BBC Antiques Roadshow guest gobsmacked as historic sporting memorabilia slapped with five-figure value

BBC Antiques Roadshow guest gobsmacked as historic sporting memorabilia slapped with five-figure value

WATCH HERE: Antiques Roadshow valuation

Olivia Gantzer

By Olivia Gantzer

Published: 26/05/2024

- 22:00

Updated: 20/06/2024

- 15:46

The antiques expert was delighted by the unique items

A guest on a recent episode of Antiques Roadshow was amazed as a collection of family items were given an astonishing value.

Antiques expert Siobhan Tyrrell was impressed by the women's sporting memorabilia which once belonged to the guest's relative, and described how the wins proved the original owner was "ahead of her time".

"We're at the water's edge of beautiful lake Windermere so it seems really appropriate that we've got a sailing interest collection here," Tyrrell explained.

"And this wonderful photograph, this lady called Mrs Affra Cross. Can you tell me who she is?"

The guest replied: "Affra was my grandmother. And yes, she was quite a sailor, she decided to join the man's world and start racing, which I think was very unusual."

"Definitely, and what period are we talking about?" the specialist on the BBC programme probed.

Antiques Roadshow

The Antiques Roadshow guest was stunned


"She bought her boat in 1935 and raced really until the war, and she was extremely successful at what she did," the owner of the items detailed.

"It looks like she is because I looked at the inscriptions at both of these trophies, and these aren't small events," Tyrrell explained.

"You've got the Royal yacht Squadron cup over here, probably the most prestigious yachting club in Britain, and this tray here is the Royal Southern Yachts Club, and the centenary race."

"She was a very determined lady, and in 1935 that she was 16 of the 17 flags in her class," the relative added.

Antiques Roadshow guest

The guest brought in a collection of sporting memorabilia ​


Analysing the tray, brooch and other items, Tyrrell stated: "[The brooch] is set in platinum, really good quality, it would have been made by one of the really good British jewellers.

"It could also be my Garrard, who knows? It's not marked but it's certainly a beautiful piece."

Expanding on the trophy, the guest went on: "This is a trophy she won in 1937. This was presented at the Royal Yacht Squadron, but of course in those days, ladies weren't allowed in squadron."

"Well she was in quite good company because I believe that the Queen was disallowed from entering the club, and she was a patron," Tyrrell quipped.

Antiques Roadshow

The show was taking place from Lake Windermere


"We're looking at a period in the 19th through to the 20th century where it was very male dominated," the antiques guru elaborated.

"I can't think of any other female professional sailors that were winning events like this - she was so ahead of her time.

"I would really value it as a whole collection of separate items because it so relates to her. Women's sporting history is so prevalent at the moment, and the fact that she was such a forerunner."

Turning to the all-important valuation, the guest was speechless as Tyrrell revealed: "At this time, I would have absolutely no hesitation in valuing the collection at £10,000 to £15,000."

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