Mellerstain House Antiques Roadshow


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Mellerstain House

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...

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at Mellerstain House in Berwickshire, one of the great historic homesteads of Scotland.

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Its lake is part of a tributary of the River Tweed, part of which forms the border with England.

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If it's fishing you're after, you'll come to no finer place,

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because the Tweed is Scotland's foremost salmon river.

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One of the keenest fishermen was Sir Walter Scott,

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who waxed lyrical on the subject.

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"Along the silver streams of Tweed,

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"Tis blyth the mimic fly to lead

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"When to the hook the salmon springs

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"And the line whistles through the rings."

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As a boy, Scott was sent to his grandfather's farm near Mellerstain

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to recuperate from polio. He grew to love the area so much,

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he built a baronial home on the banks of the Tweed at Abbotsford.

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But this was his favourite view.

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From here, Sir Walter would look out onto the Eildon Hills

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and the town of Melrose where, legend has it, the heart of Robert the Bruce lies.

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At Sir Walter Scott's funeral in 1832, the horse leading the cortege to Dryburgh Abbey

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suddenly stopped at this very spot - out of habit,

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because this is where his master used to stop him.

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A poignant tale about a man whose image is on the Scottish bank notes

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that he fought so hard to retain.

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Mellerstain House was begun in 1725 by William Adam

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and was later completed by his more famous son Robert.

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Next week, we'll be looking in more detail at this building,

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but today, the Mellerstain trustees are the hosts of the Roadshow.

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So let's see what the folk of the Borders have got for our experts.

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I remember my father buying it, along with a lot of mess silver -

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-he was in the Royal Scots Fusiliers.

-Right.

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The regiment was going to India, and my father retired - in 1935, I think,

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and he bought this and several other pieces which I didn't keep.

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-When he died, I sold them because insurance was too much.

-Yes.

-But I've always loved this.

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I'm not surprised because, looking at it,

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-my initial reaction is a spoon warmer.

-Absolutely.

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Then you get a big surprise when you open the lid!

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-This is it, because...a money box?

-Yes.

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-A swear box.

-Oh, a swear box!

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-Anybody who swore had to put something in.

-How much?

-I don't know.

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-I suppose you could have put a sovereign in.

-Absolutely, yes.

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-I don't know how old it is.

-Well, first of all, it begs the question -

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-is it original or not?

-This is what I'd like to know.

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Now... And here's another surprise, actually, because normally,

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-if you get a spoon warmer of this form, they're electroplated.

-Yes.

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And that's silver.

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This is silver. But there's another surprise, because it's IRISH silver.

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-Really?!

-So what is a Scottish regiment...

-..doing with an Irish...? I wouldn't know.

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-The date of this - double M - 1866.

-Right.

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-There must be a reason.

-Well, it was definitely the swear box.

-Right.

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The maker, funnily enough, is this mark over here, which is "JS",

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but the name "West" is underneath. This is what they did in Dublin -

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you'd get the maker there, and then the retailer would put his stamp on.

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-Right.

-Little lock. With money inside, it has to be locked up.

-Yes.

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-No key, I'm afraid.

-It should be easy to find a key. It'll be a basic key.

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But, interestingly, it's marked also on the lid there...

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-Yes.

-Now, that confirms that the lid is original...

-Yes.

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-to the nautilus shell.

-Yes.

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Lovely flush hinge there as well.

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-I think it's lovely.

-Had this been a spoon warmer,

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either it would have been left open... Some do have lids,

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but they have a slot at the front for the spoon.

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So this convinces me...

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-That it IS a swear box.

-..that it was made as a swear box.

-Yes.

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So, fascinating object.

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It's a difficult object to put a value on. Have you got it insured?

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Yes... Well, it's in the household insurance. I haven't...

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-It's not specified?

-No, no.

-I suggest you insure it

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-for somewhere around £5,000.

-Really? Yes.

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The typical Scottish feature about it is this large central drawer.

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Do you know what's kept in there?

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-Look at the depth of it.

-Drink?

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Well, there's a good Scots answer!

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-No. This is a bonnet drawer.

-Right.

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And it's specially designed to take hats.

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-Oh.

-And that is a typical feature

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-of a Scottish chest of the early 19th century.

-Yes.

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These were also made in England, but they were known as Scotch chests.

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This particular example is really rather nice. It's mainly mahogany,

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but it's got some lovely details. For instance, the bonnet drawer

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is the only one that has this beading around it,

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and it's also the only one with this cross-banding in rosewood.

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All the rest of the drawers have this ebony lining.

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-They're family pieces?

-Yes.

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This belonged to my grandfather's cousin, Chrissie Kelly.

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-It was in her house in Gullane for many years.

-What about this piece?

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This small chest belonged to Nancy Brackett, who was a cousin of my father's. She's now passed away.

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We think this went to America with her as a young married woman and came back again when she was widowed.

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They're both very well looked after.

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-This one is probably made for a child.

-Ah, yes.

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Possibly, sort of en suite, if you like, with a doll's play set,

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but it's a lovely little thing.

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Like the lower one, it has some typically Scottish features, such as this ribbing

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and this heavily turned corner pillar. Likewise on the chest below,

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we have this reel and bobbin turning which is typically Scottish.

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Probably by an Edinburgh maker,

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it's got the quality, it's got the presence, um...

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The problem with valuing these Scotch chests is that they're large,

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and so that cuts two ways.

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They're large and capacious and very impressive,

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but not many people have bedrooms in which you can accommodate this.

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So, I think, in terms of insurance,

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-you ought to think of at least £1,600 to £1,800, which is a lot of money for a chest of drawers.

-Yes.

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But, the little chest of drawers is only a quarter of the size,

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but it punches well above its weight in terms of its value,

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-and I think you ought to think in terms of £1,200 to £1,500.

-Mmm! Very good. Thank you.

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-Do you know who T Kirkpatrick & Co are?

-No, I've never heard of them.

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-Not at all.

-They're a local firm - they may still be in existence - of jewellers,

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who would have retailed this clock. It's not made by them, it's actually Swiss.

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-Right.

-Dates from the early years of this century

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and is really rather a splendid piece.

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-The base is made of lapis lazuli...

-Yes, I recognise that.

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Not the best lapis. The best lapis is a very, very dark blue,

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but they weren't so concerned about it. It's not gem quality.

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-Handy for a little foot like that.

-Unusual too. Usually, they're agate.

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The case is silver and decorated with engraving and this blue enamel,

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blue translucent enamel. But what is slightly unusual

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is the dial being oval,

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and it's likely that the dial material is a sheet of thin ivory,

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then the numbers painted on it, and tiny chips of diamonds in the hands.

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If I turn it round and open it up, it gets even more interesting...

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because it's rare to find the signature of the Swiss manufacturer of the movement, and it's here -

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on the movement AND on the case.

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E Mathey-Tissot, which is their stamp there. The stamps are silver

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and the word "argent", which is silver in French.

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Originally, the clock would have been gilded - it's worn off outside,

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-but it's perfect on the inside.

-Yes.

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A conventional movement, but again, with a little added bonus. This is the bonus...

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CHIMING

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Lovely.

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-Minute repeating. I was waiting for the last four or five blows.

-Yes.

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They're either quarter repeating, or minute repeating.

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The minute repeating is the best option. Nice little thing.

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-Have you got it insured or valued?

-No, I haven't.

-Hmm.

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Well...

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-I'd say a minimum of £3,000.

-Really? For that little clock? How wonderful.

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You ought to see these, Michael. You'll never see an earlier telephone depicted in porcelain.

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-I say.

-I've never seen it before.

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They've got the cables going up the wall,

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and the insulators - I think they are - that linked the wires.

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-Made in 1822.

-That would be slightly before the earliest telephone - that would be very clever.

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-Made around 1900, so very, very high-tech.

-What are they worth?

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To a collector of telephones, a pair of damaged high-tech vases,

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probably no more than about £30.

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And they're...

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-they're speaking German.

-I can hear the sea.

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She actually came from my nana's,

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so she's probably early 19...

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-probably between 1900 and 1910, I would think.

-Now, that...

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-She's a French doll.

-Yes.

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I was quite surprised to find a French doll here, I don't know why.

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But did your grandparents, or great grandparents travel much? Or do you think she was bought in the area?

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She's got "France" written on the back of her neck,

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but that's all I know about her. And her clothes...

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Let's have a look at her - if you can trust me with your baby!

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Even before I look at the back of the head,

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there are several things that indicate that she's a French doll

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and by one of the good French makers.

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The first thing is her complexion, she's very pale in complexion.

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If you look closely at the eyes,

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they are almost like paperweights -

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-they're incredibly realistic.

-That my husband doesn't like.

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-Why's that?

-They watch all the way round the room, wherever you are.

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He says she's watching him.

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And the eyebrows - very lustrous, very busy.

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She's got a distinct style to her, the little cupid bow mouth -

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again very distinctive.

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She's got pierced ear lobes here, so she would have had jewellery.

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Now, let's turn her round and have a look.

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What we see, printed in red,

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is "Tete Jumeau", and the number 11.

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This particular mark didn't come in till about 1885.

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And we know that she's between 1885 and 1899,

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because in 1899, Jumeau as a company, ceased to exist.

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It joined forces with other French companies

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and they became known as SFBJ,

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which was the "Societe de Fabrication de Bebes et Jouets",

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so they formed an amalgamation.

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So it's interesting.

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You said, as far as date was concerned, perhaps 1900-1910.

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-Mmm.

-But I wonder, then, if it wasn't your grandmother's...

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-Passed on to her.

-Yes, exactly, exactly.

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I think that's more like it. Her body is made of composition,

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she's got joints at the elbow and the shoulder and at the wrist.

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-This wrist is a little bit on the floppy side.

-It is.

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-I was wondering...would it be worth having this restored?

-Definitely.

-Tightened.

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Absolutely. There's a system of rubberised strings throughout the body, which hold it all together.

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-Yes, I've pinged them.

-You pinged her?!

-< LAUGHS

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Well, you know, then, that after a while, it loses its stretch,

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and it's quite a simple job

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for a doll-restorer to restring the doll, as she's called.

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She's got a nice outfit,

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and then she's got three others.

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She's got a nice sailor's costume,

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-this looks like a party dress.

-Yes.

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-I like to think it was her Christmas party dress.

-With shoes to match!

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And then a little red outfit with a sort of caped top.

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Lovely. So, we're looking at a very good quality French doll, and she would have been expensive

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even when she was bought in the latter part of the 19th century.

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Today, that holds in good stead, because with her costume here and her shoes and so on,

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-we'd be talking about a value between...

-I don't want to know.

-Are you sure you don't want to know?

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-I'd hate to be tempted to sell her.

-You'll never be tempted to sell her, rest assured,

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-because she's not yours, she belongs to those that come after.

-Right.

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She's going to be worth between...

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-£3,000 and £4,000.

-Oh!

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-So she's a treasure in every sense of the word, really.

-Yes.

-Thank you so much for sharing her.

-Wonderful!

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-And what's this?

-A cricket basket.

-It's a cricket basket.

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So when you're a mandarin, you have crickets to sing

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-and accompany you on your journey.

-That's true.

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-And that was a cricket basket.

-I don't think it was.

-You don't?

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I don't know. Cricket cages are normally rectangular and shallow.

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-Those are for fighting crickets.

-Yes...

-This is for singing crickets.

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Well...I mean, you COULD put a singing cricket in it.

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I mean, it would go in there. I'll tell you what would worry me...

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-I've got some bits of handle in here.

-Yes, I'm afraid so.

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-The bottom is pierced.

-Yes?

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Well, the poor cricket's leg would go through there and break

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and it wouldn't be able to stridulate. These are well known,

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and these were for Western use.

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-Ah, yes.

-I don't think the cricket cage holds true.

-No?

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-May I tell you who told me it was?

-Please.

-Arthur Negus.

-Ah.

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The orient was not Arthur's strong point.

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No, but it's also been handed down the family that it WAS a cricket basket, but...

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-I doubt it.

-You doubt it?

-I doubt it.

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I think it's just a decorative basket.

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These were imported in large numbers, not just in tortoiseshell and ivory, but also in plain ivory,

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during the Regency period because that chinoiserie was the style then.

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-I think it was meant purely for decoration.

-Hmm.

0:16:340:16:38

It's a bit of a noble wreck, because you've got a lot of damage on it.

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-Who restored it?

-Our local dentist kindly did it for me.

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After all, he works in ivory - teeth - doesn't he?

0:16:480:16:52

I love it! A dentist restoring ivory.

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Um, he...he...

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I can't say he made a good job of it.

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-It's blobby in places.

-Yes, I agree.

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It's made of tortoiseshell,

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pierced tortoiseshell,

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and the quality of the carving on these panels is quite incredible.

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It's against a background of very, very fine lines,

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and, of course, easily damaged, but they have survived pretty much in good condition,

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it's not too bad at all. To me,

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the best bit is that knop.

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That is the most magical, wonderful knop I've ever seen.

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I would dearly love to own just that bit,

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I'd get so much pleasure out of it. It's a pineapple,

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-and the pineapple was the symbol of hospitality in England.

-Was it?

-Yes.

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Again, that suggests to me much more a European connection

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than an Eastern connection,

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-so I think it was made for the Western market.

-Yes.

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The basket, with more work on it,

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I would think that would make £800 to £900, something like that.

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-Thank you for bringing it in.

-Thank you very much for talking about it.

0:18:110:18:16

-You've got a Lowry.

-I have.

-How did you get that?

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Many years ago, I worked in the Castle Hotel in Berwick as a hotel receptionist,

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and Lowry used to stay there quite often,

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and if it was a miserable morning, he used to sit in the lounge and doodle.

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He brought this to the desk one day and said would I like to have it?

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I said, "Yes, of course," because it's just hotel notepaper that it's actually on.

0:18:410:18:47

-And this was a sort of thank-you?

-I would imagine, yes.

-Almost like an autograph.

-Yes.

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-It's a little, lovely sketch.

-Yes.

0:18:520:18:54

"21st August, 1958." Not everyone knows the value of these things.

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No. About a fortnight ago, there was an article in The Scotsman newspaper

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and this lady who worked there after me,

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he did a portrait of her, and she obviously didn't like the work

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and tore it up and put it in the bin.

0:19:120:19:15

She might be cross she did that. I've been talking to our expert

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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,

0:19:200:19:26

but it IS Lowry, and he says this is worth between...

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£3,000 and £5,000.

0:19:310:19:34

My goodness gracious!

0:19:340:19:37

-Can I have it?

-No! You can't!

0:19:370:19:41

This box dates from about 1770...

0:19:410:19:44

-And...

-1770?

-1770, yeah.

0:19:440:19:48

It's a very old little box, and we have a partner here,

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which has got a different design. We'll stick with this one just now.

0:19:520:19:56

-WAS it "the gift of a friend"?

-Yes. I paid £10 for it, but it was from a friend.

-Right, OK.

0:19:560:20:03

It's what we call a Bilston enamel box.

0:20:030:20:07

It's actually enamel on copper, and it has a brass mount which secures the lid to the base.

0:20:070:20:13

-Why is it black?

-It's basically because it's tarnished.

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And what you mustn't do is clean it. Leave it exactly like this.

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It's oxidised and it's gone down to this dark colour.

0:20:220:20:26

Now, many people would say that this is a snuff box,

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but they would be incorrect in saying that. The giveaway

0:20:300:20:34

is when we open it up,

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because if we do open it up, inside is a little mirror.

0:20:360:20:41

Now, that mirror means that this is a patch box.

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If I were an 18th-century dandy, and I'm sure I was in a former life,

0:20:440:20:49

I would be taking my patches out of here,

0:20:490:20:53

-and using this little mirror to position them on my face.

-So you'd have this in your pocket?

0:20:530:20:59

-Exactly. This is your portable patch box.

-Yeah.

0:20:590:21:03

This little one here dates from the same period

0:21:030:21:07

and has a more typical Georgian motif on it.

0:21:070:21:11

Again, it's Bilston and again, it's around about the same sort of date.

0:21:110:21:16

They're both very charming little items.

0:21:160:21:19

Value-wise, your £10 on that one, I think,

0:21:190:21:23

has multiplied to around about £150.

0:21:230:21:26

-How much?!

-About £150.

0:21:260:21:29

And this one, a little bit less, at probably around about...

0:21:290:21:33

-£100 to £150 - these are auction prices.

-I like that one better.

0:21:330:21:39

Well, I prefer The Gift Of A Friend, it's that little bit more special.

0:21:390:21:45

Mmm. I'm absolutely thrilled!

0:21:450:21:47

Kynoch Limited. Birmingham, England. Unless I'm very much mistaken,

0:21:500:21:55

-it'll be something to do with ammunition.

-Yes.

0:21:550:21:59

-They were a major manufacturer of ammunition.

-Yes.

0:21:590:22:03

Here we have the complete series of the processors

0:22:030:22:06

that were used to make a 303 mk7 rifle cartridge,

0:22:060:22:11

which was the standard British cartridge from 1888

0:22:110:22:16

until almost the 1960s. It survived for a very long time.

0:22:160:22:20

-Yeah.

-Originally a Swiss design. A chap called Rubin developed it.

0:22:200:22:25

It was one of those happy designs that was very, very efficient

0:22:250:22:30

and right first off and survived for a very long time,

0:22:300:22:34

-and much loved by many generations of servicemen.

-Yes, that's a fact.

0:22:340:22:38

There's a very interesting letter that comes with it

0:22:380:22:43

from the general manager of Kynoch to Admiral Goodwin,

0:22:430:22:47

who was deputy engineer-in-chief of the admiralty,

0:22:470:22:51

and it's dated 22nd June 1915, and it says,

0:22:510:22:55

"I'm sending you this specimen collection".

0:22:550:22:59

I suspect that this is probably something to do with the procurement process

0:22:590:23:05

-for ammunition for the Navy.

-Yes, I think so.

0:23:050:23:09

He'd just done a tour of the factory

0:23:090:23:13

-and I would imagine this was sent to him as a souvenir.

-Yes, yes.

0:23:130:23:18

-A very interesting thing. Where did you get it from? It's not the sort of thing that you see around.

-No.

0:23:180:23:25

My mother was of a naval family,

0:23:250:23:28

and they knew the Goodwin family,

0:23:280:23:32

and I knew his son, Lord Goodwin's son,

0:23:320:23:37

and...I was a teenager at the time, during the war.

0:23:370:23:44

He had a rather morbid interest in firearms.

0:23:440:23:49

-I don't think there's anything morbid about having an interest in firearms.

-He had this...

0:23:490:23:55

-In the house there were an awful lot of strange bombs and shells...

-Sounds like paradise to me.

0:23:550:24:01

..and strange things that were pertinent to the First World War.

0:24:010:24:07

-And I just had an interest in this...

-Very nice gift.

0:24:070:24:12

..which was curious, as far as I'm concerned, interesting.

0:24:120:24:16

Yes, very interesting.

0:24:160:24:19

It also has commercial value as well because ammunition collectors today

0:24:190:24:24

are interested in not just acquiring rounds of ammunition -

0:24:240:24:28

collecting ammunition is a very large market -

0:24:280:24:32

but there's also a great interest in anything that's connected with it,

0:24:320:24:37

so this has commercial value.

0:24:370:24:40

I think that it's worth about £750 to £1,000.

0:24:400:24:44

-Absolutely certain.

-Good grief!

0:24:470:24:50

This is a truly splendid piece.

0:24:500:24:53

It's a bit of high Victorian majolica, made by Mintons

0:24:530:24:58

in about 1875-1880. And I long to know how you come to have it.

0:24:580:25:04

I inherited it from my mother-in-law.

0:25:040:25:08

I went in to see her one day when she must have been in her late 80s,

0:25:080:25:12

and this was sitting on the floor...

0:25:120:25:15

underneath the table in the dining room, and I thought,

0:25:150:25:19

"That's not very secure, not very safe," and I said to her,

0:25:190:25:24

"Why have you put it on the floor?"

0:25:240:25:26

She said, "I'm going to give it to the jumble sale on Saturday, dear."

0:25:260:25:32

So I was appalled because I've always been very fond of it,

0:25:320:25:36

so I said to her, "Please don't do that, but could we buy it from you?"

0:25:360:25:42

And she said, "No, not at all, you can have it."

0:25:420:25:46

And I've always loved it. I love the glaze of it, I love the colourings.

0:25:460:25:50

Well, it's wonderful. We think it looks lovely out here,

0:25:500:25:55

we open it, take out the liner, and there's a beautiful turquoise glaze.

0:25:550:26:00

Look at the richness of that.

0:26:000:26:02

And then when we turn it up, there's all sorts of exciting things -

0:26:020:26:07

the pouter pigeons here... It really is a splendid object.

0:26:070:26:12

Now, when you offered to buy it from your mother-in-law,

0:26:120:26:16

did you ever consider how much you ought to be paying her for it?

0:26:160:26:21

-No, no. Never.

-Because, you know, nowadays,

0:26:210:26:24

if she still had it and you'd wanted to buy it from her,

0:26:240:26:29

I expect you might have had to pay her about £8,000.

0:26:290:26:34

-Well, I don't think I would have managed that somehow!

-That's probably what it's worth today.

0:26:340:26:41

You make me feel cold here!

0:26:450:26:47

-Got on everything I possess!

-We're very hardy.

0:26:470:26:51

Well, look, three graces - and disgraces! - a vision of loveliness on this cold day.

0:26:510:26:57

Now, why are you dressed in this costume and where has it all come from?

0:26:570:27:03

-We are all members of an amateur dramatic club in the Borders called Beaumont Theatre.

-Very good.

0:27:030:27:10

And we were very lucky in that we were given all these dresses by a resident from Yetholm.

0:27:100:27:16

She's now moved away, and she was wanting them to go to a good home where they would be used, so...

0:27:160:27:22

-So she gave them to the drama group.

-Yes.

-Wonderful!

0:27:220:27:26

-We do Noel Coward and...

-Have they been used recently?

-Yes. This one was on stage last night!

0:27:260:27:33

-This one's been used.

-Really?

-I've worn that one a couple of times.

0:27:330:27:38

-I've got it on today.

-Well, you're lucky because you've got sleeves!

0:27:380:27:43

Do any of them have a history?

0:27:430:27:47

Well, we believe that this one may have danced with the Prince of Wales who later married Mrs Simpson.

0:27:470:27:53

-Edward VIII that nearly was?

-It's possible that this one danced with him.

-How do you feel in it?

0:27:530:27:59

-Oh, fabulous!

-Do you feel like a princess?

-I do!

0:27:590:28:03

She's waiting for the Duke of Roxburghe!

0:28:030:28:06

Value-wise, they're not going to be terribly valuable.

0:28:060:28:11

Looking at them, probably the one that you're wearing,

0:28:110:28:15

and this, because the fabric is so sensational...

0:28:150:28:19

-The colours have stayed marvellous.

-I guess she had them packed away, or only wore them at night.

-Yes.

0:28:190:28:25

Those two are probably the most valuable,

0:28:250:28:29

But, even then, we're talking about under...maybe £100 for them.

0:28:290:28:33

-We didn't think of them as very valuable, we just didn't want to ruin them.

-I think you should enjoy them

0:28:330:28:40

-and they'll eventually fall to pieces and hopefully not when you're in them!

-Might make a sensation!

0:28:400:28:46

-That would draw the audiences, wouldn't it?

-Not at our age!

-Well, if the WI can do it...

-Indeed!

0:28:460:28:53

I don't know a great deal - that's probably why I'm here.

0:28:530:28:57

I know that it's quite old, I know that it's - I hope - quite valuable.

0:28:570:29:02

And it's one of my favourite pieces.

0:29:020:29:04

-You have a collection of porcelain?

-A small one, a very small one, yes.

0:29:040:29:09

-I think any collector would regard it as a gem.

-I'm glad to hear that.

0:29:090:29:15

You like rococo-style porcelain?

0:29:150:29:18

-I am collecting, really, early English.

-This is what you've got.

0:29:180:29:23

This is a wonderful piece of early English porcelain,

0:29:230:29:27

rococo moulded after silver shape.

0:29:270:29:30

It's made of a porcelain produced at Worcester, one of the classics.

0:29:300:29:35

This is a marvellous piece of moulding, decorating and printing.

0:29:350:29:40

Inside. it's printed in the style of Robert Hancock - swans on the pond,

0:29:400:29:45

and then we have square riggers in these cartouches on the side here,

0:29:450:29:50

but it evokes the early period of Worcester in the 1750s, just after the factory was established.

0:29:500:29:56

I think this is a lovely combination of foreign flowers,

0:29:560:30:01

Chinese flowers here, with English rococo moulding. Marvellous object.

0:30:010:30:06

I think it would realise between £3,000 and £4,000,

0:30:060:30:10

certainly at auction, and you'd have to pay more than that in a shop.

0:30:100:30:15

-Does that grab you?

-Very much so!

0:30:150:30:18

I purchased this in 1967/8

0:30:180:30:22

-and I know that I won't have paid more than £150 for it.

-Well, that's a pretty good deal.

-Yes, it was.

0:30:220:30:28

-Fantastic.

-At auction.

-Do you ever use it?

-Never!

0:30:280:30:32

No! I'm sorry, it stays in my cabinet.

0:30:320:30:36

-It's far too precious for that!

-You could start using it now.

0:30:360:30:40

-No, we won't! I don't think so, not really.

-No.

-No.

0:30:400:30:43

THUNDER RUMBLES

0:30:430:30:46

Well, the skies have opened and a mass migration is under way

0:30:460:30:51

in the direction of the marquee.

0:30:510:30:54

But what do you think it is? Initially...

0:30:540:30:57

it looks like a sort of container for holding an animal, perhaps?

0:30:570:31:03

-Hunting scenes.

-Yeah, it's decorated with hunting scenes.

-What does it do?

0:31:030:31:10

-I see, that opens.

-It's got a wooden base. I don't think that's right.

0:31:100:31:14

No, when you look at the quality of all that metalwork

0:31:140:31:18

and the way it's been sort of nailed onto the base...

0:31:180:31:23

I tell you... I think it's for... like a carriage warmer.

0:31:230:31:29

-Oh, you'd put charcoal in?

-Exactly.

0:31:290:31:31

-It would have had a metal base originally.

-Yeah, it's conceivable that it had a different base,

0:31:310:31:37

-maybe with a tray that lifted in or out.

-Which may have burnt through,

0:31:370:31:42

-and they nailed it onto a wood base.

-What about age, though?

0:31:420:31:47

-The fretwork looks good.

-Yeah. That's earlier than 19th century.

0:31:470:31:52

-Looks 18th century, doesn't it?

-The scenes are 18th, aren't they?

-Lovely decoration on the frieze.

0:31:520:31:58

Well, that's jolly good. It's a vesta case, for matches,

0:31:580:32:03

in the shape of a sentry box. It's got a guard on duty.

0:32:030:32:09

There's the strikes...on the bottom.

0:32:090:32:11

-Have you chased the hallmark?

-No, we haven't.

0:32:110:32:15

London, 1886.

0:32:150:32:18

£1,000.

0:32:180:32:20

That's very nice!

0:32:200:32:23

Now, I've just been talking to my colleagues about this.

0:32:230:32:27

We're all of the general opinion that it's called a Dutch warmer.

0:32:270:32:31

-Can you tell me how you acquired it?

-It came from my family,

0:32:310:32:35

-I think it's been in the family for a long time.

-It's a Dutch warmer.

0:32:350:32:39

I don't know whether you know what that is, but, basically,

0:32:390:32:44

-it was a receptacle that had charcoals in it...

-Yes.

0:32:440:32:47

It probably would have been used in a carriage to keep the inside warm,

0:32:470:32:53

and this is a nice example. Late 18th century,

0:32:530:32:56

decorated with hunting scenes. It's actually very, very decorative.

0:32:560:33:01

I think the base has been altered -

0:33:010:33:03

-for obvious reasons, it wouldn't have had a wooden base on it.

-Oh.

0:33:030:33:08

-But this is going to be worth around £200 or £300.

-Yes.

-Nice item.

0:33:080:33:12

My grandfather knew the artist and collected his paintings.

0:33:120:33:17

I have two more at home.

0:33:170:33:20

They were then left to my mother and, consequently, I have them now.

0:33:200:33:24

-So it's come directly through the family.

-Yes.

0:33:240:33:28

You've brought in two nice examples of Watterston Herald's work.

0:33:280:33:33

He did, for most of his life, work in and around the area of Arbroath,

0:33:330:33:38

-which is where he was born.

-Yes.

0:33:380:33:41

First of all, we'll look at this beautiful watercolour which is nice.

0:33:410:33:46

Titled - A Country Fair. A lovely sort of busy scene,

0:33:460:33:49

with some travelling entertainers entertaining the local folk.

0:33:490:33:55

It's a lovely example of what we call blottesque,

0:33:550:34:01

which was a style of watercolour painting

0:34:010:34:05

first introduced by Arthur Melville.

0:34:050:34:07

He was a wee bit earlier than Watterston Herald,

0:34:070:34:12

and he was one of the leading members of the Glasgow school.

0:34:120:34:17

The second one is, presumably, a view of the harbour in Arbroath -

0:34:170:34:21

most of his work was in the area.

0:34:210:34:24

Equally nice.

0:34:240:34:26

Again, this very similar application of the blottesque...

0:34:260:34:30

This perhaps illustrates it more effectively -

0:34:300:34:33

a sort of sponging out of the colour.

0:34:330:34:37

It softens the form of the composition - highly effective,

0:34:370:34:43

and was very popular during Herald's time. Do you have them insured?

0:34:430:34:48

-No.

-Well, Watterston Herald is an artist who is in vogue at present

0:34:480:34:53

and I would have thought this watercolour -

0:34:530:34:57

which is an important work by him -

0:34:570:35:00

-would probably make in the region of about £7,000 to £10,00 at auction.

-Good God!

0:35:000:35:06

The second picture is less important but still very nice,

0:35:060:35:10

-and we're talking of £3,000 to £5,000.

-Right.

0:35:100:35:15

-Nice news and thanks for bringing them in.

-Thank you. I'm delighted.

0:35:150:35:19

It looks good, but it's not a big enough desk, really, for a man.

0:35:190:35:23

It was bought by my grandfather for my grandmother when they lived near Lancaster

0:35:230:35:29

in the late '20s or the early '30s

0:35:290:35:32

from, I think, a shop called Waring and Gillow.

0:35:320:35:35

I see. Well, you mention a desk and it is really a secretaire cabinet,

0:35:350:35:41

but it's got all these different elements of style

0:35:410:35:45

which is very characteristic of a particular period -

0:35:450:35:49

which is earlier than when it was bought for your grandmother.

0:35:490:35:53

This gallery at the top -

0:35:530:35:55

very open, very tall - is quite Arts and Crafts in character

0:35:550:36:00

which takes it back to the 1880s, 1890s.

0:36:000:36:03

And in lots of ways, the angularity of it

0:36:030:36:07

-is related to Arts and Crafts furniture.

-Yes.

0:36:070:36:11

Multi-purpose - very much an English feature, with a desk at the top and cabinet at the bottom.

0:36:110:36:17

I think if we just...open there,

0:36:170:36:21

it's a pretty little straightforward secretaire interior, but as you say,

0:36:210:36:26

-it's female, it's a lady's desk.

-It has that feel.

0:36:260:36:30

-I think it was a very appropriate gift for my grandmother.

-Absolutely.

0:36:300:36:35

I think that's nice.

0:36:350:36:37

Above all that, is the decoration on the front of the cabinet,

0:36:370:36:43

particularly these great sprays of decoration,

0:36:430:36:48

-which look a bit like balloons.

-Yes.

0:36:480:36:52

-In fact, with the mother-of-pearl inlay, it's clearly honesty.

-Oh, I never thought of that.

0:36:520:36:59

-And with the whiplash stems here, we're in Art-Nouveau country.

-Yes.

0:36:590:37:04

The whiplash is very continental - French, Belgian Art Nouveau.

0:37:040:37:08

The angularity here is more secessionist Viennese Art Nouveau,

0:37:080:37:14

coming together in something with a slightly Arts and Crafts character.

0:37:140:37:18

Very English. I'm sure this is an English piece. And down here,

0:37:180:37:24

the cabinet part, little doors... And I think that is so smart.

0:37:240:37:30

Yes, I've loved that all my life,

0:37:300:37:33

since being able to crawl around and notice it!

0:37:330:37:36

-That is very sexy, I think.

-Well, that has never crossed my mind,

0:37:360:37:40

-but I'll think about it!

-That is delightful,

0:37:400:37:44

but also inside, it shows you that it's a music cabinet.

0:37:440:37:49

-Yes, yes.

-The quality of the piece of furniture is fantastic,

0:37:490:37:54

you've seen how these doors work.

0:37:540:37:57

The ground wood is mahogany. I don't know who made it.

0:37:570:38:01

Waring and Gillow established itself in the late 19th century,

0:38:010:38:05

but it's not the kind of style I associate with them.

0:38:050:38:09

Well, I understand from my father, whom I asked just the other day,

0:38:090:38:14

that this may not have been new when it was bought there at that time,

0:38:140:38:19

-because they also sold second-hand furniture.

-Excellent.

0:38:190:38:23

I think it was probably literally second-hand when he bought it.

0:38:230:38:27

Made around 1900-1910, and quite expensive when it was first made.

0:38:270:38:31

-Now, I think you would certainly put, for insurance purposes, at least £3,000.

-Mmm.

0:38:310:38:39

It's the kind of thing that is increasing in interest.

0:38:390:38:43

-It's a lovely piece of furniture. Thank you very much.

-Thank YOU.

0:38:430:38:47

-So...

-It was when ladies travelled with their own dressing case.

0:38:470:38:52

-In some style, one has to say.

-Absolutely.

0:38:520:38:56

Ready for any eventuality, you can see.

0:38:560:38:59

-You've even got a mirror here.

-Yes, which comes out and stands.

-Super.

0:38:590:39:04

So, with most of these cases, what you find are the things

0:39:040:39:08

-associated purely with the dressing table...

-Oh, but this is also a picnic set.

-It was, indeed,

0:39:080:39:16

-because we've got the spoons and forks...

-And I might say that the forks are so sharp,

0:39:160:39:22

-you have to be careful.

-Right!

0:39:220:39:24

What I think's marvellous though, is an object like this, the teapot.

0:39:240:39:29

All the different sections. Somebody has to sit down

0:39:300:39:34

-and work all this out for everything to fit...

-Beautifully made.

0:39:340:39:39

..inside everything else. Here's the little lamp...

0:39:390:39:42

A little methylated spirits burner.

0:39:420:39:46

So, meths in that, yes.

0:39:460:39:48

That slots in there...

0:39:480:39:51

then that comes out of there...

0:39:510:39:54

Ooh, glass container. I suppose you keep your tea in there.

0:39:540:40:00

I always thought you drank out of it, although it might be a bit hot!

0:40:000:40:04

Yes, that may be a problem. So, you can happily make whatever.

0:40:040:40:09

It's wonderful. It's wonderful. It is, of course, French.

0:40:090:40:14

-Yes, so I believe.

-This decoration, which is engine turning,

0:40:140:40:19

was actually a technique developed by the French in the 18th century.

0:40:190:40:24

You don't really find it in England before the 19th century,

0:40:240:40:29

but it's in wonderful condition.

0:40:290:40:31

-Now, you're saying about 18...?

-1830s, maybe? I don't know.

0:40:330:40:38

-That fits to perfection.

-Oh, good.

0:40:380:40:40

Because the French marks that we've got here are between 1820 and 1840.

0:40:400:40:47

Oh, good.

0:40:470:40:49

But the contents are really quite phenomenal.

0:40:490:40:53

That is to put your toothbrush in.

0:40:530:40:55

-There are toothbrushes in it.

-Oh, gosh!

-There were.

0:40:550:40:59

Oh, and there we are, yes.

0:40:590:41:01

And, of course, you can set in the new bristles.

0:41:010:41:05

Let's see what else we've got. Oh, gosh!

0:41:050:41:09

Look at this all. The scissors... and the writing equipment...

0:41:090:41:13

-if you wanted to write letters...

-Yes, and a little blotter.

0:41:130:41:18

-Let's go a little bit lower.

-Couple of jars...

0:41:180:41:21

Actually, if I take that out...

0:41:230:41:25

-Ah, what have we got here?

-Clothes brush.

0:41:280:41:31

-Brushes...well, a brush.

-A hairbrush.

0:41:310:41:35

Oh, look at that, it's all set in ivory, there.

0:41:350:41:39

What's in here?

0:41:390:41:41

-I think that...

-Another brush.

0:41:410:41:44

That needs a bit of olive oil or something,

0:41:440:41:47

just rub that gently into the surface. You'll be amazed how that brings that back.

0:41:470:41:53

Perfume containers and so on.

0:41:530:41:56

You can smell... One of these, you can actually smell.

0:41:560:41:59

-It's looks as if there's something in it.

-I can't open it. You do it.

0:41:590:42:05

-Oh, there we are.

-Now, you smell that.

0:42:050:42:08

I've a dreadful sense of smell. It has to be strong for me to smell it.

0:42:080:42:13

Oh, I can smell that, yes.

0:42:130:42:16

-So old.

-It's like touching history. That's been in there 100 years.

0:42:160:42:21

-So...

-Or more.

0:42:210:42:23

A French set, so complete. All these wonderful objects...

0:42:230:42:27

-Some of these objects themselves...

-I know.

-..are worth a bit of money.

0:42:270:42:32

Today, if this was coming up at auction,

0:42:320:42:36

you would probably have to think in terms of at least

0:42:360:42:40

-£8,000 to £10,000.

-Mmm.

-I wouldn't be surprised to see it going at rather more than that,

0:42:400:42:46

because it is marvellously complete.

0:42:460:42:49

As well as some choice items, we've had the total weather experience today.

0:42:510:42:56

To put it in the local vernacular, at first it was bonny, then it started smirring

0:42:560:43:00

and now it's decidedly dreich. We're coming back next week,

0:43:000:43:04

when we'll tell you more about Mellerstain House.

0:43:040:43:08

But, for now, from Berwickshire, goodbye.

0:43:080:43:12

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.