BBC Antiques Roadshow expert exclaims 'never seen before' as he slaps huge value on guest's mysterious item

BBC Antiques Roadshow expert exclaims 'never seen before' as he slaps huge value on guest's mysterious item

WATCH HERE: Antiques Roadshow comes under fire as expert refuses to value item linked to slave trade

GB NEWS
Alex Davies

By Alex Davies


Published: 19/05/2024

- 21:00

BBC Antiques Roadshow expert exclaims 'never seen before' as he shares huge value to guest's mysterious item

On Sunday evening, BBC One viewers got another chance to see the hidden treasures brought in to the Roadshow team at Devon's Buckfast Abbey.

There were plenty of artifacts on display for the experts to analyse, including a Biba frock, antique London street signs and a piece of shrapnel from the WWII battleship, Bismarck.


But it was an item presented to expert John Benjamin which resulted in gasps from the Devonshire crowd - especially after the unsuspecting guest admitted she had no idea what it even was.

Benjamin was just as stunned as he explained to the guest: "I've been doing the Roadshow now for 26 seasons, it's a privilege... and do you know something? I have never in all that time seen anything like this before. Do you know what it is?"

The guest revealed she didn't know but before Benjamin delved into the details, he asked: "I know what it is but I'm not going to tell you what it is until I discuss a little bit more about it. What's the story behind it?"

"It belongs to a friend who is too poorly to come today so he asked me to bring it for him," the Antiques Roadshow guest explained. "He brought it 20-25 years ago in an auction in a lot."

BBC Antiques Roadshow

BBC Antiques Roadshow: The guest at Buckfast Abbey admitted to not knowing what it is

BBC

Benjamin decided to explain all to the unknowing guest, telling her: "The piece here, that segment there, is a piece of coral. Now, I have to be honest with you, I get a little bit funny about coral.

"I don't like the trading of coral that's going on, but I feel comfortable with this piece because it is 300 years old this piece of coral.

"So the first thing to say about this box, because it is a box, was made probably around about the year 1720."

Benjamin then turned his attention to the mineral at the centre: "In the middle, you have a ruby. The ruby is what we term collet set, so it has a setting that goes all the way around it.

BBC Antiques Roadshow: John Benjamin

BBC Antiques Roadshow: John Benjamin was impressed with the find

BBC


"The yellow metal that goes all the way around the ruby is gold," he continued before spotting the excitement in the crowd around him.

"It gets better..." the expert teased. "Can you see above the little coronette? So that tells me that this would have been originally made for someone who had a ducal connection or a member of the court.

"When we turn it over, it's duplicated. So both sides we have ruby and diamond detail. The lid of the box is a domed material that looks rather like a piece of glass but it's not!

"It's carved polished rock crystal. A natural gemstone that has been carved and polished to fit into the top of this cap. Now I'm going to show you what this is for and when you see it, all will be revealed.

BBC Antiques Roadshow: John Benjamin

BBC Antiques Roadshow: John Benjamin surprised his guest with a huge value on the item

BBC

"Are you ready?" Benjamin asked to which the guest agreed and he opened the lid of the box.

"Here I have a ring... (it's) a ring box!" Benjamin exclaimed. "But I have never seen a ring box of such quality as this one, and rarity, and singularity of materials in it..."

As the guest awaited the value, Benjamin weighed up all the factors before putting her out of her misery and saying: "Which is why I'm going to tell you I think it's worth £4,000-5,000!"

Onlookers let out gasps of amazement before the guest eventually put her shock aside to reply: "Amazing, fabulous!"

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