Charity shop rewarded for auction decision on donated ring

A ruby, emerald, garnet, amethyst, ruby and diamond ring estimated at £300-400 sold at £780 on November 27 at Catherine Southon (plus 18% buyer’s premium).

Charity may begin at home, but sometimes it ends in the saleroom. A ring brought into a charity shop nearly doubled its top estimate at auction in Surrey.

Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | Terence Ryle

While scruples have been raised in ATG’s Letters pages recently about the ethics of vendors making big profits from charity shop finds (as opposed to car boot bargains), there were no qualms about an early Victorian ring.

Set with a ruby, emerald, garnet, amethyst, ruby and diamond spelling the word Regard, it had been dropped off at a charity shop.

The shrewd manager entered it on behalf of the charity into the Catherine Southon (18% buyer’s premium) November 27 sale at Selsdon. There, the mount having been tested for gold, the ring was estimated at £300-400 and sold at £780.

Other charity shop finds have sold for thousands at auction recently.

The report in ATG of a Chinese vase bought for a pound from a charity shop then selling for £380,000.

In November, a vase purchased for £1 from a Hertfordshire charity shop earlier this year, sold for £380,000 (plus 25% buyer’s premium) at Sworders in London. The Qianlong (1736-95) famille rose wall vase sold on November 8 after a 10-minute bidding contest.

Then earlier this month a gilt bronze model of a buddha donated to a charity shop by a donor took a hammer price of £15,000 at an auction in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.