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Duke of Wellington case and cheque on Antiques Roadshow

Duke of Wellington decanter case
Image caption Once unlocked the decanter case revealed a cheque written by the Duke of Wellington

A decanter case owned by the Duke of Wellington, containing a cheque written by him, has turned up in West Sussex.

It was taken to the BBC's Antiques Roadshow at the Weald and Downland Museum by Henrietta Wilson from Hampshire.

The campaign case contained a Coutts cheque from Wellington to the equivalent value of £100,000 today.

Expert Clive Stewart-Lockhart said the chest "would be worth tens of thousands" if it had been at Waterloo.

Ms Wilson said the case had been in her family for a number of years after being bought as a job lot at an auction by her great grandfather.

'Folded paper'

The box had always been a mystery as it was locked until her father decided to open it with a screwdriver.

Ms Wilson said: "He decided to have a look at the bottles, as he picked one up, something fell to the floor and when he looked down, there was a piece of folded paper on the floor.

"When he opened it out, he couldn't believe his eyes, because actually it seemed to be signed by the Duke of Wellington."

The family contacted Coutts Bank, who wrote back and confirmed that the Duke of Wellington did hold an account with them.

The cheque is dated March 1823 made out for £195.

Clive Stewart-Lockhart said: "If you use an average earnings index - nowadays is in excess of £100,000. So this is a cash cheque.

"In other words, he was going to Coutts to cash a cheque for £100,000. What on earth for?"

Mr Stewart-Lockhart told Ms Wilson the campaign decanter case was worth about £600 and the cheque £50.

"But if we could ever prove that this was taken to the Battle of Waterloo, then it's worth tens of thousands."

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