Antiques Roadshow: Geoffrey Munn values brooch in Edinburgh
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The jewellery specialist took a look at two items the guest had brought to Antiques Roadshow, a diamond ring and a jewel-emblazoned brooch. Although the first was worth up to £5,000, Geoffrey explained the latter would only be valued at around £800, much to the shock of the visitor to the BBC show. He admitted the brooch “ought to be worth more”.
“Well, this is a dazzling collection of jewellery that you’ve brought me today, tell me about it,” Geoffrey told the guest.
He added to the guest: “Tell me about the ring first.”
“The ring belonged to my great-grandmother,” she replied.
Pointing towards a picture of a young woman, Geoffrey added: “Who happens to be this lady here?”
He went on: “In her court dress, perhaps, with fine lace and pearls, and that signals a pretty elevated status, doesn’t it?”
“She was married to a guy called Clement Smith, and he was Queen Victoria’s vicar,” revealed the guest.
Geoffrey stated: “And tell me about his life with Queen Victoria. Did it go right to the end, or…?
“He gave her her last Communion,” confirmed the owner of the jewellery.
“Goodness!” Geoffrey exclaimed. “And what an enormous event that was, an earth-shattering event, and then he would come home and tell her all about it and she would be wearing this very ring.”
“And do you wear that one?” he probed. Nodding, the guest commented: “I do wear it, but because it’s silver I’m a bit scared of wearing it.”
“I think you can wear it safely, it’s in a very robust condition,” Geoffrey reassured her.
“I’ve seen it and I think it’s for you. I think you’d quite enjoy that, wouldn’t you?”
Turning towards the brooch, he added: “And then what about this one? This one’s a bit more personal, I think, to you, isn’t it?”
“It was given to me as a wedding present from my husband,” she explained.
“Goodness, and that’s quite a wedding present, isn’t it?” Geoffrey pointed out.
“And were you startled when you opened the box and saw it there?”
“Well yes, a bit!” the guest confessed. She added: “It’s the interlaced Ls of Lorna Louise, which is what the Argyll and Sutherland Highlander Regiment [wore].
“Yes, your husband’s regimental cypher…” Geoffrey clarified.
He continued: “Rendered in platinum. Here we see platinum and diamonds and rubies and enamel, this is a miracle of craftsmanship, this thing.”
Comparing the jewellery, he added: “Now, these two objects are strangely apart. They’ve both diamond-set jewels, very refined ones, from two very different eras.
“And they do carry two very different values, and normally an array of five stones like this would be based on the weight of the stones if they were recut.
“And this would be a complete travesty because this is a mid-19th-century ring looking absolutely wonderful as it is, and I don’t think anybody would dream much of doing that.”
Starting with the ring, he continued: “So, very pretty, original condition, viable, marketable, so £3,000 to £5,000.
“And the value of the regimental badge is completely topsy-turvy in this regard, because it would be an enormously expensive object to make today.
“You can have these made by the great jewellers up and down Regent Street and it would be very costly indeed, it would probably cost £8,000 to £10,000 to make a brooch like this.
“But in a similar way to buying a great couture dress or a car, as soon as you take it home, the value diminishes enormously because it’s such specific interest, and so commercially it’s not so terribly exciting.
“It’s certainly worth £800 today.” The owner looked flummoxed at the pricing as she remarked: “Wow.”
“And it ought to be worth dramatically more than that really,” Geoffrey commented.
Antiques Roadshow is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
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