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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 March 2006, 12:16 GMT
Lennon 'autograph' in thrift shop
Viv Date with John Lennon autograph
The charity has waited eight months for it to be authenticated
A rare John Lennon autograph that was left in a bag of bric-a-brac outside a Swansea charity shop could be worth thousands of pounds.

The piece of paper signed by the former Beatle was left by an unknown donor at the Red Cross shop in the city.

Several specialist dealers have examined the signature and all believe it is genuine.

Volunteers at the shop have been told it is worth at least 1,000 and the search has begun for a buyer.

Viv Dent, who runs the shop on Union Street, said the autograph was among a bag of other donations left there last summer.

"There were lots of things in the bag," she said.

Mystery owner

"I dismissed it for a while - it's not something you expect to find. But I kept it and decided to have someone have a look at it."

The John Lennon autograph
It's in a lovely condition
Steve Speakman, dealer

She took the piece of paper, possibly a cloakroom ticket, to Swansea autograph dealer Steve Speakman of Freaks, Geeks and Autographs.

He said: "We have taken some time and had a number of people who deal in Beatles autographs look at it and authenticate it.

"We don't see that many in this part of the world.

"It's in a lovely condition and it has been kept flat but we don't know anything about the previous owner.

"It would be nice to think they did know what it was and decided it would be a valuable piece to give to the charity."

Mr Speakman is handling the sale on behalf of the Red Cross and estimates it is worth at least 1,000 and possibly more.

"The money is there for it because it is so unusual," he said.

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