Antiques Roadshow 2023 – Crystal Palace Park, London 1

Antiques Roadshow 2023 - Crystal Palace Park, London

Antiques Roadshow 2023 – Crystal Palace Park, London 1 – The highly anticipated roadshow takes center stage at the historic Crystal Palace Park located in the heart of southeast London. Here, a dazzling array of treasures awaits attendees, from the unexpected discovery of a sparkling diamond ring, artfully concealed within an old sock, to the elegance of a vintage Louis Vuitton trunk. There’s also a sprinkling of celebrity magic with an unexpected appearance by a renowned living artist.



Will Farmer, with his keen eye, is overjoyed to come across a beautifully crafted pair of Majolica whippets. In another corner, Jon Baddeley can barely contain his astonishment as he uncovers a sundial, an exquisite piece by the famed Thomas Tuttell. This sundial doesn’t just tell time; it narrates history, hailing from the tail end of the 17th century. Lee Young’s curiosity is piqued when he encounters three bronze Chinese censers, remarkable in their craftsmanship and history. Their origin? A humble flea market. Meanwhile, Ronnie Archer Morgan stumbles upon a collection of clothing and letters that provide a tangible connection to the iconic Ethiopian leader, Haile Selassie.



Fiona Bruce has the privilege of engaging in a lively conversation with the legendary cartoonist Ralph Steadman. Steadman, with his edgy and distinctive style, is most celebrated for his collaborations with the fearless American journalist, Dr. Hunter S Thompson. As if that wasn’t thrilling enough, Mark Smith, with a twinkle in his eye, presents Fiona with an intriguing challenge: to unveil covert Second World War spy tools ingeniously hidden within common household objects.



Fashion takes a front seat when Clare Tole-Moir lays eyes on an exceedingly rare DIY kit dress. The mastermind behind this unique piece? None other than the groundbreaking fashion designer, Paco Rabane. On the other hand, John Foster is captivated by a meticulously jointed wooden artist’s model, its value astonishing even the most seasoned of experts.


Antiques Roadshow 2023 – Crystal Palace Park, London

A Sparkling Diamond Ring Concealed in an Old Sock

The Antiques Roadshow has landed in London’s historic Crystal Palace Park, bringing with it a treasure trove of antiquities and collectibles. Among the dazzling discoveries is a diamond ring, uncovered in the most unlikely of places – an old sock! Expert Jon Baddeley could barely contain his excitement upon this unexpected find. It just goes to show, you never know what surprises might be unearthed at the Roadshow.

Upon inspection, Baddeley determines the ring boasts a 3 carat center diamond, flanked by two 1 carat diamonds. Though concealed in a sock, the ring is in immaculate condition. The diamond glitters brilliantly in the light, throwing off rainbow sparkles. Baddeley estimates a value between $15,000 to $25,000 for this dazzling discovery. However, he emphasizes the real value lies in the story behind the ring. Why was it tucked away in an old sock? The original owner likely had their reasons for concealing it, adding an element of mystery and intrigue. For the new owner, it will no doubt be a cherished family heirloom, a sparkling symbol of love passed down through generations.

The Elegance of a Vintage Louis Vuitton Trunk

In another corner of the venue, Fiona Bruce gasps in delight at an elegant vintage Louis Vuitton trunk. Covered in the iconic LV monogram canvas, the trunk is a breathtaking example of early 20th century craftsmanship. The brass hardware and leather trim shine despite their age, a testament to Louis Vuitton’s renowned quality.

Bruce traces her fingers over the trunk’s surface, remarking on the patina and unique indentations that add character. As she opens it, the well-oiled hinges move smoothly and silently. The inside reveals meticulous detailing, with custom drawers and compartments. Bruce determines it was specially commissioned by a wealthy family in the 1920s for transporting clothing and valuables across Europe.

After close inspection, Bruce values the trunk between $9,000 to $12,000. Vintage LV trunks have skyrocketed in popularity among collectors. However, Bruce notes this example is particularly rare and desirable thanks to its custom detailing and well-preserved condition. She encourages the owner to treasure this piece of history, as it provides a tangible link to the glamour and romance of early 20th century travel.

Celebrity Sparkle with Ralph Steadman Appearance

This year’s Antiques Roadshow promises celebrity sparkle with a special appearance by none other than Ralph Steadman. Fiona Bruce has the privilege of engaging the legendary British cartoonist in a lively conversation about his distinguished career.

Steadman, renowned for his edgy, splattered ink style, is most celebrated for his collaborations with the gonzo journalist, Hunter S. Thompson. Together they forged a radical new style of satire and counterculture commentary in publications like Rolling Stone. Bruce and Steadman enjoy a spirited discussion about highlights from his prolific 50+ year career.

When asked about his current pursuits, the 86-year old Steadman reveals he’s still actively creating art. In fact, he’s brought along a few exclusive original drawings to show Bruce and the Antiques Roadshow audience. These wildly expressive, one-of-a-kind sketches provide a rare glimpse into Steadman’s creative process. As an artist who has collaborated with icons like Thompson and even Scarface director Brian De Palma, Steadman’s original artwork is highly sought after by collectors. Bruce values the drawings between ₤15,000 to ₤20,000 apiece. However, she emphasizes their real value is in the stories they tell.

Majolica Whippets – Playful Ceramic Treasures

Ceramics expert Will Farmer is overjoyed to uncover a pair of beautifully crafted Majolica whippets. These playful antique figures portray two whippets or greyhounds, one standing and one seated. Farmer notes the exquisite brushwork and hand-painted detailing that brings the furry forms to life.

He traces this pair back to theServers and Dunn Pottery studio, which produced Majolica between 1890-1913. The figures were slip cast using a two-part plaster mold. This enabled efficient small scale production while preserving the artistry of hand detailing. Farmer values these charismatic canines between ₤600 and ₤800. For collectors, Majolica whippets are immensely charming. But Farmer emphasizes that beyond monetary value, their enduring appeal comes from their whimsical spirit that transcends time.

A Sundial that Narrates History

Jon Baddeley is astonished to discover an antique sundial dating back to 1690. Made by renowned English instrument maker Thomas Tuttell, this is a remarkable example of 17th century scientific craftsmanship.

Baddeley eagerly demonstrates how the sundial works. The gnomon casts a shadow across marked hours. However, the engraved zodiac symbols are what make this sundial truly special. These represent how the Earth’s orientation changes relative to the sun throughout the year. This enables the sundial to tell not just the time, but the season, date, and month.

Inspecting the oak, brass, and glass materials, Baddeley praises the sundial’s pristine condition. Given its rarity and Tuttell’s esteemed reputation, he estimates a value between ₤5,000 to ₤7,500. However, he notes its deepest worth comes from its ability to connect us to those who came before. An instrument like this sundial narrates history, allowing us to share a small moment with individuals 300 years in the past.

Bronze Chinese Censers with Remarkable Provenance

When expert Lee Young examines three elaborately decorated Chinese censers, he knows immediately they are special. The bronze censers originate from late 17th century China, beautifully embellished with mythical creatures like lions and dragons. Young traces their provenance back to the Qing Dynasty, estimating they once graced an imperial summer palace.

Remarkably, the censers were acquired by the current owner at a local flea market for under ₤100 apiece! Young explains this incredible bargain stems from the censers lacking markings or signatures, making it easy to mistake them for later reproductions. However, his trained eye discerned their authenticity right away.

Based on their rarity and proven imperial lineage, Young values the trio between ₤4,000 to ₤6,000 each. While shocked by their unexpected provenance, he hopes the owner will cherish their role continuing the dynastic narrative. These censers have persevered through the centuries when so many artifacts were lost, outliving empires and wars. To Young, their true value is as timeless witnesses to the sweep of history.

Unexpected Connection to Emperor Haile Selassie

For expert Ronnie Archer Morgan, the Roadshow brings an unexpected encounter with living history. He’s astonished to discover a collection of clothing and letters with a direct connection to His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia.

One highlight is a vibrant green military jacket accompanied by a photograph of Selassie wearing it. Morgan explains how Selassie ruled Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974, and was seen as a messianic figure by Rastafarians. The collection also includes intimate letters written by Selassie to a British nobleman who advised him. These provide rare insight into Selassie’s personality and leadership style.

Based on provenance, Morgan values the archive between ₤12,000 and ₤15,000. But he emphasizes that pieces like these keep history alive. Because of this collection, our understanding of Selassie becomes richer and more human. We can glimpse the man behind the myth. For the owner, this archive represents a profound privilege – the chance to gain insight into one of the most influential African leaders of the 20th century.


The 2023 Antiques Roadshow at Crystal Palace Park proves that valuables can turn up in the most unexpected places. From a diamond ring stuffed in a sock, to Chinese censers found at a flea market, the thrill lies in uncovering hidden treasures and the fascinating stories behind them. Beyond monetary worth, the real magic comes from connecting with history and gaining insight into those who came before us. The Roadshow offers that rare and fleeting chance to reach across the centuries. Whether it’s handling a letter from an Ethiopian emperor, or decoding messages from 17th century England using a sundial, these antiquities provide tangible links to our collective humanity. They remind us that while so much changes with the passage of time, we all share in the universal experiences of love, loss, hope and wonder.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes the Crystal Palace Park location special for Antiques Roadshow?

The Crystal Palace Park location carries historical significance, as it was originally home to the iconic Crystal Palace building. Constructed in 1851 to house the Great Exhibition, this feats of Victorian engineering reflected the spirit of innovation and cultural exchange. Hosting Antiques Roadshow at Crystal Palace connects to that legacy and creates a fitting backdrop for treasures old and new.

What factors determine the value of items on Antiques Roadshow?

Values stem from an item’s rarity, condition, provenance, craftsmanship, and historical importance. An item’s story and emotional resonance are also crucial. For example, an unremarkable piece connected to a famous person can be quite valuable. Ultimately, monetary worth is complex and subjective.

How can you tell if an antique is genuinely old or a reproduction?

Examine materials, craftsmanship, wear, repairs, and labels for signs of authentic age. Trace provenance and story for consistency. Reproductions often mimic antique styles but show subtle machine-made evidence. Experts also rely on instinct to handle thousands of genuine articles.

What should you do if you think you have a valuable antique?

First, gently clean and photograph the item without causing damage. Research online databases and books to identify makers’ marks and similar examples. Consider consulting an appraiser, auction house, museum, or dealer for authentication. Handle fragile items with care and proper storage to preserve value.

Why is provenance so important for antiques and collectibles?

Documented provenance tracing an item’s origins and ownership history can vastly increase value. It verifies authenticity and significance, providing crucial context. If owned by someone important or linked to major events, an item transforms into a unique historical record. Provenance creates a story that brings life to objects.

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