Mount Stewart 2 Antiques Roadshow


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Mount Stewart 2

Michael Aspel invites people to offer up their antiques for expert examination. In Mount Stewart, finds include a silver tea set and a Wedgwood cup.


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Welcome back to County Down in Northern Ireland

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for the second part of our visit to Mount Stewart,

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the magnificent home of the Londonderry family, now managed by the National Trust.

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Before we rejoin our experts in the Italian garden,

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there are one or two intriguing things elsewhere in the grounds.

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These statues are meant to represent members of the Ark Club,

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a top-dog social club formed in 1915 by Edith, Lady Londonderry.

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Edith played the part of Circe the Sorceress

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and she gave each member an animal nickname. Stone me!

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The Ark became a refuge for such people as Ramsay MacDonald, Winston Churchill, Harold Macmillan,

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Nancy Astor, Sean O'Casey, the Duke of...

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Another part of the grounds and another statue.

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The white stag points to the family burial ground known as Tir Nan Og,

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taken from an Irish legend in which a stag carried people to a place

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where they remained forever young.

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An enchanting example of perpetual youth is this statue of Lady Mairi,

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who still lives and farms here at Mount Stewart.

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It's on a fountain which marks the spot

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where she was brought as a baby for her daily nap.

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There are botanical delights throughout the nine formal gardens

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and 97 acres of the Mount Stewart estate that are open to visitors.

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Plants, trees and shrubs from every continent seem to flourish here,

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earning the gardens a World Heritage site nomination.

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Among the exotics - possibly the world's most northerly banana tree.

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The outline of the Shamrock Garden resembles a giant ace of clubs

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and here some powerful local symbols a topiary in the shape of an Irish harp

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and a bed of begonias forming the Red Hand of Ulster.

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Now it's time to see whether the gardeners among our experts

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have scrubbed their fingernails.

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-So tell me about your stove.

-Well, it's a family thing.

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My mother lived with my great aunt, and her grandmother

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and we don't know whether it was there then,

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-but it's certainly been there in our lifetime.

-OK.

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-Which is a fair number of years.

-OK.

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-Have you ever seen it up and running?

-No, we haven't.

-No.

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-It just sat, as an ornament, in the porch.

-Well, it IS very ornamental...

-Yes.

-Yes.

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..just to look at it.

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The first thing you've got to say, it's made of pottery.

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It is to a certain extent copying the sort of thing that you would have expected in metal.

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If this stove could speak,

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-it would talk to you in a very broad Yorkshire accent.

-Oh?

-Oh?

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That's very interesting.

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This is the pride of Leeds.

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It shouts, "I was made at Burmantofts."

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Now, Burmantofts is an area of south Leeds,

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and that's where you would have found the Leeds Fireclay Company,

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This is a heat-resistant clay.

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-Oh.

-Let's look at the construction because I think it's fantastic.

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The first thing that hits you is this lovely warm, tomato-red glaze

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which runs over yellow. And what's clever about it is the piercing,

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because you've got this almost Japanese feel to the actual cover.

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So there's a lot of, you know, man-hours gone into making it,

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and then you look at the handles

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which are typical Victorian naturalistic motifs with shells,

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and then more of a Japanese feel about this pierced tracery

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takes you down to this sort of chevron design,

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and then these almost Norman arches.

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So it's borrowing all sorts.

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And then looking at the working parts,

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-you've still got the original burner in there.

-Yes.

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And I can't help but think that it wouldn't give off that much heat,

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-because it originally would have taken a chimney in there, so there would be illumination.

-Right.

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This would be quite magical in an evening, in an alcove or whatever,

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and it would just get that glimmer of light through the tracery.

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-Right.

-So it's a decorative object, it's a useful object,

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-it's just classic Victoriana.

-Right.

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I wouldn't be surprised, if it was estimated at auction,

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-at between sort of £500 and £800.

-Gosh!

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So I suppose the big question is can you get it working again?

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If we have any more of those winters of discontent

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we're old enough to remember those -

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this is perfect to bring out.

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Well, I was given it, a present from my mother over 20 years ago.

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She was given it by Lord Younger's daughter as a present to her

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and we wondered if it had anything to do with Mary Queen of Scots -

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it says "Mary Stewart" on the back with number "2".

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So my daughter has encouraged me to come today

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because she's hoping to get a cruise and a new house out of this!

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I don't think so, but it is very, very interesting. It may not be as old you think.

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You might think this is a 16th-century jewel, but it isn't,

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it's 19th-century, when the Mary Queen of Scots cult was popular.

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She almost turned into a saint.

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There's a man who used to carve these in Paris called Bissinger,

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and it's typical of his work. Do you wear it?

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-No.

-Not at all.

-Because I'm just missing two little stones from it.

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Well, absolutely no trouble in doing that.

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Anyway, we have a pristine piece of 19th-century jewellery

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in homage to Mary Queen of Scots, and it'd be rather sought after.

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It won't take us round the world, but it will take us a small way.

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-Um, what shall I say? £2,000.

-Wow!

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That's wonderful.

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I'm famous, if not notorious,

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-for hating Clarice Cliff.

-Oh!

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But it's not entirely true.

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Um...I think the truth of the matter is that Clarice Cliff had

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a number of really amazing design ideas,

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but she also produced rafts of unmitigated awfulness,

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of no merit whatsoever.

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But there are things that one likes,

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and that work as a ceramic object, and this is one of them.

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-Good.

-You knew it was Clarice Cliff

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because we've got the standard mark -

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-"Bizarre by Clarice Cliff..."

-Yes.

-"Fantasque" - which is the range.

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One has to be extremely careful

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-because there are a lot of duds of these coming on the market.

-Right.

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And some are very deceptive. How long have you had this one?

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Well, I know that it was a wedding present to my mother and father,

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before their wedding, and they were married in 1939.

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Right. So this was about 1938.

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Yes. And I think at the time, it was regarded as one of the lesser presents given to her, perhaps,

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by a friend who was in the Guides with her, or something like that.

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It may even not have been new when she got it.

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I'm not sure about the date...

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-'20s, '30s is certainly when it dates from.

-Yes.

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This is a pattern called "Secrets"

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and it's a really nice object.

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-It's obviously a sugar caster, you realise that?

-Sugar shaker, yes.

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-Do you use it?

-It was used by my mother and father.

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Now they're in an nursing home. It came out of the sideboard and everybody else said, "Ugh,"

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and I always liked this as a child.

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I remember it in my home and being used,

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and for various reasons we haven't used it -

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-sugar shakers seem to have slightly gone out of fashion.

-They have.

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-I suppose it's because...

-Teeth. I've got a sister-in-law who's a dentist.

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-And stomachs.

-Yes!

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-Well, I wouldn't recommend using it, it's too good.

-Oh, right.

-Yes.

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-To chip it would be a tragedy.

-Yes.

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We're looking at around...

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£800 to £1,200.

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Oh, that's lovely, that really is. I'll tell my mother.

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I must have had perhaps 50 or even 100 fakes

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by this artist on the Roadshow, but at last, I've got a real one.

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I'm talking about Birket Foster.

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Here's the dreaded monogram which is imitated so frequently,

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but this time it's the real thing,

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and how nice it is to see how good Birket Foster can really be.

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It's just a watercolour of astounding quality, isn't it?

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-Everywhere you look. Is he an artist you've always liked?

-Yes.

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-The detail is fantastic and I've always admired him as an artist. It's the only one I have.

-It is?

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Well, it's a beauty.

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Well, of course he was enormously popular in his own lifetime

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and particularly admired, I suppose,

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firstly for his technique

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which was incredibly minute, and he must have used very small brushes.

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His technique was to build up the watercolour almost in dots.

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If you look closely,

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it's a series of tiny little touches built up in watercolour,

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and he used body colour as well to get this strength of colour,

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but also to get the fantastic detail.

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He was born in North Shields. He started life as wood engraver -

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and worked in the engraving trade

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and I think that gave him this extraordinary eye for minute detail

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which he was so brilliantly good at.

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And I think the other thing about Birket Foster that...

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makes him so extraordinary and so special

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is the image he projects of the English countryside -

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-it's, of course...it's idyllic.

-Yes.

-Everything's perfect.

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Perhaps it's slightly too perfect,

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a sanitised view of the Victorian countryside,

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but that's what the Victorians liked.

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And so there's children playing,

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there's this sort of rick, big hay-rick there,

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the sheep look fat and healthy - there they are, all in the fold.

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Everything looks perfect. The sun shines and the sky is blue

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and this is England as we'd all like to think it perpetually is, and always will be.

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-When did you buy the picture?

-About 15 years ago.

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-I purchased it privately.

-Privately?

-Yes.

-Here in Ireland?

-Yes.

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And what did you pay for it?

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It cost me £10,000, yes.

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Yes, well, you see, that's not surprising,

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-Birket Foster certainly would have cost that sort of amount 15 years ago, but he has gone up.

-Yes.

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Birket Foster's always going up, so I would say -

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value now £20,000, £25,000.

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-Insurance - you must think £30,000.

-Thank you very much.

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So it was a wonderful buy,

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and one of the nicest and finest Birket Fosters you could ever see.

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Nearly every grand country house from ancient times

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had one of these narwhal tusks.

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It was probably brought back as a part of the spoils of the whaling fleet.

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But years and years and years ago, in Tudor times,

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country houses had them, for they thought they came from a unicorn.

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They couldn't understand that they came from a whale. The unicorn doesn't exist,

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but they thought they came from unicorns and they thought they had magical properties,

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and all old country houses just had to have one of these narwhal tusks.

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It's on a very smart rosewood base which dates from about 1820 or 1830

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and smart gilt-wood claw feet

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and it all goes together nicely. Lovely. Do you love it to bits?

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Definitely, definitely.

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You're shaking your head there. Anyway, no, it's a great object,

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useless but decorative, with a good bit of history behind it.

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If you wanted to sell it, I guess it would probably bring at auction

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between £2,000 and £3,000.

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Is that a lot of money?

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What have you got here?

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Well, my understanding is that is a potato ring in Irish silver.

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I have always known of it as a potato ring and it is 100 years old.

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My grandfather won it playing golf in Greenore, as you can see.

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-Ah, an inscription there.

-It's got a date on it - 1903,

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but I think it has a Chinese design on it, which, um...

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-seems strange, I think, for an Irish silver potato ring.

-Right.

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This is actually a copy of a mid-18th century example.

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Now the original of this would have been about 1760-1770...

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-Yes.

-..When there was a fashion for Chinese decoration.

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-Now the next thing is - it's not a potato ring.

-Ah, really?

-Really.

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Everybody CALLS them potato rings.

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-My goodness!

-It's actually a dish ring.

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-Yes.

-The term potato ring is actually one of those things

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that developed in the late-Victorian period

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and ever since, everybody has referred to them as potato rings.

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Their original function

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was actually to literally to protect the table tops.

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Once you got into the age of walnut, mahogany,

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putting a hot thing on top of those surfaces would damage it,

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and throughout the British Isles,

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-they developed this idea of little rings to protect the table.

-Yes.

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Now in England, what happened was

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that these fell out of fashion in the mid-18th century

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and you get things known as dish crosses then.

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But in Ireland, they continued to develop and became much taller.

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-Yes.

-And all references to these in the 18th century are to dish rings.

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There's no 18th-century reference to a potato ring.

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-The dish sitting on top may have had potatoes in it.

-Right!

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-It was basically whatever you wanted to go inside.

-Yes.

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And that, today, is going to be worth -

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-£1,000, £1,500.

-Really?

-Yes.

-Oh, I thought it might be worth a couple of hundred.

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In date, around about 1815-1820

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pushing towards 200 years ago. And very, very lovely.

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-Have you any idea what the value is?

-I've no idea.

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£1,000 - which is very nice.

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I'd like to show this to John. ..Lovely piece of Wedgwood.

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-Three coloured jasper, isn't it?

-Nice quality.

-Beautiful.

-Super.

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-What have you got?

-Unusual thing.

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Looks nothing that way, but put a light behind and it's transformed.

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-Good Lord, yes.

-A lithophane. Terribly difficult things to make.

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Very few factories produced them, and this one is a Belleek one.

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It's nice to see a Belleek one. They did make lithophanes...

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So when did you get this one?

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I bought it about eight years ago, at a private auction.

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And what date was it given then?

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It was given here... It's a Madonna and Child.

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1865 - when these were produced.

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Lithophanes, of course, are very rare in early Belleek

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-and do fetch considerable amounts of money. What did it cost?

-£125.

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Well, that wasn't bad for an 1865 lithophane.

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Should be worth more. But we have one problem.

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One has the Belleek factory mark, but next to the Belleek,

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there is a letter "r" in a circle. That mark came in the 1950s.

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This is a reissued one. A modern version of the Victorian original.

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So an early lithophane - you're talking £2,000 - would have been a great buy.

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Instead you've got a modern one, worth what you paid.

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But you can display it like this,

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with a nice light behind. What super quality.

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What a lovely Viennese wall clock.

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We've got a lovely one-piece white enamel dial

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with beautiful blue numerals.

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Now I have to be quite honest and Mr F Dietze -

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I don't know him or this town either. But the great thing is

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you've got the three weights, so we know it's grande-sonnerie striking,

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so it does not only the quarter,

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-but at each quarter it does the preceding hour as well. Does that drive you mad?

-No, I enjoy it.

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You've got a lovely steel-rodded pendulum.

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It is so much better quality than the average ebonised wooden rod

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that you'd get on a lesser clock.

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It has six-light construction - the front glass and the sides

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have a small panel on the top and then a full panel below.

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I rather like these capitals...

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..this serpentine moulding is nice,

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and you've got some more moulding here

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and a rather nice gilt brass bit of frieze around there, rather rather nice altogether.

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The case is rosewood, and again you've got satinwood inlay here -

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very, very nice little bit of bevelled satinwood in there

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and double satinwood lines here.

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It's a great quality thing.

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Here you have a repeat button...

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repeat knob, I should say,

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and this is the noise that you'll get out of it for the whole time.

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-GENTLE CHIMING

-The quarters and the hours.

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Very pleasing. What did you pay for it?

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-Er, £4,200.

-£4,200?

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You did very well, you did very well indeed,

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because I think you'd have no hesitation

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to see that on a clock dealer's stand at a good fair

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for anything between about £9,000 and £12,000.

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-Thank you very much.

-So you've doubled your money in a year.

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-Yeah, although it's a keeper.

-Oh, absolutely, you've got to keep it -

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you won't find another in a hurry.

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Lieutenant William Hannah

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was on the ship Mars in the Battle of Trafalgar.

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The captain was decapitated, and he obviously took over the ship

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and this was what he got at the end of the battle.

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And this was presented by the other officers and men out of respect.

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-Now, the silver itself is hallmarked for 1805-1806.

-Yes.

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The Battle of Trafalgar was that year. It doesn't mean to say that it was immediately presented.

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It could have been a few years old,

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but it was made at that time of the Battle of Trafalgar and then presented afterwards.

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Because this engraving here -

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-he is THEN a captain, but he was a lieutenant on the Mars.

-Yes.

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Right. Well, of course, you see,

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we're entering now a wonderful phase for the anniversary again

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of the Battle of Trafalgar, and in 2005,

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you're going to hear a lot about Nelson and his battle.

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And if you were to part with it, that would be the year to do so,

0:21:140:21:19

-because there will be all sorts of things happening in 2005, I know this for a fact.

-Yes.

0:21:190:21:26

Now, as a silver tea service, without any inscriptions,

0:21:260:21:30

you're looking at something possibly not worth £1,000.

0:21:300:21:35

But because it is what it is,

0:21:350:21:38

then we're talking about a few thousand pounds

0:21:380:21:43

because Nelson and the Nelson period was magical.

0:21:430:21:47

-So you like them?

-I love them.

-Do you clean them?

0:21:470:21:51

-Never cleaned, only dusted.

-Good!

0:21:510:21:55

I'm all for washing porcelain, because you'd be surprised

0:21:550:21:59

at the condition of some of the objects that come on the Roadshow.

0:21:590:22:03

-Bacon and egg and custard.

-Right.

-Um, but bronzes like this...

0:22:030:22:10

on the whole are best left. Dusting - fine,

0:22:100:22:13

but otherwise you can do so much damage to them. These are Japanese

0:22:130:22:19

and they're absolutely typical of the late-19th century.

0:22:190:22:25

They're bronze, patinated

0:22:250:22:29

and then they've been inlaid and onlaid

0:22:290:22:33

in gold and silver and shibuichi

0:22:330:22:36

with various birds.

0:22:360:22:39

This is leading on...

0:22:390:22:41

These designs lead through to Art Nouveau.

0:22:410:22:48

This is where Europe got Art Nouveau from - looking at Japanese objects like this.

0:22:480:22:53

These were imported from Japan...

0:22:530:22:58

..one would say in huge quantities in the 1870s and 1880s.

0:23:000:23:06

Most of them were of no great merit

0:23:060:23:09

but some - they absolutely pushed the boat out.

0:23:090:23:13

-Japanese - enormously skilled at metalwork.

-Right.

0:23:130:23:18

Great swordsmen,

0:23:180:23:21

and when they did the hilts of the swords and the scabbards,

0:23:210:23:24

they put little bits of metal bronze, inlaid in gold and silver.

0:23:240:23:29

When the swords were given up in the 1870s,

0:23:290:23:32

those metalworkers turned to making these vases for the Western market.

0:23:320:23:37

We've got geese coming in here,

0:23:370:23:41

flying in over a stream,

0:23:410:23:44

grasses, chrysanthemums...

0:23:440:23:48

more geese on here.

0:23:480:23:50

On the neck, we've got a very unusual feature

0:23:500:23:56

which is silver against green enamel

0:23:560:24:00

and that's a really nice touch - unusual.

0:24:000:24:03

Their condition is unspoiled.

0:24:030:24:07

It is all too easy to ruin these. We see them coming in -

0:24:070:24:12

people look at that and say, "dirty".

0:24:120:24:15

Out with the polish and they wreck them.

0:24:150:24:19

I think they're really very nice.

0:24:190:24:23

What are that pair going to make? They're going to make around, er...

0:24:230:24:27

-£1,800 to £2,500.

-Oh, goodness gracious!

0:24:270:24:31

-Good Lord.

-It's broken on the end.

-Is it medical?

-Could be.

0:24:350:24:39

-What do you mean "could be"?

-Well, sort of.

0:24:390:24:42

OK, do you put it in your ear?

0:24:420:24:45

-Is it for washing out your ear?

-No.

0:24:450:24:48

Is it for something down round the nether regions?

0:24:480:24:51

No, but you're getting warmer.

0:24:510:24:54

-OK, tell me what it is.

-It's a breast reliever.

-A what?

0:24:540:24:59

A breast reliever.

0:24:590:25:02

Unfortunately, the box is just a bit... It's very very old.

0:25:020:25:06

-You've got the original box?

-Yes.

0:25:060:25:08

-A "reliever"? So it's for expressing milk?

-Yes.

-For pregnant ladies?

-Yes.

0:25:080:25:15

Fascinating dish ring, this one.

0:25:150:25:18

Decoration there is sort of based on early-18th century,

0:25:180:25:23

but we've got Dublin marks for the latter part of the 18th century.

0:25:230:25:28

-What's the history behind it?

-It was my aunt's. An old family...

0:25:280:25:33

-So it's not one you've bought?

-No.

0:25:330:25:35

Because what's happened here

0:25:350:25:38

is that somebody has actually made this -

0:25:380:25:42

not in the 18th century,

0:25:420:25:44

-but in the late 19th century...

-Right.

-..early 20th.

0:25:440:25:48

They've taken marks which were probably on a gravy spoon, right,

0:25:480:25:54

and they've set those marks in. In fact, if you look just there,

0:25:540:25:58

-there's the solder line.

-Ah, yes.

0:25:580:26:02

And just there is the other solder line.

0:26:020:26:05

That's where the strip of metal's been let in.

0:26:060:26:10

-It's an illegal piece.

-Oh, right.

0:26:100:26:14

It's about ten years' imprisonment for transposition of hallmarks.

0:26:140:26:18

-Thank you!

-Not for you.

-That's OK, it wasn't me.

0:26:180:26:21

It wasn't you, no, no, this was done some time ago.

0:26:210:26:25

But what you should do with this is send it to the Assay Office,

0:26:250:26:31

which could be done in London, then it can be legally sold

0:26:310:26:36

-and then it'll be worth £1,000, or so.

-Oh, nice.

-OK?

0:26:360:26:40

For an illegal object, great!

0:26:400:26:42

It's a Newton's celestial globe - 1860.

0:26:420:26:47

Now, the thing is that these globes from the 17th and 18th century

0:26:470:26:53

were brought up to date

0:26:530:26:55

when they discovered more about the world, the globe, the hemispheres,

0:26:550:27:00

and they repapered them.

0:27:000:27:03

So while this is dated 1860,

0:27:030:27:06

the globe inside is actually much earlier than that,

0:27:060:27:10

because this little globe started life round about the 1770s...

0:27:100:27:14

-almost 100 years earlier than the paper on here.

-Yes.

0:27:140:27:18

-It's one of a pair, so there would have been the terrestrial and the celestial.

-Yes.

0:27:180:27:24

There should be a compass under it, which is no longer there...

0:27:240:27:29

we're just going to check. There you are -

0:27:290:27:32

three little places where the three little struts went to hold the round compass in the centre.

0:27:320:27:38

And this base is mahogany -

0:27:380:27:40

it's a colour to die for, this is as good as it ever gets.

0:27:400:27:47

And the little spine down here and that little tiny shaped foot,

0:27:470:27:52

then to this spiral lobing, we call that,

0:27:520:27:55

little vase there... is 1770-1790 at the latest.

0:27:550:28:00

So this was one of a pair, treasured,

0:28:000:28:04

and by someone who was very interested in study, they've brought it up to date -

0:28:040:28:09

it's probably had five or six different papers on here, until 1860.

0:28:090:28:15

-I wonder where the other one is?

-I wish we knew.

0:28:150:28:18

-My wife bought this as a one-off.

-Did you?

-Yes.

-How much did you pay?

0:28:180:28:23

-£60 about 28 years ago.

-Did you really?

0:28:230:28:27

Today, um...a celestial

0:28:270:28:30

is obviously less valuable commercially than a terrestrial one

0:28:300:28:34

but nevertheless as a piece of furniture, an object of interest,

0:28:340:28:40

-today's value - £3,500 to £4,000.

-You should be proud of me!

-Not bad!

0:28:400:28:46

-Not bad!

-Next time we're having a party, we'll remove it from the room!

-I would indeed.

0:28:460:28:51

It's a very fragile thing.

0:28:510:28:54

..Who or what is this?

0:28:540:28:56

-Jar Jar Binks from Star Wars.

-Was he in Star Wars?

-Yes.

-Don't remember.

0:28:560:29:01

But what is more important is what Binksie is hiding.

0:29:010:29:05

Tell me about this.

0:29:050:29:07

It's for cigarettes, cigars,

0:29:070:29:10

and at the bottom there's a pipe holder.

0:29:100:29:13

-The pipe holder goes here?

-Yes.

0:29:130:29:16

-Cigarettes go in there?

-Yes.

-And cigars in there. Very clever.

0:29:160:29:20

-But you don't smoke a lot, do you?

-No.

-So how did you get it?

0:29:200:29:24

My nanny and papa had it years ago...

0:29:240:29:27

Well, kind of for a long time, cos my great-grandad got it.

0:29:270:29:32

-Your great-grandfather?

-Yes.

-How did he get it?

0:29:320:29:36

Some Jewish prisoners gave it to him

0:29:360:29:40

for giving them food for the children.

0:29:400:29:43

-So this was in the Second World War?

-Yeah.

0:29:430:29:46

-In one of the concentration camps?

-Yes.

-You've heard of those?

0:29:460:29:51

So your great-grandfather gave food to Jewish children

0:29:510:29:55

-in a concentration camp and they were so grateful...

-They gave him this.

-..they made that.

0:29:550:30:01

-And now you've got it.

-Yeah.

-How many years later is that?

-60.

-60.

0:30:010:30:07

That's fantastic. That is an historic piece of work

0:30:070:30:11

-and that's yours now.

-Yes.

0:30:110:30:14

"English, French, Turks and Russians. One dozen.

0:30:140:30:18

"William Pigit," I think. "Victoria Avenue, 1857".

0:30:180:30:22

That's enough to whet anyone's appetite.

0:30:220:30:25

1857 - Crimean War.

0:30:250:30:28

Look at that, absolutely superb.

0:30:280:30:30

I'll be quite frank with you,

0:30:300:30:33

I have never seen such a superb set of soldiers from that period.

0:30:330:30:37

Most people expect 19th-century figures to be lead...

0:30:370:30:42

these are, in fact, wooden figures,

0:30:420:30:45

although they do, obviously, have some lead elements.

0:30:450:30:49

Their firearms are, in fact, lead.

0:30:490:30:52

You've got a mixture of all the sides that were in the campaign in this box,

0:30:520:30:57

which is completely original, with its original packing, and to me that is absolutely incredible.

0:30:570:31:03

-How do you happen to have them?

-I was left them by my great-uncle.

0:31:030:31:09

-And I know very little else about them other than his father, grandfather maybe, had them.

-Right.

0:31:090:31:15

Never opened them, really.

0:31:150:31:17

It was one of the first wars to have correspondents on site

0:31:170:31:22

that relayed everything back to the masses.

0:31:220:31:25

People went on a tour - you could anchor offshore and watch the battle in progress.

0:31:250:31:31

I feel, in all honesty, that it's going to be worth between

0:31:310:31:35

-£1,000 and £1,500.

-Yes.

-And, frankly, it's so nice,

0:31:350:31:40

it wouldn't surprise me if it bettered that at auction.

0:31:400:31:45

This lady had this box of drawings and sketches and just basically knick-knacks,

0:31:450:31:51

-and I bought the box for a few punts.

-Right.

0:31:510:31:54

And amongst the drawings was this picture.

0:31:540:31:57

It's by George Weatherill.

0:31:570:32:00

He was an artist who is best known for his views of Whitby area,

0:32:000:32:04

and on the back of the watercolour we have an inscription for "Robin Hood's Bay",

0:32:040:32:10

which is just south of Whitby.

0:32:100:32:13

-I think it's a quite valuable watercolour.

-Do you?

-Worth more than the few punts you paid.

0:32:130:32:19

At auction - probably worth nearly £2,000 to £3,000.

0:32:190:32:23

-Really? Goodness, a surprise.

-So that was a wise investment.

-It was, very!

0:32:230:32:29

My grandmother was very interested in porcelain

0:32:290:32:32

and she must have read about the existence of these eggs

0:32:320:32:36

and wrote off and got three of them, in fact.

0:32:360:32:41

Two of this size and a larger one as well,

0:32:410:32:45

so I suppose in the 1920s, sometime, she wrote off and bought three.

0:32:450:32:50

Well, in 1920 it wasn't terribly old.

0:32:500:32:53

We know that because this is the cypher of the Empress of Russia,

0:32:530:32:57

Alexandra Theodorovna, the last Empress of Russia.

0:32:570:33:00

Easter was a terribly important part of Russian life,

0:33:000:33:05

more important than even Christmas is to us.

0:33:050:33:08

It was the greatest religious festival,

0:33:080:33:11

and they exchanged chickens' eggs, or perhaps wooden eggs.

0:33:110:33:16

As one moved up in society, they turned into porcelain, then gold.

0:33:160:33:20

This is a porcelain Easter egg made by the Imperial Porcelain Factory

0:33:200:33:25

for the last Tsarina to give as a presentation piece.

0:33:250:33:30

We, actually, until very recently,

0:33:300:33:32

thought that they were made in very large quantities and weren't terribly personal objects.

0:33:320:33:38

But a biography of Grand Duchess Olga tells us that actually they WERE very personal

0:33:380:33:44

and the Empress and the Dowager Empress would hand these out.

0:33:440:33:49

So we're almost certain that this is a souvenir of Alexandra, the last Tsarina of Russia

0:33:490:33:54

a terribly romantic object.

0:33:540:33:57

The Russians are coming over to England to buy back their heritage,

0:33:570:34:01

so you should try and value this object. And it IS valuable.

0:34:010:34:05

Beautifully made by the Imperial Porcelain Factory.

0:34:050:34:10

I think we can confidently say this would go between £800 and £1,200.

0:34:100:34:14

Oh, my goodness! I hadn't expected it to be as valuable as that!

0:34:140:34:19

Well, it was my father's.

0:34:190:34:22

My mother and he were married in 1927 and he actually had it at that time,

0:34:220:34:28

-and my mother didn't know how long he had had it. So it has been in the family for years.

-How interesting.

0:34:280:34:34

-You've no idea where he might have got it from?

-No.

0:34:340:34:38

-We know he worked in France as well as in Northern Ireland.

-Really?

0:34:380:34:42

That's extremely interesting that he worked in France,

0:34:420:34:46

because you've only got to look at this, to know immediately where it came from,

0:34:460:34:53

-and that is from Nancy in France.

-Right.

0:34:530:34:56

Nancy is one of the centres of Art Nouveau, French Art Nouveau.

0:34:560:35:02

And all the curves and interest in nature that you've got here

0:35:020:35:06

really suggest that period - around 1900,

0:35:060:35:10

and particularly Nancy where you find that the designers were very interested in nature,

0:35:100:35:16

and being inspired by plant forms.

0:35:160:35:20

And apart from the little pictorial scene there, you've got this spray,

0:35:200:35:25

a sort of asymmetrical spray of flowers and leaves

0:35:250:35:30

on the flat part of this little desk or table.

0:35:300:35:33

I like the way it's, in some ways, taken its inspiration from Japan.

0:35:330:35:38

And you have these tendrils which go all the way down into this little curlicue down here.

0:35:380:35:43

-Now, have you ever looked at this closely?

-Well, I've looked at it, but I didn't realise...

0:35:430:35:50

-Well, it actually says "Galle".

-Oh, right.

0:35:500:35:55

And Galle, of course,

0:35:550:35:57

was one of the masters of French Art Nouveau who lived in Nancy,

0:35:570:36:01

and he is known for his glass,

0:36:010:36:03

but also for this wonderful, inlaid furniture.

0:36:030:36:07

Galle had a factory which made glass, and a factory which made furniture,

0:36:070:36:13

and he supplied very, very high-quality furniture to big exhibitions.

0:36:130:36:18

But he also had quite a substantial workshop

0:36:180:36:22

which made commercial furniture, if you like, using this amazing inlay.

0:36:220:36:27

Now you've had it in your family for a long time, so I don't know if you have any idea of its value?

0:36:270:36:33

Not in the slightest. My mother never really liked it - we were the ones that loved it.

0:36:330:36:38

Mother would have parted with it, only we wouldn't let her.

0:36:380:36:42

I haven't the slightest idea.

0:36:420:36:45

It's not going to be worth as much as one of the very high-quality exhibition pieces,

0:36:450:36:50

but nevertheless it would be, I think, in auction around...

0:36:500:36:55

-£1,200 - £1,500.

-Right.

0:36:550:36:58

-So I'm very glad you didn't let your mother get rid of it.

-So am I!

0:36:580:37:03

For more about Emile Galle and his influence on French art-glass makers,

0:37:030:37:08

watch Inside Antiques on BBC4 immediately after this programme.

0:37:080:37:14

I've seen a lot of Royal Worcester, but I've never seen

0:37:140:37:18

a complete set of the Indian figures by Fred Gertner.

0:37:180:37:22

They're incredible - four of them.

0:37:220:37:24

-This is a spare one?

-Yes.

0:37:240:37:27

-How did you get them?

-They really belong to my mum,

0:37:270:37:30

-but I'm looking after them.

-Ah, so they're going to descend to you

0:37:300:37:35

and to the boys - if they're very, very good, and tidy their bedrooms -

0:37:350:37:43

I know what boys are like! But it's wonderful.

0:37:430:37:47

The modeller was Fred Gertner. It's well named on the back there -

0:37:470:37:52

"Gertner", and the set are Red Indians...

0:37:520:37:56

or should we call them Native Americans now?

0:37:560:37:59

Used to be Red Indians when Fred modelled these.

0:37:590:38:03

They're made in the 1930 period,

0:38:030:38:07

and they're wonderful colours of the Art-Deco period.

0:38:070:38:11

The reds and the blacks, wonderful colours indeed, and the modelling is splendid.

0:38:110:38:17

They turn up very, very rarely - in singles. They're superbly modelled

0:38:170:38:22

and irrespective of the value, they're wonderful.

0:38:220:38:26

Especially to see this Indian with his feather on the back.

0:38:260:38:31

I've never seen one with the feather intact, and this is perfect, isn't it?

0:38:310:38:36

How has that survived? You've looked after it very carefully.

0:38:360:38:41

Been told not to touch them!

0:38:410:38:45

I should think so! Don't play football around them!

0:38:450:38:49

But it's incredible that they have survived.

0:38:490:38:52

And the ladies have papooses on - little babies on their backs.

0:38:520:38:57

That is the Indian Chief

0:38:570:39:00

and these are their squaws and this is the brave. And that's the set of four.

0:39:000:39:05

-Have you any idea of their value?

-No. I just know they're interesting and they're Royal Worcester.

0:39:050:39:12

-Yes, never had them valued?

-No.

0:39:120:39:15

No, if a dealer bought them at auction, he'd probably have to pay,

0:39:150:39:20

for the set of four, irrespective of the single one,

0:39:200:39:24

-something like about £2,000.

-Oooh!

0:39:240:39:29

They would be in his shop at about £3,000 or something like that.

0:39:300:39:35

So I think you should insure them for £3,000, at any rate.

0:39:350:39:39

Oh, thank you very much.

0:39:390:39:42

-He hasn't been out of the bag for 40 years at least.

-In a bag?!

0:39:420:39:47

I haven't been keeping him, my daughter has kept him in a bag.

0:39:470:39:51

When she was a baby... she got it as a present

0:39:510:39:57

and her grandmother done a very foolish thing -

0:39:570:40:01

-she took the little Steiff badge out of the ear...

-Ohh.

0:40:010:40:05

She was scared of the baby swallowing it.

0:40:050:40:08

Of course, then, she didn't think about value...

0:40:080:40:12

-Of course not.

-She was thinking more of safety.

0:40:120:40:15

I've actually been to the Steiff factory in Germany where they put these buttons in,

0:40:150:40:21

-and it is put in with a machine and it's jolly difficult to take out.

-She had it out!

0:40:210:40:27

-But having said that, he's known as a teddy clown, obviously.

-Yes.

0:40:270:40:33

They were produced on 28th February 1926,

0:40:330:40:38

-they were introduced at the Leipzig Trade Fair...

-Yes.

-..as the Joker.

0:40:380:40:44

Now, 30,000 of them were made

0:40:440:40:47

and very few remain, particularly in good condition.

0:40:470:40:52

His pads are remarkably good, they haven't even been moth-eaten,

0:40:520:40:57

which so often is the case,

0:40:570:40:59

so your daughter must have put it in a moth-proof bag or something.

0:40:590:41:04

The colour is an unusual colour.

0:41:040:41:06

Usually, they're either pink and yellow, or red and blue,

0:41:060:41:11

and this is a lovely, what some people call mauve, I call purple...

0:41:110:41:16

-I would call it mauve.

-Right, good, mauve.

0:41:160:41:20

His ruff would have been the same colour,

0:41:200:41:24

and, for some reason, because it's different material, it's faded a bit more.

0:41:240:41:30

-Now, have you got any idea of his worth?

-Well, we...

0:41:300:41:34

-Some months ago I had an approximate valuation.

-How long ago?

0:41:340:41:39

-Oh, January.

-This January?

0:41:390:41:41

This January. Off a dealer.

0:41:410:41:44

-A dealer?

-Well, an antique dealer.

-He offered you some money?

0:41:440:41:48

-He didn't. Oh, no. He thought it was worth between £2,000 and £3,000.

-Did he?

-Yes.

0:41:480:41:54

And he didn't offer you that?

0:41:540:41:56

No. He wanted to take it to London and have a valuation done there

0:41:560:42:02

and put it in an auction there,

0:42:020:42:04

and he said that I would have to pay his expenses to London

0:42:040:42:08

and he wanted 10%, and then the auctioneers would be in London.

0:42:080:42:13

So I told my daughter and she says "Well, I've done without for many years and I'm not going to part".

0:42:130:42:19

Well... I would put a nought on that.

0:42:190:42:23

Is there a wheelchair to take me out of here?

0:42:280:42:32

So, what I'm saying is, if you were to buy him,

0:42:330:42:36

you'd have to pay £20,000 at least, at least.

0:42:360:42:41

Now, if he went into auction, obviously it would be less,

0:42:410:42:45

not a great deal less - we could be talking about £15,000, even at auction and going up.

0:42:450:42:51

That's the other thing - going up, so good investment.

0:42:510:42:55

It's well worth the journey here, well worth the wait.

0:42:550:43:00

Well, there's no doubt about it, Mount Stewart is a magical place,

0:43:000:43:04

it makes you feel small and insignificant. We've had a wonderful time in Northern Ireland.

0:43:040:43:10

Thanks to Lady Mairi Bury and the National Trust for making us so welcome.

0:43:100:43:15

With apologies to Ronnie Corbett, it's goodnight from me, as I close the book of another show.

0:43:150:43:21

'Goodbye!'

0:43:210:43:23

Subtitles by Gillian Frazer BBC Broadcast 2003

0:43:310:43:34

E-mail us at [email protected]

0:43:340:43:38

A second visit to Northern Ireland's magnificent Mount Stewart where Michael Aspel and the Roadshow experts uncover more intriguing heirlooms. Finds include a silver tea set presented to mark the bravery of an officer at the battle of Trafalgar, a rare Wedgwood cup and saucer, and a teddy bear that has been kept in a box for 40 years.