The Napoleon plinth had been sitting in the family home for 120 years (Picture: BBC)
Two Antiques Roadshow hopefuls were left stunned on Sunday night when it was revealed that a plinth that had been sitting in their home for 120 years was worth up to £30,000.
The two sisters brought the massive bronze statue of Napoleon to be valued at Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich, after the antique had been sitting in their family’s home for more than a century.
Admitting they liked it, but mainly ignored it, the duo said it only came in useful during Christmas time, where they would cover it in fairy lights.
However, they were in for a shock when expert John Foster revealed to them that it actually held some historical importance – and that their family could have been tied to the original statue of the military leader, of which the column is based.
The original bronze column was actually made out of captured canon, and was pulled down after Napoleon fell out of favour following the Napoleonic wars, causing the statues to try and be pulled down.
‘Purely on size and scale, I don’t think this is something you would buy on your grand tour, or your trip to that area,’ the sisters were told. ‘This is, for me, more important than that.’
John Foster revealed the piece had some historical importance (Picture: BBC)
The sisters used to cover it in fairy lights at Christmas (Picture: BBC)
‘It’s someone who’s been involved in the restoration of the column. I think this is presentation piece to someone of note, someone who was involved in some way, and that’s something that makes it more special.’
‘It’s a real statement piece, and it is a tricky one to value,’ the antiques expert said. ‘But I would say, easily at auction, comfortably, £20,000 to £30,000.’
‘I was pretty impressed, he’s just been sat in the corner of the dining room for the past 120 years,’ one sister declared – before admitting she wasn’t ready to part with it just yet.
‘He really is a family heirloom, and as such, I think we need to look after him.’
So maybe a few less fairy lights this Christmas.
Antiques Roadshow airs Sundays at 7pm on BBC One.