Page last updated at 00:31 GMT, Friday, 19 December 2008

The vase that dreams are made of

By Giancarlo Rinaldi
South of Scotland reporter, BBC Scotland News website

Lalique vase
The Lalique vase was bought for 1 at a car boot sale

It is the kind of dream we all have when rummaging through the old junk stored in the attic.

Maybe, just maybe, you might stumble across some apparently inconsequential item which turns out to be an antique worth a small fortune.

For most of us, sadly, it remains a fantasy and we can safely transport our loft discoveries to the dump.

However, a 1 purchase at a car boot sale in Dumfries produced just such a golden moment on the Antiques Roadshow.

Viewers of the programme will get the chance to see the tale unfold this weekend.

They'd dumped it in the attic after the plant in it died and were about to throw it away when the show rolled in to town
Eric Knowles
Roadshow valuer

The valuations take place with the stylish backdrop of Dumfries House in East Ayrshire.

The Prince of Wales also appears in the programme to explain his role in supporting a campaign to stop the sell off of the house and its furniture.

However, from an antique point of view, it is the vase which is the star of the show.

It is the rarest and most valuable piece of glass ever found in the history of the programme.

It was a spectacular find for veteran Roadshow valuer Eric Knowles.

"I've been waiting over 25 years for such a piece to come in to a Roadshow, and this was the stuff of dreams," he said.

Eric Knowles
Mr Knowles said the find was the "stuff of dreams"
"They'd dumped it in the attic after the plant in it died and were about to throw it away when the show rolled in to town."

The vase turned out to be a 1929 work - Feuilles Fougeres - by the renowned French designer and major Art Nouveau figure Rene Lalique.

It stands just 12.5cm (5in) high and was made by a process called cire perdue.

It involves a wax model being covered in plaster before it is heated and the liquid wax replaced with molten glass.

Once it has been cooled the plaster mould is destroyed to reveal the item inside.

The amazing discovery tale turns out to have an even happier ending than Mr Knowles' estimate.

The vase was sold at auction with Christie's earlier this year for 32,450 - more than its Roadshow valuation.

The Antiques Roadshow is on BBC1 Scotland at 1845 GMT on Sunday.

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