Antiques Roadshow guest disappointed as Harry Potter replica could’ve sold for thousands

Antiques Roadshow: Expert inspects colours on opal necklace

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Hilary Kay examined a solid brass locomotive plate which had the same number as the famous Hogwarts Express train in the Harry Potter films. The Antiques Roadshow expert explained how, although the item was from the original Olton Hall locomotive, which ended up as the widely recognisable film train, the plate was worth “three or four times” less than a replica of it used in the films would have been.

“I’m looking at a piece of solid brass with a number on it,” she explained on the BBC show.

“And what it is, is the locomotive cabside number plate from a locomotive called Olton Hall, and I’m fascinated to know how you got it.”

The item owner explained: “The local vicar’s father-in-law used to drink with my grandfather in the local social club.

“He learned of my interest in railways and one winter’s evening, the doorbell rang and it was Mac at the door.

“He said ‘I’ve got something for you, boyo.’ And he had this in a sack and that was in 1963.”

“Now, the interesting thing is that the 5972 is a number that, if you are a Harry Potter fan, you will see on the locomotive called the Hogwarts Express, because that’s where the Olton Hall ended up,” Hilary pointed out.

“And it would be great to think that, because this is the number associated with Harry Potter, that it’s going to be a very valuable piece.”

“That would be nice,” the guest grinned as Hilary replied “It would be nice,” before delivering the bad news.

The author and lecturer eventually revealed: “I think I’m going to have to do a preamble here.

“Because with film memorabilia, the whole essence of the film memorabilia is the fact that it has appeared on screen.

“Now, the number has appeared on screen, but they are replicas,” she explained.

“Exactly, yeah,” the guest replied, still seeming hopeful about the value of his item.

“So in a way, you’d do much better financially if this was a replica,” admitted Hilary.

She went on: “It’s the one situation where actually, the original is not as valuable as the replica would be.

“Let’s just talk about values of cabside number plates generally, a Hall class number plate would be, let’s say £600 to £800.

“I would say that the connection to the Olton Hall locomotive will put this at perhaps £2,500 to £3,000.

“But I have to say, I mean devastatingly, if you’d brought the replica in which has had a film career, you’d be talking about probably, three or four times that.”

“Good lord,” remarked the plate owner, clearly disappointed by his bad luck. “It’s a strange, strange world.”

Hilary agreed: “It’s a very strange world” before thanking him for bringing the item in.

Antiques Roadshow continues on Sunday at 8pm on BBC One.

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