Bargain Hunt: Faberge Flowers sell for £340,000 at auction
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In a recent episode of Bargain Hunt, BBC presenter Natasha Raskin Sharp took viewers to Oswestry Showground where she met with auctioneer Charles Hanson to talk about his latest rare find. Before speaking to Charles about the Faberge Flowers, Natasha gave viewers an insight into their history. She explained that only 34 were made in the UK and they rarely come up for sale at auction.
Speaking to Charles about the unique items, Natasha began: “Imagine the excitement when these two exquisite pieces of Faberge turned up out of the blue at an auction house and were placed into the hands of our very own auctioneer, Charles Hanson.
“Charles, I am excited. Can you tell us what happened?”
The Bargain Hunt expert explained to Natasha that a lady came to a valuation with a shoebox containing the beautiful relics.
“Wrapped in this fairly mundane tea towel were these Faberge Flowers,” he explained.
Discussing who the items belonged to, Charles continued: “They belonged to a lady called Juliette Duff. She died in 1965.
“She was well known in the royal artistic musical circle and she was great friends with Sir Winston Churchill.
“She was best friends with Queen Mary, she was very much in high society.”
One of Lady Duff’s descendants passed on the Faberge Flowers to a distant relation, who had them sitting on the mantelpiece.
The relative then decided one day to sell them on.
“I can’t stress to you in words how important they are in the history of Faberge,” Charles added.
“He made 34 of these in a period between 1907 to 1916. Our current Queen has 28 in her collection.
“The Morning Glory, its pair is in the royal collection, with tiny diamonds inset in the enamel flowers.
“This very technically put together Barbary Bush. It is again [made] by a leading Faberge craftsman.”
The expert went on to detail how the precious items were made before revealing to Natasha how much they were worth.
“The Morning Glory has a guide price of £100,000 to £150,000. Frightening, isn’t it?
“The Barbary Bush again we’ve estimated to fetch between £150,000 to £250,000 so who knows, they might make half a million pounds.”
“I can’t even imagine,” a stunned Natasha commented. “You must be a wee bit nervous [about taking them to auction].”
“I’m nervous because I’m excited,” he simply replied.
It was a tense moment in the auction room as Charles started the bidding for the Morning Glory Faberge at £80,000.
The bidding war began, and it soon sold for an impressive £180,000.
Next up was the bidding war for the Barbary Faberge Flower.
Charles started the bid at £150,000 although it wasn’t long before the item sold for £160,000, meaning both Faberge Flowers combined sold for £340,000.
Bargain Hunt is available to watch on the BBC iPlayer.
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