Woman’s $25 Vintage Brooch Purchase in 1988 Could Fetch $16,000 at Auction

More than 35 years after she made her purchase, a woman is ready to profit from her market find. Jewelry aficionado Flora Steel paid $25 for a distinctive silver brooch she found at a Midlands, England, market in 1988.

According to Steel, the British news agency SWNS, her brooch was created by designer and architect William Burges, whose creations are currently on exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England.

“I always loved it and thought it was so particular in its design,” she continued. However, it wasn’t until she saw a brooch similar to the one in the U.K. on an episode of “Antiques Roadshow,” that the Rome, Italy resident realized the brooch was an extremely rare find. Steel was stopped in her tracks by one of the Burges designs that were showcased in the series.

“When the clip popped up on my phone, I said to myself, ‘That reminds me of the brooch I found 35 years ago,’” she tells SWNS. Steel decided to go see Burge’s designs at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

That’s how she found out the jewelry she owned at home was one of his creations.

Woman's $25 Vintage Brooch Purchase in 1988 Could Fetch $16,000 at Auction (1)

She said, “There it was—my brooch.”

“I practically fell off my chair.”

This is not the first time a Burges jewelry owner has found out something from an “Antiques Roadshow” program is unique.

“Lo and Behold, there was my Brooch.”

Market Harborough, England resident Jill Cousins saw a pattern on the show in 2011 that resembled her garnet, turquoise, and silver jewelry. According to SWNS, her brooch was identified as a Burges design and brought in over $30,000 at auction in August 2011.

After seeing the show in 2011, a different viewer sold a Burges brooch to the Victoria & Albert Museum in a private transaction.

This spring, Steel will put her brooch up for auction at Gildings Auctioneers in Market Harborough, England. The brooch was purchased in 1988, and she anticipates it will fetch between $10,000 and $16,000 there.

Will Gilding, director of Gildings, told SWNS that Steel’s brooch was unquestionably a Burges find.

“It was clear this was another one of the designs on the page of sketches,” according to him.

“Amazingly, it happened even once,” he continued. Two times, astounding. For a third time now? Grab me by the pinch!”

The company is “honored to be playing a part in its continued history as we present it to the open market,” Gilding told SWNS.

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