A photo of Lawrence Prentice’s mother

The photo of dealer Lawrence Prentice’s mother which he was astonished to see on the next stall to his at Old Spitalfields Antiques Market.

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Lawrence Prentice couldn’t believe his eyes.

At 5.30am on November 30, having just stalled out at Old Spitalfields Antiques Market in London, he glanced across to his friend and colleague’s stall and saw a photo of his late mother staring up at him.

Fellow dealer Peter of @20th_century_stuff was selling a collection of 1960s photographs and at the top was a photo of antiques dealer Janet Prentice walking across London Bridge, aged 21 in 1964.

Janet died seven years ago and Lawrence then decided to quit his 23-year career as an art teacher and become a dealer himself.

He has been trading at Old Spitalfields Antiques Market ever since and originally took the spot that his friend Peter now occupies, where he found the photo.

Lawrence posted about the amazing coincidence on Instagram and got a reaction from many fellow dealers congratulating him on the serendipity.

He said: “It was quite an emotional morning. Thank you to everyone for the hugs, coffee and tears.

“Long live treasure hunters, dealers, sellers, peddlers, collectors, markets and market organisers.”

Full of surprises

Speaking to ATG, he added: “This is a nice story of what can happen at an antiques market.

“This is a reason that everyone should go to an antiques market: this could happen to you. Spitalfields market, run by the brilliant Mike Collins of Sherman & Waterman Associates, is a brilliant place to visit and trade from.”