Antiques Roadshow viewers were left stunned when an elderly couple discovered the potential value of their family heirloom, a ‘silk sampler’.
The couple presented the piece to expert Wayne Colquhoun on the popular BBC One show.
They revealed that it was crafted by an 11 year old girl in 1780 and has been passed down through the women in their family ever since.
The antique expert was intrigued not just by its age and excellent condition, but also by its historical significance.
He said: “This is weaving a piece of history and from an 11-year-old girl. This is amazing. It looks like slaves behind the carts with tobacco, it’s a piece of history.”
He continued: “I’ve never seen one as good as this. It seems to be three different scenes, a farming scene, a sailing scene and a scene from an exotic location.”
Colquhoun added: “‘An 11-year-old has definitely been guided, its silk on wool. We see good ones for £5,000 normally but I think this is so good with its potential American connection.”
The owner confessed she had no idea about her family’s links to America, and the origins of the piece and its intricate illustrations had always puzzled her.
She said: “It’s been passed down through the female line since 1780 until me.”
“What has troubled us is where the design came from it’s not something you would get from a book in 1780.
“We didn’t know the family had connections to America and we never knew where the design had come from.”
Wayne commented: “With its potential going to auction I’d say its worth £10,000 to £15,000 its that good.
“I’ve never seen a picture weaved by an 11-year-old so good.”
The owner expressed her surprise, saying: “I find that hard to believe that something like that can be worth that kind of money.
“We need to display it somewhere!”
You can watch Antiques Roadshow on BBC iPlayer