Clitheroe Antiques Roadshow


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Clitheroe

More interesting valuables revealed by Michael Aspel in Clitheroe. Discoveries include one of the earliest vacuum cleaners and a collection of porcelain pugs.


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Welcome to a part of England that's full of legend from irascible gods

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to cantankerous witches to visions of a religious nature.

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We've come back to Clitheroe, a delightful town in the Ribble Valley of Lancashire.

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Fable and folktale dominate the proceedings,

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and this 900-year-old castle guards what's claimed to be the oldest borough in the land.

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The Norman keep hasn't seen a lot of action, except for this gash,

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supposedly caused by an angry exchange between rock-hurling gods.

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Another explanation is that Oliver Cromwell fired a cannonball at the keep

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from nearby Pendle Hill, obviously on a clear day.

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For centuries, people have enjoyed a climb to the top of Pendle,

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but when George Fox clambered up here in 1652, he experienced more than a breath of fresh air -

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he had a vision of God which inspired him to form a new religion, Quakerism.

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It was also the haunt of the so-called Pendle witches -

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rival matriarchs who scared the locals with their spells

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and were dragged off to Lancaster and hanged.

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The good townsfolk of Clitheroe had no truck with boiling toads.

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They earned an honest living making clogs and toiling in cotton mills.

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That's now gone, but the hole that was left has been replaced by another.

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Over the years, this cement quarry has provided welcome employment and added yet more mythical creatures

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to the Clitheroe landscape, in the shape of these modern earth-moving monsters.

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But that's enough of local legend. Our job is to unearth the real thing.

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The Roadshow comes from the Roefield Leisure Centre.

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These are knife boxes, obviously.

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-How long have you had them?

-We've had them about three years.

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-And you inherited them?

-Yes, we did.

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-It's unlikely you'd have bought them in this rather sad state.

-No.

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We'll deal with that in a minute.

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The first thing is to open the lid and see whether or not...

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fortunately, yes, these retain their original pierced containers,

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simply because so many... Let's have a look at the other one.

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Right. Lovely.

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-..so many have been taken out or gutted and made into stationery boxes...

-Yes.

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..in the 1920s, so that's good. We then only have to consider restoration.

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I've just noticed something - you see this wonderful panelling?

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-Yes.

-That marquetry was put in about 1780, 1790.

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That's the colour that the furniture of that time would have been. When you see it on bits of furniture,

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that's how bright the colours were

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and that looks almost new, which is wonderful, so we need to just look and see how bad these really are.

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-That one, I think, only needs the hinge fixing and the front.

-Yes.

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Now, it looks pretty awful, but, in fact, if these were taken to pieces, it's not a very complicated job

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to put them back together, and when they're done, I think,

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both of these boxes will be worth in the region of £400 to £500 each.

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Thank you. I also inherited this cabinet.

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-This one?

-Yes.

-Let's have a look.

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Wow!

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Well!

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Well, you know, this is very interesting,

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because in 20 years' time,

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this is the type of furniture somebody will be talking about,

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because this is the 1920s version...

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-..of a sort of Queen Anne cabinet.

-Yes.

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The original of this didn't really exist, but the form did -

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the cabinet with lacquer or painted decoration,

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large hinges in the Chinese manner on an English-type stand.

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Parcel gilding - that means partly gilded -

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so you have little parts of gilding here

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to show the highlights on a walnut base with these cabriole legs.

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The two were put together any time after 1680 through to about 1715, the end of Queen Anne's reign.

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The originals will by that time, I'm sure, be so scarce and so valuable

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that I doubt people will be bringing them along outside of a museum,

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whereas, of course, the 1920s versions,

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which this is, have not been considered really worthy as antiques yet.

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Time will catch up, and when you look at it clinically, this is a good-looking piece of furniture.

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-It's very pretty, isn't it?

-Yes.

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-We like it.

-And it has... The little drawers work. Oh, look!

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"Hamptons of London". That explains, because they were extremely good quality makers

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known for their products, and retailers,

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this superb quality here, which you very rarely find, actually, on this type of furniture.

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Look at that!

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Couldn't better that.

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Look at these. Lovely.

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Well, that's a little bonus...

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..and inside is plain, I presume?

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-Yes.

-They nearly always were. Just a couple of shelves.

-Yes.

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-And it's a cocktail cabinet or drinks cabinet.

-Yes.

-Let's see...

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When I first started the business, these cabinets were £10 to £15.

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Mind you, that is in the 1950s - that's a long time ago.

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But they were almost only second-hand, you see.

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However, time has increased. Now a little cabinet would be in the region of £2,500 to £3,000.

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-Very nice.

-Yes, but of course the original would be £20,000 or £30,000.

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-Right.

-As prices go up, here we have the antiques of the future.

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Aren't these beautiful? They look just like Royal Crown Derby Imari,

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-but they're not.

-No.

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-Who actually did them?

-My mother.

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-Your mother painted all these?

-Yes.

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-She did the whole lot?

-Yes, she did.

-Was she trained at the factory?

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No, she just went to evening classes

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when she'd be... Oh, she'd probably be about 60 before she started,

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and, of course, she was hooked then - she couldn't leave it alone.

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I can imagine. There's a great vogue nowadays for china painting by ladies. They join clubs.

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-Your mother wasn't in a club?

-No, she did it purely as a hobby.

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I'm president of one of the clubs and I know how keen they are.

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It's a wonderfully satisfying thing to do, but this is remarkably professional. It's incredible work.

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Absolutely beautiful, and in such wonderful condition,

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but if you bought these from, say, Royal Crown Derby, these would be into the £1,000 bracket.

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That's not saying these will be, as they're painted by your mother,

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but they're still going to be of fair value.

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You might think about insurance of, say, I think £500 on each piece, as they are quite superb.

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Fisher girls, obviously, fisher girl looking out to sea,

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got her baskets, waiting for the boats to come in.

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I've had a look, but I can't see a signature.

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-No, we haven't.

-What can you tell me about it?

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-Not much. It was in my parents' house for many years...

-Yes.

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-..then it was handed it down to me.

-You've had it cleaned.

-Yes.

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-I can see. They couldn't find a signature?

-No. I've had somebody trying to find a signature -

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she's an antique valuer and she's not been able to find one either.

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-I think I've got an idea.

-You have?

-I'll tell you who I think this picture's by.

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-Milner. William Edward Milner. You may not have heard of him.

-I haven't.

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He has a distinct style and distinct colours he uses,

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and as soon as I saw this picture, I thought, "Milner".

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Now, he is known for sort of country scenes and farming scenes.

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He lived in Gainsborough in Lincolnshire.

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Now, there is something called Gainsborough Museum,

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where there are a number of pictures by Milner.

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-You'll have to make a trip there.

-Go and find out.

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Check up - if it IS by Milner, it's certainly worth £2,000 or £3,000.

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In fact, I think it could be more, perhaps £3,000 to £5,000, so very exciting little discovery.

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Thank you very much.

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Lovely flagons - where do they come from?

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They come from our local parish church, but I've brought them from the bank where they're secure.

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That's a sensible idea these days, but do you use them on occasions?

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We use them for the main festivals, Christmas and Easter and...

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That's great. I'm a great believer that church plates should be used.

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It's so sad when it does so often reside just in the bag.

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As objects, they're fascinating with their development and history,

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and these two together do show some of that development.

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The origins, most people don't realise, are actually secular, not ecclesiastic,

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and if you go back into the 16th century,

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you find that pairs of flagons were being produced which were very much, if I cover up the lip there,

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very much that form, and you'd use them at banquets when replenishing the wine cups, this sort of idea.

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You see them in paintings carrying them in, which is wonderful,

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but then, as we move into the 17th century, they became obsolete for secular use

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and people started to give them to churches for replenishing the Communion Cup.

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The church thought, "What a wonderful idea,"

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so they started to make them specifically for church use

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and so, of course, today people associate them, because so many of them are in churches, with churches.

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And that form was very much the sort of elongated tankard, if you like, continued through the 18th century.

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So, when you look at the lid,

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that of an 18th century tankard with the thumbpiece,

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but then as you move on to this one... Where are we?

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Yes, it's got, um...

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1828, actually, for this one,

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and the maker - Emes And Barnard.

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Very good maker, that's Rebecca Emes and Edward Barnard.

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-Right.

-The firm was registered, funnily enough,

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as Widow Emes and Barnard.

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Is it unusual to have a lady doing it?

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Lots of women were involved in the running of companies -

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we had some wonderful women silversmiths.

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-Really?

-Actually, Rebecca Emes was one of the best.

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-Probably the best was Anne Tanqueray. There are over 300 recorded.

-Really?

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Oh, yes, so the Emes and Barnard of that period,

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and by then, 1828, you've got a lip coming - they decided that would make it easier to pour.

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Now, what's fascinating is that they...

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having got that one in your church, they obviously decided they wanted another one,

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and I have to say they didn't spend quite so much money this time.

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This one has these wonderful mounts here - really, really good quality.

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Notice how much more simple these are, just looking at the lip, that's a very simple lip,

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these wonderful leaves, so perhaps there wasn't so much money.

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-No.

-Have you noticed what's happened to the lid?

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The thumbpiece has disappeared,

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-and in its place you've now got a finial.

-Yes.

-So you can see all the time there's this evolving form.

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-This is also Barnard's, but this is after Rebecca Emes has retired.

-Yes.

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So you've got Barnard's on their own.

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-Right.

-Um, we're 1836 for this one, so just those few years later...

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-Only a few years between them.

-Yeah. I would've thought probably to insure for £2,000 each.

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Right, yes. Excellent. Thank you very much.

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I was left it by my Godmother, who was also my mother's sister.

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It was left to me as a jewellery box, but I don't know its history.

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-Do you use it for jewellery?

-No.

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It has these little drawers to accommodate jewellery and they have nice wooden linings,

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so that'd be absolutely right,

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and in the old days, when it was made, it might have been intended for such things.

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-OK.

-How did your family come by it?

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Well, my aunt worked for the manageress of a shop in Clitheroe

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and apparently an elderly gentleman took a fancy to her and kept bringing her presents,

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apparently he was well travelled. That's all I know.

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She was given it just before or just after the war, but I'm not sure of the date.

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-Yes. Did he travel in Japan?

-I've always thought it was Japanese and there might be some bronze in it.

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Somebody told me there was bronze in it, but it's not all bronze.

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Yes, well, there's a whole variety of metals in here.

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If we look at the front door, you've got a flaked gold background,

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which has been damascened into the background of bronze,

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so to damascene a metal you take a rough file, and then into that burr, rather like Velcro,

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-you hammer another metal...

-Right.

-..and polish it

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until it takes on this absolutely smooth surface that we've got here.

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And this little character is a man called Fuku-rokujin.

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-"Fuku", believe it or not, is Japanese for "happiness".

-Right.

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-He's the god of happiness.

-I did wonder what the figures meant.

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Round the side,

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you've another of the gods of good fortune and happiness -

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a man called Daikoku, recognisable because he's got a little hammer,

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and inside the drawer, I noticed two cranes,

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and the cranes, again, symbols of long life and happiness,

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so the gift was to encourage her to live long and happily.

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-How nice.

-Which is very nice.

-Yes.

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And beautifully made around 1900, so quite late,

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and it could've been bought by this man in Japan.

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-Yes.

-What he would've paid then would've been a small amount,

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but at auction today, this would make easily £2,000 to £3,000,

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-um, and it's a cracking bit. Lovely. Beautifully made.

-Thank you.

-Thank you for bringing it.

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Pugs galore! Pugs to the left of us and pugs to the right of us!

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What started you off collecting pugs?

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Well, I had live pugs originally.

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-Yes.

-And one sort of develops an interest in the breed,

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so I started collecting anything to do with pugs.

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-They're fascinating dogs.

-Yes.

-Which is your favourite?

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-The white one.

-This one?

-I think so.

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Yes, that's very beautiful.

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-Beautifully modelled. They always have little bells round them.

-Yes.

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They derive, of course, from Meissen. This is a Meissen one,

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the crossed swords of Meissen,

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early 19th century, but very beautiful, and you have the partner?

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-I do, but she's broken.

-Shame!

-Yes.

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A beautiful thing, and there was a big vogue in Germany for pugs.

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-Were they mixed up with the Masons?

-So I believe, but I don't know any details.

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They had pugs when they weren't allowed to be Masons,

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and so pugs represented the Masonic movement, and if somebody saw you with a pug,

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-they knew you were a Mason.

-Really?

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I gather so. They produced great ones. That really is beautiful.

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-Yes.

-It's super, and they go from German ones - lots of German ones...

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In fact, this great big girl here is a German pug.

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Massive. Is this life-size?

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-Slightly larger, I think.

-Larger.

-Just slightly, yes, I think. Yes.

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This one...this group is actually Worcester. It's a wonderful little group of Worcester pugs

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modelled by James Hadley back in the 19th century -

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about 1870, something like that - and that...

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They are sweet, but strange colours.

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-Very strange.

-This is fun.

-Yes.

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This little chap is wonderful. I suppose, he's an iced water jug?

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You put iced water in there...

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-I suppose so.

-When you pour it out, the ice doesn't drop out through the mouth...

-No.

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-..or it'd plonk into the glass.

-I'd never thought of that.

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He's a Staffordshire chap. I suppose end of the 19th century, but he's absolutely hilarious fun.

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Would you call him a fairing?

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No, he's better than a fairing.

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These are fairings, little German fairings.

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-Yes.

-Things you bought at the fair.

-That's right.

-They're cheapos,

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but he's a good quality ornament.

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He's great. It's terribly exciting.

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The whole collection is great. It gives you enormous joy?

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-Oh, enormous pleasure.

-Are you worried about their values?

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I am about Prudence, whether I ought to insure her separately.

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-Who?

-Prudence.

-Prudence.

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-I call her Prudence.

-I see.

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Prudence for a pug dog. Prudence. Yeah.

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Well, she's German majolica,

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and majolica is now very, very popular.

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-If it were a Minton one or a George Jones one, it would be in the many thousands.

-Of course.

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But I suppose this German one...

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you've got to be thinking of £2,000 or £3,000 for Prudence.

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The others aren't in that league. A Meissen one, being one of a pair,

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the other one broken, is going to be about £600 or £700.

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Very nice chap. The pair would be up into the.. well into the four-figure bracket...

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-Yes.

-..if the other one had been perfect.

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-Yes.

-The Worcester group is nice.

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We must be thinking somewhere in the terms of, I suppose, £400 or £500,

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-and the other ones are up into the £100 bracket, most of them.

-Yes.

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The water jug is very fun - £100 - but a lovely collection.

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-Thank you very much.

-Enjoy them.

-I will indeed.

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-Carry on collecting pugs.

-I will. Thank you very much.

-Thank you.

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This is a delightful piece. Tell me where you got it and what you know about it.

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I don't know a lot about it. Me aunt left a few pieces of jewellery.

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That was one I thought was pretty, but I was told it was plastic.

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-Were you? By whom?

-A jeweller. He's retired from the trade, so...

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I see. Actually, this...

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it is a shell cameo,

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but he might've been a bit deceived,

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because this pink background comes from a particular sort of shell. It's a conch shell -

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-pronounced "conc" and spelt "conch".

-Yes.

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There are two sorts - common ones with the brown background

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and this is the much more uncommon type, called a strombus shell,

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and it's beautifully carved with...

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I would say Cupid and this dove which is the symbol of love.

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-Yes.

-It's all very symbolic

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and it's got this beautiful little Neoclassical detail below it.

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It's charming and delightful.

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I'd say the period of the carving on this is around 1875 to 1880,

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and so I think you should insure this for something like about £750.

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-You're joking!

-No.

-For a piece of plastic?

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-Well, it's rather an expensive piece of plastic.

-It is, isn't it?

0:21:160:21:21

This isn't a red book, but I thought you'd like it.

0:21:210:21:26

If you'd put it in your archives, I'd be very pleased.

0:21:260:21:30

-My...

-40 years old almost.

-It is.

-Yes, in '63.

0:21:300:21:34

-This is a valuable thing.

-Well, with a dust jacket,

0:21:340:21:38

-but I thought that you'd like it for your family to say, "That's what Grandpa did."

-Grandpa?!

0:21:380:21:45

-You never know, in years to come, Great-Grandpa!

-Yes, it's heading that way.

0:21:450:21:52

He's called Daniel Ridgway Knight.

0:21:520:21:54

He's not English, but he's American,

0:21:540:21:57

and he was an American artist, born in Pennsylvania in the 1830s,

0:21:570:22:01

and he studied in the Academy of Pennsylvania,

0:22:010:22:06

but he gave that up and, in 1861, came to Paris and studied in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.

0:22:060:22:12

He loved Paris so much, he went back to America, came back with his wife,

0:22:120:22:17

and he lived in Paris, really, from the 1870s onwards,

0:22:170:22:21

and had a studio 15 miles outside Paris.

0:22:210:22:24

Obviously, this is taken from that area.

0:22:240:22:27

It's a wonderful one. How did it come into your family?

0:22:270:22:31

-It was passed down from my father-in-law.

-Right.

0:22:310:22:34

-It's been given about 20 years ago.

-20 years ago? My goodness!

0:22:340:22:40

-I don't know how long they had it.

-Right. And no French or American connections in your family?

-No.

0:22:400:22:46

Let's look at it. It's very important to look at pictures -

0:22:460:22:50

so many people say, "I never noticed that."

0:22:500:22:53

Look at the detail of this 19th century artist -

0:22:530:22:57

this wonderful still life of the vegetables.

0:22:570:23:01

Obviously having a cup of coffee before or after they go to market.

0:23:010:23:05

-Yes.

-And look at the dog waiting patiently.

0:23:050:23:08

-Yes.

-And the old men playing cards.

0:23:080:23:11

It's full of life, it's full of...

0:23:110:23:14

And it's so beautifully painted, every detail is there, the colouring of the clothes. It's just wonderful.

0:23:140:23:21

It seems to be life's so simple.

0:23:210:23:23

-Exactly. Wouldn't it be nice? Not so simple today, is it?

-No.

0:23:230:23:28

-Well now, have you ever had it valued?

-No.

0:23:280:23:32

What do you think it's worth? Two million dollar question!

0:23:320:23:36

I shouldn't ask that. It's unfair.

0:23:360:23:38

Yeah, I mean, we know it's pretty old. A nice piece.

0:23:380:23:42

Yes, but most people think old means money, but that isn't the truth.

0:23:420:23:47

-It's rarity, it's what's in fashion.

-Yes, yes.

0:23:470:23:51

-Because it's old doesn't mean money - a portrait from 1700 could be worth very little.

-Yes.

0:23:510:23:58

But this is a very in-vogue artist and the Americans are interested

0:23:580:24:03

-because they haven't got a huge school of art.

-Right.

0:24:030:24:07

Even if they lived in Paris...

0:24:070:24:10

So, well, I think, if it came up for auction,

0:24:100:24:13

-and it's the saleroom value we're talking about - £20,000 to £30,000.

-Really? Oh, my goodness!

0:24:130:24:20

I can't tell you now! Won't tell my husband!

0:24:210:24:25

This is an important rifle, from the historical point of view -

0:24:250:24:30

-it's the first breech-loading rifle to be used by the British Army.

-Yes.

0:24:300:24:34

It's called a Snider after the American inventor of the action, who was called Jacob Snider,

0:24:340:24:40

and who produced this action to convert muzzle-loading firearms into breech loaders.

0:24:400:24:47

From the 1860s, cartridges started to be developed,

0:24:470:24:51

and governments found they had full arsenals

0:24:510:24:54

of these fine muzzle-loading arms, which were immediately obsolete,

0:24:540:24:59

so they looked for conversions to save money and give them space

0:24:590:25:04

so they could develop a proper breech loader.

0:25:040:25:07

My feeling is this was built as a breech loader,

0:25:070:25:10

-but using this action intended to convert muzzle loaders.

-Yes.

0:25:100:25:15

This one is built by Thomas Turner of Fisher Street in Birmingham.

0:25:150:25:20

Turner was there

0:25:200:25:23

from 1838 to 1890,

0:25:230:25:26

and he was a very prolific maker of small arms, and a contractor to the War Office

0:25:260:25:33

and he was a very important man in the Birmingham gun trade.

0:25:330:25:37

This would've been made for a soldier in the Volunteer Movement -

0:25:370:25:43

a citizen army, fashionable in Victorian times.

0:25:430:25:46

They'd to go to Wimbledon Common and shoot. They had many social events.

0:25:460:25:50

This would've been bought by each soldier and it would have been made to a proper government patent,

0:25:500:25:58

-so it'd fire government ammunition, so it's a sort of semi-military arm...

-Private-militia-like?

0:25:580:26:05

Yes, yes, they were part of the sort of defence of the realm.

0:26:050:26:10

It was the patriotic duty of everybody to join up and its action is very interesting, very simple -

0:26:100:26:16

pull the hammer back, pull that protector off,

0:26:160:26:20

and to load it you just flip the breech over, drop your cartridge in,

0:26:200:26:25

flip that back, and you're ready to go.

0:26:250:26:29

It was really a very clever idea - very simple and very efficient.

0:26:290:26:34

Where did you get it from? It's in very, very good condition.

0:26:340:26:39

I went to a gun shop for a foresight for an old airgun I had.

0:26:390:26:44

I knew the gunsmith and he said, "I've some old guns upstairs."

0:26:440:26:49

When I got there, I spotted this box with these two guns in,

0:26:490:26:55

so I came down and asked him if he wanted to sell them and he said,

0:26:550:27:00

"I was going to put them on the wall, but people might be looking at them instead of my wares,"

0:27:000:27:07

so I gave him £20 for them, but that's about 40 years ago.

0:27:070:27:11

£20 for the two?

0:27:110:27:13

-What happened to the other one?

-I sold it when I got married.

0:27:130:27:18

-Oh, right. So, effectively, this owes you nothing?

-No.

0:27:180:27:22

Today you would expect to pay

0:27:220:27:26

about £650, £700 for a rifle like this

0:27:260:27:29

in as good a condition as this, and it's in excellent condition.

0:27:290:27:34

It's got its original finish by a prominent maker. A great piece of history.

0:27:340:27:40

Yeah, I like the rifle itself. I have it over the fireplace.

0:27:400:27:44

-It's an excellent piece. Thanks for bringing it.

-Yes, thank you.

0:27:440:27:49

-Aha, do you know what this is?

-It's the Italian mark for Genoa.

0:27:490:27:55

You're right. In fact, it's the mark of the Savona factory,

0:27:550:27:59

which somebody's written on the label, but what object is depicted?

0:27:590:28:04

I can't see without me specs!

0:28:040:28:06

I'll tell you, then - a lighthouse.

0:28:060:28:09

-Right.

-In the old days, you didn't have a light at the top of a tower -

0:28:090:28:14

you had a boom into which you put a burning bush which was then raised.

0:28:140:28:18

That's the lighthouse mark of the Savona factory.

0:28:180:28:21

You've got a nice Savona majolica dish painted with...

0:28:210:28:25

well, it's probably Nero, the Roman Emperor.

0:28:250:28:29

-Yes.

-It's Claudius Caesar Nero Domitius Augustus VI.

0:28:290:28:32

We've a burning city in the background - that'd confirm Nero.

0:28:320:28:36

I'd like it to be more hilly, if it's supposed to be Rome.

0:28:360:28:41

It's from a long way off, you know!

0:28:410:28:43

It's worth somewhere in the... Do you know what it's worth?

0:28:430:28:47

I'm not bothered about the price - I'm the custodian of this plate.

0:28:470:28:52

-I'm not going to tell you.

-I'm not bothered. I'd say it's about £600.

0:28:520:28:57

-You've done my job for me!

-That's what I said.

-Would you like to take my table?

0:28:570:29:02

-It's not going to pick up that dust.

-It isn't, is it?

0:29:020:29:06

-I'd be here for 10 years.

-I'm sure.

0:29:060:29:09

How did you find this?

0:29:090:29:11

It belonged to my husband's great-aunt.

0:29:110:29:14

She was 96 when she died and we've had it about 16 years.

0:29:140:29:18

-So it has a history of family use?

-It's been in the family a while.

0:29:180:29:22

-Having just had a go with it, I can see it doesn't generate much of a vacuum any more.

-Not at all.

0:29:220:29:29

It has a dust bag inside it with a seal, like a giant bicycle pump.

0:29:290:29:34

Obviously, you literally suck the bits off the floor into it.

0:29:340:29:39

-Yes.

-It worked then, and obviously it was relatively efficient at the time.

0:29:390:29:45

When I say "time", I'm talking round about 1900, 1910.

0:29:450:29:49

Now, we're not talking high value - it's just an interesting domestic item. It's a bygone item

0:29:490:29:56

that really is quite, quite socially interesting, I suppose.

0:29:560:30:00

-I've sold these at auction in their boxes for about £80.

-Right.

-Not an enormous amount.

0:30:000:30:06

-No.

-They are curios. Without its box, it'll be worth £50, £60.

0:30:060:30:11

-Yes.

-It's the kind of thing that generates a bit of interest.

0:30:110:30:16

-Yes.

-Thank you for bringing it along.

-Thank you.

0:30:160:30:20

-Who is she?

-A lady called Carol Stewart who hails from Kirkcudbright in Scotland.

-Yes.

0:30:200:30:26

And the painting was done of her when she was about five years old, we think,

0:30:260:30:33

which would date it at about 1914-ish,

0:30:330:30:38

by WS MacGeorge.

0:30:380:30:41

Yes, I see the signature. That's William Stuart MacGeorge.

0:30:410:30:45

-Yes.

-So...been in the family?

0:30:450:30:48

Yes, the lady in question was a very, very close friend of my mother's,

0:30:480:30:55

and she actually gave it to my mother about 35 years ago,

0:30:550:30:59

and as my mother no longer has the space to take care of it, she's given it to me for my safekeeping.

0:30:590:31:06

-You're a lucky man.

-Thank you.

-It's a charming picture.

0:31:060:31:10

Well, now, MacGeorge was a late-19th century, early-20th Scottish Impressionist,

0:31:100:31:17

and is well known for pictures of children, very often groups of girls in a landscape, in a wood,

0:31:170:31:24

but this is unusual - I don't see many of these.

0:31:240:31:28

This is a portrait by him, an actual commissioned portrait.

0:31:280:31:33

In one sense, a charming Scottish picture,

0:31:330:31:36

but also a picture of Edwardian childhood. Couldn't be more typical.

0:31:360:31:41

Well, MacGeorge's pictures of girls are very popular and very saleable, and, I would say, in an auction

0:31:410:31:48

you're going to get at least £5,000 for this - £5,000 or £6,000 - and it's such a charming image.

0:31:480:31:55

-If you cleaned it and took the glass off, you should be insuring it for £10,000.

-Wow.

0:31:550:32:01

My father gave it to my mother, um, about in the '30s, I think.

0:32:030:32:08

They did a lot of socialising and I think Mum wore it lots.

0:32:080:32:13

I can remember her wearing it and that's all there is to it, really.

0:32:130:32:19

-It is a very wearable thing.

-It seems quite ageless.

0:32:190:32:22

Yes, absolutely. Well, I think it probably was made a little earlier than the 30s -

0:32:220:32:29

it's typical of the Edwardian style or the Belle Epoch

0:32:290:32:33

after jewellers had started using platinum to mount diamonds in,

0:32:330:32:37

because platinum's very hard and strong and they're able to get away with the minimum amount of metal

0:32:370:32:44

and produce this sort of very delicate lacy effect,

0:32:440:32:48

and if one looks at the gallery here,

0:32:480:32:52

and you see how delicately that's done,

0:32:520:32:55

how little there is and how beautiful it is,

0:32:550:32:58

and how nice the back of it is. This would be a natural pearl.

0:32:580:33:03

-So irregular, isn't it?

-Fished from the Arabian Gulf, as the cultured pearls hadn't been invented.

0:33:030:33:10

It didn't come on the market until about 1920, so, um, quite a valuable piece of jewellery.

0:33:100:33:17

-I've not noticed half those things!

-Why should you?

-You're the expert.

0:33:170:33:22

-Do you have it insured at all?

-Um, nothing spectacular, no.

0:33:220:33:27

I think you'd find it very hard to replace this for much under £3,500 to £4,000 today,

0:33:270:33:33

-so perhaps you should...

-That's lovely to hear. Thank you.

-Thank you for bringing it along.

0:33:330:33:39

It's a piece I bought eight or nine years ago.

0:33:390:33:42

I fell in love with it when I saw it.

0:33:420:33:45

You couldn't not. I mean, made what 1680, 1690.

0:33:450:33:49

-I would've guessed, but...

-Before the 18th century.

0:33:490:33:53

This lovely turned columns with balustrades, and this perfect gate-leg action, comes out,

0:33:530:33:59

You've got to fall in love with that! It's a little person! It's absolutely wonderful.

0:33:590:34:06

Now, this is cherry wood and... Oh, look at that moulding! Look at that!

0:34:060:34:11

-I fell in love with the pattern on the...

-Well, you've got a gun barrel stem,

0:34:110:34:17

bobbin turning, then a baluster,

0:34:170:34:20

so you've three patterns, which is great, and these are Persic columns.

0:34:200:34:24

A Persic column is one that's turned to match one end to the other, so that's identical, this end to that,

0:34:240:34:31

so a Persic column turning - complicated to do when you've just got a pole lathe to work with,

0:34:310:34:38

and fruit wood is a devil - it's unstable, anyway,

0:34:380:34:42

so he chose carefully the timber, then obviously was a master turner.

0:34:420:34:48

The thing is, somebody would look at it and say, "The leaves have been cut.

0:34:480:34:53

"They wouldn't make it like that," but I don't think so, because, if you look here,

0:34:530:34:59

this is dry, as we saw underneath. Very, very dry, lovely, crisp.

0:34:590:35:04

The way these pegs stand out is magic, little natural shrinkage,

0:35:040:35:08

and then, gradually, you get to the shiny part where the duster would have caught, OK?

0:35:080:35:15

Now, two things to look at.

0:35:150:35:17

Firstly, round the edge here is the sort of patination that comes from lifting up a leaf over 300 years.

0:35:170:35:24

You can't fake that - that wouldn't be there if these leaves had been cut, because they'd be down here.

0:35:240:35:31

The other thing - and most definite to me - is that this is where it's been polished.

0:35:310:35:37

If the leaves came to there, this would be as dry as this part here.

0:35:370:35:42

-Yes.

-I mean, that makes sense, doesn't it? I think fantastic!

0:35:420:35:47

This is so beautiful.

0:35:470:35:50

-Some of these... That's original.

-Are they original?

0:35:500:35:54

That's an original foot. Some have been replaced, but I'd forgive that.

0:35:540:35:59

These are still here, the little end feet.

0:35:590:36:03

That follows through. That's the same piece of wood.

0:36:030:36:06

If we were that old, we'd have had OUR feet replaced!

0:36:060:36:09

I'd like to believe I'd have my own feet then!

0:36:090:36:13

But absolutely super. Now, then, what about price?

0:36:130:36:17

-Um, what did you pay for it?

-From memory, I think it was about £950.

0:36:170:36:23

Well, today a little table like that would certainly cost about £6,500.

0:36:230:36:28

Very good to know. Thank you very much.

0:36:280:36:32

-I bought them in auction.

-Tell me how much you paid for them.

0:36:320:36:37

Roughly, it'll be about £250 the pair, but I'm not sure.

0:36:370:36:42

-Where do they live at the moment?

-In my guest bedroom.

0:36:420:36:46

-Yes. Is it very bright?

-No, they're not in the sun.

0:36:460:36:50

Good - try to get as little light hitting them as possible,

0:36:500:36:54

because these are wonderful paintings, but paintings in silk,

0:36:540:36:59

and when a Westerner looks at a Chinese image, usually these long, beautiful hanging scrolls,

0:36:590:37:06

we in the West can get perplexed by the notion of Chinese perspective,

0:37:060:37:11

-but you like them.

-I love them.

0:37:110:37:14

Things that are far away in a Chinese image

0:37:140:37:18

-are rendered at the top of the painting.

-Oh, yes.

0:37:180:37:21

And as you get closer to where you're standing,

0:37:210:37:25

-the foreground comes closer and is at the bottom of the picture.

-Yes.

0:37:250:37:30

In Western painting, we have the distance disappearing behind.

0:37:300:37:35

The Chinese don't like that, because you lose the adventure of travelling through a landscape,

0:37:350:37:41

and this is a fantastic adventure.

0:37:410:37:43

-Yes.

-Isn't it wonderful?

-It is.

-We have a distant lake up here.

-Yes.

0:37:430:37:49

And we see a flight of geese coming south,

0:37:490:37:52

and then the embroiderer has changed the wave pattern to give you this torrent as we go through a ravine

0:37:520:37:59

and this junk coming through the water into a placid lake below

0:37:590:38:04

where a couple of scholars... Isn't that wonderful?

0:38:040:38:07

-They've illuminated the change by the river pattern.

-Yes.

0:38:070:38:12

This is...this, I suppose, is the clincher, this wonderful journey.

0:38:120:38:16

We go from the mountains, these wonderful clouds swimming, as they do in China.

0:38:160:38:22

-Is that the sun?

-Fabulous! There's an intensity to that sun, because they've foiled the thread.

-Yes.

0:38:220:38:29

And then you move through these wonderful towers,

0:38:290:38:33

a properly sort of embattled fortress on the river front,

0:38:330:38:38

a few sampans and fishermen's junks,

0:38:380:38:42

a look-out post here popping out of the water,

0:38:420:38:46

and then another fort here with a flag hanging there,

0:38:460:38:51

-but the piece de resistance is this.

-Yes, the little steamer.

0:38:510:38:55

-It's a paddle boat.

-Yes.

0:38:550:38:58

-A touch of Western technology...

-Yes, yes.

-..in otherwise conventional Chinese format.

0:38:580:39:04

It's a wonderful thing. I'm not a marine archaeologist -

0:39:040:39:08

-I couldn't tell you the date of the steamer.

-No.

-But I'd put it around the year 1890, 1900.

0:39:080:39:14

-Yes.

-They are, without doubt, the best embroidered panels,

0:39:140:39:18

that I've ever seen in this genre. I think they're lovely.

0:39:180:39:22

-You paid the right price - £250.

-Not expensive, were they?

0:39:220:39:27

Well, I think £250

0:39:270:39:30

would buy you a very smart pair

0:39:300:39:33

of mother-of-pearl inlaid frames.

0:39:330:39:36

-Yes, yes.

-So I would reckon the frames are worth £250.

0:39:360:39:40

With...

0:39:400:39:42

the six panels,

0:39:420:39:45

I cannot seriously see those being offered

0:39:450:39:49

in a good antique shop

0:39:490:39:51

-for anything less than £2,000.

-Lovely. Lovely.

0:39:510:39:56

My boyfriend bought it at an antiques fair. I know nothing about it, but I think it's a plant pot.

0:39:560:40:02

That's right. Do you use it for plants?

0:40:020:40:06

No, for decorative purposes - haven't put a plant in it.

0:40:060:40:10

-But it's up and displayed?

-Yes.

-As you say, it's a plant pot,

0:40:100:40:16

stands on its own little base, so we can lift it off,

0:40:160:40:21

which is good for plants, because it lets the air get underneath and the water can drain out of it.

0:40:210:40:28

We've got a date on the bottom. we've got "Baxter" and "1802" and 1802 isn't a model number -

0:40:280:40:35

that's the actual date of production for this piece.

0:40:350:40:40

Thomas Baxter's an interesting chap. He was a Royal Academician, so he was trained as an artist,

0:40:400:40:46

but went into china painting. There was a vogue for china painting.

0:40:460:40:52

They brought French blanks,

0:40:520:40:54

pulled them in from Paris, took them to a decorating establishment, which Baxter ran, and they painted them.

0:40:540:41:02

This is not French. It's quite interesting - it's a Coalport blank,

0:41:020:41:06

so it's a blank made at Coalport, brought to London,

0:41:060:41:11

decorated in Baxter's establishment, beautifully decorated.

0:41:110:41:17

-I've a feeling this is Lady Hamilton.

-So Lord Nelson?

0:41:170:41:21

Yeah, Lord Nelson-Lady Hamilton. I've seen other Baxter work which depicts Lady Hamilton.

0:41:210:41:28

She's shown in a casual style in this blouse, but I think that's a view of Lady Hamilton.

0:41:280:41:34

We can see that he's a marvellous artist.

0:41:340:41:38

He wouldn't know how this was going to turn out. The colours are so different -

0:41:380:41:43

they're all drab blacks and greys and browns -

0:41:430:41:47

only when it's fired and refired and refired do the colours come up,

0:41:470:41:52

so it's a skilled piece of work, and not only is the painting skilled,

0:41:520:41:57

but the gilding -

0:41:570:42:00

all this gilding has been beautifully laid out in squares.

0:42:000:42:05

It's really quite dramatic - simple, but dramatic,

0:42:050:42:10

and Baxter did this when he was about 20.

0:42:100:42:14

So he's only a young man when he was doing this, and, in 1814, he set up his own china painting school,

0:42:140:42:20

um, and produced lots of other wares.

0:42:200:42:24

And this is in perfect condition.

0:42:240:42:27

It's a rare object. What did your boyfriend pay for it?

0:42:270:42:32

About £140.

0:42:320:42:34

£140, right.

0:42:340:42:36

Auction value - £7,000 to £9,000.

0:42:360:42:40

Oh, my God!

0:42:400:42:42

It's a very fine, very rare object.

0:42:440:42:48

It's a museum piece - it's signed, it's dated.

0:42:480:42:52

-It's a fantastic piece of porcelain.

-Oh, my word!

-Bit of a shock?

-Yes, I daren't pick it up now.

0:42:520:42:58

They say Clitheroe is half in Lancashire and half in fairyland. It's time for us to tiptoe away.

0:43:010:43:08

Many thanks to the Clitherovians for having us back again. Goodbye.

0:43:080:43:13

Subtitles by Peter Hastie BBC Broadcast 2003

0:43:270:43:32

More interesting valuables revealed by Michael Aspel, who hosts from Clitheroe. Discoveries include one of the earliest vacuum cleaners, a collection of porcelain pugs, a 17th century gate-leg table and a superbly painted plant pot.