Syrian tray sold in Limerick for €65, worth €15,000

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

IT looked rather dull and had 1970s kitsch factor in spades, but one canny bargain hunter has made a fortune from it.

IT looked rather dull and had 1970s kitsch factor in spades, but one canny bargain hunter has made a fortune from it.

Another ‘one in a million’ object passed through the stalls of Limerick’s Milk Market –this time a decorative 13th century Syrian tray, sold for €65 and worth up to €15,000.

The flea market, held every Friday for the last 18 months, has turned up another find for a canny bargain hunter – described as man of Middle Eastern origin, who bought the tray for a song from a well-known antique dealer in the market.

In May 2011 the Limerick Leader reported that South African Jason Ludlow snapped up a rare first edition copy of Wuthering Heights for just €3 – flogging it in his native country for more than €8,000.

On this occasion another antique dealer in the city had actually perused the item and had investigated its authenticity, but in the intervening period it was snapped up by the bargain hunter for a mere €65.

“The guy didn’t even haggle, he just saw it and bought it,” confirmed Milk Market manager David O’Brien this Wednesday. “It was a pretty dull looking object. It looked like a brassy object, 1970s pub decor – that’s what it looked like. But apparently it is worth a fortune, about €15,000.”

The antique dealer who sold the item was not available for comment this week, but is understood to be stoical about the sale, seeing it as the risks and rewards of the trade. Mr O’Brien believes more bargains could be out there. Everybody’s attic has some bit of treasure, maybe not as big as this, but who knows what people have at home?”