A man from Bristol claimed that a famous auction house listed his £3 umbrella as part of its Contemporary British Art auction and managed to sell it to a telephone bidder for £75.000.
Mr Porter-Bury visited the auctioneers yesterday morning and attended the morning session of auctions. But on his way out he forgot to collect his £3 umbrella he had left on a display table when viewing the items for the afternoon session.
He was stunned when he saw the picture of his black folding umbrella in the papers this morning. He called the auction house to let them know about their mistake but no manager was available to come to the phone.
Mr Porter-Bury is applying to court to claim his umbrella back from the buyer. A spokesman for the auction house said that under the lost-and-found rules Mr Porter-Bury could only get £3 less expenses incurred in dealing with his umbrella. He also added that a conservative estimate of their expenses would be in the region of £6.000.
Mr Porter-Bury said that under the circumstances he would not go to court. He sent a letter of apology to avoid any charges from them. He said that he would never again go to the auction house on a rainy day.