TV stars unearth rare antiques

Antiques experts Eric Knowles, Susan Rumfitt and Tom Keane at Wakefield Cathedral.
Antiques experts Eric Knowles, Susan Rumfitt and Tom Keane at Wakefield Cathedral.

Eager people queued to get their heirlooms valued when a team of TV antiques experts set up their stalls at Wakefield Cathedral.

Eric Knowles, from The Antiques Roadshow, jewellery expert Susan Rumfitt, Bargain Hunt auctioneer Tom Keane and Sandal coin collector Stephen Skellern were on hand to deliver nearly 200 valuations last Saturday.

The Antiques Roadshows Eric Knowles, left, and Susan Rumfitt with Bargain Hunt auctioneer Tom Keane. Pictures Lee Ward and Richard Taylor.

The Antiques Roadshows Eric Knowles, left, and Susan Rumfitt with Bargain Hunt auctioneer Tom Keane. Pictures Lee Ward and Richard Taylor.

The debut antiques event was organised by the Rotary clubs of Ossett and Wakefield and was hailed a great success.

And Dr Neale Clark, president of the Wakefield club, had a pleasant surprise when a small family heirloom was found to be from the 1750s and very rare.

He said: “The heirloom was a life-saving kit that was used to cut the membrane at the back of the throat of a child with diptheria. It sounds dramatic but it really worked. Susan had a look at it and dated it around the 1750s. It was ‘very rare’, she said - worth £1,500 even with the rubbed silver marks.”

Ossett president June Drysdale had a similar story. She said: “It was very pleasing to hear some of the feedback. One woman expressed how surprised and delighted she was to discover that an old piece of jewellery that had been lying in a drawer gathering dust was worth £1,500. She said it was a ‘memorable day’.”

The event raised a substantial amount for local charities, Dementia UK’s Wakefield Admiral Nurses and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

The clubs would like to thank everyone who supported the fair: the sponsors, stallholders and the audience.

Coin expert Stephen Skellern at the antiques fair at Wakefield Cathedral. Picture Richard Taylor.

Coin expert Stephen Skellern at the antiques fair at Wakefield Cathedral. Picture Richard Taylor.