Finsbury charity for Scottish Londoners uncovers £100k silver cup on BBC's Antiques Roadshow
PUBLISHED: 15:33 16 October 2014 | UPDATED: 15:44 16 October 2014
A 400-year-old Finsbury-based charity stole the show at BBC's Antiques Roadshow in Glasgow last week with a 17th-century cup worth £100,000.
Scotscare, based in City Road, has been helping highlanders in London since the reign of King James I when the wealthier of those emigrating after the union paid into the “Scots Box” to help those fallen on hard times.
Among the donations received was a sliver cup in 1683 from James Kynneir, a Glasgow weaver who made his fortune in London but decide to give money to the organisation after he was struck down and survived a terrible illness – which it is thought could have been the plague.
The cup bares the inscription HW and is one of only two hand-crafted ornaments of its type. Nothing is known of its maker as hallmarking records for the period do not exist.
Willie Docherty, the charity’s chief executive who was filmed for the show with the cup, said: “The charity lost all of its records in a fire in 1877 and this cup is the only thing we have that relates to the period before that.
“We always thought it was valuable and were thinking about taking it to the roadshow in Walthamstow, but when we heard they were going up to Glasgow we thought it was a better fit.
“I knew it would be valuable because it’s so old but we thought it would be a few thousand, maybe £20,000, not worth £100,000.”
Scotscare helps around 8,000 Scottish Londoners each year in the shape of housing, financing students and looking after children and elderly first- and second-generation Scots.
Mr Docherty, who has been CEO of the charity for 12 years, was told by roadshow antiques guru Alastair Dickenson that the silver cup was the find of the century.
“He was amazed, he’d heard our cup existed but had never seen it before,” said Mr Doherty.
“We’ll be keeping it extra safe now, we’ve got it locked up in a secret location.”
The episode is expected to be aired at some point over the Christmas and New Year period on BBC1.