Antiques Roadshow expert gives ornate coat 6-figure valuation but points out huge flaw
Antiques Roadshow visited Ham House in Richmond-upon-Thames for a new episode of the BBC show. Expert Lee Young was stunned with a guest’s ornate coat which had been in their family for many years but left the owners gobsmacked when she revealed it would be worth up to £200,000 at auction.
Lee began: “There are moments in your life that you will always remember, and I will always remember standing here.
“But I certainly always remember the first time that I saw this spectacular robe, I want to know everything that you know,” he asked the guests.
The male guest explained: “It was brought to the UK by Sarah’s grandfather probably in the early 30s, and he was general manager of the standard bank in India.”
The female guest, Sarah, added: “In Calcutta, I think he must have had it as a present.”
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Lee went on to ask: “So have you always known about, where’s it been?” to which Sarah explained: “Well, it was in the dressing up box!”
Surprised by her answer, Lee exclaimed: “No! So did you wear it as a child?”, laughing at Lee’s shock, Sarah said: “Yes, oh yes.”
Lee then delved into the history of the robe and explained: “1750 it certainly would be imperial it’s a ladies robe, a robe of 1750 is a very rare robe indeed I mean there are a few survivors.
“The only other ones I know of this type you’d have to go to Beijing, and you’d have to go to the palace museum to see one of these you know it really is a museum item.”
“Now the colour is important, and the bright yellow would be for the empress. This isn’t a bright yellow, it’s got a slightly kind of limey light green tinge to it,” Lee explained.
He continued: “but it certainly is imperial because we’ve got this lovely five-clawed dragon here, we’ve got these dragons chasing this wonderful kind of flaming pearls.
“It’s just a fabulous thing, I just keep coming back to the condition it is extraordinary, however, it does have a little problem,” Lee probed.
“If you look at the dragon here, it wasn’t intended to be sort of two-toned, what’s happened there is suspect is that when they mix the guild on the copper wire, that actually the copper has oxidised.
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“That is going to affect its value, another thing I’ve noted, and I think at some time somebody has actually turned up the bottom.
“I think it’s a little shorter than it should be because I can see part of the fringe here that actually may have just been sort of tuned up as well,” Lee said.
It was soon time for Lee to reveal to the guests what he thought the robe would be worth if it went up at an auction.
“It’s just spectacular, and that decoration just continues as you can see. If that comes up at auction with the way the market is now, I think that would make £200,000.”
The guests and the people who were watching were all left in shock, with everyone gasping at the amount Lee had given them.
The male guest finally spoke and simply said: “Oh…” before Sarah added, laughing: “Oh indeed!”
Lee explained that he wouldn’t be surprised if the robe made a little more in the auction, prompting the male guest to joke: “My goodness me thank you very much, well we won’t put it in the dressing up box again.”
Antiques Roadshow airs Sundays at 8pm on BBC One.
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