Michael Aspel and a team of experts invite members of the public to bring along their antiques for examination. This edition comes from Mellerstain House.
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This week the Roadshow is having a house party...
at Mellerstain House in Berwickshire, one of the great historic homesteads of Scotland.
Its lake is part of a tributary of the River Tweed, part of which forms the border with England.
If it's fishing you're after, you'll come to no finer place,
because the Tweed is Scotland's foremost salmon river.
One of the keenest fishermen was Sir Walter Scott,
who waxed lyrical on the subject.
"Along the silver streams of Tweed,
"Tis blyth the mimic fly to lead
"When to the hook the salmon springs
"And the line whistles through the rings."
As a boy, Scott was sent to his grandfather's farm near Mellerstain
to recuperate from polio. He grew to love the area so much,
he built a baronial home on the banks of the Tweed at Abbotsford.
But this was his favourite view.
From here, Sir Walter would look out onto the Eildon Hills
and the town of Melrose where, legend has it, the heart of Robert the Bruce lies.
At Sir Walter Scott's funeral in 1832, the horse leading the cortege to Dryburgh Abbey
suddenly stopped at this very spot - out of habit,
because this is where his master used to stop him.
A poignant tale about a man whose image is on the Scottish bank notes
that he fought so hard to retain.
Mellerstain House was begun in 1725 by William Adam
and was later completed by his more famous son Robert.
Next week, we'll be looking in more detail at this building,
but today, the Mellerstain trustees are the hosts of the Roadshow.
So let's see what the folk of the Borders have got for our experts.
I remember my father buying it, along with a lot of mess silver -
-he was in the Royal Scots Fusiliers.
The regiment was going to India, and my father retired - in 1935, I think,
and he bought this and several other pieces which I didn't keep.
-When he died, I sold them because insurance was too much.
-But I've always loved this.
I'm not surprised because, looking at it,
-my initial reaction is a spoon warmer.
Then you get a big surprise when you open the lid!
-This is it, because...a money box?
-A swear box.
-Oh, a swear box!
-Anybody who swore had to put something in.
-I don't know.
-I suppose you could have put a sovereign in.
-I don't know how old it is.
-Well, first of all, it begs the question -
-is it original or not?
-This is what I'd like to know.
Now... And here's another surprise, actually, because normally,
-if you get a spoon warmer of this form, they're electroplated.
And that's silver.
This is silver. But there's another surprise, because it's IRISH silver.
-So what is a Scottish regiment...
-..doing with an Irish...? I wouldn't know.
-The date of this - double M - 1866.
-There must be a reason.
-Well, it was definitely the swear box.
The maker, funnily enough, is this mark over here, which is "JS",
but the name "West" is underneath. This is what they did in Dublin -
you'd get the maker there, and then the retailer would put his stamp on.
-Little lock. With money inside, it has to be locked up.
-No key, I'm afraid.
-It should be easy to find a key. It'll be a basic key.
But, interestingly, it's marked also on the lid there...
-Now, that confirms that the lid is original...
-to the nautilus shell.
Lovely flush hinge there as well.
-I think it's lovely.
-Had this been a spoon warmer,
either it would have been left open... Some do have lids,
but they have a slot at the front for the spoon.
So this convinces me...
-That it IS a swear box.
-..that it was made as a swear box.
So, fascinating object.
It's a difficult object to put a value on. Have you got it insured?
Yes... Well, it's in the household insurance. I haven't...
-It's not specified?
-I suggest you insure it
-for somewhere around £5,000.
The typical Scottish feature about it is this large central drawer.
Do you know what's kept in there?
-Look at the depth of it.
Well, there's a good Scots answer!
-No. This is a bonnet drawer.
And it's specially designed to take hats.
-And that is a typical feature
-of a Scottish chest of the early 19th century.
These were also made in England, but they were known as Scotch chests.
This particular example is really rather nice. It's mainly mahogany,
but it's got some lovely details. For instance, the bonnet drawer
is the only one that has this beading around it,
and it's also the only one with this cross-banding in rosewood.
All the rest of the drawers have this ebony lining.
-They're family pieces?
This belonged to my grandfather's cousin, Chrissie Kelly.
-It was in her house in Gullane for many years.
-What about this piece?
This small chest belonged to Nancy Brackett, who was a cousin of my father's. She's now passed away.
We think this went to America with her as a young married woman and came back again when she was widowed.
They're both very well looked after.
-This one is probably made for a child.
Possibly, sort of en suite, if you like, with a doll's play set,
but it's a lovely little thing.
Like the lower one, it has some typically Scottish features, such as this ribbing
and this heavily turned corner pillar. Likewise on the chest below,
we have this reel and bobbin turning which is typically Scottish.
Probably by an Edinburgh maker,
it's got the quality, it's got the presence, um...
The problem with valuing these Scotch chests is that they're large,
and so that cuts two ways.
They're large and capacious and very impressive,
but not many people have bedrooms in which you can accommodate this.
So, I think, in terms of insurance,
-you ought to think of at least £1,600 to £1,800, which is a lot of money for a chest of drawers.
But, the little chest of drawers is only a quarter of the size,
but it punches well above its weight in terms of its value,
-and I think you ought to think in terms of £1,200 to £1,500.
-Mmm! Very good. Thank you.
-Do you know who T Kirkpatrick & Co are?
-No, I've never heard of them.
-Not at all.
-They're a local firm - they may still be in existence - of jewellers,
who would have retailed this clock. It's not made by them, it's actually Swiss.
-Dates from the early years of this century
and is really rather a splendid piece.
-The base is made of lapis lazuli...
-Yes, I recognise that.
Not the best lapis. The best lapis is a very, very dark blue,
but they weren't so concerned about it. It's not gem quality.
-Handy for a little foot like that.
-Unusual too. Usually, they're agate.
The case is silver and decorated with engraving and this blue enamel,
blue translucent enamel. But what is slightly unusual
is the dial being oval,
and it's likely that the dial material is a sheet of thin ivory,
then the numbers painted on it, and tiny chips of diamonds in the hands.
If I turn it round and open it up, it gets even more interesting...
because it's rare to find the signature of the Swiss manufacturer of the movement, and it's here -
on the movement AND on the case.
E Mathey-Tissot, which is their stamp there. The stamps are silver
and the word "argent", which is silver in French.
Originally, the clock would have been gilded - it's worn off outside,
-but it's perfect on the inside.
A conventional movement, but again, with a little added bonus. This is the bonus...
-Minute repeating. I was waiting for the last four or five blows.
They're either quarter repeating, or minute repeating.
The minute repeating is the best option. Nice little thing.
-Have you got it insured or valued?
-No, I haven't.
-I'd say a minimum of £3,000.
-Really? For that little clock? How wonderful.
You ought to see these, Michael. You'll never see an earlier telephone depicted in porcelain.
-I've never seen it before.
They've got the cables going up the wall,
and the insulators - I think they are - that linked the wires.
-Made in 1822.
-That would be slightly before the earliest telephone - that would be very clever.
-Made around 1900, so very, very high-tech.
-What are they worth?
To a collector of telephones, a pair of damaged high-tech vases,
probably no more than about £30.
-they're speaking German.
-I can hear the sea.
She actually came from my nana's,
so she's probably early 19...
-probably between 1900 and 1910, I would think.
-She's a French doll.
I was quite surprised to find a French doll here, I don't know why.
But did your grandparents, or great grandparents travel much? Or do you think she was bought in the area?
She's got "France" written on the back of her neck,
but that's all I know about her. And her clothes...
Let's have a look at her - if you can trust me with your baby!
Even before I look at the back of the head,
there are several things that indicate that she's a French doll
and by one of the good French makers.
The first thing is her complexion, she's very pale in complexion.
If you look closely at the eyes,
they are almost like paperweights -
-they're incredibly realistic.
-That my husband doesn't like.
-They watch all the way round the room, wherever you are.
He says she's watching him.
And the eyebrows - very lustrous, very busy.
She's got a distinct style to her, the little cupid bow mouth -
again very distinctive.
She's got pierced ear lobes here, so she would have had jewellery.
Now, let's turn her round and have a look.
What we see, printed in red,
is "Tete Jumeau", and the number 11.
This particular mark didn't come in till about 1885.
And we know that she's between 1885 and 1899,
because in 1899, Jumeau as a company, ceased to exist.
It joined forces with other French companies
and they became known as SFBJ,
which was the "Societe de Fabrication de Bebes et Jouets",
so they formed an amalgamation.
So it's interesting.
You said, as far as date was concerned, perhaps 1900-1910.
-But I wonder, then, if it wasn't your grandmother's...
-Passed on to her.
-Yes, exactly, exactly.
I think that's more like it. Her body is made of composition,
she's got joints at the elbow and the shoulder and at the wrist.
-This wrist is a little bit on the floppy side.
-I was wondering...would it be worth having this restored?
Absolutely. There's a system of rubberised strings throughout the body, which hold it all together.
-Yes, I've pinged them.
-You pinged her?!
Well, you know, then, that after a while, it loses its stretch,
and it's quite a simple job
for a doll-restorer to restring the doll, as she's called.
She's got a nice outfit,
and then she's got three others.
She's got a nice sailor's costume,
-this looks like a party dress.
-I like to think it was her Christmas party dress.
-With shoes to match!
And then a little red outfit with a sort of caped top.
Lovely. So, we're looking at a very good quality French doll, and she would have been expensive
even when she was bought in the latter part of the 19th century.
Today, that holds in good stead, because with her costume here and her shoes and so on,
-we'd be talking about a value between...
-I don't want to know.
-Are you sure you don't want to know?
-I'd hate to be tempted to sell her.
-You'll never be tempted to sell her, rest assured,
-because she's not yours, she belongs to those that come after.
She's going to be worth between...
-£3,000 and £4,000.
-So she's a treasure in every sense of the word, really.
-Thank you so much for sharing her.
-And what's this?
-A cricket basket.
-It's a cricket basket.
So when you're a mandarin, you have crickets to sing
-and accompany you on your journey.
-And that was a cricket basket.
-I don't think it was.
I don't know. Cricket cages are normally rectangular and shallow.
-Those are for fighting crickets.
-This is for singing crickets.
Well...I mean, you COULD put a singing cricket in it.
I mean, it would go in there. I'll tell you what would worry me...
-I've got some bits of handle in here.
-Yes, I'm afraid so.
-The bottom is pierced.
Well, the poor cricket's leg would go through there and break
and it wouldn't be able to stridulate. These are well known,
and these were for Western use.
-I don't think the cricket cage holds true.
-May I tell you who told me it was?
The orient was not Arthur's strong point.
No, but it's also been handed down the family that it WAS a cricket basket, but...
-I doubt it.
-You doubt it?
-I doubt it.
I think it's just a decorative basket.
These were imported in large numbers, not just in tortoiseshell and ivory, but also in plain ivory,
during the Regency period because that chinoiserie was the style then.
-I think it was meant purely for decoration.
It's a bit of a noble wreck, because you've got a lot of damage on it.
-Who restored it?
-Our local dentist kindly did it for me.
After all, he works in ivory - teeth - doesn't he?
I love it! A dentist restoring ivory.
I can't say he made a good job of it.
-It's blobby in places.
-Yes, I agree.
It's made of tortoiseshell,
and the quality of the carving on these panels is quite incredible.
It's against a background of very, very fine lines,
and, of course, easily damaged, but they have survived pretty much in good condition,
it's not too bad at all. To me,
the best bit is that knop.
That is the most magical, wonderful knop I've ever seen.
I would dearly love to own just that bit,
I'd get so much pleasure out of it. It's a pineapple,
-and the pineapple was the symbol of hospitality in England.
Again, that suggests to me much more a European connection
than an Eastern connection,
-so I think it was made for the Western market.
The basket, with more work on it,
I would think that would make £800 to £900, something like that.
-Thank you for bringing it in.
-Thank you very much for talking about it.
-You've got a Lowry.
-How did you get that?
Many years ago, I worked in the Castle Hotel in Berwick as a hotel receptionist,
and Lowry used to stay there quite often,
and if it was a miserable morning, he used to sit in the lounge and doodle.
He brought this to the desk one day and said would I like to have it?
I said, "Yes, of course," because it's just hotel notepaper that it's actually on.
-And this was a sort of thank-you?
-I would imagine, yes.
-Almost like an autograph.
-It's a little, lovely sketch.
"21st August, 1958." Not everyone knows the value of these things.
No. About a fortnight ago, there was an article in The Scotsman newspaper
and this lady who worked there after me,
he did a portrait of her, and she obviously didn't like the work
and tore it up and put it in the bin.
She might be cross she did that. I've been talking to our expert
and he says it's a pity it's on ordinary paper, it's got the name of the hotel on, and there's a crease,
but it IS Lowry, and he says this is worth between...
£3,000 and £5,000.
My goodness gracious!
-Can I have it?
-No! You can't!
This box dates from about 1770...
It's a very old little box, and we have a partner here,
which has got a different design. We'll stick with this one just now.
-WAS it "the gift of a friend"?
-Yes. I paid £10 for it, but it was from a friend.
It's what we call a Bilston enamel box.
It's actually enamel on copper, and it has a brass mount which secures the lid to the base.
-Why is it black?
-It's basically because it's tarnished.
And what you mustn't do is clean it. Leave it exactly like this.
It's oxidised and it's gone down to this dark colour.
Now, many people would say that this is a snuff box,
but they would be incorrect in saying that. The giveaway
is when we open it up,
because if we do open it up, inside is a little mirror.
Now, that mirror means that this is a patch box.
If I were an 18th-century dandy, and I'm sure I was in a former life,
I would be taking my patches out of here,
-and using this little mirror to position them on my face.
-So you'd have this in your pocket?
-Exactly. This is your portable patch box.
This little one here dates from the same period
and has a more typical Georgian motif on it.
Again, it's Bilston and again, it's around about the same sort of date.
They're both very charming little items.
Value-wise, your £10 on that one, I think,
has multiplied to around about £150.
And this one, a little bit less, at probably around about...
-£100 to £150 - these are auction prices.
-I like that one better.
Well, I prefer The Gift Of A Friend, it's that little bit more special.
Mmm. I'm absolutely thrilled!
Kynoch Limited. Birmingham, England. Unless I'm very much mistaken,
-it'll be something to do with ammunition.
-They were a major manufacturer of ammunition.
Here we have the complete series of the processors
that were used to make a 303 mk7 rifle cartridge,
which was the standard British cartridge from 1888
until almost the 1960s. It survived for a very long time.
-Originally a Swiss design. A chap called Rubin developed it.
It was one of those happy designs that was very, very efficient
and right first off and survived for a very long time,
-and much loved by many generations of servicemen.
-Yes, that's a fact.
There's a very interesting letter that comes with it
from the general manager of Kynoch to Admiral Goodwin,
who was deputy engineer-in-chief of the admiralty,
and it's dated 22nd June 1915, and it says,
"I'm sending you this specimen collection".
I suspect that this is probably something to do with the procurement process
-for ammunition for the Navy.
-Yes, I think so.
He'd just done a tour of the factory
-and I would imagine this was sent to him as a souvenir.
-A very interesting thing. Where did you get it from? It's not the sort of thing that you see around.
My mother was of a naval family,
and they knew the Goodwin family,
and I knew his son, Lord Goodwin's son,
and...I was a teenager at the time, during the war.
He had a rather morbid interest in firearms.
-I don't think there's anything morbid about having an interest in firearms.
-He had this...
-In the house there were an awful lot of strange bombs and shells...
-Sounds like paradise to me.
..and strange things that were pertinent to the First World War.
-And I just had an interest in this...
-Very nice gift.
..which was curious, as far as I'm concerned, interesting.
Yes, very interesting.
It also has commercial value as well because ammunition collectors today
are interested in not just acquiring rounds of ammunition -
collecting ammunition is a very large market -
but there's also a great interest in anything that's connected with it,
so this has commercial value.
I think that it's worth about £750 to £1,000.
This is a truly splendid piece.
It's a bit of high Victorian majolica, made by Mintons
in about 1875-1880. And I long to know how you come to have it.
I inherited it from my mother-in-law.
I went in to see her one day when she must have been in her late 80s,
and this was sitting on the floor...
underneath the table in the dining room, and I thought,
"That's not very secure, not very safe," and I said to her,
"Why have you put it on the floor?"
She said, "I'm going to give it to the jumble sale on Saturday, dear."
So I was appalled because I've always been very fond of it,
so I said to her, "Please don't do that, but could we buy it from you?"
And she said, "No, not at all, you can have it."
And I've always loved it. I love the glaze of it, I love the colourings.
Well, it's wonderful. We think it looks lovely out here,
we open it, take out the liner, and there's a beautiful turquoise glaze.
Look at the richness of that.
And then when we turn it up, there's all sorts of exciting things -
the pouter pigeons here... It really is a splendid object.
Now, when you offered to buy it from your mother-in-law,
did you ever consider how much you ought to be paying her for it?
-No, no. Never.
-Because, you know, nowadays,
if she still had it and you'd wanted to buy it from her,
I expect you might have had to pay her about £8,000.
-Well, I don't think I would have managed that somehow!
-That's probably what it's worth today.
You make me feel cold here!
-Got on everything I possess!
-We're very hardy.
Well, look, three graces - and disgraces! - a vision of loveliness on this cold day.
Now, why are you dressed in this costume and where has it all come from?
-We are all members of an amateur dramatic club in the Borders called Beaumont Theatre.
And we were very lucky in that we were given all these dresses by a resident from Yetholm.
She's now moved away, and she was wanting them to go to a good home where they would be used, so...
-So she gave them to the drama group.
-We do Noel Coward and...
-Have they been used recently?
-Yes. This one was on stage last night!
-This one's been used.
-I've worn that one a couple of times.
-I've got it on today.
-Well, you're lucky because you've got sleeves!
Do any of them have a history?
Well, we believe that this one may have danced with the Prince of Wales who later married Mrs Simpson.
-Edward VIII that nearly was?
-It's possible that this one danced with him.
-How do you feel in it?
-Do you feel like a princess?
She's waiting for the Duke of Roxburghe!
Value-wise, they're not going to be terribly valuable.
Looking at them, probably the one that you're wearing,
and this, because the fabric is so sensational...
-The colours have stayed marvellous.
-I guess she had them packed away, or only wore them at night.
Those two are probably the most valuable,
But, even then, we're talking about under...maybe £100 for them.
-We didn't think of them as very valuable, we just didn't want to ruin them.
-I think you should enjoy them
-and they'll eventually fall to pieces and hopefully not when you're in them!
-Might make a sensation!
-That would draw the audiences, wouldn't it?
-Not at our age!
-Well, if the WI can do it...
I don't know a great deal - that's probably why I'm here.
I know that it's quite old, I know that it's - I hope - quite valuable.
And it's one of my favourite pieces.
-You have a collection of porcelain?
-A small one, a very small one, yes.
-I think any collector would regard it as a gem.
-I'm glad to hear that.
You like rococo-style porcelain?
-I am collecting, really, early English.
-This is what you've got.
This is a wonderful piece of early English porcelain,
rococo moulded after silver shape.
It's made of a porcelain produced at Worcester, one of the classics.
This is a marvellous piece of moulding, decorating and printing.
Inside. it's printed in the style of Robert Hancock - swans on the pond,
and then we have square riggers in these cartouches on the side here,
but it evokes the early period of Worcester in the 1750s, just after the factory was established.
I think this is a lovely combination of foreign flowers,
Chinese flowers here, with English rococo moulding. Marvellous object.
I think it would realise between £3,000 and £4,000,
certainly at auction, and you'd have to pay more than that in a shop.
-Does that grab you?
-Very much so!
I purchased this in 1967/8
-and I know that I won't have paid more than £150 for it.
-Well, that's a pretty good deal.
-Yes, it was.
-Do you ever use it?
No! I'm sorry, it stays in my cabinet.
-It's far too precious for that!
-You could start using it now.
-No, we won't! I don't think so, not really.
Well, the skies have opened and a mass migration is under way
in the direction of the marquee.
But what do you think it is? Initially...
it looks like a sort of container for holding an animal, perhaps?
-Yeah, it's decorated with hunting scenes.
-What does it do?
-I see, that opens.
-It's got a wooden base. I don't think that's right.
No, when you look at the quality of all that metalwork
and the way it's been sort of nailed onto the base...
I tell you... I think it's for... like a carriage warmer.
-Oh, you'd put charcoal in?
-It would have had a metal base originally.
-Yeah, it's conceivable that it had a different base,
-maybe with a tray that lifted in or out.
-Which may have burnt through,
-and they nailed it onto a wood base.
-What about age, though?
-The fretwork looks good.
-Yeah. That's earlier than 19th century.
-Looks 18th century, doesn't it?
-The scenes are 18th, aren't they?
-Lovely decoration on the frieze.
Well, that's jolly good. It's a vesta case, for matches,
in the shape of a sentry box. It's got a guard on duty.
There's the strikes...on the bottom.
-Have you chased the hallmark?
-No, we haven't.
That's very nice!
Now, I've just been talking to my colleagues about this.
We're all of the general opinion that it's called a Dutch warmer.
-Can you tell me how you acquired it?
-It came from my family,
-I think it's been in the family for a long time.
-It's a Dutch warmer.
I don't know whether you know what that is, but, basically,
-it was a receptacle that had charcoals in it...
It probably would have been used in a carriage to keep the inside warm,
and this is a nice example. Late 18th century,
decorated with hunting scenes. It's actually very, very decorative.
I think the base has been altered -
-for obvious reasons, it wouldn't have had a wooden base on it.
-But this is going to be worth around £200 or £300.
My grandfather knew the artist and collected his paintings.
I have two more at home.
They were then left to my mother and, consequently, I have them now.
-So it's come directly through the family.
You've brought in two nice examples of Watterston Herald's work.
He did, for most of his life, work in and around the area of Arbroath,
-which is where he was born.
First of all, we'll look at this beautiful watercolour which is nice.
Titled - A Country Fair. A lovely sort of busy scene,
with some travelling entertainers entertaining the local folk.
It's a lovely example of what we call blottesque,
which was a style of watercolour painting
first introduced by Arthur Melville.
He was a wee bit earlier than Watterston Herald,
and he was one of the leading members of the Glasgow school.
The second one is, presumably, a view of the harbour in Arbroath -
most of his work was in the area.
Again, this very similar application of the blottesque...
This perhaps illustrates it more effectively -
a sort of sponging out of the colour.
It softens the form of the composition - highly effective,
and was very popular during Herald's time. Do you have them insured?
-Well, Watterston Herald is an artist who is in vogue at present
and I would have thought this watercolour -
which is an important work by him -
-would probably make in the region of about £7,000 to £10,00 at auction.
The second picture is less important but still very nice,
-and we're talking of £3,000 to £5,000.
-Nice news and thanks for bringing them in.
-Thank you. I'm delighted.
It looks good, but it's not a big enough desk, really, for a man.
It was bought by my grandfather for my grandmother when they lived near Lancaster
in the late '20s or the early '30s
from, I think, a shop called Waring and Gillow.
I see. Well, you mention a desk and it is really a secretaire cabinet,
but it's got all these different elements of style
which is very characteristic of a particular period -
which is earlier than when it was bought for your grandmother.
This gallery at the top -
very open, very tall - is quite Arts and Crafts in character
which takes it back to the 1880s, 1890s.
And in lots of ways, the angularity of it
-is related to Arts and Crafts furniture.
Multi-purpose - very much an English feature, with a desk at the top and cabinet at the bottom.
I think if we just...open there,
it's a pretty little straightforward secretaire interior, but as you say,
-it's female, it's a lady's desk.
-It has that feel.
-I think it was a very appropriate gift for my grandmother.
I think that's nice.
Above all that, is the decoration on the front of the cabinet,
particularly these great sprays of decoration,
-which look a bit like balloons.
-In fact, with the mother-of-pearl inlay, it's clearly honesty.
-Oh, I never thought of that.
-And with the whiplash stems here, we're in Art-Nouveau country.
The whiplash is very continental - French, Belgian Art Nouveau.
The angularity here is more secessionist Viennese Art Nouveau,
coming together in something with a slightly Arts and Crafts character.
Very English. I'm sure this is an English piece. And down here,
the cabinet part, little doors... And I think that is so smart.
Yes, I've loved that all my life,
since being able to crawl around and notice it!
-That is very sexy, I think.
-Well, that has never crossed my mind,
-but I'll think about it!
-That is delightful,
but also inside, it shows you that it's a music cabinet.
-The quality of the piece of furniture is fantastic,
you've seen how these doors work.
The ground wood is mahogany. I don't know who made it.
Waring and Gillow established itself in the late 19th century,
but it's not the kind of style I associate with them.
Well, I understand from my father, whom I asked just the other day,
that this may not have been new when it was bought there at that time,
-because they also sold second-hand furniture.
I think it was probably literally second-hand when he bought it.
Made around 1900-1910, and quite expensive when it was first made.
-Now, I think you would certainly put, for insurance purposes, at least £3,000.
It's the kind of thing that is increasing in interest.
-It's a lovely piece of furniture. Thank you very much.
-It was when ladies travelled with their own dressing case.
-In some style, one has to say.
Ready for any eventuality, you can see.
-You've even got a mirror here.
-Yes, which comes out and stands.
So, with most of these cases, what you find are the things
-associated purely with the dressing table...
-Oh, but this is also a picnic set.
-It was, indeed,
-because we've got the spoons and forks...
-And I might say that the forks are so sharp,
-you have to be careful.
What I think's marvellous though, is an object like this, the teapot.
All the different sections. Somebody has to sit down
-and work all this out for everything to fit...
..inside everything else. Here's the little lamp...
A little methylated spirits burner.
So, meths in that, yes.
That slots in there...
then that comes out of there...
Ooh, glass container. I suppose you keep your tea in there.
I always thought you drank out of it, although it might be a bit hot!
Yes, that may be a problem. So, you can happily make whatever.
It's wonderful. It's wonderful. It is, of course, French.
-Yes, so I believe.
-This decoration, which is engine turning,
was actually a technique developed by the French in the 18th century.
You don't really find it in England before the 19th century,
but it's in wonderful condition.
-Now, you're saying about 18...?
-1830s, maybe? I don't know.
-That fits to perfection.
Because the French marks that we've got here are between 1820 and 1840.
But the contents are really quite phenomenal.
That is to put your toothbrush in.
-There are toothbrushes in it.
Oh, and there we are, yes.
And, of course, you can set in the new bristles.
Let's see what else we've got. Oh, gosh!
Look at this all. The scissors... and the writing equipment...
-if you wanted to write letters...
-Yes, and a little blotter.
-Let's go a little bit lower.
-Couple of jars...
Actually, if I take that out...
-Ah, what have we got here?
-Brushes...well, a brush.
Oh, look at that, it's all set in ivory, there.
What's in here?
-I think that...
That needs a bit of olive oil or something,
just rub that gently into the surface. You'll be amazed how that brings that back.
Perfume containers and so on.
You can smell... One of these, you can actually smell.
-It's looks as if there's something in it.
-I can't open it. You do it.
-Oh, there we are.
-Now, you smell that.
I've a dreadful sense of smell. It has to be strong for me to smell it.
Oh, I can smell that, yes.
-It's like touching history. That's been in there 100 years.
A French set, so complete. All these wonderful objects...
-Some of these objects themselves...
-..are worth a bit of money.
Today, if this was coming up at auction,
you would probably have to think in terms of at least
-£8,000 to £10,000.
-I wouldn't be surprised to see it going at rather more than that,
because it is marvellously complete.
As well as some choice items, we've had the total weather experience today.
To put it in the local vernacular, at first it was bonny, then it started smirring
and now it's decidedly dreich. We're coming back next week,
when we'll tell you more about Mellerstain House.
But, for now, from Berwickshire, goodbye.
Michael Aspel and a team of experts invite members of the public to bring along their antiques for examination. This programme comes from Mellerstain House in the Scottish Borders, where interesting finds include a valuable majolica dish, a dressing case, and a Lowry doodle.