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A car number plate, a luxury yacht, a gym sweatshirt, a copy of The Beano and a chesspiece. What do they all have in common? They are all items that have made the news over the past week or so either because they have sold at auction or are soon to be sold.

This snapshot of the variety of sought-after lots that can appear at any one time is one of the best illustrations I know of why this is a great business to be in, whether as an auctioneer, specialist, dealer or private collector.

Take the yacht, for instance. The 85ft motor yacht, named Caviar, had once belonged to a criminal and had been auctioned off by the police after being left abandoned for some time in Southampton. Although valued at several millions pounds, a young family snapped it up for just £66,000. Ok, they then spent a further £300,000 doing it up, but this auction opportunity gives them the chance to live the dream in considerable style as they set off on a round-the-world trip.

Renamed Juliette after the couple’s young daughter, the yacht will eventually return to these shores, providing the family with a substantial uplift o their original investment.