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Antiques Roadshow expert stunned by 'oldest printed thing we'll ever see'

Matthew Haley was wowed by a collection of printed documents that included 550-year-old pages from the 1470s.

Matthew Haley saw prints dating back to the 1470s on the latest Antiques Roadshow. (BBC)
Matthew Haley saw prints dating back to the 1470s on the latest Antiques Roadshow. (BBC)

What did you miss?

The highlight of this week's Antiques Roadshow was a collection of documents dating all the way back to the earliest years of the printing press. One punter brought along several pages from way back in the 15th century, with one printed as early as 1470.

This absolutely delighted books and manuscripts expert Matthew Haley, who said it was unlikely that any printed material older than this would ever appear on the Antiques Roadshow.

What, how and why?

The owner of the Antiques Roadshow print collection was delighted to hear its hefty valuation. (BBC)
The owner of the Antiques Roadshow print collection was delighted to hear its hefty valuation. (BBC)

The owner of the print collection said his wife had started to buy him old pages as a "special treat" because he was "interested in typefaces" due to his work for a print company. He soon started to acquire documents stretching almost as far back as the early innovation of the Guttenberg Bible in 1455.

Haley said: "These are pretty much the oldest printed thing that we'll ever see on the Antiques Roadshow. There's a sheet of paper that was printed in 1470 — 550 years ago."

The collection also included documents from the first printing press in Rome, as well as some early German work. He also had a document from William Caxton, who was the first person to print in English in 1482. Haley valued this single sheet at somewhere between £600 to £1,000.

The impressive collection contained single pages that dated right back to the earliest days of the printing press. (BBC)
The impressive collection contained single pages that dated right back to the earliest days of the printing press. (BBC)

"For somebody interested in books, like me, this is absolute gold dust. This is really phenomenal," said Haley. "It's wonderful and it's amazing to have such early historic printing material on the Antiques Roadshow."

Haley ultimately put a value between £5,000 and £10,000 on the "huge and spectacular collection". The owner quipped "don't tell the wife" as onlookers gasped at the sizeable number.

What else happened on Antiques Roadshow?

Antiques Roadshow expert Mark Smith saw a valuable military cross from the First World War. (BBC)
Antiques Roadshow expert Mark Smith saw a valuable military cross from the First World War. (BBC)

Elsewhere on this week's Antiques Roadshow, military expert Mark Smith heard the story of a medal earned by an ace pilot during the First World War. Another guest brought along a U2 record signed by the entire band in 1981. She had bought it from a record shop bargain bin before getting it signed and it was now valued at around £1,000.

Antiques Roadshow airs on Sundays on BBC One at 7pm.

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