One woman’s eye for quality was rewarded when a glass vase she purchased at Goodwill for $3.99 sold for nearly $110,000 at an auction.
“I had chills,” Jessica Vincent told Southern Living of the vase’s worth, adding that the money earned was thousands more than anticipated and was “a real blessing” that “will do so much” for her and her partner.
According to Elle Decor, the spectacular find happened after Vincent, who raises and trains polo horses, spotted a “heavy” piece of glass etched with the name “Murano,” an Italian island, and decided she had to have the burgundy and green item.
A Murano glass Facebook group reportedly helped her discover that her Goodwill purchase was part of a rare “Pennellate” collection designed by Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa, while New York’s Wright Auction House confirmed the news.
The thrifting market has seen its fair share of valuable items make their way into circulation, including other vases from Murano, and it would not be surprising to see more stories like Vincent’s from happy thrifters.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a report by thredUP “estimates that the U.S. secondhand market will more than double by 2026,” with 62% of Gen Z and millennial consumers preferring to go that route before buying new products.
Like the fashion industry, which produces more than 100 million tons of textile waste annually, the home decor sector has contributed to environmental contamination and the dangerous rise of global temperatures.
The International Energy Agency found that more than 66 million tons of carbon pollution are created by the container and flat-glass industries each year, as reported by the BBC.
It’s unclear whether the people who donated Vincent’s vase to Goodwill were aware of its value, but glass specialist Sara Blumberg told Elle Decor that Wright Auction House hadn’t “had a piece like this in our hands” in 35 years.
“You have to know how to see things out of context. … And happily, there are people who do — and she’s one of them.” Blumberg added.
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