OAP finds out that dusty brooch she wanted to sell for £10 was actually worth £10,000
Last updated at 8:24 AM on 14th June 2011
When Jill Cousins decided to sell her dusty old brooch she didn't expect to get more than £10 at a market stall.
But she was thanking her luck stars she forgot to take it, after an expert identified it as a highly rare piece by a feted 19th century architect.
Now the shocked pensioner is expecting a £10,000 windfall from the sale of the pin - a one-off which collectors were not even sure existed.
Worth a pretty penny: Jill Cousins was all set to sell her brooch, above, for £10 - before it was valued at an incredible thousand times that amount
Mrs Cousins, 67, was watching Antiques Roadshow when jewellery expert Geoffrey Munn produced sketches of his 'most wanted' rare jewels.
She immediately recognised the highly sought-after brooch, which had been gathering dust at the bottom of her jewellery box for 40 years.
After she showed the decorative pin to Mr Munn, he revealed it was one of the most 'important art historical objects' the television show has ever seen.
But just days earlier Jill had planned to sell the silver brooch, set with a heart-shaped cabochon garnet and four turquoises, for £10 at market.
The one inch-wide 1860s design by famed Victorian architect and designer William Burges is now going under the hammer for £10,000.
Mrs Cousins said: 'I rushed upstairs and compared it to the one on the television. It is such a distinctive design.
'It was a tremendous surprise to be told the potential value. I had decided to sell it for £10 to a stall in Market Harborough.
'But I forgot to take it on the Friday, and it was two days later I saw the design on television.
'My mother did not like it either and it spent 20 years in the bottom of her jewellery box until she gave it to me.
'Now I know more about it, I think it is wonderful. On close examination you can see the high level of craftsmanship.'
Although it had been in her family for 40 years Jill, of Harborough, Leics., had never worn the brooch.
Burges created a series of water colour sketches of six silver brooches he planned to make in the 1860s but there was no evidence they ever existed.
It was believed Burges designed it to be a bridesmaid's brooch or wedding gift for the marriage of architect John Pollard Seddon and his wife Margaret.
Mrs Cousins was given the brooch by her mum who inherited it from an elderly lady who taught three generations of the owners' family.
She contacted Gildings Auctioneers after seeing the sketches on Antiques Roadshow in April and appeared herself on the television show several weeks later.
Revelation: It wasn't until Mrs Cousins saw watched the Antiques Roadshow, presented by Fiona Bruce, above, that she realised the true value of her brooch
Mr Munn said: 'It was the most fantastically exciting discovery. Usually, it is my job to surprise people who come to see us, but this time the tables were turned on me.
'The brooch is incredibly rare because Burges is arguably the most singular and gifted architect and designer of the 19th century and he did not make much jewellery.
'It is without doubt one of the most important art historical objects I have seen on the show.'
It will be auctioned at Gildings Auctioneers, in Harborough, Leics., on August 2.
Auctioneer Mark Gilding said: 'There is no evidence any of these were ever made which makes it an extremely rare object.
'I'm honoured to see such a rare and interesting piece. These kind of things don't turn up very often.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2003116/OAP-finds-dusty-brooch-wanted-sell-10-actually-worth-10-000.html#ixzz1PFnocxOY