An Antiques Roadshow guest brought along an extensive collection of World War II badges to be valued and expert Mark Smith was extremely pleased to be the one to handle the items. However, after revealing their huge value, when the expert cheekily offered to buy the collection from her, the owner refused.
Pointing at a photograph of two young boys, Mark asked: “Who was that man and what was he to you?”
“This was my uncle, my dad’s oldest brother,” the guest said before revealing his name was Fred.
“So for some reason, Fred has this collection of World War II cloth formation badges, a badge collector’s dream, the pinnacle, the holy grail of World War II cloth badges,” Mark said.
“He had some armbands some of which I have never seen; they are that rare.”
“Then he has this book Regimental Designations which is something that World War II collectors are so interested in the badges that are on the sleeve,” he continued.
“Obviously they’ve been copied over the years and it’s so hard to find a real badge from World War II.
“Your book is helpfully dated 1943 and when we open it he has pretty much every single badge that was ever given out to anybody in World War II.
“They are absolutely incredible and they’re mint now,” he revealed.
“Then hundreds and hundreds of badges, you’ve got just about every badge ever issued to the army in World War II.”
Interrupting the expert, the owner quipped: “Wow.”
“Now I went through them and I added them up at a very conservative £10 a badge. There are some in there that are worth £50 and £60 each,” Mark said.
Revealing their worth, Mark said: “So your two little books of badges, £10,000.”
The owner was gobsmacked and remarked: “Oh my god.”
“He didn’t go bad, did he?” Mark said and the guest replied: “He did fantastically.”
“You have made my day,” the expert shared and the owner revealed: “I thought they were worth £100.”
“I’ll give you £100 for them now,” Mark cheekily offered but the owner politely declined.
“Absolutely stunning, that’s a real treasure,” the expert added.
Antiques Roadshow is available on BBC iPlayer.