A collection of six piano and violin Sonatas by Mozart, printed in 1765, have been discovered in a charity shop in Reading.
Sonatas K10-15, were written when Mozart was 8 years old and are for piano and violin, or piano and flute.
The works were published following a trip to the English Court where the young Mozart performed in 1764 and are ‘very humbly’ dedicated to Charlotte, Queen of England, the wife of George III.
Only one other copy of this second edition is known to exist.
Elestr Lee, a volunteer and music teacher, found the booklet in a box of donated sheet music that had been lying at the back of the Oxfam music shop for over a month. Recognising there was something special about it she did some research and contacted Sotheby’s.
‘It was terribly exciting,’ Lee told the BBC; ‘They phoned me back and said: “Yes we do think this is interesting.”’ She immediately caught a train to show them the find, which they have now estimated will fetch up to £3,000 when it is auctioned on 8 June.
The charity does not know who brought the music in, or if the donor knew of its significance. ‘We have no idea where it’s been sitting for the last 250 years,’ said Lee.