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Antiques Roadshow guest emotional and in disbelief as expert reveals 'amazing' valuation of family heirloom

Jewellery expert Joanna Hardy revealed the incredible history behind a pair of cufflinks

Antique Roadshow's jewellery expert Joanna Hardy  with guest
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
15 April 2024
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A guest on Antiques Roadshow was left emotional after jewellery expert Joanna Hardy revealed her huge valuation of a family heirloom. 

The visitor, who joined Joanna at Powis Castle in Wales in the repeat episode, brought along a pair of Edwardian cufflinks that were over 100 years old and passed down from his grandfather, who worked as a chauffeur for Lord and Lady Trafford. 

WATCH: Antiques Roadshow guest in disbelief over valuation

Intrigued by the unusual item, Joanna explained its history: "Jewellery always tells a story and when I saw these cufflinks, they certainly are depicting an era of 100 years ago, of an Edwardian gentleman's vices – horse racing, gambling, women, drinking. So how have you had these?"

Antiques Roadshow cufflinks© BBC
A pair of Edwardian cufflinks received a huge valuation

The guest responded: "Well, these are my grandfather's. My mum's just passed them down to me now and the story goes, my grandfather was the chauffeur for Lord and Lady Trafford on the Trafford estate where they lived. 

"Mum lived on the estate and what I get from Mum is that it was a gift from them to say thank you for the hard work and service that they did."

Joanna speculated: "Maybe he was driving to many horse racing and nightclubs and parties do you think?"

Antique Roadshow's jewellery expert Joanna Hardy © BBC
Antique Roadshow's jewellery expert Joanna Hardy valued the item between £800 and £1,000

"A bit like me!" quipped the guest, adding: "I wore them once and don't know much about them."

Sharing more details about the item's history, Joanna said: "These were typically Edwardian period, when people had come out of the Victorian era where it had all been quite dowdy and Queen Victoria had been in mourning for a long time and then you had the Edwardian period, and that was just gaiety and fun and lightness and these cufflinks really imbued that kind of era."

Impressed with the condition of the cufflinks, she continued: "And they are made with painted enamel and the detail on these, you've kept these beautifully, because they are just so exquisite in their execution.

Antique Roadshow guest © BBC
The show's guest was amazed by the valuation

"There's not one chip, it's so easy to chip those, so you've really done very well because they are over 100 years old. They are enamelled with gold backs and you will never want to part with them, I shouldn't think."

The guest replied: "I hope not."

Joanna then went on to reveal that the item could yield between £800 and £1,000 at auction, leaving its owner amazed. 

Antique Roadshow's jewellery expert Joanna Hardy 
at Alexandra Gardens © BBC Studios
Joanna has over 35 years of experience working in the jewellery industry

"Wow, are you joking?" said the guest, who was visibly moved by Joanna's valuation. "I thought you were going to say £100, that's amazing." Patting his chest, he added: "Thank you so much, that's hit me in."

Antiques Roadshow is available on BBC iPlayer.

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