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Box bought for $14 sold for thousands after discovery it’s really rare Louis Vuitton luggage

"We foster cats and I have to keep the trunk covered up all the time to stop them using it as scratching post."

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(Hansons via SWNS)

By Adam Dutton via SWNS

A battered storage box bought by a dad for £12 ($14.69) at a junk shop 40 years ago has sold for more than 600 TIMES that price after it turned out to be a rare Louis Vuitton.

The father purchased the vintage steamer trunk in 1984 for a pocket money amount which he then gave to his daughter as a gift as she was moving into her first flat.

He snapped up the trunk from a bric-a-brac shop in the village of St Margarets, near Twickenham, London, for his daughter Melissa to use as storage.

Melissa, who is just giving her first name, went on to keep sheets and linen in the trunk for decades before eventually realizing its true value.

She took it along to the Antiques Roadshow last year and was stunned to learn it was 100 years old and worth thousands of pounds.

The 56-year-old decided to sell the designer trunk to protect it from her rescue cats and was left stunned when it fetched almost £10,000 on Saturday (July 30).

The item went under the hammer at Hanson's Auctioneers in London for £7,300 ($8,937) with the total amount paid with the buyer's premium reaching £9,490 ($11,619).

Melissa, an estates officer from Middlesex, said: “It was definitely a wow moment. It was very surreal and nerve-racking to watch.

(Hansons via SWNS)

"I was trying to video the laptop screen for my husband who was working but it was difficult to concentrate on keeping the phone steady.

“It was a fantastic result. I’m really happy that the trunk's journey is now going to continue and that it will be appreciated and looked after for many years to come.

"A big thank you to everyone at Hansons for all their help. Definitely an experience for the memory bank.”

Melissa, who has owned the trunk for nearly 40 years, said she only parted with the family treasure to protect it from her cats.

She added: “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 the village of St Margarets, near Twickenham in London where we used to live.

"He got a job up north but I didn’t want to go. He bought me the trunk 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 realized 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.

(Hansons via SWNS)

“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 upon Thames and their expert valued it at £3,000-£5,000.”

Inside the designer trunk, was a copy of the Guardian newspaper which showed the date Melissa’s dad bought it – September 3, 1984.

Melissa added: “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 decided it was time for someone else to appreciate it.”

Chris Kirkham, associate director of Hansons London, said: “We’re thrilled for Melissa.

"The trunk exceeded expectations and sold for an eye-popping amount. What a return on £12.

"Louis Vuitton is a name forever aligned with quality but this trunk is more than that.

"It is a historical object demonstrating Vuitton’s design ingenuity and the style of luxury luggage in the early 1900s.”

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