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Could a book found in Ipswich charity shop be worth thousands?

PUBLISHED: 19:00 12 July 2019

Staff at the MIND charity shop were thrilled when they discovered that a book that had been donated was a signed copy.  L-R Val Jacobs, Andy Holden, Karen Hamilton-Frost, Ruby Kaur, Linda Jones and Bogna Skorczak   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Staff at the MIND charity shop were thrilled when they discovered that a book that had been donated was a signed copy. L-R Val Jacobs, Andy Holden, Karen Hamilton-Frost, Ruby Kaur, Linda Jones and Bogna Skorczak Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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A Suffolk charity shop could be in for an unexpected windfall after a valuable first edition copy of a Roald Dahl book was found among its latest donations.

Karen Hamilton-Frost from the MIND charity shop with a signed Roald Dahl book that was donated   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNKaren Hamilton-Frost from the MIND charity shop with a signed Roald Dahl book that was donated Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The Mind charity shop in Ipswich is celebrating after finding what it believes could be a signed, first edition copy of one of the author's best known children's books - Danny, the Champion of the World.

The book tells the story of a young boy called Danny and the adventures he has fixing cars and poaching pheasants with his widowed dad William.

A hardback version of the tale was found by volunteer Wendy Marsh among the donations handed into the Ipswich charity shop.

At first she noticed nothing unusual about the book and gave it a price of just 75p.

It was then that she noticed there was something different about it.

"The books come in box loads and we don't know what we have," said Ms Marsh.

"I picked it up, priced it and then I saw a signature.

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"I have never found a book like this before and I am really excited about it."

The edition held at the charity shop dates back to 1975 and features the original illustrations by Jill Bennett rather than the better known images created by Quentin Blake who has since become synonymous with Mr Dahl's work.

After realising what they had found, staff at the shop looked online to see what the special item could be worth and found that similar editions were selling for well over £1,000 with some even listed for as much as £3,000 on resale websites.

The staff could not believe its value.

Ms Marsh has worked at the shop in St Matthew's Street for almost 20 years and said it was unusual for such a high price item to reach the charity shop.

"Sometimes we get valuable jewellery," said Ms Marsh, "but it's quite rare to get something so valuable in the children's section. So this is quite exciting."

The shop are now hoping to get the book looked over professionally so the signature can be verified and the book's true value confirmed.

"Now we need someone who knows books," said Ms Marsh.

"Even if it doesn't turn out to be really valuable it could be worth about £100.

"That would be exciting."

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