In an archived episode of Antiques Roadshow, Mark Smith left his guests speechless when he revealed the enormous worth of some very rare medals. However, the host wasn’t best pleased with how the medals had been kept all these years saying they were in “appalling condition”.
Mark began: “First of all, I have to ask you, what have you done to them?
The woman replied: “Well we obviously haven’t looked after them very well.
He carried on: “And you’ve got two lovely pictures here, who are they?
She explained: “ Well, we know they are family. After that, we were hoping you could bring them to life for us, and maybe tell us a bit about how they won their medals.”
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Mark took a moment and continued: “The two gentlemen in question are admirals, they both have one medal in common.
“This is the Naval General Service Medal, it covered the period 1793 to 1840.
“Now, usually you only ever see it with just one clasp. So the clasps are the little strips of metal you see here.
“And the one you usually see is this one here ‘Syria’ and when you have this you always get another little medal.”
The one clasp general service medal, well you see quite a lot of those.
“Two clasps, now that is getting rare, three is almost unheard of.
“Four, no. Five, wow. And you have five, so wow and you have kept these in the most appalling condition I have ever seen any medals ever.
“You need to give them to me so I can take them home and love them.”
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One of the owners quickly chipped in: “Actually, that was one of the questions. How can we go about restoring them?”
Mark continued: “You take out the little screws on the back and you see if you can slot them back into their slots.
“And if you can’t do that, you take them somewhere where the medal people can put them back for you.”
The owner asked if they should replace the faded blue velvet but Mark looked at them horrified with the idea.
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He begged: “Please leave it absolutely fantastic. So, I sat down and I thought about this.
“I thought about how you have kept these medals in a horrible condition.
“However, I can tell you that they are worth £100,000.”
The owners were stunned and didn’t know what to say, they even looked a little bit embarrassed that they hadn’t taken better care of them.
Antiques Roadshow continues on BBC One on Sunday at 8pm and it can be streamed on BBC iPlayer.
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