A book bought 20 years ago for only five pounds is now worth £20K when sold at auction.
Sarah Hickman of Faversham bought a 17th century title England’s Treasure by Forraign Trade two decades ago for her vast book collection. Only when she and her partner were searching through the collection did she realise what she had.
“Rather than running my finger along the shelf and just touching the spine, I was getting them out and it was in a stack of old books. My partner said ‘this one’s an old one’ so I Googled it.”
Sarah Hickman discovered that one version of the same book had been sold previously at auction for about £3.5K around three years ago, so she emailed Christies to find out more about it and received a quick reply.
“About three minutes later they replied and said it was interesting. He said it’s worth at least £12,000 but would like to have a look and when could I come up. So I said ‘how about tomorrow?’”
Christies described the book as a “very rare first edition” – not recorded at auction since 1977. It was written in 1628 but not published until 1664, three years after the author’s death.
“It’s a little bit of magic, everyone hopes this happens to them,” Sarah Hickman added. “I was extremely pleasantly surprised and lucky to have bought it, because I loved it, but also for it to be valuable. Having studied printing I knew it was an original and in good condition and it was a handsome book. It’s always been a reasonably valuable book but the seller didn’t know how lucky for me.”