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Antiques Roadshow seller bursts into tears as she's told valuation of item after finding mosquito inside

Antiques Roadshow seller bursts into tears as she's told valuation of item after finding mosquito inside

She couldn't believe its final valuation after she removed the insect from behind the glass

A woman burst into tears after being told the estimated valuation of an item after she found a mosquito inside it.

On an episode of the American version of Antiques Roadshow that aired on PBS in 2018, a woman took a painting that has been in her family for generations, with her great-grandfather giving it to her grandmother in the 1940s.

She explained the history behind the painting, and revealed that it had been appraised twice, once in 1998 as a print at $200 (£157), and another time in 2004 at $250 (£196).

The seller also said that when her grandmother gave to to her, she spotted a mosquito below the glass and took it outside to remove the mosquito, but put the glass back on shortly after, as the painting looked real.

The clip went viral on YouTube, garnering over 6.2 million views in the years since.

The woman with the painting is speaking to none other than Meredith Hilferty, the Director of Fine Art Auctions at Rago, and a paintings and drawings Appraiser for Antiques Roadshow.

Hilferty asked the woman if she knew anything about the artist, with the painting depicting Native Americans making their way on horseback through the American mountains.

The painting depicted Native Americans making their way on horseback through the American mountains.(PBS)
The painting depicted Native Americans making their way on horseback through the American mountains.(PBS)

She said that she knew that he was born in France and had associations with a certain tribe, with a mark on his signature marking that he valued his association with them.

The professional clarified that his name was Henry Francois Farny, and that he moved to Pennsylvania from France at six-years-old, and he formed a relationship with a specific tribe, taking an interest in all Native Americans.

Focusing on the landscape instead of violence around the groups at the time, the piece was truly unique, with Hilferty revealing the value that the painting would sit around, in an auction today.

She stated: "If we were going to put this in an auction today, I would suggest an estimate of $200,000 to $300,000."

The appraiser said it was good that she took the mosquito out. (PBS)
The appraiser said it was good that she took the mosquito out. (PBS)

The seller burst into tears, speechless, before joking: "So I can't hang it up."

After saying that she didn't know what to say and shedding a few tears, she asked Hilferty if she should have left the mosquito in the back.

Hilferty explained: "It's actually not a bad idea that you took the bug out, ultimately we would like for our conservator to do that, but the bug could have continued to decay and caused a stain."

Now known as the 1892 H. F. Farny Watercolor & Gouache Painting, several viewers in the comments praised Hilferty for being straight forward with the seller, and letting her have her moment to process the price, with one labelling it as one of the most 'charming' appraisals in the show's history.

Featured Image Credit: PBS / Getty Stock Photo

Topics: Antiques Roadshow, Art, Viral, YouTube, TV

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