It's not just marble busts that make handy doorstops. Mary (pictured), whose mother Amanda asked her to find an ornament for their bathroom, paid just £8.50 ($11) for this vase in a charity shop in Leigh-on-Sea, England. For the next few years, the item "sat in the corner of the downstairs loo" and was even used as "an occasional doorstop." When Amanda moved house, she considered getting rid of the vase – but an episode of British TV show Antiques Roadshow, in which an "identical" piece was revealed to date from the Chinese Ming dynasty and was valued at up to £10,000 ($13k), made her change her mind.
The Lawlers took the vase to be valued at Lockdales Auction House. Auctioneers believed the vase was one of a pair that had been split up and purchased from different charity shops, both for under £10 ($13), and gave it an estimate of £3,000 to £4,000 ($3.9k-$5.2k).
When the item went under the hammer on 13 July, it sold for £3,400 ($4.5k) – a staggering 400 times the price Mary Lawler originally paid. The family revealed the money would be used to renovate Mary's old car, with Amanda describing the sale as "one of those 'I'm just going to sit down for a little bit' moments".