Antiques Roadshow guest laughs after staggering valuation of item found in attic

Guest surprised at valuation of ‘rare document’ found in attic

Antiques Roadshow expert Paul Atterbury was left fascinated when a guest showed him a rare document bearing a design for a jet engine that had a lot of history behind it.

Looking over the items, the expert said: “I think this is rather important because what I’m looking at, and I think you can correct me, is a design for a jet engine clearly labeled Junkers and so we’re in Germany at the end of the Second World War, how does he fit in there?”

The guest explained: “Well, that’s what we’re trying to sort of uncover. At the end of the Second World War, he’d been taken to Germany to interview various scientists including Walter von Braun, I’m sorry Wernher von Braun.

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“And I’d always just assumed it was a story rather than, you know…I’d never found any proof. And my sister’s here, we were digging around in the attic and we came across this.”

He later continued: “And what we’ve just discovered are various letters that he wrote in the 1990s describing the British developing these engines in the late 1940s.

“Saying that actually, this was not part of the official history basically. And then they were actually looking for this drawing and then of all things, my sister pulled it out the other day.”

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“It’s amazing what people have in their attics, isn’t it?”, Paul beamed

The guest explained how after the 1940s his grandad went on to work for Concorde and showed prototype parts of the turbines for Concorde’s engines for the Olympus, and confirmed he had 13 of them.

The guest’s items told a tale of hidden plans and the connection between the Nazi rocket programme and the development of a supersonic flight that left Paul valuing the rare document at £1,000.

The expert explained: “I think it’s a great story, and this is a very, very rare document locked into its time by the Junkers heading. And that is going to be, I think, to a collector about £1,000.”

The expert added: “A standard Concorde turbine blade is, there’s quite a lot of them, inevitably – is £100, £200.

“Let’s take these as prototypes and developmental ones, and I think because of the story and the connection, you can double that. Keep digging in that attic.”

“Yes”, the guest replied before he started to laugh at the staggering valuation.

The episode of Antiques Roadshow was first broadcast in July 2023 and is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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