The team head to Burton Constable Hall near Hull. Items of interest include the first transatlantic airmail letter and diaries of an SS officer.
Browse content similar to Burton Constable 2. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
The Humber Bridge was opened by the Queen back in 1981,
and it is Britain's longest suspension bridge.
And look at the view, it dominates the landscape.
You've got Lincolnshire over on this side.
Over here, the East Riding of Yorkshire, and just there,
this year's City of Culture.
And at this spot we're over 500ft up in the air,
and I'm feeling a bit nervous.
Welcome to this week's Antiques Roadshow from Hull.
Hull was awarded City of Culture 2017.
It's a £100 million investment
that will refurbish museums, galleries,
and fund plenty of festivals.
New venues have also been built.
Like this one, called The Dock.
It's a Grade II-listed former dry dock dating back to 1842.
It hasn't been used in the last 20 years,
but now it's been converted into a 350-seat amphitheatre
for live events and shows.
Another notable location for this cultural extravaganza
is the Museum Quarter.
To get there, you'll find the River Hull in the way,
but this recently installed swing bridge,
an ingenious piece of engineering like something off a Star Wars set,
will transport you to the other side.
Hull City of Culture 2017 will celebrate its former greats.
The pilot Amy Johnson, the poet Philip Larkin,
and the great slave-abolitionist William Wilberforce.
And Wilberforce's home celebrates another era,
when Hull's furniture-makers were at the fore.
They were craftsmen born from the shipbuilding heyday.
Their celebrated work also inhabits a fine country house nearby -
our venue for the day, Burton Constable Hall.
This 16th-century house is crammed with treasures,
and we're hoping to find many more
as our experts welcome visitors to today's Antiques Roadshow.
This is a fantastic oil lamp that you've brought us in
to take a look at today,
and I must say, on this show,
we don't often get a couple of young guys like yourself
bringing something like this in, so what can you tell me about it?
How did you come by it, do you collect this type of thing?
Yeah, we have quite a few antiques
and we're always on the lookout for bits and pieces.
And we were visiting a car-boot sale in Doncaster,
and I saw this from a distance,
but originally, where the enamelling, sort of, colouring is,
it was painted white.
I considered repainting it but I were curious what were underneath,
so I slowly sort of just washed it off with soap and water.
That must have been quite a shock when you've gone from white to this?
-And what did you think of the purchase?
For many years, a lot of our homes, we used to...
Everything come from car boots, you know what I mean?
That's how we furnished our home, and then obviously when...
-..This was revealed...
..you've been back to that car boot every week since, yeah?
It's French, it's Limoges enamel,
and Limoges enamel have been around for a very long time,
way back in the 12th century,
but this one was made much, much later than that
and in the 19th century, probably around 1880.
And it's of a type, I mean, it's high-style Victorian, really,
you've got these wonderful gilt-metal mounts here,
and then often we see these panels,
which were sort of aristocrats or courtiers,
probably 16th-17th century, something like that.
And here we can see we've got Marie de Rohan.
She was also known as the Duchess Chevreuse.
And then, if I turn it all the way around,
we can see on the other side,
opposing side, we've got Louis Maugiron.
Particularly in the 19th century
they were looking back on earlier periods,
you know, the 16th, 17th and indeed the 18th century,
with a great deal of fondness,
so decorating it with these type of aristocrats and courtiers
would have been very much appetite and flavour of the day.
Would that have been hand-painted?
Absolutely. Yeah, no, it's absolutely all hand-painted
on this wonderful sort of turquoise ground.
Would it have been a one-off or one of a pair, or just...?
You know, pairs of vases, we think about that,
but as an oil lamp often they were just, you know, single, so...
But you will find other examples like this oil lamp.
We were always curious with the narrow shade, flute,
because most of them I've seen are quite bulbous
-and this is very narrow.
-It is. Well, it would have had another...
You see this lovely little lip that we've got there?
That would have actually sat, so you've got your flute there,
and then you would have had
a nice little globular, or bulbous, lamp there.
Because, of course, that would have been frosted,
you know, so that the light wasn't so extreme.
I mean, if you just got this clear one,
the light would have been burst throughout the room.
It's a great thing. I think there would be a good appetite for that
if it came up for auction,
and I think it would carry a presale estimate
of between £1,500 and £2,500.
Now you can tell me what you paid at the car boot.
Well, it were less than £10.
-Was it really? My God.
Now, I gather this little bit of silver
is the cause of some family controversy, shall we say,
so perhaps I can help to settle the argument.
So, without wanting to cause, you know, romantic disharmony,
perhaps ladies first, perhaps you'd like to tell me
what your view of it is?
Well, it's been in my family forever,
never been out of the family,
and we think it's a communion cup
-and it's probably from the 1500s.
And so I gather your partner's also been investigating this little cup,
and so what would be your view?
I think it's from the 17...
Around 1775, from Birmingham,
and it's sterling silver.
Do you agree with the sterling silver?
OK, so it's sterling silver.
I think I agree with the sterling silver,
so we've got consensus here, sterling silver it is.
You're both wrong on the date.
And on the town, unfortunately.
-For drinking out of?
-Whatever you like, really,
it's just a useful domestic object, really.
I don't think it's got anything to do with church,
in fact there's no reason to think it's to do with communion.
There is a set of hallmarks on the bottom,
which you presumably looked up to get the Birmingham one.
They are complicated, hallmarks,
and I can understand exactly why you drew that conclusion.
This little beaker was made in London, in fact, in 1653.
Not quite as old as the 1500s, but pretty old nonetheless.
-1500s is very, very rare for silver.
1653 is rare enough.
So, if we turn it upside down,
on the bottom here
we've got a little set of London hallmarks,
and there's a maker's mark with D and G
on either side of an anchor.
Well, as you know now, the Birmingham town mark is an anchor,
so I can quite understand why you'd thought that.
It's made by a maker who's name now has been lost to history,
who made various silver objects,
including communion cups and church-related silver.
This he made and marked in 1653,
which is some, what, 363 years ago?
Incredible, I mean, and all the damage that it's suffered,
there are a few dents on the side of it - is it used at home?
Not really, no. It's just on display all the time, though.
But it's out on constant display?
-You never get tempted to take a little drink out of it, no?
You can do, it won't come to any harm. You can use it,
as long as you don't sort of throw it round the room,
you're not going to do it any damage.
It was absolutely made for use.
Silver from that period's pretty rare.
1500s is sort of virtually unheard of,
but this is pretty rare stuff.
It's been around forever, you don't know who bought it,
-you don't know...?
It's quite a little cup,
I mean it's, what, 3oz or 4oz only?
I think you'd be very lucky to buy that for £3,000.
Gosh. Oh, thank you, that's lovely.
Not a bit.
Well, we've got the classical beauty of Burton Constable Hall behind us.
You've brought me a clock of a similar classical design.
But let me tell you, it's a very, very ordinary, late Victorian clock.
So, what was it about it that made you buy it?
Well, the paintings on it.
I love the whole school of marine painters,
especially John Ward and Henry Redmore.
-It was in a... I hesitate to say antique shop -
it was a junk shop or second-hand shop,
and among all the tat I saw this behind the counter
and I was immediately drawn to it because of the paintings on it.
Yeah, and how far back does your interest in Hull and maritime...?
All my life, all my life.
I bought this 24 years ago now,
and when I looked closely I was very excited and pleased
to see the signature on it, EK Redmore.
Yeah. Now, it is an artist I know,
because my grandma lived in Hull for 40-50 years,
and as a boy I went to the Ferens Art Gallery,
where they have some super works by Edward King Redmore.
-And, of course, his father, Henry Redmore, was also an artist,
so there's a tradition in that family
-and they're very celebrated in these parts.
-In Hull especially, yes.
Shall we have a look a bit closer at the...?
-Because it's got a full seascape.
I mean, there's a sailing vessel,
there's a little steam vessel in the background.
Precisely, yes, yes.
And, of course, it's not just the dial that's painted -
we have, beneath the classical sort of portico,
two more little vignettes.
Indeed, yes, yes.
I'll be honest, I've never seen anything by either of the Redmores
painted on anything except canvas.
-Have you not?
-So, it makes this, you know, a little bit spicy.
Yes, well, it's unique, I think it's the only one in the world.
His work deteriorated a lot in his older days.
Well, yes, his later work did really deteriorate,
and I thought he died
somewhere in the early days of the Second World War.
Just before, I believe, yes. 1939, I think.
Yeah, yeah. But, look, what a lovely piece
that represents one of Hull's great artists
and, of course, one of Hull's great characters.
We remember him by his attention to this, you know,
very ordinary French clock with a very ordinary movement.
Value - not huge, but I think to a local person,
in a local auction that's well advertised,
it's got to be £700, £1,000 worth.
Yes, thank you very much, yes.
It's a tradesman's sample.
-And made of mahogany.
To me, the charming thing about it is it's all original.
It's got the original little turned feet,
the original knob handles,
it even opens up inside.
Commercially, it's worth about £200-£300.
Do you know anybody who wants it?
Well, it's handmade.
It's handmade - in part because it IS handmade...
..it also is handmade
because there's a sticker here that says "handmade"!
It's one of the advantages of being able to read.
-And it also says The Great British Bake Off.
-Did you win this?
-Is that right?
-Series five, yes.
And what did you cook?
A red windmill, the Moulin Rouge.
-OK, have you got a bit left of it?
Not now, no!
This is really fabulous, it's a very, very beautiful dress.
-Is it something that you've worn?
No, it's not mine, it belongs to my friend,
but she lives in Greece so I said I'd bring it on her behalf.
This is textbook 1920s.
-It's probably about 1925, to be exact.
We have bugle beads, metal thread, sequins,
beautifully arranged and in an amazing condition.
It has a value.
Well, because of its condition and its wear-ability,
a dress like this would easily be £800.
Oh! I told her, I told her it was a really nice dress.
Oh, how lovely. She'll be so pleased.
Who is this gentleman in a First World War uniform?
This is my grandfather, Albert Ruffy.
In the First World War he was shot a couple of times
and we've still got the bullets from the First World War.
Now, when he'd left being a soldier in the First World War,
what did he do then?
I'm not quite sure exactly what his trade was,
but up until when he went into the...
When we entered into the Second World War,
he was part of the Customs.
And as the war ended,
we started to repatriate some of the German prisoners of war.
-Now, I understand he was involved with that.
He was. As the Customs were dealing with the Germans
going from the prisoner-of-war camps back to Germany,
they had to go through a period
where all of their belongings were taken from them,
they weren't allowed to take anything back to Germany with them,
and everything was destroyed before they left the country, hence...
Now, these are two diaries that he was given by a German as he was...?
Yeah, he spoke a little bit of German himself,
and the story goes that the German, who we think was called Erich,
there's reference to him in the books,
but gave them to him and asked him if he would keep them safe
because, to him, they were valuable and he didn't want them destroyed.
Those soldiers that we see from the newsreels,
in certain...pieces of film, are Nazis.
They really are,
and they had been brought up from very small children
to believe in this idealistic world
that their Fuhrer, their leader, Adolf Hitler,
had made for them.
The owner of your diary was a member of the SS, the Schutzstaffel.
-The lightning squad.
And he was very proud of the fact
that he was part of this unit,
and that's not something
that we necessarily feel very comfortable with today,
-all those years afterwards.
And there are some images in here that people may find offensive,
but they are definitely part of history.
-The little diary that we have open,
they have used an eagle from their coat
as a template.
It's commemorating, first of all, Hitler's birthday,
and then the fact that, in 1945, he had died.
-But they're saying is
that their honour is commanding still their loyalty,
which is the motto of the SS.
And in this one, another...
..eulogy, I suppose.
It's crafted from a stamp, actually.
That's how they've made this.
We did wonder how that part had come about.
They've cut it out of two stamps,
and I think probably a piece of headed paper.
The diaries are written in German.
-They are, yes.
-And some of it in Gothic German,
which is very difficult to read.
-Have you had them translated?
We've had the majority of this one translated,
and part of it is quite moving
because they touch on comradeship
and the fact that they're, whatever they're in, it's together.
And then a lot of it is more, as you've said,
to do with the actual war itself and what's going on at the time.
Not destroyed by your grandad,
which I think was the order.
Yeah. I think the reason that he kept them as well
was because he was very interested in artistry.
There are some fantastic drawings in here. I mean, really good drawings.
I've had a think about what this would be on the open market,
and it's a very difficult thing to put a price on.
But I certainly think you'd have to be looking at
somewhere between £400 and £600 for the pair of diaries,
-I think that would be somewhere in that region.
-Thank you for bringing them in and showing us.
And thank you for having the courage, I suppose.
I'm pleased you found them interesting.
-Thank you so much.
-OK, thank you.
Well, we couldn't come to Hull
without finding a piece of whaling history, obviously,
and you have brought me probably the best piece of scrimshaw
that I've seen for a very, very long time.
How did you come to have it?
I came across it at an auction online.
I'm interested in the history of Hull
and any artefacts that can help to tell the history,
and I managed to obtain it.
Basically, what it is, it's a vesta case,
so it's a little match case
made out of a sperm-whale tooth.
And the top, I'm pretty sure, is made of baleen,
and then it's inset with a little piece of shagreen,
which is sharkskin,
which obviously, being very rough, you can strike the matches on.
But what is really nice about this is it's actually inscribed
with the name of the whaling ship.
We have the date, 1852,
and also the gentleman himself who inscribed it, J Penn.
It's actually quite nicely engraved,
and we've got a lighthouse on one side
and then we have an almost scantily clad lady there,
almost in Regency dress.
Even though this was engraved in the 1850s,
she's almost wearing a dress that could be from the 1820s, 1830s.
And then on the other side we have a lovely little mermaid,
and then a little vase of flowers on the other side.
Obviously it's got the name of the whaling ship on the top of it,
Truelove. Did you know anything about the ship at all?
Yes, I was familiar with the ship the Truelove.
The Hull Maritime Museum have the original flag from the ship
and there's quite a lot of history known in the area
about the Truelove being
an ex-American ship of the Independence wars,
and that the British liberated off the Americans,
and then I understand it was converted to a whaler.
It's a lovely piece.
Of course, the thing is with scrimshaw
is that we do see so many fakes of them,
but this one is absolutely correct in every way.
I think it's a lovely thing.
It's doubly interesting that obviously it's local history,
also the fact it's a match-holder.
Can I ask how much you actually paid for it at auction?
Yes, I paid around £400 for it at the auction,
but it wasn't catalogued up very well.
The auctioneers didn't do a very good job, I don't think,
of cataloguing it up rightly, so...
Well, I think that must have been your game,
because at £400 you did extremely well.
You know, it's a really nice example,
it's quite a rare thing, being a vesta case.
It's beautifully engraved, the mermaid on it,
local history, you know, it's got everything going for it.
If it were to come up for auction locally
I would have no hesitation
in seeing it selling for around £2,000-£2,500.
That's very nice, very good.
-It's a really nice piece.
-Very nice. Thank you for that.
So, we've got a lovely collection of letters by Florence Nightingale,
the great Crimean heroine, pioneer of nursing,
to Henry Power.
Tell me about them.
Yes, well Henry Power was my great-grandfather.
He was an eye surgeon.
He practised at St Thomas's Hospital in London.
And he met Florence Nightingale there,
because she set up her nursing school
in 1860 in St Thomas's Hospital.
-And he became her eye surgeon?
-She had trouble with her eyes?
Yes, they were fading towards her later life.
So, we start off with a letter like this which is written in pencil,
and it's Henry Power, here it is, it's dated 1897.
She died quite early on in the new century.
She says, "My dear Sir,
"I do not know whether you are in town
"or likely to be in town tomorrow, Monday.
"But if you are in town,
"could you kindly come and see me?
"My eyes are very bad.
"The best time for me would be 5:30pm but, of course,
"your time must be my time.
"Yours faithfully, Florence Nightingale."
And so she writes this from, I suppose, her bed,
or on a sofa at very best.
-Because this is 1897,
and if we look at an earlier letter that she wrote here, which is 1887,
to "My Dear Sir," again about her eyes,
the handwriting, which is in pen, is absolutely copperplate
-and very, very clear.
And so she had bad eyesight throughout her life,
I suppose, and towards the end of her life
she had to see a lot with him.
So, these cover really, what, the last 20 years of her life?
-I should think so.
She was getting on and her eyes were becoming more and more troublesome.
But it is a wonderful collection,
-and very nice to see her character coming through.
Just before she set up at St Thomas',
she wrote her famous book - Florence Nightingale wrote
-Nursing: - What It Is and What It Is Not.
Which I think is absolutely tremendous.
"What It Is Not", and I think that was what she was very worried about,
that it was very much a casual affair
and not the more formal affair and the more sterile affair
that we have come to know her for.
So, you've got eight letters here.
-We have to value them.
Florence Nightingale is very desirable, autographically.
From a feminist point of view, she is very desirable.
From a nursing point of view, again, terribly desirable.
You would never get a Florence Nightingale letter for under £500.
Some of these are very good letters.
They mention all sorts of things, but they're mostly about eyes.
Unfortunately they're not about the Crimea,
in which case we'd be talking about thousands.
So, you have eight letters,
so, conservatively, we could say £4,000.
That's good for a lot of paper, isn't it?
Well, you've brought along a small, rectangular, satin-lidded box,
and it's a small box,
but it doesn't half pack a mighty punch
when you open up the lid, doesn't it?
Because, inside, you have this extraordinary-looking brooch.
Is it a butterfly or is it a moth?
Well, in my opinion, that is a very fine moth.
It is. Why? Because it's got those outstretched wings
-and the fat, bulbous body.
Very slimline wings.
It was made in around about the end of the 19th century,
so sort of circa 1900,
but what do you know about it?
It was a gift from my mother-in-law
when we got married in 1983.
So she presented me with the very fine blue box and said,
"This is for you."
It was hers before, so I was a very grateful recipient.
-I should think you were.
-Do you wear it?
-It sits there...
It sits in my dressing table in a drawer.
This poor butterfly/moth in a drawer.
It's being kept in the dark, yes.
-So, you don't know what it's made of?
-No. I don't.
It could be glass, marcasite, because they usually were.
-Well, it's not glass or marcasite, it's diamonds.
-So, it's pave-set with diamonds,
old Victorian-cut diamonds,
smothering the surface of the wings.
-So, if I may just take it out of the box,
see what we've got.
The outstretched wings, I think,
show you the size of the thing.
When you turn it over, you notice that at the back
it's set in gold and silver,
and you've noticed that the brooch pin itself
has got this little what I call actually a butterfly fitting
at the back.
-It's a little fitting that you can unscrew the brooch pin.
And the reason that that would have been done,
in around about 1900,
was that there would usually have been
a double-prong fitting at the back
to convert it to be worn at the back of your bun.
-Do you notice the little rubies?
-Yes, the eyes.
-The eyes set with ruby cabochons.
So, it's a very, very good example of late Victorian naturalism,
but it's set with very good-quality diamonds.
Let's move on to its potential value.
So, from your point of view, no idea?
No idea at all.
Now, the issue of what it is is important,
because if it's perceived as a moth it's one value,
and if it's perceived as a butterfly it's another value.
You're pulling my leg?
Why should that be? No, no, no!
Because why? We all love butterflies but we don't like moths, do we?
We get rid of moths in our bedroom at night-time,
but butterflies we welcome during the daytime,
and that impacts upon the value, too.
-So, I'm going to give you two values.
-Moth and butterfly.
If it's a moth, £7,000.
God! That's gobsmacking, isn't it?
If someone thinks that's the most beautiful butterfly in the world...
-..£9,000 to £10,000.
Well, to me, it was just a very pretty, pretty piece of jewellery.
I had no idea.
I believe your mother-in-law knew exactly what she was doing
when she gave it to you.
-She wasn't stupid, I must say.
-Then she was hoping that one day
you'd bring it along to the Antiques Roadshow
to show it to one of us
so we could tell you exactly what it was.
But I can tell you, as someone who loves butterflies or moths
as much as I do,
that's a serious piece of diamond jewellery.
-So, well done.
Thanks for saying that. That's terrific.
I shall think of my mother-in-law a lot now with great affection.
-Thank you very much.
-Thank you, OK.
Do you know, I can safely say this is the first time
I've ever filmed a saddle on the Antiques Roadshow.
What's more, it's interesting that it should be an American saddle.
Now, this is a saddle that, of course,
everyone who's watching will immediately associate with cowboys.
-You don't look like a Western re-enactor to me.
So, firstly, explain how you come to own this.
Well, it's always been in the family
since probably the 1970s.
My father was a jockey.
-He was always into horses.
We had a riding stable, and I think one day
he just went out to the local tack shop
and got one, or got it shipped in from America,
and he just came home with it.
It's always been in our family since then.
It's never been used, apart from once.
So, what was the one occasion, then, that you tried the saddle?
Well, funnily enough, I took my pony back home
and we tried it out on the pony,
cos it's been there stuck in the hallway for years
and we decided to put it on there.
It's the only time it's been on my pony.
That's really good. How old are you in that photograph?
-I'm only 14.
-14 years old?
-That's wonderful. If you look at the size of the saddle,
it's a big saddle for a small pony
because, of course, this is really a range saddle,
made for a much bigger horse.
In fact, there's a great deal of tradition
imbued in the history of this saddle,
and it takes us back a long time,
really as far as the Moors and Spain, basically,
because this saddle is made for a very particular purpose.
Now, there are very many different types of American saddle,
apart from that kind of cowboy image that we have of them.
This saddle, really, is made for one very specific purpose - comfort.
This type of saddle is for sitting in for a long time,
big stirrups, and primarily for dealing with cattle.
Now, it's beautifully decorated, isn't it?
-It's tooled all over,
and often people call these saddles "show saddles"
because they look so spectacular.
In fact, actually, I suspect that many people in America
that sit on saddles like this
never really utilise all the historical aspects of them.
I suspect most people never use a lasso...
..and never use the pommel or the horn.
So in fact what has happened is that this feature of an American saddle
-has kind of just always stayed there, really.
Now, when your father purchased this in the '60s or '70s,
I imagine it would have cost him quite a lot of money.
Did he ever make reference to that?
No, never. I don't think so.
My mother never found out how much it did actually cost!
I think he just turned up one day with it.
She was probably quite surprised.
-I think in that period,
there probably weren't so many American saddles in the UK.
Now, if you were to go and buy a saddle like this from Big Horn,
who are still in business,
they still make saddles...
This has kind of got a little bit of a vintage connection.
It's also got an emotive connection to your father.
Yes. He passed away, didn't he?
Yes, he did, when I was ten years old.
Ten years old? A long time ago.
So this saddle is a connection to him, isn't it?
Certainly, if you had to go and buy a saddle like this,
I could see it costing you £700 to £1,000 to buy.
It really is a very beautiful thing,
but it's beautiful to you in many ways
and you're obviously never going to sell it
and it's going to carry on standing in your hallway...
-..as a great reminder of your father.
-Thanks ever so much for bringing it in.
It's not often on the Antiques Roadshow
we feature stories about a shark attack, and what's more,
a man fighting off a shark attack.
-But this is what happened to your uncle?
He was a ship's cook on trawlers.
How long ago are we talking about?
This is 1934.
Your uncle, Noel Kinch, was he a local man?
He was from Grimsby. He'd sailed from Grimsby port.
I believe it was 1936 when he was awarded this medal.
-This medal here?
They were fishing and the boatswain got washed overboard.
He injured his back when going over the railings,
and my uncle kicked off his wellies and jumped over the side.
Went into the water and, when he got to the boatswain,
the boatswain had been attacked by a shark,
and he'd been bitten on the arm,
and the shark came back and attacked again
and my uncle got bitten in the back but he fought the shark off.
They were in the sea for 40 minutes.
So he fought off a shark...
-..saved his crew mate and lived to tell the tale?
-And he was then awarded this medal for bravery?
-What an extraordinary man!
Yes. He never told anyone.
We never knew anything about it in the family.
It came to light when my younger sister
started doing the family tree.
This is a press report?
"Congratulations of the Duke of Gloucester.
"Fought shark to save shipmate."
This sounds like something out of a Boy's Own Annual.
Yes, it's quite a story.
"Bond begged him to leave him as he was finished
"and try himself to get back to the ship."
But your uncle "kept hold of him
"and swam until the skipper manoeuvred the Northern Pride
So that took 40 minutes?
Being a ship's cook, I don't think he liked his own food,
he was trying to get off!
He just wanted to come up for some fresh air!
This medal has been passed down the family?
No, it was sold by my uncle.
My sister, when she was doing the research on this, she found it.
It had been auctioned,
and she contacted the dealer who'd bought it
and she bought it back off him.
Why did your uncle sell it?
I've no idea. I don't know why.
He probably needed money at the time, yeah.
-Well, thank you for sharing the story.
-It's all right, yeah.
-That's one I will remember for a long time.
As far as the medal goes, I think Jon Baddeley is your man,
but clearly, in terms of his story, and his contribution,
-you can't put a value on that, can you?
-No, no, you can't.
Here we have two guns,
both serving a similar purpose, self-defence.
That is the French idea
of a self-defence pistol.
5mm pin-fire with all the stopping power of a wet tissue!
This, on the other hand,
is the English idea of a self-defence pistol.
Six-shot, and if you don't get him with the first six,
you can deploy a spring bayonet on him.
How come you've got such contrasting pistols?
I've always had an interest in the history of firearms
and I bought these two some years ago.
I had some others.
I bought them because
they show the characteristics you're mentioning there.
That is a really well-built English so-called transitional revolver.
This one was the type of thing which a gentleman would slip in his pocket
in La Place Pigalle, I suppose.
It's a cigar case, basically,
but when the gentleman opened it to get out a cigar,
there we have a revolver.
So, they're both of a similar period, 1850s, 1860s.
No maker on that one, it's just a French pistol.
That's a local maker, Balchin, I think it is?
Edmund Balchin, yes.
Edmund Balchin, from Hull.
To give you an idea of the thing,
he made those, but he also made harpoon guns as well.
You can see the sort of thing.
I'm going to make this a real stopper.
What did you pay for the little French one?
I think it was around about £300
about 10 or 11 years ago.
The contrast between the two...
I mean, that is archetypally French.
It's so elegant, and I think you'd also find
some of the more interesting French ladies would be using that as well.
No other race in the world could make anything like that.
It's just... Let's just have another look at it.
The size of the ball, that's half-inch,
that's going to ruin your day at 20 yards.
-It'll ruin your day six times.
It's beautifully engraved, open-scroll,
That is chequered by hand.
It's absolutely superb.
Steel furniture, none of your fancy nonsense on this!
It's just a wonderful...
And it's in glorious condition.
Do the French one first.
People like little -
and that's elegant and little and it's in a lovely case.
This - I could see that making £1,000.
It's such a nice thing.
If I had £1,000, I'd be trying to buy it.
I think they're just wonderful.
Well, I am going to sell it in a few weeks' time.
Oh, don't tempt me, don't tempt me!
I never would have expected to see
a beautiful Maori fish-hook here in Hull.
I mean, how did you happen to bring that here?
Well, we see the Antiques Roadshow in New Zealand,
and when we were coming to England
we researched the various sites that you had,
and as this one is in Burton Constable at Holderness -
our surname is Holderness, we had to come.
Well, there are fish-hooks and there are fish-hooks.
You know this is a fish-hook, don't you?
-Yes, I do.
-And you know where it's from, don't you?
It's from New Zealand.
Yes, it's a Maori fish-hook, called a pa kahawai.
-Is that right?
-Yes, pa kahawai.
That's right, yeah. And it's a type of matau,
which is a general name for Maori fish-hooks.
It's a nice one.
Is it something that you've inherited, something you found?
Well, our grandfather used to go fishing from Wellington Harbour.
We're just over from Wellington,
and he used to catch the ferry from Wellington to Days Bay
and hike over the hill to a fishing batch,
and when he was going one day he found this in the bush,
just lying in the bush.
-When would that have been?
-Probably, we think, around 1910.
Wow. Well, it's older than that.
That's amazing, to actually be in the presence
of something that was actually found.
This is a trawling lure, and they hung these out of the canoes,
at the back of the canoes,
as they were going in and out of the estuaries
and along the coastal waters,
and it's for surface fishing, or for catching fish like barracuda
They're on a long line of flax, some of which is left here.
They're made of wood
and this is abalone.
What do the Maori call it?
We call it paua. The canoes they used were called waka ama,
which is the fishing canoe.
This would have hung out the back of that.
The abalone would have sparkled in the water like a fish,
and the barracuda, or a surface-feeding fish,
would have thought this was a fish and got lured and caught
on this bone hook.
I have to give it a value for the Roadshow audience,
even though it's a family heirloom and of sentimental value,
but one comparable to this
came up recently
and was valued at £1,800 to £2,200.
As much as that?
We'd never have thought of that.
That's quite surprising, but it won't be sold.
So, this was a medal awarded to your uncle, Noel Kinch,
in, I think, the 1930s,
-for an act of outstanding bravery?
Fiona told me the story, and what an incredible story.
This here is the Northern Pride, which he served on board?
Yes, that's the trawler that my uncle was a ship's cook on.
-He was the ship's cook?
His home port was Grimsby?
Yes, he sailed from Grimsby.
Because one maybe forgets nowadays
that both Grimsby and Hull were massive fishing ports
in the 19th and 20th century
and, sadly, not so much today.
-But he must have been a superhero locally?
Well, I don't know, actually,
because nobody knew about this story.
-He never bragged?
-He never bragged, no.
The medal, called the Stanhope Medal,
was issued by the Royal Humane Society.
That society was founded way back in 1774, I think,
in order to research into methods of reviving people who had drowned,
and they issued the first of these medals 100 years later,
so, 1873-1874, something like that.
The remarkable thing about it is they only issued one every year.
So, what you have is something that is incredibly scarce,
intrinsically valued because it's solid gold
and, most importantly,
is the history and the story.
So, you have something...
I mean, it's something you're never going to get rid of.
-It will remain in the family forever?
-Which is exactly where it should be.
But, thinking of value,
it's got everything.
With medals, it is always the story,
and you cannot get a better story than that.
I would certainly think at auction, should it ever go to auction,
you'd be thinking about a figure of between £6,000 and £10,000.
But it could be more. Who knows?
You've brought along to me what has to be, without question,
the smallest toilet pedestal in the world.
Are you a toilet collector?
I've got a friend and he digs bottles up as a hobby and he said,
-"Do you want to buy it off me?"
So I gave him £100 for it.
This was on a stall and I asked the lady if I could pick it up,
and she explained to me what it did,
and when I saw what it did I thought it's really clever.
This was almost certainly made as a travelling salesman's model.
-And no surprise that it's actually made by Doulton.
This is cutting-edge stuff, isn't it,
when it comes to engineering.
Were you horribly shocked?
Yeah, but it's quite amusing.
And people said the Victorians were straight-laced!
It's a great bit of fun,
people love these rather slightly risque pieces.
You paid £10 for it.
I think I could see a collector paying £100 for that.
-Because where would you find another one?
Well, I know exactly what it's worth, because you've just told me,
because, to you, that is worth £100.
But when you think about it, £100 is cheap,
because there'll come a time in your life
when you'll be desperate to spend a penny!
Jack, you live here in Burton Constable,
this has been in your family for hundreds of years.
You've brought this from the chapel
and it has a particularly emotional significance for your family?
Yes, this is my great-granduncle Cecil's crucifix,
which he wore around his neck
throughout his life.
He was a soldier in the First World War and in the Second World War.
Cecil had been a prisoner of war in the First World War
for the entire war, apart from his first six days,
from the age of 21.
And he said there was no way
he was going to be a prisoner of war in the Second World War as well,
and so he last seen heading out to meet the SS, pistol in hand.
He thought it was over for his troops, did he?
He thought there was no way he could escape,
and he was not going to be a prisoner of war again.
-So he decided he would go down in a blaze of gunfire and glory?
As he lay dying from his wounds,
this young Lance-Corporal, Alfons Dahlhoff,
who was a Grenadier for the SS,
came across him and saw his crucifix hanging from his neck.
So this was a German soldier?
Yes, it was a German soldier, who was a fellow Catholic,
and sat by him in his last moments,
comforting him in his death throes.
And Cecil was able to give him both the crucifix
and his last letters home,
which he had in his pocket,
to send to Burton Constable,
and many months later,
the family received a package in the war from Alfons' mother,
saying, "I know we're still at war,
"but I thought you should know
"that your son died in the arms of a fellow Catholic.
"My son, too, sadly died a few weeks later,
"and here is a picture of him,
"and we'd like you to pray for him as well."
And so it was a very touching moment of serenity and kindness
in such a chaotic and cruel world.
And what this is is a symbol of two men
who put aside their differences
and the fact their two countries were trying to kill each other...
-..and saw the common humanity
at the most desperate of times.
Well, here's a scrap of paper
which is almost so ephemeral as not to even be there.
Can I read it?
-Yes, please do.
-"June 12, 1919.
"My Dear Elsie, just a hurried line before I start.
"This letter will travel with me in the official mailbag,
"the first mail to be carried over the Atlantic."
"Love to all, your loving brother Jack."
So, Jack - this must be Jack Alcock?
That's right. He was born John.
Everybody called him Jack, so he signed his letter Jack.
Jack Alcock was my grandmother's cousin.
He was a pilot and there was a competition in the Daily Mail,
and the prize was £10,000 for the first to cross the Atlantic nonstop.
He decided to try with Arthur Whitten Brown
and they flew from Newfoundland
and crash-landed in a bog in Ireland.
And went on to...
They won the £10,000.
So these two men, these two brave men,
-were the first to fly nonstop across the Atlantic?
St John's, at the top here.
-This is St John's of Newfoundland.
And what were they flying in?
This is in 1919.
Yes, they were flying in a Vickers Vimy,
which they'd adapted a little bit for the flight.
A Vickers Vimy, it's a First World War bomber, essentially.
A twin-engined bomber
designed for the offensive against Germany,
it was able to fly from Britain to Germany,
hence its range, I suppose.
But no-one had tested it over the kind of range
of the North Atlantic,
so it was an extraordinarily brave feat.
And Elsie was his sister?
Elsie was his sister, yes.
And so what you have here
is one of the first pieces of paper,
the first piece of airmail that went across the Atlantic.
I find that something to conjure with.
-And, of course, there's a tragic coda to it, isn't there?
-Because, despite their bravery,
and their success flying across the Atlantic,
really against the odds,
-later that year...
-Yes, in December...
..he crash-landed in France.
So before 1919 was out...
-He was dead.
-Jack was no longer with us.
-So this makes this even more moving, I think.
I think it's a wonderful scrap of paper.
I mean, it's almost nothing to look at, but it means so much, I think.
Of course, there's no postmark on this, there's no envelope,
and so, in this sense, it's not stamped, it's not official mail.
It's a personal note.
So in a sense, its value is more personal than to a postal historian.
I think I'd be very happy to put a figure of £1,000-£1,200 on it.
This is a very elegant bronze statue,
which I could easily imagine
in a chic Parisian or New York apartment of about 1960,
really looking the bee's knees, and a real statement piece.
So, does it live in your Paris or New York apartment?
Well, not at the moment, no!
It lives with us in Hull.
So how did you come by her?
We've only had her for about three, four months, something like that.
-I bought her from a friend.
She came to us via a third party.
She'd been sold and we were offered the opportunity of buying her,
and that's about three or four months ago.
OK. So you like her.
Do you have a taste for Art Deco things?
Very much so. My wife particularly does,
and she is just beautiful.
-She really is.
And dare I ask, how much did she cost you?
I own a fish-and-chip shop in Bridlington...
-..where she cost me £200,
plus ten fish and chips.
So a few fish suppers as well, thrown in?
Well, it's not often we get, on the Antiques Roadshow,
pieces which have been part-exchanged for a fish supper,
so it'll be a first for me.
But let's take a closer look at her.
So, bronze on this limestone base,
influenced by the work of Barbara Hepworth
and the other sculptors working in this country
in the Modernist school.
And it's a very good piece.
A dancer, I think we can safely say.
Very like the Art Deco figures of Dimitri Chiparus.
I'm thinking some of his figures from the 1930s.
And it's a classic pose of the period,
and with real style and real elegance.
-Where do you have her at home?
-We have a turn on the stairs,
and she is on the window on the turn on the stairs.
Right, right. I think she's great, fantastic, really elegant piece.
We do have a signature.
Let's have a look. Underwood.
Do you know anything about Underwood?
Very little. I only know what I've looked up having bought her.
OK. I'll confess to something now.
When I first saw this name, Underwood,
I immediately thought Leon Underwood,
who is one of the...
Well, he's reckoned to be one of the founding fathers
of 20th-century British sculpture.
It isn't. It's Guy Underwood.
-So, if it was Leon Underwood
we'd be talking many, many, many fish suppers.
As it is, Guy is still an interesting piece.
I mean, I think it represents the kind of object that WILL go up,
simply on its decorative appeal alone, and it has that in spades.
It's a really, really stylish piece.
It clearly gives you pleasure.
-You paid, you say...
£200, plus a few fish suppers as well.
I think, actually, at auction,
in a good decorative-arts sale,
I think you could see a return on that, perhaps a little bit more,
-in the current market, £300 to £400.
I think it's a good solid piece.
-And well done, you, for the fish and chips!
So, absolutely surrounded by Georgian shoe buckles.
How did you get them?
Well, my husband, it was his...
My late husband, it was his collection,
and he collected them for over 50 years.
That's marvellous. Because, you know,
they had shoe buckles in the medieval period,
but then they went out of fashion,
and then they came back in the mid-17th century,
and people like Samuel Pepys wrote about putting buckles on his shoes.
But, of course, a lot of these
are from the golden period of shoe buckles,
from 1762 to 1780.
And what was your husband's fascination in them?
I don't really know. I mean, his father had a couple of pairs
which he gave to my husband.
And from then on, he just... He just liked them.
When we went to antique fairs,
we were always looking for shoe buckles.
We could go into a quite upmarket antique shop
and we were probably paying two pounds,
two pounds ten shillings, something like that,
for a pair of Georgian shoe buckles.
-And did it become a little bit of an obsession?
-Just a bit.
-Just a little bit!
-So, you're here with your family today?
What do you think about your father's collection?
I think it's amazing that he collected it over so many years.
He was so proud of it.
He researched them, he cleaned them,
he catalogued them.
He loved showing them to people, loved talking about them.
-And, yes, there is even more!
So, how many do we have in the full collection?
An awful lot.
Come on, you can tell me.
I've got about 1,500.
Well, I think we're going back to a little bit of an obsession.
Yes, it was rather!
It gives us such a feeling for the Georgian period,
with these dandies, men with these fabulous shoe buckles on,
going to houses like this,
and wearing all these fantastic buckles, with the paste ones,
and the silver ones, and really very romantic, too.
Yeah, it's hard to think it was men that wore these, not the women.
I mean, they had silver ones which they kept for best,
and they had more of the paste-type ones
which was more or less an everyday type of buckle.
Which is quite funny,
when you look at some of the paste ones and see them,
-they're quite dramatic, aren't they?
-They're not understated, are they?
I love these creamware ones.
I mean, they are absolutely so beautiful, and so impractical.
Well, this is partially why there aren't that many around,
because obviously they got broken.
We did go to Northampton Museum once and saw the curator,
and at that time she only knew of about five pairs
of those particular shoe buckles.
I mean, obviously, as soon as you put them on,
they would break.
You can't imagine they would survive one single wearing.
But, of course, the others are much more practical and beautiful.
And, well, what do I say about value?
If you just look at them
and say that, you know, some of the lesser ones,
maybe £100 the pair.
Some of the more beautiful ones in these cases,
maybe £500 to £700 a pair.
And if you take the creamware ones,
I would certainly see them very easily fetching £1,000.
So, if you look at the collection as a whole,
and it's pretty staggering to me,
I think we're looking here, with your collection,
-Oh, my God.
Well, we don't really sort of think of that, you know.
I mean, they're a collection and we are keeping the collection.
And it will get passed down to my three daughters
and possibly even further down the line than that.
But he just loved them. Just absolutely loved them.
Well, isn't it lovely that you've got this lovely inheritance,
you've got your daughters and granddaughter -
you know, it's a lovely family story.
I should think he would be so proud
to see his remarkable shoe-buckle collection
displayed on the Antiques Roadshow.
Did you know that two of our specialists
used to collect shoe buckles?
Philip Mould, our art expert -
that was his first collection when he was a boy.
And Ronnie Archer-Morgan, our miscellaneous specialist,
he still collects them, even today.
From Burton Constable and the whole Roadshow team,
and the shoe buckles, bye-bye.
The team visit Burton Constable Hall near Hull. Objects inspected by Fiona Bruce and the experts include the first transatlantic airmail letter, brought on the plane piloted by Alcock and Brown in 1919, uncomfortable diaries of an SS officer imprisoned in Britain in World War II and letters from the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale.
The award for most curious acquisition of the day must go to a bronze figure which was swapped for fish and chip suppers. And one family bring in 1,500 shoe buckles obsessively collected by a late husband. His investment proved to be a wise decision, however, when expert Judith Miller delivers the valuation.