Antiques Roadshow guest gobsmacked by value of WWII Christmas card ‘Interesting!’

Antiques Roadshow: Expert takes look at Shakespeare portrait

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On Sunday evening, Antiques Roadshow Christmas Special looked back over the amazing objects which were brought to the show over the years. BBC host Fiona Bruce looked back through the archives to see what happened after the valuations and reunited owners with their lost objects. One guest was left stunned in 2019 after visiting Salisbury Cathedral after his World War Two Christmas Cards were evaluated at a large price.

Expert Frances Christie asked the guest: “I really love seeing things like this because this is a Christmas card by the artist Rex Whistler who was a very well-known artist between the two World Wars.

“He was one of those bright young things, but this is a much more intimate side of him because it is a very personal Christmas card but what we don’t know is it says, ‘To Tony Sherlock’. Who is Tony Sherlock?”

The guest replied: “That’s me! Master Tony Sherlock!”

Laughing at the revelation, Frances beamed: “Master Tony Sherlock, very nice to meet you, Master Tony Sherlock!” 

Tony went on to explain where he got the cards from: “He was an officer in the Welsh Guards in World War Two.

“My father was also in the Welsh Guards in World War Two, so Rex Whistler was my father’s officer!”

Reciting some history about Rex Whistler, Frances said: “He died on his first day of active service, so your father must have been there with him!

“So, this Christmas card and what it depicts is actually quite a symbolic emblem, I suppose of both your father and Whistler’s service during the Second World War.

“If this was ever to come to auction, I think it’s something that probably (is) estimated in the region of £1,200 to £1,800.”

Shocked at Frances’ valuation, Tony replied: “Right, oh interesting! It’s really beautiful, isn’t it?”

At the beginning of the show, Fiona told viewers: “Today I’m unwrapping a special edition of the Antiques Roadshow at Christmas.

“At the kind of place we love to come on this programme, the glorious Vyne in Hampshire, it is an important Tudor mansion, Henry VIII stayed here, and it was later turned into a Victorian family home.”

Throughout the show, childhood memories are rekindled with a look at much-loved vintage toys, while rare books and prints provide a glimpse of past white Christmases.

The team also found out what happened when the owner of a cherished letter from JRR Tolkien got the chance to rediscover his own correspondence with the famous fantasy author on a trip to Oxford’s Bodleian Library.

Speaking about the letter, the guest said: “I got it as a reply to a letter I sent to Professor Tolkien having read the Hobbit and translated the Rune words in the cover.

“I wrote to him in Rune letters, and this is the reply he sent to me,” to which he was told the letter was worth £10,000.

He was soon reunited with the original letter he wrote and found an unsuspecting surprise alongside it.

Tolkien received his letter and translated it to English, and the guest was told his father also put in a letter with his.

His letter to Tolkien, which he wrote when he was 15, read: “Dear Mr Tolkien, From the Runes of the frontal map of The Hobbit, I have managed to discover your Rune alphabet.

“I have read The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit and have thoroughly enjoyed them all, yours sincerely, Charles.”

Antiques Roadshow airs Sunday at 5:45pm on BBC One. 

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