Antiques Roadshow saw an eye-watering five-figure valuation at the close of Sunday’s show, as the family of a Mount Everest mountaineer showed his extensive expedition tools
An Antiques Roadshow guest was left speechless by expert Fuchsia Voremberg during Sunday’s instalment of the collectable valuation programme on BBC One.
A family appeared on the programme to have their ancestor’s mountaineering kit valued by the show’s expert eyes.
Fuchsia gave the eye-watering valuation for the renown mountaineer Theodore Howard Somervell’s expedition tools of £70,000.
The mountaineer was a member of two expeditions to Mount Everest in the 1920s and his kit had been impeccably preserved by his grandson and great-grandson.
Sitting beside the extensive collection of items at the roadshow, Fuchsia was immediately blown away.
She said: “So I took the train up to Birmingham this morning, and I was completely surrounded by hikers on their way to the Peak District.
“They never had any kit that looked like this, though, can you tell me a little bit about these incredible objects that you have brought along?”
Somervell’s grandson explained: “They all belonged to my grandfather, I’m the grandson, and these two boys are great-grandsons.”
Fuchsia continued: “And your grandfather is Theodore Howard Somervell, it is so unreal and a really famous name in the history of mountaineering.”
Fuchsia asked if he was on the 1922 and the 1924 British Everest expedition, which the guest confirmed he was, pointing to a photo.
He said: “This photograph was taken at 27,000 feet in 1924 at the time, it was the highest photograph ever taken by mankind.”
As she began to take a closer look at the items, Fuchsia exclaimed: “It is hard to know where to begin, he had so many eyes in the fire, and we could do a whole programme on him.
“Climbing in the 1920s was pretty different to the sort of climbing that people do today, these climbing irons are made of forged steel, so I picked them up earlier, and they have got a bit of weight to it, and I am not sure if I can climb up the stairs wearing those let alone a mountain.
“And these goggles, they would have been a completely necessary piece of kit to stop you getting snow blinded when you are surrounded by whiteness and the cold of the air.
“You know quickly that is going to have a pretty detrimental effect on your eyes, but the Everest expeditions are famous not just because they were the first attempts.
“But also they were pretty hard hit by tragedy on the 1922 expedition, I know that seven hikers very sadly lost their lives in an avalanche.”
“And then on the 1924 expedition, Mallory and Irving disappeared near the summit, and it is still unknown if they reached the top of the mountain before they died or not,” she revealed.
Fuchsia then got down to the business of evaluating the items the family had brought, saying: “There is a lot of stuff here, and giving a collection like this a valuation is pretty complicated.
“But I can have a guess, so when you take into account the paintings, the climbing aids, the sketchbooks, it would be something in the region of £70,000.”
Somervell’s grandson exclaimed: “Man, you’re joking!” while the rest of the family were left speechless and giggling at the whopping sum.
She asked the woman who was with them: “Does that change the way you feel about these items?”
“Amazing, I have always known he was amazing,” she responded.
published 2022-04-17 18:28:31