22 Apr 2021
November 23, 2020 - Filed under: Antiques on TV — Mark

Alastair Dickenson, an Antique Roadshow expert, recently explained how illegally altering an antique affects its value.

During the filming of Antiques Roadshow at Buckfast Abbey, Dickenson was asked to appraise a silver plate, which was purchased for about £800. Turning the plate over, Dickenson noticed some marks on the bottom of the plate had been altered by being crossed out. He explained what the crosses meant:

“It’s gone to the London assay office and been put in front of the Antique Plate Committee, which is the adjudicating body that makes opinions officially on all things of a suspect nature, and this was thought to be an illegal piece of silver, that’s why it was sent.”

The plate likely received the alterations in the 19th century, and it is likely that it was originally a plain silver plate that had been modified to make it look like it had been made much earlier. The assay marks had been added to falsely indicate that it had been manufactured in 1761. The plate was valued at between £700 to £1,000, but if it had been genuine, it would be worth about ten times more.

The plate’s owner joked that he could always remove the marks, but he was told by Dickenson that doing so would be a criminal offence.

Lancashire antique dealers who are members of the LAPADA association abide by its code of conduct. This gives customers assurance that the inlaid Edwardian furniture and any other items that interest them are authentic.

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