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Antiques Roadshow seller bursts into tears as he's told he's rich after finding random item 'on back of chair'

Antiques Roadshow seller bursts into tears as he's told he's rich after finding random item 'on back of chair'

He couldn't believe the value of an old blanket he brought in that used to sit on the back of his chair

A man was left in tears after being told the value of a 'random item' that he found on the back of one of his chairs.

In a 2001 episode of PBS favourite Antiques Roadshow, a man named Ted took a blanket that he has had in his family for generations to the experts for appraisal.

He detailed that he only knew that it was given to the foster father of his grandmother by Kit Carson, a famous American frontiersman, fur trapper, wilderness guide and Indian agent from the 19th century.

The mid-19th Century Navajo Ute First Phase Blanket clearly had a lot of history behind it, if Ted was to be believed, as the TV show's appraiser, Donald Ellis, explained the significance of the item that the guest found 'on the back' of his chair.

Saying that he 'stopped breathing a little bit' when he saw the Navajo blanket for the first time, the appraiser further explained: "It's not just a chief's blanket, it's the first type of chief's blanket made. These were made in about 1840 to 1860, and it's called a Ute, first phase.

"A Ute, first phase, wearing blanket. But it's Navajo-made, they were made for Ute chiefs, and they were very, very valuable at the time. This is sort of, this is Navajo weaving in its purest form."

Saying it's made from hand-woven wool, he comments on how smooth it is, comparing it to silk.

Ted had no idea how much the blanket cost. (PBS)
Ted had no idea how much the blanket cost. (PBS)

Ellis then asks Ted if he is a rich man, to which he simply replies: "No."

He then dropped the bomb on the guest, revealing: "Well, sir, um... I'm still a little nervous here, I have to tell you. On a really bad day, this textile would be worth $350,000 (£276,000). On a good day, it's about a half a million dollars (£394,500)."

In utter disbelief, Ted's jaw drops, with Ellis calling the find a 'national treasure', as the former explained: "I had no idea. It was laying on the back of a chair."

He began to shed some tears, as the appraiser said that he 'just about died' when Ted brought it in.

In today's money, the find would be worth a cool $1,500,000 (£1,180,000) to $2,000,000 (£1,578,000) once adjusted for inflation.

Clearly emotional, Ellis gave the guest some time to process the news he had just been told before going into more detail about the blanket, and how it could even be worth more.

He couldn't believe that it was worth half a million dollars. (PBS)
He couldn't believe that it was worth half a million dollars. (PBS)

Ellis further explained that the value was not considering the Kit Carson provenance, as this is sometimes difficult to work out.

"If we could do research on this and we could prove with a, without a reasonable doubt that Kit Carson did actually own this, um, the value would increase again - maybe 20 percent," he revealed.

Ted emotionally responded: "Wow. I can't believe it. My grandmother (and grandfather), you know, were poor farmers. She had, her foster father had started some gold mills and, you know, discovered gold and everything, but there was no wealth. No wealth in the family at all. Whoa... I can't believe..."

It honestly might be worth asking your family members about old things in your house.

Featured Image Credit: PBS

Topics: History, TV, Antiques Roadshow