By Emily Goddard

1948 London Olympics bearers torchJune 30 - A London 1948 Olympic Torch found in a British charity shop has sold for £300 ($452/€352) at auction.

The chance find, bought by British antique dealer Colin Bruce for £20 ($31/€24), was one of 1,720 torches designed by Ralph Lavers for what were known as "the Austerity Games" - they were the first to be held after World War War.

"People think if you're an antiques dealer you find stuff all the time but you don't," Bruce said.

"But this time I've found something with a bit of history and I'm happy.

"I wasn't sure at first if it was the real thing with it coming from a charity shop."

The historic piece of memorabilia, engraved with the letters "1948" and "XIVth Olympiad", went under the hammer at Anderson and Garland in Newcastle where unfortunately it failed to raise the estimated £6,000 ($9,000/€7,000) owing to a lack of handle and knowledge about this specific Torch.

the Austerity GamesThe Olympic Torch is from the "Austerity Games"

"I looked and I thought, no, it can't be, absolutely not," auctioneer Fred Wyrley-Birch, who first assessed the Torch, said.

"It's just so rare and so rare for someone to have put it through a charity shop when it has so much sentiment and so much history.

"Unfortunately the handle is missing and we don't know who it belonged to, that all makes a massive difference to the value.

"It's made from aluminium alloy and when I looked my first question was the quality of it.

"It's not very well cut and you can see the mould lines on it, but then you think, this was the first Olympics after the war, it was a time of austerity and the country was skint.

"So you can't help being taken back and surprised by it.

"It really is a wonderful piece."

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June 2013: British antique dealer finds London 1948 Olympic Torch in charity shop for £20