Antiques Roadshow guests shocked by value of robe kept in children’s dressing-up box
| Last updated
A couple who appeared on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow with a robe from a children's dressing-up box were responsible for a collective gasp from onlookers when they found out how much it was worth.
Have you got an old Halloween costume gathering dust in the back of a cupboard, or maybe some vintage hand-me-down clothes that you've never quite thought was your style? Well, maybe it's time to give it another look.
Some of the finds on Antiques Roadshow prove that you never really know how much the items in your house might be worth, and guest Sarah learned she'd been sitting on a fortune when she took the impressive golden robe from her dressing-up box on the show to be evaluated by expert Lee Young.
Joined by her husband, Sarah presented Young with the detailed Chinese imperial robe as her husband explained that her grandfather, who was general manager of the Standard Bank in India, brought the robe to the UK 'probably in the early 1930s'.
Sarah said she'd kept the robe in a dressing-up box to wear when she was a child, with no idea about just how expensive her fancy outfit really was.
Inspecting the robe, Lee dated it from the 1750s, adding: "It definitely would be imperial. It's a ladies' robe and a robe of 1750 is very rare robe indeed.
"There are few survivors and the only other ones I know of this type you'd have to go to Beijing and the Palace Museum to see one of these. It really is a museum item."
The expert explained that the golden-yellow colour of the robe indicated it had been made for an empress or a first-ranking concubine, and that the five-clawed dragon embroidered on the front of the gown was imperial.
He noted that the dragon featured two different colours, but told the guests that wasn't intentional.
"There is a little problem and that is if you look at the dragon, it wasn't intended to be two-tone. I expect when they have mixed the gild on the copper wire the copper has actually oxidised and that is ultimately going to affect the value," Young said.
The guests might have been expecting a big knock to any price as a result of this issue, but it's safe to say they were still blown away by the figure they were given.
Young continued: "If that came up at auction with the way the market is at the moment, I think that would make £200,000."
The shock was immediately clear on both of the guests' faces, while onlookers around them gasped in unison.
"'Oh! That's surprising. My goodness me, thank you very much," the owner said, adding: "Well we won't put it in the dressing up box again!"
I should hope not!