A WOMAN unearthed a rare book by Rudyard Kipling worth almost £500 while clearing out her parents' old home.
Annabel Davis, from Heston, found a probable first edition of the Just So Stories - which had been signed 'From Uncle Arthur, Oct 1902' - while emptying the house in Portugal in October.
After seeing Patrick Van der Vorst on the TV series Dragons' Den with his website www.valuemystuff.com , Mrs Davis decided to find out if the book was of any value.
The 59-year-old Heathrow police officer said: "Although the website believe it is a first edition and worth between £350 to £500, I don't think we will sell it. It's so lovely, the illustrations are wonderful. I love it." Mrs Davis said her grandmother's uncle was EW
Hornung, who created the fictional gentleman thief Raffles and was brother-in-law to the author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who is believed to have been the one who signed the book.
Mr van der Vorst, founder of valuemystuff.com, said: "The fact that this is a first edition of an iconic book is the first thing that makes Annabel's item valuable. But what makes it particularly special is that it has a personalised message in it from another renowned author.
"The more personalised the message and signature inside the better from a valuation point of view. First editions of well-known books can often go on to increase hugely in value over time, and even more recent classics can become collectible.
"For example, the new Harry Potter film has seen an increase in the number of the books being sent in to us to be valued.
"First editions of the early books can be worth several hundreds of pounds, and are valued more highly if signed by JK Rowling or one of the stars of the films."