Woman Finds Ring Containing Charlotte Brontë’s Hair in Father-in-Law’s Attic
It all unfolded on the latest episode of Antiques Roadshow.
It’s everyone’s dream to discover a priceless artifact amongst the dust and junk in their attic, take it on Antiques Roadshow, and find out it’s worth a small fortune. And that’s exactly what happened on the latest episode of Antiques Roadshow, filmed in Erddig, Wales.
The ring, which had belonged to the woman’s late father-in-law, includes an inscription on the inside, bearing the name of the author and the date of her death in 1855.
“I’ve got goosebumps now thinking about it. It’s got a hinge on it, and inside there’s plaited hair, I think it may be the hair of Charlotte Brontë,” the woman told the show’s jewelry expert, Geoffrey Munn.
“Yes! Massive!” he replied excitedly.
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Munn told her that there is no reason to doubt the ring’s authenticity, especially given that mourning rings of this type were quite common at the time of Brontë’s death.
“It was a convention to make jewelry out of hair in the 19th century. There was a terror of not being able to remember the face and character of the person who had died,” he explained. “It wasn’t an uncommon thing to happen. [The ring] opens like a little biscuit tin lid, and amazingly we see this hair work within, very finely worked and plaited hair. It echoes a bracelet Charlotte wore of her two sisters’ hair… So, it’s absolutely the focus of the mid- to late 19th century and also the focus of Charlotte Brontë.”
Without the hair, Munn said he would have valued the ring at £25 (approximately $33); with the hair and the inscription, he valued it at £20,000 ($26,000).
Watch the incredible clip above and keep those eyes peeled for buried treasure!