Page last updated at 20:00 GMT, Wednesday, 6 May 2009 21:00 UK

BBC show unearths 1641 'passport'

Eileen and Peter Milner
The passport dates backs to 1641

A BBC show which values viewers' family heirlooms has found one of its most valuable artefacts in Sunderland.

Experts for BBC2's Flog It have put a price of up to £20,000 on a "passport" which is almost 400 years old.

It was brought to the Stadium of Light to be valued by Peter and Eileen Milner and is thought to be one of the best finds in the show's eight year history.

The document, which belonged to a Captain Bradshaw, dates back to 1641 and was signed by Charles I.

Heirloom expert and show presenter, Paul Martin, put a reserve price of between £2,000 and £3,000, but said it could fetch between £15,000 and £20,000.

The document, which is handwritten on vellum parchment, was bought as a present for Mrs Milner for about £100.

Birthday present

Mrs Milner said: "It has beautiful writing with the signature of Charles I, we believe, and it gives passage to a Captain Bradshaw and his wife and servants to travel the oceans on behalf of the king.

"It is fascinating - it belonged to a friend of ours who was a collector and when his estate was being sold my husband bought it for me as a birthday present.

"It may go from from £2,000 to £20,000 we just don't know until the day of the auction.

"It would be nice if it went to a museum or the Passport Office if they have collections. But for the moment it is with the BBC for safe-keeping."

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