The Top Drawer 2 Feb 2022 Auctions News

What’s it like to find something in a drawer and find out it’s worth thousands of pounds. One recent client had this very experience, when a Dutch snuff box, belonging to her late husband ended up selling way beyond expectations.

Read this fascinating story of how a chance call to Bishop and Miller uncovered a precious artefact, that nobody knew existed.

The moral of the story being is you just never know what treasures might be hiding in your home.

How did you come to contact Bishop and Miller?

I was planning to move house and had begun looking at small things lying about and decide what to do about them. I saw an advert from Bishop and Miller in the paper about a day when they would be open to the public to bring in items they might want to sell. There was also a friend who lived in the village who spoke up for them and knew the owner, Oliver Miller.

Tell us about the snuff box, how did you come to have it?

The snuff box must have come from my husband’s family who were Dutch. I found it in a drawer belonging to my husband after he had died and have no recollection of him mentioning it to me and had never seen it in his parents’ house or known of its existence.

I would definitely recommend people to use Bishop and Miller. I was given respect well before they knew about the value of the snuff box.

What was auction day like?

The Auction itself was ‘awesome’ (as my daughter in Canada would say). I had my other daughter, with me. Oliver had only mentioned £10,000 as a tentative valuation, so it came as a surprise when I wanted to show Katy the the box and we could only see it by request. This was strange because there were other items openly displayed and valued at twice that amount. Then we met a Dutchman who had come specially in the hopes of a chance to buy and bet us the box would sell at more than £20.000. How we laughed but didn’t believe him.

There weren’t that many in the Auction room and I wasn’t familiar with the modern way of selling on the internet, so it was only when the bidding was going on I noticed there were at least seven people on telephones or suchlike, all talking hard.

As the bidding intensified, I went numb, my daughter had her brother (my son) on her mobile keeping him apace with the bidding. It was only later that reality stepped in. There was elation, generosity and warmth from everyone, and I shall never forget the occasion.

Would you do it again?

I would definitely recommend people to use Bishop and Miller. All the items I brought in on that initial day were looked at and given consideration and I was given respect well before they knew about the value of the snuff box.

It was on the back of meeting Oliver on that occasion that prompted me to ask him to subsequently value the contents of my house.

If you would like one of our team of friendly valuators to come and look at your home, please drop us a line. We love visiting people in their homes and will give you our honest opinion respectfully and under no obligation.

We really don’t mind if you have one item or a whole house for us to look at. Phone 01449 673088 or email

You just never know!

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