A unique 19th century musical penknife was the star of the show on a recent episode of the BBC’s flagship antiques TV program.
The blade was brought along to the Antiques Roadshow by a parish councillor from Shurlock Row, Berkshire. Expert, Jon Baddeley, was amazed by the penknife, saying that it was “one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen on the roadshow”. The episode had been filmed in Banbury and Clive Scott-Hopkins had travelled along with the Swiss penknife to find out a little more. The knife belongs to the daughter of Mr. Scott-Hopkins, but as she had recently had a baby, she was unable to travel.
The antique has a wind up music box located inside the handle of the knife, which is decorated with seed pearls and has a floral enamel design. According to Baddeley, the knife is extremely rare and probably one of a kind, which increases its value. The item dates back to 1810 or 1820 and is worth between £60,000 and £80,000. The estimated value drew gasps from the onlookers. Scott-Hopkins was ‘astonished’ and said he had better place the penknife back in his pocket quickly.
The knife was recently found by the family and according to Scott-Hopkins, they might decide to display it. He believes that if it is a one off knife, it should be displayed in a museum. Until the family decides what to do with the knife, they may want to consider an antique cabinet for display purposes.
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