The Antiques Roadshow crowd gasped after breaking the show record with a life-changing appraisal — but there was one big problem.
Expert Lee Young met a couple standing next to the stunning robe, and he told them: “There are moments in your life that you will always remember, and I will always remember standing here, but I definitely remember the first time as well. that I saw this splendid garment.”
He asked how they came into possession of the cloth and the man revealed that it was brought to the UK by his wife’s grandfather in the early 1930s after working as the General Manager of Standard Bank in India.
Lee then asked where it was from and the woman replied: “It was in the dressing-up box!”
Lee then went on to explain the importance of the robe, saying: “1750, it would certainly be royal, it is a woman’s robe.
“A robe from 1750 is actually a very rare garment. There are a few left, the only others that I know of this type, you’d have to go to Beijing and go to the Palace Museum to see one of these. It’s really It is a museum object.
“Now that the color is important, a bright yellow would be for the Empress or Dowager Empress, or first-ranking concubine.
“It’s not a bright yellow, it has a little bit of lime-y, just a slight greenish tinge to it. But it’s definitely royal.”
He then explained the design in more detail and showed a red brocade inside the garment.
He added: “Although it is extraordinary, and it has one, however, it has a slight problem.
“If you look at the dragon here, it was not intended to be two-tone. What happened there, I would suspect, is when they mixed gilt on the copper wire, so the copper actually oxidized.
“Ultimately it will affect its value. I think at some point, someone has really hit the bottom and maybe it’s a little bit smaller than it should be.”
However, what he said next did not take off, leading to an audible gasp among the Antiques Roadshow crowd.
Small Problem, Big Value
He told the couple: “If it comes to auction, the way the market is at the moment, I think it will make £200,000.”
The couple were stunned when they both said “oh”. The man eventually added: “It’s amazing.”
Lee told him: “I wouldn’t be surprised if it makes a bit more.”
Still taking it in, the man joked: “Well, we’re never going to put this in the dressing box again.”
The item is the most valuable Chinese treasure ever seen at the Antiques Roadshow, breaking the previous record set by a faulty Imperial China vase, which was valued at £30,000–50,000.
Antiques Roadshow airs on BBC One on Sundays.
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