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Antiques Roadshow guest 'choked up' after expert reveals 'amazing' valuation of family heirloom

Expert Ronnie Archer-Morgan inspected a bangle and paddleboard with links to Indigenous tribes

Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
22 April 2024
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A guest on Antiques Roadshow was left feeling "choked up" after expert Ronnie Archer-Morgan revealed the valuation of a precious item steeped in family history. 

Sunday night's episode saw Fiona Bruce and the team of experts return to Ham House and gardens in Richmond-upon-Thames, where Ronnie inspected a bangle and paddleboard belonging to a guest's great uncle, who spent time working as an engineer in Prince Rupert, British Columbia.

"This is a love story," said the guest. "Our great uncle wrote this letter in 1910 leaving behind his beloved and said, 'I send you a token and I want you to wait for me'.

Antiques Roadshow expert Ronnie Archer-Morgan© BBC
Antiques Roadshow expert Ronnie Archer-Morgan came across a gold bangle and paddleboard

"When they did get together, he must have brought home this paddle, which was a prized item for our uncle and aunt and was on their wall for the duration of their lives." 

The guest explained that her uncle was helping to develop the city of Prince Rupert and displayed postcards with black-and-white images dating back to 1910. 

22 Carat gold bangle and paddleboard on Antiques Roadshow© BBC
A guest brought a bangle and paddleboard that belonged to her great uncle

While she didn't know how her great uncle came to own the items, Ronnie explained that the "truly amazing" objects were made by northwest coast tribes and that the bangle was 22 carat gold. 

Impressed by the heirlooms, Ronnie revealed his valuation. "Things like this have a value," he explained. "A paddle like this, and a bracelet like that, with the story and the [photo] album have to be between £6,000 and £7,000." Watch the moment below.

WATCH: Antiques Roadshow guest visibly moved by valuation of family heirloom

Postcards from 1910 on Antiques Roadshow© BBC
The guest displayed postcards from 1910 British Columbia

Overwhelmed by the news, the guest shared her delight: "Wow, that's amazing. That's really fantastic, what a lovely story."

"Well it's your story, and it's my honour," said Ronnie. 

Giving an interview after the valuation, the guest said it was "so special" to hear Ronnie's opinion. "I just think it's fantastic that Ronnie was so thrilled with them," she said.

Antiques Roadshow guest© BBC
The guest was overwhelmed by Ronnie's valuation

"We've always revered them in our family, so to hear a professional talk about their excellence is so special. Obviously, you know about the heritage of these First Nation people but to hear those words is just amazing. 

"I was a bit choked up," she added. 

Elsewhere in the episode, miscellaneous expert Bunny Campione valued an 18th-century effigy, while military expert Mark Smith came across an Indian Order of Merit medal awarded to a Sikh solder in the First World War. 

Fiona Bruce at Crystal Palace Park, London on Antiques Roadshow © Anna Gordon/BBC
Fiona Bruce hosts the popular BBC show

The experts also looked at an Omega wristwatch, an 18th-century pistol and a gold necklace from the Alaskan Gold Rush. 

The episode synopsis, which first aired in August 2022, continues: "Fiona hears from one of the newest members of the team, picture specialist Alexandra Gill, about how Tutankhamun inspired her journey into antiques, while miscellaneous expert Jon Baddeley challenges Fiona to rank three intriguing optical items in order of value."

Antiques Roadshow is available on BBC iPlayer. 

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