A guest on the BBC television program Antiques Roadshow was stunned at the valuation of a replica silver shield.
Many people presume that a replica is worth very little, but a recent episode of Antiques Roadshow showed that this is not always the case.
A guest came to the filming of the show at Bodnant Gardens in North Wales with a silver shield depicting a scene from Milton’s Paradise Lost. It was a copy of the original, which is in the Victoria and Albert Museum. She did not think that it was worth much, and she told expert Duncan Campbell that it was a family heirloom passed onto her by her grandfather when he moved abroad.
Campbell said that hundreds of copies were made of the shield, which are identical to the original, apart from a small shield on the back that marks it as a copy. The original shield was made by Elkington & Co in 1866. It depicts the Archangel Gabriel with Adam and Eve, and it also includes zodiac signs.
If the shield was cleaned up and put on sale at an auction, Duncan expected that the shield would fetch around £10,000. The guest’s mouth opened in shock, and she said:
“Wow. I did not see that coming.”
Despite the high valuation, she said that she would not sell it.
The manufacturers of antique desks and other fine furniture, which are sold by Lancashire antique dealers, often made several items of the same design. Alike the Paradise Lost replica shields, each piece was meticulously made by master craftsmen.
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