Fabergé flower stuns Antiques Roadshow experts
Valued at more than £1m
The Antiques Roadshow has valued what it describes as one of the most significant jewellery finds in its history: a Fabergé spray of flowers valued at up to £1 million.
During filming at the Black Country Living Museum in the West Midlands, expert Geoffrey Munn was stunned to be presented with the four-inch-high floral piece.
"The expert said it's probably the second time he's ever done that type of valuation," onlooker Dan Bansal, 50, from Hagley, told the Express & Star.
"I think he was reluctant to say £1 million and nervous to say it was worth that much."
The BBC isn't revealing the history of the piece until the programme airs this autumn.
"We've had one of the most significant jewellery finds in 40 years of Antiques Roadshow history – but we don't want to spoil the surprise," says the show's executive producer Simon Shaw.
However, it's believed to have been presented to an army regiment after the Boer War, and was brought to the show by two soldiers.
It's one of a number of similar floral studies produced by the great Russian jeweller which are presented in a 'vase' of rock crystal that appears to contain water and which consist of fine enamel-work and gems.
There are 26 of the flower compositions in the Royal Collection, but such items rarely come up for sale. One, of a spray of buttercups, went for £350,000 in auction at Sotheby's four years ago. Another sold more recently for £600,000.
The brooch isn't, though, the only find on the programme to be valued at more than £1 million.
Previous treasures include an illuminated manuscript seen earlier this year believed to be worth between £2 and £4 million, as well as a model of Antony Gormley's Angel of the North that received a seven-figure valuation.
Last year, an FA Cup trophy was shown on the programme and valued at more than £1 million; although many viewers felt this was a bit of a con, as it was hardly a dusty treasure from the attic.