Here’s a quick quiz question for you… what’s the most expensive item on Antiques Roadshow to date? Many an antique has been featured on the long-running TV show, but ones that really capture the interest of the general public are those with high valuations. What is the most expensive item on Antiques Roadshow UK? Have a think and we’ll reveal the answer shortly.
Currently in its 44th series in the UK and on air since 1979, the BBC Antiques Roadshow has seen it all - including three £1m valuations.
These three are all contenders for the most expensive item on Antiques Roadshow.
In 1997, a US version of the show began on PBS. Fans of Frasier may remember one particular episode where his family goes to Antiques Roadshow with a kitsch bear clock!
Into its 26th season, it has shown several $1m valuations. However, one of these is the clear frontrunner to be deemed the most expensive item on Antiques Roadshow in the US.
What kind of valuable item might have received these seven-figure valuations? A family heirloom, something like John Lennon’s guitar, perhaps? While you’re guessing what kind of antiques achieve seven-figure valuations, why not try our own quiz: Guess the value of our antiques!
The most expensive item on BBC's Antiques Roadshow in the UK - so far!
A Fabergé flower ornament from an episode filmed in 2017 is the most expensive item on Antiques Roadshow in the UK
At the time of writing, a Fabergé flower ornament from an episode filmed in 2017 is the most expensive item on Antiques Roadshow in the UK.
The six-inch tall pear blossom sculpture received a £1m valuation in Antiques Roadshow’s 40th anniversary series at a show in the Black Country Living Museum, Dudley.
Jewellery specialist Geoffrey Munn gave the valuation for the gold, diamond and jade flower in a crystal vase - one of only 80 remaining ornaments of its kind.
Belonging to an army regiment, according to the BBC it narrowly edges out the final maquette of the Angel of the North as the most expensive item on Antiques Roadshow in the UK.
Also valued at £1m, this time by art expert Philip Mould in 2008, the prototype model was designed by Sir Antony Gormley who also sculpted the final version in Gateshead.
It took five people to carry the piece
It took five people to carry the piece, which had been in the Gateshead Council office for 13 years, into the Sage Gateshead building for the show.
Lastly, not everyone would count this one in the record books, but the FA Cup was valued at “well over £1m” by silver expert Alastair Dickenson in 2015.
Breaking the mould of local residents presenting antiques they own, it was brought to the Royal Hall in Harrogate by broadcaster Gabby Logan.
Interestingly, Mr Dickenson suspected the trophy was initially designed as a wine or champagne cooler
The £1m-plus valuation means the trophy could be considered - unofficially, perhaps - the most expensive item on Antiques Roadshow.
This was the third FA Cup trophy and the longest-serving one, in use between 1911 and 1991. It was created by Bradford business Fattorini and Sons.
Interestingly, Mr Dickenson suspected the trophy was initially designed as a wine or champagne cooler, since it features several engravings of grapes and vines.
Most expensive item on Antiques Roadshow in the US
Due to the uniqueness of the watch and its history, it sold for $1.5m
In 2004, a gold 20th century Patek Philippe pocket watch was initially valued at $250,000 during a show in St. Paul, Minnesota on the American version of Antiques Roadshow.
However, in 2016, due to the uniqueness of the watch and its history, the Patek Philippe pocket watch sold for $1.5m at Sotheby’s, making it the most expensive item on Antiques Roadshow in the US. That’s quite the jump.
Several other antiques have been valued at $1m or more on the US version of the show, including a collection of 18th century Chinese rhinoceros horn cups in 2011.
Also reaching the $1m mark were a previously undiscovered Diego Rivera 1904 painting shown in 2013 and a collection of 19th century Boston Red Stockings sports memorabilia in 2014. Artistic legacy and sports nostalgia command high prices at auction.
Now that you know the most expensive items on Antiques Roadshow, check out our article on the five most valuable antiques ever sold in general.
Don’t forget to put your own valuation skills to the test in our quiz: Guess the value of our antiques! Take the test here to find out if you’re an expert, or if you need to brush up on your antiques…
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