The curator of Osborne House says he does not recognise an antique table, stamped “Osborne” and valued on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, as a piece of furniture from the former Isle of Wight palace.
(Main Image: Brands found on Osborne House furniture) Michael Hunter admits that he has been looking inside the furniture at the East Cowes estate to see if he can find a similar mark, but says those he has found on the 19th century items are “very specific” and Osborne is marked simply “O”. The table was valued to be worth around £2000 on the tv show filmed at Balmoral. Its rumoured link to Osborne added £1000 to its price tag. Speaking to Isle of Wight Radio, Mr Hunter said the 1840s stand is unlike any other furniture in the house.
“I was absolutely intrigued. The fact that it had the word Osborne stamped inside one of the drawers was very interesting. “However in terms of the style and wood, it didn’t strike me as being specifically an Osborne piece. Certainly not one commissioned by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert for Osborne. “There were two big furnishing campaigns here in the 1850s.There were masses of pieces of furniture that were made to kit out Osborne. Osborne was new at the time. They chose a quite plain style in mahogany and so this oak piece with characteristic barley-sugar twist Scottish-style columns didn’t fit into the Osborne style. It looked to me like a Scottish piece.”
The owner told the programme that he believed it had been given to a lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria. Michael Hunter said he would need to know much more if he is to investigate any supposed links to the Island:
“It would be interesting to know more about its provenance; when it was given to the lady-in-waiting. It would interesting to know who she was. Then one could find out if she did come to Osborne as part of Queen Victoria’s household and by what means it left Queen Victoria’s ownership. “We’re very lucky at Osborne. We have very good historic photographs. The furniture is quite plain but very dark. We’ve got a photograph of John Brown’s room and if any room should have memories of north-of-the-border it would be that one.”
Mr Hunter says he has not been contacted by the table’s owner.