Tibetan treasures found on ‘Flog It’ bring £140,000 at auction
Experts on the popular daytime program valued a silver teapot at £120, during the recording of the show at Longleat House. It was part of a collection of items, including rare photographs, dating back to a Tibetan expedition - all believed to have little real value.
However, once the teapot was consigned for sale at Henry Aldridge & Sons in Devices, Wiltshire, experts from the auction house realised they’d discovered something special.
“The customer decided to auction the teapot with us after going to Flog It,” auctioneer Andrew Aldridge told the Daily Mail. “It was a very interesting piece and when we asked him more questions about the provenance he explained he had a few more items at home.”
Those items included four bronze deity statues depicting Buddha, each brought back from the infamous British expedition of 1803-4 led by Colonel Francis Younghusband – in reality a minor invasion of British forces which saw thousands of Tibetans massacred by British forces.
“Anything to do with the Younghusband expedition to Tibet is incredibly collectable and the level of quality and craftsmanship and casting in diety figurine was sublime,” said Aldridge. “The Flog It team filmed the auction and I think captured the owner in a surprised but delighted state afterwards.”
Delighted is certainly the word. The teapot and four statues sold for a remarkable combined total of £140,000, with two statues valued at £1000 and £3000 respectively selling for £45,000 and £75,000.
The teapot itself, priced at £120 by the BBC experts, brought a price of £2,250.
“The Flog It team are delighted to have helped someone realise such a great result,” commented a spokesperson for the BBC.
The sale was the biggest in the show’s history, and proves that there really are treasures hidden away in the attic, just waiting to be discovered.
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