Buxton Antiques Roadshow


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Buxton

Michael Aspel and a team of experts examine curios and artefacts offered up by the public. In Buxton, the team find a pair of pistols, a yellow diamond and a Steiff bear.


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Transcript


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Hello, and welcome to another series of the Antiques Roadshow - our 24th.

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We shall chart a zig-zag route across the country,

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from Cornwall to Scotland to Wales and beyond.

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This time, we shall cross the North Sea and the Atlantic, from Shetland to Canada.

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We shall go racing at Newmarket, and we shall see our share of stately homes. Where do we begin?

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Well, here, in the Peak District and the town of Buxton in Derbyshire -

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one of the highest in England.

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There is a cavern in the town where the earliest inhabitants of Buxton enjoyed the basic comforts of life

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over 7,000 years ago.

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This is Poole's Cavern, famous not only for its stalactites,

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but for its usefulness as a hideaway for outlaws.

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In the 15th century, a man called Poole kidnapped a wealthy widow and fled here to hide.

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He would occasionally pop out and rob passers-by, and it's said that his loot is still buried here.

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A natural treasure, found only in nearby caves,

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is the mineral known as blue-john stone -

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for over 200 years in great demand for ornamental vases and jewellery.

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Ashford marble also comes from here,

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but it's Buxton's springs that have been its main attraction.

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Emerging at 28 degrees Centigrade, the water saved medieval people

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from preparing a hot bath, to say nothing of its healing qualities.

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And locals today will tell you that the water from the well

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makes the best cup of tea in Britain. I won't argue with that,

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and if Mary Queen of Scots said that the water helped her rheumatism,

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that's OK with me as well.

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The Duke of Devonshire, in 1780, decided to transform Buxton into the spa town of the north

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and a fitting place to accommodate his chums.

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The Duke modelled his crescent on the Royal Crescent in Bath.

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It was one big hotel for aristocratic guests

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and took four years to complete.

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The great stables and riding school was the base for coachmen, grooms, carriages and over 100 horses

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which were exercised in the enormous circular courtyard.

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The courtyard was covered by the world's largest unsupported dome -

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bigger than the domes of St Paul's Cathedral and St Peter's in Rome.

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This would have been the perfect place to stage our Roadshow, except for one problem -

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in the middle of the courtyard you get a strange effect called a "flutter echo".

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This could be very disconcerting for our experts

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and our engineering manager really put his foot down.

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-ECHOES

-Wow!

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Instead, we're all set up in another of Buxton's fine buildings - the Octagon.

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Among the familiar faces on the team today are David Battie,

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Henry Sandon,

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and Lars Tharp on porcelain,

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and Hilary Kay, joined by a newcomer,

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Madeleine Marsh. So with myself on drums,

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let's get the show on the road.

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You've brought a piece of eggshell porcelain that raises my spirit.

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I think it's fair to say it doesn't get much better than Rozenburg.

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How did this Dutch pot arrive in this part of the world?

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Well, I bought it at a local auction, along with a piece of blue-and-white pottery, but a job lot of two items.

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-What was it sold to you as? A kettle or teapot?

-As a teapot.

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We found out later that it might be a chocolate pot.

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Well, it may well be based on a chocolate pot,

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-but I don't think they were ever really meant to be used.

-No.

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This is purely ornamental.

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First of all, that lovely shape - turn it round -

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you've got that lovely loop handle, and it's almost organic, isn't it?

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It's almost as though it's evolved rather than it's been potted.

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Um, and what about these fish?

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These fish are glorious and, because they're entirely hand-painted...

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In fact, everything on here is hand-painted.

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You've just got to look at the detail. Let's take the top off...

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Very careful. The great thing about this particular factory,

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-situated in the Hague...

-Yes.

-There was a factory there

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in the 18th century and they used a stork as a mark

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because storks used to nest in the chimneys of the Hague.

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The Rozenburg factory, from the late 19th century, also used a stork.

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Various other marks - that particular starburst

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is actually a year symbol. I would suspect

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that this is around about 1900, maybe 1905.

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-Mm, yes.

-And then the decorator -

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and the "H" is almost certainly for Hartgring.

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Now, it's difficult to be sure, but the actual shape itself

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was probably designed by the head of their design - J Jurriaan Kok.

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Has it had any restoration?

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The handle was broken and we had it restored. There's a few chips...

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-A few little chips on the rim.

-Well, you expect that

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because this is so thin and delicate,

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that the failure rate... For every 50 of these that went in the kiln,

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probably only 5 came out.

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-Oh!

-They collapsed because they're so fragile.

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Now, the financial side.

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-Well, along with the blue and white plate, we paid £100.

-All right, OK.

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-And restoration?

-Then restoration, which was a few hundred pounds.

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Right, well, I mean I know a collector in the Hague

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and I'm pretty certain that if I were to say,

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"It's yours if you're prepared to pay £1,500,"

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he would snap my hand off for it.

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The day you went to that auction was a jolly good day's fishing,

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-wouldn't you agree?

-Mm, yes. Very much so, yes, yes.

-Yes, it was.

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I've seen a lot of scrap screens, but this is a cracking example.

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Now, is it something that you bought, or did it...?

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We bought this in about 1968, 1969.

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My mother's one of those people, when they go out,

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my father starts to have heart attacks because he never knows what she's going to bring back.

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And even when my mother brought this back, my father just couldn't understand why she bought it.

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-But my mother loved the pictures.

-Let's look at the screen itself

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because I LOVE the design of it.

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A lot of these little chromolithographic panels

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were known as "scraps", and they were sold as scraps,

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and that's how you get a scrapbook - a book to put your scraps into.

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And they were sold commercially in toy shops and stationery shops and so on, for exactly this purpose,

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for decorative purposes. I LOVE these down here,

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the early bicycles and all sorts.

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You've got ordinary bicycles and penny-farthings, as they're called,

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more of the same, all sorts of shenanigans going on, on bicycles,

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and then the central figure here

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is framed by this lovely garland of scrap flowers.

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Looking at it, there's a little bit of damage, sort of holes here...

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-Was that as it came to the family?

-That was later in its history.

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-There were times when I actually used this as a dartboard.

-Oh, no!

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Just to occupy my free time.

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That's terrible! Did they ever find out?

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I think they're going to find out today.

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That's a terrible story! What were you aiming for?

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I was actually aiming to take the heads off.

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SHE LAUGHS

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Ghastly! All right, we'll gloss over that one.

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What strikes me particularly about this screen

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is how beautifully designed it is.

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Everything balances, it's completely symmetrical,

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but then you've also got this central panel -

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this is very different to the other two - this is religious scenes -

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much more sombre in tone.

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Looking at it, I've been trying to work out whether this is something

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that's been produced commercially,

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or whether it was just really well done by a family at home,

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because I have a feeling that this sort of decoupage would have been allowed on a Sunday,

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because it's of a religious context,

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so maybe they worked on putting the other panels there

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on other days of the week, and this panel they only worked at on a Sunday.

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So I think that it is really good amateur work

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rather than a professionally produced screen.

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I wonder what your parents paid for it in the '60s?

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-My mother told me that she paid 30 shillings for it, or £1.50 in today's currency.

-And in the '60s,

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they were burning Victorian furniture, they wanted it out of their houses. So 30 bob - not bad.

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In today's money, I would have said something around £1,000 to £1,500,

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-so a reasonable investment.

-That's very nice. She'll be very happy.

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-Have you seen this signature down there?

-Yes.

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-I couldn't make it out terribly well. "Wale..."

-JP Wale. John Porter Wale.

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John Porter Wale was a Worcester artist.

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He did some extremely fine painting in Worcester in the 1860s and '70s,

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and then he came up to Derby

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to help found the new Derby Royal Crown Porcelain Company,

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and he was very instrumental in ensuring the success of Derby.

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It's lovely seeing a Derby plaque here in Derbyshire.

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I'd almost despaired of seeing some Derby! Have you had it a long time?

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Yes. It belonged to my mother and before, it belonged to her aunt.

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-And what price have they put on it?

-Um, £200 to £300, I was told.

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-£300 you've been told by...?

-A local valuer, yes.

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I think they're undervaluing it.

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Oh, right, good, that sounds good.

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-My thoughts are certainly £1,000 plus.

-Really? Wow!

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He's a fine artist, and it's beautifully painted.

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It's very interesting because it's a complete fake in every sense.

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It is a Moorcroft design of about 1901-1902, which was registered,

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but what is wrong is the shape. It was never a Moorcroft shape.

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-The feel of it is wrong because it's actually made of porcelain...

-Yes.

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..not earthenware, which Moorcroft used. There's no mark, which there would have to be -

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although unmarked, Moorcroft does exist. It's a very good copy indeed,

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-but it is designed to deceive, cos there's no such Moorcroft piece.

-No.

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Every week on the Roadshow you hear our experts doing a valuation on various items.

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Now, an auction price is the price that an item would fetch if it went to auction,

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but you have to subtract the commission of the auctioneer, which could be 10% or 15%.

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The insurance valuation is always a higher price than the auction price

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because if the item has to be replaced on the retail market,

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it takes into account auctioneers' commissions and dealers' mark-ups.

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It's the sort of difference between a selling price and a buying price.

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What a fantastic collection of stuff!

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How on earth do you store all this at home?

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Well, we've got it all on display in the kitchen and around the house.

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-Every square inch is taken up with boxes.

-Yes!

-And what do YOU think?

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-It's all right.

-It's all right.

-Yeah.

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Well, I think it's really, really brilliant,

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because it's a fantastic selection of packaging.

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Packaging took off in the second half of the 19th century, with new technology.

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Pioneers were Huntley & Palmers,

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who really started off the decorated biscuit tin...

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always well marked. You used to buy your biscuits from the local bakery

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in a little paper bag, but, of course, with improved transport in the 19th century,

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you need storage,

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so that when you're travelling, they don't get broken up.

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But also it's fantastic advertising. How much did you pay for it?

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-I can't honestly remember - it was probably about £20-ish.

-Yeah, that's very good.

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This is an early 20th-century Huntley & Palmer's one,

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and, I mean, in top condition,

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tins like this can fetch £300 to £500.

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There's a little bit of wear and tear, but it's not bad.

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But for you is it the value that matters, anyway?

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-No, it's not the value at all.

-It's just sentimental.

-Well, no,

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it's really just the visual aspect of it, you know.

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Our house is like walking into a museum, people have said.

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When people come in, do they go, "Ooh, I remember Rinso!"

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-A few people do. Other people just think it's junk.

-Do they?

-We don't. We collect everything, don't we?

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-Everything!

-Well, that's so nice,

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because with things like this, whether it's Rinso or Fab,

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it's provocative memories, because you don't forget things like that.

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And if you look at the back, I mean, I love that -

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that mum, in her '50s-style dress,

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so THRILLED by the fact that her washing is so clean,

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and it says here, "for painters' and mechanics' overalls, butchers' aprons and pit clothes..."

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A little bit of social history that really makes things come to life.

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Something like that, if you bought that from a packaging dealer -

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£5 to £10. And the idea of collecting loo paper...

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-Where do you have these?

-The bathroom.

-Oh, that's lovely!

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Some of these things are worth a reasonable amount of money -

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things like that, a couple of quid, but how interesting to see.

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It's a really exciting collection.

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-Thank you.

-Thank you for bringing it in. And I want to come to your house now.

-You're welcome!

-Yeah.

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This is a very unusual north Italian sword,

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not the sort of thing that you see very often. Where did you get it?

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It was from my father-in-law.

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He collected swords and pistols in the mid-'60s.

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He died in the early '70s and they've been in family since then.

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Well, it's known as a Schiavona,

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and it's a type that dates from the end of the 17th century.

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-Right.

-And very distinctive with this very complicated basket guard -

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a function of armour falling into disuse because of firearms.

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Firearms could get through armour, so there was no point wearing it,

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and so instead of having a gauntlet to protect your hand, people put the protection onto the sword instead.

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It's also got this thumb loop, so you can really get a grip of that

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and bear down with your thumb which pulls the sword tightly into your hand,

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because this is a chopping sword, rather than a prodder or a thruster.

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But a very, very nice sword and in very good condition.

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We then move a bit further north in Europe from Northern Italy

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to this magnificent specimen

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from the first decades of the 17th century,

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and it's a type that was very popular during the Thirty Years' War.

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It was a war that produced lots and lots of very famous names,

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including a man called Pappenheim who was an Imperialist general on the Catholic side,

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and, for some reason, swords with this complicated basket-style guard are called Pappenheimers.

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I don't think he invented it - he was far too busy slaughtering Protestants to worry about design.

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But it's an effective type of sword

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which gives tremendous protection to the whole of the hand. In very fine condition -

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they are both very desirable swords

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because they are 17th century, good condition.

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If you had to buy the Pappenheim sword, you would pay about £3,000,

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the Schiavona, a little less - £2,000.

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-So there's the best part of £5,000 worth of swords there.

-That's more than I expected,

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much more than I expected.

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The man said, "Who'll give me £1? Who'll give me 75p?

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"Who'll give me 50p?" - I'm having to think -

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-"2/6d?" And I said, "Yes, it's got to be worth that!"

-2/6d?

-2/6d.

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-And how many years ago was that?

-I believe it was about 1968.

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My word. Well, that is not bad. And you know what it is?

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Yes, it's an Arts-and-Crafts chair, and it was perhaps made

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by a William Birch in High Wycombe in 1904.

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Yes, it is a William Birch chair.

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William Birch were one of the larger manufacturers in High Wycombe,

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and they were also one of the more adventurous manufacturers.

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This particular model

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was actually commissioned by Liberty's and made by William Birch.

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So you have two great names - Liberty's and William Birch -

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and the designer - a man called Punnett. And they come together in this typical Arts-and-Crafts piece.

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What is it that appeals to you about this kind of thing?

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Er...I just like its bulk and heaviness, I think it's lovely,

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I think it's something that will last forever.

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It is a design classic. You can see one of these at the V&A Museum.

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-I HAVE seen a companion there.

-Then you know what I'm talking about.

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-But it was mass produced, so there are quite a lot of them about.

-Yes.

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So it's not going to be hugely valuable,

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and one can still buy a chair like this for...

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I suppose, getting on for £600 to £800 at auction.

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Oh, gosh, I think that's wonderful!

0:19:570:20:00

Do you know who General Jacob was?

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I do now. I didn't up to three weeks ago, till I found a biography on him.

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He was one of those Victorians who went out into the Empire

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and grabbed it by the scruff of the neck

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and shook it into Britishness, almost.

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He not only was a soldier, he was also a very competent administrator,

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political agent and superintendent for the Upper Sind area of India,

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and he was a man who - like your regular scrapping with guerrillas - would do his own thing.

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Would he have paid for the guns himself, for the army?

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He would either have been presented with them, or he'd have bought them.

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Officers bought their own equipment. The army issued soldiers with clothing, equipment and arms,

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but officers were expected to buy their equipment themselves,

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so you'd go to your tailor and say, "I want a red coat," and then you'd go to a gun maker.

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The gun maker who made this magnificent pair of pistols...

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..was one of the two greats of the period -

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both brothers, John and Joseph Manton,

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and these are made by John Manton and Company.

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We can date these fairly accurately from the inscription on the lid -

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-somewhere around about 1840.

-Right.

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And they're known as belt pistols

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because they have a spring clip round the side

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which conveniently would slip onto your belt.

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These great big heavy pistols were favoured by officers in India

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because two of them gave you four guaranteed shots with heavy bullets

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that were more than enough to deal with any enemy.

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They were also favoured by people who hunted tigers from elephants,

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and they often carried a pair of these in the howdah,

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so you could deal with tigers.

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But they are pistols of exceptional quality and are highly desirable

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for the fact that they are made by the era's greatest gun maker.

0:22:030:22:09

They've also got this wonderful provenance from this great Victorian who was a real character,

0:22:090:22:15

and, on that basis, I think they're worth round about £10,000.

0:22:150:22:20

And they're quite the best pair of pistols that I've ever seen on the Roadshow.

0:22:200:22:26

-Oddly enough, this was made in the same place as that.

-Oh?

0:22:260:22:30

-It's from Kutani, in Kaga province, in Japan, about 1880.

-Right.

0:22:300:22:35

-What's so nice about it is the subject matter.

-Yes.

0:22:350:22:39

You've got this wonderful fat - I'm not even sure he's an owl -

0:22:390:22:43

-I think he's an owlet, a baby owl.

-Yes.

0:22:430:22:46

-What's nice is the way he's sitting there looking at his lunch.

-Yes!

0:22:460:22:51

He's about to put this claw down and go, "Oh, breakfast, lunch, lovely!"

0:22:510:22:57

You liked it too, did you?

0:22:570:22:59

It's lovely, particularly the shape - you want to touch it.

0:22:590:23:03

-Yes. And the colour round the back is quite breathtaking.

-Yes.

0:23:030:23:10

This particular green colour - very characteristic of Kutani -

0:23:100:23:14

as is this mixture of black on green -

0:23:140:23:18

again something you would expect from there. I think it's marvellous.

0:23:180:23:23

-Where did this one come from?

-Well, that was left to my mother.

0:23:230:23:27

She'd visited the house of an elderly couple who did collect antiques...

0:23:270:23:34

and admired it. In fact, as she went past it, she stroked it.

0:23:340:23:38

And didn't meet them again for many years, but when the wife died,

0:23:380:23:43

-she left it to my mother.

-How wonderful!

-Because she'd admired it.

0:23:430:23:48

-I think that would fetch somewhere between £1,800 and £2,500.

-Wow!

0:23:480:23:55

Well, we must continue to keep it on a high shelf.

0:23:550:24:00

My husband bought it in an antique shop in Stockport.

0:24:000:24:03

He went there to buy another picture which had gone, and the gentleman there said,

0:24:030:24:10

"I've got a portrait at home," and my husband fell in love with that.

0:24:100:24:15

I'm not surprised. I've completely fallen in love with her in the short time that I've seen it.

0:24:150:24:21

-I think you're aware that it's by John Graham Gilbert.

-Yes.

-Scottish artist.

0:24:210:24:27

And, fortuitously for me, it's got a title and it's signed on the back,

0:24:270:24:31

along with the year he painted it. Now, the title is "A Border Girl",

0:24:310:24:35

-so she's obviously a Scottish girl.

-Yes.

0:24:350:24:39

And it was painted in 1858.

0:24:390:24:41

Gilbert was unusual amongst Scottish artists in that he went to Rome.

0:24:410:24:46

He spent a lot of time in Italy.

0:24:460:24:49

The interest for us that that holds,

0:24:490:24:53

is that this very Scottish subject, to me, has an Italianate influence.

0:24:530:24:58

She's a Scottish girl, but I think there's something Italian about her,

0:24:580:25:03

not only her features, but also this deep red cloak that she's wearing.

0:25:030:25:09

-But above all, it's those eyes.

-Yes, the eyes are lovely.

-Aren't they?

0:25:090:25:15

Quite haunting. And his ability with textures is very apparent,

0:25:150:25:19

like the bonnet she's wearing. He's caught the light on the side of it,

0:25:190:25:25

and the glow in her cheeks which match her lips and her cloak.

0:25:250:25:30

The whole thing's most alluring. It's a lovely thing.

0:25:300:25:34

Did you pay a lot for it?

0:25:340:25:37

-£100. But it was in the early '70s.

-Early '70s.

0:25:370:25:41

The fact that it's in such good condition and the fact that it has such allure and power,

0:25:410:25:48

mean that I really have to value it at between £8,000 and £12,000.

0:25:480:25:53

Absolutely wonderful! Thank you very much indeed.

0:25:530:25:57

..This relates to the battleship HMS Repulse. What's the connection?

0:25:570:26:02

-My father served on the Repulse.

-That's your father?

-Yes.

0:26:020:26:06

-In Repulse uniform.

-That's right.

0:26:060:26:09

The story of the Repulse is one of disaster. On 11th December 1941,

0:26:090:26:14

the Repulse and the Prince of Wales were sunk by Japanese aircraft.

0:26:140:26:19

-Yes.

-The ships sank very quickly and the loss of life was terrific.

0:26:190:26:24

How is this photograph still here?

0:26:240:26:27

-How do we have this material?

-That's a telegram.

-Can I read it?

-Yes.

0:26:270:26:32

"Deeply regret to inform you that your husband, Joseph Marland Mellor,

0:26:320:26:37

"who is believed to have been serving on HMS Repulse, has not been reported as a survivor,

0:26:370:26:42

-"and must therefore be regarded as missing." 18th December?

-Yes.

0:26:420:26:47

-So this came to your mother?

-Yes. All the family and friends were at the house.

0:26:470:26:53

Everybody seemed to be making a fuss of me and I couldn't understand it.

0:26:530:26:57

Then, a few days later, we had a further telegram.

0:26:570:27:01

-This is the 27th December, so ten days.

-Yes.

-Ten days later.

0:27:010:27:05

-Ten days later.

-"Pleased to inform you, information received,

0:27:050:27:09

"that your husband is safe and now recovering at Colombo."

0:27:090:27:15

That is correct, yes,

0:27:150:27:17

-and then a telegram came from my father...

-From him?

-Yes.

0:27:170:27:22

-"Safe. Tres fit. Love..

-Joe Mellor."

0:27:220:27:26

-What a wonderful New Year it must have been.

-Yes, 31st December, we received that,

0:27:260:27:32

-so that was a very good present for the New Year.

-So how did he escape?

0:27:320:27:37

Well, it appears that, very fortunately for me father,

0:27:370:27:40

the ship called in at Colombo and he was sent on a radar course and left the ship,

0:27:400:27:48

but his name had not been taken off the ship's register.

0:27:480:27:52

-So, officially, he was still on the ship.

-He was.

0:27:520:27:56

-So he brought back the hatband.

-Yes.

-And - this is extraordinary -

0:27:560:28:01

a crossing-the-line ceremony.

0:28:010:28:03

Everybody who crossed the line - the equator - for the first time,

0:28:030:28:08

had to go through this extraordinary ceremony where everybody dressed up and were ducked in the water.

0:28:080:28:14

Then they were given the booklet and the certificate

0:28:140:28:18

which proved that they'd crossed the line

0:28:180:28:22

-on Her Britannic Majesty's battle-cruiser Repulse.

-Yes.

0:28:220:28:26

-Very rare survival, I'm sure.

-Well, it is, yes.

0:28:260:28:30

-So now, when did he finally come back?

-Well, I met him...

0:28:300:28:35

I was born in 1938, so I was nearly six years old

0:28:350:28:40

and the bell rang, we went to the door and, er...there was a figure.

0:28:400:28:46

Mother said, "This is your father."

0:28:460:28:50

So I was quite shocked, really.

0:28:500:28:53

Until then I had not had a father, so I was very pleased to see him.

0:28:530:28:58

-Do you remember what you said?

-No, I can't, no, I can't remember,

0:28:580:29:03

-but it was a joyous moment for everybody.

-It's a wonderful story.

0:29:030:29:07

It's terribly unusual to find things relating to the Repulse - so few survivors,

0:29:070:29:13

so few people associated with the ship still alive today.

0:29:130:29:17

So the value to this is incalculable in terms of personal history

0:29:170:29:21

and also the history of those times. This is a remarkable archive -

0:29:210:29:26

I'm so glad you brought it in.

0:29:260:29:30

I understand it's an ear trumpet.

0:29:300:29:32

-I think that my great-grandfather used to use it.

-That's right.

0:29:340:29:38

-It should have an ivory earpiece here.

-Oh, something missing?

0:29:380:29:44

-Does it work?

-Yes, yes.

-Yes, it does, sort of, yes.

-Yes.

0:29:440:29:48

It's very decorative, isn't it? Beautifully engraved with flowers.

0:29:480:29:53

-And it's beautifully done underneath as well.

-Yes.

-Beautifully finished.

0:29:530:29:57

This will probably sell for...

0:29:570:30:00

-somewhere between £700 and possibly even £1,000.

-Really?

0:30:000:30:06

Wow!

0:30:060:30:08

This yellowy parchment is a camera script and a cast list

0:30:080:30:13

of an Antiques Roadshow which took place in Buxton in the Pavilion

0:30:130:30:17

in July 1978, the very first series.

0:30:170:30:21

In the cast list are Bruce Parker - the presenter, Arthur Negus,

0:30:210:30:26

and among the others - David Battie and Simon Bull.

0:30:260:30:31

Gentlemen, the evidence.

0:30:310:30:33

Amazing! This ought to be on the memorabilia table! Somebody ought to put a value on this!

0:30:340:30:40

-23 series later, and nothing has changed.

-Oh, yes, it has! I've got less hair,

0:30:400:30:46

I have a nasty feeling that I had sideburns,

0:30:460:30:50

and shirts that came out there and a kipper tie!

0:30:500:30:54

-Yes, the dress has changed a lot.

-Worth a fortune now.

-I pay people

0:30:540:30:59

not to show those old pictures!

0:30:590:31:02

Sash-window supports.

0:31:020:31:05

-Have you got sash windows at home?

-No, not any more.

0:31:050:31:08

-There are a few round here.

-Yes.

0:31:080:31:11

When sash cords go, it's a devil of a job replacing them.

0:31:110:31:15

-So how do you keep the windows open?

-You put these in as wedges,

0:31:150:31:20

and the roughened area there keeps a grip on the lower part of the sill.

0:31:200:31:25

These are portraits of a particular person. Do you have any idea who?

0:31:250:31:29

No idea.

0:31:290:31:31

-There's a ram or something on there.

-Ah!

0:31:310:31:34

There's the clue. This is not a ram, this is a goat.

0:31:340:31:38

-Oh.

-And what do we call goats?

0:31:380:31:41

-Nanny.

-Or?

-Billy.

-Billy goat.

-Billy.

0:31:410:31:45

Now, think of Billy - think of the House of Orange,

0:31:450:31:48

because this is an orange tree...

0:31:480:31:52

-William...

-..of Orange.

-Of Orange.

-Good Lord!

0:31:520:31:55

-How amazing.

-The Orange Order was actually revived

0:31:550:31:59

at about the time these were made.

0:31:590:32:02

These were made in Staffordshire some time in the 1830s or '40s,

0:32:020:32:07

-and they are very orange, aren't they?

-Yes.

0:32:070:32:11

So find a friend with sash windows

0:32:110:32:14

of the Ulster persuasion and you will have the perfect client!

0:32:140:32:19

Political commemoratives are highly sought after,

0:32:200:32:24

-and going from purely ornamental supports - worth maybe £200.

-Mmm.

0:32:240:32:32

I know they're damaged, but that's not a huge problem.

0:32:320:32:36

These suddenly become worth rather more...

0:32:360:32:39

They're going to be worth, to a political commemorative collector, somewhere in the region of...

0:32:390:32:45

-£800 to £1,200.

-Good heavens! How extraordinary!

0:32:450:32:51

Albums like this - and they always look like this -

0:32:510:32:54

with these covers - are Chinese,

0:32:540:32:57

and they've always been known as rice-paper paintings,

0:32:570:33:01

but, in fact, they're made from the pith of a tree.

0:33:010:33:06

-Ah.

-They were made by the Chinese,

0:33:070:33:09

not for their own market, purely for the European export market.

0:33:090:33:14

So this one here shows golden pheasants, actually.

0:33:140:33:18

When they... And I'll turn over...

0:33:180:33:20

-This one shows the most fabulous moth, doesn't it?

-Yes.

0:33:220:33:27

They're in fantastic condition, actually. Have you inherited these?

0:33:270:33:32

-We have, yes - my father-in-law's.

-My father's.

-Did he go to China?

0:33:320:33:37

No idea where they came from. As far as I know, they came from HIS father,

0:33:370:33:43

-but how they arrived there, we just don't know.

-We don't know.

0:33:430:33:48

-They're made in about 1850, by the way, 1850-60.

-Oh, right.

0:33:480:33:52

Usually, that they were made in sets,

0:33:520:33:55

so you'd have a set of junks, a set of insects, all in different albums.

0:33:550:34:00

-A set of courtiers and so forth.

-Yes.

-But what is really fascinating

0:34:000:34:05

-is that it's a sample of each of the different categories.

-Yes.

0:34:050:34:10

Did you know these as children?

0:34:100:34:13

Were you allowed to play with them? I suppose they...

0:34:130:34:16

Well, we didn't actually play with them, but they were always there. We sort of looked occasionally.

0:34:160:34:22

In the cupboard, weren't they?

0:34:220:34:25

This is a botanical subject matter and shows...lotus, isn't it?

0:34:250:34:30

We have the dried pod and nuts, too.

0:34:300:34:33

This intrigued me. Were you ever shown this as a child, I wonder?

0:34:330:34:37

That was the one we always wanted to see.

0:34:370:34:41

-And it IS horrible.

-It is.

0:34:410:34:43

Well, the thing is, they made albums of torture.

0:34:430:34:47

God knows who bought these things -

0:34:470:34:50

somebody with a rather gruesome frame of mind.

0:34:500:34:53

-So clear, that.

-They are. This one is the most decorative of the lot.

0:34:530:34:58

-That's lovely.

-A basket of flowers.

0:34:580:35:01

-Very rich, isn't it?

-Oh, it's marvellous. That's my favourite one.

0:35:010:35:05

I'm glad you said that, because this is the most saleable one.

0:35:050:35:10

If they were put up at auction, I daresay they would be broken up -

0:35:100:35:15

-it would be a dreadful thing, but that's life.

-Yes.

0:35:150:35:19

-But the whole lot - you've got about 20 all-in-all...

-There's 18.

0:35:190:35:23

18, are there? OK.

0:35:230:35:25

They're going to be worth something like £2,000 to £2,500.

0:35:250:35:30

-Really?

-They're really interesting.

0:35:300:35:33

Fascinating.

0:35:330:35:35

I got my bear on my second birthday.

0:35:360:35:39

I also had a baby sister on my second birthday.

0:35:390:35:43

-That was clever of your parents.

-Very clever.

0:35:430:35:46

She was the best thing that ever happened to me. I wouldn't like to have been an only child.

0:35:460:35:53

-Oh, good. So you were happy to have a sister?

-Very happy to have her.

0:35:530:35:57

-They don't half sparkle, don't they?

-They certainly do, yes.

0:35:570:36:01

Anyway, anyway, tell me a bit more about the background of them.

0:36:010:36:06

These rings belonged to my mother, and when she died they came to me.

0:36:060:36:12

-Did she tell you where they'd come from at all?

-No.

0:36:120:36:16

No, I don't know the history of them at all, no.

0:36:160:36:19

In many ways, they're all different periods.

0:36:190:36:23

This is a very typical band ring, probably made in about the 1970s.

0:36:230:36:27

Look at the diamonds,

0:36:270:36:30

because they have rather grey, dull, blobby looking centres to them.

0:36:300:36:35

The reason is that they are a more simple cut - single-cut diamonds.

0:36:350:36:40

They lack the lustre of the far more complicated brilliant-cut diamonds.

0:36:400:36:46

This is a brilliant-cut diamond

0:36:460:36:48

and I think you can see the sparkle of that stone compared with these.

0:36:480:36:54

So when you get a diamond that's a single-cut,

0:36:540:36:57

the value of it is much lower

0:36:570:37:00

than that of the full brilliant-cut.

0:37:000:37:03

So this 1970s gold-band ring with straightforward single-cut stones -

0:37:030:37:08

if I was selling this in auction, I might get about £300 for it.

0:37:080:37:14

Oh, right.

0:37:140:37:16

This one is a brilliant-cut diamond that weighs around about 1.8 carats.

0:37:160:37:22

A nice, bright brilliant-cut stone

0:37:220:37:24

in a pretty, fussy and complicated setting of platinum and gold.

0:37:240:37:29

But the problem with this stone, when I look at it through my lens,

0:37:290:37:34

-I can see that it's severely hampered by having a very nasty flaw at the side.

-Oh, right.

0:37:340:37:41

And these stones are valued

0:37:410:37:44

according to how few the flaws are and how white the stone is,

0:37:440:37:49

so if a diamond is white and clean, it's far more valuable

0:37:490:37:53

than a stone that's a bit off-colour and a bit flawed.

0:37:530:37:58

This one is quite severely flawed, so it's worth...

0:37:580:38:01

-around about maybe £1,400 - £1,500.

-Really?!

-Yeah.

-Good heavens!

0:38:010:38:07

And I would insure it for maybe around £3,000, as a retail price.

0:38:070:38:12

Gosh!

0:38:120:38:14

-This bear, as you probably know, is made in Germany.

-I know that, yes.

-You do?

-Yes, yes.

0:38:170:38:23

-And you know he's made by the firm of Steiff?

-Yes.

-May I hold him?

-Yes.

0:38:230:38:28

He shakes his head, but he won't growl any more.

0:38:290:38:33

-I can hear there's a growler in there.

-There's a growler in there.

0:38:330:38:38

Um, yes. But you've probably tipped him up too many times.

0:38:380:38:43

-Probably that was, yes, yes.

-He's known as a cinnamon colour,

0:38:430:38:48

so is one of the most collectable colours of all the bears.

0:38:480:38:52

Yes, I always knew he was different.

0:38:520:38:56

He probably dates to about 1908.

0:38:560:38:59

-Yes, well, it's 1909.

-Oh, 1909.

-1909, yes.

0:38:590:39:04

Well, it's very rare for me to meet the owner of a 1909 bear,

0:39:040:39:09

-I feel very privileged.

-It's very unusual for him to be photographed,

0:39:090:39:16

let alone on television!

0:39:160:39:18

You know, if you were going to try and buy a bear like this, by Steiff,

0:39:180:39:24

a cinnamon bear, it would be very hard to find one

0:39:240:39:28

under £4,000.

0:39:280:39:31

My goodness! You're worth keeping, old man, aren't you?

0:39:310:39:36

Now, this one. The feature that is most outstanding about THIS diamond

0:39:360:39:42

-is that it's bright yellow.

-It is.

0:39:420:39:44

That means that it's a different ball game from these white diamonds,

0:39:440:39:50

because this is a fancy yellow diamond.

0:39:500:39:53

-Mmm.

-And when you talk about fancy coloured diamonds,

0:39:530:39:57

the value of them totally transcends the valuation for a white diamond.

0:39:570:40:02

-She referred to it as "canary".

-Well, it's a good word to use.

-Yes.

0:40:020:40:07

These days they use a scientific approach to establish the depth of colour yellow it has.

0:40:070:40:15

There are different grades of yellow - fancy light yellow, a fancy yellow.

0:40:150:40:20

The very best grade is fancy vivid yellow, and goodness me, that is a very intense colour.

0:40:200:40:25

Now, we have a setting which is platinum,

0:40:250:40:29

and this very, very fine piercing work in the mount

0:40:290:40:34

-would tell me that the ring was probably made in about 1925...

-Yes.

0:40:340:40:40

..but the diamond was probably cut in about 1910 or 1920. Now, that's very good news -

0:40:400:40:46

if it's that age, the chances of it being treated to make it yellow

0:40:460:40:51

-are not very likely.

-Mmm.

0:40:510:40:55

There is a procedure to follow to establish the grade of yellow it is.

0:40:550:41:00

Now, if we calculate the weight - it weighs around about 3.2 carats -

0:41:000:41:05

we then send it off to a laboratory, typically in the States,

0:41:050:41:10

where they will issue a certificate to confirm (a) it is natural colour,

0:41:100:41:15

(b) that if it IS natural colour, what intensity of yellow it has.

0:41:150:41:20

In here, it's difficult to see,

0:41:200:41:22

but I think this is a pretty good-looking yellow.

0:41:220:41:26

Subject to all these caveats

0:41:260:41:29

-I think it's worth something in the region of maybe £10,000.

-Gosh!

0:41:290:41:34

Gosh, yes! And she used to wear it when she was doing the housework and gardening!

0:41:340:41:40

-She just had them on all the time, didn't she?

-I notice that this one is clogged up with quite a lot of dirt!

0:41:400:41:47

-And you've already cleaned the stone!

-I took the opportunity

0:41:480:41:52

to clean that one out and have a look at it.

0:41:520:41:55

-But, honestly, it needs to go through this procedure.

-Yes.

0:41:550:42:00

It really is quite an exciting gem.

0:42:000:42:02

Not the sort of thing one sees every day. I'm delighted you brought it.

0:42:020:42:07

-Thank you very much.

-Thank YOU very much.

0:42:070:42:10

Time to put up the shutters at the end of the first programme of the series -

0:42:100:42:14

a programme that contained one or two very pleasant surprises.

0:42:140:42:17

It's good to be back on the road and as far as Buxton is concerned,

0:42:170:42:20

it couldn't have happened to a nicer place.

0:42:200:42:22

Until next week, from Derbyshire, goodbye.

0:42:220:42:25

Subtitles by Gillian Frazer

0:42:390:42:42

Michael Aspel and a team of experts examine curios and artefacts offered up by the public. This episode comes from Buxton and features a pair of pistols, a portrait of a girl with whom all men seem to fall in love, a yellow diamond worn for gardening but which could be worth £10,000 and a valuable Steiff bear whose sprightly owner tells Bunny Campione that she was given it for her second birthday - in 1909.