ANTIQUES ROADSHOW viewers called for owners to bin a “creepy” doll, but the owners had the last laugh after they were told it was worth thousands of pounds.
On last night’s episode of Antiques Roadshow two sisters showcased a family heirloom — a royal effigy doll — which they hoped would be worth a couple hundred pounds, but they soon discovered this antique from 1715 was worth upward of £10,000.
The two sisters appeared on Sunday night’s episode of the BBC antiques show where they met with expert Bunny Campione, who was intrigued by the doll.
One sister, who was the official owner of the doll, explained that it had been in their family for over fifty years. Their mother had bought it from an auction house in the early 70s, and they’d both “grown up with it.”
She said: “I’ve always loved him, I think he’s beautiful and I think, if you look at him, I think he’s smiling.”
“Serene,” Bunny agreed.
“And I also love him because he’s so old,” the owner added.
“I must admit that this is the most interesting and unusual doll that I’ve seen in my 36 years of the roadshow,” Bunny said while admiring the doll figurine.
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“But it’s not a doll, I think its body shows that he’s not a doll,” she said before lifting the dress to show off the body of the item.
Bunny explained that the hessian material underneath the long skirt meant that the doll was actually an “effigies’ body.”
This confirmed that the doll was as old — if not older — than the owner expected.
However, while Bunny was impressed by the effigy doll, viewers at home branded it “creepy” and “haunted.”
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“Absolute f***ing horror of a doll on #antiquesroadshow right now,” one viewer commented.
Another said: “That doll looks evil #antiquesroadshow.”
“Creepy doll/funeral effigy. Bin it. #antiquesroadshow,” urged a third.
While a fourth added: “Haunted doll klaxon!… #antiquesroadshow.”
However, the sisters had the last laugh when they discovered how much the doll was worth.
Bunny explained that the doll’s age and origin made it an extremely rare and valuable find.
If it can be proved to be authentic, then the effigy would be worth £10,000 or £20,000.
“I believe it’s a funeral effigy of a three-year-old son that died of the Duke of Buckingham,” the antiques expert explained.
She added: “He was the first Marquess of Normanby and he died in 1715.
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“So, in those days, the monarchy and aristocracy would make wooden and wax effigies to put on the funeral cask going to the funeral.”
Bunny also noted that in those days people believed they could be in touch with their ancestors through the effigies and they would dress them in elaborate clothing, just as the Duke of Buckingham did for his son.
Antiques Roadshow airs Sundays on BBC One at 8pm.
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