, James Dixon & Sons plated and leather hip flask and a Howard pewter tea pot, £40-£60.
Ceramics include three Lladro young Angel figurines, a cream Clarice Cliff sauce boat, a Crown ducal milk jug, sugar bowl and plates, three Salins France ‘Josephine’ stands and a Spode tea cup. These will be sold as one lot with other items, £40-£50.
Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said: “I was amazed by Chris’s garage finds. All these items could easily have ended up at a charity shop, or even in a skip. Together they could achieve around £600 at auction – maybe more. It would be lovely to see some of his lots fly high and bring home a windfall closer to £1,000.
“After all his hard work spent clearing the garage Chris deserves a reward. Whatever happens he’s delivered a valuable lesson to everyone. Never dismiss anything you may think may be of value. Come and see the experts!”
The sale takes place on June 22-27.