At Engravers Guild of London we cannot help but love that most quaint of British institutions… the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow.
Launched 40 years ago it is still going strong, with the format continuing to be simple yet addictive.
Whether old or young, a hipster or a suit, a northerner or southerner, once you’ve seen the item to be valued, you are powerless to change the channel.
We all wait for that killer item which exceeds all expectations, and the look on the owner’s face when they realise they’ve been sitting on a Rembrandt or some such.
Most of the programme may be about valuing £10 porcelain sets and £15 dolls, but it makes the viewing no less compulsive in waiting for a long lost Crown Jewel.
And after years of waiting, hoping, expecting… the time finally came.
This weekend saw the Big Kahuna come out to play.
In the world of antiques we would profess to be no experts whatsoever, but even our ears prick to the mention of the most famous of famous artisans… Faberge.
So we knew we were in for something big. And we were not wrong.
Brought in this week for a valuation was a fine ornament in the form of a pear blossom flower, engraved with the inscription “QOWH South Africa 1900”.
It was a piece commissioned for the Queen’s Own Worcestershire Hussars in 1904 by the Countess of Dudley, wife to the second in command of the regiment.
The regiment was made up of volunteers and Lady Dudley gave each one a pear blossom when they were fighting in the Boer War to remind them of their home county, where the pear blossom is their emblem.
The ornament has stayed with the regiment ever since. And today, it is valued at over… £1 million.
The regiment, though, says they will not sell it. It is a part of their history, their story, and to them it is priceless.
…such is the value of personalised cufflinks, engraved hip flasks and other personalised gifts. May the regiment go on enjoying the piece for many more years to come.