Antiques Roadshow expert floored as computer bought for ‘not much’ is worth £10K

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Antiques Roadshow expert Gordon Foster was delighted when a woman brought in her dad's old golf machine, which he bought for "not much" in the 1960s.

Presenting the BBC show on Sunday (March 7) at Kenilworth Castle in the Midlands, Gordon reveals the 1930s curiosity is basically an "early computer" and worth a lot of money today.

He explains: "It’s an early computer and it’s a golf game. It’s fantastic – I absolutely love it!

"Basically, how it works I’m sure you know, you would whack a golf ball attached to a piece of string and it would record the direction of the shot by a hook to the left or slice to the right, the elevation of the shot and, of course, the distance of the shot."

He continued: "The golfer, just like he would do on a normal golf course with a real shot with a flat and a target, would then select the right club for that distance and again, that would be recorded on here.

"At the end of the hole, you would then wind it manually onto the next hole and they actually issued 12 different golf courses, all famous British golf courses like St. Andrews, so you could actually imagine you were playing these courses."

The owner of the strange item said her dad had bought it in 1956 and paid "not much" for it because it wasn't "fashionable" and wasn't working.

Her dad, an electrical engineer, did manage to "get it going" again.

Gordon said the item was so rare it was "tricky" to give a valuation, but when he eventually came to a sum the owner was very happy.

He told the guest: "When we come to the valuation now, it’s slightly tricky, the only ones I’ve found are in museums.

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"There’s one in the Golf Museum in St. Andrews and there’s two actually in a museum in Tasmania.

"So, currently auction estimate, I have no hesitation in saying this would be worth £5,000 up to perhaps £10,000."

Antiques Roadshow airs Sunday evenings at 8pm on BBC One

  • BBC
  • Antiques Roadshow

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