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US NewsRing taken to Antiques Roadshow is 'very likely' to contain Charlotte Brontë's hair, making £25 piece of jewellery worth £20,000

13:10  18 april  2019
13:10  18 april  2019 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Ring taken to Antiques Roadshow is 'very likely' to contain Charlotte Brontë's hair, making £25 piece of jewellery worth £20,000 © Getty Charlotte Bronte A 200-year-old ring worth £25 has been valued at £20,000 by antique experts after it was discovered to contain a lock of hair believed to be from Jane Eyre author Charlotte Brontë.

The intricately-made piece of jewellery is inscribed on the inside with Brontë's name and the year of her death, 1855, and opens at a hinge to reveal a lock of braided hair.

The Brontë Society, based in Yorkshire, said it was 'very likely' to have belonged to the celebrated writer.

The heirloom came to light on the latest episode of the Antiques Roadshow, filmed in Arddig, north Wales.

Ring taken to Antiques Roadshow is 'very likely' to contain Charlotte Brontë's hair, making £25 piece of jewellery worth £20,000 © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited

A woman who brought the ring to be appraised said it belonged to her late father-in-law.

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Ring taken to Antiques Roadshow is 'very likely' to contain Charlotte Brontë's hair, making £25 piece of jewellery worth £20,000 © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited She told the Roadshow's jewellery expert Geoffrey Munn: 'I've got goosebumps now thinking about it.

'It's got a hinge on it, and inside there's plaited hair, I think it may be the hair of Charlotte Brontë.'

The expert replied that there was 'very little reason to doubt' the hair was Bronte's.

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Ring taken to Antiques Roadshow is 'very likely' to contain Charlotte Brontë's hair, making £25 piece of jewellery worth £20,000

He explained: 'It was a convention to make jewellery out of hair in the 19th century.

'There was a terror of not being able to remember the face and character of the person who had died.

Ring taken to Antiques Roadshow is 'very likely' to contain Charlotte Brontë's hair, making £25 piece of jewellery worth £20,000 © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The Brontë Society, based in Yorkshire, said it was 'very likely' to have belonged to the celebrated writer (pictured in a portrait in 1840) 'It wasn't an uncommon thing to happen. [The ring] opens like a little biscuit tin lid, and amazingly we see this hair work within, very finely worked and plaited hair.

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'It echoes a bracelet Charlotte wore of her two sisters' hair … So it's absolutely the focus of the mid- to late 19th century and also the focus of Charlotte Brontë.'

He said he believed it was 'utterly and completely credible' that the hair had been Brontë's.

Ann Dinsdale, principal curator at the Brontë Society & Brontë Parsonage Museum, told the Guardian they had no reason to doubt the ring had been made using the author's hair, even though its provenance was unknown.

Dinsdale said the ring would be a 'lovely addition' to the museum's collection, funds permitting. 'We already have a considerable collection of Brontë hair at the museum, and there's usually a sample on display.'

Without the hair, Mr Munn said the ring would have been worth merely £25, but with it and the accompanying inscription, he valued it at £20,000.

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This is interesting!