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Antiques Roadshow Guest Shows Off 18th-Century Bronze Statue He Bought For £30

Jess Hardiman

| Last updated 

Antiques Roadshow Guest Shows Off 18th-Century Bronze Statue He Bought For £30

An Antiques Roadshow guest left expert Lee Young stunned when he presented an extremely valuable 18th-century statue - which he'd managed to buy for just £30 ($42).


Sunday's episode came from Kenilworth Castle near Coventry, where a guest had arrived to show expert Lee Young an unusual car boot sale purchase.

The man explained how he'd managed to pick up the Chinese bronze statue for just £30 around six months ago.

He said: "I've collected things for many years now and it was a recent buy about six months ago.

"It was a nice little find at a local car boot sale, I was just walking along the field and there it was on a stall - £30.

"I picked it up and carried on my journey."

Credit: BBC
Credit: BBC

Young asked the guest if he'd known what he'd bought when he found the statue, to which the man replied: "I first thought it was from the late Ming dynasty.

"But a friend corrected me and he believed it was 18th-century."

Young explained the statue is a figure of Amitayus, seated on a 'wonderful throne'.

"It's gilt bronze and it's Chinese, and it dates from the 18th Century," he said.

"In fact, it dates to the sort of Qianlong period between 1736 and 1795.

"The thought is that actually Qianlong had about 10,000 of this figure made to celebrate his 60th birthday, and in fact, the dowager empress, his mother's birthday as well.

Credit: BBC
Credit: BBC

"So there are quite a number of these. They're sort of a regular appearer in auction houses throughout the world."

Young continued to examine the quality of the item, drawing viewers' attention to the 'wonderful kind of serene expression' on the figure's face, along with its 'fabulous jewelled headdress and necklace'.

Carefully flipping it over, he added: "In terms of the colour and patination, that's what you want to see on the underside."

Young warned that there are a number of 'fakes coming onto the market', but said the guest's statue had 'enough honest wear and patination'.

He said: "The quality is good enough to satisfy me that this is one that was made in the 18th Century.

"I have no hesitation in saying that if that came up at auction today it would carry a presale estimate of between £4,000 to £6,000."

Credit: BBC
Credit: BBC

The statue's owner nodded and said to Young casually: "Yeah. Oh, that's really interesting. I think I'll find it hard to surpass that for some time."

Speaking to the camera after the valuation, the man said he'd always enjoyed going to car boot sales since he was a little boy.

Sharing his top tips, he said: "Knowledge is key, getting up early and getting out there.

"And another tip I give people is have a good breakfast before you get out, because there's nothing worse than walking round on an empty stomach."

Watch the full episode on BBC iPlayer here.

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: Entertainment, TV and Film

Jess Hardiman
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