The Antiques Roadshow. It’s a national institution. Bring your antiques to a stately-home near you and get a BBC expert to fill in the blanks on all manner of details. To some it’s the nation’s favourite jumble sale, but for most it’s an hour of pure Sunday telly escapism. We love to marvel at the stories behind the artefacts and – of course – savour the big build up of excitement before the final question: for insurance purposes, how much is it worth?
Sometimes, in amongst the ‘sorry to disappoint you’s’ there are real gems, so here’s the first in our series looking at Antiques Roadshow best finds – some big, some small, some bright and some beautiful…. and for part one, we’re looking at what has been put on the jewellery experts table…
Jewellery is big business, and good quality jewellery endures. It tends to be super-sentimental so gets handed down from generation to generation, and stuff made by certain makers can be really valuable. But it can also get lost in drawers and jewellery boxes, with those that inherit not really having much of a clue as to who it was made by or where it was from, which makes for great TV when it lands on the Antiques Roadshow’s Jewellery experts table.
Here are 5 of the shining stars of the Jewellery table at the antiques roadshow…
Earrings bought in Perth
In 2015 lady who was visiting the UK from Australia for a family gathering, brought some Earrings she’d purchased for $10Au (about £5) from an ‘Op Shop’ (Aussie for Charity Shop) to wear at a fancy dress party in Perth. In a ‘Q’ from James Bond moment, expert Susan Rumfitt used a special gadget to look at what the stones were made of. And they’re diamond, manufactured by Chopard in fact – a French jewellers. Manufactured in the 1980s and 1990s and seen in some of the finest auctions across the world. Then in traditional Antiques Roadshow style we have the big build up to value… and the fact that the owner might choose to travel more luxuriously in future as the $10 up to £4-6000. Click here to see the clip in full.
In 2013 a lady turned up with a red leather Georgian looking jewellery box, inside was a garnet set in A1 condition and absolutely complete. Specialist John Benjamin talked viewers through the pieces – a necklace, a cruciform broach, a circular broach, she drop earrings and a pair of bracelets. He identified it as Georgian, made in around 1810, which is hugely fashionable and sought after due to the pure nature of design and construction. Astoundingly, it’s another £10,000 collection. Insurance-wise, replacement value would be £15 – £20,000. Here’s the clip.
Tales from two gardens…
Maori Jade ‘Hei-Tiki’
In an episode from series 38, that aired in November 2015, a Lady brought a Jade figuring that she had dug up whilst gardening. Her house was a 17th Century cottage and she uncovered this artefact in a small textile bag. Jewellery expert Ronnie Archer Morgan was stunned, explaining that the figure was in fact a Maori pendant that would have been worn around the neck. Quite how it came to be buried in the garden was a complete mystery, but the lady who found it will be glad it was. An exited Ronnie put the value at between £10 & £12,000.
Anglo Saxon Ring
In 2001 a 56 year old decorator found a ring whilst clearing grass clippings in his garden. Whist his wife thought it looked like something out of a christmas cracker, he thought otherwise and popped it along to an Antiques Roadshow in Norfolk. BBC Jewellery expert Geoffrey Munn gave it the once over, declaring it the most exciting find he’d seen turn up on the show. He identified it as having belonged to an Anglo-Saxon nobleman and that it was in the region of 1300 years old. Most importantly for the gardening decorator that found it, it was valued at £10,000, and later a court rules that as it had been lost, not hidden, it belonged to him and not the crown.
The moral of the story is, that if you find something and have a feeling about it, hang on to it and get along to an Antiques Roadshow. It might be worth something. And don’t forget – if you do like to collect things and don’t have much room for them at home, we can help with that, with a storage unit in one of our London Stores.