One Antiques Roadshow guest was lost for words following the valuation of an inherited accessory.
Encrusted with diamonds and rubies, the small brooch offered one lucky lady a big payday, as expert Geoffrey Munn assessed its worth in the Easter Sunday episode of the BBC series.
Sharing the heirloom’s history, the guest explained: ‘It’s a brooch I inherited via my mother from my great aunt.
‘They come from Silesia, which is today southern Poland, and they had to flee from the Russians during the end of the war, and they made it over to west Germany.
‘She was cook and housekeeper to Prince Ernst August of Hanover for 37 years.’
Taking a look at the stunning item, the jeweller said: ‘This is a very typical gift from a royal personage, there’s no question at all.’
And it turns out the guest knew more about her brooch than anyone, as Geoffrey joked that he was ‘redundant’, given that she’d already done her homework.
‘It’s Russian and it’s got a 56 kokoshnik mark, I believe, which is 14 carat gold,’ she said.
‘And it’s got an assayer’s mark of Ivan Lebetkin in Moscow between 1899 and 1908.’
‘The style of it is absolutely typical of pre-revolutionary Russian style,’ the valluer stated.
However, neither of them were able to make out just whose design it was.
Initially, Geoffrey suspected it could’ve been made by Karl Faberge, having studied his work in detail and given its similarities.
However, there was no maker’s mark on the brooch, leading Geoffrey to determine it was probably one of the Russian jewellery maker’s competitor’s.
Sadly, this meant its value was ‘not as sweet financially’.
‘The craftsmanship is the same, the quality is the same,’ Geoffrey said.
But, that didn’t matter so much, as the woman gasped when she discovered the actual value of what she had been sitting on.
‘So, what’s it worth?’, Geoffrey teased.
‘Oh thank you! No, really?’, she asked, just to make sure she heard him correctly.
‘Yes, really!’, he assured.
Viewers at home were equally as stunned at the estimation, also in awe at the brooch itself.
‘That Russian brooch is quite a thing’, one person tweeted.
‘£8000 for grandma’s pre-revolution brooch, made with ruby and diamonds and full respect, she was stunned by that value’, wrote another.
Antiques Roadshow continues Sunday on BBC One.
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