Antiques Roadshow guest gobsmacked by value of cigarette box shaped like a tiny safe

AN Antiques Roadshow guest was gobsmacked by the value of his cigarette box shaped like a tiny safe.

The intrepid antiquer told Gordon Foster that his father – a plasterer – found the item discarded in a house he was working on.

Gordon told him he has a good eye – because the little safe hid a big secret.

By fiddling with the contraption, the Antiques Roadshow expert revealed there was a cigarette box inside.

Gordon said: "Not quite what we were expecting when we first looked at it. It of course has a very famous maker's mark on the inside, which I'm sure you've seen. Dunhill of London, hallmarked for 1931.

"So it's bang in the middle of the Art Deco period. This was a time of great exuberance and glamour and you can see someone liking a bit of fun owning this object.

"It's made from solid silver and enamel. And enamel is black enamel, which has been deliberately left unpolished so there's that sort of frosted feel. And I think that's been done to look like a fire-resistant safe from that period."

But it wasn't just the holders' true nature the item had to offer – it was also worth between £3 – 5000.

Gordon continued: "Onto the value, it's cost you nothing. Comfortably I could see someone paying three to five thousand pounds for it. It's so desirable.

"They made one-off pieces.I've seen quite a lot of the pieces but I've never seen this model. And if you haven't seen one before, you know it's a good one."

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