BRIC-A-BRAC will be turned into charity funds after a rare vase was found nestling among donated knick-knacks.

Julia’s House Children’s Hospice relief retail manager Paul Cartlidge struck gold when he found the donated antique in one of the charity’s store rooms.

He was searching for lots to put in the Julia’s House first ever auction, which will take place in Weymouth on October 24.

Mr Cartlidge, who has a background in antiques, soon realised he was looking at a highly sought-after piece.

He said: “Most people wouldn’t give it a second glance.

“But when I saw the marks I knew it was an exciting find.

“You’re more likely to see something like this in a museum than up for sale.”

It turned out the vase was made by ‘father’ of British Studio Pottery Bernard Leach.

The vase bears both the Leach pottery mark and Bernard’s BL Mark and is estimated to be worth between £1,500 and £2,500.

The last one to come up for auction sold for more than £3,000.

The vase will now be sold off at the charity’s first-ever auction.

The lots are all pieces that have been donated to Julia’s House charity shops, but have been singled out as valuable or unusual.

Retail manager Marta Longmire said: “Sometimes things come into the shops which are actually quite hard to price.

“We know they are a little bit special, but because they are out of the ordinary. It’s sometimes tricky to know their real value.

“This is the easiest way to get the best price we can for them.

“We’ve never had an auction like this before and we are expecting a lot of interest from collectors.

“We hope to make a lot more money than we would have done if we had just sold these items in our shops.”