Some people are fascinated by antiques and the history they carry. Not only that, but it’s interesting to see how valuable their “old junk” might be worth over time.
That’s just part of the reason why the long-running television series Antiques Roadshow is so fun to watch. It’s great to see the looks on people’s faces when they realize how wealthy they’re about to become!
The following 20 items are among the most surprising and valuable antiques that were ever featured on the show. Can you imagine finding something like these in your home?
1. Oil painting by Joseph Kleitsch: Someone brought this piece to Antiques Roadshow to get it appraised. Their parents had purchased it for just $100 in the late 1920s. Fine art expert Debra Force, however, estimated that it was worth half a million dollars!
2. Stirling Moss’s car: During a 2010 episode in Beverly Minister in Yorkshire, England, a seemingly ordinary, if very old, car turned out to have once belonged to world-famous race car driver Stirling Moss. It sold at auction for $50,000!
Seized Property Auctions
3. Halt in the Desert by Moonlight: While redecorating their house in 1986, a couple found this watercolor painting, which turned out to have been missing since 1857! It was sold to the British Museum for $100,000.
4. Drawing of Lord Admiral Nelson: This was never seen by most of the world until a 2012 Antiques Roadshow episode. It was drawn in 1800, and though it had been hanging in Suffolk, England’s Royal Hospital School for some time, it was valued at $100,000. It now sits in the Royal Navy Museum.
5. Fabergé drinking vessel: In 2010, this extravagant piece was originally given to the ward of the HMS Talbot by the emperor of Russia. It was estimated to be worth roughly $600,000 to $700,000, thanks to the unique metal that it was made from.
6. Shakespeare’s notebook: This notebook from the 17th century is believed to be one of the oldest that the Bard ever had. It even includes quotes and other notes regarding his plays! It was estimated to be worth roughly $30,000.
7. Corporation silver from King Charles II: Several different silver items from the British monarch, including a chalice and maces, were found in Sussex in 2006. The collection was worth about $300,000.
8. Gold-plated Leica Luxus II camera: One of just four cameras of its kind ever to be made, this particular one saw the most use during World War II and into the 1950s. It was sold in 2013 for $380,000!
9. Masterpiece by Anthony van Dyck: Father Jamie MacLeod of Newstead Abbey in England wasn’t entirely sure of this painting’s authenticity when he purchased it for $400. He featured it on Antiques Roadshow in 2013 and was told that it was worth roughly $400,000!
10. Sculpture of The Angel of the North: This sculpture was so massive that five people had to carry it for the show. Since 2004, it’s been on display in England’s Gateshead Council, but experts say it could be worth nearly $1 million at an auction!
Seized Property Auctions
11. The FA Cup trophy: This item was perfectly suited to be appraised by silver expert Alastair Dickenson in 2016, who was also a big fan of British football. He estimated that it could be worth upwards of $1 million!
12. This old dollhouse: This collection had been passed down for 311 years by the time it reached Antiques Roadshow in 2016. Dating back to 1705, it was too fragile to be brought onto the set, but when expert Fergus Gambon saw it in person, he estimated that it was worth $150,000.
13. Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema Victorian portrait: A 2016 episode filmed in Cheshire, England, revealed an 1883 wedding gift that this 19th-century Dutch painter gave to his friend. That friend just happened to be the great-grandfather of the man who brought it into Antiques Roadshow; it was appraised to be worth between $200,000 and $300,000!
14. Patek Philippe pocket watch: In 2012, this item from the high-end watchmaking company from 1914 was first estimated to be worth $250,000. That increased to $1.5 million after it was reexamined.
Twin Cities PBS
15. Oil painting by Clyfford Still: This 1937 artwork was originally gifted as a housewarming present, and it turned out to be worth $500,000. Better yet, it was discovered that a museum in Denver was dedicated solely to Still’s work.
Washington State Magazine
16. Norman Rockwell’s The Little Model oil painting: It should be no surprise that the legendary painter’s 1919 work was valued at $500,000. What might be more surprising, though, is that the owner chose to keep it rather than sell it!
17. Fabergé flower: Considering how small it is, you might never know that this item is worth $1.27 million. In fact, jewelry expert Geoffry Munn said that it could reach at least $1.5 million in an auction.
18. Oil painting by Robert Henri: A 2010 episode of Antiques Roadshow in San Diego revealed this piece that was passed down in a woman’s family since 1907. The subject was actually the woman’s grandmother, and in 2016, it was valued between $500,000 and $700,000!
19. Boston baseball archive: Many people collect baseball cards, but few have anything like this, which dates back to the 1870s. The woman who owned the family heirlooms was offered $5,000 for it initially, but she refused; now they’re estimated to be worth $1 million! Nonetheless, she still refused to sell the collection, as she wants to keep it in her family.
Antiques Roadshow / YouTube
20. 18th-century Chinese rhinoceros horn cups: This set of cups were quite inexpensive when an Oklahoma man initially bought them in the 1970s, but when they were appraised on an episode of Antiques Roadshow in 2011, they were found to be worth $1 million to $1.5 million!
How about that? Despite how valuable all of these items were, they’re still so special that some of the owners couldn’t bear to lose them!
Share these fascinating Antiques Roadshow finds with your friends below!