Antiques Roadshow visited the Weald and Downland Museum on 11th March, where an antique campaign chest containing a cheque signed by the Duke of Wellington was among the things brought for valuation.
The Weald and Downland open air museum contains over 50 rescued buildings, covering 600 years of history. Many are furnished in the style of their period, and while not all of the antique chests and Victorian dining chairs are original, it is still the perfect place to bring larger items for Antiques Roadshow evaluation.
This included a tatty antique chest which Lancashire viewers learned may have gone to the Battle of Waterloo with the Duke of Wellington. If this could be proven, the piece – a campaign case holding an incomplete set of decanters – would be worth tens of thousands of pounds. As it was, it was worth around £600 – even though it contained a Coutts cheque signed by the Iron Duke himself.
There were, in fact, two antique chests at the Weald and Downland, the second being a traditional Korean chest with sliding doors. The expert’s appraisal told viewers from Preston why antique cabinets and similar furniture are rarely seen on Antiques Roadshow. Suspiciously light for its size, and broken down easily into three sections, the chest was not – as the owner thought – a 19th century piece, but a modern imported copy. These flooded provincial antique shops in the 1970s, with luckless buyers paying up to £1,000 for them. Needless to say, they are worth far less than this today.
While antique dealers in Preston sometimes have antique chests of Korean origin for sale, they are always the genuine article.
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