Unearthing gems to sell at auction, might seem like a game of chance, but there are certain locations you can look in to increase your luck.


According to Matt Ball of the Antiques Trade Gazette, after surveying 100 great finds over the past five years, 75% of these items are found in people’s homes and to narrow it down further than that, 50% are found in four locations.


The first of these are attics or lofts.


Stashed in a loft for almost 50 years, one lucky seller found a very important piece of entertainment memorabilia, which was the first ever demo tape of David Bowie’s ‘Starman’, and it sold for £41,000.


Found in a French home’s attic, a tunic, which was still in very good condition, made for the Chanel 1922 Spring collection was sold in Paris last year for a staggering €100,000, equivalent to £86,000.


Next up is boxes and tins.


A sapphire and diamond ring was discovered in a box with a load of costume jewellery, and it could be quite difficult for the average person to determine the difference between something bog-standard and something special, and so you need an experts eye, but in this case it was certainly special as it sold for £15,000.


One of the more unusual places an item of value was found was a bread bin and the item in question was the first ever demo tape of David Bowie singing lead vocals, unearthed by the drummer of the band, and it sold for £39,600.


The third spot Is Garages and out-buildings.


A Louis Vuitton trunk was found in a garage and it was earmarked to be thrown out until it was noticed by us here at Windsor Auctions and after getting it cleaned up, it sold for £8000.


Another peculiar find was a children’s push car, it was hardly recognisable and looked like an old rust bucket, but it was a rare model and so sold for £8500.


It’s important to remember that just because something might not hold worth for you, it could be the final piece of another person’s collection or hold serious value for someone else.


Or an item might have only recently come back into fashion and while you may not have realised, there are people out there who know about these things.


And in this case, an auction is the perfect place to sell, as there is a market for everything and an auction will help you find that market by exposing it not only to your local village, but all over the world through the online bidding process.


Getting back to the topic at hand, the final place to look is cupboards and wardrobes.


But, while these locations have proved to be the most fruitful in recent times, the auction industry is all about the weird and wonderful, so don’t shy away from checking in more unusual places every once in a while.


Some antique jewellery was recently sold for a whopping £68,000, but it wasn’t found in any of the aforementioned locations, instead it was discovered in a freezer next to a joint of lamb while a deceased estate was being cleared.


To find out about more of these hidden gems listen to the episode 54 of the Gavel & Gabble podcast and check out Matt’s articles in the Antique’s Trade Gazette.


If you would like to subscribe to the online or paper version, you can get 30% off by visiting antiquestradegazette.com/gavel and taking up the offer.