A VASE donated to a church to be sold on a bric-a-brac stall scooped a staggering £1,600 at auction.
Regulars at St Luke’s Church, in Hartlepool’s Tunstall Avenue, were delighted when a generous family handed over a box of goods from a recently deceased relative – but little did they know what was among the collection.
As main fundraiser for the church, Pauline Shaw was sorting through the donations for the next event when she came across a vase which caught her attention.
On closer observation she realised the vase was actually a Lalique, which is an extremely expensive vase designed by French glass designer René Jules Lalique.
The 59-year-old mum-of-two could not believe her eyes and after getting the ok from the family who donated the vase, decided to take it to Tennants Auctioneers, in Leyburn, North Yorkshire, to go under the hammer.
After the boiler in St Luke’s Church broke down during the winter, church regulars are trying their best to raise £10,500 for a new one.
And they thought they were going to get their fundraising drive off to a fine start when they were told the vase had been given a reserve price of £400.
But to their sheer delight, the donated item actually fetched four times that and was sold for £1,600.
“It’s absolutely fantastic,” said Pauline, who lives in the Bankston Close, in Hartlepool, with husband David, 54, works manager at AMG Resources, in the town.
“It’s just sheer chance that we were given the vase as part of the donation and if it wasn’t for my curiosity it would have just been sold at a bric-a-brac stall for 50p.”
Pauline added: “At St Luke’s we often have coffee mornings and we are always asking people to give us any items if they are emptying houses or that sort of thing.
“We then put them on a stall and sell them to raise funds for the church.
“Obviously we have never had anything like this before, we are absolutely delighted and so grateful to the family who donated the items.”
Julia Taylor, 58, parish administrator who lives in the Grange area of Hartlepool, said: “We were amazed when we found out how much the vase had been sold for, everyone at the church is so pleased and grateful.”
Residents can help the church in their bid to raise £10,500 for a new boiler at a garden party.
The event will be held at the church on Saturday, July 14, from 2pm-4pm.
Anyone who wishes to donate and help the church with their fundraising drive should call Julia Taylor on (01429) 271194.