Sunday, 26 September 2021

TV expert hosts charity antique event

ANTIQUES expert Jonty Hearnden valued heirlooms for charity.

ANTIQUES expert Jonty Hearnden valued heirlooms for charity.

The television presenter hosted a fund-raising afternoon at Phyllis Court Club in Henley.

About 50 people attended the event and many took with them items which had been in their families for decades.

They sat at tables in groups and Mr Hearnden picked the most interesting artefact at each one.

He then invited the audience to guess how much each piece was worth before announcing his own estimate.

The most valuable item was a set of five ancient Egyptian amulets dating back to around 2,000 BC, which were valued at £1,000. They belong to John and Gillian Morrish, from Shiplake, and were bought by Mr Morrish?s grandfather when he was flying commercial aeroplanes in Africa in 1935.

The amulets were found in Nubia, near the border with Sudan, and would have been sewn into a person?s shroud before burial.

Now it is illegal to take historic artefacts out of the country.

Mr Hearnden, 54, a former pupil of Shiplake College, said: ?These look spot-on ? dealers don?t usually get their hands on these because they're so rare. Apart from me, I think these must be the oldest things in the room!?

Other items included a Royal Navy midshipman?s journal belonging to Anne Dobbie, from Harpsden, which she inherited from her father.

It dates back to 1865 and was kept by a man named J J A Sloan, who wrote about his travels around the world and kept newspaper cuttings. This was valued at £300.

A small 19th century bronze figure of a cat playing a lyre was valued at £600, as was a set of three enamelled copper plates from Limoges.

Mr Hearnden, who was brought up in South Oxfordshire, said: ?The thrill is to see what people bring and I was not disappointed.

?We saw antiquities from ancient Egypt through to pop art by Andy Warhol from the Sixties. I was even shown an early 18th century Venetian oil on canvas that really took my breath away but I didn?t want to value it as it would require more research.

?I also valued a 200-year-old plate from China at £10, though fortunately the owner was still speaking to me at the end of the day!

?One table managed to guess one of my valuations to within £10, which is pretty good.?

After the valuations, there was a collection which raised £800 to be split between Helen & Douglas House and the South and Vale Carers Centre.

The event was organised by Phyllis Court Club?s charity action group.

Chairwoman Diana Pearman said: ?Jonty effectively led an engaging afternoon and matched the participants? quirky antiques with his knowledge and fascinating anecdotes.?

The group?s next event will be a spring and summer shoe sale next Friday from 10am to 4pm.

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