Thousands of Handles make Millions of Pounds

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    Expecting to triple his outgoings and make £60,000, one South Shields builder is now estimated to make a minimum of £2m, all thanks to vintage door knobs, door handles and other brass fittings at auction.

    Having heard that an estimated 655,000 ornate, rare and vintage brass items, purchased many decades ago by a Cornish millionaire, now needed rehoming, Mr Brian Cairns had a plan. He aimed to triple his outgoings of £20,000 by selling these items for scrap. This was, until he discovered, that this so called scrap was harbouring a secret.

    He embarked on a journey to Penzance, to a property full of brass after a tip-off, where Cairns entered a time warp. It was evident on entry that the property had not been changed at all since the wife of this Penzance junk shop had died in 1975. A newspaper abandoned mid-read, unfinished, still spread open on the table – “the owner just didn’t want to go back in to the premises again.”

    Mass of Brass – All 12 Tonnes of It

    Cairns and the elderly owner concluded a deal, which although did not reflect the brass’ true price or later discovered value, the junk shop owner wanted rid. His reason for this was due to the number of painful memories and connections which the belongings held in relation to his deceased wife. Cairns made transportation plans for the 12 tonnes of brass, hiring two seven-and-a-half tonne lorries to carry the mass of brass back Northwards. The 500 mile journey took multiple days as the lorries were limited to remaining between 10 and 30 mph due to the weight of the brass they contained.

    Get a Grip on a £200 Handle

    All 655,000 brass items slowly but safely back in the North East with 55-year-old Brian Cairns ready to sell them for scrap, he decided to do some research and have them valued…luckily! During this he discovered that many of the door knobs, door handles, light switches, hat stands and letter boxes were actually Valli and Columbo Vintage. This had been an Italian company which ceased production 55 years earlier. Many of the handles estimated worth, he later found out, was that of around £150 each and the brass handles estimated £200 each. Cairns comment implies how lucky he realised he was, “I bought it all for scrap but I started looking in to what they really were and realised many were vintage Italian handles.”

    Individually each handle price was not going to make Cairns a particularly huge profit but with 655,000 brass items to sell, a huge percentage of which were the afore mentioned brass door knobs and door handles, the estimated profit has grown. Mr Cairns has since had many of these items looked at by specialists and auction houses and it has been estimated that he is set to make a minimum of £2m. It pays to have potential “scrap” valued before letting scrapping commence, as this has made one South Shields father-of-four an overnight multimillionaire!

    Handsome Handles Door Knobs and Door Handles

    Great door knobs and door handles are available at Handsome Handles and won’t cost you a fortune – they are quality, affordable products which can be found on their website. To find out more about brass door handles, door knobs and door handles visit them at info@handsomehandles.co.uk or call them on 07961 832 812.

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