Antiques Roadshow guest devastated as expert halves value of heirloom instantly

Antiques Roadshow: Expert values Faberge box

An Antiques Roadshow guest was left heartbroken when their family heirloom, a cigarette box, dramatically dropped in value due to minor damage.

The BBC One show saw several guests at Forty Hall in Enfield, north London, eager to discover the worth of their items.

John Benjamin, an expert on the show, examined what seemed to be a “rather plain” cigarette box. However, it turned out to be a Faberge cigarette box worth thousands.

“Well, we are looking at a rather plain, rather severe-looking rectangle cigarette box. But it has a lot of hidden extra features,” John revealed as the guest shared it was his nan Olga’s, who had died in 1993 and passed onto him as a family heirloom.

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The guest explained: “It was owned by my nan Olga, she passed away in 1993, and it was passed onto my mum and dad,” and then shared how someone had once offered to buy the item for £1000.

The expert then revealed its true significance, saying: “It’s a Faberge cigarette box, and that is why someone was so enthusiastic about it when they knocked.”

However, the guest was devastated when John pointed out some serious damage to the box, which significantly reduced its value.

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Expert John pointed out a “fracture to the rock crystal” in the corner of an item and admitted: “If it were in perfect condition, I think it is worth £8,000 to £10,000.

“Let me be a little careful now and say £5,000 to £8,000 with damage that it has sustained.”

The guest was thrilled with the final amount, despite the reduction in value.

John explained that the piece had links to Russia through the name Olga and clarified that what the owners thought were clear glass panels were actually “solid natural rock crystal”.

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He warned, “This is certainly not a modest piece”, while highlighting the “exciting things about it”.

This included monogram G, which was “surrounded by a wreath” on the panel and the leaf panel around the box, and a “natural ruby” on the cigarette box too.

You can watch Antiques Roadshow on BBC iPlayer

‘*** An AI tool was used to add an extra layer to the editing process for this story.***

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