Antiques Roadshow guest gobsmacked at jaw-dropping value of tiny carved box
2nd January 2023

An Antiques Roadshow guest was left utterly speechless when she found out the incredible value of her tiny carved box.

The hit BBC antiques show took a trip to Polesden Lacey in Surrey on Monday (January 2) where guests brought in their valuable items to be assessed by experts.

But it wasn’t long before viewers got a peek at a very pricy item when one fan of the show brought in her family heirloom which had recently been passed down to her.

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Antique expert David Battie asked if the woman was keen on the carved ivory box she had brought in before questioning how it came into her possession.

Admitting she was very fond of it, she told David: “I got it from my mother, who got it through her father who went out to the East at the end of the last century.

“He went first to China and then settled in Japan and started a trading business out there,” she revealed.

When the expert took a closer look at the date, he confirmed to viewers that the box most likely came from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th.

Asking if she knew whether she knew what textile the box was made from, the guest confessed that she would be utterly horrified if it was plastic, adding: “It would let down my whole family.”

But after taking a closer look, David revealed that the intricate box was actually made from ivory due to the in-depth carving on the lid.

He commented: “This scene is fantastically well detailed” as he discussed the types of tools that would have been used to create such an intricate box.

The expert continued: “A lot of people worry about the fact that this is made from ivory. In fact, governments have got together and produced the CITES convention.

“This means that any piece of ivory must be made before a certain date. There’s absolutely no problem with this piece because it was a good 60 years before implementation.”

Looking at the item, viewers later learnt it was a jewellery box for a woman and had silver hinges which hinted at its luxurious quality.

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When it came to revealing how much the box would go for at auction, David surprised everyone when he revealed: “You’d be surprised at how much this would make. I think it would probably make £15,000 to £20,000."

After revealing the sky-high price, audible gasps could be heard from the crowd as the guest was left speechless at the value.

The expert added: “I think it’s actually the best thing I've seen all day” as the guest struggled to contain her excitement.

Antiques Roadshow is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.


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