Antiques Roadshow: ‘Help!’ Guest speechless at 220-year-old diamond brooch’s valuation

Antiques Roadshow returned to BBC One on Sunday night and saw a repeat episode which Fiona Bruce presented from Helmingham Hall in Suffolk. 

And the show ended on a high when a 220-year-old piece of jewellery got an astonishing valuation. 

The owner presented a diamond brooch and explained how she had come into possession of it: “My uncle gave it to me about 30 years ago and it’s a family piece and I love having it.” 

“Tell me about the province with you because this is really quite crucial to where we are going,” expert Geoffrey Munn asked. 

It’s stunning – a great, great find for me.

Expert Geoffrey.

“My uncle was somebody called Sir David Baird and he lived in Scotland and his direct ancestor was somebody called General Sir David Baird, who fought in India for quite a long time and was in the Black Hole of Calcutta,” viewers heard the guest begin. 

“And also he defeated somebody called Tipu Sahib at the Battle of Seringapatam, 1799 and I think, I don’t know, I feel that this came from there, because it’s always been in our family since then.” 

As for the design of the “stunning” piece, Geoffrey explained how it was made up of “wonderful water white Indian diamonds”. 

“It’s stunning – a great, great find for me ,” he exclaimed in delight to the guest. “Goodness! The shape of it is definitely Indian, isn’t it? It’s almost a peacock’s father, a Paisley form and set in the centre are three beautiful water white diamonds.

“The thing about the Battle of Seringapatam is that we know diamonds were part of the booty there, because it’s always been established with other families. So there is more than a shade of credibility to all of this. We need to look a bit about how it is made.

Read More: Antiques Roadshow Expert ‘astonished’ as ‘horrid looking’ tea set fetches huge valuation. 

“The diamonds are set in silver, it’s backed in gold. This is European work, but there seems to be a homage, a sort of Indian accent given to the centre and I think that actually underwrites your provenance nicely.” 

As for how much the item was worth, the expert spoke about the interest it would peak: “Where Indian jewellery appears on the open market it is an league which – unprecedented league really.”

“£30,000 for your brooch,” he stated calmly and the lady gasped in amazement. 

Help!” She finally replied. 

“Oh dear, oh dear! Well I’ve given it to my daughter, so it’s not mine!”

Too late she cried!” Geoffrey joked. “No, well wonderful.” 

It seems ancient jewellery is a popular item choice on the show after a previous episode showed a 114-year-old diamond pendant getting a big valuation too. 

Susan Rumfitt was delighted to have been presented with a “stunning pendant” made of “pearls, diamond and platinum”. 

Believing the pearls were authentic fresh water pearls, with a certificate to back this up, the expert said the piece could fetch up to £35,000 at auction. 

Antiques Roadshow airs Sunday nights at 8pm on BBC One.

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