Antiques Roadshow guest gobsmacked over huge valuation of family item

Stitched sampler given a massive valuation

A sampler was a style of needlework going back centuries and were often made by young girls as part of their education to record stitches and designs.

Antiques Roadshow expert Wayne Colquhoun left guests of the BBC show in disbelief when he informed them of the estimated value of a sampler that had been passed down through generations of one family.

The owner of the time admitted she found it “hard to believe” her heirloom was worth so much.

Art specialist Wayne observed the impressive stitching and stated: “Let me say, I’ve never seen one as good as this.”

He continued: “It seems to be three different scenes – a farming scene, a sailing scene, and some scenes in an exotic location.

“And there seems to be a couple of names here – Janet Jamieson, Margaret Kinnear, aged 11 years of age, 1780. Is there a family connection?”

“There’s a family connection with the Kinnear family,” one of the guests replied.

She added: “It’s been passed down through the female line since 1780 until it got to me.”

“This has been in the family all that long?” Asked a stunned Wayne before the owner confirmed: “All that time.”

She explained: “We think Janet Jamison is the person who taught Margaret Kinnear to stitch, and we think that she is possibly an aunt.”

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“To me, this is weaving a piece of history and from an 11 years-of-age girl, this is fantastic,” Wayne enthused.

As they looked at the stitching of a ship and the word ‘Weymouth,’ the other guest pointed out: “That’s one of the things that has always bothered us, is that this sampler was produced in Angus, and there appears to be no connection with Weymouth either here or Weymouth in the States. We suspect that it’s probably the name of the ship.”

After making a few observations about the picture being displayed in the sampler, Wayne stated: “Here we see the whaling connection which is quite local to the east coast of Scotland, too.

“Here we have what seems to be a plantation scene, and we can see the carts coming out of what seems to be a farmyard setting with what looks like slaves on the cart carrying tobacco.

“Now this is a slice of history… 1780, we can’t get away from the fact that this is what was happening then.”

He continued: “Well, we see good samplers for £5,000 on the Roadshow quite regularly, but you know, I think this is just so good.

“With its potential American connection, if this went to auction, I think this would have an estimate of £10,000 to £15,000.”

As the owners gasped, Wayne went on: “It’s that good. I have never seen one which weaves a slice of history done by an 11-year-old.”

Later, the guest remarked: “I find that hard to believe, that such a simple thing in many ways, is worth that kind of money…

“But we very much feel that the history behind the illustration of the sampler has to be shared.

“So it will have to go somewhere on loan, we don’t have enough visitors!”

Antiques Roadshow airs on Sundays at 8pm on BBC One.

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