OAP finds out that dusty brooch she wanted to sell for £10 was actually worth £10,000
Last updated at 8:24 AM on 14th June 2011
When Jill Cousins decided to sell her dusty old brooch she didn't expect to get more than £10 at a market stall.
But she was thanking her luck stars she forgot to take it, after an expert identified it as a highly rare piece by a feted 19th century architect.
Now the shocked pensioner is expecting a £10,000 windfall from the sale of the pin - a one-off which collectors were not even sure existed.
Worth a pretty penny: Jill Cousins was all set to sell her brooch, above, for £10 - before it was valued at an incredible thousand times that amount
Mrs Cousins, 67, was watching Antiques Roadshow when jewellery expert Geoffrey Munn produced sketches of his 'most wanted' rare jewels.
She immediately recognised the highly sought-after brooch, which had been gathering dust at the bottom of her jewellery box for 40 years.
After she showed the decorative pin to Mr Munn, he revealed it was one of the most 'important art historical objects' the television show has ever seen.
But just days earlier Jill had planned to sell the silver brooch, set with a heart-shaped cabochon garnet and four turquoises, for £10 at market.
The one inch-wide 1860s design by famed Victorian architect and designer William Burges is now going under the hammer for £10,000.
Mrs Cousins said: 'I rushed upstairs and compared it to the one on the television. It is such a distinctive design.
'It was a tremendous surprise to be told the potential value. I had decided to sell it for £10 to a stall in Market Harborough.
'But I forgot to take it on the Friday, and it was two days later I saw the design on television.
'My mother did not like it either and it spent 20 years in the bottom of her jewellery box until she gave it to me.
'Now I know more about it, I think it is wonderful. On close examination you can see the high level of craftsmanship.'
Although it had been in her family for 40 years Jill, of Harborough, Leics., had never worn the brooch.
Burges created a series of water colour sketches of six silver brooches he planned to make in the 1860s but there was no evidence they ever existed.
It was believed Burges designed it to be a bridesmaid's brooch or wedding gift for the marriage of architect John Pollard Seddon and his wife Margaret.
Mrs Cousins was given the brooch by her mum who inherited it from an elderly lady who taught three generations of the owners' family.
She contacted Gildings Auctioneers after seeing the sketches on Antiques Roadshow in April and appeared herself on the television show several weeks later.
Revelation: It wasn't until Mrs Cousins saw watched the Antiques Roadshow, presented by Fiona Bruce, above, that she realised the true value of her brooch
Mr Munn said: 'It was the most fantastically exciting discovery. Usually, it is my job to surprise people who come to see us, but this time the tables were turned on me.
'The brooch is incredibly rare because Burges is arguably the most singular and gifted architect and designer of the 19th century and he did not make much jewellery.
'It is without doubt one of the most important art historical objects I have seen on the show.'
It will be auctioned at Gildings Auctioneers, in Harborough, Leics., on August 2.
Auctioneer Mark Gilding said: 'There is no evidence any of these were ever made which makes it an extremely rare object.
'I'm honoured to see such a rare and interesting piece. These kind of things don't turn up very often.'
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This was on tv a couple of weeks ago , wasn't it ?! - Granny S, Glos., 13/6/2011 22:26>>>>>>>>>Oh, well spotted!!
- JAN GEE, LEICESTER, 14/6/2011 12:47
Ugly brooch. No wonder she was going to sell it. - UKexile06 (ex pat, Devon UK), West Coast of Canada , 14/6/2011 08:25>>>>No it isn't. It's worth looking more closely at the workmanship. It may not look like something modern but you have to consider it was very fashionable at the time. If you've got something stashed away just because you don't like it I hope it's NOT worth a fortune because you wouldn't appreciate it!!!!!
- JAN GEE, LEICESTER, 14/6/2011 12:29
It was a joy too see the experts face an absolute joy I hope the owners of the other three brooches come forward - I was as pleased with the experts response as I was the owners - the only thing I feel is sad is when someone HATES something but when money is mentioned they change there mind.
- chitchat, England, 14/6/2011 08:55
Ugly brooch. No wonder she was going to sell it.
- UKexile06 (ex pat, Devon UK), West Coast of Canada , 14/6/2011 08:25
Lovely piece of jewellery, I hope it makes more than £10,000 for her so she doesn't have to go cold or hungry in winter like a lot of others her age.
- Angela, I think I still live in England, 14/6/2011 07:25
I saw the expert's appeal on AR for any info on these designs and was lucky enough to see the follow up when the lady who owned the brooch came forward. Good luck to her, she seemed really nice and the expert was stunned and delighted to see the design made real. I wonder if he will bid for it? It is good of the BBC to follow up previous finds and let us know what the owners did next, as well as appeal for missing items to be brought along.
- Scots Lass, Edinburgh, 13/6/2011 22:51
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