Abergavenny Antiques Roadshow


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Abergavenny

Michael Aspel takes the roadshow to Abergavenny in Wales. Treasures include a copy of a James Bond book bought for 50 pence and a valuable 17th-century spoon.


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We're in the foothills of the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons,

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where ancient castles and abbeys dot the landscape...

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..where a once thriving colliery lives on as a working museum,

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and where voices raised in harmony still echo through the valleys.

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We're at the gateway to Wales - Abergavenny.

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There's been a settlement here for 6,000 years. The Romans named it Gobannium.

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But with the Norman Conquest, a castle was built and the town of Abergavenny established.

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The Normans never trusted the Welsh, and the Welsh returned the compliment.

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Their mistrust was justified in 1175 when William de Braose,

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the Ogre of Abergavenny, invited local nobles for Christmas dinner at the castle.

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In the bloodiest episode in the castle's history, all the nobles -

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the best men of Gwent - were hacked to death.

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The resulting vendetta went on for years.

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Some of those nobles are buried here in St Mary's church,

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which houses the most impressive collection of medieval tombs

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of any parish church in Britain.

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The hills surrounding Abergavenny

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include the volcanic shaped Sugar Loaf and the Holy Mountain, or Skirrid Fawr.

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But amid the beauty,

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more dark history.

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On the slopes of Holy Mountain stands the Skirrid Inn,

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the oldest public house in Wales. It once doubled as a court room,

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and 900 years ago, a sheep rustler named John Crowther breathed his last, dangling from this beam.

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His death kicked off a grim tradition.

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Over the years, no less than 180 unfortunates died in this stairwell.

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During the 17th century, when Hanging Judge Jeffreys presided,

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the beam was so fully employed that the dragmarks of the rope can still be seen.

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1952 is a year Abergavenny and Wales will never forget.

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The year of the Helsinki Olympics,

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and the showjumping team of Foxhunter and Harry Llewellyn.

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Harry was a steeple chaser and came second in the 1936 Grand National,

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but 16 years later he won Olympic Gold.

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Foxhunter's memorial and Harry's ashes lie at the top of Blorenge Hill.

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Today's venue is Abergavenny Leisure Centre.

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The show is about to begin, so please take your seats.

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Just two or three years after my father bought it,

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we had a family friend come round who was a member of the RAF,

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and he used to stand at the front door

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and throw his hat across the hall so it landed on the Japanese man,

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because he disliked him so much.

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On one occasion the brolly came out and fell on the floor.

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The damage is not very much, but a little bit there on the handle,

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and it's very slightly dented on the outside.

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But it is indicative of how much Japanese artefacts were disliked at that time,

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-shortly after World War II.

-Right.

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-I wonder what he paid for it?

-Well, my father paid £10 -

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at least, that's what he said.

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He might have paid more, and didn't want to tell my mother.

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Supposing he might have paid £20, it still wasn't a huge amount of money.

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In the post-war era, things Japanese were really not particularly appreciated.

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It was made around 1900,

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and at that time, the Japanese metal workers

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no longer made armour in the quantities that they had previously.

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They still had all the skills to do so, so they turned their hands to producing decorative artefacts,

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using all their metalworking skills.

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This particular piece is by a man called Miyao.

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-It is Miyao?

-It's signed on the leg, here.

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It's a mixture of bronze and other coloured metals,

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and it is just wonderful, wonderful quality.

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He produced a number of figures of peasants and characters,

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and here you've got a chap with an ape on his shoulder and a parasol.

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It's just fantastic.

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All the symbols on it are auspicious

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and represent things, according to the Japanese -

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the chrysanthemum is the national flower, and so on.

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This is the sort of thing which I would have thought, at auction,

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you could expect it to make somewhere between £4,000 and £6,000.

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So, you know, a jolly useful investment by your father.

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So, are you telling me you got all these from car boot sales?

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Except for that one.

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How amazing!

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-Why do you like Ian Fleming?

-Well, the art work on the books was...

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When I started collecting the paperbacks I just found the artwork interesting,

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and then after that, I started to look at the writing of Ian Fleming.

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When I bought this book here, about... I think that was about three years ago.

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When I was reading it I found that this guy here, James Bond...

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I'm not sure whether that was the inspiration for the James Bond character,

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-and that is what I wanted to know.

-That's what you want to know.

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-Well, James Bond was an American ornithologist.

-Right.

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He wrote a field guide to the birds of the West Indies.

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Ian Fleming liked to go to the West Indies, so there was a link,

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-and he'd read James Bond's book.

-Right.

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In a way what he did was, he just grabbed his name and he used it.

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After that, they got to know each other on a personal basis,

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and so this is a collector's item in its own right, because of the connection.

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-I didn't, I didn't realise that.

-So, it's very amusing.

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The unusual thing about the whole collection is that most of them are in just such beautiful condition.

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Picking up at car boot sales, they tend to put them in cardboard boxes on damp ground,

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and the damp comes through like... There's one or two. That one there.

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-Diamonds Are Forever?

-The edge went because it was in a damp box.

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-Yes, you can see there's a bit of damage, and that makes a crucial amount of difference.

-OK.

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This WOULD have been worth a few hundred, and it's probably reduced it to more like two or three.

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-OK.

-With the damage on the edges, here.

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Dr No is another very good one, which is now worth £300 or £400.

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Altogether, on this table, excluding Casino Royale,

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we've probably got in excess of £2,000 worth.

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-My God.

-Do you know, this is the first book he ever wrote?

-Yes, yes.

-Yes.

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Um, and it's... From a collector's point of view,

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Casino Royale has a tremendous premium.

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-This is the book that, in a way, launched his career.

-Right.

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And it was published in, er, 1953.

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If I said it was worth a few hundred pounds, would you be surprised?

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-Don't know.

-What about if I said it was worth a few thousand pounds?

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Thousands?

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-Yes.

-I would be a bit shocked.

-You would be a little bit shocked?

-Yeah, I would, yeah.

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And if I said to you that recently it's been fetching between £5,000 and £7,000 at auction?

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-Never.

-And you say you bought it at a boot sale.

-Yeah.

-Wow!

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-Do you remember how much you paid for it?

-Yeah.

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Most of the books cost between 50p and £1.

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Well, there's a return for you.

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I inherited it from my old grandfather. "When I'm gone,"

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-he said, "this will be for you. It'll be yours".

-Right.

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It's always been appealing. I think it's got a sentimental sort of effect.

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It is, and people, of course...

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Here we have a mother hen, and of course she's got...

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-And the little ducklings.

-Ducklings, yes.

-I think that is the appeal.

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-All being looked at and looked after.

-Yes, yes.

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She's got rather a cross look on her face,

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I don't know if she's happy with her new charges and her brood, but...

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Yes, the tea time...

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The old cabbage leaf appealed to me because it's so natural, you know.

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-The artist is Robert Morley.

-Yes.

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And you can see the date of the picture there in the far corner.

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This was painted when he was in his early 30s.

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It could do with a jolly good clean! Where have you been keeping it? A smoky room, or over a fireplace?

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No, we haven't touched it. No.

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My wife would like to have it repaired and renovated and cleaned.

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Yes. Well, other than the varnish, there's a jolly good rip in it,

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which has been repaired and as if something had happened.

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-That was always there.

-It was always there.

-Yes.

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-A picture like this, in its original frame, should actually have an original label on the back.

-Oh, yes?

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It is there, and of course it's got the title,

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-which, of course, is "The Foster Mother".

-Yes.

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And it's also got the price which he asked for the painting, which was 31 pounds and 10 shillings.

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-I didn't know that.

-Quite a lot of money at the time.

-I suppose so.

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Now, the painting would clean well, but with such damage on it,

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with this tear, it would have to be relined as well.

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-Oh, I see.

-And that would obviously incur considerable costs.

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But we must assess the value of the painting at this particular moment,

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and I would have thought that something like £2,000 or £3,000.

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If it was well restored, probably £3,000 to £4,000 or £5,000 for insurance would be the right figure.

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Yes, I see, yes.

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-Where did this come from?

-We're not sure, really.

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My great uncle was in the Navy, so he travelled the world.

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-Did he get to Ireland, do you know?

-Not that I know of.

-No.

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Well, this is actually a tea caddy,

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but this is the box to hold the tea caddy,

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as obviously you'll appreciate, and this is Irish.

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I've checked, and this apparently is manchineel wood,

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which I can claim no knowledge of whatsoever, but apparently it's extremely rare.

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-Oh.

-I love that when you look at it,

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it's supposed to be octagonal, but in fact it's slightly off shape.

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Which I think gives it great character. When you hold it, you can sort of feel that.

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Let's have a look at the caddy itself.

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Now, it's actually marked

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on the body,

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there,

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and again on the lid, there.

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What's a bit frustrating here

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is that there's no maker's mark.

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This is what the Irish often did.

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If they put a date letter on, they left off the maker's mark,

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and if they put a maker's mark on, they left off the date letter.

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The date... Actually, you've got the date,

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Dublin date letter there, the "E" of 1825.

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So it's George IV.

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The box is absolutely spot on

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for that sort of date as well, in Ireland.

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So, to have those two coming down together like that is really quite something.

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Had you thought in terms of value?

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I took it to the Roadshow in Merthyr. That was 13 years ago.

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-Right.

-And it was valued then, I think at around £200.

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-Two hundred pounds?

-Mm.

-Yes, I think we need to rethink that.

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Irish silver has become highly sought after in the intervening period.

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That box alone is worth in excess of £500 without the caddy.

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The caddy on its own, I would be thinking in terms of...

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-A couple of thousand pounds.

-You're kidding me.

-No.

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And put the two together, original to each other,

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it's got to be in excess of £3,000.

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-You've made me very happy.

-In fact, I would be insuring it for nearer five.

-Good Lord.

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-So, that's not bad news.

-I'm completely gobsmacked.

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If this refers to what I think it does,

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it's one of the most politically incorrect clocks I've ever seen.

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-Sorry.

-Can you enlighten me?

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Um, it was given to my parents in the '50s.

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It was made in 1939,

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to commemorate the agreement between Neville Chamberlain and Hitler,

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"Peace in our time". He came back waving a piece of paper.

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In that week they made two of these, and this is one of them.

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I've never seen one, and if there's only two...

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The other one is supposed to be in a museum in Birmingham. We haven't been able to locate it.

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-It's possibly buried in the vaults.

-Yes.

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-Goodness me. Value... I haven't got a clue.

-How nice.

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-I'll give a number, I think it's fascinating, I think it'll be £500.

-All right.

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You know the secret.

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Hey presto, the settee table.

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-Leatherette seats. Are they comfortable?

-Well, fairly comfortable, yes.

-Let's try.

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Well, yes, fairly comfortable.

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I think there's someone in here, trapped.

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What does a respectable lady like you do with six decanters?

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I look at them occasionally, and just wish that they were all full.

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-Well, could you not fill them up? That's what they're made for.

-Yes.

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These were made in Spain, at a place called La Granja, in about 1790.

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Oh, really?

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And it would appear that the box was made for them in England.

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-I see.

-Still in the Georgian era.

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-Yes.

-So they're almost contemporary.

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If you really made it look nice,

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-I think it would be worth between £2,000 and £3,000.

-Good heavens!

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-Do you know what date the table is?

-No idea.

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-I have been... Somebody told me it was William IV.

-Absolutely.

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-Is that right?

-Bang on, absolutely.

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Intrinsically relatively plain furniture like this mahogany,

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but it was the time they started reviving the Rococo period,

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so this type of carving would be very popular.

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So, did they make the table with this carving,

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or was the carving added later as a bit of decoration?

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Let's see if there are any clues on the back at all.

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The top is a different colour, this whole surface, to the sides.

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So the top has been repolished, and the suggestion would be that it was repolished when it was carved,

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if the edge was recarved. So there's no original patination of dirty fingermarks going under the table.

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Had there have been, it might have suggested that perhaps, amazingly, this Rococo decoration was original.

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-Right.

-It certainly did happen, but not on a plain piece.

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-So, the Victorians got at it?

-The Victorians, yes,

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-but only... It's only 1830 anyway.

-Right.

-Have you had it a long time?

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-Is it a family piece?

-It was bought by my parents in 1945. I've no idea what they paid for it.

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But look at the size of it! I mean, how many people can you seat at that?

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Well, you can get...

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When it was originally bought, there were 18 chairs around it which my mother didn't buy,

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but that's comfortable. 20 is fine, and 24 you can squeeze in.

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-At a pinch, at Christmas.

-Yes, and... We use it fully out a lot.

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-But if there are just two of you, you need a railway, do you?

-Well, no.

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You just put these bits together, and you've got a nice square table.

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Right. This is how you see it in a catalogue or a saleroom, isn't it?

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It's rather nice, complete with dust and everything.

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Nice mahogany under frame using oak as well, so you've got mahogany here,

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and that's the bottom of the leaf, mahogany splat there, oak there,

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and pine there. They're economising, not using the solid mahogany.

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-But it has been repolished.

-Yes.

-And we have to say that it's been recarved on the edge.

-Yes.

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Been glorified, Victorianafied.

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Have you got it insured at all?

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-Yes, it's insured for ten thousand.

-£10,000...

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So, could you replace...? I'm trying to sort of think of a logic here.

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Could you replace it for £10,000?

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I think you've got to put a bit more on that.

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I think I'd say £15,000. Insurance DOES go out of date.

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Insurance goes up, and can go down. You've got to keep it quite high,

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because to go out and buy a 22 or 24-seater dining table, £15,000.

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Thank you very much indeed.

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Geoffrey, people bring you things to see.

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Suppose they've dug them up?

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That's the most exciting way to find things, possibly.

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Here's a medieval ring set with a cornelian intaglio

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-with an inscription round it. It's actually 14th century.

-Wow!

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It was found in 1760.

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Its discovery was reported to the Society of Antiquaries that year.

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In those days the finding of these objects was rather random -

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you had to wait for the earth to turn them up, to see them on the surface

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and see a gleam of gold. Today, the issue is much more complex,

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because people use metal detectors, and objects of this nature -

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which is a ring brooch of a similar date, set with sapphires -

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-are turning up in quite large quantities.

-So, what must you do if you find something like this?

0:18:300:18:35

The thing to do is to be careful. You've suddenly stumbled into an immensely complex environment.

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and the first thing to do is take your discovery either to a local museum, or indeed to the Coroner,

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who will decide whether there are any rights to this jewel beyond your own.

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And if they have established those rights, who gets what and when?

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Well, if the object is of sufficient importance, certainly you will get some financial reward for it.

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More often than not, the object will be returned to you, because it may not be of national significance,

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but if it is, a museum will get it. It used to be called "treasure trove".

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It is something to beware of, for all people using metal detectors today.

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Join a society where there is some advice given to you there.

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We can't go into great depth here,

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but there is something that you can discover on the website.

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It's the site of DCMS,

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which is the Department for Culture, Media and Sport,

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and it's a very odd title for it, but you can tap in on your computer,

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for the pitfalls in finding things.

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I wish I could keep this.

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So, why does a man of your age have a doll's house?

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I'd just seen it, and fell in love with it.

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Well, I just think it's the most terrific doll's house.

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It's on a scale and proportion that you don't generally see,

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and I think it really epitomises the time in which it was made.

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If you look at this door,

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it's got a very Art Deco step to it,

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and it actually looks like quite a surburban door, but very stylised for that 1920s period.

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Then, as well, the fact that it's got this pebbledash effect

0:20:130:20:17

that was typical again of the 1920s period,

0:20:170:20:20

with these very stylish Deco-looking porthole windows.

0:20:200:20:24

It's an incongruous mix, really, of designs,

0:20:240:20:27

when you then look at the complete scale of it.

0:20:270:20:31

-Wow, it's certainly in what an estate agent would call "original condition", isn't it?

-Yes.

0:20:310:20:37

It doesn't look as if anything's happened to it, in fact, since it must have first been made.

0:20:370:20:43

-Can you explain what this is?

-It's a lift to all the floors.

0:20:430:20:47

It originally worked by battery - there's electrics at the back.

0:20:470:20:50

-The lift is in the bottom and I think you pull the string there.

-Oh, I see.

0:20:500:20:57

Gosh, and what looks like an incredibly sort of Art Nouveau lift is in this shaft in the middle.

0:20:570:21:03

-Yeah.

-Gosh, that's amazing.

0:21:030:21:05

-And there's also rooms in the attic.

-Let's have a look at those.

0:21:050:21:11

-Gosh, and all this panelling! Someone's gone to considerable trouble with it.

-Yeah.

0:21:130:21:17

It's strange, because it looks as though it's a pretty English style, thinking back to the front door,

0:21:170:21:24

but when you see this rather gabled, um, hipped roof, it looks slightly more Dutch.

0:21:240:21:30

-Yeah.

-In fact, if we look at the spindle doors here, that obviously enclose the lift...

0:21:300:21:37

-Right.

-They're quite Continental. I can just imagine those - or gates like that -

0:21:370:21:41

to a lift in a hotel, or something.

0:21:410:21:44

-This is probably my favourite room, in fact - the nursery.

-Yeah.

0:21:450:21:50

We know it's a nursery because it's got this frieze of nursery rhyme characters,

0:21:500:21:56

all round the edge.

0:21:560:21:58

In fact, there was an illustrator of children's nursery rhymes

0:21:580:22:02

called Henrietta Willebeek Le Mair.

0:22:020:22:06

She was working from 1910 to the late 1920s,

0:22:060:22:10

and this is very, very typical of her work. And as she was Dutch,

0:22:100:22:14

-it just makes me wonder even more if this is.

-Do you think it's Dutch?

0:22:140:22:18

It could be, looking at the style,

0:22:180:22:21

-and I think the combination of that and these Dutch illustrator's pictures, yes.

-Right.

0:22:210:22:26

When you bought it, what were you told about it?

0:22:260:22:30

Originally, they sold all the fittings off, and it's been left in a garage for 10 or 20 years.

0:22:300:22:35

That's the greatest tragedy, really.

0:22:350:22:38

-Yeah.

-That a house on this scale, untouched and in original condition,

0:22:380:22:42

-has actually not got any of the original fittings.

-Yeah.

0:22:420:22:46

-What did you pay for it?

-£150.

0:22:460:22:48

£150. I think that if you were to offer it for sale,

0:22:480:22:53

I can see it fetching up to the £1,000 mark.

0:22:530:22:57

That's great. Thanks a lot.

0:22:590:23:01

I'm sorry - I don't know anything about it. I bought it in an auction in Colwyn Bay six weeks ago.

0:23:010:23:07

-Right, so it's fresh?

-It's fresh.

0:23:070:23:10

-So I'm the first mug in, in a sense.

-You're the first to see it.

-OK.

0:23:100:23:14

Well, the basic concept here is what we call a sun and moon watch.

0:23:140:23:18

They go back into the 17th century, even possibly earlier than that.

0:23:180:23:23

The idea is that you use a conventional hand for the minutes, here,

0:23:230:23:28

and then you have a turning disc which has the sun and the moon,

0:23:280:23:33

so that the hand goes round once an hour.

0:23:330:23:36

The sun comes up at six o'clock in the morning and goes down at six o'clock in the evening,

0:23:360:23:42

and the moon comes up at six o'clock in the evening and goes down at six o'clock in the morning, backwards.

0:23:420:23:47

-Is that right?

-I've no idea.

0:23:470:23:50

I'm going to pull it apart, if you don't mind.

0:23:500:23:53

I promise I'll be able to put it back together again. Not advisable.

0:23:530:23:57

I should put a sign up, shouldn't I? "Dangerous. Don't try this at home".

0:23:570:24:01

Right. Well, that is the first point here, if we look.

0:24:010:24:05

If we start with 6 dots, 7 dots, 8 dots, 9, 10, 11, 12.

0:24:050:24:13

-Yes.

-1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6...

0:24:130:24:15

-So it must run backwards.

-Yes, yes.

0:24:150:24:18

Anyway, as I said, these watches go back into the 17th century,

0:24:180:24:23

and the plate we're looking at here,

0:24:230:24:25

this plate which is inlaid in silver for the moon, gold for the sun, and blued -

0:24:250:24:30

they inlaid some steel, and the steel is polished and blued.

0:24:300:24:33

The blueing has died away - it's looking browny-grey,

0:24:330:24:37

but that plate I will bet is circa 1700,

0:24:370:24:40

whereas this watch is obviously considerably later.

0:24:400:24:45

-Now, I've got a maker's name on it.

-Owain.

-Owain.

0:24:450:24:49

Gwilim Ab Owain...

0:24:490:24:53

LLan...

0:24:530:24:54

-Llangefni.

-Llangefni, OK.

0:24:540:24:58

And it says "Number 1, 1815".

0:24:580:25:02

If you've looked at the engraving it's really very crude, isn't it?

0:25:030:25:07

-Yes.

-It's not good quality compared to the watches of this period.

0:25:070:25:12

Usually the balance cocks and the engraving were done by amateurs,

0:25:120:25:16

-they were done by out-workers.

-Yes.

-Sometimes working people, farmers and wives who did it in the evening,

0:25:160:25:22

but they were very skilled and they worked to very accurate patterns, particular designs.

0:25:220:25:28

This is really somewhat wayward, all over the place.

0:25:280:25:31

-I would say that it was therefore done by the man himself.

-Right.

0:25:310:25:35

I've had a look and I can't find anything on him,

0:25:350:25:38

so I think he is a completely local watchmaker.

0:25:380:25:42

As I say, hand-done engraving. They've used a piece of glass

0:25:420:25:46

in the end of the balance cock,

0:25:460:25:48

so you can see through to the balance, but it gets worse! Or better, as you might say.

0:25:480:25:53

It's usual for these watches to have a fusee...

0:25:530:25:58

..and a barrel and a chain.

0:25:590:26:02

Here, we've got two barrels,

0:26:030:26:07

with a fusee chain running off one barrel onto the other barrel,

0:26:070:26:11

and then off that barrel, being wound onto the fusee.

0:26:110:26:15

So, effectively, you are doubling the power,

0:26:150:26:18

-cos you've got two main springs pulling on one thing.

-Right.

0:26:180:26:22

My guess is that it would probably go for more than the usual 30 hours.

0:26:220:26:26

-Yes.

-I would say... Again, you just can't even see it here,

0:26:260:26:31

but inside there is an extra wheel in the train,

0:26:310:26:34

so it probably goes for 8 days.

0:26:340:26:36

So, what we've got is a completely amateur watch, dated 1815,

0:26:360:26:41

using a piece that he probably found from a much earlier watch, 1700,

0:26:410:26:47

and he's created a complete watch around it.

0:26:470:26:52

8-day going and going in reverse, and the reason it goes in reverse

0:26:530:26:58

is that every time you add an extra wheel in a train of wheels, it goes the other way.

0:26:580:27:04

-Right.

-He's added an extra wheel to make it go 8 days rather than one,

0:27:040:27:08

or whatever the duration is, and ended up with it going backwards.

0:27:080:27:13

He hasn't been put off at all - he's simply engraved the dial backwards. It must have been made for himself.

0:27:130:27:19

1815 is also the date on the case - there's a hallmark.

0:27:190:27:23

It's not just put together out of bits he's found - a lot of work's gone into it.

0:27:230:27:28

-Extraordinary. You think you've seen everything, then this turns up.

-Yes.

0:27:280:27:33

I'm going to ask you an embarrassing question now - what did you pay?

0:27:330:27:37

I paid £600 approximately, altogether.

0:27:370:27:41

Oh, I think that's all right.

0:27:410:27:44

I mean country sales are not always bargains by any means.

0:27:440:27:48

-Sure.

-I would have said, an 8-day watch...

0:27:480:27:52

I would say that's worth £1,000 of anybody's money.

0:27:520:27:56

It's quite an extraordinary object. Are you any the wiser?

0:27:560:28:00

Well, it's unusual, I mean, I thought it was unusual when I saw it.

0:28:000:28:05

-Great. Well, I admire your courage. Thank you very much.

-Thank you.

0:28:050:28:09

-What is it?

-It's a carbide lamp, used underground.

-Used underground?

0:28:100:28:14

-And did you ever use this one?

-Yes.

-How on earth do you use it, then?

0:28:140:28:18

-Unscrew the top.

-Right.

0:28:200:28:23

-Pull the top off, fill it full of carbide.

-Would you have a supply of that with you?

0:28:230:28:28

-Yes, yes, keep the carbide in a tin. Water goes in there.

-Right.

0:28:280:28:34

Turn the tap on then and it'll drip.

0:28:360:28:38

Water dripping onto the carbide, and that forms the gas.

0:28:380:28:42

Light it there... Of course, the reflector's missing off there.

0:28:440:28:48

-And how long would it last?

-A couple of hours.

-Then you'd fill it up again?

0:28:480:28:52

-Yes.

-There can't be many still left in miners' hands.

0:28:520:28:56

-It belonged to my grandfather.

-As well?

0:28:560:28:59

-Yeah.

-Lovely.

-He done 50 years in the Miriam Colliery in Ebbw Vale.

0:28:590:29:03

-Fantastic.

-Then he survived the explosion in 1926, of course.

0:29:030:29:07

-Commercially, then, it doesn't matter what it's worth.

-No, no. Sentimental value.

0:29:070:29:12

I suppose it's probably worth no more than £30 or £40, but...

0:29:120:29:16

-Worth more than that to me.

-Exactly, exactly.

0:29:160:29:19

This parrot's head is carved out of beech and stained with a colour,

0:29:190:29:24

to make it these bright colours,

0:29:240:29:26

and looks as though it's the handle to a very short cane.

0:29:260:29:30

What's in the bottom, here? It's stamped "Vickery".

0:29:300:29:33

That's a good firm of makers based in London. Oh, my goodness.

0:29:330:29:37

Right, so it's a parasol.

0:29:370:29:39

Presumably we put the top in here,

0:29:390:29:42

turn the whole thing upside down...

0:29:420:29:45

Silk can be quite fragile, but look at that. What a beautiful shape.

0:29:470:29:52

-Dates from probably around the 1920s, and I would value it at £200 to £300.

-Thank you.

0:29:520:29:59

Now, how did you come by this bit of Sung porcelain?

0:29:590:30:02

Well, I didn't know it was Sung porcelain. It was 20 years ago,

0:30:020:30:07

therefore it must have been South-East Asia, in a flea market,

0:30:070:30:12

either in Ho Chi Minh Ville or Phnom Penh, but I think probably Phnom Penh.

0:30:120:30:18

-Was it called Ho Chi Minh Ville then, already?

-Yes. Yes, yes.

0:30:180:30:22

-Or Ho Chi Minh City, really.

-Yes, Ho Chi Minh City.

0:30:220:30:25

Well, if we go back a little bit in history,

0:30:250:30:28

the whole of Cambodia was a Chinese province.

0:30:280:30:34

Anam, I think the whole thing was called. But this doesn't come from there.

0:30:340:30:38

This is a metropolitan piece.

0:30:380:30:41

It's a class called Ding Yau wares, these wonderful creamy white wares

0:30:410:30:46

which have a very beautiful porcelain.

0:30:460:30:50

I mean the actual body. This is one of the earliest porcelains you get,

0:30:500:30:56

-and it's really beautiful creamy and white, the actual ware.

-Yes, yes.

0:30:560:31:00

I'm perplexed by this stuff. I think it would come off, but you haven't tried to remove it.

0:31:000:31:05

-No.

-I don't think that's fired in.

0:31:050:31:07

But, I mean, the supreme beauty of the object

0:31:070:31:11

is this sort of carved and moulded panel on the top,

0:31:110:31:17

which, if one looks carefully, actually depicts a flowering peony,

0:31:170:31:23

with little sort of struts of slip

0:31:230:31:27

holding the pattern of the glaze.

0:31:270:31:30

-Yes.

-And it's a classic piece - it's 800 years old.

0:31:300:31:36

-Wow.

-It's about 1200.

0:31:360:31:38

This is one of the earliest... The earliest white porcelains you get.

0:31:380:31:43

-It has got a little problem, not too serious.

-Yes.

0:31:430:31:48

Little fritting there,

0:31:480:31:50

and it might annoy the most perfectionist Chinese collector,

0:31:500:31:55

but there you have something that's 800 years old.

0:31:550:32:00

Did you pay a lot for it?

0:32:000:32:03

I very much doubt that we paid more than between 20 and 30 dollars.

0:32:030:32:07

Well, since the opening up of the People's Republic of China,

0:32:070:32:11

more stuff has become available.

0:32:110:32:14

This may seem awfully little for something that's 800 years old -

0:32:140:32:19

-I think it's worth between £2,000 and £3,000.

-Right.

0:32:190:32:24

-I think you're very lucky.

-Lucky, yes. I'm not sure about skill or cleverness.

0:32:240:32:29

We inherited it from my husband's uncle about fifteen years ago.

0:32:290:32:34

-Is there another one?

-Yes, yes.

0:32:340:32:37

-There is? Ah.

-This is the lady.

0:32:370:32:41

Yes. And you have a little boy that goes with that?

0:32:410:32:44

It's supposed to be the Prince of Wales

0:32:440:32:48

-and the Princess Royal as children.

-That's absolutely right.

0:32:480:32:54

The little girl that we have here is the eldest child of Queen Victoria.

0:32:540:33:00

She was born in 1840, and then her brother,

0:33:000:33:05

the little boy that you have, went on to become King Edward VII.

0:33:050:33:11

And she actually married the Kaiser of Germany,

0:33:110:33:14

and went on to become the mother of Kaiser Bill.

0:33:140:33:17

-Yes.

-In the First World War.

0:33:170:33:19

So, they're a very interesting historical pair.

0:33:190:33:23

She's so early.

0:33:230:33:25

-This is very early for Staffordshire flatback figures...

-Yes, yes.

0:33:250:33:29

-Which is what she is.

-Yes.

-As you can see she's got a flat back.

0:33:290:33:34

-Yes, yes.

-So she would have sat on a chimney piece, as an ornament, she and her brother.

0:33:340:33:39

And the lovely thing about her is that the pottery is so white.

0:33:390:33:45

This is a sign that it's a really early piece,

0:33:450:33:49

-and she's got these beautiful clear colours, this wonderful...

-Yes.

0:33:490:33:53

Hand-painted turquoisy-green, and this rather bright orange,

0:33:530:33:58

-which you don't really think of as a Victorian colour.

-No, no.

0:33:580:34:02

-And the other one's in good condition?

-Perfect condition -

0:34:020:34:08

nothing wrong at all.

0:34:080:34:10

Well, I could see that this pair, in the right auction,

0:34:100:34:15

-could go for as much as £2,000, even £2,500.

-Is it really?

0:34:150:34:21

-Yes.

-Oh, my goodness.

-It is.

-Goodness, gracious me.

0:34:210:34:24

I'm a jewelaholic really, yes. I never pass a jeweller's.

0:34:240:34:28

I look in every jeweller's that I come across when I'm out shopping.

0:34:280:34:34

-Who's gives them to you?

-My husband.

-That's nice!

0:34:340:34:36

-That's a rare husband!

-Yes, Oh, yes.

0:34:360:34:39

-Look at this. Did he give you that one?

-He gave me that one, yes.

-My goodness.

0:34:390:34:43

He purchased that about four or five years ago. He gave it me then for Christmas and birthday.

0:34:430:34:49

Ah, and what do you know about it? Tell me what you think.

0:34:490:34:53

Well, I only know that I think it might be Art Deco - is it so?

0:34:530:34:57

It is Art Deco without doubt, yeah. Very geometric.

0:34:570:35:00

-Yes.

-Looks for all the world like an Odeon cinema.

-Yes, it does.

0:35:000:35:04

We like that in jewellery design,

0:35:040:35:06

because what we're really looking for is art and design boiled down.

0:35:060:35:10

This is, you know, the minutest expression of all kinds of architectural and design shapes,

0:35:100:35:17

and there are two rather interesting things about the diamonds.

0:35:170:35:20

One is the fantastic purity of them, they're very white and quite clean.

0:35:200:35:26

There are very very few inclusions, which is wonderful, but we can tell that they've been reused.

0:35:260:35:31

Bricks from an older house have been put in here.

0:35:310:35:34

A house that was built about 1860.

0:35:340:35:37

The techniques of cutting diamonds have changed over the years, and these are 19th century diamonds.

0:35:370:35:43

Somebody's taken them from another piece of jewellery and remounted them,

0:35:430:35:47

-and built an Art Deco house. It's a brilliant house, isn't it, if we extend the metaphor?

-Lovely.

0:35:470:35:52

-Lovely thing. Do you wear it?

-I wear it regularly if I'm going out.

0:35:520:35:57

-Marvellous.

-Going somewhere special.

0:35:570:35:59

Did he tell you how much he paid for it?

0:35:590:36:02

-Well, he did.

-Did he? Come on, are you going to whisper?

-£4,500.

0:36:020:36:08

Well, I think it's a great bargain, frankly - to get something...

0:36:080:36:11

you know, with perfect context, with wonderful, wonderful material,

0:36:110:36:15

to give to somebody who loves you, I think that's a fabulous sum.

0:36:150:36:18

I think 50% more for insurance, without any doubt at all.

0:36:180:36:23

Say £6,000, maybe £7,000, for insurance. They're very beautiful diamonds.

0:36:230:36:28

Well, this is a watercolour by an artist I know well.

0:36:280:36:31

In fact, I could say I've known this artist most of my life.

0:36:310:36:35

He was born in Newcastle, as I was, and it's John Atkinson.

0:36:350:36:39

Do you know its title?

0:36:390:36:42

-I don't.

-Does it have a title?

-No, I don't think it does, no.

0:36:420:36:45

-It looks like "The Morning Ride".

-Oh, right.

0:36:450:36:48

-That kind of thing, doesn't it?

-Actually, I think it might be Rotten Row in London.

0:36:480:36:54

-In London, I wondered, I wondered that.

-Possibly. That's the most I know about it.

0:36:540:36:59

Yes. That makes it interesting, because he's a Newcastle artist.

0:36:590:37:03

He worked in Northumberland, County Durham and Yorkshire.

0:37:030:37:06

He painted horses, horse fairs, gypsies...

0:37:060:37:10

John Atkinson was a lovely artist.

0:37:100:37:13

Worked mainly in watercolour,

0:37:130:37:15

though there's body colour added.

0:37:150:37:17

-You see the white heightening he's used here?

-That.

0:37:170:37:21

Yes, and what I like about this is particularly the sense of movement.

0:37:210:37:26

-The feeling of those riders. They're moving, aren't they?

-Mm.

0:37:260:37:30

It's got a feeling of action about it.

0:37:300:37:33

I also like the dappled light, the sun coming in through the trees.

0:37:330:37:38

It's interesting being in London, because he didn't come to London much, didn't work in London.

0:37:380:37:43

In a sale, this would be £3,000 to £4,000,

0:37:430:37:47

-and you should insure it for £5,000.

-Right.

0:37:470:37:52

So, we move on now to something completely different.

0:37:520:37:57

A snow scene.

0:37:570:37:59

A snowy landscape with a rather smartly dressed lady there.

0:37:590:38:04

Now, this is by a French artist.

0:38:040:38:07

-Yeah.

-Called Georges Croegaert, and it's signed here.

0:38:070:38:11

I think it's a delightful little landscape.

0:38:110:38:15

It's beautifully observed. It really does have a feeling of snow and cold and winter about it.

0:38:150:38:19

It's a delightful little picture, got a lot of atmosphere.

0:38:190:38:24

Now, Georges Croegaert is a late 19th century French artist

0:38:240:38:27

who was famous for one thing, and that's for painting Cardinals in red robes.

0:38:270:38:32

Those pictures of Cardinals which usually everybody hates,

0:38:320:38:36

of Cardinals taking snuff and eating and drinking a great deal,

0:38:360:38:41

and disporting themselves in an un-Cardinal-like manner.

0:38:410:38:45

Here, Croegaert is showing us

0:38:450:38:49

that he can do something different, and paint landscape.

0:38:490:38:54

He's clearly painted a real landscape here.

0:38:540:38:57

Somewhere outside Paris, I would imagine.

0:38:570:39:00

Croegaert lived his whole life in Paris, and I think this one...

0:39:000:39:04

That's worth more than the Atkinson.

0:39:040:39:07

-I would value that now at £10,000 to £15,000.

-Really?

0:39:070:39:11

Yes, I would. So, two very different but very delightful pictures.

0:39:110:39:17

Yes. It's my grandmother's, who died when she was 103.

0:39:170:39:21

She had a lot to say for herself, and she said to my mother,

0:39:210:39:26

"That spoon, my girl, will be handed down to the youngest girl".

0:39:260:39:31

That's rather nice. The spoon itself is what's known as a trefid spoon.

0:39:310:39:35

-A trefid?

-A trefid... See how it's got these three sections at the top?

0:39:350:39:39

-Oh, tri, yes.

-Yeah, so that's where the name comes from.

0:39:390:39:43

-Those date principally from about 1660 through to about 1700.

-Really?

0:39:430:39:49

Yes, OK.

0:39:490:39:51

You get the plain, ordinary ones. This one's rather more special - it's a laceback.

0:39:510:39:57

Not only do we have the decoration on the front of the stem, there,

0:39:570:40:01

-but we've got this most wonderful lace-like decoration on the back of the bowl.

-Yes.

0:40:010:40:06

The reason the decoration is there

0:40:060:40:09

is because the French put spoons like that on the table.

0:40:090:40:14

-Oh, yes, now that is interesting.

-These were the first spoons that were made to go on the table,

0:40:140:40:20

-which is why they called them table spoons.

-No, really?

0:40:200:40:23

Because they were set in the French way, that's why they're decorated and initialled on the back.

0:40:230:40:29

Oh, that's wonderful.

0:40:290:40:32

Can I just ask you what the initials mean at the back, there?

0:40:320:40:36

Those... Almost certainly, that's going to be a marriage,

0:40:360:40:39

-so we've got AB at the top and then WN underneath.

-Ah.

0:40:390:40:43

-AB at the top would be the husband, and WN I would expect to be the wife.

-Oh.

0:40:430:40:48

-And then 1699, that would be when they got married.

-Oh, how sweet.

0:40:480:40:52

-Isn't that lovely?

-That is lovely.

0:40:520:40:55

-Almost certainly, that's what those will represent.

-Yes, yes.

0:40:550:40:59

Now, maker's mark only repeated three times -

0:40:590:41:03

this is a provincial spoon, and it's by Richard Sweet of Chard.

0:41:030:41:10

That makes it quite a rare spoon.

0:41:100:41:13

He's repeated his mark to make it look like a set of hallmarks.

0:41:130:41:17

-Have you ever thought of value on this?

-Absolutely not,

0:41:170:41:21

-because my mother used to dish up greens with it.

-Used to...?

0:41:210:41:25

-Dish up the greens.

-Isn't that wonderful?

-Because she didn't...

0:41:250:41:28

-It was used, she didn't know the value of it.

-And why not?

0:41:280:41:32

Well, it's survived jolly well, and condition is important here.

0:41:320:41:36

It is in very good condition.

0:41:360:41:39

Oh, how lovely.

0:41:390:41:41

At auction, I would fully expect a spoon like that

0:41:410:41:45

to sell in excess of £2,000.

0:41:450:41:49

When I've been on this Roadshow,

0:41:490:41:52

and people have been told they've got something really special,

0:41:520:41:56

and they go, "Oh," and I think that is the best news I have had.

0:41:560:42:02

I am SO pleased we came, and Ian, you are wonderful.

0:42:020:42:07

Have I got time to tell you about my grandmother? Yes, quickly.

0:42:070:42:11

She died when she was 103, and she wasn't a very nice person. Very Victorian.

0:42:110:42:16

-She used to tell me to walk along with a bustle on my back.

-Right.

0:42:160:42:21

She was a little bit of a spartan lady, and very Victorian,

0:42:210:42:25

and I didn't think she was very nice to her children.

0:42:250:42:29

So when she died at 103, I didn't go to the funeral.

0:42:290:42:34

When my mother told me she was dead, I said, "Are you sure? Go up and check".

0:42:340:42:39

Anyway, funeral. No, I wouldn't go.

0:42:390:42:42

But I did ask about her when it was all over,

0:42:420:42:46

and somebody told me they had to push the button three times before the coffin would go.

0:42:460:42:51

Ah, right - she was obviously reluctant to go.

0:42:510:42:54

-She was one of those, but God bless her.

-Absolutely.

0:42:540:42:58

Well, in a town that's nearly 1,000 years old, you would expect interesting items.

0:42:580:43:04

We've certainly seen quite a few, but for sheer nostalgia, this is the piece for me -

0:43:040:43:09

the old settee table.

0:43:090:43:12

I'm sure my Auntie Phoebe had one of these.

0:43:120:43:15

I'll just sit here for a while.

0:43:150:43:17

Until the next time, from Abergavenny - goodbye.

0:43:170:43:20

Subtitles by BBC Broadcast 2003

0:43:230:43:27

Michael Aspel takes the roadshow to Abergavenny in Wales. Treasures include a copy of a James Bond book bought for 50 pence, an art deco dolls house, and a 17th-century spoon worth £2,000.