Antiques Roadshow guest left stunned as 1890 Christmas present fetches four-figure valuation: 'Oh my!'

Antiques Roadshow guest left stunned as 1890 Christmas present fetches four-figure valuation: 'Oh my!'

Antiques Roadshow guest left stunned over brooch valuation

Lauren Williams

By Lauren Williams

Published: 20/05/2024

- 13:52

Updated: 20/06/2024

- 15:48

Fiona Bruce and her band of experts visited Buckfast Abbey in Devon for the latest episode of the BBC series

Antiques Roadshow expert Bunny Campione left one of her guests gobsmacked in a classic episode of the BBC series after giving a valuation for a doll which she was forbidden to play with when she was younger.

The repeat episode - which aired on Sunday night - saw many experts roam the grounds and stumble across items such as an 18th-century tankard, an iron chest with a hidden lock dating back to the 1640s, London street signs, a Biba frock, and a piece of shrapnel from the battleship Bismarck.

However, it was one guest's phonograph doll which left Campione impressed and valuating the item at a staggering four-figure price - despite previously pointing out its flaws.

After approaching the table with the doll, Campione asked: "So, this is one of the most beautiful dolls I've ever seen on the Roadshow. Will you tell me your story?"

The guest explained: "My great-grandfather presented all these bells, all 14 bells, to Buckfest Abbey in memory of my grandmother who was a Catholic, and they bought this doll in France for my grandmother and they bought this doll in France for my grandmother when she was about three or four.

"So that would be 18-something-or-other and she's been in the family ever since then in this original box and none of our family has been allowed to play with her because she's very, very precious. She's supposed to talk, but she hasn't done it for quite some time."

Antiques Roadshow

Bunny Campione was left impressed with the doll


Noticing some wear and tear, Campione added: "She's obviously been played with by your grandmother because she's sort of got a bit of a loopy left arm. The hinges have gone, I think, in it. Yes. A lot of people would look at that and say 'What are those?'. These are discs which are phonographs and she's a phonograph doll.

"Her dress is original, it's had better days, but it's in very good condition considering her age, which I would put probably at about 1890. Would that be about right? Inside here, there is the phonograph, and there - there it is, and I think you've tried to make it work and it's not working, which is a great shame.

"But I'm sure we can get it looked at and done. Not me, but there will be someone who can do it, a specialist, and it won't cost a huge amount of money, because you've got all the discs and everything."

She described the doll as having a "bisque head" and was made from unglazed porcelain, but quickly noted that "everything falls apart" when looking at the back of her head.

Antiques Roadshow

The doll was valued at £6,000 by Bunny


Campion added: "On the back of her head, it says 'Depose Tete Jumeau 11' which is the size - and then on the bottom which - I'm renowned, I have to take clothes apart to show people, it says there we have the winder and the stop-start button.

"It should be pushed in and what I absolutely love is the fact you've got all these discs, and what a shame we can't play them," before picking one up and reading the short story on the back.

It read: "Good morning, dear little mother. How do you do this morning? I slept well and had a pleasant dream. I dreamt Father Christmas brought me splendid Bebe Jumeau which speaks, laughs and sings as you do."

The guest admitted: "Oh, goodness! I'd never read any of those," before Campione asked: "Anyway, have you any idea of her worth? No - With all her original clothes and all these discs."

Antiques Roadshow

Antiques Roadshow guest was left stunned over the valuation


After the guest immediately shook her head and replied: "No," Campione revealed: "I would say she's probably worth around £6,000."

Stunned, the doll's owner's mouth dropped open with shock before she exclaimed: "Oh, my goodness! Oh my goodness. Thank you very much. Oh... I just love her shoes. Oh my goodness me."

Still impressed with the doll's condition after such a long time in the box, Campione said after the valuation: "Jumeau made a lot of dolls, and I think of these phonograph dolls probably several thousand, but, of course, because of the nature of them, and their bodies.

"Which are very fragile actually, they didn't really last very much, and this one has lasted a very long time."

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