Michael Aspel and the team travel across the Atlantic for a special edition from the National Gallery in Ottawa. Their finds include a desk converted from a piano.
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This week, the Antiques Roadshow has left Britain's crowded motorways
and travelled 3,000 miles to the capital of the second largest country on Earth,
a country that spans six time zones and is bordered by three oceans.
Born of conflict between England and France, it is now an independent, affluent and cosmopolitan nation.
I'm in Canada and this is Ottawa.
Canada has a federal system of government, with many powers devolved to the provinces,
but the big decisions are made here, on Parliament Hill.
Queen Victoria declared Ottawa the capital - Toronto and Montreal might not have been amused.
Our present Queen remains the official head of state and, judging by the familiar pageantry,
the British heritage elicits pride.
The name Ottawa comes from an Algonquin Indian tribe who hunted and traded furs in this area
long before any Europeans arrived.
The River Ottawa is one of three,
but the city prospered from a fourth waterway built by the British.
The Rideau Canal was built from 1826 to 1832 by the Royal Engineers,
under the command of Lieutenant Colonel John By,
who gave his name to the settlement of Bytown, his headquarters.
Bytown became Ottawa, and the canal constructed for trade and defence is now used for leisure and pleasure.
In winter, it turns into the world's longest skating rink.
Around the time of World War One,
a number of artists who shared a love for the Canadian outdoors
became known as the Group of Seven.
Together, they created a distinctive Canadian look.
This is "Guide's Home In Algonquin."
The National Gallery of Canada has kindly agreed to host our Roadshow.
Our usual team is joined by five local experts,
who'll cast an eye over treasures revealed on this Canadian visit.
Have you got that safely?
-A journal by Alexander Mackenzie.
-Right. You HAVE got a mixture!
You're going to be very busy.
-I bought it from a dealer in London, Ontario.
A year ago.
-And what did he sell it to you as?
-He didn't know.
And what did you think it was...is?
-Er...well, I knew it was a trembleuse because it's obvious.
-Right, a trembleuse being a cup which...
-Is for a lady with shaky hands.
And so that's there for walking down the long dark corridors. Now, did he give you any idea of how old it was?
Oh, he...he didn't say. If he had an idea, he didn't say.
I was on my own as far as that goes.
-What would you like it to be?
-I'd like it to be Chelsea.
Well, because I'm very interested in that particular period of English porcelain
and I had seen a picture like that in a book.
-And it was Chelsea.
To be Chelsea, it would have to be 1745-1755, in that very early period when they produced the white wares.
-But I'm going to disappoint you.
-It's not. What else can it be?
-Well, my second guess was French.
-Can I ask how much you paid for it?
-I paid 100.
-100 would in English be £40.
To put you out of your misery...
-..it IS French.
-It's St Cloud...
..a highly desirable factory, which has this greenish hue.
I love that handle, gorgeous handle.
-With the curly bit at the end, lovely thing.
-Well, 100 is not too bad, is it?
-Well, I liked the cup.
I think if you sold that in England,
-you would get somewhere in the region of £1,500 for it.
-Thank you. Thank you very much.
Today, you'll hear valuations given in Canadian dollars and/or sterling.
It might help you to know that at the time of this recording, there are 2.25 to £1.
Well, we've had it about 35 years.
We bought it from an old lady who was selling up all her things,
and, er...we understand
it was in an Eaton's catalogue - I'm not quite sure when, probably 1915-1920.
Right. Despite first appearances, we're not looking at a Tiffany one.
-Because...I live in hope.
But it's still a splendid-looking lamp, OK?
It gives the appearance of being in gilt-bronze, but that is deceptive.
If you were to scratch through this, it would come up a silver colour.
-It's a white metal.
-The shade, in fact,
is like a streaked butterscotch.
but this type of glass is...
again, it tends to be identified with Tiffany, however there were lots of manufacturers,
in North America, making this type of lamp - Pairpoint is one name, Handel's another,
and there were plenty of others,
-because the demand was, you know, virtually insatiable.
Everybody who was anybody in the early 20th century wanted this lamp.
It showed they were modern, because this lamp used electricity,
and that was still relatively novel around 1915. You mentioned Eaton's -
-that was the Canadian equivalent of, let's say, Harrods.
-Or Selfridges, in Britain.
-They had the largest mail-order business in Canada.
-Did they really?
The catalogues were coast to coast. All the farmers bought through them,
-people on the prairies.
At the moment, it doesn't benefit from the fact that it's not lit.
-Because I'm sure you know that it looks fabulous when it's lit.
Its current value at the moment is about, um...
about 3,000 Canadian as it is,
but I think when it's lit,
it's probably worth nearer 4,000 Canadian, because it looks better! That's about £2,000.
-1,000 for a bulb?
-Just for flicking on that switch!
My dad got them from somebody for a pound of coffee in Berlin after the Second World War had ended,
during the American occupancy of Germany.
Right. I wonder how much a pound of coffee was in Germany at that time.
-I don't know.
-It would be his ration.
Was it a good trade, do you think?
I think so, yeah. We've had them on the wall ever since, so...
These are made of porcelain, almost certainly in Berlin.
A number of factories in Berlin produced wonderful quality porcelain plaques and these are good subjects,
and I would have thought the pair of plaques are worth about 700 to 900,
-£200 to £300 for the pair.
But they're not really what I wanted to look at. This boy is marvellous.
It's been by my parents' fireplace ever since I can remember and we've always called him our whistling boy.
Well, in fact, he's a well-known bronze called the mousse siffleur, or the whistling ship's boy.
And conveniently for me, it's...
I can see here that it's signed, Szczeblewski,
-and dated 1889 and it's cast in Hamburg and it's a wonderful quality bronze, isn't it?
Um, you've got such characterisation in it, haven't you?
You know, normally they can be a bit stiff and rather formal,
-but here it captures the spirit of the boy so well, doesn't it?
-His trousers are torn, but he's strutting his stuff, isn't he?
The colour on it is very nice, too.
It's been patinated to look like this.
Obviously, when it's cast, it comes out a fairly plain colour
and it's been coloured to look this nice, nutty brown colour.
-Be very careful not to polish it.
-Yes, it's hard to tell my mother.
People DO like polishing things. You should avoid it.
At best a duster, maybe a paintbrush to get in the nooks and crannies.
-Have you ever wondered how much it might be worth?
I wasn't going to bring it. I was at my parents' yesterday and I decided to sneak it out of the house,
-so they don't know that it's missing yet.
-Oh, really? Gosh.
But I always liked it and I thought maybe it had a value, I wasn't sure.
It does. There are plenty of copies,
but this is a particularly nice one, a very nice cast.
-I think this would make somewhere in the region of 4,000 to 6,000.
-Which is £2,000 to £3,000.
-My dad will be delighted.
-A very good pound of coffee.
-Thanks for bringing it.
This really is such a very, very pretty box.
I particularly love this painted bouquet of flowers in the centre,
and this is surrounded by bird's-eye maple,
and then brass inlay round the edge,
so whatever's inside, I've got a feeling, ought to be pretty good.
Wow! Isn't that absolutely glorious?
I think it's lovely.
The detail of the back here, with these lovely cut-steel studs on silk and blue velvet,
and the colours are just perfect,
and it's so nice to see them in such wonderful vibrant colour.
We've got everything here, from what I can see, that a lady would need for...for sewing.
Did you inherit it?
-I inherited it from my mother-in-law...
..who inherited it from her old maiden aunts, who lived in Halstead, in Essex,
in an old Georgian house called Moonshiney Hall,
-which I'm afraid now is demolished.
-They lived to a really ripe old age, about 98 or so, both of them.
Well, judging by the condition, this hasn't been used very much,
and we've got things like a little vinaigrette...
which... I'll just see if it is marked.
Yeah, that's got the maker's mark of Edward Smith,
-and that dates from 1860, so we've got a pretty good idea that that's what this box dates from.
Because I can't see any other marks.
I particularly like little details like this -
an absolutely wonderful little miniature sampler there,
and what have we got here?
Oh - a Chinese thread-winder in mother-of-pearl, just, you know, beautifully engraved,
and all the rest of the things here
are bobbins and wool threads and a complete manicure set,
so there's a wonderfully complete set.
The collectors of sewing implements really go for this sort of thing,
so I've got a... a pretty good idea...
that this is probably worth in the region of 7,000 -
a little over £3,000.
That's very nice. Very nice.
I'm going to send you to see Eric on Miscellaneous.
We need as many hands to this as we can get - there we go.
The style and colours indicate to me it could have been made in France.
-Do you know what it's made of?
When I took it home, I took the back off
and it was loaded with dead bugs.
-Are they still there?
-No, no, no!
I hung it up and took an air gun and I blew it from both directions,
-and they just...
-Blew away. It's a vision of 19th-century decoration.
I've seen this before.
-Indeed, you have. I think it's quite remarkable that you remember my pots but don't remember my face.
-I'm afraid I look at pots, not faces! It's a long time ago.
I brought it to you 20 years ago at least.
This is, of course, one of Grainger's beautiful miniature jugs, absolutely beautiful -
Worcester Cathedral over the river,
a beautiful little miniature jug.
The artist is Frederic Marlett Bell-Smith. He was a British artist.
-He's the son of John Bell-Smith who was also a British portrait...
-Oh, I thought they were brothers.
-No, no, he was the son.
Bell-Smith travelled back and forth between England and Canada.
He's known for two subject matters - British subject matter,
like this - "Wet Day, Westminster."
He also is known as one of what we call the CPR Painters -
upon the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway he was hired, along with a lot of other artists,
to travel west to paint western Canadian scenery for the eastern market, who had never seen it.
So two subject matters of his come on the market regularly.
Interestingly enough, one sells pretty much as well as the other.
It's a typical British painting.
Nice element here, with the two figures in prominence.
It has all the features you'd want in a Bell-Smith watercolour.
You could probably expect this to be worth...
oh, I should think, maybe, in the 5,000 range - 4,000-5,000.
It's an early French-Canadian armchair,
called an Os de Mouton armchair,
and os de mouton is translated as sheep horn.
That's where the name is derived from, that shape of the stretcher.
It's a crossover Louis XIII to Louis XIV influence,
Louis XIV having more flowing lines.
The Louis XIII style was a simpler rectilinear form, very simple style.
Louis XIV got into more flowing lines, and a little more carving and that kind of thing,
and that's what this chair is.
The low back and the arms coming out fully to the end date it earlier.
This is probably mid-18th century,
and because it has some original finish left, some old crackled varnish, it pushes it up in value.
If it were stripped and refinished it would be probably half the value.
This chair on the current market place in an antique shop in Quebec
-would probably be around 30,000 to 35,000.
-It's a great chair, and I hope it passes on to more generations in your family.
-Oh, we hope so.
These are not porcelain, they're enamel. I like enamel, and these are charming examples.
Do you know where they came from?
-I believe they're Viennese.
And when I first got them, I was able to, er...discover
that the mark on the bottom dated it to about 1872,
-OK. That makes sense.
There was a vogue, particularly in England,
but also in Germany, Austria and France,
Historismus, which was looking back to earlier periods.
The Victorians were great ones for studying works of art of the past
in a way they'd never been studied.
And they were particularly taken, in Vienna,
-by the enamels of Limoges from the Renaissance period.
And they used those techniques,
and indeed some of the designs, on pieces which were characteristically 19th century
and could never have been made in the earlier period.
What's extraordinary is that the collectors in the 1870s and 1880s -
in fact, right up until the '40s -
were buying these pieces, thinking they were old.
-Yeah, they were fooled,
and it's only recently that we've been able to sort out the copies from the real thing.
This is a rather curious shaped object.
-It's almost like a hip bath, isn't it?
-I never knew what it was.
I thought maybe sugar, and I've come to think of it as a sugar boat...
-No, this is a bonbon dish.
This would be in the middle of a dining table,
and it would have been pushed from guest to guest
-and they would help themselves.
-So that's what this was for.
It's been decorated on the inside with classical subjects,
and a typical Renaissance scroll border.
On the underside we've got a landscape,
which runs all the way round,
you've got the three wheels mounted on this silver you talked about,
and although that's now tarnished and black, it would polish up.
The other one is slightly more bizarre. We have a grand piano,
which we can lift up and find the keys,
and then here, we...
This is actually the key to it.
This is the key to it, it opens up like that,
and in here we have a musical movement. Does the movement work?
It used to work. I haven't tried it for about five or six years, though.
Somebody's done a bit of jiggery-pokery round here.
-That's not the original stop on there.
-Oh, really? OK.
-It's wound up, just... Can I try something?
-This may not work.
-It's working! It's playing a tune.
-Oh, I can hear it.
-It's having a tinkle. Well, there we go.
What's nice is that all the pins are in place and those are all there.
Often they're broken - some child's gone in and mashed it.
So it's in perfect working order.
I would get that stop worked out, because what should happen
-is that when you raise that, this stud comes up and it plays.
This, I think, is later. I'd put this into the 1890s.
Now, what did you pay for it? Can I ask?
Well, I got it about ten or so years ago and I paid 3,000 for it.
-£1,500 - that was fine.
That was a perfectly sensible retail price.
-What about this one?
-This one I paid 600 for, so...
-300 or less.
-Less, isn't it? It's £280.
That was really very good, you've done well. I mean, that would make...what would that make?
-That would make £1,500, which is 3,000, so very nice.
-Thank you for letting me see them.
-Thank you for the information.
Earlier I mentioned the Canadian artists, the Group of Seven.
This is a painting by Tom Thomson, one of the founders of the group.
Charlie Hill, curator of Canadian art - is this priceless?
Well, Tom Thomson was a key figure in the early history of the movement,
but, regrettably, that is a fake.
During the late '50s, there was a group of people in Toronto
who faked works by Tom Thomson and others and got them to auction houses
and it all blew up in '63, when two of the figures were arrested and charged and put in prison.
-So it was a scandal, not someone doing homage?
-Not homage at all,
though I think this painting was painted by an artist innocently,
then handed over for an exhibition organised by these two people,
and then they put a fake estate stamp on the back, so if you look,
we have a good estate stamp, designed after Thomson's death,
by JH MacDonald, a fellow painter.
On this stamp, the 7 doesn't go down as far,
the curve at the base is flatter,
and the top part is not as clearly defined.
What about the differences in the actual painting? What are the clues?
The impasto and the texture of this is much broader,
the contrast of colour is less subtle, less sophisticated,
the forms aren't as sharply defined.
However, not all Thomsons look alike.
In fact, one finds Thomsons with the name misspelt, because somebody has put the name on later, yet it's good.
There are complications in defining the authenticity of a Thomson sketch.
So the crude imitation I'm holding is presumably not worth very much.
-It has antiquarian interest.
-And what about the genuine one?
Thomson sketches of this quality go for between 150,000-225,000 Canadian.
-Well, I've seen some strange pieces, but this takes the biscuit!
It's fascinating. It's like a late version of a Carlton House desk -
the sort of horseshoe part here, the space,
and all these little compartments. What's the family history?
-My mother bought it about 40 years ago in Montreal.
-She moved into a retirement residence three years ago and handed it down to me.
-You use it as a desk?
-Yeah, every day.
-Excellent. These compartments slide backwards and forwards,
and the drawers pull out,
-and there is a clue that perhaps the drawers aren't quite as old as they should be.
-The construction, with little pins in here, you see?
-And we have some plywood...
-Bits on the bottom.
On the bottom, and um, really...
-I think...rather nearer the 1920s...
..than earlier. However, if we look back at this thing, this is rosewood,
and it has this typical French moulding of the 1840s.
1830, 1840, 1850, this was very popular. Now, the legs - I mean...
-they're something else, aren't they?
-Aren't they wonderful?
-Wouldn't they probably look better on a piano?
I was wondering if they're original to the desk or if they've been added.
I think they are the original for what this desk was originally.
-If you look here,
we have a cut, and a cut, and another one there,
and a cut in the moulding just there,
and it's been shortened.
-And it WAS a piano.
-It was a piano?!
It was a piano, yes - an 1840s piano.
-And there's the piano.
Oh, my goodness! I can't believe it.
I would have never, ever, guessed a piano. Wait till I tell everyone!
Now, value-wise, it's slightly difficult, isn't it?
-Shall we value it as a very good-looking desk?
-Oh, I think so.
-I think we should.
-Right, cos that's what it is today.
-And in Britain it would cost the best part of £800, which is probably the best part of 2,000.
That is surprising. I mean, it is so surprising, I can't believe it.
-These are just fantastic whirligigs.
-As far as we know,
they were made in Athens, Ontario, a village here in Eastern Ontario,
about in the 1890s, the way we figured it.
We're retired historians, so we're very concerned about the history of these beasts,
and...they stood out in front of a...a blacksmith's shop near the village, until about 1930,
and then when the blacksmith's shop closed,
they were shunted off to the farm of the brother of the man who made them,
and they just stayed there in a chicken coop, till we purchased them in the 1980s.
Well, they both appear to be made of Ontario cedar.
The paddles on this one - yeah, that looks like cedar, too,
which is part of the reason they've lasted this long.
They were purely whimsical, made to mount on a post,
possibly even the top of a house,
and they would flail their arms in the wind, one paddle being this way,
which would turn in the direction of the wind,
and then the wind would catch this paddle and make the arms go around.
Might tell the farmer what direction the wind was that day,
but purely just straight, pure folk art and whimsies.
I suspect that they may be a rendition of a Hessian soldier - the hat,
the red coat with the buttons.
Just wonderful Canadian folk art.
We even invest them with imaginary personalities!
We think of this fellow as Charlie who went to Toronto and lived it up,
and lost part of his hat, and this fellow is more uptight, you see,
-and he's more or less whole.
That's just playfulness on our part, I guess.
I would estimate these to be worth
20,000 to 25,000 Canadian...
£10,000-£11,000 in Britain.
-Well, that's terrific. Thank you very much.
-We'd better be more respectful!
Well, the response of the antiquers of Ottawa has been truly astounding.
The queues formed here at 7am,
the doors opened at 9, it's 3.30pm and still people are turning up.
The experts will be here until at least midnight!
Nice little box, squeeze action like most of them are, like that.
-It's quite fun.
-Now, what have we got? What categories have we got here?
-What's the story?
-Well, she turned up at an auction sale here in Ottawa
-of things belonging to the late Nicholas Monsarrat.
-The author of The Cruel Sea.
The auction was advertised on a stormy winter day
and hardly anybody turned up, and my father and I happened to go together and we got some lovely treasures,
including this doll, for which I paid 25.
I never would have had her otherwise.
Yes. And she is a lady! I mean, you look at her face,
and you think more than anything
-of those wonderful cartoons of the Gibson girls...
..with the very delicate features and the big, bouffant hair.
I think she's absolutely charming.
-Underneath here... Her dress really doesn't show off her figure.
Under here I can feel a wonderful, curvaceous, hour-glass figure,
-and her legs...
and her body is made of, um...sawdust,
-filled... I think it's just cotton.
-She's dressed in, probably, her original costume.
Let's see if there's anything... Oh, there is a mark, let's have a look.
-Somebody's filled this in.
-I did that.
-You went over it in pencil?
So the mark tells us a lot.
First of all, it tells us the number of this particular face.
It also gives a good indication of the maker.
-I'm almost certain that the maker was a company called Heubach.
Gebruder Heubach, who were based in Thuringia, in southern Germany,
where a lot of the doll-makers set up their companies.
And the Heubach company, in fact, was operating from about 1820.
-She would be dating, probably, from about 1900.
-And I think she's absolutely charming...
-..I have to say. She cost you 25 on that dark, stormy, winter night.
-Have you wondered about her value?
-Oh, very much so, yeah.
I think that was really a good buy. You probably knew it was.
But the value now -
that 25 is now going to be 2,250 to maybe 2,800,
-which is sort of £1,000 to maybe £1,500.
-That's lovely to know.
She's a real treasure.
-And I think also, here in Ottawa, the story adds...
-Yes, I'm sure.
-..to the value.
-You've made my day.
-This is the most magnificent watercolour, and it is, to me, the age of innocence.
It's by one of the great English illustrators of the 20th century...
It's clearly signed - "Arthur Rackham, 1910."
Just before the First World War, so an age of innocence,
-before the century changed.
-Can you tell me about...?
Yes. My great-grandmother, who was Australian, was an art collector,
and she bought it as a wedding present for my grandmother, who was married at the end of 1910,
-so they must have been the first...
It always sat in the drawing room in the London house,
according to my uncle, who's now 89 and remembers it as a child, um...
and then I was given it on my 18th birthday and I've had it ever since.
-Did your family know Rackham?
-I think my grandmother knew him, yes,
because there is another one that isn't as clear as this. I think so.
-He illustrated some great books - Peter Pan and so on.
This specific subject doesn't seem to be an illustration for a book.
-I wonder if it's a picture of his children or...
-Well, I don't know,
except it does figure in this book about Arthur Rackham.
-There is a picture of it here, but of a different...
-A later version?
-1913, for his book of illustrations.
-And where is that?
-I know that the V&A...
-The Victoria and Albert.
-..have the copyright,
because somebody came to visit us here in Canada and saw the picture
and when she was in the V&A, she sent me a card from the gift shop.
How lovely. I think it's absolutely wonderful, and Rackham's work is highly sought after.
And if we just look on the back, we can see, with his own handwriting...
"Children By The Sea, Arthur Rackham", and his address, "Chalcot Gardens".
-Oh, yes, in Primrose Hill.
-Exactly. So that in itself is wonderful.
-Is that his signature?
-I'd say yes.
Well, I mean Rackham's prices are...
I mean he's so sought after, and therefore prices are extremely high for his work,
and to see this wonderful, sort of fresh... I mean, this girl here is so beautiful.
-Yes, I like this one.
-I know, it's wonderful.
-With the pantaloons.
-It conjures up Swallows And Amazons, and family holidays on the beach, doesn't it?
-It's one of the most desirable Rackhams you'll see.
It's just such a beautiful subject.
-Something like this, if it came up on the market, would make between £30,000 and £40,000 minimum.
-I'd say 70,000 to 100,000 Canadian.
-It's an absolute peach.
-I had no idea, absolutely no idea. Wow!
You know, logistically, these are extraordinarily difficult to make,
because there's no glue used at all.
They are coopered traditionally and held together by these brass bands.
-This is Dutch.
-A cracking good example.
-It's got a typical half-size liner - they cut it off halfway down...
..so you could get more bottles in.
-What was it used for?
-Yes. It's a bottle carrier.
-What do you use it for?
-Well, at one point I held my son's Lego in it - it was a toy bucket.
-I didn't know it was valuable.
-Well, we haven't said it's valuable yet!
-Now I'll keep wine in it.
-I should keep wine in it, if I were you, yes.
-You've been using - and I must say it IS quite valuable - the most expensive toy bucket.
-Yes, it's worth, certainly in the English market, about £2,000.
-£2,000? That's amazing!
-So this has just been consigned to the back of the sewing basket?
-So you've never really given it a second look?
-No, I haven't.
-look at this object, I want to give it about 20 looks,
because there's so much to see when you start looking closely at it.
You use it for sewing needles. Do you know what it was for originally?
I'm assuming maybe a snuff box.
I think you're on the right track. It probably started as a snuff box.
But what strikes you when you pick up something like this is just that it's sheer perfection.
It's beautifully decorated, the top.
This wonderful star decoration here with this entire elliptical field,
and then when you cast your eye into the borders,
you notice that this actual top's beautifully chiselled,
and enamelled with semi-translucent enamels in what appears to be an aubergine and an emerald green,
so it's a snuff box of quality.
Turn it on its side and you get more - wonderful little pilasters,
again using scroll motifs.
and it begs to be opened and when you open it,
you'll find that you've got several marks here,
which tell me that this is French,
which tell me that was made probably in around about 1780.
Now the person who owned this would have been well-to-do.
The chances are that the original owner probably lost his head to Madame Guillotine.
-don't want to lose my head when it comes to valuation!
If I was to recommend a valuation on this particular box,
it would be for somewhere in the region of £2,000,
which is about 4,000 Canadian,
so this has got to be, probably, the most expensive needle box I'll probably handle today.
-And it probably won't handle many more needles!
My grandfather left it to me a pile of years ago, about 30 years ago, but I don't know where HE got it.
No story attached when you got it?
No, I wish I had one. He was a big shot in the internal affairs.
He travelled all over the world and he passed away when I was young.
Well, there's a bit of a government connection here.
This cane has been carved as we say, in the round.
It's sort of telling a story, and it says, "Sir John Douglass Sutherland Campbell",
and it says, "The Marquis of Lorne" here...
..and we see the initials "GG of C",
and we believe that stands for the Governor General of Canada.
He wasn't Governor General for long - a year or so, but I could be wrong.
Do you expect that he made this, do you think, or had it made for him?
I believe he had it made, but I'm just going by rumours.
It could have been made as a commemorative piece for his time, or perhaps made as a walking stick.
This would have historical value, but its real value here in Canada is as a piece of Canadian folk art.
And it has just a fantastic surface. One of the things we look for in folk art is the old painted surface.
There's this terrific imagery on it.
We've got the great Canadian symbol, the beaver,
we've got diamonds and hearts and this curious thing here.
The thing's carved out of one piece,
and you see the carver's virtuosity in carving this ball - remarkable.
And the colour is just...the preservation, the different colours,
I think it's a delightful object. You've never had it priced?
I've no idea. Not even a small clue.
-Wouldn't even hazard a guess?
-No, I'd be too afraid to guess.
-Well, you might be surprised.
-I think we're looking at about £2,500 British, 4,000 to 6,000 Canadian.
-A wonderful thing.
-Thank you very much.
-My mother was very fond of it and used it a great deal.
-Well, it's a very pretty chain and it's actually Swiss.
This enamelling is very typical...
and the little gold links, as well,
-and I think this would date from about 1830.
And for insurance purposes, I would estimate this at somewhere around £5,000 or 10,000.
Good heavens! Incredible!
But now we come to the real star of the show.
I bought this in New York 30 or more years ago,
-it was purported to have been made in Prague in about 1560.
-Well, I think that's, you know,
that is absolutely likely,
-because the form of it and the way these emeralds have been cut...
..is typical of the 16th century, as is this beautiful enamelling on the sides and on the back.
It's really in immaculate condition, I must say. It's really survived beautifully.
Jewellery of this period is rare today, seldom comes on the market.
-I would estimate the value of this between £20,000 and £25,000.
-Which would be about 50,000.
It's a really spectacular piece and I'm delighted to have seen it.
Well, thank you very much indeed.
It's been a busy, busy day,
and I have to hand it to the folk here for their enthusiasm, patience and their unfailing good humour.
So from Ottawa and our first Canadian Roadshow, goodbye.
Subtitles by Judith Russell BBC - 2002
Michael Aspel takes the experts across the Atlantic to Ottawa for a special edition set in the National Gallery of Canada. Among the finds are a bronze figure obtained in exchange for a pound of coffee, a desk which started life as a musical instrument, a pair of 19th-century 'whirlygigs', wooden bird scarers, rescued from a chicken coop and worth £10,000 and, the real star of the show, a 16th-century emerald jewelled cross which could be worth £25,000.