A HANDBAG made from gold that ‘almost ended up in the bin’ has been sold at auction for nearly £4,000.

The gold Art Deco evening bag was found by two sisters from Denbigh during a garage clear-up amongst a pile of old photos, letters and clutter.

Margaret Pritchard, aged 59, inherited the bag from an elderly man named Gwyn Jones she used to care for and, unaware of its importance, left the bag in the garage of 61-year-old sister Linda.

The bag, dated 1913, had been sitting there amongst old photos belonging to Mr Jones for seven years.

After the pair found the bag during a recent garage clear-up they visited their optician in the hope that magnifying equipment could identify its hallmark.

The optician said the bag was made of 15 carat American gold.

Margaret, a shop worker, said: “I kept Mr Jones’ things in Linda’s garage because I didn’t know what to do with them. They were someone’s personal items. They were there for a number of years until Linda wanted to clear out the garage.

“One day we went to sort it out and, as things were a bit damp, I started to throw things in the bin. We came across the bag and I just thought we would never use this, so said to Linda ‘get rid’. But she kept it.

"I never gave it a second thought. But later that night, I thought ‘why would Mr Jones keep this, the only thing left from his wife?’”

Linda, a dinner lady, said: “Margaret thought the bag was junk but I wasn’t so sure. I haven’t got very good eyesight so I took it to my opticians, Saunders & Schwarz in Denbigh, and said, ‘Can you do me a favour, can you see if there’s a hallmark?’

"I thought he could look at it with his magnifying equipment. He told me it was 15 carat American gold.”

Linda was flabbergasted: “It almost ended up in the bin. It could have gone to the tip.”

The sisters then decided to place the item for auction, which yesterday (Wednesday, October 10) sold for thousands of pounds.

The bag had been given a set price of £2,100 and expected to sell for £3,500-£3,800.

The auction in Derbyshire exceeded the expected price and sold to a private bidder for £3,900.

Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, auction vendor, said: “I am delighted for the vendors. It’s a beautiful bag with a rich history and provenance.

“It just goes to show you can find glorious golden treasures in the plainest of places – in this case a dusty garage.

“If in doubt, never throw anything away!”