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Woman tells of 'ruin' after discovering valuable vase in garage

A woman has told the Daily Mail about her two-year legal hell, after she discovered a valuable vase in her garage. The lady sold the vase but became embroiled in a legal battle with her former mother-in-law which has left her distraught, reports the Daily Mail.

Andrea Calland, who is 47, told the Daily Mail how she had found a Chinese vase in her garage back in 2009. Although she had expected it to sell for around £500, it was in fact bought by an Oriental art dealer for a staggering £228,000.

However, rather than being a life-changing event in a positive way, the sale of the vase kicked in motion a nightmare chain of events.

Miss Calland's former mother-in-law, Evelyn Galloway, read a story in the local paper about the sale of the vase, and recognised it as a missing family heirloom.

The story of the vase is quite remarkable, having been commissioned by the Chinese Emperor Qianlong roughly 250 years ago. It was stolen in the Opium Wars in 1860, and found its way to Miss Calland's former husband's family via a sale in 1956.

Mrs Galloway claims she passed the vase on to Miss Calland and her son Steven, who has now split from Miss Calland. Miss Calland claims that after the split the family never asked for the vase back, and she assumed it was fair game to sell it on, unaware of its value.

After a long legal fight, a judge ruled in 2011 that the vase was not hers to sell, and ordered that the proceeds of the sale be given back to the Galloway family.

Now Miss Calland claims that the cost of fighting her case has left her with nothing, having sold all her possessions to fund her legal fees.

"I have no sofa, no TV, no fridge, all that is left in my house is a bed, washing machine, and a one-ring camping gas stove to cook off," she told the Daily Mail.

"The next stage is that they are going to force my house to auction," she added.