Page last updated at 21:36 GMT, Sunday, 16 November 2008

Antiques Roadshow finds 1m Angel

Antony Gormley final model
This sculpture is the first 1m object to be valued on the Antiques Roadshow

Antony Gormley's design model for his Angel of the North sculpture has become the first £1m object to be valued on BBC One's Antiques Roadshow.

The model was one of a number Gormley made to win over sceptical councillors ahead of the statue's commissioning.

Fine art expert Philip Mould broke the news during the recording of the show at The Sage in Gateshead.

Series editor Simon Shaw said: "This was one of the most exciting moments that we've ever had on the show."

Mr Mould said: "It's a great thrill to me that something produced in the last 15 years has broken the record for the most valuable item to ever have been on the show."

He said a larger Gormley design model had recently sold at auction for £2m.

The model on Antiques Roadshow, 6ft high and 17ft across, is owned by Gateshead Council and had been in council offices for 13 years.

Councillor John McElroy, who was on the council when it voted for the sculpture, said: "It was a very inspired and bold choice, because you have created on its site probably the most successful contemporary sculpture in Britain."

Sculptor Gormley told the Sunday Times the models were made to help attract funding and support from politicians and local residents.

Angel of the North
The mini-Angel was made to promote the idea of a sculpture

"Gateshead was short of money so we helped them by making quite a lot of maquettes to sell the idea," he said.

The steel angel, 66ft high and 178ft across, was unveiled by the A1 on the outskirts of Gateshead in 1998.

The programme's previous most expensive valuation had been a collection of silverware which appeared in 2007.

Recently a vase bought at a car boot sale in Dumfries for £1 and identified by Antiques Roadshow experts as valuable Feuilles Fougeres sold at auction for £32,450.

The Antiques Roadshow has seen a resurgence in viewing figures of late, with nearly nine million now tuning in on a Sunday evening since Fiona Bruce took over this year.

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