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Louis Vuitton trunk bought for £12 and identified on Antiques Roadshow at Ham House set to make thousands of pounds

By Eli Haidari

1st Aug 2022 | Local News

A battered storage box bought for £12 from a second hand shop in St Margarets is set to fetch thousands of pounds after it turned out to be a rare Louis Vuitton steamer trunk.

A local snapped up the vintage luggage in 1984 for a pocket money amount which he then gave to his daughter who was moving into a flat.

The daughter, who is just giving her first name Melissa, stored sheets and linen in the trunk for years before realising its true value.

She took it along to the Antiques Roadshow held at Ham House last year and was stunned to learn it was worth thousands.

Melissa, aged 56, is now selling the 100-year-old trunk - which is expected to fetch up to £6,000 at auction - to protect it from her rescue cats.

The estates officer, who lives in Middlesex, 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 St Margarets, Twickenham, 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.

"I realised it might be valuable. Last year I emailed TV's Antiques Roadshow to get a valuation and they asked me to bring it to the show.

"I was quite surprised. 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 and their expert valued it at £3,000-£5,000."

The designer trunk, which is more than 100 years old, is now potentially worth even more. It will be offered for auction by Hansons London on Saturday, July 3,0 with a guide price of £4,000-£6,000.

Inside it is a copy of the Guardian newspaper which shows the date Melissa's dad bought it - September 3, 1984.

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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