Wayfarer Column- The ‘junk’ vase that went on to make a fortune at an auction

Words, whether written or spoken are very important as otherwise how would we communicate with one another and pass on those wonderful tales that are so amusing and interesting.

All animals have a way of communicating, but the use of words and how they are used can make all the difference.

A young boy was saved from drowning by a fisherman who he noticed had an extra finger on each hand. The boy was so interested in this phenomenon that he forgot to ask his rescuer’s name and to thank him, before the fisherman unconcernedly disappeared. Many years later the boy had become an eminent surgeon in a Glasgow hospital and was about to perform a difficult operation on an elderly man when he noticed he had an extra finger on each hand. When the surgeon questioned his patient about the incident which happened many years ago the patient nodded, smiled and said ‘If I saved your life then, maybe you will save my life now’. The operation was a great success, the patient/fisherman recovered to live for many more healthy years, and the young boy had at last had the opportunity to thank his rescuer for saving his life.

I recently visited Dumfries House which impressed me so much that I appreciated the gesture of Prince Charles who was responsible for saving the house and estate for the nation. It truly is worth a visit, even if just to see how the rich of past years used their wealth. They foresaw the talents of such furniture makers as Thomas Chippendale, Alexander Peter and many others before they became famous.In the summer of 2008 the ‘Antiques Roadshow’ was presented at Dumfries House and a local couple who had purchased a junk vase for £1 in a car boot sale were in for a great surprise. The vase was identified by antiques expert Eric Knowles as a rare 1929 glass vase by the renowned French designer Rene Lalique. The couple had only purchased the vase because they had liked the plant growing in it, but as that had since died they were about to throw the vase out, but out of curiosity had taken it to the ‘Antiques Roadshow’ . No doubt had the vase proved to be just a junk vase it would most probably been dumped in a rubbish bin . However at a London auction in November 2008, the couple received £32,450 for what to them had been a ‘junk’vase with a nice plant growing in it. So now you see why all these car boot sales and antique programmes on TV are so popular. Hope to see you next week.