Antiques Roadshow guest says family will ‘fight over’ unique heirloom

Antiques Roadshow: 1780s tea caddy valued at over £20,000

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In a classic Antiques Roadshow episode, Will was delighted to observe a glass bottle which had been handed down to each generation within a family. The owner admitted on the BBC staple that his family would likely “fight over” the item when he was asked what the plans were for the valuable glass bottle before he was given a promising valuation.

“Well, if you can’t have a full bottle, the next best thing is a beautiful empty one,” Will declared as he studied the glass bottle in front of him.

He continued: “And here it is, standing with these photographs which seem to be sort of voices from the past.”

He asked the Antiques Roadshow guest: “But tell me, how do these all connect?”

“The bottle, I believe is a marriage bottle, and it’s from McFarlane and Penman,” the owner explained.

Pointing towards the photo, he added: “This is my gran, and it was she who I saw all the bottle first with.

“She used to keep her morning room, and then it passed to my father, and then to me.”

“I can sense an accent there,” the expert pointed out before Will asked: “Where’s home?”

“Home was originally Glasgow and thereabouts,” explained the antique owner.

Will responded: “Well, this is all starting to fall into place very nicely because this is nothing short of a genuine full-blown Scottish bottle.”

He went on: “It was made at the Alloa Glassworks. Now, when we look at Alloa in Clackmannanshire, this even today is considered, you know, the beating heart of bottle and glassmaking for Scotland.

“So, the Alloa Glassworks was actually established in 1750 by Lady Frances Erskine, and here we’ve got a date for this one of 1823.

“So we’re you know, in the early parts of the 19th century.

“The form, this sort of nice, swollen onion form and then this riggory work running down the body, this would have been the family’s bottle.

“So you would have taken this, you know, tootled off to your wine merchant or to wherever you’re going to get your supplies, this would be filled for you, taken away, reused, recycled, so it had a constant life.

“So often these initials are faceless, they’re empty hollow names and we don’t know who they are.

“So for me, this is an added joy. Generationally, has it got somewhere else to go?”

“Yes, my wife and I have got two sons and a daughter,” the guest detailed. “So they can fight over it!”

“Oh, crikey, this conversation might get a little bit awkward then,” Will admitted.

He explained: “Because we need to put a price on it, don’t we?”

“I’m not expecting much,” the owner confessed, to Will’s surprise.

The expert stated: “I think today at auction… somewhere between £1,200 and £1,500.”

“Wow,” the guest remarked. “A lot more than I thought!”

Antique Roadshow is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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