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Antiques Roadshow guest baffled by valuation of portrait with hidden

Antiques Roadshow: Guests stunned by valuation of bronze column

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During an episode of BBC One’s Antiques Roadshow, viewers were taken to Wollaton Hall in Nottingham. One man brought along a frame that he bought at an auction fair curious as to how much the item could be worth. Although after expert Rupert Maas shared the importance of the painting, the guest was left speechless.

Showing viewers the gold frame with a painting of a young woman inside, Antiques Roadshow’s Rupert questioned the guest on what prompted him to purchase it.

Confessing he had been inspired by watching the BBC show, the guest explained he and his wife wanted to collect something but was unsure as to what.

Stating he went to an antique fair with his wife, he told Rupert the miniature portrait struck them both because it was a real person from a long time ago who had a story behind them.

The expert then highlighted there was an inscription that was found on the photo that seemed to be tucked away behind the frame.

Describing it like invisible ink, the guest read out the inscription which said: “Presented to Miss MJ Jewsbury by her friend, the artist, who I believe is Mr Cochran.”

Sharing more information on the women in the painting, viewers learned MJ Jewsbury was a published author and poet who was quite well-known during her lifetime in the 19th century around the 1820s.

Sadly, it’s believed the writer died in India of Cholera at the young age of 32.

Touching on the price, the guest shared although it was originally priced at £160, he and his wife managed to get it down to £140.

Revealing how much it would go for sale in an auction now, Rupert said: “I think with a new interest in women authors of this period, I think it must be worth £6,000, £7,000 or £8,000.”

Quick to comment that the price was excellent, it took a second for the guest to realise what Rupert had actually said.

He asked: “Eight thousand pounds?! I thought you were going to say £100.”

Rupert replied: “I know, but for goodness sake, she’s such an important figure.”

Stunned by the high value of his auction find, the guest thanked the expert before explaining to the cameras how incredible the painting is.

He said:”It just adds to the detective story behind it. I mean my wife spotted that fantastic almost secret writing on the picture and that led into this wonderful story.”

During his discussion with Rupert, viewers learned that MJ Jewsbury was a close friend and associate of William Wordsworth.

Turning the painting over, there was a quotation by the infamous poet along with what seemed to be his signature.

With the guest wanting to know if the note on the back was written by Wordsworth himself, Ruper explained that sadly, he didn’t think that was the case.

He revealed this was down to the fact he would sign his work off in his full name, not just his last.

Rupert also showed the guest that the poem had double inverted commas at the start which he pointed out most people wouldn’t do with their own work.

He told the guest although it seemed the poem related to MJ Jewsbury, it had been written by a third party.

Antiques Roadshow is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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