A man has revealed his unexpected fortune after purchasing a second-hand chair online – with experts estimating it could be worth tens of thousands.
When Justin Miller spotted a worn and used chair on Facebook Marketplace, he didn’t expect for the “cheap” item to earn him a fortune only a few weeks later.
After uploading a photo of the $50 (£39.96) chair into Google Lens, the 33-year-old found articles and auction listings suggesting the chair was worth up to $50,000 (£39,964.50).
Now, Justin is planning on auctioning the rare find, which he claims is one out of 50 in the world, at Sotheby’s Important Design sale on 7 June 2023.
In a clip uploaded on TikTok, which has racked up 2.3 million views and 192,000 likes, he shares the story behind the item and other listings with hefty price tags.
“The owners knew it was worth a lot of money, but I doubt they realised just how much,” Justin, from Los Angeles, US, told http://NeedToKnow.co.uk .
“As I was messaging [them] to arrange a time to pick up the chair, I remember her telling me that if I do repair it, it will be worth a lot.
“[Online], it showed the chair was selling for a lot of money, but there was also a big range, so I wasn’t positive it was a lot.”
Justin emailed Sotheby’s, Phillips and Christie’s about his find, before receiving an email the next day from the first auction house, who expressed their interest.
After an in-person meeting, they confirmed the high value of the chair, which was created by Frits Henningsen, a Danish furniture designer, in 1935.
In the clip, he begins with sharing a picture of the original listing, before telling viewers that while he’s not a furniture expert, he has a “good eye” and can tell when something’s unique.
After researching the item, he reveals the name and year of design, along with a screenshot of another refinished listing, selling the item for over $9,000 (£7,192).
Other refinished listings were selling the chair for upwards of $60,000 (£47,946), with a listing of his exact chair sold at $223,000 (£178,199) for two.
While his chair is scuffed and has tears, Justin tells viewers he knows a place who can repair the item and make it look as good as new.
He ends the clip with saying: “I’ve made some good marketplace finds, but this is my best to date.”
Users flocked to the comments to share their reactions, with some adding that they’ve seen the chair in a celebrity’s home before.
“Kirsten Dunst has one! She talks about it in her AD home tour,” said Minya.
James Charles added: “Omg slay.” [sic]
“Do not touch or repair anything until you talk to an expert on this item,” someone else commented.
Lane said: “I would cry if I found that.”
“You should give the people you bought it from some money. No way they knew what they had,” another person added.
Justin added: “Sharing it on social media seemed like a no-brainer, especially as it was such a fun and exciting story.
“So many people were genuinely happy for me and of course, there were people saying that I was dishonest or sneaky because I knew the chair was worth a lot of money – but they didn’t know the whole story.
“I spend a lot of time on Facebook Marketplace finding items for projects and when I first saw the chair, I loved the leather colour and its interesting shape.
“People always tell me they don’t find anything good [on there], but they aren’t just looking hard enough.
“I hope to get the higher end of the estimate, but I would love a bidding war.
“I think I’m just going to save [the money] for a down payment on a house.
“I grew up watching Antiques Roadshow and I always wanted to be one of the people who finds something amazing – and now I have.”