Heartbreak as Antiques Roadshow rare Fabergé box halved after discovery

Jewelry historian John calmly spoke to the public about valuing the ‘rather ordinary’ box, before enthusiastically revealing that it was in fact a Fabergé cigarette case and worth thousands of books.

Video loading

Video unavailable

Antiques Roadshow: an expert examines a Fabergé box

An Antiques Roadshow expert has been ‘heartbroken’ after making a shocking discovery while inspecting a rare box of Fabergé cigarettes.

Fans of the BBC show watched with anticipation as expert John Benjamin examines the rare case at Forty Hall in Enfield, north London.

The show returned to screens on Sunday evening, with viewers delighted to be taken on an emotional rollercoaster once again as members of the public show off their family treasures.

The case was filed by a mother-son duo. It was the latter who explained that it had belonged to his grandmother Olga.

She had died in 1993 and passed down to them as a family heirloom.






Fans of the BBC show watched eagerly as expert John Benjamin examines the rare case

He said: “It belonged to my nan Olga, she died in 1993, and it was passed down to my mother and father.”

They went on to explain how someone knocked on their door and offered to buy the case for £1,000 many years ago.

Following this, they took it for appraisal, only to be told it was “possibly Russian” but had no real value.

Luckily, they decided to hang only the heirloom and brought their treasured item to the Antiques Roadshow.

Jewelry historian John calmly spoke to the public about valuing the ‘rather ordinary’ box, before enthusiastically revealing that it was in fact a Fabergé cigarette case and worth thousands of books.






The box was a rare Fabergé creation

Maison Fabergé was a jewelry company founded in 1842 in Saint Petersburg, Russia, by Gustav Fabergé.

The jewelers were famous for designing elaborately jeweled Fabergé eggs for the Russian tsars, and for their high quality and intricately detailed designs.

John told the owners of the cigarette box: “Well, we’re dealing with a rather simple and rather severe rectangular cigarette box.

“But it has a lot of extra hidden features.”

Pointing out a special mark and a P56 stamp signifying it was 14-karat Russian gold, John explained that the box was actually a real Carl Fabergé.






John assessed the damage before appraising the box

He added: “It’s a Fabergé cigarette box, and that’s why someone was so excited about it.”

The expert linked the name of guest Olga’s nan to Russia and noted that what guests thought were clear glass panels on the sides of the box, were actually “solid natural rock crystal “.

The jewelry historian also pointed to a panel of leaves around the outside of the box and revealed that the red dot in the design was a “natural ruby”.

“It’s certainly not a modest piece,” John remarked.

But then John dealt a devastating blow to the guests by reporting damage to the corner of the box, meaning the value plummeted.






Guests initially seemed disgusted by the revelation that the damage would cause the value to plummet, but quickly recovered when they realized it was still worth a very good amount of money.

“A problem with its exquisite box, and I’m going to show it to you because it really breaks my heart,” John explained and drew attention to a small “rock crystal fracture” in the corner of the case.

John revealed: “If it was in perfect condition I think it’s worth £8,000-10,000.”

“Let me be a bit cautious now and say £5,000-8,000 with the damage he has suffered.”

Guests initially seemed disgusted by the revelation that the damage would cause the value to plummet, but quickly recovered when they realized it was still worth a very good amount of money.

Antiques Roadshow airs Sundays at 7 p.m. on BBC One.

Read more

Read more

About Oscar L. Smith

Check Also

Antiques Roadshow guest is devastated after learning truth about film score picked up for five cents by ‘sheer luck’

The AN ANTIQUES Roadshow guest was surprised after learning the truth about film music picked …