The Surprising Value Of A Porcelain Spanish Dancer On Antiques Roadshow

Many of the items brought to "Antiques Roadshow" seem unremarkable at first. But a small, simple ceramic sculpture brought in for appraisal raised eyebrows when it was examined by show expert Will Farmer (via BBC One).

The statue is a young Spanish woman with a ruffled white skirt, covered in red polka dots. The guest told Farmer during the appraisal that he'd purchased it from a charity shop for just under £30, but he knew the item was worth more. He told Farmer he recognized the figurine as a Lenci creation because of past episodes of the show. That makes it one of the most sought-after ceramic dolls on the market.

Farmer confirmed the statue as a Lenci figurine. Similar figurines have appeared on "Antiques Roadshow" in the past, he said, and are worth a lot more than the £29.95 the guest had paid for it. The expert even said he has a figurine of his own. "These are incredibly desired figures the world over, and particularly with the Italians," Farmer said. "They love them. And I have to say, I love mine, as well."

What is the figurine worth?

The Spanish dancer figurine brought to "Antiques Roadshow" is likely worth between £2500 and £3000, said expert Will Farmer. That's a small amount compared to some of the show's most expensive finds, like $600,000 oil paintings and $1 million rhinoceros horn cups. But it's still a steep jump from what the guest paid when he purchased the figurine (via BBC One).

The value comes in part from the craftsmanship. Lenci designs are recognized for being highlights of the Art Deco period, Farmer said, and this piece was designed in the 1930s. "Lenci, in the 1920s and '30s, were really the jewel in the crown of the Italian ceramic industry," Farmer said.

Lenci was a joint venture between Helen Konig Scavini and her husband, Enrico Scavini, according to Lampoon Magazine. Lampoon reports the Scavinis started production with pressed felt and cloth dolls. But that work later expanded to ceramics when highly respected artists helped to design pieces.