Since 1997, fans have loved tuning into Antiques Roadshow, an antique appraisal show where people find knickknacks in their garage or attic and bring them in to find out what they’re worth. Sometimes, they’re worth a whole lot of money. From a $500,000 oil painting to a $2 million pocket watch, let’s learn about some of the most expensive items to come through the show.
Fabergé Japonica Flower In Vase: $1.27 Million
There might be nothing so thrilling as learning a piece of “junk” that’s been stashed under a bed is worth a little over $1 million! Well, that’s exactly what happened to a lucky Englishman and his Fabergé Japonica Flower In Vase.
Made of lapis, rock crystals, gold, and pearls, the flower only stands four inches tall and sits in a crystal vase. The item is very rare, as Fabergé creations were commissioned by royalty. The flower in its vase was valued at $1.27 million.
Patek Philippe Pocket Watch: $2 Million – $3 Million
Founded in 1839, Patek Philippe made luxury watches and clocks for the likes of Princess Diana, Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, and more. With that high-profile client list, it only makes sense that an original would be worth a nice chunk of change.
Well, in 2016, one guest brought a near-perfect condition Patek Philippe pocket watch to the Antiques Roadshow in St. Paul, Minnesota. After the appraisal, the watch was valued between $2 million and $3 million.
1904 Diego Rivera “El Albañil” Oil Painting: $1 Million
In 2012, a rather unique piece of art came through the Antiques Roadshow in Corpus Christi, Texas. According to the guest, the painting had been in the family for over 80 years, with his great-grandparents purchasing the piece around 1930 in Mexico.
Well, the painting happened to be a Diego Rivera original. According to the appraiser, “The painting itself is by a very important artist…and it’s a very beautiful and important painting. I would be putting a retail estimate on the piece of between $800,000 and $1 million.”
Joseph Kleitsch Oil Painting: $500,000
Big-ticket items are the name of the game on Antiques Roadshow. And in 2014, a rare painting became one of those items. That year, a woman from New York was given welcome news when an oil painting in her home was appraised at $500,000!
The painting in question was a Joseph Kleitsch original, circa 1925. Art critic Arthur Miller of the New York Times once said that Kleitsch “was a born colorist; he seemed to play on canvas with the abandon of a violinist.”
Gold-plated Leica Luxus II Camera: $780,000 – $1,252,000
The Leica Luxus II was introduced in 1932. Only to of the original four models is thought to be left in the world. And that model, a gold-plated Leica Luxus II camera, found its way to Antiques Roadshow.
Plated in gold and swathed in a lizard-skin casing, the camera was appraised for a solid price between $780,000 – $1,252,000. But when the camera found itself at an auction in Hong Kong, it sold for over $4 million.
Banksy’s “Mobile Lovers”: $526,000
One of the coolest things about Banksy, aside from his art, is the fact that no one really knows who he is. So, when his “Mobile Lovers” piece made it to Antiques Roadshow, it was bound to go for some big money.
Originally, the painting was located on a door in Bristol, England. And the Boys’ Club, located across the street, was able to sell it at auction for a whopping $526,000.
18th Century Qianlong Jade Collection: $710,000 – $1,007,000
One of the more unique items to go through the Antiques Roadshow was an 18th Century Qianlong Jade Collection from the Qing Dynasty. The collection began when the owner’s father was stationed in China during the Second World War.
There, he began collecting jade dating back to the Qing Dynasty, between 1735-1796. Amazingly, he had bowls stamped with an imperial order mark, meaning they were made for the emperor. The collection was appraised and valued between $710,000 – $1,007,000.
Barbara Hepworth Sculpture: $981,000
In 2012, a school librarian from Cornwall, England, brought a unique piece to Antiques Roadshow, a bronze sculpture. Unfortunately, she and none of the other teachers were aware of the statue’s history, as it’d been used as nothing more than a paperweight.
She was quite alarmed to learn that the statue was, in fact, a Barbara Hepworth sculpture worth $981,000! The piece has been elevated from being a paperweight and now resides in a museum.
Boston Red Stockings Sports Memorabilia: $1 Million
The great-great-granddaughter of the boarding home where the Boston Red Stockings stayed made her way to Antiques Roadshow in 2014. In 1871, when the team stayed at the boarding home, her great-great-grandmother was given sports memorabilia, such as baseball cards handed down in the family.
Little did she know that those cards would be worth a whole lot of money one day. Going through an appraisal, she learned that the Boston Red Stockings cards were worth a solid $1 million.
Football Association Cup: $1.3 Million
The FA Cup is an annual knockout football (soccer) competition, and the winning team wins bragging rights and an iconic silver trophy. Due to the wear and tear of rowdy football players, the original 1911 trophy retired from years of being passed around teams in 1992.
At first, the trophy was donated to the National Football Museum. But it made its way to Antiques Roadshow in 2016 and was valued at a whopping $1.3 million.
Chinese Rhinoceros Horned Cups: $1 Million – $1.5 Million
Once upon a time, a man from Tulsa, Oklahoma, purchased a set of Chinese Rhinoceros Horned Cups for $5,000. But having been carved in the 1700s from actual rhinoceros horns, they’re actually worth a whole lot more.
The set of five drinking cups were appraised at the Antiques Roadshow for a solid price of between $1 million and $1.5 million. That’s a lot more than the original price this man purchased them for!
1896 Frederic Remington Portrait: $600,000 -$800,000
In 2014, a man from Alabama decided to try his luck at Antiques Roadshow, bringing with him a painting of his great-grandfather, Lea Febiger. While his great-grandfather wasn’t necessarily famous, the artist who painted his portrait was!
The painting was an authentic 1896 Frederic Remington portrait, complete with a letter signed by the artist to Mr. Febiger! It was appraised to be worth between $600,000-$800,000. Unfortunately, there’s been no word on what became of the painting after the show.
Antony Gormley’s “Angel of the North”: $1.56 Million
In 2008, a magnificent sculpture made its way to Antiques Roadshow in the UK. The sculpture soot six feet high and spanned 17-feet across. The sculpture was none other than Antony Gormley’s “Angel of the North.”
During the show, the statue was appraised at around $1.56 million. But that was nothing for what it actually sold for at auction. During an auction in the United Kingdom, the Gormley statue sold for $2,946,300.
Original Honus Wagner Baseball Card: $780,000 – $1,300,000
Printed between 1909 and 1911, an original Honus Wagner baseball card is thought to be among one of the rarest cards on the market. Unfortunately, the owner of the card didn’t make it on Antiques Roadshow, but he tried his hardest!
After reluctantly letting on that he knew of the card’s worth, the owner’s episode didn’t make it to air. But that doesn’t stop the fact that the card was appraised between $780,000 – $1,300,000!
Navajo Ute First Phase Blanket: $750,000 – $1,000,000
Ute blankets mark the beginning of Navajo wool weaving. And the item seen here is one such blanket, being made in 1980 as a gift from frontiersman Kit Carson to his grandmother.
The rare historical piece was appraised at the show and valued between $750,000 – $1,000,000. It wound up selling at John Moran Auctioneers for much more. At the auction, the Navajo Ute First Phase Blanket sold for $1.8 million.
1907 Robert Henri Painting: $500,000 – $700,000
During one episode of Antiques Roadshow, a guest came on with an oil painting of her grandmother, saying that it was commissioned by Robert Henri, a painter and teacher. At the time of the portrait’s commission, the guest’s grandfather paid $4,500.
They were pleased to learn that the portrait is worth quite a lot more than that figure. After the appraisal, the guest learned that the 1907 Robert Henri portrait’s worth between $500,000 and $700,000.
Anthony Van Dyck’s “The Magistrates at Brussels”: $640,000
Father Jamie MacLeod walked into an antique shop to browse, not knowing that he was walking away with an extraordinarily rare painting. Originally purchased for a little over $400, the painting had to go through a lengthy restoration process before it was discovered to be an original Anthony van Dyck.
The painting was of “The Magistrates at Brussels” and was appraised on Antiques Roadshow for a whopping total of $640,000.
Alexander Calder Mobile: $400,000 – $1,000,000
As a thank you gift, sculptor Alexander Calder presented an Antiques Roadshow guest’s aunt with a beautifully creative mobile to place above a crib. It’d been in the family since 1958, and they really had no clue how much it was worth.
Alexander Calder pretty much invented the mobile as art, and, as this guest had an original, it turned out to be worth a pretty penny. After the appraisal, they learned the mobile was worth between $400,000 – $1,000,000.
Original Peanuts Comic Strips: $450,000
This Antiques Roadshow guest came on the show with an amazing story about his and his son’s mutual love of Peanuts. Their admiration of the characters led the duo to collect original comic strips and Charles Schulz-signed lithographs.
Telling the appraiser that they bought some of the strips for $400-$500, they were pleasantly surprised to learn that they’re worth so much more. The appraisal for the entire collection was valued at $450,000.
Clyfford Still Oil Painting: $500,000
In 2012, a guest came on Antiques Roadshow with a unique Clyfford Still oil painting. It was given to her family as a housewarming gift when her husband accepted a job at Washington State University, the same school where Still taught.
The painting is dated and signed “Clyfford 37,” making it authentic and worth a pretty penny, especially considering it was created by one of the founders of the Abstract Expressionist movement. An appraiser valued the painting at $500,000