Michael Aspel and the experts gather in the parade ring at Newmarket. Featuring a bronze of a Classic winner and a pearlware horse with a Yorkshire pedigree.
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Welcome to Newmarket, in Suffolk.
Queen Boadicea's charioteers used to train their steeds on this heath,
but today its 3,000 acres are trodden by more graceful animals.
This is the HQ of British horse racing, home to the national stud, Tattersalls, and the Jockey Club.
There are more than 2,000 horses in training at Newmarket's 70 stables.
These are the oldest surviving stables, dating back to 1605.
From six o'clock in the morning, strings of horses are brought out to exercise on the gallops.
The sport of kings is a huge industry and most of Newmarket is involved in one way or another.
James I found that the heath was perfect for hawking and hunting.
But Charles II, on his twice-yearly visits, set the pattern for today's spring and autumn race meetings.
He founded the Newmarket Town Plate Race, which is still run.
Charles was a keen rider himself and won the race in 1671 and 1675.
Racing and betting go together like bread and butter.
Off-course betting now is worth over £5 billion a year.
The sport of kings got off to a chaotic start.
Only a few horses were involved.
The races started at any time, anywhere, with no particular finish.
For the last few furlongs, spectators used to ride alongside.
Eventually, the races were shortened and handicaps were introduced.
The organisation and discipline in racing that we know today was the work of the Jockey Club.
Horses were saddled in a specific place, they carried numbers, jockeys wore different colours
and spectators could watch the finish from a ready-made stand.
Today's Antiques Roadshow is being held in the paddock
behind the grandstand of the Rowley Mile racecourse, and our experts are getting ready for the off.
-It's the Derby scarf that was produced every year on Derby Day.
They used to hit the streets by 6pm with the Derby winner on it.
Lester Piggott. It's not signed.
Well, what wonderful, wonderful legs!
I don't think I've seen four legs like that on a card table before outside of a museum.
There's everything there should be on an English card table.
The double scroll has got this little paper scroll at the top here.
Then that wonderful shell.
Then the little drops from this pendulum here.
Then a claw-and-ball foot to die for. THAT'S a claw-and-ball foot!
There is the sacred pearl of wisdom being held by the dragon's claw
as you've never seen it before. All the shape in the world!
I'm sorry, I haven't even said hello.
Is there a family history with this?
It was bought by my grandfather, probably in the 1920s or 1930s.
And then passed to my father and thence to me.
In the 1920s, this was the sort of furniture that everybody loved.
This was the original carving that they tried to recreate on so many other plain pieces.
A plain table later carved will have that shape,
but the carving is within the outline.
Here the shell is stuck onto to this wonderful knee.
To draw that and then create it is something else.
Normally the two legs at the back are more modest, a bit cheaper.
It's expensive to carve four legs on one table.
But it's an occasional piece of furniture - for an occasion.
This stood at the side looking very grand. You used it for games or for taking tea.
And it extends, not with things that flap out... This is a concertina action.
It concertinas out.
Then, when you open it, like so...
you've got a centre table.
If you look at it from here, it's just as beautiful. What a table!
-The top is original?
This has never been touched. But it's spent most of its life closed, and against the wall, looking grand.
One of the best bits of furniture I've seen for a long time of this type, this period.
1755-1760, George II,
maybe early George III.
In today's market,
a modest insurance valuation would be £15,000.
-Yes. That's a modest valuation.
If it turned up in a very good or important sale,
-I don't know when
-would want to stop bidding!
More than that I cannot say.
After my mother died, I cleared out the safe that she had in her house.
-I found them, tucked at the back, and she had never, ever mentioned them to me.
They are largely enamel. All except one or two are enamel.
This was the traditional material for making these snuff boxes.
-The enamelled box of the 18th century was the equivalent of today's mobile phone -
you had to have one.
It was quite like the Japanese tea ceremony - you had to open the box in a particular way,
you had to take the snuff out, you had to close it, you put it on here.
And you were judged very much on how well you did it.
The majority of these are either South Staffordshire, which was a big centre for making these.
-Or Battersea. But there were quite a number of Continental ones.
The nicest ones...
This is a very attractive South Staffordshire one
with this nice emerald green ground, painted with a typical lady, just white on the inside.
That dates from about 1760.
-That's worth about £1,000.
-Is it? It's nice.
There's another nice little one here with a beautiful landscape scene in this typical gilt rococo border.
Again, same sort of date.
And we're looking at around um...
-£1,500 - £1,800 for that one.
But the real star is not enamel at all...
-which is this one.
-Which is German porcelain.
Now, I can't tell you what factory,
-and I suspect that anybody that did was probably guessing.
They are difficult to attribute, but it's mid-18th-century German,
nice landscape scenes all the way round here.
-But the real joy is the inside.
We've got the most marvellous figure of a girl holding a letter here,
which says in translation "To my dear Phyllis".
-So I think this was actually made for somebody called Phyllis.
This was the girlfriend, the wife-to-be, and this is a portrait.
-Nice, isn't it?
-That is really nice.
-Very nice thing.
-And that's going to be worth around £2,500 to £3,500.
So it adds up to a very tidy sum.
It's my father's. It was given to him for a 21st present
but it originally was my great-grandfather's, and it was used as a doorstop in his house.
And since then, it's been on our television.
-I knocked it off when I was a child and bent its ear.
-So I see.
Very expensive and decorative doorstop.
This was made by PJ Mene,
who was an animalier, a bronze sculptor, who was in Paris between 1810 and 1871.
This actually was the horse Ibrahim
which won the 2,000 Guineas here at Newmarket in 1835.
This horse became very famous and many of these would've been made.
He's got a wonky ear, but it's still there. He's had quite a lot of cleaning or rubbing here
which is not top, top quality.
-Having said that,
-PJ Mene is probably the second most sought-after bronze animalier next to Barye.
-And I would imagine if you had to insure it, which you may not have it insured.
-No, it's not insured, no.
-I should insure it for £5,000.
-A very nice thing.
It won't hold the door open any more!
I'm sure you know that this is based on the famous Landseer paintings...
-Sir Edwin Landseer. ...of a Newfoundland. Are all Newfoundlands this colour?
-No, they're black and this colour, which is called Landseer.
-They're called a Landseer?
-How very appropriate! And this particular dog saved a life and became a sort of national hero.
As an image, this was reproduced numerous times.
-Of course, this is not a painting by Landseer but a print of a painting by Landseer.
Although it looks exactly like a painting,
-it is a print on glass, actually printed in colours.
-Lithograph print in colours.
And the only hand colouring that I can see on it, is the tongue and the eyes.
-And they've been coloured from behind slightly...
-So that's why they stand out more than the rest?
-It's printed on a very thin bit of...almost like japanned paper...
-..stuck to the glass.
So it is actually translucent. You can actually see right through it.
If I put my hand behind, you can see how completely transparent it is.
And then, they've set it into this extraordinary surround.
It looks as though it's been made to look like a picture frame.
And somebody thought it was worthwhile even restoring it.
This wonderful leaded restoration to it.
-It's a marvellous thing.
-It looks as though it's 1860s, but that's the date of the print.
By the time it's been printed in colours and set up like this, it might have been the 1860s or '70s.
-It's difficult to be categoric about it. How much did your husband pay for it? Can you remember?
-£25. And that was 30 or 40 years ago?
-Well, I think it was a jolly good investment.
-I mean, it's not worth a fortune.
But at auction it would make between £600 and £800, maybe even £1,000.
And if it was set up nicely at the auction and lit so that people can see what a wonderful thing it is,
it might do more than that. It's the most extraordinary bit of Victorian art that I've seen for a while.
This is rather like looking into a wonderful pool of water,
with the walnut figure like the ripples of water underneath this shiny surface of the glass.
How did you come upon this really rather grand table?
I purchased it in about...1967
-for £156 and 10 shillings.
-Quite a lot of money in those days. What made you buy it?
Er, it was being lifted into the window of the shop
-and I thought, "How wonderful!" And I had £5 in my purse and put a deposit on it.
That's a lovely story. It's got this sort of mixture of styles.
It's got a tremendous flow in the frieze here,
which is slightly Chinesey, the way it's cut.
But yet, if you look at the legs, it gives you a feeling of 18th century,
-of George I period. But the table isn't really pretending to be from that time at all.
It's much more flamboyant.
It's actually a classic, if you like, of its type,
of the 1920s, 1930s.
-In a way, it's an antique of the future, it's not quite 100 years old yet.
But it's got tremendous quality. I think you had good judgment to buy it when you did, for what you did.
-Now I suspect you would be wise to insure it
-for around £1,000 - £1,200.
-It doesn't sound like an enormous amount of money,
but the more you hold on to this, the more people are going to appreciate the quality
and the very individuality of the style, even though it's calling on other things.
A whole village of cottages and castles! Where do they live?
They live in a corner cabinet,
behind doors so that not too many little hands can pick them up.
-Because originally they lived on the mantelpiece.
-Yes, I'm sure. Mine is already rather cluttered.
-Well, they are, of course, ornamental objects, but they also have a function.
-They have two functions. I want to know whether you've used them for either or both.
These very tall towers on the large flat backs
and on these bone china pieces, these turreted objects,
they are intended to hold the spills,
the tapers of light with which you light your pipe from the fire,
or light the fire itself.
-So those are highly functional objects.
This one...if you put your pocket watch in there, it sits there.
-So it tells the time as well.
The rest of these pieces are pastille burners.
-In the Victorian period, people smoked an awful lot more than they do today.
And they leave horrible smells in your drawing room and dining room, so a pastille burner was useful.
The little ornamental cottage is given a pastille, a little tablet of sweet-smelling incense,
-which is set afire and put inside there.
-And the smoke, in this case, drifts out of the windows.
These were made in the 1840s, a little bit later for some of these, but that's the general period.
-Almost all of these are from Staffordshire, but most of them are bone china.
The average value for a bone china pastille burner is £300 - £400.
Some of the good ones will be worth more than that, but the earthenware ones, these two big ones,
will fall in the £20 to £80 region.
Most of the pieces I'm looking at now seem to be to do with a child.
This is a little sleeve that would have been sewn onto the corner of a dress.
It's interesting to me
-that the pattern of the embroidery could come from as early as 1680, 1700.
-That sort of date.
This colour, yellow, is something that you don't find later on with modern dyes.
It's got a lot of green in it, and it's a very difficult colour to reproduce nowadays.
-You just don't find it.
-I love the vibrancy of it.
-It's very good.
Somebody had such a good eye, who collected these things, and I wonder whether they were family pieces.
They came from my wife's family, but we have no idea where they came from.
I would advise you to go to the Victoria and Albert Museum and show them to the lace expert there.
I'm not nearly good enough to be able to tell you exactly where these were made, but they're so rare.
-It's an exceptional collection.
-I had no idea.
-Early lace is highly collectable.
-You could be talking about thousands of pounds for this collection.
-I think you do need to go and have it looked at. They'll give you the benefit of their advice.
One of the questions most asked of us is "How does the furniture arrive at a Roadshow?"
Well, this is how you do it! I've not had a chair arrive on a little pram before.
-Certainly not a Chippendale chair. That's what this is.
Certainly from the workshops of,
as indicated by these curious little scoops
out of the timber on the frame,
which allowed Chippendale's own -
and he claimed I think a patent - clamp when the chair was being made.
That was a spring clamp which tightened up the joint,
rather than the traditional outer clamps which everybody else used.
And as you look at the chair, of course I'm sure that the proportions are going to be wonderful.
I just want to draw your attention to this little French scroll foot,
which just lifts the chair, even from a distance.
And I think we'll find when we turn it over, it's going to be rather wonderful, wonderful proportions.
And a back leg to die for. Now...
it's an open-arm chair, 1770 - 1780, that sort of period.
-Is there any family history to it?
-It came from my mother's family.
-I won't have it done up without... having it looking so over-restored that it would spoil it.
It's not a very valuable chair, they turn up from up from time to time.
For insurance purposes between £4,000 and £5,000 would be ample.
The thrill of seeing a Chippendale chair on a pram at a Roadshow has made my year!
My children's pushchair. It's been very useful. That in itself is 45 years old so...
I'll bring that in my next life.
"Aldous's mild medicine for the thrush".
It's actually my brother's. In the late '80s, he knocked down a fireplace and found this behind.
He just stuck it in his cupboard all that time ago, and just asked me to bring it along here.
-How absolutely extraordinary! This was made round about 1700.
It's made of pottery rather than porcelain.
It's got a very thick opaque glaze, quite bluish in this case, which is known as Delft,
named after the Dutch town of Delft. But what's important about this one is the fact that it's inscribed.
Inscribed Delft pieces are ever so much rarer than ordinary ones.
It was made as an ointment pot.
-You'd be certainly looking at £1,500 upwards.
-Really that much?
-Absolutely, at auction.
If I'd seen it on a car boot for 20 pence, I wouldn't have picked it up.
-What's your connection with Russia?
-I'm married to a Russian
-and we have two children who have a dual nationality.
-Did all these Russian things come with your wife?
No. They didn't come with her. These are all items that we have found locally to Ipswich.
-So they've all been bought in this area?
-Every single item on the table.
-Has come from Suffolk. Tell me about this painted wooden panel.
-We believe it was painted around 1900 in Russia.
-The style is right for that.
Although it is signed, we have not been able to find the artist.
We believe it's after the Russian artist Surakov, who painted a lot of women in this...
Yes. If that's the right date, that was the period when there was a fascination in local costume.
It's the period of Russian ballet, of Laryonov, and other artists who were looking back to folk culture.
And this would seem to be a reflection of that, Russia in a sense reinventing its past.
-Is that a fair thing to say?
-Yes. It's shows a noble lady in 18th-century costume...
..drinking tea in a refined way.
It becomes further intriguing because the plate is dated "Bombay 1931".
Oh, yes, on the back. So how did it get to India?
Who is Harry? It's inscribed to Harry, and then winds up in an antique shop in Suffolk.
Well, one could only invent that story!
Headline - "Des won't ride at Epsom on Monday. Comedian Des O'Connor,
"who holds a licence to ride as an amateur jockey,
"had hoped to ride in the Moet et Chandon Silver Magnum next Monday at Epsom,
"but has been advised by professional jockeys that it was a bit early to take the risk."
-I knew he rode. There's nothing of him, is there?
-No, he's not a heavy chap.
-Where did you find this?
-I bought press photos from...a boot sale would be the nearest description.
I was looking through and I suddenly thought, "That's a familiar face" and couldn't quite click who it was.
When I looked over on the reverse, I saw it was Des O'Connor.
-He looks very determined, doesn't he?
-You know, he and I share a birthday.
-Do you really?
-He'll always be a year older than me.
Many of these have direct Revolutionary references.
Others have a cultural history. This one, for example, again goes back to Russia's past, doesn't it?
Yes, this shows Grand Prince Dmitri
accepting the defeat of Prince Mamay of the Golden Horde at the Battle of Kulikovo in 1380,
-the Russian equivalent of our 1066.
-The start of modern history.
-When that was painted there was no certainty that the new culture would succeed.
-No. This porcelain...
They used Imperial blanks that survived from Imperial factories.
One finds on the back the Revolutionary marks which indicate the date, which indicate the artist.
This is another example of that, slightly more confusing, I think, subject matter.
The artist - Shchekotikhina-Pototskaya -
did two versions of this. One with an old man and one with a new man. We have the old man here,
which is a call for the old Russia to wake up.
Of the Russian Revolutionary porcelain, the most desirable ones are the figures,
because they represent the new Russia, images of the noble worker, particularly the women.
She has lost her hand, which should be shielding her face...
and this one is about the famine of the early 1920s, because it's about importing American grain.
But represents these heroic figures of the new Russia.
We were looking through the loft, found this book and this happened to fall out.
And he's filled it in himself. "The village where I live, Ayot St Lawrence, has no public transport.
"My professional business involves communication with London by road,
"for the transaction of affairs which result in the import of American dollars." I love that.
"For this, I must have at my command a large, fast car, as my age is 91."
That's lovely. And he's signed it, "December 1947. George Bernard Shaw".
Normally I would say an application for rationed petrol was not very interesting.
But because it's George Bernard Shaw...
-That stands out, doesn't it?
-That's it. I would value it at £300.
-What do you pay for these sort of things?
-The most expensive piece was the bell-ringer plate. It was £230.
What do you think they're worth?
-As far as I know, they're worth what we paid for them. They've been bought in the last year.
-These are very desirable, very rare. You've got to think of at least...
£500, £600 possibly £700 for that one.
That one is going to be less because of the hand,
but this is such a famous image, I would have it restored. It's one of the great classics.
-Perfect, she would be £1,500, £2,000 possibly more.
-As much as that?
This one is probably about...
£500 to £800.
This one, which is, I think, the best, regardless of the subject,
is probably about £2,000.
I'm glad I'm sat down.
This is harder for me to value.
-What did you pay for that?
If it IS by the artist you think it might be,
to a Russian specialist £250 - £300. So you've got an eye, you've got great luck. Long may it continue!
-Look at this, Michael.
-It looks a very fine old antique.
On the one hand it is, but it's not a period piece. It's Spanish.
And it purports to be something that's 250 years old, because...
-And it's not?
It was made in late Victorian time, 1880 - 1890, but purely a reproduction.
It's an odd size, isn't it? What does that qualify as, then?
Well, it's a left-hand dagger.
-Left-hand, used in the left hand.
-How do you know it's for the left hand?
-They fought with two weapons -
a sword in the right, a dagger in the left, touch of the Errol Flynns.
-Yes, or Basil Rathbone.
-Yes, indeed, yes, yes.
It looks as if it's had a bit of use. Is that from you or forbears?
Both. It belonged to my late father-in-law and subsequently my husband.
We have three sons who do use it occasionally. It comes with a track, which is circular.
-It is in full working order.
-Fantastic. What we're looking at
is a 440 locomotive. There are two clues to the maker.
One at the front here, which is a monogram
-of the initials GBN.
And at the back here...we've got...
another trademark sign, which is a figure
and on her shield are those same letters, GBN.
So on the basis that they may be a good clue,
it actually means Gebruder Bing of Nuremburg. That's the maker's name.
One of the most collected of all the German toy manufacturers...
Sometime between 1902...
-I would have said between £800 and £1,200. Thanks very much for bringing it.
-Hilary, no racecourse is complete without one of these.
-I have this sinking feeling!
Have you ever seen one before?
What on earth have we got? Oh, very good!
Votes for women.
This one shall have a vote! The pretty one has a vote and the ugly one...
-You don't suppose it's Emily Pankhurst, do you?
-The ugly one?
-Have a bell, go on.
-It's badly cracked.
-Yes, it's a shame.
-What a shame! But suffragette things - terribly rare.
-Is it lovely?
-Where is this conversation going?
I'm very, very suspicious when you arrive with something. Is it lovely? Why?
YOU said it was lovely. I didn't.
-But suffragette collectors would pay £100 for that?
-I'd have thought so.
-She needs to go into hospital!
-Tell me how you came to have her.
-Well, I ran a toy shop, didn't I, Clare?
In Devon. And an old lady came one day and said to me would I like to buy her...
..because she felt she ought to get rid of her before she died,
and give her a good home. And I said yes. So that was about 1975.
Yes. And did you pay a lot for her?
I paid her what she asked, which was £100, which I thought was a lot at the time.
-Yes. There is a pair to this - i.e. they're known as either Hansel or Gretel.
By the manufacturers - Kammer or KAY-MER, with an umlaut on the "a", and Reinhardt.
-A German manufacturers who were operating in Thuringia,
-which is now the centre of Germany, and was in the East.
There were very big porcelain-making factories and doll factories in that part of Germany. Sadly, few remain.
This is one of the porcelain ones which was registered in 1909
by Kammer and Reinhardt.
Oh, really? It's much earlier than I thought.
I'm going to just show the back of the head to you.
I'm sure you've seen... It says,
"114" incised in the porcelain and fired again.
Now, if you were to call me and say, "I have a K&R114", I would know exactly what it looked like.
-Because it is a mould. They poured molten porcelain into a mould.
Now, underneath that, it says "49".
Now, that is the size, 49 cms.
-So that tells me pretty well all I want to know.
I just need to know that she's in good condition. I think someone's kissed the tip of her nose a lot.
-Yes, so do I, yes. It wasn't me.
-It wasn't you?!
You kept her very well. So, slightly rubbed on the nose...
-and little tiny bits of white here where little scratches...
-Her colour's good, though, isn't it?
She's got good colour and lovely painted blue eyes.
Had she glass eyes, she'd be probably worth double.
-It's probably because they're rarer.
And to make her sit she has these...
very good joints.
-They're creaking a bit.
I haven't heard you creak.
Um, nice original dress.
-Not original shoes.
-I made them.
You made them? Oh, well, very well made!
-And a lovely little doll, all bisque, which is her baby.
-Sweet little doll.
If she were to go into a doll sale,
-you would probably get in the region of £3,000 to £3,500 for her.
-It's going to her eventually, so...
-Aren't you lucky?
Really, why is she so valuable?
These Kammer and Reinhardts are extremely valuable.
-The world record for any doll at auction is a Kammer and Reinhardt.
The stones, as we can see, are held in these little claws,
and each of them weighs about 1.5 carats, 1.6 carats.
And they're lovely soft white, brilliant-cut diamonds.
-In this sunshine here that we've got today, they look fantastic.
I think that they were probably mounted in platinum.
They aren't hallmarked, but I think they are.
Not many Spanish things are hallmarked.
I think when they were made, around about 1910-1915, a lot of jewellery didn't bear a stamp on it
-saying 18 carat gold or platinum or whatever it may have been.
But, in today's market,
drops like this would sell extremely well.
Do you wear these yourself at all?
-I only wear twice.
-I have them in the bank, just in case I lose...
-What particular occasion did you wear them for?
Everybody will wear plastic, so I wear the real thing.
-I should think they looked extremely smart.
Well, knowing how saleable drops like this are, I think that, in an auction,
-I would expect to get £5,000 at least, maybe £6,000.
You know, my colleagues often rib me
because, apparently, I say, "This is the best I've ever seen of its type." And maybe they're right.
But there are occasions when that is absolutely true,
and this wassail bowl is the best I've seen outside of a museum.
There's the original lid which is absolutely wonderful.
Made of lignum vitae, one of the hardest woods that we know of.
A treadle was fixed to a springy larch, the rope went round the piece of wood, you trod down.
It spun one way, the spring took the thing back again and it spun the other way
to create something like that out of a material almost like bronze.
Is there any family history...?
Well, it belongs to my wife and she acquired it from her mother.
-And I believe it came down to her mother from her mother's side of the family.
How long it's been in the family we don't know, but, certainly, at least a couple of hundred years.
It is a wassail bowl, traditionally used between Christmas and Twelfth Night, for making merry, really.
For drinking huge amounts of wassail.
A communal cup. It was passed from one to the other.
It could be 1640, it could be 1660, it's difficult to know which side of the Civil War it was made.
-Would it have been made in this country...?
-This is English made.
In today's market, this is worth around £10,000.
Wow! We knew it was valuable because it was old, but we had no idea, because it was wood...
I know, but the material doesn't reflect its value today.
Loving cups were very popular in the middle of the 19th century. This was made in Staffordshire.
The black is printed on as a transfer print and the other colours - pinks, blues and so on -
-have been touched in later.
-Oh, right. That's interesting.
-So it's partly printed and partly painted.
-Um, in the salerooms today, it would fetch in the region of £800.
-But what about the horse?
-It's certainly not a racehorse.
He's also not from this neck of the woods.
The material's called pearlware.
It took over from an earlier material called creamware which was championed by Wedgwood.
It's called pearlware because it's got a slightly bluey glaze.
It's gone slightly bluey. They've added some cobalt oxide.
-This beast is English, but he would have been made in Yorkshire.
Almost certainly in Leeds, actually. If you look at him from the front, he's got a terrific expression...
Are you sure that's not shock horror?
The way the eyes have been picked out is absolutely charming. They've been moulded in shallow relief.
For insurance, you need to be thinking around £10,000.
They're fascinating snapshots of India.
-Where did you get them?
-I bought them off a dustman about 15 years ago.
-Off a dustman?
-Yeah, he come in and said, "I've got some picture cards for you." He thought they were postcards.
-What did you pay for them?
-For the lot?
Well, they could easily be mistaken just for postcards, but, in fact,
each one of these is hand painted on ivory.
They were done by Indian craftsmen.
The link with the postcard
is that they were probably copied from photographs.
That enables us to date them - the second half of the 19th century.
-I would say 1860, something like that.
-Oh, I'm surprised. I thought they were '20s.
No, I don't think they are at all.
And they are quite exceptionally well painted.
The amount of detailed work on here is quite staggering.
You know, this is so beautifully drawn,
all with the single hair of a brush.
It's minute work. They would have been made for the British. These are not for domestic consumption.
This is for the Raj,
for administrators, um, people who were looking after taxes, that sort of thing, in India.
They were probably...
When they came to go home, they wanted a souvenir of all the scenes in the local area
and they would have gone to a local shop which specialised in these.
-Are they very common?
-You do find these little miniatures,
not infrequently, but they're often nothing like as good quality.
These are spectacularly finely painted.
The frames are quite interesting, they're Indian rosewood.
But, of course, also, the whole concept is really English rather than Indian.
I think the £7 you paid for them was an extremely good investment.
-We're looking at somewhere between £2,000 and £3,000 here.
-I was thinking more £200 or £300.
No, I think £2,000 or £3,000 is more realistic. Well done.
This is the most wonderful, striking image of, probably, an Indian prince.
Now, tell me something about the painting.
We don't know very much about it at all. It's been in our family, we think, for about 150 years.
We think my great-grandfather, in fact, who died in about 1870, purchased it.
But, apart from that, it's been with our household ever since.
Just looking at the face, firstly, I think what is rather unusual and to me compelling about it,
is the way that the eyes look confidently at the artist. There seems to be some connection there.
Whether it's because they knew each other, or he, being a man of substance, was very confident.
These crossed and folded arms,
again, in a way, indicate to me a kind of body language that says,
"I'm somebody special. I'm not just here to be painted as just an ordinary subject."
And then the head piece, with this wonderful flash of colour here and then heavy impasto painting here.
Then we go up into all the other colours and textures
and finish off in a much more lightly painted way with these feathery ends to the silks.
They're beautifully expressed and just expertly done.
This line where the paint has been dragged and pushed is exquisite.
-We couldn't see that. We had it restored and this was virtually black through tobacco or whatever.
-Had it been over a fireplace?
-Not in my memory, no. It just hung in the farmhouse hall at home.
Now, who actually painted it? I don't really know.
But there is an artist, Francesco Rinaldi,
who is a Welshman, of Italian extraction.
And there's a missing portrait of an Indian prince by Zoffany,
and that would be quite...that would be quite a name to conjure with.
Unfortunately, for such a wonderful picture there's a great deal of speculation.
I'd love to be able to answer it spot on, and it's a bit unfair when one comes to consider the price,
because, unless one knows specifically who it's by,
-we can't really say how much it's worth. But these pictures are really sought after.
And I think, unless we've misjudged it - and I don't think I have -
then I think we're talking about a figure which might be in the region of £100,000 or even more.
Wow! Thank you very much indeed.
It's been a breezy and beautiful day here on the borders of Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.
We've seen some items to match the breathtaking surroundings.
From Newmarket, goodbye.
Subtitles by BBC Scotland 2001
Michael Aspel and the experts gather in the parade ring at Newmarket racecourse and not surprisingly find many items with an equine theme: a bronze of the Classic winner Ibrahim with a 'wonky ear', a loving cup with 'Steeplechase' inscribed on it and a pearlware horse with a Yorkshire pedigree.
An ointment pot found in a fireplace, and framed ivory pictures of India bought from the dustman for 7 pounds, turn out to be bargains. And a striking portrait of an Indian prince could be worth a king's ransom if only the artist could be identified.