With Michael Aspel. Discoveries of note include a pair of outsize boots, an important collection of memorabilia from the Nuremburg trials, and an Andy Pandy memento.
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Welcome to Nottingham, city of legends and lace, of Robin Hood,
HP Sauce and Raleigh bicycles. Land of DH Lawrence and Lord Byron,
of William Booth - salvationist, and Jesse Boot - chemist.
Long before that illustrious list, Nottingham was established as Snottingaham -
the tribal leader bearing the proud name of Snot.
Happily, the invading Normans found that difficult to pronounce.
And, at certain times, the name of this inn would be difficult to say -
it's one of the oldest in England. The Crusaders used to stop off on their way to the Holy Land.
"Trip" in Old English means "stopping place".
And legend insists that Robin Hood and his men made merry here
while the Sheriff of Nottingham held court nearby at Nottingham Castle.
It has been destroyed and rebuilt many times in its turbulent history.
The Civil War began here in 1642,
when Charles I raised his standard
to enlist men to fight a rebellious parliament.
If walls could talk, these would have a lot to say for themselves.
The rock they stand on is soft sandstone, ideal for scooping out nice cosy caves.
Indeed, in Alfred the Great's time,
the city was known as "the house of caves".
Generations of Nottinghamians lived in them.
In 1330, Edward III's supporters used this passage to retake the castle from Roger Mortimer
who had murdered Edward's father and slept with his mother.
Mortimer was dragged down here and hauled off to London
where he was hanged, drawn and quartered.
Spin forward 500 years and we find young Jesse Boot,
who, at the age of 13, is running his parents' chemist shop.
He hit on the novel idea of buying in bulk and selling many items for a small but copious profit.
Jesse Boot became the owner of the UK's largest chain of chemist shops.
He was also a great benefactor of the University of Nottingham,
providing land and a fine pharmacy department.
And fittingly, for a town which boasts the world's oldest football club,
today's Antiques Roadshow comes from a sporting venue - the Harvey Hadden Sports Centre.
-Now, when you were given this, did you think it was a brooch?
I only ever saw my grandmother wear it as a brooch,
so I didn't think it was anything else, and it's got a pin on the back.
There's a clue to the fact that it was to be worn in another way.
-Have you unscrewed this?
-And there it falls away.
And that's the key to another function to this very pretty jewel.
-It seems freer without it, doesn't it?
-In the fitted box in which this was originally sold, there would be a long tortoiseshell comb...
..and it could be screwed into the back there, and in the same box
-would be some enormously long white egret's feathers - aigrettes.
-So before you were married, you'd be wearing it in your hair like this.
-and it would have huge white feathers jutting out at the top and you'd be the belle of the ball.
The word "aigrette" is a corruption of the word "egret" because the feathers came from the white egret.
Very spiky, very sort of shaving-brushy-looking feathers.
-And very, very elegant.
This was what a girl would wear before she was married, before she could wear a tiara.
-Only married women can wear tiaras in their hair.
-And this would be part of etiquette in... What date do you think?
-I've no idea. It was my grandmother's,
and I believe that she inherited it, but other than that, I don't know.
Well, we're pushing it a little bit further back,
-probably 1870s to 1890s.
-And it's hugely versatile.
It HAS lost its feathers, they perished long ago. In fact, most of the egrets perished.
They were hunted to nearly extinction to get these feathers.
The velvet case has gone, the tortoiseshell comb has gone...
-Well, it's a blaze of diamonds, it's wonderful.
-It's a bit sparkly.
Along the bottom here is a gallery, which raises the diamond work up
when it's worn as a brooch, to let the light come through.
Pierced by hand, drawn out with a little diamond work and then filed.
Then the silver settings are let into this, tubes of silver,
and each diamond is rubbed round and cut down. They call them cut-down settings.
-So it's a hugely sentimental one for you, isn't it?
-Oh, yes, it will be passed on to my daughter.
Well, that's wonderful, but I think we've got to make a stab at value.
-I think, let's put it down at £3,000 for insurance.
That'll give my husband a shock!
All you've got to do is look after it, and wear it for him.
-Very posh. Lucky chap!
Signed on the silver dial here - Hall & Co of Manchester.
He was a retailer rather than a maker,
but looking at the quality of the three-train movement,
-I would have said this is a comparatively late clock. Had you any thoughts of date?
Well, looking at the case, we would say just prior to 1800,
-but this movement, I think, is about 1855-1860.
-Which would account for the retailer's name on the dial rather than a specific clockmaker.
Still, a nice three-train movement,
rather tiny little gong and interesting...
If I move that slow-fast, you can see the cam just at the back there,
which is moving the pendulum up and down to regulate the time.
Have you had it running recently?
-I have it running regularly.
-It could do with a clean.
So the case, stylistically, just before 1800...
Very pretty case, very handsome.
Because we've got the glass sides, we can see the chain fusee
-and you can see above that, the little pinned barrel for the quarter-chiming work.
We've also got this rather nice repeat facility here,
which will make it strike and quarter chime
to the preceding quarter hour.
-So you'll hear the full three-quarters and then the single one on the gong.
Well, even though it's a late clock, it's a handsome three-train bracket clock.
If you put that to auction today,
you would get an absolute minimum
-of about £2,800.
-Thank you very much.
-My grandfather was an Arsenal physio.
After the 1950 FA Cup Final, when they went to the dressing room,
Joe Mercer kindly gave him the cup-winning shirt, which is this.
-He played left half, didn't he, Joe Mercer?
-In those days, they called it the Final Tie, not the Cup Final.
And it's Saturday April 29th 1950 at 3pm - at Wembley, of course.
So was your father there as well?
My father was in the crowd, but my grandfather was on the Arsenal bench.
-The cap is... Oh, it's an England International cap.
That is from my grandfather again. It was given to him by Laurie Scott,
-who was the Arsenal number seven.
-That's right, yes.
-It's inscribed - "Very best wishes, Laurie Scott".
-Do you know what international it was awarded for?
-it may be against Argentina.
-Right. Because that can affect the value.
Let's start with the programme - always keenly sought after -
Cup Final programmes - and I'd think a programme from the 1950 Final
is probably worth £80 to £120.
The England cap, although not relating to the Cup Final,
nevertheless is a good England cap in nice condition, made of velvet,
and the fact that it's got the inscription inside from Laurie Scott
adds to its value. I would think that cap at auction would fetch
£500 to £600.
And then we come to the shirt, worn by Joe Mercer, captain of Arsenal
and captain of England at the time,
-and then went on to be a manager for Manchester City and others.
Well, interestingly enough, a shirt from this Cup Final
came up at auction not so long ago, belonging to Laurie Scott,
so that gives a guideline.
But this is more important because Mercer was England's captain.
If this shirt came up for auction,
it wouldn't surprise me if it fetched £5,000.
Made out of spelter...
-Excuse me, John.
-Um, let's have a look.
Well, I think they're probably for somebody who has dire gout,
identical gout in either foot, bandaged their feet,
and when they're wheeled around town they are to hide the bandages.
So a gout man's boots.
A likely story. Thank you!
It's an unusual table - German, because of the type of wood,
but, more importantly, the type of veneer on here,
-this parquetry veneer all the way round, geometric parquetry.
With this leg which is rather fat at the top
and going smaller as it goes down the cabriole. How did you find this?
I was on a visit to London with my family and we went shopping to buy a dining table,
and we visited an auction room in North London
and this table was there with four or five items stacked on top.
-So you couldn't see it?
-No, I couldn't see anything but the sides,
-but I loved the work and the shape of the legs.
-It's not that old,
-but there's something here...
-When we lift it, the top moves.
-So which way?
-Anticlockwise. The top moves up...
I don't think they were made for outside use, or not for walking in.
I think they were made possibly for insulating the feet against something...maybe on a stagecoach?
I think that they weren't for walking in,
they're for an invalid, perhaps, outside to keep his feet warm.
Put that slightly down, leave it down, and it does...
What do they say - "Vorsprung durch Technik"!
Never seen these from any other country except England. It's German,
-the wood is walnut, the underframe is pine...
The origin of this type of capstan table, as it's called in England,
originated in London in about 1830.
-It's a firm called Johnson and Jeans,
based on a patent by Jupe.
-But I'm talking about 1830.
-This table is clearly much later,
-but I think it predates the Second World War.
-Well, I'm going to have to ask you how much you paid for it!
I paid £100 plus commission with two other items,
so the three items and the table - £100.
I'd give you £100 for it now! You couldn't buy this
-for less than £1,000.
-And I think that's conservative. What do you think?
-Vicky, excuse me.
-Good grief! They must have belonged to the fattest man in the world -
-Daniel Lambert. He came from Stamford, near here, and he weighed 52 stone.
There's a picture of him with gaiters coming down to where those boots would have fitted.
-Thank you very much!
-Not a bit.
Rather boot-shaped, isn't it? I assume that the prongs at the bottom
-are for pushing into the ground?
-I think so.
I assume you give this a clout with a stick and a ball is projected?
Yes. I think it's called a trap ball, but it has lots of different names.
I believe it was played between the 14th century and the 18th century in England,
and it appears to be a forerunner of rounders. You were right -
you place a ball - which I assume was leather - on this,
you hit it with a stick on there
and you hit it with a bat. So one of the names is "bat, trap and ball."
It's difficult to date it exactly. It's just a carved piece of oak,
the metalwork is hand-forged and the screws are handmade,
which indicates it's 18th century rather than 19th century.
It's a difficult thing to value. I'd see it at around about £500-£800.
Nice thing, unusual.
Thank you very much.
My grandfather was art director of Royal Crown Derby up until 1936.
-Oh, right. He was?
-Thomas Amos Reed. And these were test pieces, I believe -
only done on one side, or slightly differently on both sides,
to evaluate whether a design was viable or not.
So why waste paint if you weren't going to make it?
Obviously the art director played a vital role in creating the designs.
-He was a very good artist.
-Would he have decorated these or designed...?
I don't know. One of them is signed by Gregory, so...
He got a friend. Albert Gregory's signature is on the panel there,
but the piece itself is clearly a trial in some way,
-It's a most strange design.
I've never seen the design in production in Derby and no factory mark, so never put on sale,
-just things he kept in the family.
-Just at home. Though he didn't like patterned things to eat off.
-He had all white plates.
-He was designer at the factory for how long?
-I'm not sure.
-He retired in 1936. I think he was there for quite a few years.
-I seem to remember he left in the 1920s.
I think his designs were too traditional for the time.
The designs were the Victorian designs that Derby had always made,
but then in the '20s, Art Deco was coming in
-and Derby fell a bit behind - maybe they wanted somebody modern.
-These designs were old-fashioned.
-But these are finished.
We were always told they were christening cups.
One is my father's, the green one,
and the other one is his brother's,
-They were Thomas Amos Reed's sons.
-"Donald Howard Reed."
And Gordon Vernon Reed was his older brother, who was killed in World War I.
-So this was made when he was born.
-That's the factory mark there.
That's what - 1902? Oh, we've got the inscription there -
born February 10th 1903. What special productions to commission
-As art director you could do some wonderful work.
And here is the proud factory mark
and marvellous decoration.
These are both signed by Gregory.
He was particularly good at flower painting. These flowers were typical of the sort of work he did as well.
So the best artist chosen to do a lovely design, special commission,
-proudly kept in the family.
-In terms of value, of course, they're worlds apart.
Experimental vases without tops...
A curiosity like this is going to be worth a few hundred pounds.
They tell a story of what was going on at Derby.
But pieces like these are now enormously expensive.
Are they covered by insurance? Are they properly valued?
Not specially, no.
Because these pieces are stunningly beautiful and so desirable
as pieces of jewelled porcelain.
A cabinet object of that quality by Gregory with that gilding - you've got to be, I suppose...
-Is that each, or for the pair?
-Oh, my God!
-Now, we all know you as Lord Oaksey, but we're not going to talk about racing today.
But why are you here? What is your connection with this material?
My connection is through my father.
He was appointed... as one of two British judges
on the International Military Tribunal
which was set up to try the Nazi war criminals.
-This was the Nuremburg trials?
So he was what? The presiding judge?
-He turned out to be the presiding judge, yes.
-Right, so what are these?
-Well, my mother went out to Nuremburg with my father.
And she decided to compile a record, her own photographic record.
So this is a record of your father's involvement with the trials?
Yes, entirely personal.
Now, the Nuremburg trials, I think, from memory, was October 1945 to October '46, wasn't it?
Lasted about 11 months, that's right.
Right. And I think that it was the trial that established the precedent
-that when you say as a defence, "I was only following orders", that doesn't hold water, right?
So the patterns set at Nuremburg are now part of our cultural history.
-I hope so.
-Now, that's your father?
And here we've got your father on duty, as you might say,
and these are the various passes issued that he wore. "IMT",
and he was number one, so he was top of the list, wasn't he?
So there he is, on the job.
I think what we've got here is a sort of chronological record, is that right?
More or less, yeah.
Now, here are all the judges and the prosecutors.
So there's... That's your father.
That's my father and that's Biddle.
-Who was the American one.
-Yes. He thought that he should have been presiding.
-So he was cross about it?
-So we've got Russians, Americans, British and French.
-So this was the establishment
of this sort of four-power rule of conquered Germany, wasn't it?
-Very much so.
-Or it reflects that, rather. So there we are.
The interesting one is Jackson, who had stepped down
from the Supreme Court in America to head up the prosecution,
and, in fact, made a nonsense
-of cross-examining Goering.
-He was really a failure.
-He wasn't a good cross-examiner?
-Here's the dock and there's Goering.
-Gosh, doesn't he look thin?
-Well, that's the amazing thing.
He had lost four stone, four stone in weight,
and had come off main-line heroin
and so it was an incredible achievement that he became...
because he did become the outstanding figure in the dock.
-He defended himself and his colleagues.
-Never said sorry at all.
Who are these girls? Translators, are they?
-The one who sticks in my memory is the lady on the right.
Who was German-into-English,
and she was known throughout the English team, so to speak, as the "Passionate Haystack"
because sometimes her hair would be piled up like that,
sometimes it would be sort of Veronica Lake style,
-so we used to bet on what style...
-On a day-to-day basis? Good odds?
Well, Passionate Haystack was six to four.
-Was she aware of this? Obviously not.
-I think not.
-One of the great personalities of the court.
-What have we here?
-"Picnics. Spring 1946"
-LORD OAKSEY LAUGHS
So you have images of what went on.
-It was rather beautiful countryside.
-Well, Brecht's garden was nearby.
-Yes, we went there.
-So, in a sense, a complete package of international life
is transported to Nuremburg for the duration of the trial. What's this?
Oh, look, these are drawings by Nikichenko, the Russian prosecutor.
-Who was a charming man from the Ukraine.
-And we found him easily the most charming of the two Russians.
-The other one we thought had just a touch of KGB about him.
-Speer, Papen - who was acquitted, wasn't he?
-Got off, yes, mmm.
Wonderful drawings of these people. It was a cartoonist's heyday.
-I suppose it was, and...
-Several times you've said "we". I mean, how is it "we"? Were you there?
I was there for a whole summer holiday,
-when I was 16, 17, sort of thing.
-So you have memories of it?
-So the Passionate Haystack you saw?
-I certainly did!
-Did you bet?
More to the point, more to the point, was the PX rations, because coming from rationed England,
suddenly to be pitchforked into PX rations -
two bars of Hershey chocolate, 200 cigarettes, which was like gold.
-I couldn't play in the black market.
-All those things Americans were famous for.
-Now, what's this?
-Well, I'm sorry to say that's me...
-There you are!
-So you have memories of the trial?
-I have indeed.
-I wish I'd taken more notice.
-You sat in the public galleries?
-So you saw all these people?
-Absolutely, with my headsets on.
I must ask you quickly, what's this? Why have you got a Union Jack?
Oh, the Union Jack, which flew in the courtroom
over where my father sat and there were, of course, the other flags too.
-This is the actual one?
These books are part of your family history. Where are they now?
-Do you keep them at home?
-No, we've lent them to the Galleries of Justice at Nottingham.
-The only legal museum in Britain.
-I gather it's on open access - there's a microfilm or microfiche version of it?
-So any historian can consult it.
But it's a Roadshow convention that we value things. Frankly, I don't know where to begin.
-There is no archive like this. One can't break this up.
-Clearly you'll never sell it.
But for insurance purposes - I suppose one's got to think about
£20,000 - £30,000, which is a meaningless figure in terms of the value of it,
-but it gives us something to go by.
-But value's unimportant.
This is just such an incredible vision into this, as I say,
this vital moment in our history which we are still benefiting from.
I would feel very, very ashamed if I ever even thought of selling them.
-I'm sure you won't.
-Thank you very much for sharing it with us.
-Not a bit. Thank YOU.
I've always worked in the shoe trade and a friend got them at an auction
because he thought I might be interested
and that got me going... collecting various other things.
Well, these are most lovely quality.
They're marked "left and "right" and they're also...
They're made in London in...1800.
I think they're absolutely, absolutely beautiful...
-and then you've got a very, very nice meat skewer here.
The only thing about that is that most I've seen have sharp edges
-and that one seems to be pretty blunt.
But it was made in the 18th century, in 1796,
-and you tend to find that this flat edge is 18th century.
In the 19th century, you get them with bevelled edges, rather sharper.
-But it was a meat skewer, now used as a letter opener...
-It's damn rich to have a meat skewer like that, but rather fun.
I'll tell you the thing that really intrigues me is this.
I bought it at an auction.
-It was the first item to come up on the auction.
-I bought it for £200 as a vinaigrette.
Um, I've been told that it's probably a snuff box,
that was later turned into a vinaigrette.
Well, this really, really, really intrigues me.
It was made in 1817.
And...I think I would agree initially that, yes,
this is a snuff box, but the hinge is exactly the same there -
the same working of hinge - as is on the back
and that is marked...1817. It was made by William Elliot,
presumably for Mr Fry,
whose name is punched through as part of the work there.
"I Fry." Jonathan Fry, James Fry, whatever.
But I've never seen such a huge vinaigrette,
and I would stick my neck out
and say it is absolutely right,
it HAS to be right, which makes it INCREDIBLY rare.
I have never seen anything like it.
It's also very beautiful, a lovely shape,
-it's dated...1818 as an inscription...
..and it was made the year before, which all ties in so well.
I find it a very intriguing piece
and I don't know what to put on it. I tell you,
-it's a hell of a lot more than £200!
-Well, that's very gratifying.
I think it's a wonderful and exceptional, rare interesting thing.
The largest vinaigrette I've ever seen and the most extraordinary.
..Banners were a great feature of late 19th-century working-class life.
We associate them particularly with the trade union movement.
From the 1860s, trade unions were about getting membership,
making unions acceptable, raising funds,
and these banners. They survive because many unions, although amalgamated, are still there.
This one is for hospitals.
Nottingham and Notts Sick and Annual Societies, Children's Hospital Cot and Free Medicine Fund.
What is unusual about it is that it survives. The date is, I'd think,
the 1890s, 1900s, certainly well before the First World War -
-I'm looking at her uniform.
The image is wonderful, so lively - the way the girl is painted.
And women in medicine were still a new phenomenon. Where is it from?
-I bought it from a second-hand furniture dealer in Derby.
-Long time ago?
I bought it nearly two years ago but it took me nearly 18 months to get it to my home.
Because it was so large, I had to wait until my son bought a bed from the same dealer
-and we had them delivered together.
-It's very hard to value. I think...
-something between £1,000, £2,000 to £3,000...
-..because it's such a rare item.
-Do you know who it represents?
-No. I think it looks a bit like Punch.
Oh, right. In fact, it's a man called Ali Sloper,
who was a cartoon character in the late 19th century. He started in America, but was popular over here,
and he was known for his outsize nose, as is represented here.
It's also hallmarked - made in London, the date letter is "f" -
which from memory I think is 1881, so we can date it accurately.
The head is carved horn. How did you come by it?
-Well, I remember it in my grandma's hall stand.
-She'd be about 130 if she'd been alive.
That ties in with the date. This is unusual. I haven't seen Ali Sloper on a stick before.
If this came up at auction, you would expect to get...
-between perhaps £500 or £600 for it.
-Amazing. Absolutely amazing.
Crown Staffordshire, the name of the factory, then it's made in England,
made after 1891, about 1900, and Celia is the name of the pattern.
Very nice. Obviously it would have been part of a much bigger service,
-but that's all you've got left, is it?
They're only printed. The pair of them with their ladles are probably worth £100 to £120.
This is a little bit older.
Samuel Fielding and Company, and the name of the pattern is Kent and patent registration number.
And then we have the date, which is...
-How many of those have you got?
-That's the small one.
-That's the small one,
so this one is worth about £40,
-and they'll go up in value as they get bigger.
-Large ones could be £150 to £200,
because everybody likes them for their dresser.
-It was left to my great-grandmother.
-She was a housekeeper
and it was given to her by the family. I remember seeing it in her house.
So when was it given to your great-grandmother? I don't know. It must have been the '40s, '50s?
-I'm imagining that's...
-But that is a very generous family she worked for.
-They must have really adored her.
-What do you know about it?
Only about the artist being local.
-Laslett Pott born in Newark.
-I think 1837.
-That's really all I know about him.
-I know Laslett John Pott very well.
When he went down to London, he consistently,
for about 40 or 50 years, exhibited at the Royal Academy.
He is a perfect academic artist.
The first thing I think about when I look at paintings like this
is the sheer craftsmanship, the artisanship of the artist...
This is a very beautiful painting, but underlying all good art
is the craftsmanship of an artist learning how to use his tools.
The marvellous thing about Victorian paintings
is the underlying craftsmanship that they really learned at the schools -
at the Royal Academy schools and other schools -
how to push paint around with their brush.
So that's the first joy in seeing a picture like this.
The second joy is that it's in its original frame, behind glass,
which has kept it in beautiful condition.
Being behind glass preserves the surface of the picture.
-You have never had this picture cleaned?
I am sure your great-grandmother never had it cleaned. She received it,
and yet it looks as though it was cleaned yesterday,
because the grime of the atmosphere does not attack the varnish
and it preserves the varnish - which turns yellow very easily.
Victorian times were filled with grime and dust and smoke. It's very, very beautiful.
So much has been restored since the war, it's good to find it in this condition. With all that in mind,
this picture would certainly make between £6,000 and £8,000,
but I believe it would make well over £10,000.
-As an insurance value - £15,000.
-Great, lovely. OK.
-Who's the Andy Pandy fan?
-My mum. She used to eat her roast dinners on it,
because when they ran out of chairs, she used a small chair on top.
-It's in incredible condition.
-Yes, immaculate. Like brand new.
Now, Andy Pandy, I'll tell you something... I'm interested in it
because my mother was a puppeteer
-and she was the puppeteer who operated Andy Pandy.
-No! Was she on the TV programme?
-She wasn't seen, but she pulled the strings.
-And she did Flowerpot Men and things like that.
-So this, for me, is a wonderful thing.
-It's great to see it,
and there is even a little story which I'm going to deny immediately,
which is that when Andy Pandy was being made in the 1950s,
-I was that boy.
-Can you see the likeness?
-Oh, no, definitely!
-Blue eyes, the nose...
-All the fair hair.
-Oh, he's got blue eyes, you've got brown. Sorry!
-Anyway, this sort of memorabilia is very popular now.
This is in such great condition. I think, to an enthusiast,
this material, for children's programmes particularly,
this could be £150, as much as that.
-She will be pleased.
-So tell your mother to stop eating her lunch off it.
-Yes! Take it away from the fire.
I bought it about six years ago. I was looking for a piece like this
for about two years and then saw this and I just fell in love with it, so I bought it.
-This drawer originally would be called a brushing slide.
I think probably people could use it for a writing surface,
but it's really for laying out things and brushing them down. That's what I was told, yeah.
-The baize has been replaced here.
-It's in nice condition.
This is a lovely shape, this serpentine shape here.
Push that back.... These edges have just warped a tiny bit, look.
-A tiny bit of movement on that.
-When I bought it,
-there was a cut-throat razor in there.
I've never seen them complete,
but I've seen them with the, um... often with these.
-Sometimes this has been stripped out which would ruin the value.
But with these here, very nice.
-Along the front row, each one has got another box inside it.
-Oh, that's nice.
Along the front, to the shape of the serpentine.
Oh, that's quite rare, and if they're still there, that's lovely.
What a nice feature. But I love the thing for the cut-throat razor.
It's a glorious thought, isn't it? But it's a gentleman's piece.
Because of the razors, a gentleman's dressing chest, it would be called.
Very nice shape. The serpentine line which helps me date it.
-Have you any idea what the date is?
-Well, I was told it was George III.
-Is it about 1780?
-A bit earlier than that, I'm glad to say.
-I think it's basically a Chippendale sort of design.
Chippendale is a word that's used everywhere for mahogany furniture,
but there are certain features which are similar to Chippendale's work.
Chippendale's first book was in 1754 - the Gentleman and Cabinet Maker's Director -
and he produced other versions in the 1760s, so it's 1760-1770 -
-earlier than 1780.
-This serpentine line here
is typical of that Rococo mid-18th century period,
but the feature I like most is this fretwork.
-The blind Gothic. Isn't it lovely?
-And that you'll see
-if you get Chippendale's book.
-That was one of the things that drew me to it.
Really? Chippendale copied a lot of his designs from other people,
but also from other pattern books of the 1720s and '30s, so he put all the information he got in his book -
that's why he's so famous.
This is influenced by him, but not necessarily made by him. If we could pin it down to Thomas Chippendale,
-it would be a different story.
-But I like it and I admire your courage
for spending two years to find it. These have gone up a lot -
I won't ask what you paid for it - I just hope it's gone up in value - it must have done in six years.
-Prices have gone up a lot since the mid-'90s. You bought this retail, did you say?
-I did, yes.
Today, a retail price would be... well, verging on £20,000.
-I only hope it's gone up in value.
Goodness me! Now you have shocked me!
Deary me! Well, thank you very much.
-Has it gone up in value?
-Just a bit, yes!
-Will you take it off?
-If I can get it off...
It IS a beauty, isn't it? My goodness. What do you know about it?
Very little, really, which is one of the reasons I came to see you.
Right. Do you know what the stone is?
Um, it's a hard stone, I would have thought.
-Cornelian is bang on.
It's obviously a neoclassical ring and it's carved down into the ring.
It's not a cameo, the relief isn't raised, this is an intaglio -
it's cut into stone. It's rather like a seal ring,
and it's one of the masterpieces of the gem engraver's art.
In the 18th century,
gem engraving was viewed as extension of sculpture
and aristocrats would collect engraved gems of exactly this sort.
They'd keep them in cabinets to admire them and show them to friends
and it was the pursuit of princes ever since remotest antiquity,
to have their lives decorated with stones of this sort
and it IS a most remarkable stone. Have you thought about the subject?
-It appears to be Greco-Roman... I think I recognise Pan...
Well, that's absolutely on course for the period of the ring,
-but it's actually Silenus, who's a Roman god of wine.
And he's being drawn along by his attendants
in a state of severe drunkenness. He's lolling around, and he's going to fall off the ass in a second,
and that moment has been captured by the gem engraver.
-Where did you find this?
-In a teapot.
In a teapot?! You didn't?
I did. I bought some pots at auction
because there were some things that matched a service I had at home
-and there was an awful teapot in it. That was in the spout.
-How much was the teapot with the...?
-Well, the whole box was about £20.
-£20, my God, and so somebody..
-It's a long time ago, though.
So it was hidden there by somebody who thought it was a safe place,
and you were the lucky recipient. Anyway, to take it further,
it's not only the gem that's neoclassical, it's the ring itself,
and you can see on the shank here, a little neoclassical mask
and in the face of the mask is a diamond.
So it's a most ravishing thing.
It is a princely piece of jewellery. I think it's all 18th century,
I don't think that this is an engraved gem from an ancient one.
Very sophisticated - perhaps just a tiny bit too sophisticated, giving its origins away, late 18th century,
probably early 19th century, could come from a famous collection. Maybe we'll track that down.
But as to value - enormously difficult,
it's still a relatively esoteric area of collecting,
it still demands, you know, a certain amount of scholarship,
so if you wanted to buy that again they might ask you...
£5,000 for it.
-Oh, I don't believe it!
-No, I'm not joking at all, I'm deadly serious!
-My £20 box of pots!
-I know. Can I come to tea?
-I've still got the cups and saucers!
Well, I doubt if the Harvey Hadden Sports Centre
has seen so many unusual and desirable objects for quite a while.
This dining table that opens up like a lens is an amazing piece of work,
but, at the end of the day, I think my favourite
would be this elegant gentleman's dressing chest. Very nice indeed.
So many thanks to Nottingham for having us. Until next week, goodbye.
Subtitles by BBC
Michael Aspel and a team of experts invite members of the public in Nottingham to bring along their antiques for examination. Discoveries of note include a pair of outsize boots, an important collection of memorabilia from the Nuremburg trials, and an Andy Pandy memento which is closely related to one of the experts. Plus a shirt worn by an Arsenal player in the 1950 Cup tie and a valuable ring found in a teapot spout.