A RUTHIN woman says that an “ugly” Chinese vase she sold for £228,000 has ruined her life.
Mother-of-three Andrea Calland, aged 43, says she fears she will become bankrupt and lose her cottage in Ruthin after she lost a court battle with her former mother-in-law over the ownership of a Chinese vase that sold for £228,000.
Miss Calland received the vase when she moved in with her former partner.
Miss Calland said: “It was an insignificant, five inch, ugly little vase that you might see in a takeaway.
“It sat in the corner of the conservatory and we burned incense in it.
“If you haven't got a receipt take great care because this cost me everything, my health, it affected my work and my income and even though I've managed to keep my bills up to date, my house is going to be forced into auction to cover this ridiculous sum of money.”
In 2009 Miss Calland decided to sell some items to raise money to buy her daughter a laptop.
The vase was sold for £228,000 at auction.
But her former mother-in-law launched a legal bid claiming the vase was only loaned.
In 2011, the civil courts found against Miss Calland and she was ordered to pay more than £100,000.
Miss Calland said she had no clue of its value.
She said: “Now my beautiful cottage will go to auction if it’s not sold by the end of April.”
Miss Calland, a science demonstrator and aromatherapist, is now facing bankruptcy even after selling her car, jewellry and most of the contents of her home.
She said: “I'm left with a washing machine, a camp stove and a bed.
“After 26 years of working and bringing up a family singlehandedly - that's the situation I'm in.”
She is hopeful to rebuild her life as she says the court case has affected her relationship with her three children.
“It's torn my family apart. I am but a small cog in a wheel of lessons. It's not about money and things and acquisitions – it's about people, that's what really matters in life.”
“I'm sure in time a reconciliation will come. My family had 26 years of my love and devotion. I think when it all dies down and they see that mum has been able to rebuild and re-establish herself.”
Miss Calland believes the flooding in Ruthin has contributed to problems with selling her cottage, which is not in a flood risk area.
See full story in the Free Press