Before the man brought it out, everyone in the room had no idea what to anticipate. Immediately upon seeing it, the appraiser’s jaw dropped, and he recognized it as something significant.
But, more importantly, what would happen to the object after the world knew about it?
Started With Cleaning
Cleaning duty was what Nathan Krin and Larry Jenner found themselves doing after a long day.
This wasn’t irregular, actually, everyone in the group including the military had to put in their effort to keep things tide. But the task this time was quite different.
They were told that they had to clean out one of the buildings that hadn’t been used in forever. It was going to become a place for storage.
Everything would have to be taken out of the place first. Nathan started cleaning some boxes hidden under old cots then he stumbled upon something very strange.
In one of the boxes was an ornate wooden box that looked impeccable.
It was handcrafted and beautiful. They decided to open it up to see what was inside. There wasn’t a bottle, but flowers.
Why Was It There?
Maybe it was an old soldier’s gift from a spouse that had been forgotten or lost here.
The whole thing looked out of place, it looked rather strange for something a soldier would keep on the base. Larry was the first one to notice the strangest thing about the whole situation.
The flowers were white and had accents of pink and purple. The stems were painted gold and the vase was also beautiful.
The vase was painted to look like it contained water. It looked way too expensive to be an old knick-knack that someone just left behind.
Following The Clues
The soldiers needed to know what this was all about. They decided to look up the keywords that they could find and see what they had found.
Then they started to get excited as they searched, they were like children looking for treasure. Then they knew they needed it appraised.
It took some negotiation but the two managed to leave the base and find the one show they had known for years … and was thankfully within driving distance.
It was the famous Antiques Road Show. Larry and Nathan were already giddy, but they needed a professional evaluation.
The appraiser started their questioning which was standard – the “who” “where” and “what”, etc.
Only more questions were raised as the appraiser examined the engraving. Nathan and Larry saw the key. “QOWH, South Africa, 1900.”
Gift From War
From their research, the men concluded that the delicate sculpture had been gifted to their regiment for their help during the Boer War 1899 to 1902.
Long ago, some oblivious soldier had thought it a simple trinket and tucked it away. If they had known who had made it, they would have never shoved it away like a bad Christmas tie.
A Lost Faberge!
The creator was none other than Fabergé! The man and his family firm who made all those famous eggs that sell for millions had also done previous studies using flowers as a theme.
It was this practice with flora that had developed his skills to the renowned artist. But that’s not all.
Other floral examples had been found over the years.
Enamelled cornflowers and turquoise forget-me-nots sold for hundreds of thousands of pounds each. Nathan and Larry had an idea of the value, but they still braced for the final number.
The evaluator looked closely in amazement and admiration. He said, “One of these recently went for £600,000, but it was far less detailed than the one you have here.”
The crowd gathered around, staring with gaping jaws and wide eyes. Nathan and Larry beamed with pride. But there was a coming problem they weren’t prepared for.
Commanding Officer Steps In
It shouldn’t have surprised them. But the moment they were called into their superior’s office, they knew something was wrong.
Their commander did not look happy at all. “You honestly thought no one would find out?” he asked.
Who Did It Belong To?
Larry and Nathan explained that they wanted to make sure they knew what they had on their hands before they brought the find to light.
After all, it was a gift specifically for their regiment, and they were worried it would just be whisked away and sold to fund the general army. Or just stuck in a museum without proper credit.
It was a tense discussion.
The two of them were telling the truth, they just hoped the displeased commander would believe them. “Just because it was given to your regiment doesn’t mean your team gets to keep it. It’s property of the military.”
Getting A Second Opinion
“Please don’t sell it, sir,” Nathan begged. “It would make a beautiful showcase it would-“
Their commander raised a hand, signalling for him to stop speaking. “We’re keeping it. Don’t worry. We’re also going to go back to the show with our own update.
Brining A Historian
The army was serious about knowing exactly what was on their hands – and also a better evaluation.
So, with the two of them in full uniform, they went back to the show and their third guest, a military historian, joined them. The final number was jaw-dropping.
Worth Way More!
“I’m going to tell you, in my opinion, that this is worth a million pounds.” Everyone in the crowd gasped. Nathan and Larry did their best to keep their cool and remain professional.
But inside they were jumping with joy. What the historian said next made them feel all the more fantastic.
The Men Got Their Wish
He grinned and said, “Goodness gracious. Well, I’m supposed to say now that it’s not for sale.”
In the end, the two men got what they wanted – the flower on display, a note about their regiment and another notation that the two of them had made the discovery.