Antiques Roadshow expert ‘mind blown’ by Jamaican table with ‘tricky’ valuation

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Antiques Roadshow visited Dyffryn Gardens near Cardiff for a recent episode of the popular BBC show. The episode features several interesting items including a compass from an Antarctic expedition and a necklace made from Baltic amber. However, it was a piece of furniture which caught the eye of expert Ronnie Archer-Morgan. The antique specialist confessed he was left mind blown by an unusual Jamaican table, but pleased its owner when he estimated its true value.

Ronnie read out some details about the table from a document which accompanied it.

He read: “Parlour table made by Cecil M McIntosh, Chebuctoo, Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland, Jamaica, put together with 1,666 pieces of the best Jamaican hardwood.”

The antiques expert went on to highlight how the document listed the varying types of wood used to make the table.

Ronnie exclaimed: “Pages and pages of the different timbers! There’s Ceder, there’s Greenheart, there’s Breadfruit.

“There’s woods I’ve never heard of. I mean, it’s quite extraordinary,” he added.

Keen to know more, he asked the owner how she came by the unusual piece of furniture

The guest replied: “I inherited it from my stepfather and he inherited it from his mother in 1990.

“I can remember it being in his home from that time,” she said.

The owner of the table went on to detail how she’d done some research into its background and messaged the Jamaican Georgian Society to learn more about it’s maker, Cecil McIntosh.

She said: “They came back to say he was an invalid and he was quite well known for carving pieces of wood.

“It was mostly done using a penknife,” she explained.

Amazed by the table’s origin, Ronnie chimed in: “The fact that he made this with a penknife tells me more than just a piece of furniture.

“It actually represents the indomitable spirit. I mean, I just love it. Here you have marquetry pots of flowers and you have geometric parquetry and various woods,” he explained.

“It actually blows my mind!” Ronnie exclaimed, highlighting the detail in the work.

He revealed the piece of furniture was likely made in the latter half of the 19th century.

As the antiques expert moved onto the topic of value, he confessed it wouldn’t be easy to put a price on the table.

“Oh, it’s very tricky,” he said. “With this story, with that document, with the prominence, I think I’d value this at £3,000 to £4,000.”

Clearly thrilled with the estimated value, the owner replied: “Oh, lovely!”

“It’s fantastic,” Ronnie added, before thanking the guest for bringing the table onto the show.

Antiques Roadshow airs Sundays at 8pm on BBC Two.

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