An Antiques Roadshow guest was stunned when an expert gave a huge valuation to a stunning ornament kept inside a box for more than 40 years.
The guest and her five siblings inherited a mysterious wooden box from their great grandfather and which they had kept locked for years before deciding to open it with a screwdriver.
Appearing on a repeat BBC One episode on Sunday (September 5), furniture expert Lennox Cato noticed the huge octagonal box with beautiful blue lapis decoration.
He asked if the guest had any more information on the wooden model that was kept inside the box.
She said: “It was made in 1888 by my great grandfather who lived in the shadow of St Paul’s, which is where we think he got the inspiration for the work.
“He was a master carpenter, like his father, and his father before him.
“It’s been kept in that box that was locked for over 40 years. We knew it had something good in.
“We thought we’d best jimmy it open after all this time and this was what we found and it was well worth the jimmying with a screwdriver.”
The expert noticed the faded colours on the surface and added that the oak and rosewood gave a lovely contrast.
“To me it’s copying a piece of Grand Tour, something which they would have gone to Italy and seen, then sculpted,” Lennox explained.
When he removed the dome, he noticed the sculptor’s name carved along the side and at the bottom, the base was decorated in a “parquet pattern”.
In between the columns were the windows, which Lennox pointed out were made of pitch pine and mother of pearl.
He added: “It’s very desirable outside of the family because people like to collect, I would call this a model.
“I’m quite happy to put a value on this in a region of £5,000 to £6,000.”
The guest turned around to her sister and said: “Blimey. That was unexpected but it’s not going anywhere, it will stay in the family, one way or another.
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“Technically it belongs to all six of us, so I’m one of six. But as they volunteered me to stand here, I think I should get preferential treatment, don’t you?”
The expert raised his eyebrows, adding: “So now it’s yours?”
“I think so,” she giggled. “Yes…she might not agree.”