Hartlepool Antiques Roadshow


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Hartlepool

Michael Aspel invites members of the public to bring along their antiques for examination. Treasures from Hartlepool include a Steiff teddy bear and a drug jar.


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All aboard! We sail on the noon tide!

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I wish. Sadly, the seafaring days of this glorious vessel are over,

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but HMS Trincomalee is still afloat here at Hartlepool's historic quay.

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Made of teak and built in India for the British Navy in 1817,

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the Trincomalee has been lovingly restored over the past few years.

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She is now, officially, Europe's oldest floating warship,

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and she's a fitting centrepiece

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because this north-east town built ships for hundreds of years.

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But this is a tale of two towns.

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The original Hartlepool, here on the headland, is celebrating its 800th anniversary.

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It wasn't until the 19th century that West Hartlepool was formed

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on the other side of the docks.

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Something which the two towns shared was a terrible experience in 1914.

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Just after 8am on December 16th,

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three German battleships steamed out of the mist

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and opened fire on the headland.

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For 42 minutes, shells rained on the docks, the steelworks

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and the houses of Hartlepool.

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People ran into the streets to escape and there, many of them died.

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Altogether, 112 civilians were killed in the raid.

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The bombardment provoked a fierce reaction.

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Recruitment offices were besieged by volunteers,

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and locals gave more money per head to the war effort than any other part of the country.

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Before that, Hartlepool had provided the men to serve in the ships that were built here.

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And from the time of the Napoleonic Wars, comes a bizarre story

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which, however unlikely, sticks to the town like glue.

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One stormy night,

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two fishermen found a monkey that'd been washed ashore from a shipwreck.

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Confused by its gibberings, they took it for a Frenchman - the enemy.

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They declared it a spy and, there and then, they hanged it. True or false,

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if you tell a story often enough, it becomes part of history.

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Hartlepool has had hard times in recent years,

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but the town is very aware of its maritime heritage

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and the new docks and marina have given it an air of buoyancy.

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We've tied up at the Mill House Leisure Centre for this week's show,

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so let's see what treasure our experts have found.

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How long have you been collecting Noritake porcelain?

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About a year and a half, but the original piece that I started with

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was my mother's, which I've had about 30 years, something like that.

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-Right. You brought it with you?

-These two vases.

-This pair?

-Yes.

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She swapped me, because she fancied the pair that I had, and I had a mantelpiece which they fit on.

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So it took you 30 years to get into the idea of collecting the stuff?

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Yeah, we never knew what it was at all. We'd never heard of it.

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-Right.

-We just happened to see some other pieces with the same mark on.

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-OK. So what was the first purchase?

-The bowl.

-This bowl here?

-Yes.

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I think what is remarkable about Noritake is that 25 years ago,

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-you couldn't give the stuff away.

-No, no.

-Nobody wanted it. And then,

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we'd get the odd American turning up and buying it,

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-and it really has become very much a sort of US-dominated market.

-Yes.

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-However, there is a UK collectors' club.

-Yes, there is, yes.

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-And there's a lot more information coming out about Noritake.

-Yes, yes.

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What is great about Noritake

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is the fact that it was an international concern.

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because the design team were in New York, headed by an Englishman,

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making porcelain for...in Japan,

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for the European and the American market. So it was all very clever.

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-International companies today...

-They did copy a lot of other styles.

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-There's quite a bit from the style of Wedgwood as well.

-Oh, yes.

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-So there's quite a lot of different styles.

-The one to look out for

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is the abstract designs that you often get on plates,

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-designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

-I don't like it.

-You don't like it?

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-No, I like the pretty pieces.

-Oh, do you?

-Rather.

-Right.

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-So you've got set views about which Noritake you want to collect?

-Yes.

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I think where they win - as with that bowl and this piece -

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whereas in Staffordshire, in the sort of 1920 period,

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much of what was being mass-produced was being transfer-printed -

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Noritake went one better, and they actually hand-painted pieces.

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Here, each one of those roses is entirely hand-painted.

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-Yes.

-And that makes it special.

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Also, they didn't go easy on the gilt as well,

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so it's what I call "bright and bonny".

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-Yes.

-So, um...I've got to say that the pair of vases

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-are quite splendid...

-Yes.

-I don't know how much you paid for them,

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but if I can just say that I would expect today

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-that you would have to pay about £200 to £250...

-Yes, we paid £210 for them, so...

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-That was a near one, wasn't it?

-Yes!

-And all I can say is,

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thank you for sharing a little bit of early 20th-century Japan with us

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-here in Hartlepool.

-Yes, lovely, you're welcome. Thank you.

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Seeing a suite of furniture like this takes me back to when I started in this business,

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-and I used to buy suites like this for £1.

-Did you, really?

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All this for £1. Nobody wanted them - this is late 1950s.

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I used to stack them in a shed, then some Italians used to come over,

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-and they would buy four or five suites at £1-10s - a huge profit...

-I'm sure, yes.

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-..that kept me out of trouble.

-Yes.

-Now, they didn't look like this.

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-You have done a wonderful job on upholstery. Did you do it?

-No.

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-I purchased it at a sale 23 years ago in a place called Stokesley, not far from Hartlepool.

-Right.

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And, from what I understand, it was actually in an attic.

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It has a watermark on the settee, from some problem in the attic.

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It was upholstered like this then - for how long, I don't know.

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-Well, that type of material - I'd have thought in the '70s.

-Right.

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-Anyway, they did a jolly good job.

-Yes.

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I used to buy them when they were rough and falling to bits,

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but this is what they COULD look like.

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It comes from the period we call belle epoque - late 19th century,

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and it's a great example of how you can tell quite quickly that's when it has to be.

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If you look at that chair, you have so many designs in it

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which are all revivals of the 18th and early 19th centuries,

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-but they never occurred together until the 1890s.

-Right.

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So you have that sort of Rococo-style back,

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that sort of cartouche shape,

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and if you look at the whole thing, with what is a cabriole leg -

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but it's a very small cabriole leg -

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it gives the sort of general curvilinear outline.

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Then you have the formality of that fanned shape in the top...

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That would have been 1760, this was very much 1780-1790...

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You've got this peculiar type of frond coming up,

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which is rather like an Egyptian formalised Regency lotus,

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and then you have these C-scrolls which are like a capital C,

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each one turned into the other - that's 1760.

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So you've got 1780, 1760, 1800...

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-Very interesting.

-And you put them together,

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and that's an immediate guide to 1890 - it must be Revival -

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those were never put together until then. The other thing is the size,

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-because that is too small for an 18th-century chair.

-Right.

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Then you have the form of the settee at the back,

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again peculiar in its combination of designs to that period. Delightful.

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-Oh, I like it.

-It's lovely. Do you have it all together in one room?

-No, I have it all scattered around,

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because we've just moved house, but wherever we go with it, it seems to fit,

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-That's why I chose it - because it's delicate furniture.

-But you can use it and these are quite comfortable.

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Very comfortable.

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Now, it's quite rare in two respects -

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one is the condition, which is good,

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the other is in the fact that it's complete.

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Now, when people died over the last three or four generations,

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-Uncle George had two chairs and Auntie Edie had one of those...

-Yes.

-..and somebody else had the settee.

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There are hundreds of these suites split up all over the country.

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Very few are still together.

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Each of the chairs on its own would cost £300 or £400 to make,

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but you'd only get probably £50 for a chair like that -

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one's an odd chair. But as soon as you start getting into a set,

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then the price multiplies, you don't just add £50, you double the value.

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Talking about splitting them up - while I was at the sale, I only wanted two chairs and the settee,

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when this gentleman tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Can I just say, don't split them up?

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"Because it will be worth much more if you keep it all together." So I did.

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-So that was good advice.

-That was good advice indeed.

-It was.

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The pair of chairs, today, would probably cost you £2,500 to replace,

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the settee - probably £2,000,

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and the set of six pretty little chairs have got to be round about...

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-sort of £4,000.

-That's very interesting.

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So, £7,000 or £8,000 for insurance value, that's for replacement value.

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Yes. I paid £800, actually, when I purchased it.

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-Did you really? Wonderful.

-I had an idea it might be worth about £3,000, so I'm pleasantly surprised.

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The brooch was presented to my grandma when she launched a ship.

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Her father-in-law was one of the directors of the shipping line, so that was why she was picked.

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-Would you like to have been picked?

-I would!

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-I don't know whether they do it any more now.

-Would be rather good.

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-It's a handsome present, isn't it?

-It is very pretty.

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-What about that one?

-That one was left to me by an aunt.

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I don't wear it very often, because it's so pretty

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-and these crescent shapes catch on your clothing.

-Bit catchy.

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-It's just on very special occasions that I wear it.

-Well, it was made for a very special occasion.

-Oh?

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There's a hint here. Any ideas?

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-Is it Russian?

-No, it's not Russian. Its significance is very simple -

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-it's a honeymoon bracelet.

-Oh, really? Ah!

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There it is - the pearls for love and the diamonds forever.

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-So forever love within the crescent moon - honeymoon.

-How lovely.

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But it's an extraordinary bracelet - and we do see them sometimes -

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-for its mechanism.

-Yes.

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It expands in a rather dramatic way, and the engineering of it

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must have evolved over a long time. Have you enjoyed wearing that?

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Yes. I always look forward to an occasion when I can wear it.

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-It dates from about 1890.

-Oh?

-It's the sort of thing people want today.

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-What about these two fellows?

-They're inherited.

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I don't know who they belonged to in the family.

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I'd assumed it was Prince Albert and Queen Victoria, but it isn't,

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-it's Disraeli.

-It is, it's Disraeli.

-Why should she be chained to him?

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-Well, he was her favourite prime minister...

-Oh, right.

-..and she absolutely adored him,

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and he was very courtly,

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he was far from handsome, but he was capable of winning her heart

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in every sense of the word.

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He once rather cynically said that when dealing with royalty you had to lay flattery on with a trowel,

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-so I think she was susceptible to his honeyed tones.

-Right, yes.

-But she did adore him,

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so, metaphorically, there's something in this chain, although I'm not quite sure what.

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Perhaps it is just to simply mark the end of his premiership really.

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-Right.

-So that's a fun thing, a historical one.

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It may well have secured a sort of scarf, with this chain between.

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-Oh, right.

-It would hold a cravat or a scarf for a girl, I think.

-Yes.

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But, anyway, that isn't necessarily the most valuable one,

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though I think one would be pleased to find it and pay something like...

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-£600 for the pair.

-Really? That's a nice surprise.

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I think they're very nice English historical jewels. Charming.

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And this one is also a very valuable thing because it is wearable.

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Wearability is much more to do with intrinsic value at this level.

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So, goodness, what do you think?

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-Oh, I don't know, you tell me.

-That's why you came, isn't it?

-Yes!

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-Let's say £800 to £1,200 for that.

-Really? Golly!

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But I want to talk about this one here.

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It's a little flower head,

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a stylised flower head of opals and diamonds and dementoid garnets,

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-which are Russian garnets.

-They're not emeralds?

-No, green garnets.

-Oh.

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They have a grassier green look,

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which harmonises with the colours of the opals better than the emerald.

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But, anyway, a beautiful jewel and, as we can see, at the back,

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you can take this off. Tried that?

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I've had it off, yes, I have worn it on a chain.

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And that gives the double function.

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But, anyway, a beautiful thing, and, um...

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I think, let's put that one down at...

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-£1,750 today.

-Ooh, golly, very nice! Thank you very much.

-A lovely group.

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-Thank you for bringing it.

-I've enjoyed it, thank you.

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It belonged to my grandmother, but I think it probably belonged to her mother, or her mother before that.

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-It probably was.

-I think it's been handed down in the family.

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I think it was her mother's mother. It was probably made in about 1780.

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Charming. I love the dormer window,

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the architectural purity of that,

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the lattice windows, the sort of cottage Orne-type finish,

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and you think perhaps it might be a tea caddy, but lo and behold,

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it's not a tea caddy, it's a workbox,

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lined with this divine apple-green paper,

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with all the little fitments for cottons and thimbles and so on,

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with a detachable tray... I'll ask you to hold that. That's great.

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And then on the side, we've got a secret drawer,

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with a little peg that secures it, which is charming too,

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and some more divisions for cottons underneath. Absolutely original.

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I could take it home with great pleasure. I think it's worth -

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-even in this state - at auction, between £1,000 and £1,500.

-Gosh!

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This is fascinating because it's a social little object, I think.

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A little barrage balloon unit by W Britain. In the war,

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these barrage balloons were put up to try and deflect enemy aircraft

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from flying across populated areas. Now, how did you acquire it?

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My parents bought it for me when I was a child.

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It's quite good fun because it's actually a working model.

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You can wind the barrage balloon up and down with the aid of a little crane on the truck there.

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This was made during the war, and I don't think it's very valuable.

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They came in two sizes. The larger version is worth a lot more money.

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You have the smaller version, but in its box, it's worth about £80-£120.

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But thank you very much for bringing it in.

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My grandfather was one of the people who were killed in the German naval bombardment of Hartlepool.

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-He was in the Salvation Army, and this is the piece of shrapnel that killed him.

-Oh.

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The family were downstairs getting ready for school,

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and my grandfather went upstairs to get something from his office

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and the shell came through the window and exploded

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and the piece of shrapnel entered his head and he died.

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What happened to your grandfather's family after his death?

0:17:340:17:38

My grandmother and the five children were moved down to London,

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and the Salvation Army provided her with housing and a job,

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and my mother, along with her four brothers and sisters, grew up in London and met my father down there.

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So had my grandfather not been killed and the family had not moved south, I wouldn't be standing here today.

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And we wouldn't be examining this tragic reminder of that awful event

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-87 years ago.

-Indeed, yes.

0:18:030:18:06

It belongs to my aunty. She bought it at a summer fair for half a crown,

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-30 years ago, so it's quite old.

-And did she buy it for any reason?

0:18:100:18:15

-Well, she actually bought it for her dog to play with because...

-What?!

0:18:150:18:19

She bought it for her dog to play with because it used to pinch other babies' toys,

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-so she bought it for that.

-Is that why this has been eaten away?

0:18:250:18:29

That was done by my dog, not hers,

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-when it was a puppy, so...

-Ohh!

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-She wasn't too happy about it.

-Oh, my goodness! Well...

0:18:350:18:39

he's also got a hole in his ear, where she pulled out the stud.

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She pulled it out cos she thought the dog would swallow it and choke on it.

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And aren't you and she lucky that it only did that damage?

0:18:490:18:54

Because...

0:18:540:18:56

this chap is a very, very important bear.

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He's by the firm of Steiff in Germany.

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He has the centre seam here,

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which shows he's one out of seven,

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in other words, they had seven bolts of this lovely mohair plush,

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and every time they came to the end they could make half a teddy,

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so they made six without the seam and one with,

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so he's slightly rarer.

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He's got these boot-button eyes - the original, not eaten by the dog.

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Have you any idea what he's worth?

0:19:290:19:31

-None at all.

-Well, you'll have to break it to your aunt quite softly,

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because if he were go into a teddy-bear auction,

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he would make in the region of between £3,500 to £4,000.

0:19:410:19:46

£4,000?! You're joking!

0:19:470:19:51

-For a teddy bear?!

-For a teddy bear. For a teddy bear.

0:19:510:19:55

These things were brought back by the whaling captains

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in the 18th and early 19th century.

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The north-east coast was one of the great whaling centres of the world, before the Americans came into it,

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Whitby being the chief port. This thing is a sawfish bill,

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not a swordfish - they're not related whatsoever -

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and they're related to sharks, rays and other cartilaginous fishes,

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and they are becoming very rare.

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In the 19th century, when whalers were out there, they were common,

0:20:260:20:30

and they were brought back as mementos of their travels.

0:20:300:20:34

And this is a remarkably large one. This is called the rostrum,

0:20:340:20:38

-and these aren't teeth at all, they're modified scales.

-Ah.

0:20:380:20:42

They swim around in muddy water, using this as a probe in the mud

0:20:420:20:46

to find small creatures. Sometimes they impale them on these.

0:20:460:20:51

What intrigues me is how do they get them off, having impaled them six feet in front of them?!

0:20:510:20:57

Anyway, very collectable in the 19th century, and still collectable.

0:20:570:21:02

But the thing you're holding is actually much more interesting.

0:21:020:21:06

-Yes.

-It's a more appealing object, to my eye and, um...fascinating.

0:21:060:21:12

It's a narwhal tusk. Another thing that was brought back by whalers.

0:21:120:21:17

-Yes.

-Now, the great name was...?

-Scorsby.

0:21:170:21:20

-Scorsby.

-William, father and son.

-Captain William Scorsby, father and son, who worked out of Whitby

0:21:200:21:26

in the late 18th, early 19th century, up to the 1820s.

0:21:260:21:30

-It's quite possible that it is this tusk that gave rise to the myth of the unicorn.

-The unicorn's horn.

0:21:300:21:37

Absolutely. They always have this spiral form.

0:21:370:21:40

The longest known is about... just under nine feet long, I think.

0:21:400:21:44

-And this one is...

-This is a baby - six foot.

-Not a baby, pretty good.

0:21:440:21:48

Six foot or thereabouts.

0:21:480:21:51

Now...not antiques, but collectable rare species,

0:21:510:21:56

both of them on the endangered list and certainly shouldn't be caught and fished any more,

0:21:560:22:02

so that gives these things value. How long have you had this?

0:22:020:22:07

I've had them both about three years. They came from a whaling family...

0:22:070:22:12

-Not the Scorsbys?

-Unfortunately not.

-What a shame.

0:22:120:22:15

Tyneside family. I paid £500 for the bill, £1,000 for the narwhal tusk.

0:22:150:22:21

-You've definitely come out on top.

-Oh, well, that's good news.

0:22:210:22:25

The bill, probably because of its size,

0:22:250:22:29

is somewhere around the £500, £600, £800 mark,

0:22:290:22:34

-but this is worth probably the best part of £3,000.

-Oh, splendid!

0:22:340:22:39

-It's a jolly nice one.

-Well worthwhile.

-Absolutely.

0:22:390:22:43

It was given to my mother by an old lady that my mother looked after in the 1950s.

0:22:430:22:48

I think my mother appreciated what a pretty object it was,

0:22:480:22:52

-and that's all I know about it.

-Do you keep tea in it?

0:22:520:22:56

I don't do anything with it. It just stands on the piano at home.

0:22:560:23:01

-Well, it's a sweet little box, isn't it?

-Mmm.

0:23:010:23:04

-You probably know it's made of veneered tortoiseshell.

-I guessed.

0:23:040:23:09

In fact, it's turtle shell, but it's still referred to as tortoiseshell.

0:23:090:23:14

Made in England.

0:23:140:23:16

Tea was a very valuable commodity in the 18th and the early 19th century, so you've got the lock on the front.

0:23:160:23:22

It dates from around 1840 to 1850,

0:23:220:23:26

and the size is still not too large.

0:23:260:23:28

If it was an 18th-century one, it would be smaller.

0:23:280:23:32

It's got a wonderful little metal escutcheon

0:23:320:23:35

which hasn't had any initials inscribed onto it, and then this white metal stringing runs over it.

0:23:350:23:41

What's nice about the caddy is that it's in good, untouched condition,

0:23:410:23:47

and it's been beautifully made.

0:23:470:23:50

Tortoiseshell is quite transparent, and this is a lovely pale colour.

0:23:500:23:54

Because it's transparent, you can put different colours underneath it,

0:23:540:23:59

so occasionally you see tortoiseshell

0:23:590:24:02

with a red sort of ground to it, and you get this red glowing through it.

0:24:020:24:05

Occasionally, it's blue or green.

0:24:050:24:08

But this is a really good example. It's been kept out of sunlight,

0:24:090:24:13

which can seriously affect its condition over the years.

0:24:130:24:17

Another wonderful thing is that the veneers are matched and mirrored,

0:24:170:24:21

so that they're very symmetrical. All a good sign of craftsmanship.

0:24:210:24:26

It's still got its original two divisions -

0:24:260:24:30

they each have turned ivory finials.

0:24:300:24:33

Nice to see these because they very often get lost. If we look inside,

0:24:330:24:37

it's got the original zinc lining.

0:24:370:24:40

It's bubbling a little bit and flaking off slightly,

0:24:400:24:44

but good that it's in this untouched condition.

0:24:440:24:47

-The little ball feet - what material are they?

-Probably a plated metal,

0:24:470:24:52

-rather like the escutcheon on top.

-Would that be nickel-plated, or...?

0:24:520:24:56

-Well, it would be silver-plated.

-Silver-plated, yes.

0:24:560:25:00

That tarnished,

0:25:000:25:01

-which is why it looks so grey now.

-So should they be left or...?

0:25:010:25:05

You could gently clean it, but the problem is

0:25:050:25:09

-some of these bands may spring out.

-Best left untouched, then.

0:25:090:25:14

-Yes. It hasn't done it any harm for the last few years, has it?

-True.

0:25:140:25:18

-Did your mother have any idea of what its value might be?

-None.

0:25:180:25:22

-What about the lady who gave it to her?

-No. She was a schoolteacher,

0:25:220:25:27

and I just think it may have been sort of passed down the family.

0:25:270:25:31

-I don't know much about it.

-There's quite a demand for tea caddies in this original condition.

0:25:310:25:37

If you were to put it to auction, which I'm sure you wouldn't do,

0:25:370:25:41

you'd get in the region of...

0:25:410:25:44

£1,200 to £1,800.

0:25:440:25:46

Bit of a shock! Didn't expect that much.

0:25:460:25:49

At first glance you might think this is a Winchester repeating rifle,

0:25:490:25:54

but it's actually a rifle made by the Bullard Repeating Arms Company.

0:25:540:25:59

-A very rare rifle. Where did you get it?

-I bought it two years ago

0:25:590:26:03

at a local arms and militaria fair, locally,

0:26:030:26:07

and the chap said that it didn't need any licence because, um...

0:26:070:26:14

the cartridges are obsolete, it's an obsolete calibre,

0:26:140:26:18

you can't get bullets for it and you haven't been able to for a long time.

0:26:180:26:23

That's right. There's been new Home Office guidance on antique firearms.

0:26:230:26:28

It allows people to own old firearms which are perceived to be no risk to society, without any licensing.

0:26:280:26:34

-Yes.

-So that's good.

0:26:340:26:36

-Good.

-This is chambered for a very obscure cartridge called the 38.45,

0:26:360:26:40

and I've never seen any.

0:26:400:26:42

Like most American firearms of the period that were repeaters,

0:26:420:26:47

it relies on a tubular magazine

0:26:470:26:50

and an action which is operated by this lever,

0:26:500:26:54

which runs back, throws the bolt back,

0:26:540:26:57

raises a lifter with a cartridge in it, we pull the lever forwards,

0:26:570:27:02

it rams it home, drops a lifter and the action is then cocked

0:27:020:27:06

and ready to fire.

0:27:060:27:08

-And you could shoot this as quick as you could work that lever.

-Yes.

0:27:080:27:12

And it's inspired by the products of Winchester and Benjamin Tyler Henry,

0:27:120:27:17

and it was intended as a competitor,

0:27:170:27:20

but regrettably, as a competitor, it failed miserably.

0:27:200:27:24

It was in production from 1886 to 1890.

0:27:240:27:29

-Really?

-And for just those four short years,

0:27:290:27:33

probably no more than 10,000 to 12,000 were made,

0:27:330:27:37

and of this particular model - the small-frame - probably about 500.

0:27:370:27:42

-Really?

-So in terms of mass production of the 19th century,

0:27:420:27:45

it was a drop in the ocean and it's a very rare thing.

0:27:450:27:49

How much did you pay for it?

0:27:490:27:51

I'll have to make sure my wife doesn't watch this bit. Um...£650.

0:27:510:27:56

Well, that, I think, was a very good investment,

0:27:560:28:00

and if I can reassure your wife

0:28:000:28:03

-that this would be worth between £1,500 and £2,000 today.

-Really?

0:28:030:28:07

Very desirable, and for somebody who collects American firearms

0:28:070:28:12

that would be the sort of thing that somebody would buy.

0:28:120:28:16

-Did you buy these at auction or at a junk shop?

-No, no.

0:28:160:28:20

That one was in a backstreet shop, and those were at different fairs.

0:28:200:28:25

-So £25 for that. How much for that one?

-About £120, I think.

0:28:270:28:31

-£120 for that.

-That was about the same for that.

-About £120?

-Yes.

0:28:310:28:36

-Right, yes.

-And I think...

0:28:360:28:38

-about £150.

-£150 for this?

0:28:380:28:41

-Yes.

-Amazing.

-Few years ago, it was.

0:28:410:28:44

Ooh, can I have a go? I see, there are two little figures

0:28:440:28:49

and they go up and down if you hold the bowl,

0:28:490:28:52

from the heat of your hand.

0:28:520:28:55

Like those things that measure if you're cold-blooded or passionate.

0:28:550:28:59

In my case, I've been dead for three months!

0:28:590:29:02

Come on... Ah!

0:29:020:29:05

That's more like it - I've come to life!

0:29:050:29:08

This one's lovely - by Henry Brian Ziegler -

0:29:080:29:11

clearly signed, no problem there.

0:29:110:29:14

And he was a kind of contemporary of Winterhalter.

0:29:140:29:17

They were both painters who went around the courts of Europe,

0:29:170:29:22

particularly in England,

0:29:220:29:24

and Ziegler... taught Queen Adelaide how to draw.

0:29:240:29:29

So he was a very well-connected artist,

0:29:290:29:32

and drew the heads of the aristocracy and the royal family of England and of other countries.

0:29:320:29:38

He's got great charm. I like the detail. Worth about...

0:29:380:29:42

-£400 to £600.

-Really?!

-Quite nice. Yes, would you believe it?

-Oh!

0:29:420:29:47

Well, it's charming, you know. Why not?

0:29:470:29:50

It belonged to my mother, and if she was here now, she'd be 105 to 110,

0:29:500:29:56

and when I was that high - perhaps a year old - I can remember that.

0:29:560:30:01

So you think it's somewhat more than 100 years old?

0:30:010:30:05

Definitely. By the look of it, I should think it's as old as Methuselah!

0:30:050:30:11

Well, that's closer because I think it's as old as Oliver Cromwell.

0:30:110:30:16

In 1653, he became Lord Protector of the Realm.

0:30:160:30:19

-Yes.

-And it was about this time that this drug jar - that's what it is -

0:30:190:30:24

-was made, probably in London.

-Yes.

0:30:240:30:27

And what we have here is "DIAPOMPH",

0:30:270:30:31

which is an abbreviation for the name of the contents.

0:30:310:30:35

This design is absolutely typical - the peacocks and cherubs' heads -

0:30:350:30:41

-typical of the date. Now, it has got a problem.

-Yes.

0:30:410:30:44

-It's got cracked and chipped here.

-Yes, yes.

0:30:440:30:48

-But after all, it's 350 years old.

-Yes.

0:30:480:30:52

So since you know nothing about it,

0:30:520:30:55

I suppose you've never entertained any idea of its value?

0:30:550:30:59

Well, no, because it's in such bad condition. I just hung on to it because it was Mother's.

0:30:590:31:05

Well, it is true that it's a bit of a battered wreck.

0:31:050:31:08

-We can't get round it - it's a nasty crack.

-Yes.

0:31:080:31:12

And had it been perfect, I think it might have been worth about £5,000.

0:31:120:31:18

-But I think we're still looking at £2,500 or £3,000.

-Oh.

0:31:180:31:23

-Because to find a pot like this...

-Yes.

-..350 years old,

0:31:230:31:28

-is pretty rare.

-Oh! No wonder the doctor wanted it.

0:31:280:31:32

-Every time he came, he wanted it.

-Well, doctors collect medical jars.

0:31:320:31:37

-Yes, yes, yes.

-Well, he's got a good eye.

-I think he has, yes.

0:31:370:31:42

The one I really like is this one.

0:31:420:31:45

I think she's so beautifully drawn.

0:31:450:31:48

Now, we're lucky because the artist has signed it

0:31:480:31:53

-in the bottom right. Did you know that?

-No.

0:31:530:31:56

But you can read it with a magnifying glass - "Adam Buck".

0:31:560:32:01

He's an Irish miniaturist, who was born in Dublin in the 18th century,

0:32:010:32:05

and came to London about the turn of the 18th-19th century,

0:32:050:32:10

and he was very interested in, and inspired by, Grecian vases.

0:32:100:32:16

You can see that this girl has got her hair up in a very Grecian way.

0:32:160:32:22

She looks like a head straight off a Grecian vase, I think.

0:32:220:32:26

He drew the image on the ivory upon which most miniatures are painted,

0:32:260:32:32

with very fine pencil, really quite careful drawing,

0:32:320:32:35

and then using a series of very fine watercolour washes, extremely fine,

0:32:350:32:41

would build up the face - very, very delicate. That's his hallmark -

0:32:410:32:47

you always know an Adam Buck by the delicacy of those washes.

0:32:470:32:51

He would neglect the background - it was the head he was interested in.

0:32:510:32:56

Now, I think a miniature of this quality, an autographed miniature by Adam Buck,

0:32:560:33:02

is worth about £800 to £1,200.

0:33:020:33:06

That's a surprise!

0:33:080:33:11

Well, my grandfather was in the British Embassy in 1900

0:33:110:33:15

-during the famous 55-day siege of Peking.

-Oh?

-The Boxer Uprising.

0:33:150:33:20

And, as you probably know, the Western Forces were besieged by the Chinese in the legation quarter,

0:33:200:33:26

and a military party was sent from Ting Hsien on the coast, to relieve the garrisons.

0:33:260:33:32

They had some artillery with them

0:33:320:33:35

and one of the cannons shot a shell outside the legation area,

0:33:350:33:40

and it blew up the statue of Buddha and out of the base fluttered what looked like brown paper pieces,

0:33:420:33:46

and my grandfather collected these together, gave them to the ambassador and was allowed to keep one of them,

0:33:460:33:52

and this is what he kept.

0:33:520:33:55

It's an example of some of the first paper currency anywhere in the world.

0:33:550:34:01

The very first paper currency was discovered by Marco Polo in Cathay -

0:34:010:34:05

the Chinese called it "flying money".

0:34:050:34:07

-But this is Ming dynasty "Son Of Flying Money"!

-Yes! It's a wonderful size, isn't it?

0:34:070:34:13

Because there's a clue to its contemporary value, because here,

0:34:130:34:17

we have little bundles of coins tied through the centre,

0:34:170:34:22

so this is a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 - it's a ten unit...

0:34:220:34:27

-You didn't need to be able to read in order to know what it was worth.

-No.

0:34:270:34:31

The print would have been a wood block. On the back there's a seal...

0:34:310:34:35

Yes, it's the Emperor's crimson seal which was applied by hand when the banknotes were issued.

0:34:350:34:41

It not only authenticated it, it also made it the Emperor's personal property,

0:34:410:34:48

-which accounts for the interesting message on the front.

-Basically -

0:34:480:34:52

-"Don't reproduce this money or you'll lose your head!"

-Yes, decapitation was worse than dying

0:34:520:34:59

because without the head, the spirit wandered through the universe, never reuniting with the soul in heaven,

0:34:590:35:05

so decapitation was a punishment for forging banknotes.

0:35:050:35:09

-Something that the Bank of England might take seriously.

-That's right!

0:35:090:35:13

Now, what have we got here?

0:35:130:35:16

Well, this is my father's Chinese passport. It was issued to Captain James Kilburn in 1926.

0:35:160:35:22

It authorised him to travel anywhere in China. It was a means of living his life with my mother and sister -

0:35:220:35:30

this was in 1927 before I was born,

0:35:300:35:32

and this was a period when the Chinese Communists were trying to take over the country,

0:35:320:35:39

and there were skirmishes between the Communists and the Nationalists,

0:35:390:35:44

and my parents were in a small town called Ting Hsien, north of Peking.

0:35:440:35:48

There'd been some nationalist defeat and the only transport was a train commanded by a Nationalist general,

0:35:480:35:56

who my father heard was coming south towards the city on the way to Peking, so my father hijacked a car,

0:35:560:36:03

and drove it out of the town with my mother and my six-month-old sister,

0:36:030:36:07

parked it along the railway track and stood in front of it

0:36:070:36:11

and held this up to the advancing train and shouted, "Stop, stop!"

0:36:110:36:16

Fortunately, the train did stop, he was taken on board, was taken before the general and he said to him,

0:36:160:36:23

"I'm a British army officer.

0:36:230:36:26

"There will be the most severe trouble if you don't see that me and my family are rescued."

0:36:260:36:31

So the general said to him, "You can travel on the train if you can get on it."

0:36:310:36:37

-That wasn't so easy because the roof and sides of the train were covered with soldiers hanging on.

-Indeed.

0:36:370:36:43

So they had to push my mother bodily through the window of one compartment and throw in my six-month-old sister,

0:36:430:36:49

and my father had to stand on the running board and cling on.

0:36:490:36:54

In this way, they set out to cover 50 miles to Peking.

0:36:540:36:57

-Such a wonderful piece with such an interesting history.

-Indeed, yes.

0:36:570:37:02

Once again, it's printed and certain parts of it would have had signatures -

0:37:020:37:08

this hand-drawn signature here and so on,

0:37:080:37:11

so it's a lovely contemporary thing for your...

0:37:110:37:14

-It's part of my family history.

-Yes.

0:37:140:37:17

This is going to be worth

0:37:170:37:19

maybe £100, £150,

0:37:190:37:22

and the banknote - £400, £500, something like that.

0:37:220:37:26

-But it's not the value that matters.

-Oh, I would never part with them.

0:37:260:37:30

-It's part of the family history.

-Without them, you wouldn't be here!

0:37:300:37:34

-Oh, no.

-Thank you very much.

-It's a pleasure.

0:37:340:37:38

-WM Simpson of Darlington - do you know those makers?

-No, no.

0:37:380:37:42

Well, I tell you, in all the years I've done the Roadshow -

0:37:420:37:46

24 years - this is the first time I've had a piece of furniture which is local to the show.

0:37:460:37:52

-Is that right?

-Wonderful. And it is late 19th century...

-Mmm.

0:37:520:37:59

..but of the most superb quality.

0:37:590:38:02

We tend to forget how huge the mansions were, all over England,

0:38:020:38:06

but particularly in the north of England. Vast libraries were built

0:38:060:38:10

for people who were bibliophiles,

0:38:100:38:14

and this is a fitment from such a library.

0:38:140:38:18

There's two of them - there's one at the back - it almost matches,

0:38:180:38:22

but it's as if the man had his collection and it enlarged and he wanted another piece to fit in,

0:38:220:38:29

so he gradually filled the library with pieces like this.

0:38:290:38:33

They're all made by the same company. Later on, this was added,

0:38:330:38:38

and there's another one at the back, and there might have been 4 or 6 of these, of which these were salvaged.

0:38:380:38:46

Now, how did you come by them?

0:38:460:38:49

Well, a colleague of mine bought a rather large house in Park Row,

0:38:490:38:53

and he found this in the coal cellar and he offered it to me.

0:38:530:38:57

-Right.

-So I cleaned it up, and I use it for different cabinets.

0:38:570:39:03

What we can tell about the man is that not only did he collect books,

0:39:030:39:07

but he also collected manuscripts or objects that went with the books

0:39:070:39:11

-because you have a glass top on all of them.

-Oh, yes.

0:39:110:39:15

Normally, a library bookcase would have a solid top.

0:39:150:39:19

You'd bring out the book, you'd put it up here to read.

0:39:190:39:24

This obviously surrounded a library table or desk to put the books,

0:39:240:39:28

-so you could still see the items in here.

-So that's the idea of the glass?

-Absolutely.

-Oh, good.

0:39:280:39:34

-These come from a separate bit of furniture because, originally, this wouldn't have been on glass.

-No, no.

0:39:340:39:41

So we shall never know where these come from. These are later.

0:39:410:39:44

Let's look down here.

0:39:440:39:47

This is superb. This is almost certainly machine-carved -

0:39:470:39:51

on a jig - which means not that the man didn't operate it by hand,

0:39:510:39:56

but that he made several at the same time, so this exactly matches that.

0:39:560:40:02

-So these are all identical?

-Absolutely.

0:40:020:40:05

All identical pieces. Now, what ISN'T identical

0:40:050:40:09

is the quality of that work with the quality of this, which is looser.

0:40:090:40:13

-Yes.

-Slightly less crisp.

0:40:130:40:17

The wood is the same, the wood is perfectly matching,

0:40:170:40:22

but the quality of the construction and the quality of the carving is slightly less.

0:40:220:40:28

So this might have been made a few months later, by a different man in the same workshop.

0:40:280:40:34

So what we've got left is a fraction of what there must have been. Goodness knows where the rest went,

0:40:340:40:41

but so much was demolished in the 1950s and '60s. It's wonderful.

0:40:410:40:45

Here I think it's a good opportunity to perhaps explain the difference

0:40:450:40:50

between the values that we give. I'm going to tell you what this would cost to replace.

0:40:500:40:56

So to make, or to replace, a pair of cabinets of this quality

0:40:560:41:02

would cost in the region of £2,500 to £3,000 - each cabinet.

0:41:020:41:06

That's as a piece of furniture, not as an antique, it's just as it is.

0:41:060:41:10

This quality, this timber is marvellous.

0:41:100:41:14

These pair of cabinets on top - slightly less expensive to make -

0:41:140:41:18

and/or find and replace,

0:41:180:41:21

but round about £1,500 to £2,000 each.

0:41:210:41:24

That's what it would cost you if you wanted to replace that with new,

0:41:240:41:29

or replace it second-hand, whatever.

0:41:290:41:32

You wouldn't get that if you tried to sell it,

0:41:320:41:36

because that would mean you'd have to find somebody who NEEDS this object,

0:41:360:41:42

-so you'd get approximately half the insurance value.

-Yes.

0:41:420:41:47

The difference between being in the finding, the profit for the auctioneer or the dealer,

0:41:470:41:52

it's the difference between purchase and sale,

0:41:520:41:56

and so if you wanted to sell it, you could safely say that you would get in the region of £4,000.

0:41:560:42:03

-If you want to replace - the best part of £8,000.

-Yes.

-All right?

-Yes.

0:42:030:42:07

-Thank you.

-They're wonderful.

0:42:070:42:10

It's historically so interesting and wonderful to see, at long last,

0:42:100:42:14

-a piece of local furniture. Thank you.

-Can I shake your hand?

0:42:140:42:18

-Of course.

-Thank you.

-Not at all.

0:42:180:42:20

Well, I must pay tribute to the fortitude of Hartlepudlians

0:42:200:42:24

because today they've queued around the block in all kinds of weather

0:42:240:42:29

and it's been heartening to watch them come inside and change colour from blue to a rosy shade of pink.

0:42:290:42:37

It's been a most rewarding day, so until next time, from Hartlepool, goodbye.

0:42:370:42:42

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:42:540:42:57

A Steiff teddy bear bought 'for the dog to play with', a huge Chinese paper passport which saved a family's life in 1926, and a drug jar which Oliver Cromwell might have seen are among the items brought to the experts in Hartlepool. Plus Michael Aspel is shown a piece of shrapnel which killed the owner's grandfather in the bombardment of Hartlepool in 1914.