Antiques Roadshow expert tells guest to keep ‘elegant’ cane with ‘hidden secrets'

The Antiques Roadshow team visited Scotland’s Brodie Castle on the BBC programme last month.

During the episode, expert Ronnie Archer-Morgan examined a “seriously elegant walking stick” that was brought in by a guest.

When Ronnie asked the guest if he had been in possession of the item for a long time, he explained: “I have had it for a long time. I inherited it from a cousin of my fathers, whose house was being cleared at a time when I was just acquiring my first flat in Edinburgh and needing to furnish it.”

He continued: “I went and got lots of practical things like kitchen utensils but there were also one or two lovely things but I didn’t know about it at the time. Only when I got it home did I discover its hidden secrets.”

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As Ronnie examined the cane, he asked the guest: “So you didn’t know at the time that it had a compass in there?” To which the guest replied: “No,” while he also said he didn’t know there was another hidden feature – a telescope.

The expert explained: “And you pull it out like that and all is revealed.”

“Yes, I just thought it was such a lovely object,” the guest declared.

Ronnie recognised the type of timber it was made out of as being rosewood. He suggested: “There are so many varieties, it’s one of those but this at the time would have been a very expensive wood, it’s exotic and it’s got these beautiful metal mounts.”

Date-wise, the unique piece was from around 1810, which Ronnie gathered from the quality of the work and the fact that it featured a Regency ferrule.

“They were the height of elegance, you wouldn’t go anywhere without your cane and this is a really fine one. Over 200 years and it looks like new,” the expert added.

“So I could have been strutting my stuff down Princes Street?” asked the guest.

When it turned to the valuation, the expert estimated it could make anywhere from £1400 to £2000 at auction, which was a shock to its owner.

“And it’s one that if I owned it, I’d have to keep it,” Ronnie surmised. The guest echoed this sentiment as he said: “Well I rather feel like that about it as well.”

“It’s the finest one I’ve ever seen. A cane with a secret,” Ronnie replied.

Elsewhere in the episode, Fiona discovered the area’s ancient history and learned more about the Celtic-speaking Picts who once lived there, known for the intricate carvings of people and standing stones – such as the Celtic cross that now stands proud in Brodie Castle’s grounds.

Expert Duncan Campbell examined an engraved silver salver, while Lisa Lloyd walked viewers through the history of fashion as she looked at a pair of rare 18th-century silk shoes and a Victorian lady’s dress.

It wouldn’t be a visit to Scotland either without hearing the hum of bagpipes as Fiona learned about the different forms of pipes from a family of bagpipe makers.

Antiques Roadshow airs Sundays from 8pm on BBC One.

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