AN EXPERT on Antiques Roadshow was left stunned when a guest insisted her painted plate was “not for sale” despite its valuation.
The woman had brought the plate, gifted to her grandfather, to the V&A in Dundee, where she met with the artists great grand daughter Theo Burrell.
Holding onto the decorated plate, which featured an intricate design of Japanese-style landscapes, she began to explain where it came from.
“I’ve come all the way from Edinburgh just to see if you can tell me anything about this,” the old woman began, clutching the plate.
“Well this is a very nice, and large, Chinese porcelain basin, and its decorated in traditional Amari colours – the iron red, cobalt blue and the highlights,” Theo then explained.
“It’s going to be 18th century in date, and you’ve got some nice areas of sort of some little inclusions to the glaze, which often happens with ceramics.”
Having asked how the woman came to own it, she explained it was gifted to her father for his work within his church.
“It was given to my father as a thank-you gift – he was a minister – and he had given some pastoral help to one of the families in the community,” the guest said.
“They were really appreciative – and the woman was a sister of Sir William Burrell and at the time, she said it had come from the family collection.
“This was about 1943, which was before it was gifted to the city of Glasgow – and my father got it like this.”
Theo let out a chuffed “hah!” at the news, and revealed that her great grand-father’s cousin was Sir William Burrel, who made the bowl.
“I’m very jealous that you have a piece from the private collection because we have absolutely nothing in our family,” she went on to add.
“Obviously trying to authenticate that provenance is difficult, but you’re right, that collection was gifted in 1944 to Glasgow, and he did collect all sorts of things.
“He did have a special interest in Chinese nation ceramics so it makes perfect sense to me that this may have been part of his private collection.”
Most read in TV
They then went on to discuss what the piece could be valued at auction, with Theo giving it an estimate of between £1000 and £1500.
“If we can authenticate that provenance the price only goes up from there,” she added. “And then, maybe I can take it off your hands?”
The woman then clutched the bowl closer and sharply said: “Um, maybe not. It’s staying within the family.”