This week in Oxfam has been rather a bumper one.
I think I may mentioned the very nice woman who donated some art books – well they boosted our sales nicely – and that is not a phrase which is usually on the lips in January.
Then there was the complete set of the Sopranos – all 28 DVDs in a box set. But we couldn’t sell them in the shop because they were not properly certificated for sale in the UK. No PG or whatever.
But it happened that Rosemary who ‘does’ the DVDs was in at the same time as me and asked if I wanted them.
(I like the Sopranos but stuck with French telly – hopeless – we rather got into box sets and had done the whole series more than once and back here of course there are the delights of Antiques Roadshow and Broadchurch.)
Anyway, I thought maybe I could sell them on ebay under my name and put the proceeds through the shop. So I brought them home, stuck them on for thirty quid and sold them within half an hour. Not bad.
All good things come in threes, as another volunteer told me, and she was right.
I had put to one side a children’s book which had been one of the few things rescued from a less than enticing donation and on Thursday I got round to rootling it out from under a pile to have a look online.
Now, what you may not know, is that books with nice illustrations are often valuable and this one had a series of rather lovely simple paintings of animals. (It is called The Square Book of Animals, which pretty much sums it up.)
But we have strict rules in the shop about childrens’ books being of very good quality in terms of their condition so a book like this – aged and a bit battered – could easily have got thrown away.
I was expecting say £20 and would have been happy with £10. So imagine my surprise when the cheapest one on the net was £800.
I rang our Old Book Expert and he duly came post haste and confirmed what I had found. (Most of the time, I get very excited about something and he has to dampen my enthusiasm and tell me it is worth £4.99.)
It turns out William Nicholson went on to be a significant artist and this was an early work and there are not many around.
So, here we are with a treasure and as I suspect there are not many people in Petersfield with the inclination to pay £700 for a book, it will go online.
And now I have to fess up to something.
Oxfam have decided to up our online sales targets by 10% in the next financial year. This is a lot when you are dependent on what people give you, and that is never certain.
Our financial year ends of March 31st. £700 is the most expensive book we have ever found. And do you know what, I simply won’t find the time to put it on the internet until Wednesday April 1st.
Observant readers will have noticed that this is only the second of the three good things but I must break off to feed the dog and man so the next installment will follow.