A DAUGHTER has been left baffled to find out what her dad’s £12 storage box REALLY was after using it cluelessly for nearly 40 years.
The father scavenged the vintage luggage in 1984 for currency, but its true value was only revealed on television last year.
The damaged storage box turned out to be a rare antique Louis Vuitton trunk, which is expected to fetch thousands of dollars at auction.
The father gave the luggage to his daughter after finding it in a bric-a-brac store in the village of St Margarets, near Twickenham, London.
Although she had used it for years just to store sheets and laundry, her daughter Melissa was impressed to find out what it could be worth.
She picked up the box on Antiques Roadshow last year and was stunned when the rare luggage was valued at thousands of pounds.
Melissa, 56, is now selling the 100-year-old chest – which is expected to fetch up to £6,000 at auction – to protect it from her rescue cats.
The estates officer, who lives in Middlesex, said: “We are adopting cats and I have to keep the trunk covered at all times to stop them using it as a scratching post.
“My father bought the trunk in 1984 from a former flea market/antiques shop in the village of St Margarets, near Twickenham in London, where we lived.
“He got a job up north but I didn’t want to go. He bought me the trunk to use because there was a lack of storage in my first apartment.
“I put linen in it. I’ve always used it, but over time I’ve noticed the Louis Vuitton name coming up more and more on TV shows about antiques.
“I realized it might be useful. Last year I emailed Antiques Roadshow from TV for a review and they asked me to bring it to the show.
“I was quite surprised. Everyone who knows me was laughing because I don’t like being photographed, let alone being on TV.
“I went to the event at Ham House in Richmond upon Thames and their expert valued it at £3,000-5,000.”
It will be offered at auction by Hansons London on July 30 with an indicative price of £4,000-£6,000.
Inside is a copy of a diary that shows the date Melissa’s father bought it – September 3, 1984.
Melissa said: “The trunk has been authenticated by Louis Vuitton.
“According to the serial number on the trunk, it was originally sold between 1909 and 1914.
“I’ve always cared for it, but now I think it’s time for someone else to own it and enjoy it.”