Dad who bought £12 old box staggered to find its Louis Vuitton worth fortune

A man unwittingly snapped up a hidden gem in a charity shop.

Back in 1984, he purchased a steamer trunk from a bric-a-brac shop in St Margarets, near Twickenham in London.

Despite costing just £12, the item is actually worth thousands more.

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The chap's daughter, Melissa, took the Louis Vuitton suitcase onto the Antiques Roadshow last year and learned it was worth £6,000.

And so the 56-year-old, who lives in Middlesex, has decided to sell the century-old trunk to protect it from her cats.

The estates officer said: “We foster cats and I have to keep the trunk covered up all the time to stop them using it as scratching post.

"My dad bought the trunk in 1984 from an old bric-a-brac/antiques shop in the village of St Margarets, near Twickenham in London where we used to live.

“He got a job up north but I didn’t want to go. He bought me the trunk to use as there was a lack of storage in my first flat. I put linen in it.

"I’ve always used it but, over time, I kept noticing the name Louis Vuitton crop up more and more on TV antiques shows."

Last year, she emailed TV’s Antiques Roadshow to get a valuation and they asked her to take it to the show. "I was quite surprised," she said.

"Everyone who knows me was laughing because I don’t like having my picture taken, let alone being on telly. I went along to the event at Ham House in Richmond upon Thames and their expert valued it at £3,000-£5,000.”

And that's not all, the family found an old copy of the Guardian newspaper inside the trunk that could up its value further.

It shows the date Melissa’s dad bought it – September 3, 1984.

The suitcase will go under the hammer at Hansons London on July 30 with a guide price of £4,000-£6,000.

Melissa said: “The trunk has been authenticated by Louis Vuitton.

“According to the serial number on the trunk, it was originally sold between 1909 and 1914. I’ve always looked after it but now I think it’s time for someone else to own it and appreciate it.”

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