BBC Antiques Roadshow’s rare brooch bought for just £20 sells for staggering profit

An Antiques Roadshow guest has sold the item she had valued for a staggering profit, despite saying she would hold on to it. Flora Steel featured in the Christmas 2023 episode with a brooch designed by Victorian Gothic Revival architect and designer William Burges.

Art historian Flora Steel brought the piece along to Alexandra Gardens in Cardiff after seeing an episode of the BBC show where expert Geoffrey Munn listed the most wanted and rare pieces from the craftsman. She had purchased the coveted item in 1988 for a mere £20.

“I wore the brooch for about five years on the green velvet lapel of a favourite coat,” the BBC reported her as saying. “When both the coat and brooches went out of fashion, it remained in my London wardrobe for another 20 years until my daughter-in-law found it and started wearing it.

“So, when the TV clip popped up out of the blue last March, I couldn’t believe it. I was absolutely stunned.”

Geoffrey was thrilled to see the piece. As he examined it, he explained: “It is a bridesmaid’s brooch designed by William Burges, and it’s a breathtaking discovery.

“Really, totally thrilling and the most marvelous relic of Victorian art, concentrated and distilled into a tiny thing like this.”

A similar brooch, also designed by William Burges, he had valued on the show had sold for an astonishing £31,000.

In light of that sale he placed the value of this one at £8-10,000.

It was auctioned in Market Harborough, in Leicestershire, on Tuesday by Gildings auctioneers.

It made a huge profit selling for for £9,500 as per Geoffrey’s estimate.

The sale came after Flora had intimated that she would keep the brooch following it’s valuation.

After hearing what it was worth, Flora said: “I’ll probably hold on to it, I must admit because this is such a such an important piece, and I’m so happy to own it.”

Antiques Roadshow is on BBC One on Sunday nights and previous episodes are available on the BBC iPlayer.


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