The two men presented Antiques Roadshow‘s Ben Wright with a plain wooden box, but its appearance was deceiving as the contents were rather fascinating.
The antiques expert on the BBC programme opened the box to reveal a model of the solar system.
He detailed: “This is an orrery. Technically this is a terrarium and underneath is a planeterium and together it is called an orrery.”
As he demonstrated the model, he said: “What we have is the moon running round the earth.”
He then asked the brothers where they had got the unique item from.
They explained: “It belonged to our father and he bought it probably around immediately after the war.”
Be continued: “The term orrery comes from the fourth earl of Orrery. In the very early 18 century the Earl of Orrery in Cork wanted a planetarium made for him.
“The first English person to make planetarium or an Orerry was George Graham, a clockmaker who died in 1751.
“But one of his earliest commission was to make an orrery. This is a later version.”
Ben also asked the pair if they had used it when they were younger.
“It sat quietly in the corner and we’d get out and play with it. It’s a miracle it survived really,” the brothers said.
Ben went on to add: “This one is made by Jones who was one of the most famous makers of scientific instruments and orreries.
“They didn’t make a lot of them. They occasionally appear at auction. What’s special about this is all of this is complete and it’s working. The papers aren’t too stained, they’re in good condition.
“Do you have an idea of value at the moment?”
“Not at the moment,” they replied.
Ben simply stated: “£50,000.”
“That does make it special. Thank you very much,” the shocked brothers replied.
Many viewers appeared to be taken with the orrery as they took to Twitter to share their thoughts.
One wrote: “OMG that Orrery is an absolute thing of beauty. £50k! #AntiquesRoadshow.”
“Rummaging down the back of the sofa to find £50,000 to buy the beautiful Planetarium. My absolute dream object #AntiquesRoadshow,” another added.
Antiques Roadshow continues Sunday at 8pm on BBC One.