TV & Movies

Antiques Roadshow expert ruins guests day by giving £50 value to war medal

An Antiques Roadshow guest was gutted after hearing the expert's valuation on a "German war medal" she found at a beach.

Firearms expert Robert Tilney appeared on the BBC hit show as he joined other experts at Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, Scotland on Sunday (September 26).

A woman had brought in what she thought was a bronze "medal" in a cross shape – carved with the words "1914 For Kaiser Culture".

When Robert asked where she got the metal, she said: "I was on holiday with my mum and dad in Aberdeen and I was playing on the beach and I dug that up."

She guessed it was from Germany, given the obvious word "Kaiser" – which referred to former German emperor Wilhelm II.

The expert took a quick look and said: "'For Kaiser and Culture' and in the middle is sort of a caricature of the Kaiser with his swept-up moustache and the date, 1914.

"But it's not German, it's British."

The guest frowned and let out a disappointing "Oh!" before Robert explained what it was.

"This is a propaganda medal," he said. "Now in 1914, the German armies were sweeping down through Belgium, which was neutral, into France, and their idea was to bring German culture to Europe.

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"There were newspapers, British newspapers thought 'we can show that German culture wasn't German culture'.

"It was terrible what they were doing in Europe. And they also, with the money raised, because they would sell these for a few pence to fund Belgian refugees, who were coming out of Belgium, having been driven out from the Germans."

Taking his second look at the medal, he told the guest: "Nowadays, I don't think it's worth more than about £40 or £50.

"But it's a really nice piece of early propaganda. So well done on digging up on Aberdeen beach."

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  • Viewers quickly noticed the guest's expression and said the expert's brutal valuation had "ruined her day".

    One wrote: "After much consideration, your 'German' war medal whose inscription is written in English, is not a German war medal. Who knew eh?"

    "He’s just ruined her day with that not German medal," a second commented.

    A third added: "She was gutted that medal was worthless."

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