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Britain’s great lockdown treasure hunt

We spring clean for a fresh start, but unearth wistful memories—and the odd startling relic

By Hephzibah Anderson   May 2021

Illustration: Hannah Berry

With strengthening sunlight shining on the domestic squalor left by three lockdowns, who among us isn’t ready to embrace extreme spring cleaning? As it turns out, a portion of the British public has been getting a head start. Sales of cleaning products over the past year have risen thanks to a collective quest to reclaim attics and garden sheds, empty out drawers and purge wardrobes. 

Some have even reaped rewards rather more substantial than simply being able to open that cupboard door without unleashing a torrent of flotsam and jetsam. Consider, for example, the Imperial Chinese wine ewer…

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