A Salvation Army shop in Cambridge received a major boost when two vases gifted to the charity by an anonymous donor sold for £9,000 at Cheffins Fine Art.

The mystery donor, who was clearing a house of a relative, told staff at the Salvation Army shop that she knew the vases had some value but was happy for the charity to benefit.

And benefit they did. The Moorcroft vases, which were early and unusually decorated with fish, sold for £5,000 and £4,000 at Cheffins’ Art and Design sale earlier this month (09 May) when purchased by a private collector.

This is not the first time that the Salvation Army has offered lots through Cheffins Fine Art but this was far and away its best result in the nine years shop manager Charmaine Wilson has worked at the shop which is based on Tennison Road.

It prompted her to make her first visit to the auction house, based on Clifton Road in Central Cambridge, to see the vases sell and she was understandably elated by the result.

“I was over the moon by the results and I want to thank the lady personally who gave us the vases but I have no way of contacting her,” Charmaine said.

“I placed a thank you note in the window of our shop in the hope that she may see it if she is passing.

“This means so much to the charity and will help us support some of the most disadvantaged people in our community.

Martin Millard, director at Cheffins Fine Art who conducted the sale of the vases, said: “It was a fantastic result for Charmaine and the charity.  It was the scarcity of these Moorcroft pieces that ensured such huge pre-sale interest and ultimately such pleasing results.

“The nature of our business dictates that we are often exposed to wonderful things and wonderful prices, but to achieve such a result for a great cause makes it particularly satisfying.”