Bury St Edmunds St Nicholas Hospice charity shop makes a precious find
Eagle eyed volunteers for St Nicholas Hospice have helped net the charity just over £10,700 after spotting some rare jade in amongst a donation of bric a brac.
And this figure has earned the Bury St Edmunds based charity the title of most valuable charity shop donation for under 100 charity shops at the 2019 Charity Retail Awards.
St Nicholas’s e-commerce manager Robert Webb made the discovery along with Garry Marjoram, warehouse manager, when the 11 items of jade turned up in an anonymous donation to the hospice.
The small ornamental items were in need of cleaning up and could easily have been passed off as bric a brac but after calling in specialist fine art Lacy Scott & Knight the jade went to auction and fetched twice the amount than had been expected - an amazing £11,440.
Karen Sainty, head of retail at the charity said: “When you think about how many bags and boxes are donated for that to be recognised is quite amazing.
“ We need £11,000 a day to operate the hospice and its community work so we are very grateful the jade was spotted.
“ It could have been overlooked as it didn’t look anything special and if the guys hadn’t been so eagle eyed it could have ended up on the 5p shelf.”
Among the pieces were a 1900c pale jade carved figural plaque in the form of Shou Lao, god of Longevity holding a peach and staff with a stag by his side which went for £2,300 and a 19th century Chinese russet and celadon jade carving of a seated boy holding a lotus stem over his shoulder. This went for £1,450.
Robin Osterley, chief executive at the Charity Retail Association, said: “Our awards give us the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the inspirational work that staff and volunteers do across the United Kingdom.