Antiques Roadshow guest emotional as meaning behind Cartier brooch with huge value exposed

Antiques Roadshow: Diamond and ruby brooch valued at £10,000

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Antiques Roadshow aired a classic episode of the hit BBC programme which saw a guest present expert Geoffrey Munn with a striking diamond and ruby brooch. The elegant piece, which was a Cartier original from the 1900s, was made out of diamonds and rubies. When Geoffrey told the guest the special meaning behind the brooch and its worth, she was left overcome with emotion.

The Antiques Roadshow team visited Somerleyton Hall near Lowestoft where treasures included a bracelet given to Queen Victoria and a paintbox that may have been owned by John Constable.
During the episode, a guest presented Geoffrey with a brooch which he started to admire as it glistened in the evening sunlight.
The guest explained she inherited the piece from an elderly woman who she used to care for.
She said: “I looked after her for eight years and when she passed away she left me the contents of her house in her will. And amongst the contents was this brooch.”

Geoffrey told the guest: “Well that’s a huge tribute to you in every possible way and to the way you cared for her.
“She must have loved you very much to do that because it’s a very handsome request indeed isn’t it?
“There are no prizes for already knowing who made it, I think you know who made it don’t you?”
The guest said she was told the piece was a Cartier brooch, which Geoffrey confirmed to a stunned crowd.

He said: “It is Cartier and in the world of jewellery, perhaps Cartier is possibly the strongest name to drop. Perhaps Cartier is the most famous jeweller of them all.”
The brooch was made in about 1900 by Cartier in Paris, making it “even more exotic” and it also held a special meaning.
Geoffrey asked: “Have you ever tried to understand what the meaning is?”
The guest shook her head and replied: “I don’t know anything about it, no.”

The expert was pleased to tell her the brooch was made of rubies and diamonds and was an “extraordinary collision of two decorative elements”.
“It has a very Chinese look to it, it’s almost like a lacquer pattern and out of it grows two fronds of palms and they’re not there by accident as this is a sort of neoclassical pattern within the palms,” he explained.  
“The rubies are Chinese so there is sort of a collision from Ancient Greece and an extreme Orient in a brooch made in 1900, which is very mysterious.
“And the reason why that has happened is that it’s got a message which actually suits your relationship with this lady very much because this brooch, like so many of the things we find in jewellery, is a message of love – and it’s a very intense one.”

The guest was taken aback and replied:  “That’s so nice to hear.”
She was informed rubies signify love in jewellery and the diamonds stand for forever – meaning the brooch was a symbol of “forever love”.
He went on to explain the palms were emblems of triumph and said the brooch’s meaning was “the triumph of love over all”.
Geoffrey added: “And in this particular case it’s the triumph of love over death isn’t it because you were looking after her and she wanted you to have that?”
He said if the brooch came up in a specialist sale of Cartier with collectors around it would nudge £10,000 today.
The guest was taken aback and replied: “Wow. She really loved me and I loved her too.”
Antiques Roadshow episodes are available on BBC iPlayer.

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