Many people have sat on treasures for years and years before an experienced eye saw the value in the item at an Antique Roadshow appraisal. Following are some of the biggest treasures unlocked at these fascinating events.
1.The Angel of the North
In 2008, a bronze model of the “Angel of the North “by Antony Bromley became the very first 7-Figure appraisal in the history of antique roadshows. The experts agreed that the value of the statue lied somewhere above £1 Million. This is more than what was paid for the original full-height statue that was created from this model. This figure was also over three times the price of the highest previous record held on the show.
The bronze model was made by the original sculptor himself and was a 6-ft tall plan for the 66-ft full-sized statue that stands at A1 in Gateshead. The bronze statue was so heavy that it took six strong backs to haul it onto the show and then move it again to BBC 1 show by a council representative. It has remained in this spot for the last 13 years.
2. The Corporation Collection
Before being bumped to second place by the Angel of the North bronze maquette, the Corporation collection held the place of honor as the highest paid item. This is a special collection of silver that dates back to the reign of Charles II of England, over 300 years ago. In the collection were many fine examples of 16th-century craftsmanship for chalices and maces as well. The Corporation Collection was purchased by the Mayor of the Antiques Roadshow in 2006. The renown antique expert Alastair Dickenson valued the collection at £300,000.
3. Stirling Moss’ Sunbeam Talbot 90
In 2010 a beautiful antique car was taken on the Antique Roadshow and identified as the very Sunbeam Talbot 90 driven by Stirling Moss. Stirling Moss drove the Sunbeam Talbot 90 in the 1967 Monte Carlo Rally when he won the Charles Ferro Trophy. Since then it had been used to haul pigs to the market. The antique car was appraised and valued at £50,000.
4. 13th Century Yuan Vase
The oldest item to ever make its way onto the program was a bronze vase about 700 years old. The Chinese vase dates back to the Yuan dynasty of ancient China that ruled between 1275 and 1368. Fiona Bruce was the specialized that appraised the bronze vase and thought it to be a burial vessel. Fiona said, “I love how here we are in the countryside surrounded by cameras and cattle and up pops an exquisite example of 13th Century Bronze.” The value of the vase fell between £10,000 and £15,000 and experts made of the historical significance of the relic.
5. William Burgess Brooch
Jill Cousins found a rare and attractive brooch in her jewelry box and decided to take it on the Antiques Roadshow in 2011. She had seen Geoffrey Munns one of the antique appraisals and he was describing the impressive watercolor sketches of William Burgess for designs of jewelry. Mr. Munn had commented that the six broaches in the drawings were among the most coveted items in the world, he continued by saying that all hope of ever recovering these breaches had been lost and he himself had spent 20 years searching in vain for the lost treasures.
This was when Jill Cousins, 67 at the time, noticed a striking similarity between the brooches Mr. Munn was displaying in the watercolor sketches and an old brooch that had been sitting in a jewelry box for the past 40 years. She took the silver brooch glittering with turquoise and garnets onto the show to find it was a perfect match to William Burgess’ drawings. The brooch was valued a £10,000.
6. Winston Churchill’s D-Day Cigar
A cigar that Winston Churchill smoked as he constructed the plans for the D-Day invasion of Normandy was brought onto the show in 2009. Christian Williams, aged 33, was given the cigar by his grandfather who served the Prime Minister as a butler. Lincoln Cathedral, the notable antique expert, valued the mass of half-smoked leaves at £800.