Antique shop owner Pasquale Musso whose assistant accidentally sold rare Victorian medals worth almost £2000 for less than £20 is urging the buyer to come forward.
A distraught antique shop owner whose assistant accidentally sold rare Victorian medals worth almost £2000 for less than £20 is urging the buyer to come forward.
Pasquale Musso, who has run the Treasure Chest centre in what was Loose's on Magdalen Street, Norwich, for almost two years, is offering a £250 reward for the return of the 13 Victorian military medals.
The medals were sold to a couple who looked in their mid-40s on Saturday afternoon for the reduced price after the part-time shop assistant misread the price tag.
Mr Musso said the medals were owned by one of the antiques dealers at the store, and that if they are not recovered, he will have to reimburse the dealer.
He said: “When I realised what had happened, I had to sit down. The dealer came back from his lunch break and said 'oh, you've sold my medals.' I said that I hadn't, and he said they had gone out of the cabinet, which is under lock and key.
“Each dealer has a book that we write their transactions in, and so we looked at his and it said they had been sold. I recognised the handwriting and asked the shop assistant, and she said she had sold them for £18.50.
“When I said they should have been £1,850, she went white and got very upset and started crying. She didn't know anything about medals and didn't realise they would be worth that much.
“I am feeling terrible at the moment. The dealer's wife is six months pregnant and so they need the money. The assistant didn't realise the value, and it is my responsibility.
“The medals date back to the 1890s and are very rare - there are a couple of Zulu medals with a bit of history to them and they are all very collectable.
“I want to appeal to people's consciences. The shop assistant cannot remember what the couple who bought them looked like, because they weren't regulars at the shop, but she thinks they were in their mid-40s or 50s.”
The shop often sells single medals, but also deals in a variety of other antiques from 31 dealers.
Norfolk MP Keith Simpson travels to see first world war graves in Fromelles. Turn to page 66.
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