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Program 106

Glamis Castle

Angus, ScotlandHighlightsLocation

In Glamis Castle—not only childhood home of Great Britain's late Queen Mother but also, according to Shakespeare, the site of Macbeth's murder of Duncan—an ANTIQUES ROADSHOW UK expert finds a unique "wake table" once used to support a coffin and now employed as a highly prized dining table. Among the other discoveries are miniature pictures of John Broadwood, inventor of the modern piano, and a gold posy ring.



Mahogany wake table appraised by Penny Brittain

Mahogany Table A large mahogany table—which has been in the family for as long as the owner can remember—also turns out to have deathly connections. As it happens, the table is what's known as an Irish coffin table, an unusual find outside of Ireland. Also called a "wake table," it was designed to support a coffin, because of the Celtic belief that a dead body had to be watched to prevent its removal by evil spirits. Large tables like this are highly prized as dining tables today. The table is valued at between £8,000 and £10,000 ($12,000 and $15,000).

 

Miniature paintings of John Broadwood appraised by Rupert Maas

Miniature paintings A pair of miniature paintings of the inventor of the modern piano, John Broadwood, and his second wife, are brought in by Broadwood's great-great-great-granddaughter. It is not surprising that these were painted by Samuel Coates in 1784, since this was the year after John Broadwood had brought out the patent for his pianoforte. Normally such portraits would fetch £2,000 to £3,000 ($3,000 to $4,500), but, owing to the famed subjects, this pair is valued at £6,000 to £8,000 ($9,000 to $12,000).

 

Gold posy ring appraised by John Benjamin

Gold ring Michael hears the strange tale of a woman who sprang back to life from the tomb when her butler attempted to remove her ring by cutting off her finger. The ring—a gold posy ring bearing the inscription "God increase love and peace," and dating from between 1680 to 1700, has been in the owner's family for generations. With such a history, John Benjamin values it at £400 to £600 ($600 to $900) and says, "I've never in my life come across such an amazing story."

 

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