Mount Stewart 1 Antiques Roadshow


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Mount Stewart 1

Michael Aspel visits Mount Stewart in Northern Ireland. Treasures include a painting once thrown on a skip, and a memento from Laurel and Hardy.


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This week we've crossed to the other side...of the Irish Sea

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to County Down, 15 miles from Belfast.

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Here the Ards Peninsula separates the Irish Sea and Strangford Lough, a tidal inlet rich with wildlife.

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On a clear day, unless you have a tear in your eye,

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you can see the Mountains of Mourne sweeping down to the sea.

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A good vantage point is the Temple of the Winds built in 1782 for the First Marquis of Londonderry

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as a place for mirth and jollity.

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He didn't want the view cluttered by buildings

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so an underground passage led to a wine cellar and pantry which supplied many a banquet and picnic.

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The leftovers and dirty dishes were carried back to Mount Stewart, home of the Londonderry family,

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who've held a lofty position in British society for generations.

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Classical elegance combines with homely Victorian decor and the occasional flash of exuberance.

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There's ample evidence of lives spent in politics and diplomacy - letters from Wellington and Nelson,

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photographs of royal friends,

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and caricatured busts of well-known leaders.

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The Londonderry heirs also shared a knack for wooing rich and influential women.

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The purchase of the Mount Stewart Estate was made possible by the dowry of Mary Cowan

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who founded the dynasty with her husband Alexander Stewart.

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Successive marquises married ladies from noble families who contributed wealth, connections, property

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and, in time, sons who would prove attractive to future heiresses.

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The sixth marquis and his wife, Charles and Theresa Bain Tempest Stewart

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were friends of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra,

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and this very big red book records their visit here in 1903.

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The royal guests were attended by a total of 274 staff

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including 13 valets, and 10 detectives.

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There were eight firemen...probably watching the King's cigar butts.

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The gardens at Mount Stewart were designed 80 years ago by Edith, wife of the seventh marquis.

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We'll take a look at her handiwork in the second programme.

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For now, let's concentrate on the Italian garden for another al fresco Roadshow.

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She came from my aunt's house to our house.

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-She's been in our home for about 40 years.

-OK.

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That's all I know,

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apart from I found out he also did a bronze that's standing outside Selfridges in London.

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Quite right. We'll come to who "he" is in a minute,

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but let's have a look at the bronze itself,

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because whenever you see anything of this sort of particular structure, this sort of stance,

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you tend to think Art Deco -

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girls with hoops in the 1920s,

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you get lots of French bronzes of nubile ladies, big hoops.

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I mean, this is the age of keep fit, isn't it?

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This is the age of "keep young and beautiful, if you want to be loved",

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as the song of the day used to say,

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but just one look at this girl tells me we're not dealing with a French mademoiselle -

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we're dealing with an English rose, dare I say?

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Now, I mean, she could've been an Irish rose or an Irish shamrock - I'm not sure how it works here -

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but the point is, stylistically, it's an Impressionistic bronze.

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It happens to be by one of my favourite sculptors. His name's round here.

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Let's have a look at his name... Gilbert Bayes.

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Um, we appear to have a date.

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If you can just see "25" within a circle, and 1925 would be about right for this figure.

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Gilbert Bayes, born in London in 1872

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and he is very well respected, and quite rightly.

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He's a very inventive sculptor.

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There's something tactile about this sort of bronze - you just feel...

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You can't help but touch it. Maybe I have a problem.

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But this one does have a slight problem,

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which I think has been caused by it being sprayed

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by a polish that's not good for its base - there's slight pitting there

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and it extends over the base,

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and I think if I was to scratch this surface lacquer,

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it's not doing it any favours - it needs to be cleaned by an expert. OK, so...

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Girls with hoops, what's the going rate in Northern Ireland?

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-Not a lot.

-Not a lot?

-Not a lot.

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-So if I offered you £1,000, you wouldn't be very keen to accept £1,000?

-I don't know, actually.

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No? I can tell you now that if I wanted to insure this,

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I wouldn't hesitate to probably put £4,000 on it.

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-Holiday.

-Holiday.

-No, I'm only joking. It's my father's, so...

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-Really?

-Yeah.

-Think what she'd have been worth if she'd been clothed!

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-Where did you get this cloth?

-A local market about 25 years ago.

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-How much did you pay for it?

-I'd think, at the most, £2.

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Let's just stretch it out. £2? You must be joking!

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-That's before decimal.

-Before decimal! With old money?

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-Yes.

-That's a brilliant thing, isn't it? That's full of geometry, but yet you've got organic growth.

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These pink designs are supposed to be carnations and poppies.

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Here's a brilliant carnation in a very stylised way

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surrounded by serrated, edged pieces of foliage,

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all very extraordinary,

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and this thing comes from Central Asia.

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It comes from close by the Caspian and it's called a suzani.

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If you notice, it's been done in various strips.

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There is a strip, there is a strip, there is a strip,

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there are four strips down that entire length of this covering

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and what happened was, the women in a tribe would each embroider a different section,

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principally before the women went off to be married,

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and it's a miracle you get the colours matching as they would've been woven by different people,

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not necessarily at the same time, and if the women were concentrating...

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-I'm afraid women do have a propensity to chat amongst themselves.

-No(!)

-"No," she says!

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..that is why that flower doesn't quite match up. It's the naive village craft.

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So we're on the banks of the Caspian Sea and the four groups of women are doing their embroidery

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and they're doing it in around about 1900 which, in suzani terms, is quite an early period.

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It's a high quality piece of work, and it's survived in a good state.

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-Now, how much did you pay for it?

-I think about £2 about 25 years ago.

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-Well! What do you think it's worth now?

-I've no idea.

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-If you were selling it at auction, you'd get between £2,000 and £3,000.

-Really?

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That was a very good investment.

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Good investment?! I should say so!

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Look at that mark on top. See where that has been opened and that arc...

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200 years or more.

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-More?

-Oh, yes! Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.

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The hinges may have been replaced, but let's look at the good parts,

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and of course the rare thing is,

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this is a gateleg table of the very early 18th century - very early -

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-and it's not made of oak or walnut, but of mahogany...

-Right.

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..which is one the earliest pieces of domestic furniture made of mahogany I've seen in 40 years.

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-Really.

-This thing here?

-This thing here.

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-Everything's right - the turning on the columns.

-Is that machine turned?

-No, that was done on a pole lathe.

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-A pole lathe?

-The pole was stuck in the ground and a string went from the pole lathe down onto a treadle,

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and then the guy...the turner put his foot down

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-and it spun this way, then that way, and created all these wonderful bits of turning.

-Yeah.

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You can only do that with close-grained timber - oak's too...

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-Too open.

-Absolutely, absolutely. And the original feet.

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Let's stand it up and look at the thing properly. Well done.

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-Now, there again, just down here, you see, this one is perfect.

-Yes.

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-That's been...

-That one is just gently worn away, then, as soon as it's open,

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-you can see why. People have sat round.

-Yes.

-There's been a few feet under here!

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Now, when you first look at it,

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the top's a strange colour, because it's been stripped at some time.

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I don't know when. 50 years ago.

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-I know.

-You know? You had it done?

-When it came into my possession.

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-Right.

-The old man that owned it used it for a telephone to sit on,

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and instead of reaching for a piece of paper, he scribbled a telephone number on the top,

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-and I was lucky - sometimes it was done with a pin!

-Well!

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That's the sort of guy he was.

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That beats writing on the hand, doesn't it?

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Well, it sure does.

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Well, well. You couldn't live with it as it was, but that's why, when you first look at it,

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you think, "Uh-oh," but there's no doubt that's perfectly OK.

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-1720.

-Is that right? So it's as old as that?

-1720. Oh, yes.

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I'll tell you what, it's still worth £12,500.

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Now can I tell you a story?

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Yes.

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Without libelling anybody,

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I took it into a Belfast auction room

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and they said, "Mmm, nice table.

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"Yeah, £400. It might make, on a good day, £500".

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-That would've been a bad choice.

-That would have been a bad deal for me. Are you serious on the £12,500?

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Absolutely. This is one of the best examples you could ever wish to see. Thank you.

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Thank you very much. Thank you.

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This was carved at the end of the 19th century

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when large quantities of works of art of all sorts were coming out of Japan,

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and the Japanese had got a long tradition of carving in ivory,

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because, of course, they wore netsuke,

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toggles worn at the waistband, and once they stopped carving toggles, since they'd adopted western dress,

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they started to carve these larger group which are called okimono,

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They vary enormously in quality.

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Some of them, frankly, are really of no merit whatsoever,

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but they're - when they're good - they're really nice and I love this one.

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-Such a charming subject.

-It's beautiful.

-You love it?

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-I love it.

-Where did you get?

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My mother was English and her great grandmother used to travel to the Far East in her bath chair.

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-In a bath chair?

-In a bath chair.

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-Why?

-she just loved to travel. Way beyond her time.

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-She would've bought this?

-Yes. It lived in my grandmother's house,

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and, as a child, we used to go and look at her ivory collection, and this was one of my favourites.

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You're right, it's a charming subject. This is as good as it gets.

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A sister - I don't think she's a mother - with her baby brother on her back

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in this typical way of tying the child on there,

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and then two brothers who are feeding the chickens

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under the chicken coop,

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made from woven bamboo, which is the traditional way of doing it.

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Then the mother hen poking her head out from underneath

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and a couple of chicks. It's all in sparklingly good condition.

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I can't see anything wrong with it.

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If one were to see that coming up for auction,

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one would expect an estimate of somewhere around £800 to £1,500 on it.

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My goodness! Thank you very much. That's lovely.

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Hello. My golly, that looks like John!

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Give me your glasses, give me your glasses.

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That's you, Henry! That's definitely your father, John.

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Never seen it before in my life.

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-Well, thank you very much.

-Anyway, um...

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Well, um, it looks like Souter Johnnie, doesn't it?

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-As in Tam O'Shanter and Souter Johnnie.

-Is that...?

-What do you think, John?

-Can't be Derbyshire.

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-Um...

-It's too well modelled for some of the Scottish ones.

-OK.

-This is a good, good model.

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You do get Doulton and Potts models of that.

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-Do you pour the drink out of there?

-Out of his hat, yeah.

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You drink it from there?

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No. Maybe in Worcestershire, but in Lancashire...

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we'd pour it into a glass or a cup, Henry.

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-Couple of hundred pound?

-About £200.

-Yes.

-OK, we'll go with that.

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-This is an interesting autograph book. It's yours, presumably?

-Yes.

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-Laurel and Hardy in it!

-Yes, yes.

-So you're Margaret, are you?

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-I'm Margaret, yes.

-Um, did you send away for it or...?

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No. Our neighbour in Belfast - we called him "Pop" - he had to do with the opera house in Belfast.

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Every so often, he'd take me with one of his granddaughters

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down at opening night and take us back to meet who was performing.

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That particular night it was Stan and Ollie, and they were lovely.

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We were in their room, and they give us the photograph, then signed our books,

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and put our name on it for us.

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-So you met them?

-Yes.

-You saw them?

-Yes.

-I think it's...

-It would've been in the '50s when I got it.

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-It's nice to actually know that you've seen these signed with your own eyes.

-Oh, yes.

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-So you spent five or ten minutes with them?

-Yes.

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-What were they like?

-Lovely.

-As they appeared?

-Lovely.

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-We don't often see Laurel and Hardy autographs. I think it has a value of around £200 to £300.

-Lovely.

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-Lovely content.

-Great.

-Thanks for bringing it along.

-Thank you very much indeed.

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This is an odd situation for me -

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an audience-eye view of the best double act in the antiques business, the Sandon Boys!

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Difficult to tell which is which!

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-Holding a teapot.

-Yes.

-Even though it's not a Worcester.

-That's nice.

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Now the mark has worn off on that one, but why does the mark wear off sometimes?

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-It's OK on the saucers.

-I'm guilty.

-Have you been washing them badly?

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Hold your hand out.

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-Naughty!

-You hit ME like that!

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-You deserved it.

-Well, learning about the porcelain.

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No, looking after porcelain is a bit like looking after a man, really.

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LAUGHTER Lots of love and kindness and warmth, and very little washing.

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Speak for yourself!

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Now I've got to stop it!

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One of those novelty toys. In fact, they did make quite a lot of this particular toy,

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-Can you tell me where you...?

-It came from America...

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-Right.

-..and ended up with my uncle, then came to me.

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-He lived in America or visited?

-His relatives are there.

-Right.

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Well, I suspect that when he saw this, it was a real novelty and to bring it back to Europe

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was quite good at the time. In fact, it has quite a reasonable value.

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At auction, it's going to be worth in the region of £300 to £400,

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-even though it's still quite a popular toy.

-Yes.

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This is one of the most unusual clocks I've seen. Do you know where it came from originally?

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No, the wife purchased it locally from a collector who was moving house.

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He had the clock running on the outside of one of his buildings.

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-As I'm sure you know, it's a turret clock.

-Yes.

-A nice example of a turret clock.

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It would originally have been in a lovely house or a stable block or something of that sort,

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and the great thing about it is that it shows us in great detail how these things work.

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Now this particular maker -

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and this is an elaborate signature for a clock, that is unseen -

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is James Drury of London, and it's actually dated 1738.

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He was master of the Clockmakers Company in 1728 and died in 1740,

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so this is excellent to see one of his pieces that is signed and dated.

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The other thing is, on this dial here -

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and this is, of course, the dial with which we set the main hands -

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if you can imagine this sitting in maybe a church or a stable block

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and all the motion work and the dial would have stood on this side, but here we have the hand setting...

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..and what I'm going to do is, with this handle,

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which you've obviously used to wind this up.

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That's the winding square and this one here is for setting the time.

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If I can get that up to three o'clock, there goes the fly,

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and, um...

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if you can imagine that - which you've obviously had re-painted - sitting out here

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with some wonderful hands, and this would now be striking on a superb bell, ringing out across the land.

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All in all, I think you're jolly lucky to have got it.

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-How long had the collector had it?

-I think he had it about 12 years.

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Right. And he simply has no idea where it came from?

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-And what did you pay for it?

-I paid £2,000.

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-Did you?

-Yes.

-You did very well.

-OK.

-How long ago was that?

-About two years.

-Right.

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Well, to anybody vaguely interested in horology, this is a very good example.

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I think to the right collector, you'd probably double your money.

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-OK.

-So you've done well.

-Yes, good.

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-It's great you've got it on the stand. Do you have it working at home?

-Yes. Ticking away.

-Super.

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It's from a ship's fitting - a cross-channel ferry or a liner or... People buy marine artefacts,

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-and that's what this is.

-Yes.

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The steward would fill the copper reservoir with water.

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You'd keep in this compartment your toothbrushes and your flannels and your washing accoutrement.

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When it was time to have a wash, you'd whizz open...

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Wow! ..the wash-hand basin, which would be filled by pressing this little nickel tap.

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You'd have your wash, and when you've had your wash,

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whoosh, it disgorges the waste into a galvanised container on the back,

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and when that needs to be disgorged, you undo the bottom flap and take out this.

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When it's full, chuck it overboard. Where did you get it?

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-I went to an auction, you understand?

-Yes.

-And it was sort of antiques at this auction.

-Yes.

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-And that's why it was so expensive.

-Did you have to pay a lot, then?

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-Well, I paid £52 in old currency.

-What - in the 1950s?

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-Yes.

-52 old pounds?

-Yes.

-Gosh, that was a price!

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If you were selling it at auction in a marine sale, I think you could get between £200 and £300 for it.

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-Is that all?

-Yes, that's all.

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My goodness!

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After all those years, and keeping anything myself for 50 years!

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-I know.

-And I can only get £400.

-Well, £400 top end, I reckon.

-I never heard the like!

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It belonged to the Third Marquis of Londonderry when he was an officer in the Second Lifeguards.

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-The man who lived in this house.

-That's correct.

-Really?!

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What you have here is the 1832 pattern heavy cavalry sword of the Household Cavalry.

0:21:590:22:06

-Now, he was in the Lifeguards, wasn't he, the third Marquis?

-Second Lifeguards, yes.

0:22:060:22:12

Second Lifeguards, and so this would be 1832, so he carried this in, say, the 1840s and 1850s probably.

0:22:120:22:20

He carried it at the Duke of Wellington's funeral.

0:22:200:22:24

-The sword itself is in remarkable condition, isn't it?

-It is.

0:22:240:22:28

Obviously, it's been in the right hands to be looked after,

0:22:280:22:31

but a sword like this, without any history at all and in this condition is worth £1,000 or more,

0:22:310:22:39

but you have the provenance, we know exactly who owned it,

0:22:390:22:44

and it could be a sword worth £3,000, £4,000, £5,000.

0:22:440:22:49

You're talking about serious money when you've got a sword of a notable person in nice condition

0:22:490:22:55

-and you have the provenance. Wonderful.

-That's really good.

0:22:550:23:00

How do you tell a hand-painted plate and a lithoprint apart?

0:23:030:23:07

It's not too difficult, if you look closely at it.

0:23:070:23:11

There's different forms of printing. This is printed in outline.

0:23:110:23:15

The whole thing is basically a transfer print,

0:23:150:23:19

and then, if you want, you can colour it in, like that.

0:23:190:23:24

-That's the same subject underneath.

-And that's hand painted?

-Hand painted over a print. Yeah.

0:23:240:23:30

If you look carefully, you can see all the lovely little black lines,

0:23:300:23:35

all these wriggly lines. Everything outlined - the trees, the branches - is all printed,

0:23:350:23:41

and then the painter, with great skill, has to paint it over.

0:23:410:23:45

-Yes.

-A complicated one is lithographic transfers, which have been in vogue for quite a while

0:23:450:23:52

and are the mass production work of today's generation.

0:23:520:23:56

If you look carefully, perhaps with a magnifying glass, you can see all the little screen printed dots.

0:23:560:24:02

-The whole thing is a mass of dots.

-Like a newspaper.

-Yes.

0:24:020:24:07

You blow it up thinking you can see Uncle Charlie and it's a mass of dots,

0:24:070:24:12

so that's a screen-printed litho, which is mass production, thousands of them made at a time.

0:24:120:24:18

-And offensive to you?

-Yes, because people pretend it's painting.

0:24:180:24:24

Now, this, you see, IS painting.

0:24:240:24:27

This is quality painting of the first order.

0:24:270:24:30

Every brush stroke, every little thing is done entirely by hand -

0:24:300:24:34

perspective, even the gold - by hand, that's a master plate.

0:24:340:24:39

-No dots...?

-Nothing at all. Everything is washed and beautifully done.

0:24:390:24:45

-You need a magnifying glass.

-Much better to use a magnifying glass.

0:24:450:24:49

I've got a test for you. Two plates - one of which...

0:24:490:24:53

They're both of about 1780 in date. One is Chinese, one is English.

0:24:530:24:58

Now the Chinese one is hand-painted

0:24:580:25:00

and the English one is printed.

0:25:000:25:03

It's more difficult with blue and white,

0:25:030:25:07

because the blue tends to blur, but can you tell which is the painting and which is the printing?

0:25:070:25:13

-I can't, but going by what you've told me - and I haven't a magnifying glass...

-No.

0:25:130:25:19

-That's the printed one and that's the hand painted.

-The other way round!

-So a complete waste of time!

0:25:190:25:26

These are all lines of print and this is hand-painted wash,

0:25:260:25:30

finely done by the Chinese, but this is English transfer printing, going back 220-odd years.

0:25:300:25:37

-Well, they're both cracked.

-They're both cracked. So am I!

0:25:370:25:42

I'm not sure what the subject is, but I can see the signature -

0:25:420:25:47

TB Kennington, that's Thomas Benjamin Kennington,

0:25:470:25:50

a Victorian artist whose work I'm interested in,

0:25:500:25:54

but what intrigues me is what is the subject? What's happening?

0:25:540:26:00

-He appears to be a pawnbroker, appraising the value...

-Ah, yes.

-..of this lady's jewellery.

0:26:000:26:07

-She, I'd imagine, has fallen on difficult times and...

-Poor lady, having to sell her jewellery.

0:26:070:26:13

..and he is appraising it for her. I'm not too sure that she's also too happy with the value.

0:26:130:26:21

-She's looking slightly apprehensive, isn't she?

-She is.

0:26:210:26:25

As if waiting for the figure the pawnbroker's going to mention.

0:26:250:26:29

Yes, well, this is typical of Kennington's sort of dramatic pictures of upper class life.

0:26:290:26:36

He's an interesting figure.

0:26:360:26:39

He began his career painting rather gritty sort of street scenes of London in the late 19th century,

0:26:390:26:46

quite sort of sad pictures, but then he changed

0:26:460:26:50

and he moved towards paintings of elegant Edwardian ladies, which is what he's best known for.

0:26:500:26:57

-Right.

-And sometimes they are slightly... pictures with a...with a problem.

0:26:570:27:03

-The picture's in good condition, though it's rather dirty.

-Yes.

0:27:030:27:08

I'd recommend a good clean of this.

0:27:080:27:10

The white of the pawnbroker's shirt and his cufflinks

0:27:100:27:14

would all come up much brighter and crisper than it looks now.

0:27:140:27:19

It's really very dirty.

0:27:190:27:22

-As to value, well, I think in a sale now you'd get £10,000 to £15,000 for this.

-Oh, that's fine. Very nice.

0:27:220:27:29

-I think insurance, tell them £20,000.

-Yeah, well it won't move from its present position.

-Good.

0:27:290:27:36

It belonged to my husband's family.

0:27:390:27:41

They were jewellers. That is nothing to do with it, except that they collected things.

0:27:410:27:47

-Where were they?

-They were in Sussex.

-Were they?

-Yes.

-So it's travelled a long way?

-Yes, yes.

0:27:470:27:54

You brought it from there?

0:27:540:27:56

Yes, when the parents died, we had it, then my husband died, so I've had it all those years.

0:27:560:28:02

The interesting thing about this particular fan,

0:28:020:28:06

if it were a Chinese, it'd have probably a much stronger box,

0:28:060:28:11

lacquer box or something like that, then the French ones - and I believe this is French -

0:28:110:28:17

very often had... this is a sort of Carton box...

0:28:170:28:21

but it's got a bit of design.

0:28:210:28:23

-The family was a Huguenot family.

-The what?

-Huguenot family from Normandy, originally.

0:28:230:28:29

I've got it right, then, haven't I?

0:28:290:28:32

I think so, yes.

0:28:320:28:34

What I love is the ivory with the mother-of-pearl inlay,

0:28:340:28:39

a lot of work's gone into that, and this - these little tiny, tiny flowers and dots,

0:28:390:28:46

I think that is pewter.

0:28:460:28:48

Ooh.

0:28:480:28:50

Circa...maybe 1880, something like that. Would that sort of fit in?

0:28:500:28:56

I'd imagine so. I'd imagine so.

0:28:560:28:58

Well, if you were to insure this,

0:28:580:29:01

ie, if you were to go to a Bond Street jeweller's shop,

0:29:010:29:06

-you'd be probably paying something like £1,500 for it.

-My goodness.

0:29:060:29:11

Are you a collector of Scrimshaw?

0:29:110:29:14

I'm interested in whaling. I wrote a book about Irish whaling, so I've an interest in scrimshaw.

0:29:140:29:21

-Was there a whaling industry in Ireland?

-Yes. In Donegal Bay in the 18th century for a short time,

0:29:210:29:28

then there were two Norwegian companies in the 20th century.

0:29:280:29:33

-So you bought these due to their whaling connections?

-Yes, indeed.

-When did you buy them?

0:29:330:29:39

I bought this one last year in Portobello Road.

0:29:390:29:43

-I got the pair.

-Yes.

0:29:430:29:45

-I bought this in the Angel the previous year.

-In London?

-Yes.

0:29:450:29:49

And I bought this in a local antique shop.

0:29:490:29:52

And so you were aware that whaling images on scrimshaw,

0:29:520:29:57

on walrus tusks and so on, are of great interest.

0:29:570:30:01

It's a whaling and zoological association, really.

0:30:010:30:04

-You're aware that they're quite collectable.

-Yes.

0:30:040:30:08

Can I ask what you paid for them?

0:30:080:30:11

I bought two of these... The other one there... ..at £300.

0:30:110:30:15

-Yes.

-This was £250.

-Yes.

-This was £600, actually.

0:30:150:30:19

Right.

0:30:190:30:21

Did you have any...? Did you ever have any doubts about them? Did you think they were OK?

0:30:210:30:27

No. I reckon those are sperm whale teeth and this is walrus tusk.

0:30:270:30:32

I have my thoughts on this, but I'd like to get a second opinion from a colleague.

0:30:320:30:38

These are super - 18th century sporting buttons.

0:30:410:30:44

What's so super, with each of these, we have the names of different dogs.

0:30:440:30:50

These would've been the real names in the 18th century, dogs belonging to the chap wearing these buttons.

0:30:500:30:56

I mean, it's magic when you think about it. I think we'd be looking at at least £1,000, and probably more.

0:30:560:31:03

-I thought he bought rubbish.

-LAUGHTER

0:31:060:31:09

-If it were right, it would be the ultimate whaling...

-I know.

0:31:090:31:14

Yes, and the owner has bought it relatively recently for about £500,

0:31:140:31:19

-which is completely the wrong price.

-It's either grossly too little or grossly too much.

-Yes, yes.

0:31:190:31:25

My feeling is, you're right - it's grossly too much, but I'm not sure.

0:31:250:31:30

You do have everything - a ship crushed in the ice,

0:31:300:31:33

polar bears being shot.

0:31:330:31:36

-A whale coming up under a boat.

-Whale coming under a boat.

0:31:360:31:40

-Wouldn't want to stick my neck out.

-It could be real.

-It could be.

0:31:400:31:44

My day would not be complete without finding an Irish peat bucket. That's what it is.

0:31:440:31:50

Of its type, it's as good as you'll find.

0:31:500:31:53

This ribbing round here is typical of Northern Ireland and Scotland.

0:31:530:31:58

That's a very, very northern style and this banding round here - this reeding - is quite exceptional,

0:31:580:32:05

I mean, this is the luxury model. Most of them are quite plain. And the value - round about £3,000.

0:32:050:32:13

-My goodness!

-Put your Christmas tree in it!

-Completely shocked.

0:32:140:32:20

Two areas of difficulty - these ARE old teeth, no doubt about that.

0:32:200:32:25

As you know, those survive in large quantities.

0:32:250:32:28

The difficulties are, one, the price charged by dealers

0:32:280:32:33

who should know their business, was simply not enough.

0:32:330:32:38

Secondly, the dating of the engraving.

0:32:380:32:41

Now, I am very doubtful about... particularly that one...

0:32:410:32:45

I've never seen a real one titled "Whaling in Greenland".

0:32:450:32:50

Modern ones always tend to have flags, dates -

0:32:500:32:54

things that appear to tie in a particular moment in time.

0:32:540:32:59

Um, 1875 is not a particularly early date,

0:32:590:33:03

but it's the fact that it's dated makes me suspicious.

0:33:030:33:07

The real ones, while there are ones as detailed as this, tend to be quite simple,

0:33:070:33:13

the decoration's straightforward, very accurately done,

0:33:130:33:16

but they don't put it all in with flags and bells.

0:33:160:33:21

And, as I say, this one, certainly a very old tusk,

0:33:210:33:25

if this scene is real, this is one of the best we've ever seen.

0:33:250:33:30

If it's added later, the whole complexion changes.

0:33:300:33:34

Someone had dated the rigging on the ships for me at around 1860s.

0:33:340:33:39

-That just means they've been accurate in their use of past records.

-Yes.

0:33:390:33:45

All I'm saying is, I am suspicious.

0:33:450:33:47

I'm not saying... I think those are very dodgy indeed.

0:33:470:33:52

This requires further exploration.

0:33:520:33:54

It may be fantastic, but there are things about it that make me worry.

0:33:540:34:00

Um, and...you know, if my worries are right,

0:34:000:34:05

-they are borne out by the fact that the prices don't make sense.

-Yes.

0:34:050:34:10

You know, the most basic dealer in Portobello Road

0:34:100:34:14

should know one of that quality is £800.

0:34:140:34:17

-Yes.

-Do you see what I mean?

0:34:170:34:20

I could accept your views on those,

0:34:200:34:22

-but I have reservations about that one.

-So do I.

0:34:220:34:26

-It came from Germany, I think.

-Yes. OK, let us agree.

0:34:260:34:30

-We're both doubtful about those.

-Yes.

0:34:300:34:32

-This one I'll reserve judgement on, too.

-Right.

0:34:320:34:35

-We have come across pieces where the engraving is clearly later.

-Yes.

0:34:350:34:41

A skilled engraver copying an original with an old tusk

0:34:410:34:46

is doing something which is very difficult to date.

0:34:460:34:50

-Yes.

-I just think this is...

0:34:500:34:52

-There is so much that is wonderful on it, if it's real, you've a fantastic bargain.

-Yes.

0:34:520:34:58

If not, it wasn't such a bargain.

0:34:580:35:00

-I still enjoy it.

-It's lovely, but let's leave the jury out on that one.

-Righto.

0:35:000:35:06

-We hope it's right. Thank you.

-Thank you.

0:35:060:35:09

It belonged to my grandmother. All I know is her father-in-law give it to her.

0:35:090:35:15

-Pretty lavish gift! Two whopping great diamonds.

-Beautiful.

0:35:150:35:19

And they're set into two heart-shaped clusters,

0:35:190:35:24

and joined with a true lover's knot, so it was probably a wedding gift,

0:35:240:35:29

-something rather romantic?

-No idea! Probably.

0:35:290:35:32

It's mounted in silver and gold, and at the side there's a little pierced, open-gold gallery

0:35:320:35:38

which supports silver settings, what we call cut-down settings -

0:35:380:35:44

the diamonds are laid into channels, then they're cut away to leave them as fine as possible.

0:35:440:35:50

Beautiful English jewellery. You've never worn it, have you?

0:35:500:35:55

-No, never.

-Do you know how I know that you haven't worn it?

0:35:550:35:59

-There's no perfume on it.

-Well, there will be soon.

0:35:590:36:04

-When we turn it over it's perfectly obvious there's no way to wear it.

-Absolutely.

-No pin.

0:36:040:36:10

There's a loop to hang it from a pendant. And see this fitting here?

0:36:100:36:15

It has a thread in the middle for a screw fitting, then two prongs to hold that thread steady.

0:36:150:36:22

It tells me this was not only a brooch - the fitting's now missing -

0:36:220:36:27

but it was also possible to wear it in one's hair

0:36:270:36:30

and also to wear it as a pendant, so it's very versatile.

0:36:300:36:34

-Beautiful. Were you excited when you saw it?

-Absolutely.

-Of course!

0:36:340:36:39

People want to know what it's like to wear something as beautiful as that.

0:36:390:36:44

That's the right word. Beautiful piece of English jewellery

0:36:440:36:48

set with diamonds, made in about 1900 at a time when entertainment was very, very important.

0:36:480:36:55

This sort of jewellery was worn on great occasions.

0:36:550:37:00

You couldn't hope to have anything more beautiful to wear.

0:37:000:37:04

-So, um, no insurance?

-No, no.

0:37:040:37:08

-Want to insure it?

-OK.

0:37:080:37:10

What about £15,000?

0:37:100:37:13

OK. Lovely.

0:37:140:37:17

-Going to wear it then?

-No!

-Why not?

-No, I wouldn't.

0:37:170:37:21

Of course you're going to wear it!

0:37:210:37:24

We'll get a fitting put on and you must have a go at this.

0:37:240:37:28

-It's beautiful.

-It is.

0:37:280:37:30

You must be wondering why I'd like to discuss a picture that's had a pretty neglected life

0:37:320:37:38

with holes in it and it's flaking along the lower margin

0:37:380:37:42

and looks like the odd dog's run over it over the years. I mean, where has it been?

0:37:420:37:47

It was in my husband's granny's shed, and when she died, which was about three years ago,

0:37:470:37:54

it was actually thrown out onto a skip with a lot of other rubbish and I rescued it, so...

0:37:540:38:01

-So it's been lying in the shed for many years?

-A long, long time.

0:38:010:38:06

It was in a terrible state, but I thought, "Well..."

0:38:060:38:10

She associated no worth to it, I suppose.

0:38:100:38:13

It wasn't really her kind of thing.

0:38:130:38:16

She was in service to a Victorian lady -

0:38:160:38:20

-we wondered if she was given it when she got married a long time ago.

-But you salvaged it?

-Yeah!

0:38:200:38:26

Well, that's very interesting.

0:38:260:38:30

You can see, if you look closely, that there's a linked A-E.

0:38:300:38:34

Now, A-E is the monogram for a Dutch 19th century romantic painter

0:38:340:38:40

-called Adrian Everson.

-Right.

0:38:400:38:44

And also, even more indistinct than the monogram, is the date 1852,

0:38:440:38:49

which is a nice period in the work of Everson.

0:38:490:38:53

-This is typical of his style.

-Do you know what it's of?

-There's a label on the back...

-I couldn't read it.

0:38:530:39:00

..which is fairly indistinct,

0:39:000:39:02

-but you can see, albeit in rather a faint hand, the inscription for "Haarlem".

-Yes.

0:39:020:39:09

Now, Everson studied in Amsterdam.

0:39:090:39:12

-He was a pupil of Cornelis Springer...

-Mmm.

0:39:130:39:17

..but he is regarded as one of the more interesting of the Dutch town painters.

0:39:170:39:24

Condition is a problem, but, at the same time,

0:39:240:39:28

things can be done to repair aspects of this.

0:39:280:39:32

-This is the most difficult area, where an area of canvas has been lost.

-Mmm.

0:39:320:39:38

So what's necessary is a fairly major restoration job.

0:39:380:39:43

In saying that,

0:39:430:39:45

he's such a rare artist, if this picture was to come up for a sale at an auction in London in this state,

0:39:450:39:53

-I think it could make in the region of £20,000 to £30,000.

-Wow.

0:39:530:39:58

Goodness me.

0:39:580:40:01

-I didn't think it was worth anything, so there you go.

-Neither did your aunt.

-No.

0:40:010:40:06

A really handsome pair of dishes. Are they yours?

0:40:060:40:11

-Yes. Well, my sister's and mine.

-So you've got one each?

-Yes.

0:40:110:40:16

-Are they hanging on the walls at home?

-Yes.

-Where'd they come from?

0:40:160:40:20

All I know is my father bought them at auction, and I think it was Lord Charlemagne's auction

0:40:200:40:26

near Moy in the late '40s.

0:40:260:40:30

These were made at Arita in Japan, which was the main port in the centre.

0:40:310:40:38

Decorated in an Imari palette - the under-glazed blue, iron-red, and gilding,

0:40:380:40:43

and exported out through there by the Dutch.

0:40:430:40:48

It's the sort of thing you find more in Holland than in this country, although there are a lot over here.

0:40:480:40:55

The decoration shows two ladies

0:40:550:40:59

who are pulling along this cart with a tassel

0:40:590:41:02

with this wonderful spray of peony in them,

0:41:020:41:07

and it may be... I mean, peony,

0:41:070:41:10

THE sort of major flower, iconographically,

0:41:100:41:15

and they...they symbolise purity amongst other things.

0:41:150:41:19

We've got precious objects and diapers surrounding the scene.

0:41:190:41:23

What have we got on the back?

0:41:230:41:26

We've got...very unusual,

0:41:260:41:29

very full decoration,

0:41:290:41:32

and also that's uncommon.

0:41:320:41:35

We've got these enormous scars

0:41:360:41:39

left from the firing points where it was resting in the kiln.

0:41:390:41:45

And what we've also got

0:41:460:41:49

is one of the most extraordinary bits of suspension I've ever seen in my life.

0:41:490:41:57

We knew you were going to say that.

0:41:570:42:00

Now, date.

0:42:000:42:02

These are late 17th century...

0:42:020:42:05

..and they've survived in extraordinarily good condition.

0:42:070:42:12

Do we have them insured?

0:42:120:42:14

Not individually, no.

0:42:140:42:16

-House insurance.

-House insurance?

-Yes.

0:42:160:42:20

-Do you know how much your house insurance pays out if you damage them and they're not specified?

-No.

0:42:200:42:26

Most policies £200, £500.

0:42:260:42:29

Do you know what this pair of dishes is worth?

0:42:300:42:34

Haven't a clue.

0:42:340:42:37

£16,000 to £20,000.

0:42:370:42:39

-My goodness! As a pair?

-As a pair.

-Individually?

-It wouldn't make a great deal of difference.

-Right.

0:42:390:42:46

I think you could say £8,000 without any trouble at all.

0:42:460:42:51

-My goodness!

-Thank you very much for bringing them in.

0:42:510:42:55

They're wonderful, wonderful dishes.

0:42:550:42:58

Mount Stewart was originally called Mount Pleasant.

0:42:590:43:03

We intend to repeat the pleasant experience and come back here for another show.

0:43:030:43:09

Many thanks to Lady Mairi and the National Trust for their kindness.

0:43:090:43:14

I'm off to sample the local scallops, so until next time, from County Down, goodbye.

0:43:140:43:20

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:330:43:38

Michael Aspel takes the Roadshow to visit Mount Stewart in Northern Ireland. Treasures include a valuable painting once thrown on a skip, a memento from Laurel and Hardy, and Henry Sandon is introduced to a mug bearing his spitting image.