Antiques Roadshow: Guest stunned at Fijian war club value
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Antiques Roadshow expert Geoffrey Munn was tasked with evaluating a fascinating royal collection when the BBC show visited St Andrews University in a previously aired episode of the series. However, the guest was left stunned when Geoffrey admitted he had “stalked” her when he spotted the King Edward VII memorabilia.
Geoffrey began: “So it seems that St Andrews really couldn’t get any more royal but here we are surrounded by royal memorabilia.
“To be frank, it was hard to arrange it all on the table and every single one of them is a fascinating souvenir of the British Royal Family going back really about 120 years, but they have fallen to you and how did that happen?”
The guest replied: “Well, it was all given to my husband when he was young. They lived next door and were very friendly with two elderly ladies who, in fact, had been brought up at Sandringham when Edward VII lived there their father was private secretary to Princess Victoria.
“Bit by bit they gave him things and when we married we were given the plate and various other things.”
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“They are the true souvenirs,” Geoffrey replied. “There are specimens of royal handwriting here which of course is the most ghostly of all, isn’t it?
“Handwriting, a real autograph is a very exciting object to have and it says Her Royal Highness Princess Victoria at Sandringham.
“And then there are photographs of Queen Maud of Norway and it seems really the focus are on the children of King Edward VII.
“These are intensely personal objects this little dance card here from Sandringham – as you weld around the dance floor, you made notes of who you’re going to dance with next.”
“Tell me what you know about the tortoise,” he asked and the guest said: “An inkwell that was given us a present to Princess Victoria and it’s a tortoiseshell box.”
Geoffrey went on to pick out a few more items before revealing how much the collection was worth.
He noted: “I think the most astonishing thing I got to tell you is that this collection is not worth perhaps £300 or £400 but I think in my estimation it’s worth £12,000.”
“Good grief,” she exclaimed before he continued: “There is one object in here that positively radiates royal not only royal but imperial majesty.“It’s the stick pin here and the hint of its majestic power is that it’s made of red leather, and it has the twinned imperial eagle of the Russian Romanovs.”
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The expert revealed the pin included a mark of initials of a wordsmith to Peter Carl Fabergé.
He shared: “This is a Fabergé stick pin decorated in two colours of gold with a tiny sapphire.
“We have to now guess when this is likely to have been given, and it’s easier than you might think.
“The most significant time that the Tsar came to Sandringham where the princesses were living was in 1893 when he came to visit Queen Victoria, to tell her that he wanted to marry her granddaughter, who was Princess Alex of Hess.
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“He needed her permission for that marriage and as he went he strew his way with stick pins,” he explained.
“When he got off the train at Wolferton for Sandringham, he gave the station master an almost identical pin, which I saw 25 years ago, and so I knew what this was, and I stalked you and I think I did it quite well if you don’t mind me saying.”
Geoffrey repeated the collection was worth £12,000 and within it, the stick pin was worth £10,000 alone.
Discussing the rest of the collection, he added: “It’s not about money, it’s very touching it’s these little ghosts that are ebbing further away from us very few people know who these people are and now we’ve got a chance to show them in a town of deeply royal significance and I couldn’t be more pleased.”
Antiques Roadshow is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
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