Fiona Bruce presented the latest Antiques Roadshow from the dizzying heights of the Birmingham University bell tower; equally breathtaking was an antique chest once belonging to Princess Diana’s family, which was valued at £100,000.
The last time Antiques Roadshow visited Birmingham, it ended with a £50,000 painting. On 17th June, the team struck gold once more, with a magnificent brass inlaid travelling box bearing the Spencer Churchill crest. The owner, noting the Princess Diana connection, willingly paid £35,000 for it at a 1998 London auction – a wise investment, as the box was a treasure trove of exquisite toiletries, with engraved silver boxes; gold-painted perfume bottles; ivory-handled hairbrushes and lapis lazuli manicure items. Everything, in fact, that the well-heeled lady of leisure would need for beauty while travelling. Carrying the maker’s mark of Robert Garrard, the esteemed crown jewellers and goldsmiths, the piece travelled back to the vault with an updated valuation of £100,000. However, not all royal items fared as well. The verdict on a set of jewellery which had once belonged to Princess Margaret was that the auction price of £19,000 was a tad steep, even with the provenance.
Elsewhere, there was a cautionary tale for dog-owners in Lancashire. An antique dining table worth around £1500 was revealed to need about the same amount spent on restoration. The reason? The owner’s four dogs, who had kept themselves amused each time she went out by chewing on the legs.
Antique dealers in Preston have Victorian dining chairs and antique dining tables galore, though they can’t be held responsible if your canine companion decides to make a meal of them.
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