Antiques Roadshow guest astounded by value of grotesque pelican statue

Antiques Roadshow: Pelican valued at £1200

The Antiques Roadshow team visited Swanage Pier and Seafront in Dorset on the BBC programme this week.

During the episode, expert Serhat Ahmet examined a rather unusual item that was brought in by a guest.

The guest explained that he had inherited the item from his grandfather, who as a “young accountant, went to see one of his clients, a doctor called Alfie Hammond”.

It was there that he noticed the pelican statue in the waiting room, and asked if he could have the statue when his client died, which he agreed to.

Serhat admitted that “these are rare, they don’t just turn up every day. The colour of it, this terracotta colour is just wonderful”.

READ MORE Antiques Roadshow guest left in disbelief over sculpture’s staggering valuation

He went on to explain that the piece had originated from a Doulton Lambeth factory.

The expert explained: “So, Doulton, a wonderfully famous factory started in the 19th century, originally making pipes and toilets and things like that. But in the late 19th century, they turned to making art pottery, things that were simply made to please the eye and this particular piece is an architectural piece.”

Even though he revealed that the item could potentially be “described as a garden ornament,” the “characterful” item was “a sculptural beauty”.

Serhat went on to describe the style of the unique item. “For me, I just see it very much as a gargoyle type of object, it’s got that real grotesque look about it,” the expert remarked.

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“So if we think about the 1890s, it was all about the grotesque, the kind of revival of the Gothic and the Martin Brothers who were in Southall were making these wonderfully characterful items, birds with heads that came off and spoon warmers that looked like monsters from the sea.”

When asked if the owner had any idea of its value, he replied: “Well, I’d give you £100.”

So, it’s safe to say that the owner was somewhat stunned to discover that it could fetch a price twelve times that amount.

“I would not be surprised if this went way above the £1,200 bracket,” Serhat concluded.

Elsewhere in the episode, Raj Bisram admired an American baseball bat and mitt dating to the Second World War, while John Benjamin appraised personal photographs and jewellery belonging to the exiled dowager empress Maria Feodorovna, mother of the last Tsar of Russia.

Expert Geoffrey Munn is also thrilled to see the original designs for the coronet for King Charles, created for his Investiture as Prince of Wales in 1969 by master goldsmith Louis Osmond.

He also discovered the very surprising role that a ping pong ball played as its crowning glory.

Antiques Roadshow airs Sundays from 8pm on BBC One.

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