Members of the public bring along their antiques for examination. In Stroud, Gloucestershire, the experts find a 17th-century cushion mirror and an early marine chronometer.
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"Living down there was like living in a bean pod.
"Our horizon of woods was the limit of our world.
"The trees moved in the wind with a dry roaring that seemed a natural utterance of the landscape."
Lines from Cider With Rosie - Laurie Lee's account of childhood in a small Cotswold village in the 1920s.
He wrote, "The villagers themselves had three ways of living -
"working for the squire, or on the farms, or down in the cloth mills at Stroud."
And many of the old mill buildings are still here. The evidence is all around that,
for 400 years, Stroud was a leading player in the woollen trade.
The river which supplied the requisite power was the Frome. At one time, 200 mills lined its banks
and it's said the water of the Frome changed colour according to the cloth being dyed.
Often it ran red -
the mills produced the Stroudwater scarlet, worn by our soldiers in the American War of Independence.
Napoleon met the Redcoats at Waterloo.
The colour is echoed in the uniforms of the guardsmen outside Buckingham Palace.
This picture from the late 18C
shows the bright red cloth drying in the sun, on tenterhooks.
So THAT'S where that phrase came from!
The atmosphere in Stanley Mill is quite suspenseful.
It's five storeys high and back in 1840, it echoed to the clatter of 100 hand looms.
It's still working, but stopped producing cloth in the late 1980s.
These days, the machines burst into life only on special occasions.
This is a carding machine, that was used to remove the nap from cloth.
In 1830, this inspired local worker Edwin Budding
to invent what became the joy and the bane of the lives of homeowners - the lawn mower.
Stroud was also part of the Cotswolds Arts and Crafts Movement.
The stained glass windows at Selsley
were one of the first commissions for William Morris and Company in 1862.
The aim was to create a band of colour around the church.
There are windows here by Rossetti, Burne-Jones and Morris himself.
But today, the brushes are put down and the lawn mowers fall silent,
as people wend their way to the Stratford Park Leisure Centre.
There are a few reasons why I'm interested in this bureau.
It's of a type we see all the time.
And it dates from...
-it dates from the 1790s as a piece of furniture.
-And the decoration dates from the 1860s to 1870s, that sort of thing.
-Yes, I thought that might be...
And it was when there was a revival of the age of Classicism, and a renaissance, if you like,
of heavily carved furniture of the Carolean and Jacobean periods.
And you go into various streets in London - Wardour Street, perhaps, or Berwick Street
and you would find shops
-where there were pieces of early furniture which you could take home and make into something else.
They knocked together Elizabethan beds and made cabinets out of them, and things like that.
At the same time, there was a vogue for flat carving on plain furniture
to bring it up into fashion.
We call it, probably rather dismissively, "the vicar's carving class" type furniture.
I like that!
Just as there were needlework classes, there were carving and painting and music classes.
This is an object which was subjected to the vicar's carving class.
"Daddy, what can I practise on?" "Use the old bureau up in the attic."
So you have a perfectly good, plain piece of furniture, and let loose upon it with every design there was,
some young person carved this out of sheer love. "Look what I've done!" They'd have been thrilled with it.
That's the story of it. The nice thing about it is...
I'll pull the loper out...
And there inside is the original interior.
The plainness of the whole interior, which would have looked like so...
And around here, nice black line... which is fairly typical of the period 1790 to 1810.
-These are the original handles. They're lovely.
And so nice to see.
-Ironic they did that to the outside of it!
It's got the original feet and of its type, it's a cracking good example.
I mean, it's wonderful! There is a market value to it.
-It would be £1,500 to £2,000.
What a lovely family of game birds! I suppose they're quails.
-Yes, they are quails.
They're in the cornfield - hence the sheaf of corn.
It's the mother and father quail and the tiny babies.
Some are hiding under the mother and one's got on top of her back.
-They're gorgeous little things. Have you had them a long time?
-They were left to my wife over 15 years ago.
They're marked underneath the base with the Meissen crossed-swords mark.
-This wonderful crossed-swords mark there, with the shape numbers and the particular form of the quail,
of the birds, and the crossed-swords mark, puts it in date about mid-19C.
They're not terribly early in Meissen terms, but they're absolutely, staggeringly beautiful.
They're some of the nicest Meissen groups that I've seen.
Wonderful! We must be looking at something worth around about £4,000.
Is that a surprise?
-Well, I've seen people shocked on the Roadshow before - I know what it feels like now!
Now, Samuel Lysons was a local man.
His father was vicar of Rodmarton and Cherington, which is not so far from here.
He was a very clever young man. He was sent off to work for a lawyer in Bath
and he was later called up to the Middle Temple in London. But he had one abiding passion -
This is An Account Of The Roman Antiquities Discovered At Woodchester In The County Of Gloucester.
Now, before we go on with the book, you've got to tell me
why it's in this terrible state.
Well, apparently, it was in a chest
in the house of a friend of mine and she put some flowers...
And the bowl leaked into the chest and she didn't realise.
That's absolutely terrible, because it is the most magnificent book.
He was introduced to George III.
He actually dedicates this to "George III, King of Britain".
This really is a magnificent work.
One of the plates I really love
is this little picture of him - he draws a picture of himself
working outside Woodchester Church and the site of the famous mosaics.
And the scale of this book - there are 40 plates in it - is just amazing.
This plate here, which is not an aquatint... It is, in fact, a soft-ground etching.
A magnificent plate.
This goes on right the way through. Another magnificent plate here.
The church again, the River Severn...
And this is the view of Woodchester
from Selsley Hill. How he's done it is actually laid this out so that the sunlight
seems to concentrate exactly where your eye is supposed to be.
everywhere else is slightly dark,
but that's where it's supposed to be. It is the most magnificent thing.
and the date of this is 1797, and these had only been found...
Roman remains, some of the largest in the UK -
were actually found the year before.
Forty plates which he actually drew himself
and then engraved himself. So all this work is absolutely everything to do with him. Quite extraordinary.
And this is probably the most famous plate in the book.
It is the picture of the Orpheus pavement here, completely restored.
He's obviously restored it,
because I don't think it's quite like that.
It's in need of tender loving care.
The paper that all this is on is incredibly strong
and so can be washed, but it'd cost an awful lot of money to put right.
I would have thought that, without the stains,
-um...a fine copy would make £1,000 to £1,500.
This copy, with the stains, I suspect, would be more...
It'd cost too much to put it right. So, unfortunately, it looks like this copy is what we call a "breaker" -
you'd take out those wonderful plates and clean them and hang them on somebody's wall.
What a fascinating Arts and Crafts beaker! Tell me about it.
It belonged, I believe, to Janet Ashbee. It was made by Richard Ashbee, who was her husband,
for her at some time. Once, when my wife was visiting Janet,
Janet got up, took that down, gave it to her and said, "Take great care of it - it's yours."
Gosh, what a wonderful provenance! Ashbee, of course...
putting Morris's ideas into effect in the metalwork.
-Silver, copper work and so on.
In the Arts and Crafts Movement, there was this great ethos
-that things had to be made using traditional craft methods.
So you've got this very subtle planishing
in the surface. The decoration inside is fascinating.
Down at the bottom there...
I'm led to believe the decoration is showing the ash and the bee.
-Connected with the name.
-Ashbee did a lot of the designs.
-Which were then made by the craftsmen in the guild.
-This idea of the small group working together!
But to actually have in your hands something where there is this history that it was made by Ashbee,
I think is magical. It's a very difficult thing to put a value on.
I've never seen one like this before.
I would have thought we'd be looking at...
maybe £500...and if the right people were there...
-Knowing that provenance...
Um...I could see it going well above that.
My feeling is this could be by John Pearson, who's very popular just now.
At one time, he worked with the Guild of Handicrafts that were based in London at the end of the 19C,
and moved to Chipping Campden in the Cotswolds in 1902.
-What's very nice is the detail in the scales.
It has been cleaned, but not over-cleaned.
-And I would have thought, price-wise, probably around about the £800 mark.
-Thank you. I shall keep it.
It says, "Made in Hungary". I think that probably says it all.
It's likely to be 1930 or between the wars with that mark on it.
It's in a bit of a state, I'm afraid.
I think I wore my first copy out, had to buy another, and now I've even got it on CD.
So it's one of those albums that stays with you.
-But in this case, I think it's a fiver.
Tell me...whose is this?
It's my grandad's. He was flying a Lancaster in the Second World War.
Is he on this photograph?
-Yes, that's him there with the hat on.
-What happened to him?
-He was flying over France
when he got shot and he had to bail out because it was going to crash.
Ah, right. It's here -
"Engines feathered, bombs going,
"port outer feathered, bailed out."
-Landed in France... So, then what happened to him?
He was saved by the Resistance and he got moved to Switzerland,
-where he met up with his friends.
-He was lucky, wasn't he?
-My goodness! Pilots' log books are usually £250,
but I feel that there's so much activity in here, plus the fact of a fascinating story
that we might even be able to double that if it was ever on the market.
There are two institutions in Britain that look after war memorials.
-One is The National Inventory of War Memorials.
-They've seen it.
-Fine. So it is listed in their database.
-The other is The Friends of War Memorials.
-They're very much involved in the re-siting and the re-dedication of panels that have become detached.
-So contact them. They have a conservation service who will advise you what to do about display.
Because it is not a conventional decorative object. The families of those involved are still in the area,
and one has to treat it with reverence.
Things like this are completely uncollectable. They have a meaning far beyond collection.
They are very important objects to those involved and one must say these have no commercial value.
As you can see, they're all little signal flags,
set with different gemstones - rubies, diamonds and sapphires.
And there are one or two other rubies there... And these are probably tourmalines and citrines.
Very prettily made, and each of these is a letter - a signal flag letter.
They're engraved on the back. It spells "remembrance", doesn't it?
These were terribly popular around 1900 and were often made by a firm called Benzie in Cowes,
so this probably was a present from a rather wealthy yacht owner
to his wife or lady love.
You should insure this - you'll be surprised -
-for about £2,500.
-As much as that?!
Living with this display cabinet must be a bit like living in the country -
it's absolutely full of floral and foliate and field detail, isn't it?
It is, yes.
-Is that how you think of it?
And I always did live in the country. Um...I remember it as a little girl
with my parents. When they passed away, it came to me. So, we lived in the country.
It's full of the most beautiful little things. I used to gaze in it.
What really takes my eye
is all the marquetry detail you have here in lots of different woods,
particularly the cow parsley decoration,
echoed in the carved detail underneath, which is so delightful.
Even in the legs, you get the sense of the organic, of stems, of growth.
But what I also noticed
is this little signature into the marquetry,
with the magical name of Galle.
He loved the country and liked to turn his furniture into organic objects.
If you follow the legs up, and go up and up,
you can see he continued the theme all the way round - delightful.
Galle is one of THE names of French Art Nouveau.
He was working at the end of the 19C. In fact, he died in 1904, so he just went into the 20C.
If you look at the carving in the gallery,
-it doesn't have a great deal of detail in it.
And this is somewhat indicative of the more... commercial pieces that he made,
so there's a mixture between the high quality exhibition pieces and this.
This is still extremely attractive - people love this kind of decorative object. The sale value...
-might well be around £3,000.
I don't know if it is a studio piece in the manner of Burne-Jones
or if it is by the master's hand.
It is a conundrum. If you know about Burne-Jones and the studio and the studio process...
Burne-Jones was a very popular artist - he couldn't supply the demand at certain times in his life,
and so very early on when he worked with William Morris,
he employed a studio assistant in the 1860s.
This was the pattern of his career. And the way it would work was that Burne-Jones drew all the time.
His nervous tic, if you like, was drawing.
When he worked on a picture, he'd draw not only a series of drawings,
but maybe a finished drawing for the picture, and the studio assistant would take a canvas and block it in.
They blocked it in in monochrome colours. The interesting thing is
precisely these colours - these sepia browns,
and then a touch of green in the bodies, etc.
This is not the canvas that was originally worked on - the canvas was much larger.
Off the top of my head, this is for the Perseus series -
one of the great series Burne-Jones did -
-and it's Perseus going off...
-..to cut off the Gorgon's head.
-I think this is the Medusa...
-And she's lost her head, as we say.
What is this strange animal on this stand worth? It's a slight anomaly.
-Here you're buying a little piece of Burne-Jones.
Arguably the best artist in Britain in the second half of the 19C.
-A very good Burne-Jones is worth over a million.
-A good studio piece is worth under £100,000.
But this is a fragment of a studio piece, which isn't awfully good,
although it's part of Burne-Jones. So, I think...
-perhaps around £10,000 - that sort of value. £10,000 or £15,000.
-It's unlikely to make any more.
-You've got more at home?
-I've got 200 or 300 dolls,
400 Pelham puppets, doll's houses, rocking horses...
It's a bit of a disease when you get to that!
-Is there a cure?
-When the money runs out, isn't it?
What will I do with them at the end?
Well, let's start with this little one.
She's very sweet.
She was made in the Thuringia area of southern Germany
and she would be dating from... the first half of the 19th century.
-Wow, she's really old!
-She's really old. She's the oldest one you've got here.
She's in her original costume,
but the real surprise and, in fact, the thrill, comes underneath,
because what looks like a peacock's tail turns her from being a normal wooden doll -
which is exciting enough as it is - into a fortune-telling doll.
-I didn't know.
-I only bought it because I saw the paper skirt
-and thought, "I haven't got a doll with a paper skirt - I'll have that one".
Let's have our fortune told... Here we go. There's a nice green one...
It says, "In Cupid's charms
-"you are safely bound".
So she's lovely. I mean, she is a valuable,
as well as being a handsome doll. I would have thought...
if she hadn't had the fortune-telling aspect,
-she would have been in the £400 bracket.
-Because she has that, it'll be double or even triple, so something between about £800 and £1,200 for her.
A real poppet.
And this little one...
couldn't be more different - from a completely different era.
You've got this curved limb body, which means he can sit up nicely.
-And then, at the back of the head,
we've got the FS & Co - Franz Schmidt...
-And the number 1272.
Franz Schmidt... His porcelain factory was also based in Thuringia - the same area as the wooden doll,
but it was really in the early part of the 20th century
that dolls started to be modelled much more on real-life children
-than on idealised representations of children.
He isn't as valuable as the first one, although he is nicely painted,
and by a slightly unusual maker.
-I'd put him in the sort of £400 area.
This one is tortoiseshell.
-We call it that - it's not tortoiseshell, of course.
-It's turtle shell.
-Turtle shell, yes.
And it's cut when it's malleable.
You remember those old 78 gramophone records you used to have, those black discs - I think they're vinyl?
-Now, if you put them in water, you could bend it any shape - fruit bowls...
-Vases and such, yes.
Turtle shell reacts the same way to heat, and so is flattened and then can be cut in thin slivers of veneer.
-And depending on what colour you put underneath it,
accordingly the colour changes, as it's translucent.
If you put red, yellow, it will show through varying shades of density. This is a plain cream background.
This is its natural colour.
There is actually the perfect colour.
Only one little cover. The other's disappeared.
-I've seen it somewhere.
-You've got it somewhere?
Good. And today, between £1,800 to £2,200
for insurance purposes - that's how much you'd have to pay to replace it.
-The prices of these have gone up and up.
And so to a slightly earlier one here,
which is delightful. This is ivory with tortoiseshell.
A silver escutcheon on the front and its original key.
And...well, those are replacements, actually.
I thought it was too good to be true that there were two of them!
Yes, the original ones have gone. Not to worry - that matters not at all.
It's still a delightful little caddy. Today, between £2,500 and £3,000.
-Delightful. That's about 1780, 1790, that sort of date, yes.
So you've got early 19th century, late 18th century.
-And this one...
which is absolutely wonderful, is the earliest of all three.
This was made in India.
Difficult to be precise, but between 1750...
That sort of period. The mount here
is most definitely English.
Those particular designs went out of fashion by the 1770s.
And this is inlay.
And the wood is cut out
and a piece of ivory cut to fit in.
This is individually placed little pieces of ivory.
-Oh, it's amazing work, amazing work.
And then further etched on the surface to give it even more life and realism.
Then blacked in with ink to show the engraved lines.
You see that, curiously, it's a stationery box.
At one time there were two divisions, across from there to there.
That is absolutely wonderful.
The timber is, I'm quite certain, either rosewood or coromandel.
If you wanted to replace this...
..it would cost you certainly in excess of £10,000.
This is a very interesting sword.
-It's called a mandau.
-Uh-huh. And it's a Borneo headhunter's sword.
-Has it been used in anger?
-Well, this on the end here is human hair.
-So the signs are it possibly could have been.
-What a horrible thought. How old is it?
I would think about mid-19th century.
-Is this ALL human hair?
-They weren't hunting blondes, were they?
Well, I suppose it's a grey-haired man, that.
Wow! And what's it worth?
Around £250, as near as I can say.
I have to say I have never seen a chatelaine like this before.
Until I saw this one, I didn't know that such a chatelaine existed.
You've got Mother and Father there, the next generation across here,
and then again, coming down, it looks as though they're grading it
in sort of age of the family, and, of course, these huge Victorian families that they had.
And so complete! All the contents you've got here - the scissors,
the pencil... What's this one?
Oh, it's a penknife.
Oh, pincushion - so, with the velvet, you push your pins down into that.
As she's moving round the house, she needs to take a few notes,
so not only has she got the pencil, but she's got a little aide-memoire there with those ivory tablets.
Now, there should be... Let's see.
Let's just get that open. Yes, there we are. There should be a thimble,
and there it is.
-She was definitely well-equipped with this little chatelaine!
I would have thought we're talking about at least £1,500, if not £2,000.
And if it went way beyond that, you know, it just would not surprise me.
Since I took early retirement, I've taken to going to local auctions and I just fell in love with that pot.
I loved the shape, I loved the decoration and the colours.
-You know it's Wedgwood?
-It's a jolly nice Wedgwood teapot.
Very unusual sort, of a colour that's called Rosso Antico -
-meant to look like ancient Etruscan pottery.
-The red and the black colours.
Almost looking like Greek or Etruscan ceramics.
-Which Wedgwood was very firmly into when this was made,
which was around about...
so it's 200 years plus.
-It's very unusual. The unusual decoration...
-It's probably got a little bit dirtied or stained.
-Have you had a wash of it?
-I washed it very gently.
-It has a whiteness on the surface.
-There's a white bloom on it.
But the pot itself is in splendid condition. I like it very much.
And you paid £200...?
-Yes, just over - about £220.
-Do you want to know what the value is now?
-I would be pleased to know.
A rare piece.
I think probably we're pushing towards, and perhaps above...
This watercolour transports us off to the Middle East, to the desert here.
It's a desert scene,
with Bedouin, I suppose they are.
It's by JA Benwell, 1862.
Now, that's Joseph Austin Benwell.
He's not a very well-known artist but he did travel in the Middle East
and he travelled in India in the 1860s.
-This actually was a wedding present to us in 1938.
Prices for these pictures are very strong.
The value of this now
-is about £6,000 to £8,000.
-Cor, love a duck!
A lot of the Roadshow is about what might have been. I've got a little story I can weave on that level.
Um...this, I think, is a device for keeping your cloak round your neck.
On it, in Arabic, there is an inscription. How good's your Arabic?
It looks like "John Lewis"!
-What it says is "Bernard Shaw".
-Why should there be a cloak clip with "Bernard Shaw" in Arabic?
He was on holiday in Egypt and a man came up and said,
"I can make this for tuppence."
There was apparently a close friendship between Bernard Shaw and TE Lawrence - Lawrence of Arabia.
Now, is it therefore possible that Lawrence
had made this for Shaw as a little jokey present, saying,
"Bernard, I've got you a present - here is your name in Arabic on a stud."
-It makes sense.
-A wonderful idea if it could be proven.
-And if it could?
We'd be talking thousands of pounds, because it's such an item to tie the two together.
It's lovely looking at this - it's a work of art
-you can wear.
-It certainly is, yes.
-Is that what attracted you to it?
-I think so. Anything that's got stitch on is my hobby. I just adore embroidery.
-You're a stitcher?
Yes, I am, and I teach embroidery too, so it's a joint hobby of mine.
Right, well what we're looking at here is a Chinese robe.
-It's got a lot going on,
as far as the various emblems and what they mean.
This dragon, for instance, here -
-emblematic of the emperor.
We've got... On your side, we've got the phoenix,
emblematic of the empress. And the Buddhist pearl here -
the pearl of wisdom.
Flaming pearl, really.
Other emblems - we've got the bat...
One of the five bats, perhaps, known as wu fu.
So you've got lots of different, very auspicious emblems and characters on here,
which would mean when you wore it, you'd be shrouded with good luck and so on. And look at the front here.
You can see how dirty this bit is. This has been replaced, and also...
the sleeves have been replaced. The sleeves obviously got very grubby
and, at some point, they've been added on.
I would put it at around 1900.
-Perhaps five years either way. I wouldn't put it back much further than that.
As for value... Condition's not great with these additions,
although they're old additions. I would have put it around £800 to perhaps £1,000.
-Really very nice.
-But THIS is a completely different category.
-This is my favourite.
It is just wonderful!
A wedding kimono, but not one of the under layers, because there are seven different layers
-for a wedding kimono in Japan.
-Yes, and this is the very top one -
one that is put on after the obi is put on, which goes round the waist.
And it looks so fantastic when it's worn.
This would have been the work, unlike the Chinese robe, of several specialists -
one who specialised in the dyeing process and so on. As for date,
I'd put this at perhaps 1920, 1930.
And I would have thought that,
in today's terms,
we'd be talking about perhaps
£1,500, £2,000, that sort of figure.
-Do you have these pieces on display?
-No, they're in a box.
So you haven't seen them before?
It's the first time I remember seeing them.
They're lovely things. Beautiful flower painting. Hand-painted -
not a transfer print. Do you know where they were made or what period?
Not really. I'm not a china person, but I imagine they may be English.
But when? I have no idea, really.
Yes, they are English. They were made at the Worcester factory.
-So that's...that's exciting.
-This is Worcestershire?
-Worcester. Worcester factory in Worcestershire.
-They were made about 1765.
235 years old and in pristine,
-virtually pristine condition - absolutely jewel-like enamel painting.
They could have been made yesterday.
-One could forgive anyone for thinking they were modern.
-But they're absolutely beautifully made.
Look at the delicate way this twig handle has been made, and the leaves.
A giveaway to date
-is this beautiful green. A very Georgian colour, pea green.
-What, on the leaves?
Wonderful Georgian colour.
If we have a look at the basket, also centrally painted with flowers...
It's made in a most interesting way.
The porcelain, when it's first made,
when the potter is making it,
in the green state before it's fired,
he uses a knife to cut out all these shapes, all by hand.
They must have lost many pieces and never got them into the kiln, so it's quite an expensive process.
Have you thought about values at all?
Well, I really don't know and I have no idea of, really, of value,
but a guess would be a couple of hundred quid for each item.
-I've got another stand and basket.
-One more stand.
-A pair of stands and a pair of baskets.
-Are they both in this condition?
All right. Well, we've got tiny little bits of damage on both pieces,
but an insurance value
for two stands and two baskets...
-..would be £12,000.
Well, do you know, in 24 years, I think I haven't actually had
a cushion mirror on this programme? It's called that simply because it looks like a cushion.
It was, I know, in my grandfather's home and he died in 1927 and it passed to an aunt.
She was a spinster schoolmistress and most of her things came to me.
She always referred to it as the Jacobean mirror, but it wouldn't go that far, would it?
"Jacobean" was used 50 years ago as almost a generic term for anything of the 17C. So Carolean or Jacobean.
Jacobean describes the first half of the century, before the Civil War, and Carolean afterwards.
-We didn't have this type of mirror in the first half of the 17C.
It would come from 1685 to 1700.
Um...and it's made beautifully on pine
with these lovely oyster-patterned pieces of laburnum.
-And laburnum is cut like a French loaf. You cut it across at 45 degrees,
-It makes ovals - "oysters" - then it's applied in geometric form all the way round.
And then this cross-banded moulding is applied.
And that's what looks a bit fragile. But, really, that will never move.
That little bit of warping, twisting occurred probably within the first 20 years of its life
-and it's been like that for ever.
The nice thing about it is...
is on the back here.
You can see there are two slots
which flank that central little hook.
And that little hook is made and fixed on a piece of iron - fixed on with old, hand-made clout nails.
-Is it really?
-Yes. Those nails have been on there since the 1690s.
I mean, I think that's wonderful! And the slots in the back
were for two tongues which slotted in,
and it had a cresting rail on the top, which would have probably been finely carved and pierced.
-I've only seen two or three with the original cresting rails.
They always got lost in moves.
Now, it's got a new plate in it...
-Um...I don't know - did you do that?
It's a pity they didn't keep the old one, because that would have added a bit to the value, but there it is.
-A lovely example of a very rare type of mirror.
-Thank you very much.
It's lovely, just lovely, and the colour is good
and it should be just as it is. Enjoy it. I would suggest insuring it
for about £6,000.
It belonged to my grandfather-in-law.
He was an academic chemist.
He was a professor at Aberystwyth University. We believe he acquired it in the 1930s.
You probably heard at the time of the millennium about John Harrison, the discoverer of longitude.
There were TV programmes and books...
I'll try and explain briefly what happened after Harrison.
This instrument - which is a marine chronometer - is signed by Barraud
of Cornhill in London.
Harrison won first prize, and it took him a lot of time to get the money.
There remained some extra prizes
and a man called Thomas Mudge, an extremely good watchmaker in the 18C,
set about trying to win that prize, and he made a timekeeper - Mudge's No 1.
At the same time, the Board of Longitude changed the rules a bit.
They said, "We don't want one instrument - we want two." So he set about making a pair of instruments.
He got a little money from the Board, but he never got the second prize.
He died in 1794, and he had a son called Thomas Mudge.
-He took umbrage that his dad hadn't been properly recompensed,
and formed a small factory to make timekeepers on the principles of his father.
They started making instruments, but they were very complicated
and they were never really completed. So what we actually have here
is the remains of an instrument that was never completed, in the style of Thomas Mudge's invention.
So let me run through with you what is Mudge and what is Barraud.
First of all, as I've said, the dial and the wonderful silver work -
applied silver work, the enamel dials -
follow the design of Thomas Mudge. The difference is, the numerals
are actually not Roman and Arabic - Roman for the hours and Arabic for the minutes - but Arabic and Arabic.
That was a peculiarity of Barraud's work. He seemed to like Arabic numerals, which were NOT the fashion.
And we can date this instrument from its number to approximately 1801 to 1803. OK?
Inside, you'll see how wonderfully delicate the wheel work is. It's like a spider - beautifully fine,
very, very high number of pinions.
And another feature which is straight out of Mudge's original invention
is Mudge's standing barrel system,
which he's got here with a ratchet set-up click and a fusee chain there.
-So all those bits were from the original Mudge copies made by the son.
Now, what is interesting about this particular instrument...
there are possibly up to 20 known surviving instruments of this type -
half-completed cases, dials, unfinished plates, movements with other escapements, all sorts.
But only one other
that is known - certainly that I know of - that has got its original fitted inner box,
-the inner protecting box.
Which has, by the way, the most fantastic detail.
-You've got the original key.
I was musing on this key, wondering what it's for.
It's called a crank key. It's got an ivory handle.
But why this funny end? And then I realised
that this simple clip lock here... You put the key in the keyhole, turn it...
-and you're actually locking that so it won't open.
Once these instruments were set up and went to sea, they must never be touched. They can be wound,
but the hands must never be touched, so they were locked in the boxes.
So this would have gone in the box.
It's got a nice slot to locate it... Locked in the box.
The captain had a key which doubled for both. Then, through the back,
you had access through both cases to wind it.
So only the captain would have that key AND the key to the outer box.
So, with all the differences and complications and the rest of it...
Is it thirty...?
I'd say £30,000 to £50,000.
-£30,000 to £50,000?!
-£30,000 to £50,000.
Good heavens! What?!
Like the cloth laid out in the sun at Stroud's old woollen mills,
we've been on tenterhooks to see what the day would hold. We're well and truly off the hook,
because it's been as interesting and as busy a Roadshow as any expert can wish for. So, many thanks all round.
Until next time, goodbye.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Michael Aspel and a team of experts invite members of the public to bring along their antiques for examination. In Stroud, Gloucestershire, they find a strange 17th-century cushion mirror and an early marine chronometer that might be worth fifty thousand pounds. Meanwhile, Michael finds a Borneo headhunter's sword.