BURIED in a lifetime of bits and bobs, two forgotten little bowls have made one person very happy – and £35,000 richer. 

The bowls were discovered after a man sold his Hindhead home, heading for greener pastures in the United States. He asked John Nicholson’s fine art auctioneers and valuers to do a routine house clearance. 

The pair of Chinese famille rose porcelain bowls were almost missed. Completely unaware of the significance of the bowls, the owner had not singled out the bowls beautifully decorated with a coral red fish for inspection. 

The pair are thought to be from the Qing dynasty, which was the last imperial dynasty in Chinese history. The bowls are believed to be from 1820 to 1850.

Luckily one of specialists spotted them during a visit. 

The bowls were valued at £4,000 to £6,000 and in Nicholson’s May 17, 2023 Islamic & Oriental auction, they sold to a collector in Hong Kong for an unbelievable £35,000. This man’s junk was very much his treasure.

Another item that brought a smile to its old owner was an art piece by Turkish artist Mubin Orhon. The signed and dated piece from 1961 left its £3,000 to £5,000 valuation in the dust when it sold for £15,000 at Nicholson’s November Islamic & Oriental auction.

But the question is, do you have something stashed away that could fetch a handsome sum at auction? It is time to turn your hidden treasures into hard cash.

John Nicholson’s is the premier specialist in the south of England since 1980. 

It has a global audience of buyers, bidding regularly from many countries, including Australia, China and the United States.

Bring your items to the Fernhurst saleroom each Friday from 9am to 5pm, no appointment necessary, and find out if you are sitting on a fortune right now.