John Richard may be the luckiest pensioner in the United Kingdom. The 73-year-old Londoner paid just ₤20 for a handbag he discovered was a Philip Treacy original.
The handbag features an Elvis Presley print designed by lauded pop artist Andy Warhol. It's believed to be one of only ten created. On its release it sold for between ₤200 and ₤400. However due to its rarity, it could be worth ₤350, 000 today.
Richard said he was shocked to find the bag at his local Oxfam store, and decided to investigate its authenticity. He snapped it up and took it to the Philip Treacy store, where staff gave him the happy news.
Richard plans to sell the bag and use the funds to purchase a hair salon for his partner. Two private buyers in China have already offered him ₤350, 000 for it. However auctioneers have encouraged him to hang on to the handbag, as it will only increase in value.
Fee Gilfeather, the head of marketing for Oxfam Trading, said she was "stunned" to hear of the bag's true value. She's also "very disappointed" that Oxfam will not benefit from its resale. After all, that ₤350, 000 could feed tens of thousands of malnourished families in Western Africa.
Do you think John Richard should enjoy his windfall, or does he have a responsibility to the charity?
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