In 1980, at an Antique Fair where I was well known as a buyer.
A friend who was also into antiques and I were offered a bronze cat, with an earring in its’ ear, on a marble base for £13, which was a lot of money then.
My friend asked the dealer what it was and he said he had no idea. My friend then asked me if I thought it was a reproduction as it looked brand new. I said ”Reproduction of what though” as I had never seen one before.
We left the stall…. had a good hunt and bought some nice antiques. As we were leaving the same dealer offered us the cat for £11 but we looked doubtfully at each other and declined his offer. The top dealer in the local area passed us coming in as we left. He bought the cat… probably for £10…….. It was put into Sotheby’s Auction where it realised £23,000.
It was an artifact from an Egyptian tomb that had somehow found its’ way onto the open market. Always maintained that if I saw another one I would buy it… but of course in the 40 years since….. I haven’t seen another other than in pictures. £23,000 in those days would have bought a shop with living accommodation and enough antiques to furnish and stock it.
Yes, that was my biggest mistake but not my only one!!!
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