A man who paid £25 for two dusty files of photos of old movie stars has been told they could be worth thousands.
Artist David Hayden, 39, bought the albums at auction without realising they once belonged to 20th century movie mogul J Arthur Rank.
They contain 48 black and white casting photos of some of the most famous names in British film history such as Alec Guinness, Diana Dors and Jean Simmons.
David, from Newquay, Cornwall said: “I only went to the auction to buy some grass croppers for my garden.
“I had five minutes to kill and that’s when I spotted the files. I have no idea what they were doing there but I’m not complaining.
“I’m a photographer and I know a good photo when I see one but these portrait shots are amazing.
“My mum went doolally when she saw them because she recognised them all.
“I didn’t know exactly what I’d got until I started to do some research though. I have no idea what they’re worth but it could be thousands.”
J Arthur Rank was known to use pioneering portrait photographer Cornel Lucas to create casting books.
If any of the photos in Mr Hayden’s files are original Lucas photos they could be worth around #1,000 each.
David said his main focus was to ensure the files and photographs are displayed to the public if they are of historical significance.
The Rank Organisation was formed in 1937 as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for movie-making and owned an acting school as well as cinemas.