Antiques Roadshow guest staggered by ‘extraordinary’ value of Captain Cook’s spoons

Antiques Roadshow guest staggered by ‘extraordinary’ value of Captain Cook’s spoons

Antiques Roadshow expert Gordon Foster met with one of Captain James Cook’s descendants who brought two silver spoons from the explorer’s travels onto the BBC programme. During the latest episode of the show, Gordon was left amazed by the “incredible” items his guest presented him with before revealing just how much they could fetch at auction.

Captain Cook remains controversial for his colonial exploits and violent encounters with indigenous people.

However, he was celebrated in his day for his voyages in the Pacific and his mapping of unchartered territory.

One of his descendants took in a humble pair of spoons from Captain Cook’s travels across the globe to be valued by Gordon.

Gordan began: “Eagle-eyed viewers of the show will know we don’t often feature silver spoons unless they are something special, and these spoons you have brought along with you are something special.

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They were looking at Georgian silver spoons from 1750 with the initials JC engraved onto the cutlery which stood for James Cook.

The guest explained he had a family connection to Captain Cook on his father’s side, stating he was his “fifth grand nephew” which is why he had one of the spoons.

However, there were a lot of relics in the family of Captain Cook and among them were two spoons, but one was missing.

“We had one and then I thought, ‘Hang on, where’s the other one?’

“Then I saw a big auction house in London which was auctioning items which included, supposedly, a Captain Cook spoon.”

He visited the auction house and admitted there was “no limit” to how much he’d pay for it as he wanted the two spoons together in his possession.

Gordon said: “To pick up this spoon from what you have just told us, a spoon which belonged to Captain Cook who mapped out Australia and New Zealand, these spoons were on that journey with him. He ate with these spoons!”

The expert explained a spoon like the ones he was presented with would normally fetch around £40 at auction.

However, he said: “I can tell you this is like gold dust, this takes this spoon into a completely different stratosphere of value.”

“This is where I say wow, right?” The guest quipped.

“It is quite incredible,” Gordon added. “I can say with a lot of confidence that one spoon is worth £10,000 and you’ve got two.

“That makes £20,000 and I think that is just extraordinary, it’s absolutely extraordinary.”

Published at Sun, 26 Mar 2023 20:00:00 +0000