Whitchurch Antiques Roadshow


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Whitchurch

Michael Aspel invites members of the public to bring along their antiques for examination. The team visit Whitchurch in Shropshire and find a pair of silver claret jugs.


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Today we're in a town which is proud to be the oldest in Shropshire

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and perhaps even prouder to have had four names along the way.

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The Romans had a name for it. The Saxons had theirs. The Normans called it something else.

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It finally got a name that stuck - Whitchurch.

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The faces of this clock in the town centre lists all its titles

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and it was made here by the oldest firm of clockmakers in the world - JB Joyce.

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From Shropshire to Shanghai, Joyce's tower clocks have been keeping the world on time since 1690.

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Business gathered momentum in the 19th century when the new railway system carried clock parts

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all over Britain, together with the engineers to install them - quite often at railway stations.

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One of the largest clocks ever made by JB Joyce was installed in the Shanghai Custom House in 1930.

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The dials alone weigh one and a half tons, and the minute hand is 10 feet 6 inches long.

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Turn the clock back to the end of the 14th century

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and we find that dynamic Whitchurch character, John Talbot, the first Earl of Shrewsbury.

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A man of action, he spent his life fighting the Welsh, the Irish,

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and, for 30 years, his favourite foe - the French.

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He fought Joan of Arc at the Siege of Orleans and held the Bastille,

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but was driven out and taken prisoner.

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Shakespeare depicted him in Henry VI, Part I as "the scourge of France,

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"the Talbot, so much fear'd, that with his name the mothers still their babies."

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The old warrior fought on relentlessly into his 70s

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and met a suitably heroic end in the final engagement of the Hundred Years War at Castignon.

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His heart was brought back here to Whitchurch and is buried under the church porch.

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An ancestor of the great man founded the Sir John Talbot School

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in a quest to cure youth of sloth and idleness, a noble ideal.

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It's still a seat of learning for Shropshire lads and lasses,

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and today for the Antiques Roadshow.

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Hi, there. Tell me, did you have an uncle called Henry?

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-Years ago?

-Henry Wonnacott?

-No, Henry Ford.

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-Oh, Henry Ford.

-Yes.

-Now, could be, yes.

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-Henry Ford, my mother's brother.

-Your mother's brother?

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-Yes.

-Then that is your grandfather.

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-Oh, my Lord.

-That is your great grandfather.

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-Yes.

-That is MY father.

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-How extraordinary.

-Now then...

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"Ladies' old-fashioned shoes with 11 illustrations from originals." Whose was this book?

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It belonged to my father, who spent all his working life in shoes. He acquired it, I know not where.

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Let's have a look and enjoy it. Here we go.

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"The following illustrations of old shoes

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"are intended to preserve in an intelligent form what is fast crumbling into dust."

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Here we start.

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"The shoe that belonged to Mary, Queen of Scots. Smallness of size, black satin..."

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The quality of this colour printing is just remarkable, isn't it?

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-Incredible, given the age of the book.

-Exactly.

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And also the detail in the shoe itself with the stitching and so on.

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Now we go on to Miss Langley, who lived in the reign of Charles II.

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-Ohhhh! I mean, I love shoes.

-They're breathtaking.

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-They are, absolutely.

-Beautiful.

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-And do you have a favourite?

-Oh, I... There is a reference

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to a Mrs Brown, who is unknown other than it was a Mrs Brown's shoe and I always think rather charming.

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-Here we go. Mrs Brown.

-Mrs Brown.

-"Nothing can be ascertained about Mrs Brown." Poor Mrs Brown!

-I know.

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The shoe was worn...it dates about the time of Queen Elizabeth.

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Well, that should be - oh, look at that. Fantastic.

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What I find particularly praiseworthy with this book

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is the reason that somebody made it. It was expensive to commission a book with this quality of illustration.

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Presumably they're a sort of lithograph type...

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-Exactly, exactly, but it's surprising that somebody has looked at shoes in that way.

-Yes, indeed.

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Wonderful. Well, it is collectable.

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I have seen them in really good condition fetch as much as £500.

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-Really?

-But I think one's got to be aware that there is a little bit of damage.

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-Indeed.

-But even so, I would say, er...

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-between £300 and £500.

-Is that so? Really?

-At auction, yes.

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Obviously, something happened to this drawer.

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Has it been restored or is it a completely new one?

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It was a new drawer made about...

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in the 1990s when I had the whole piece of furniture restored.

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I was a bit alarmed at the price, actually. It cost me £100, just that little drawer.

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It's been beautifully made. Compare the dovetails.

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You've got the older one in this hand, slightly darker.

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It's had lots more wear and use and everything and it's been more exposed to the air and oxidised a bit.

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They're both walnut sides and the colour of the -

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300-year-old wood and the fairly recent cut of walnut, but it's very nicely made.

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The front was re-veneered as well? Oh yes, you can see.

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The difference in colour, jolly good cabinet working

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-and seems very reasonable to me. It's lovely.

-Thank you.

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-What a lovely piece of furniture.

-I inherited it from my mother in about 1985.

-Right, right.

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The probate value of it then was £4,000.

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And how long had she had it?

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She didn't have it for long because she inherited it from her aunt

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who would have been born in the 1880s

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and we think it's been in the family longer than that.

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It's called a secretaire chest or a secretaire chest on chest.

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-Chest on chest, I've heard.

-This lovely writing desk, and what I like about this is when you close it up...

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..you wouldn't know it was a secretaire, would you?

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-No.

-You'd think it was just a chest on chest.

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-That's how I've heard it described.

-Sometimes called a tallboy.

-Yes.

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It's the most wonderful colour wood.

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The interior has burr elm with those finely pointed little burrs,

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but the outside is walnut - a lovely contrast, using indigenous English woods.

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So what date would you call this?

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The gentleman who restored it for me in the 1990s suggested George I...

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Um...1720. 1715-1720.

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Right, which I think is fair enough but it's very difficult for us to be sure.

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-This is the high point of English cabinet making.

-Mm-hm.

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There was not really a better time than this early Georgian period of making wonderful proportions.

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There's something about the line and proportion of this

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which is just perfect, the scale of it.

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It's all been done the hard way. No machinery.

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-Well, there wasn't any.

-No, there WAS no machinery.

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One feature which lifts this above - apart from the glorious colour and patination -

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is this canted side with these lovely fluted, reeded pilasters here and it leads down

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to this marvellous - don't know what to call that - it's like a leaf or a tongue sticking out.

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-Mm.

-Lovely shape. It's so simple, but what a difference it makes

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to the piece - it lifts it into a new category of furniture.

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I'm very fond of it.

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-An inherited piece and you had it valued at £4,000 for probate.

-Yes. That was 1985.

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-What's the insurance figure on it at the moment?

-£15,000, I think.

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-Fifteen?

-I think so, yes.

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-I'm delighted to say that you're desperately under-insured.

-Oh.

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I think this would make easily at auction - easily between £20,000 and £30,000

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-and possibly even a bit more.

-Goodness!

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So if you wanted a proper insurance price on it,

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raise the 15 to at least £45,000 or £50,000.

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Oh, my goodness!

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I've been collecting ever since I've been in the fire brigade,

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which has been 18 years - I collect fire memorabilia in general

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but I just took a fancy to all the helmets.

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When it comes to value of these things, condition is important.

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I notice that this one in particular -

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I mean, there's hardly a dent in it. Beautiful condition.

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Now, one was sold in, um... only about four years ago

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in mint condition.

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That made £500.

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But the most important one of all -

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the chief's - and of course...

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Liverpool...

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-it's got the Liver Bird on the top, so you're right down to A fire brigade, which is great.

-Yes.

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So you're looking at £700, £800, even more.

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-Well, I bought it actually in the 1950s.

-Right. OK. What was it that attracted you to her?

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She was just in an antique shop window where I worked opposite

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and I used to look at her...

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many days, and I thought, "I would like that."

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She's so typical of the sort of 1920s, 1930s, and she's a very streamlined girl,

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but the give-away from the sculptor's point of view are the legs.

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Because in all fairness, these legs go on for ever.

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When I see a figure like that, I think it's got to be Joseph Lorenzl,

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because all his ladies have got these long limbs. Not only the legs,

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but arms as well - very willowy maidens.

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The signature itself is down there

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and I'm pleased to say it is obviously right as rain, but there are a few fakes around

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because he's been making a bit of money - but before we talk about money, a nice base.

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Good onyx base. A lot of fakes fail because they've got very substandard bases.

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Now this is obviously, you know, a good quality cast bronze.

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It's been given this silvered appearance but believe me, it is bronze.

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Again, if one looks at the face, this woman's got character.

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The hair's nicely finished, because every good bronze is finished by a chiseller,

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who puts in the detail.

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So, back in the 1950s, how much did you pay for it? You can tell me.

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-Dare I?

-Yes, go on.

-£25.

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-£25?

-Which was a lot of money then.

-It WAS a lot of money, so you really wanted her, didn't you?

-I did.

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Well, I suppose if you wanted her today,

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you'd have to fork out a bit more.

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In fact, the last one I saw in a gallery

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-was actually priced at £1,500.

-Really?

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I've seen some snapshots, but this beats the lot.

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a parade of Hollywood - whose is this?

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It belonged to my father, my late father, who died two years ago now.

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-It was his pride and joy. When anyone came to the house, they had to be shown.

-What was his job?

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He was a purser on the Queen Mary, just after the war.

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That explains why all these famous faces are here. Noel Coward, Charles Boyer, Paul Muni.

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Snaps of the stars and your father with the stars -

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"To Ray from Clark Gable" - not bad.

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Not bad at all, no.

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It's a really interesting collection of English drinking glasses. Have you assembled it?

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It was given to me by my mother and my late father.

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They both collected them over many, many years.

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Well, we clearly haven't got time to go through the lot. They are -

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with one or two exceptions - English,

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and - with one or two exceptions -

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18th or 19th century in date.

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Many of them have got stems like these

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which are either cotton twist, which is the white enamel,

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or air twist or mercury twist, which we've got here.

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If I feel this one...

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that has been trimmed.

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It's quite common for dealers,

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when they're selling glass, if it's got a chip, to grind...

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the whole of the rim to remove the chip.

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And, of course, as far as a collector is concerned, that's bad news.

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-This is - do you know what this is?

-No.

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It's a rummer. Er...it's a corruption of the German word Roemer, which is...

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a large drinking glass - nothing to do with rum.

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These were used for ale in the 18th century and into the 19th. Do you notice something about the glass?

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-Isn't the colour a bit different from the others?

-Very good.

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That's what a glass collector is looking at

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and that's perfectly all right, but it is a very yellow glass and that will affect the price a bit.

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Instead of, perhaps, being £85, it might be £65 because it's a bit yellow.

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And finally, this one - that's a rhythm one. We call this rhythm when it goes round like that.

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It's early 19th century and jolly nice.

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One like that today is somewhere in the region of £30 to £40,

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something like that, but moving up.

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Overall, it's a really very nice and interesting little collection.

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My guess is - I haven't examined them in any detail -

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is that you've probably got around

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-£1,000 to £1,500 worth here.

-Lovely.

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-Mother Goose.

-That's right.

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S Carter. Now, I know who that is.

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That's Samuel John Carter. He's a Norfolk artist.

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He lived in Swaffham and he's an animal painter.

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He's really particularly known for pictures of dogs and of puppies.

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-Particularly puppies.

-Yes.

-Can you tell me how you acquired it?

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Did you buy it...or inherit it?

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Er, well, it was left to my father in 1952

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by his aunt, and then it came to me in 1969.

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Yes. Well, it's beautifully painted. I mean, Samuel Carter's not as famous an artist, let's say,

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as Landseer or somebody like that - he's another late Victorian,

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charming painter of animals but wherever you look, the details are extremely good.

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-You know, the eyes...

-The eyes.

-Good.

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I love the way the little goslings are done and this chap standing up and flapping his wings.

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And also the landscape's nice, the river and the background

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with all the detail there. A bit cracked.

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-Yes.

-Here...

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along this side, little bit cracked in the varnish but that's not too serious.

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-I mean, really, I would recommend having this picture cleaned and taking the glass off.

-Yes.

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And the picture's signed as well, down here.

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Very faint and rather hard to see but it is signed, isn't it? SJ Carter.

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There's a date. Looks like 1888.

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This type of animal picture, obviously, is a very popular subject.

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Very saleable, I would say, in a sale...

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-£3,000 to £4,000. You should insure it for £5,000.

-Yes.

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-So, a charming thing. Thank you for bringing it.

-Thank you.

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My husband bought them in the early '60s because we liked them.

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We paid £50 for them, which we thought was rather a lot in those days.

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-£50?

-Yes.

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Right, yes.

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First of all,

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the condition is absolutely stunning.

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Everything is as crisp as the day it was made.

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The glass is just so sharp. Everything is just as you would want it be.

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Finding a PAIR of claret jugs is unusual.

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-They turn up, but most often you simply find A claret jug.

-Yes.

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We've got a wonderful fruiting vine

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spreading across the lid and the vines intertwined.

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You see how they just cross over and then go down into the base there.

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So often when you get something like this, it's been dulled with polishing over the...

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-Well, I've only cleaned it four times since I've had them.

-Four times. Right. Have you used them?

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-Not for wine, no.

-No. What have you used them for?

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We have them where we can see them, in a glass case.

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-Right, just to enjoy.

-Yes, yes.

-Just to enjoy.

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Well, they're made in London and...

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we've got a date here of 1838...

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but the maker - and really, it could not be better.

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-Oh.

-The maker in this case is Paul Storr.

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Oh, fabulous! I have heard of him!

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-Certainly a name to conjure with.

-Yes.

-One of the greatest, um... of the silversmiths

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that has ever been, and it is an early date for claret jugs.

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-Oh.

-They started to get going in the Regency period.

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You don't see many until you get a little later into the reign of Queen Victoria.

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So we've got an absolutely top maker. We've got a pair.

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We should be looking at a value

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of somewhere...

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around £30,000 plus.

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What?!

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Wow! That's fabulous.

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So, a little improvement on the £50.

0:18:410:18:44

Oh, that's wonderful! I do wish my husband was here to hear that.

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We've got an 18th-century herbal -

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"Primitive Physic", by John Wesley,

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but it's the 22nd edition so although it was printed in 1788,

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-it's a long way from a first edition and in that sort of condition, maybe worth £20 or something.

-I see.

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We've got a teapot, a pewter teapot on a spirit stand.

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-It looks as if it has been through several world wars, frankly.

-Yes.

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-Well and truly bashed. That's worth about £20.

-Right.

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I always liked to think it was a North American tomahawk.

0:19:200:19:23

-Tomahawk pipe, of course.

-Yes.

-So this is the sort of thing they pass around in the wigwam.

0:19:230:19:29

-Like a peace thing?

-You can call it a pipe of peace because it was used in a friendly situation.

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If you smoke with the chief and other elders of the tribe,

0:19:350:19:39

you are a friendly person and they called them a pipe of peace.

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-Ah, yes.

-But this is a late one, around the latter part of the 19th century.

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-I see.

-The mouthpiece in here...

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-This is made of bone.

-I thought it might be.

0:19:530:19:57

-I imagine it's been used quite extensively.

-It looks it.

0:19:570:20:01

It makes you wonder how it gets to England.

0:20:010:20:04

That, to a collector today,

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would be worth something in the region of £750 and as much as £1,000.

0:20:070:20:14

-Would it really? Would it really?

-Yes.

-Ooh.

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Oh, yes, who's this down here? Oh, that's great, isn't it?

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-Lovely, isn't it?

-What do you call him?

-Twit.

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Twit. Well, this is great.

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It's Austrian and cold painted bronze.

0:20:260:20:28

We see quite a few of these but not usually of a sort of novelty type.

0:20:280:20:32

It says "Bergmann" stamped on it and the wise old owl - Twit -

0:20:320:20:38

would sit on your desk

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and you'd open up his lid like that and there would be not a piece of paper inside, but an inkwell.

0:20:400:20:46

-Twit's great, isn't he?

-Lovely!

-He dates from about 1870-1880. Something like that.

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Right.

0:20:520:20:53

And because it's novelty and nicely coloured and useful,

0:20:530:20:57

-I think it would bring, at auction, about £400.

-Oh, gosh!

0:20:570:21:01

-What else have you got? Let's have a look.

-And in here we have this.

0:21:010:21:06

Now, that is nice. Good.

0:21:060:21:08

We don't really see that many rubies on the Roadshow. I don't know why.

0:21:080:21:13

But for some reason, we always seem to get

0:21:130:21:17

three-stone rings set with sapphires and I've been waiting for someone to bring along

0:21:170:21:22

a really pretty ruby.

0:21:220:21:24

These are brilliant cut diamonds.

0:21:240:21:26

We've got a ruby in the centre and brilliants on each side.

0:21:260:21:31

Look at the side of the mount -

0:21:310:21:34

all this very fine scrolling here

0:21:340:21:36

and then the claw settings here.

0:21:360:21:40

I would date it round about 1900.

0:21:400:21:44

Burmese rubies are the best. I'm not sure it comes from Burma.

0:21:440:21:47

It's probably from Thailand or maybe one of these countries

0:21:470:21:51

that also produce very good quality rubies, but that's a very sweet ring

0:21:510:21:56

and that's probably worth, in auction, £1,500 to £2,000.

0:21:560:21:59

It's very sweet indeed. I like that.

0:21:590:22:03

They're Irish turf buckets.

0:22:030:22:05

They've been in our family for a long time.

0:22:050:22:09

The family had settled in Ireland in the 1600s.

0:22:090:22:16

I believe that they came from the family property in County Laois, from Lauderdale House, um...

0:22:160:22:21

Probably mid-1700s but I'm not absolutely certain. Maybe you can...

0:22:210:22:25

Right. I don't think they're 18th century in the sense - well, not mid-1700s, anyway.

0:22:250:22:30

The style of this, and really this wonderful ribbing here,

0:22:300:22:34

is much more typical of the Regency period, so 1810-1820.

0:22:340:22:38

And...Ireland being a little bit far away from the centre of fashion, perhaps even a little bit later.

0:22:380:22:44

-Certainly the early part of the 19th century.

-Right.

0:22:440:22:48

I don't know when they were made and I don't have any record in any of the family albums we've got.

0:22:480:22:54

Right, right, right. But I just love the way they're made.

0:22:540:22:58

This coopering is fantastic. Just two very simple brass strands going right round, top and bottom,

0:22:580:23:04

holding what is a barrel, effectively, with these slats.

0:23:040:23:07

They're just so wonderfully ribbed and they're strong.

0:23:070:23:11

-They're almost what, three feet high?

-About that, yes.

0:23:110:23:14

-We still use this one for logs.

-For logs?

-Yes.

0:23:140:23:16

-Unfortunately we don't get much turf in this part of the world.

-I'm just imagining these.

0:23:160:23:21

Imagine a big hall of a big 18th-century classical house.

0:23:210:23:26

-You'd need two of these to keep probably one fire going all evening.

-I would think so.

0:23:260:23:33

I don't want you using those for logs because...

0:23:330:23:36

with the damage we've got here, this rather intricate and expensive restoration you've had done...

0:23:360:23:43

Absolutely, yes. Farmer's friend.

0:23:430:23:45

-It's not difficult to restore. It looks dramatic but it's not difficult.

-Would it be worthwhile?

0:23:450:23:50

Yes. It's not a difficult job. It may show, but that doesn't matter.

0:23:500:23:55

It's a wonderful part of Irish history - everything is Irish because this brass handle here is...

0:23:550:24:02

I'd like to think, if you showed me out of context, I'd say it's Irish.

0:24:020:24:06

A sophisticated classical leaf moulding, but a little bit naive compared with top London makers.

0:24:060:24:13

And it adds to the charm.

0:24:130:24:16

Would it have been a rural craftsman that made these or would it just come out of a bigger city?

0:24:160:24:22

Oh, I think a bigger city. Probably Dublin, I think.

0:24:220:24:25

They're a very sophisticated design and this swirling strong shape is a very smart London type design.

0:24:250:24:33

You get it on small objects and even turned legs and things like that, in London in the early 1800s.

0:24:330:24:41

But it's that Irishness which is important and the fact that

0:24:410:24:45

you've had them in the family since they were made - is fantastic.

0:24:450:24:48

-I'd like to think so.

-The Irishness is part of their value and the provenance helps a lot.

0:24:480:24:54

They're quite difficult to value. Have you got any preconceived ideas of the value?

0:24:540:25:00

Um...as a pair as they stand, um...

0:25:000:25:04

-£5,000 to 7,000, maybe?

-Even in this condition?

0:25:040:25:07

Yes.

0:25:070:25:09

The market is not easy at the moment because...

0:25:100:25:13

But there are a lot of very wealthy

0:25:130:25:15

Irish people around, people with Irish connections around,

0:25:150:25:18

who on a good market would pay, I think, a fantastically heavy price for this -

0:25:180:25:23

but the market conditions are a bit uncertain at the moment. And I'm going to have to be conservative.

0:25:230:25:28

You said £5,000-£7,000.

0:25:280:25:31

I certainly think they're worth £50,000.

0:25:320:25:35

-Right.

-And I think that is very conservative.

-Right.

0:25:370:25:41

On a good day, these are worth the price of a small house.

0:25:410:25:45

I'm glad I'm holding on to it.

0:25:460:25:49

-Yeah...thank you.

-They're brilliant objects.

0:25:500:25:54

It has been handed down generation after generation

0:25:540:25:58

-of my mother's side of the family.

-Can you work out how many generations?

0:25:580:26:03

-I think it's about four greats.

-So you know the lady that it belonged to?

-Yes, yes.

0:26:030:26:08

Do you know anything about her life or whether she was from this part of the world?

0:26:080:26:13

-I don't know her date of birth, but she did die in 1804.

-Well, that's a help.

0:26:130:26:20

Let's just look at it and enjoy the treat - it really is a treat.

0:26:200:26:24

The dress itself is made of a silk damask in this wonderful, vibrant emerald green,

0:26:240:26:31

which really has kept its colour incredibly.

0:26:310:26:35

There's no fading on it. It's almost as fresh as the day that it was made.

0:26:350:26:42

I would have thought it could well be French damask

0:26:420:26:46

because it wasn't until 1766

0:26:460:26:49

that there was an import control put on the importation of French silks,

0:26:490:26:55

so it could well be a French silk damask.

0:26:550:26:59

It's called an open robe and here we have the open robe.

0:26:590:27:04

What we're looking at underneath is a sort of everyday,

0:27:040:27:08

the quilted underskirt that would be worn with it,

0:27:080:27:12

with embroidery that's almost reminiscent of quite sort of simple Indian embroidery.

0:27:120:27:18

There was quite a lot of Indian influence at this time with the, um...East India Company.

0:27:180:27:24

All the sort of motifs, the Indian motifs were coming back and being used.

0:27:240:27:30

I'd like to turn it round and have a look at the back here.

0:27:300:27:34

We've got such a very attractive darted back

0:27:340:27:40

into this narrow seamed section here

0:27:400:27:44

and then out into a really quite full train at the back.

0:27:440:27:49

Very handsome. So often with these, you find

0:27:490:27:53

that if they've been in the family for any length of time at all,

0:27:530:27:59

they end up in the dressing-up box

0:27:590:28:01

and very often then cut down and used for fancy dress parties and so on.

0:28:010:28:05

This has seemed to have managed to escape that fate, and to have survived

0:28:050:28:10

with the central section here, the stomacher,

0:28:100:28:14

such wonderful quality of stitchwork with this silver thread.

0:28:140:28:19

-Do you know how long it took?

-Months.

0:28:190:28:23

Years, probably, but you can imagine a girl working on that for a special occasion.

0:28:230:28:28

Do you have any idea when this might have been worn?

0:28:280:28:32

It was thought to have been made for her to have tea with the Queen.

0:28:320:28:36

Tea with the Queen! How wonderful!

0:28:360:28:40

-Well, it's grand enough, isn't it?

-I think...that, I can't confirm.

0:28:400:28:46

-No. Oh, well.

-That is why it was supposed to be so special.

0:28:460:28:50

Such a splendid gown, fit for tea with the Queen. Today, when we're talking about value,

0:28:500:28:56

I would have thought we're talking in the £2,000 to £3,000 price range.

0:28:560:29:02

It's very handsome indeed.

0:29:020:29:05

Well, I bought it about, um...1970.

0:29:080:29:10

-Yes.

-From my chiropodist in Shrewsbury who...

0:29:100:29:13

-From your chiropodist?

-Yes.

-How wonderful!

-He sort of did paintings as a sideline.

0:29:130:29:19

-He had paintings on the wall while he was cutting up your feet?

-So you could look at them.

0:29:190:29:25

-Did he threaten to cut your toe off if you didn't buy one?

-No, but I was so taken with it that I...

0:29:250:29:31

I've always been very fond of sheep and so I bought it for £22.

0:29:310:29:35

Well, they were really great, these Victorian sheep painters.

0:29:350:29:39

Thomas Sidney Cooper, who did this, was a pupil of Eugene Verboeckhoven,

0:29:390:29:44

-also a great sheep painter.

-Was he Dutch?

-He was Belgian, actually.

-Belgian, yes.

0:29:440:29:48

There's this wonderful story -

0:29:480:29:51

that a collector had been saving up for many, many years to buy a Verboeckhoven,

0:29:510:29:57

and he went to Verboeckhoven's studio with 1,000 guilders in his pocket

0:29:570:30:02

and was told that the picture he was looking at, which he very much liked and which showed four sheep,

0:30:020:30:08

was 1,200 guilders, so he couldn't afford it.

0:30:080:30:12

But Verboeckhoven took pity on him and said, "I'll give you it for 1,000

0:30:120:30:16

"but I'll have to do one thing."

0:30:160:30:19

He painted out one of the sheep so there were only three in the picture, so he could afford it.

0:30:190:30:24

I see!

0:30:240:30:26

So this is the sort of background that Thomas Sidney Cooper came from.

0:30:260:30:31

I mean, he was the most sought after painter of sheep in England in the Victorian era.

0:30:310:30:37

And it's in very good preservation. The colours are still there,

0:30:370:30:42

the sheep are nicely arranged.

0:30:420:30:44

-It's a very good late Cooper watercolour.

-Oh, very good.

0:30:440:30:47

-Very pleased to hear it.

-Are you a farmer?

-Yes, always been farming in Shropshire.

0:30:470:30:52

So, the sheep is a nice thing to have on the wall for a farmer.

0:30:520:30:57

-We didn't have sheep. We were dairy.

-Right.

-But I've always been fond of sheep.

0:30:570:31:02

Right, well, it's a jolly nice one and I would have thought that at auction,

0:31:020:31:05

it would be worth between £1,500 and £2,000,

0:31:050:31:09

and insure it for £3,000 - is that more than you paid at the chiropodist?

0:31:090:31:13

Yes, that was £22, so we've done all right, haven't we?

0:31:130:31:16

-£22. Well done.

-That's only about the price of having your feet done now, isn't it?

-Right, yes.

0:31:160:31:21

Why would a stool - which is what it appears to be - have a hole in the middle?

0:31:240:31:28

It's not a stool. It's actually a very old cheese press,

0:31:280:31:32

which would have been used in the agriculture industry when the cheeses were put in the moulds.

0:31:320:31:38

It would have been put on that with a weight on top

0:31:380:31:41

and the residues would have drained through the hole in the bottom - the whey.

0:31:410:31:46

How did you find out what it was?

0:31:460:31:48

-I knew what it was, because we've got more modern versions of it around the farm.

-Ah.

0:31:480:31:54

Sort of being as we made cheese years ago,

0:31:540:31:59

I presume it was probably used originally in the farmhouse.

0:31:590:32:03

-My parents collected them.

-Right.

-Mum and Dad.

0:32:030:32:06

-Then we inherited them, you see.

-So, I mean, what an inheritance!

0:32:060:32:11

Where does one start with a group like this?

0:32:110:32:14

This is absolutely super - the card case.

0:32:140:32:18

Card cases are terribly collectable today and the most collectable are those with scenes on them.

0:32:190:32:25

Palace of Westminster is quite a rare one.

0:32:260:32:30

Let's see who we've got as a maker on this one. It should be - yes, it is - Nathaniel Mills.

0:32:300:32:36

He is the maker you want as well,

0:32:360:32:37

so your parents were obviously really quite discerning in their collecting.

0:32:370:32:43

Have you had any thoughts on values on any of them?

0:32:430:32:46

Um...I realised some are more valuable than the others.

0:32:460:32:50

That's certainly very true. That, on its own,

0:32:500:32:53

I would expect to be going for about £1,000 - £1,500.

0:32:530:32:58

-For that one?

-For that one, yes.

0:32:580:33:01

That - help! It's rattling!

0:33:030:33:06

There's more!

0:33:060:33:08

Right, yes, it does, yes - it's...

0:33:090:33:12

how many of these have you got?

0:33:120:33:14

We've never counted them.

0:33:140:33:17

So, I mean this snuff box is a wonderful, wonderful snuff box,

0:33:170:33:20

the casket form - and see, the sides are sort of bulging -

0:33:200:33:25

The most beautiful mounts there.

0:33:250:33:29

I bet you this one's Mills as well. Yes, it is.

0:33:290:33:32

So...and Mills, of course, working in Birmingham.

0:33:320:33:37

Date-wise, around the 1830s.

0:33:370:33:40

But a box like that, again...

0:33:400:33:43

you've got to be talking in excess of £1,000 - for that quality of box.

0:33:430:33:49

And they're not all of quite the same quality.

0:33:490:33:53

That one is going a little bit down-market,

0:33:530:33:57

but a box like that, you could easily be talking £300 - £400 or so...

0:33:570:34:02

and...where do we go from there?

0:34:020:34:06

They belonged to my wife's mother

0:34:060:34:09

and it was her father, Richard Maddox, who was quite a well-known book collector of the '50s,

0:34:090:34:15

who actually collected these,

0:34:150:34:18

but he was also a personal friend of Shaw because we believe his wife was...

0:34:180:34:24

lived locally, and that's how the association started.

0:34:240:34:29

We've got a card which is great fun,

0:34:290:34:32

because he says, "Gracious, you call that a small cheese?"

0:34:320:34:36

-He must have sent them a rather large one.

-He must have done.

-That's right.

0:34:360:34:42

"What must your big ones be like? It will last for the rest of our lives. Our best thanks."

0:34:420:34:47

"The 27th is a Wednesday, and there will be a matinee.

0:34:470:34:50

"Would you drop a card to my secretary to say whether you prefer matinee or evening?"

0:34:500:34:56

This is dated 10th November 1929 and here is a picture of Shaw in 1931.

0:34:560:35:02

That's it. He'd just come back from Russia, it said, didn't it?

0:35:020:35:07

He was a bit of a socialist so he'd obviously gone to Russia

0:35:070:35:11

and was impressed with how they did things in Russia, because...

0:35:110:35:16

-it was one of the things of his life, wasn't it, socialism?

-Yes.

0:35:160:35:20

He was a very important thinker and that's how people remember him,

0:35:200:35:24

as well as being a leading dramatist.

0:35:240:35:26

-His socialism, his vegetarianism - interesting in the light of the cheese!

-Yes!

0:35:260:35:31

Perhaps he felt he had to eat a lot of cheese!

0:35:310:35:34

-He was also very keen on language. He really wanted to revise the alphabet.

-Did he?

0:35:340:35:40

-That was one of his obsessions - with words.

-Yes.

-And here, Miss Patch, his secretary -

0:35:400:35:45

"Your letter's been forwarded to me. I've not seen Mr Shaw since he got back from Russia

0:35:450:35:50

"and I do not think he will be back in London until September. Thank you for the offer of cheese."

0:35:500:35:55

So he was still - he must have eaten more than the one, mustn't he?

0:35:550:36:00

-He must have had a regular supply.

-A regular supply, yes.

0:36:000:36:04

These are first editions of Shaw's books.

0:36:040:36:07

-That's right.

-And I see from up the front...

0:36:070:36:11

That is the oldest, isn't it?

0:36:110:36:12

-This is 1924 and I see from the front that this is also inscribed to our Mr Richard Maddox.

-That's right.

0:36:120:36:20

By George Bernard Shaw on 24th November 1933.

0:36:200:36:25

-That's right.

-Shaw died in 1950, so this was towards the end of his life and it's quite interesting

0:36:250:36:30

that he signed this book later, as if it was a token of friendship.

0:36:300:36:34

-That's right.

-The others are signed as well, are they?

-Yes.

0:36:340:36:37

I would imagine that on the market,

0:36:370:36:40

they might be worth between £2,500 and £3,500 for all three copies,

0:36:400:36:45

-inscribed, and the cards.

-Ah, so that's very nice.

0:36:450:36:49

-Very nice indeed. Thank you very much for bringing it.

-Thank you.

0:36:490:36:52

This one is unusual, with the agate set into the lid,

0:36:520:36:56

Let's see what this one's about.

0:36:560:37:00

-Ah, it gets better, actually.

-Good!

-It's unusual, with the agate set into the lid.

0:37:000:37:05

It's an 18th century box in this case but it's actually Newcastle and you don't see many Newcastle snuff boxes

0:37:050:37:11

so that's quite a rarity. That one, I would have thought, maybe £700 - £800.

0:37:110:37:17

The vinaigrette...

0:37:190:37:21

um...Windsor Castle - that is highly sought after,

0:37:210:37:26

and again, I bet it's got to be Mills.

0:37:260:37:28

Let's just see where we are.

0:37:280:37:30

Yes, Nathaniel Mills and again you're looking at the best part of £1,000 on that.

0:37:320:37:36

-Just for a tiny little box like that?

-Tiny little box like that.

0:37:360:37:41

Ah. Yes. Now, that is quite an exceptional grille.

0:37:410:37:43

Let's see the maker. It's Mills. Oh, it gets better and better.

0:37:430:37:48

I've never seen that form of grille before.

0:37:480:37:52

That, just as it is, with an engine-turned top by Mills around 1830 or so,

0:37:520:37:58

would be about £150 to £200, maybe, but with that,

0:37:580:38:04

it's going to be certainly in excess of £500.

0:38:040:38:08

Well, it's been in my possession a good many years

0:38:080:38:14

and I wanted to find out more about the origins of this type of vase.

0:38:140:38:18

OK, well. It was made in Austria and is quite typical of the type of art pottery

0:38:180:38:26

that was coming out of Austria in and around 1895-1905,

0:38:260:38:33

that turn of the century period,

0:38:330:38:34

because this is an Austrian interpretation of Art Nouveau.

0:38:340:38:38

-I understand.

-If you look at this glaze here,

0:38:380:38:41

it's just very gently lustred,

0:38:410:38:44

and also in this web design you've got more of this lustring.

0:38:440:38:49

It's something that you find on glass of the period.

0:38:490:38:52

-Yes.

-In Loetz, the glassworks are making iridescent glass,

0:38:520:38:57

-in America, Tiffany is making iridescent glass and...

-What can you tell me about these?

0:38:570:39:04

These little jewels, these little cabochons are ceramic. OK?

0:39:040:39:07

They're part of the design and there is every possibility that in the make-up they've been applied.

0:39:070:39:14

It is, as we can see, a spider's web and beneath that we've got this frieze of moths,

0:39:140:39:21

some of which are pendant,

0:39:210:39:24

they've been entangled and they're suspended from the web.

0:39:240:39:28

The actual decoration is moulded in low relief and it's heightened with gilt

0:39:280:39:34

and then the actual moths themselves

0:39:340:39:37

are sort of highlighted and detailed in this very fine gilt slip.

0:39:370:39:43

It just adds that extra jewel-like quality to it. As for the maker...

0:39:430:39:50

If we look underneath we find a mark that says "Made in Austria". There are some initials there.

0:39:500:39:57

-And they're R, S, T & K.

-Yes.

-Now that is for a firm

0:39:570:40:03

-called Reissner, Stellmacher and Kessel.

-I see.

0:40:030:40:06

OK? Um, now there's another mark...

0:40:060:40:10

which is very indistinct, which is impressed, but I can tell you that should read "Amphora".

0:40:100:40:15

This was the range of wares that Reissner, Stellmacher and Kessel were making at that time.

0:40:150:40:22

It's the sort of vase that an Art Nouveau collector would be very happy to own.

0:40:220:40:28

Um, I suppose...

0:40:280:40:30

The burning question is - how much would they have to pay for it?

0:40:300:40:36

I think that if they were to go to a top gallery,

0:40:360:40:40

-they wouldn't get much change out of £400 or £500 for this vase.

-Yes, I see.

0:40:400:40:46

-You haven't got a pair, by any chance?

-No.

0:40:460:40:49

-Would have been nice.

-No, I haven't got a pair.

-No.

0:40:490:40:52

And that, now, that's interesting.

0:40:520:40:56

Let's see - oh - that's a very rare vinaigrette.

0:40:560:41:00

With the clock face.

0:41:000:41:02

Again, around 1800 but that one - you should be talking probably the best part of £1,000 on that one.

0:41:020:41:11

-For that!

-For that, yes. It's a rarity.

0:41:110:41:15

I mean, just the boxes alone, just as a guesstimate,

0:41:150:41:20

there's probably £50,000 sitting there.

0:41:200:41:23

But then we've got the candlesticks.

0:41:230:41:26

When we had these, Jean didn't like them at all.

0:41:260:41:30

-"They're ugly." "We don't want them."

-Well, we didn't think they were...pretty.

-Right.

0:41:300:41:37

Well, I don't think "pretty" is necessarily a word to be put on them, I agree.

0:41:370:41:42

But they are terribly exciting because they are a very rare form of candlestick.

0:41:420:41:46

They're cast candlesticks - when you look underneath, you can actually see the casting.

0:41:460:41:51

Most candlesticks, when you turn them over, you just see it green underneath and there's filling inside

0:41:510:41:56

and they're made of sheet metal,

0:41:560:41:59

but these are made in the very best way...

0:41:590:42:03

By casting, which, in the Regency period, when they were produced,

0:42:030:42:07

you don't get that many, other than, say, at the top end of the market.

0:42:070:42:13

Let's have a look and see what...

0:42:130:42:15

There it is.

0:42:150:42:16

Hiding amongst all the vinaigrettes.

0:42:180:42:20

SW is the maker's mark.

0:42:210:42:23

That...is a chap called Samuel Whitford, who I think was probably more a retailer than anything else,

0:42:230:42:31

and 1819 is the date.

0:42:310:42:33

-So had you any thought of value on those?

-We honestly have no idea.

0:42:340:42:39

Um...

0:42:390:42:41

Those I could see quite easily

0:42:410:42:46

um, on the market for at least...

0:42:460:42:49

£25,000.

0:42:490:42:52

-It is a lot, isn't it?

-Never!

0:42:540:42:57

-Just for those four candlesticks?

-For those four candlesticks.

0:42:570:43:00

After this show I think Whitchurch - a town that's had four names -

0:43:000:43:04

might have another one, something like "Rainbow's End".

0:43:040:43:08

There's been so much to admire,

0:43:080:43:10

from glorious silver to those giant peat buckets, worth the price of a small house.

0:43:100:43:15

To Shropshire, thank you very much and until next week, goodbye.

0:43:150:43:20

Subtitles by BBC - 2002

0:43:430:43:46

The residents of Whitchurch in Shropshire turn up a treasure trove of items, including a valuable pair of wooden peat buckets, a pair of silver claret jugs crafted by one of the greatest silversmiths of all time, and a collection of snuff boxes and candlesticks valued at £75,000.