Search icon


07th Sep 2022

Heartbreak as Antiques Roadshow guest told £250,000 statue is worth only £150

Charlie Herbert

Heartbreak as Antiques Roadshow guest told £250,000 statue is worth only £150

They could still make a profit though

An Antiques Roadshow guest was left deflated after being told that a statue that could have been worth a quarter of a million pounds actually had a value of just £150.

Sunday evening’s edition of the show came from the grounds of Wollaton Hall in Nottingham, and saw ‘treasures’ presented such as a fire extinguisher cocktail shaker, a toy monkey popping out of a musical pineapple, and a pair of knickers belonging to Queen Victoria.

One person brought in a figure from the Kota tribe from Gabon, and antique expert Ronnie Archer-Morgan was on hand to give his expert advice on the piece.

Initially enthused by the statue, he said: “When you unwrapped this, my heart really skipped a beat because it’s one of my favourite tribal African figures.”

The member of the public revealed they had purchased the figure ten years ago at an Antiques Roadshow event in Cambridge, for the grand sum of £1.50.

Heartbreak as Antiques Roadshow guest told £250,000 statue is worth only £150

Ronnie joked “You really took a risk, didn’t you,” with the guest replying: “Well, I was intrigued by the fact that it looked as if somebody had put a lot of work into making it.”

The expert then explained how the figure appeared to be from the Kota tribe from Gabon.

He said: “This is a Kota reliquary guardian figure and they put these on the bones of their ancestors to protect them and they polished this metal.

“And in the 19th century, they were brass and copper, this is just copper, the brass and copper were like gold to them. They’re so highly revered in the art world that they have one of these in the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

“They’re such iconic examples of African tribal art. They hammer the metal over the wood sculpture and then they chase the metal with these designs.

“And it’s the geometric form of them that makes them so desirable, and they influenced the greatest modern artists of all time because at the beginning of modernism, they are very, very sought-after.”

He then revealed that a few years ago, one of the statues sold for £250,000 at auction.

But the owner’s bubble was quickly burst when Ronnie broke the news to him that his statue was in fact just a “very fine copy.”

The expert could tell because it was “slightly the wrong size,” and said it was “probably made in about 1980.”

But it wasn’t all bad news for the member of the public, as the statue was still valued at £150, 100 times more than they paid for it.

So, a nice bit of spending money if they did decide to sell the figure. But sadly not the life-changing amount they may have briefly been dreaming of.

Related links: