Instant heirlooms: The hidden treasures in your home

Instant heirlooms: The hidden treasures buried in your home
(Eames Lounge Chairs)

Anyone who has ever watched the Antiques Roadshow has seen one of those items that looks worthless but turns out to be worth thousands of pounds. Unfortunately, most of us don't have an ancient heirloom just lying around waiting to make us serious money. However, changes to copyright protection laws mean that some of us may be in luck sooner than we think.

Up until now, registered designs were allowed to be copied 25 years after the designer's death. A roaring trade in replicas has built up, as style-conscious, but cash-strapped customers picked up almost perfect copies for a fraction of the price.

In turn, this also led to a fall in the price of the originals, meaning savvy bargain hunters could find themselves with a unique piece for a much lower price.

But there's good news for furniture collectors, because this is all about to change!

The new law makes it illegal to manufacture or sell copies of such designs until 70 years after the death of the designer.

This means that people who are in possession of originals will now own significant investment pieces

Online furniture retailer,, put James Nurse, a Contemporary Art and Design Specialist, to the test and asked him to judge how valuable these pieces could be in the future.

These are some of the items you'll be carting down to the Antiques Roadshow in a few years time:

Instant heirlooms: The hidden treasures in your home

So remember to keep an eye on your furniture in the future because you might be in with a chance of cashing in!

10 incredible auctions
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10 incredible auctions

The most expensive watch ever sold at auction fetched just under $24 million in November 2014. The gold pocket watch was made by Patek Philippe, and is the most complex ever made without the use of computer technology.

The Henry Graves Supercomplication was commissioned in 1925, and took eight years to make.

The world's most expensive stamp sold at auction in 2014 for over $9 million.

The British Guiana One-Cent Magenta is as rare as a stamp can get. British Guiana was one of the first countries in the New World to start issuing stamps, but in 1856, they ran out, and asked the local newspaper printer to produce extras.

There were two denominations: the four-cent, which is very rare, and the one-cent - of which only one has ever been discovered.

In May 2015, an anonymous London businesswoman snapped up the licence plate KR15 HNA for £233,000, making it the most expensive standard number plate ever to be sold in the UK.

Queen Victoria's bloomers sold at auction for £6,200, along with a pair of her silk stockings.

They have a 52-inch waist, and belonged to the monarch in the 1890s - "towards the end of her life when she had eaten a lot more than most people could afford to," said auctioneer Michael Hogben. In today's sizing, they'd be a size 26.

In 2014, a three-year-old slice of cake sold at auction for $7,500 (£4,800). The reason the stale cake was in such demand was that it was from the marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton in 2011.

The buyer said he intended to give it away as part of promoting his Silicon Valley start-up.

A British coin sold at auction for a record-breaking £430,000 in 2014. After fees, the buyer paid £516,000 - making it the most expensive modern British coin ever to be sold.

The coin is only one of two in existence. It was a 'proof' for a gold sovereign which was meant to be produced to commemorate the coronation of Edward VIII in 1937. However, Edward abdicated in 1936, so the coronation never happened and the coins were never made


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