Jewellery and decoratives dealer William Driver with the Fabergé beaker he bought for £3.99 in a Suffolk charity shop which sold at Christie’s in 2009 for £22,500.

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When he was 16 Driver opened a shop with his dad called Just Williams in the Suffolk town of Haverhill selling furniture and bric-a-brac.

Later and with his brother Jonathan, he ran auctions across Suffolk. Now, with the support of his family and solely trading as Driver’s Events, he has launched himself into the trade, holding the first of his regular auctions at the Old School in Long Melford, Suffolk, in mid-February.

“It all worked very well – we were very busy with 230 lots including jewellery and furniture,” said Driver, who also plans fairs, markets and car-boots.

Driver, who lives in Bury St Edmunds, buys from private collectors and has stock in two antiques centres in Suffolk: Clare Antiques and Interiors, and Timbers in Lavenham.

There will hopefully be many highlights in Driver’s dealing career but none might top the eggcup he bought for £3.99 in a charity shop in Haverhill. He said: “I didn’t realise what I had bought but I did notice some markings on the bottom of the eggcup and took it home to investigate further. I even used it once before doing some research and realising just how valuable it was.”

This rare find turned out to be a gold-mounted aventurine quartz beaker, marked Fabergé with the workmaster’s mark of Michael Perchin, c.1890. Estimated by Christie’s London at £3000-5000 in itstwo-day Russian Art sale sale in December 2009, it sold for £22,500, including premium.

Driver was delayed and not in the room to see the glittering result for Lot 17, but there were many celebrations that night and subsequently.

Driver’s Events’ next pop-up auction at the Old School in Long Melford is on Saturday, April 7.

Contact 07525 185794 for further information.