Antiques Roadshow guest gobsmacked over price of Polynesian tribal weapon ‘Unbelievable’

Antiques Roadshow: Guest stunned at Fijian war club value

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During a classic episode of Antiques Roadshow, a guest brought in a wooden club her grandfather was gifted by a client decades ago. The antiques expert told her the item she brought onto the BBC programme was a deadly weapon used in Fiji and Tonga to strike a fatal blow to the head of an enemy which was in “superb condition”. She was then left speechless when he told her how many thousands of pounds it was worth. 

Collectables expert Ronnie told his guest he couldn’t believe what he was looking at when she presented him with the wooden club. 

He asked: “What’s a feminine person like you doing with a big, heavy aggressive thing like this?”

She explained: “Well it belongs to my dad actually, it’s not mine and it was passed down to him by his dad who acquired it through some spinster lady who gave it to him. 

“He was a solicitor in Scarborough town and that’s how he got hold of it but I don’t know anymore.” 

Ronnie Archer Morgan replied: “I can’t actually believe what I am looking at. This is absolutely superb, it is a Fijian Bulibuli and this is a thing of rare beauty. 

“I mean it really is what we collectors look for, I mean this is the best I’ve ever seen.”

His shocked guest interjected: “What? Really? Wow.” 

He explained the weapon was created to cave in people’s skulls with great force before telling the guest people have found skulls in places like Fiji and Tonga.

Ronnie continued: “It’s not surprising, is it? It has a beautifully domed head covered in raised carved studs, underneath is chip-carved, and it’s made of ironwood.”

He explained that the weapon was probably made in the early 18th century and described it as being “as good as it gets”. 

“It’s a prestige object and the man who owned this would have carried it with a swagger as it would have said who he was, and I’ve never seen one this long either,” he added. 

“It just takes my breath away, I am really beside myself with excitement, I just want to throw my collection away and that is the truth of the matter.”

He asked his guest: “Do you have any idea how it found its way from the middle of the Pacific to Scarborough? It’s just unbelievable. 

“And with an unbelievable object come and unbelievable price, I’m thinking about this and the marketplace for this sort of thing is in Paris.” 

His guest was left gobsmacked when he said a good quality one would normally fetch around £8,000 to £10,000. 

She was then stunned when he informed her that the one she brought on the show was worth between £30,000 and £35,000. 

“Oh my god, that’s amazing,” she replied while an audience behind her gasped. 

“My dad is going to be absolutely thrilled, that’s fantastic. Thank you so much.” 

Ronnie told her it was the best one he’d ever seen and thanked his guest for bringing it onto the BBC programme. 

Antiques Roadshow episodes can be watched on BBC iPlayer. 

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