Auctions can be exciting events. After all, there’s a chance you might pick up something that looks like a piece of junk but turns out to be a priceless antique. Phil LeClerc may have had that in mind when he spent $40 on a secondhand desk at Kelley Auctions in Holbrook, Massachusetts. However, what he found inside it would actually dramatically change a family’s life.
Marg-e Kelley, who ran Kelley Auctions with her family, knows just how exciting auctions can be. In an interview with The Boston Globe in October 2014, coincidentally just a month before LeClerc bought his $40 desk, she was asked what was the highest price she’d sold an item for at auction.
In answer to the question, Kelley replied, “A Gustav Stickley desk organizer in 2007, with inlay by Harvey Ellis; there were only six made. It went for $214,500. The lady who brought it in tried to sell it to us for a few hundred dollars, but we said we’d auction it for her.”