Antiques Roadshow returned to BBC One on Sunday night with another instalment of the popular valuation show. During the episode, those watching at home saw a royal item be given an expert opinion and the owner was surprised when the price tag was revealed.
It was the turn of Hilary Ray to examine the box, but it was no ordinary item as she told the crowd how it had once belonged to Queen Victoria.
“This is the most glorious box, look at it shining here!” She began. “The scarlet, the gold, all the decoration. Who in the family owner it?
“It was my mum’s as well, my late mum. We won it on a raffle at a fundraiser evening way back in 1976. Cost of £1 to go in.
“Part of the evening was a raffle but the tickets were £5 each, which back in ’76 was quite a lot of money.
“So between us we managed to find £5. We bought one ticket and lo and behold, our number came up.
“Before we put it in the carrier bag to bring it home, we had a look inside, only to discover to our complete surprise…” She continued but was cut off by Hilary.
“Hold that thought,” the expert asked. She then proceeded to open the box and take out a piece of paper.
The document, which was dated from the Warwick Flower Festival in 1977 said: “‘Queen Victoria liked having chocolates after dinner with her ladies.’
“’When the box was empty, Her Majesty gave it to Lady Cowell, who’s husband Sir John Clayton Cowell, was Master of the Household.
“Lady Cowell gave it to her daughter Lady Curzon-Howe, and until recently it has remained in the Curzon-Howe family.’”
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She then took a look closer at how the item was designed and commented: “ We’ve got two little bluebirds here with their nest, perfect high Victorian.
“Slightly medieval-influenced decoration on here. It just shouts to you, I think it probably shouts to me, 1870s.”
Hilary then spoke about the current market for such an object and how much it would fetch it the guest decided to put it up for auction.
“There’s so much interest in Queen Victoria and the royal family in general that I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see this in a specialist shop with a price tick of at least £500,” she explained.
“Gosh!” the owner remarked. “Oh, wow, I wasn’t expecting that. I wasn’t expecting that, I thought maybe £50 or something.
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