Antiques Roadshow guest left speechless after discovering cheap thrift find was worth small fortune

An Antiques Roadshow guest was left gobsmacked when an item she picked up from a thrift store turned out to be worth a small fortune.

The popular series returned to Minnesota, where it met with locals hoping their interesting items might be more valuable than they initially thought. One guest presented expert James Ffrench with a beautiful textile that she had bought for a dollar.

She explained: "I always look for linens and needlework because it interests me and I like to study and appreciate it. I have a lot of appreciation for women who have done needlework and this kind of stuck out to me."

Initially, James thought it was another 20th Century Scandinavian-inspired textile, which he had seen plenty of before. However, upon closer inspection, he realised there was "something more going on" in the detail, reports the Mirror.

The guest was left speechless
The guest was left speechless -Credit:BBC

He noted: "There's an incredible subtlety to the colouration and the way this is woven and put together. "So I was thinking: 'Gosh, you know, really this is better than most' and intrigued myself."

The Antiques Roadshow guest was then in for a treat when James revealed the unexpected value of a textile piece. "This is signed with the initials 'MMF' which stands for a woman named Marta Maas-Fjetterstrom who was probably the leading textile designer and producer in Sweden in the early 20th Century," he said.

Marta Maas-Fjetterstrom, initially a painter, opened her workshop in 1918, crafting textiles, curtain fabrics, rugs, and carpets. James highlighted her significance, saying, "She was of such prominence that she designed and manufactured the rugs that are used for the Nobel Prize ceremonies in Stockholm, so she's really a designer of some note".

"Typically in the market, we come across pieces of hers that are quite large. I've never seen a handwoven, flat-weave textile of this size coming from her and the quality backs up with the initials."

The owner, unaware of its true worth, admitted: "Absolutely not. I knew it was worth the dollar that I paid for it, just to have something to study, because it was so interesting."

Wrapping up the appraisal, James estimated: "Right, because I would say, within the popularity of Marta Maas-Fjetterstrom things on the market today, because it's really coming on quite strong, I would place a retail value on a piece like this today of somewhere between $2,000 and $4,000."