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A collector bought this antique chandelier for just $300 — decades later, it sold for a mind-boggling profit

The unique piece was crafted by Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti.

The unique piece was crafted by Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

A stunning chandelier bought for $300 at a London antique store proved to be worth a lot more when it was recently sold at a Christie's auction. The chandelier, a unique piece by renowned Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti, sold for over $3.5 million.

British painter John Craxton recognized what it was when he first passed by it in 1960. When Craxton passed away in 2009, the chandelier made its way from his home in North London to being auctioned by his estate.

This chandelier was a unique work by Giacometti, and with his sculptures often selling for high values, it is no wonder this gorgeous fixture sold at the price it did.

"I just think it's a great combination of Giacometti's sculptural language, combined with the refinement of his works in design," said Michelle McMullan, Christie's senior specialist and head of the 20th Century evening sales. McMullan referred to the chandelier as a "sculpture in its own right."

This chandelier is a prime example of thrifting or antiquing and reaping amazing rewards. While Craxton knew the true value of the piece he was buying, thrifters often stumble upon a jackpot without even fully realizing it. 

For example, one Redditor found a $3,300 Nyra 30 Chandelier from Visual Comfort & Co for just $20. But jaw-dropping thrifting finds are not limited to gorgeous light fixtures — another Redditor even managed to find $1,900 Gucci wallpaper for just $45.

Seeking out pre-loved, possibly priceless, household decor and other items has more benefits than just striking gold on a budget. This also means that shoppers are buying goods in a more sustainable manner than buying them from contemporary retailers. These products have so much life left to give, there's no need for them to end up in a landfill.

Another bonus of thrifting — products from the past have a tendency to be better constructed than the ones we find today. So you could be scooping up a lifelong treasure, and it may just be worth millions.

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