A former cameraman on Only Fools and Horses feels a right plonker after throwing away three bottles of Peckham Spring water worth tens of thousands of pounds.
Earlier this month, a single empty glass bottle prop used in the famous episode Mother Nature’s Son sold by Bristol & Bath auctioneers for £2,600. The 1992 Christmas special saw Del Boy (Sir David Jason) con an organic health food shop into selling spring water from Grandad’s old allotment, which is really just water he is bottling in his flat much to younger brother Rodney’s disapproval.
Now, valuer Andy Stowe from Bristol & Bath – who conducted the special sale of sitcom memorabilia – has spilled that the former camera operator actually found three other Peckham Spring bottles but took them to the recycling centre after failing to realise there value.
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A chance conversation with a family member saved the fourth and final bottle he discovered at his home. Andy said: "It came from us from a gentleman who was a camera operator on the episode. He actually went to throw it in a recycling bin. He actually had four of them and did actually throw three of them into a recycling bin. What a plonker!
"He came back from the recycling centre and found this one still in his cupboard and said, ‘I’ll throw it away tomorrow.’ In the meantime he spoke to one of his family members who had seen out auction last year and had sold one that had been signed and was like, ‘I think that’s worth quite a lot of money you shouldn’t throw it away.’
"And he came in to see us the next day and I think when we put an estimate of several thousand pounds on it, he didn’t feel very well, I don’t think, because he had literally thrown three of them in the recycling bin. So it’s a rarer survivor, and it’s actually quite lucky that it hasn’t been melted down and made into something else."
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There are thought to only be 20 or 25 Peckham Spring bottles in existence, and Andy wasn’t surprised that the prop sold for almost £3,000 because it is special item from Only Fools and Horses. He added: "It’s just one of those things that makes people smile. It’s one of those episodes, Mother Nature’s Son, that everybody knows. It’s so, so special."
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