Antiques Roadshow guest loses out on £10k as expert criticises Peter Rabbit’s condition

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Antiques Roadshow series 41 went to Buckfast Abbey in Devon, where expert Bunny Campione picked out her favourite gem; two Peter Rabbit Steiff bunnies. But, when she took a closer look at the stuffed animal, she noticed it’s condition and this affect its price tag. 

“So we’ve got two well-loved rabbits here. Do tell me how you got them and why,” Bunny asked. 

“I’ve been collecting Beatrix Potter for the last 30 years and it’s really become a bit of an obsession,” the lady said. 

“So what did you pay for these?” Bunny continued. 

“I paid £300 for the Peter Rabbit with the velvet on. And I paid £200 for the Peter Rabbit with the fur on,” the guest added. 

“Well, that’s very interesting for me because being called Bunny, I actually collect rabbits!” Bunny remarked. 

“I have actually got two of these [the white Peter Rabbits] and one of these [the brown Peter Rabbit]. 

“So, start with this one [brown Peter Rabbit], he’s about 1905, with a Steiff button and lovely boot button eyes and his original slippers.

“This [the coat] would’ve been much bluer, a darker blue, his waistcoat,” she added. 

“So he would be worth in the region – I think you said you paid £300 – you’ve done very well, £400 for him, maybe £500 on a good day. 

“And then we’ve got an older one and these were incredibly rare. 

“Steiff only made very few of them with lambswool covering. 1903 onwards, this one has got a button with a Steiff mark on it, and the early, early ones of 1903 were a blank button. 

“So, this is probably about 1904. 

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“He’s got the remains of a little slipper – so well done you or spotting it, not everybody would spot a Peter Rabbit online, because he could just be an ordinary old rabbit. 

“You paid £200 for him, I don’t think he’s worth a lot more than £200, but if he had all his lambswool and he was in good condition, have you any idea what he’d be worth? “ Bunny asked. 

“No, not at all,” the lady said. 

“Between £9,000 and £10,000,” the expert revealed.

“Really?” the guest replied stunned. 

“It just shows how condition is really important,” Bunny said. “So he should have a voice – can I try?” 

She picked up the smaller Peter Rabbit and squeezed its middle, and a squeak sounded: “Yes, you’re right you are worth a lot more money if you were in better condition!” She said to the bunny directly. 

Antiques Roadshow is available to watch on the BBC iPlayer now. 

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