Just when you thought Antiques Roadshow couldn’t get anymore gripping, a super rare 300-year-old doll’s house comes along.
Valued at £200,000, the dolls and house were made in 1705 on the Isle of Dogs in London for a Miss Westbrook, and have been passed down the female family line ever since, The Mirror reports.
The show’s expert, Fergus Gambon, got an absolute antiques’ boner over the find, branding it ‘an object of national importance’ that he had ‘laid in bed at night, dreaming that one day I would see.’
When the dolls were brought to him at Tewkesbury Abbey, Fergus said:
You arrived here this morning clutching those dolls and mentioned that they lived in a house and I thought to myself ‘if those dolls are from a house as old as those dolls we’re talking about something quite, quite incredible’.
Presenter Fiona Bruce described the find as his Christmases coming all at once for Fergus, and a car and camera crew were sent straight to the owner’s home when he realised the doll’s house was there.
Fergus excitedly said:
Let’s get this into context. This house, the Westbrook baby house, there is no other like it – it is totally unique.
When I opened it I was looking at something which was unchanged, essentially, for 311 years. Made as a toy it could so easily have been spoiled but it’s been preserved in your family – that’s why it’s so moving.Advertisement
The son of actor Sir Michael Gambon, and head of British ceramics at Bonhams, Fergus went on to exclaim: “I’ve found the whole day today completely staggering and amazing. I have a passion for early doll’s houses, I never, ever thought I’d see such a wonderful one.”
Wish I hadn’t chucked out my old Barbie dolls now, I could have passed them down and given my great great great great great granddaughter a down payment on a massive yacht.
Also, Fergus = #EnthusiasmGoals and I think we can all agree that his passion for really old dolls is an inspiration to us all, or a bit creepy, I can’t decide…