Vase Bought at Goodwill for $3.99 Sells for More Than $100,000

When Jessica Vincent bought a vase at a Goodwill store in Virginia, she had no idea it was designed by Carlo Scarpa, a renowned Italian architect.

Jessica Vincent made her way in June through a busy Goodwill thrift store in Hanover County, Va., passing VCRs, lamps and glassware commonly sold at big-box retailers. Nothing really caught her eye until she saw an iridescent glass vase.

After doing a lap around the store, she returned to the bottle-shaped vase with red and green swirls. She noticed a small “M” on the bottom that she believed stood for Murano, an island off Venice and the historical home of Italian glassware.

She had a feeling it might be worth something.

“I had a sense that it might be a $1,000 or $2,000 piece,” she said, adding, “but I had no clue how good it actually was until I did a little bit more research.”

There was no price on the vase. Ms. Vincent, 43, told herself she’d pay $8.99 and no more. When the cashier rang her up, it was $3.99.

When she returned home from the Goodwill thrift store in June, she joined Facebook groups for glass identification to learn more about the vase. Some members told her it looked like it was designed by Carlo Scarpa, a renowned Italian architect, and they referred her to Wright Auction House.

She sent photos and almost right away Richard Wright, the president of the auction house, asked if he could call. “The minute I saw the photos I had a really good feeling,” he said.

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