Woman buys unusual brooch for $25 in 1988, may sell it at auction for $16,000

Owner of rare brooch realized what she had while watching a TV program

A woman is about to cash in on her market find more than 35 years after she purchased it. 

Flora Steel, a jewelry enthusiast, bought a unique silver brooch at a market in Midlands, England, in 1988 for just $25. 

Her brooch was made by designer and architect William Burges — whose work remains on display today at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England, Steel told SWNS, the British news service.

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"I always loved it and thought it was so particular in its design," she said.

But the resident of Rome, Italy, didn’t realize the brooch was a rare treasure until she saw a similar one while watching an episode of the TV program "Antiques Roadshow," in the U.K.  

Brooch and woman

Flora Steel purchased a brooch in 1988 at a market for about $25 — and didn't realize it was worth so much money until just recently.? (SWNS / SWNS)

The series highlighted the Burges designs — one of which made Steel stop in her tracks. 

"When the clip popped up on my phone, I said to myself, ‘That reminds me of the brooch I found 35 years ago,’" she recalled to SWNS.

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Steel decided to visit the Victoria and Albert Museum to look at the designs by Burges.

And that's where she discovered the brooch she had at home was one of his designs.

Brooch

This William Burges brooch is expected to sell at auction for anywhere between $10,000 and $16,000.? (SWNS / SWNS)

"Lo and behold, there was my brooch," she said. 

"I practically fell off my chair."

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This instance is not the first time a Burges jewelry owner discovered a piece was unique from an "Antiques Roadshow" episode. 

"Lo and behold, there was my brooch."

In 2011, Jill Cousins of Market Harborough, England, recognized a design on the show that looked similar to her silver, turquoise and garnet brooch.

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Her brooch was confirmed as a Burges design and sold for over $30,000 at auction in August 2011, according to SWNS. 

Another viewer sold a Burges brooch in a private sale to the Victoria and Albert Museum after seeing the show in 2011. 

Flora Steel with brooch

Steel said she was watching a television show when she spotted a brooch similar to the one she owned.? (SWNS / SWNS)

Steel will auction off her 1988-purchased brooch this spring at Gildings Auctioneers in Market Harborough, England — where it is expected to sell for between $10,000 and $16,000. 

Gildings director Will Gilding told SWNS that Steel’s brooch was an obvious Burges find. 

"It was clear this was another one of the designs on the page of sketches," he said. 

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He added, "For it to happen once — amazing. Twice, remarkable. A third time? Pinch me!" 

Gilding told SWNS the company is "honored to be playing a part in its continued history as we present it to the open market."

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxbusiness.com/lifestyle.

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