£200,00 dolls revealed on Antiques Roadshow

The antique dolls

A set of small dolls that have been in the same family for 300 years has been hailed as being 'of national importance' on the Antiques Roadshow.

In an episode filmed at Tewkesbury Abbey to be screened this Sunday, expert Fergus Gambon is stunned to see the three dolls - especially when he is told that the owner also has the original doll's house, as well as its other inhabitants, at home.

Fergus immediately commandeers a camera crew and car to go and see the doll's house for himself.

"You arrived here this morning clutching those dolls and mentioned that they lived in a house and I thought to myself 'if those dolls are from a house as old as those dolls we're talking about something quite, quite incredible'," he tells the owner on the show. "It is totally unique."

The doll's house and its inhabitants were made on the Isle of Dogs for the owner's ancestor, a Miss Westbrook, and have been passed down the family ever since.

"When I opened it I was looking at something which was unchanged, essentially, for 311 years," says Gambon.

"Made as a toy, it could so easily have been spoiled but it's been preserved in your family – that's why it's so moving."

Gambon, who is head of British ceramics at auction house Bonhams and a keen collector of dolls' houses, says the set is very hard to value - but picks a figure of £200,000.

And, says presenter Fiona Bruce, "I think Fergus thought all his Christmases had come at once."

Toys, by their very nature, don't tend to last long, and few of us have anything quite as old or valuable stashed away in an attic. But it's surprising how much money there is in old toys.

According to the experts, they're most valuable if they are still in their original box, although really popular items such as Dinky toys will still sell without.

Steiff teddy bears have been known to sell for more than £100, while even Barbie dolls can be worth hundreds of pounds.

And there's even a market for McDonalds Happy Meal toys, with some selling for more than £80.

UK: The Queen's wardrobe on display

10 incredible auctions
See Gallery
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


Read Full Story