On Wednesday 20 March, BBC TV presenters and antiques valuers Christina Trevanion and Timothy Medhurst paid a special visit to Millbrook Village, the later living community in Exeter, to offer free valuations of antiques for residents of the village and the local public. Christina is known for her appearances on the BBC antiques programmes Bargain Hunt, Flog It!, Antiques Road Trip and Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, and Timothy is a regular on Antiques Road Trip, often alongside Christina.
The pair also gave a talk about their experience of working with antiques and filming the popular BBC programmes, sharing behind-the-scenes insight and anecdotes. The occasion formed part of The Grand Antiques Tour, a touring event by Inspired Villages, the developer and operator behind Millbrook Village which is backed by Legal & General. The tour began in October 2018 and visited four of Inspired’s other retirement villages in the country before ending at Millbrook Village on 20 March.
Over 80 people attended the event which took place in Millbrook Village’s central clubhouse, which houses a range of facilities for residents including a restaurant, coffee lounge, cinema, swimming pool, gym, bar and various activity rooms. Attendees brought a fascinating range of items including pictures, pottery, jewellery, silver, ceramics and much more. Complimentary refreshments were served and guests also had the opportunity to receive a tour of the village and its show homes.
Among those to discover what their treasured item is worth was Peter Howard Williams of Kenn who brought a pair of nineteenth century Canadian oil paintings depicting indigenous hunter-gatherers in the snow, which he had inherited. The paintings, which were obtained by his great-grandmother from a pub near Liverpool in which they had been displayed, were valued at between £800-1,200.
Suzy Graham of Topsham brought a decorative enamelled silver spoon with a painting of St Petersburg on, which the valuers believed could be an original nineteenth century creation by the House of Fabergé of Imperial Russia, best known for the famous Fabergé eggs designed by Russian jeweller Peter Carl Fabergé. The spoon had been passed down in Suzy’s family, and Suzy remembers seeing the spoon in her grandmother’s cabinet as a child.
She said: “I always knew the spoon must’ve been something special because my grandmother wouldn’t allow us to touch it when we were children. I admired it from a young age and I thought I’d bring it along today to see how much it may be worth. Christina has taken it to her auction house to do some further research on it; I’ve been told it could be worth a lot if it is real Fabergé! We will probably sell it if it is so we can pass the money on to our children.”
Resident of Millbrook Village Nigel Epps brought part of his large collection of celebrity autographs to be valued. Amongst his collection, obtained over many years, are autographs by all of the astronauts that have landed on the moon, including Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin and astronauts who took part in the Apollo 13 mission.
He said: “I began collecting autographs when I bought an autograph book for my daughter when she was young with autographs from Freddie Mercury and Paul McCartney. I thought it was a nice thing to do and it became a hobby after that collecting my own. Having collected so many now I am ready to part with some of them and have given these to Christina to auction off at her auction house in Shropshire.”
Rebecca Parker-Barabich, Head of Events at Inspired Villages, commented: “It was great to see so many people come along to our antiques event at Millbrook Village. I was fascinated by all the different items that people brought and it was wonderful to see their reactions to their valuations. It has been a fantastic Grand Antiques Tour across Inspired’s retirement communities and everyone has thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to meet Christina and Tim who are so brilliant.”
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