Cressing Temple Barns Antiques Roadshow


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Cressing Temple Barns

Michael Aspel visits Cressing Temple Barns in Essex and among the finds are a collection of ventriloquists dummies, an Italian chair by Bugatti and a watercolour by Russell Flint.


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This week, the Roadshow caravan has come to Essex.

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Beyond the busy suburbs, in the centre of the county,

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lies a gently undulating landscape with rich soil,

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for centuries a farming Utopia.

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Close to the town of Witham stands Cressing Temple - a farm estate that pulsates with history.

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Behind me, a 17th-century farmhouse any self-respecting Old Macdonald would die for,

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while in front of me, two of the most spectacular timber-framed medieval barns in Europe.

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It wasn't any Old Macdonald who made these beautiful structures.

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They're the work of an order of warrior monks known as the Knights Templar.

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Founded in 1119 to protect pilgrims en route to the Holy Land,

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the poor Templars were gifted tracts of land, and in time became rich and powerful.

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In 1137, they acquired the estate of Cressing, which they farmed to provide money for the Crusades.

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Walk into the barley barn

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and you'll find an oak structure that's stood for over 700 years.

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It's like a cathedral, with a central nave and side aisles.

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Its clever construction also solved the problem of supporting a roof over a huge area.

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Those medieval chippies knew what they were doing. Some timbers here are over 40 feet long.

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At the end of the harvest, the barns were stacked to the roof with sheaves of wheat or barley.

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When the last cartload came in, the barn was dressed with green boughs. One of them, a "horkey",

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was tied to the roof to ensure good fortune for the next harvest.

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This one dates from the late 1950s, before mechanisation swept away the tradition.

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All around Cressing Temple, there are poignant reminders of the way things were,

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when the horse, the plough and the wagon reigned supreme.

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In the 16th century, the estate passed into private ownership

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and a great house and a walled formal garden was added.

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When the house was demolished in the 18th century,

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the pleasure garden was put to work, providing for the kitchen.

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Now, things have come full circle and the formal garden has been recreated in the Tudor style.

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This arbour draws its inspiration from A Midsummer Night's Dream -

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"I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows

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"Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows

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"Quite overcanopied with lush woodbine

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"With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine."

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On that fragrant note, let's waft along to our very own country fair,

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the Cressing Temple Roadshow.

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That traction engine covered in gleaming brass and traditional paintwork curiously relates to this.

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Here we have a massive collection of horse brasses and decorations. Why have you got these?

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I suppose it started in my youth.

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Father was with horses, so it's one of these things you carried on.

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-They're a one-off, so that's about it.

-So you grew up with them?

-Yes.

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-You grew up with working horses on a farm.

-That's right.

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And when they went out to plough, they were decorated.

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-They'd have a few brass.

-They'd always have something on.

-Yes.

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-Initially they were to protect the horse.

-Yeah.

-They had magic powers.

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A lot of the decoration relates very much to that protective quality.

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So the purpose originally was to put on something, which goes back hundreds of years,

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to protect your investment - your horse. Then, bit by bit, that changed into ornamentation.

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-So the mythology got lost eventually, did it?

-I don't know, it was always a lucky charm,

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-but then you went into different counties.

-And there's variations?

-Each county had their own.

-Yeah.

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-Like your Staffordshire one there.

-There's a Staffordshire knot there.

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-There's a leaping horse of Kent.

-Yeah.

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-They're interesting because it's become a folk art tradition.

-Yes.

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-It links to Romanies and caravans.

-Yes.

-To the decoration of steam engines, steam ploughing tractors,

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canal boats - all these symbols are common in that sort of aspect of early-19th-century working life.

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From early on, there was competition, wasn't there?

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-Gotta be better than your mate.

-Best-dressed horse.

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Brewers were the key operators of dray horses in a decorative sense.

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-Farming horses couldn't compete with them.

-No. Here, we've got the Festival of Britain.

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-That must be almost the last real horse brass.

-Suppose it would be.

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-1951.

-A while ago.

-There were still horse teams working.

-Yeah.

-Um, OK, so what do you pay?

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-Oh, they vary from a five to a tenner each.

-Yes.

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These good brasses, to me, would be now, sort of, £25 to £50.

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Oh, yeah.

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£50 is a good price for a rare one,

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-so you've got hundreds of pounds, haven't you?

-It soon tallies up.

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-I think it's a great collection.

-Thank you.

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I believe it's a Carlo Bugatti, but I'm not sure.

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You're correct, it is by Carlo Bugatti. He trained as an architect and was the son of a woodcarver.

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By the 1880s, he was designing furniture, working in Milan,

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and this chair is absolutely typical of the style of furniture that we know that he made.

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The features of Bugatti's furniture are the use of very exotic materials

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and furniture inspired by the Middle East, so Moorish sort of influences.

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It's in ebonised wood, has ivory

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and then, very characteristic of Bugatti's work,

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it has vellum - or parchment - panels and tassels hanging down.

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Then you've got pewter inlay into the ebony there.

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And another interesting feature of its design is the legs here,

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bound in metal - again very typical of Bugatti - imitating the columns of a Romanesque building.

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-Yes.

-And all these sources Bugatti was looking at.

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The high point of his career was in 1902 when he designed a series of rooms for an exhibition in Turin.

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He won first prize for that - it was very grand, eccentric furniture.

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A chair like this would be standard production from his workshop

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and probably dates to around 1900-1910,

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that sort of date, and it is an extraordinary and very beautiful example of Bugatti's furniture.

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-You said you bought it?

-Yes, about seven years ago.

-Right.

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A friend of mine was an executor to somebody's will

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and I looked round the house and just fell in love with it and said, "I've got to have it."

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Today, despite its condition, I think it's something that you should insure for £2,000.

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-Right.

-It's lovely, a thrilling way to start the day.

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30 years ago, when I got married, I saw it in a house in Scotland.

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-Right, and you put it under your arm and went away with it.

-I always thought how pretty it was.

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-Was that what appealed to you?

-Yes.

-Has it ever worked?

-On and off, but not reliable.

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-It's not in a condition to go at the moment.

-No.

-It's a lyre-shape clock.

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Signed by a Paris maker called Causard.

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He was known to be working in Paris as early as 1770, maybe earlier,

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and it actually says on the dial, "Horloger du Roy".

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In other words, clockmaker to the king.

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But I don't believe this clock was made then. It's some time later,

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probably round about 1820s,

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the time of King Louis Philippe, really, we're looking at. Hence he's got "Horloger du Roy" on there.

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I suspect he may have died by then and it's somebody reviving his name, so it's not the original Causard.

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Apart from that, it is a stunningly pretty clock.

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The pendulum can actually be seen here moving. If I move it myself,

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it moves behind there with this wonderful ring of paste here.

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-That's what glitters and shines - or it would if it was clean.

-Yes.

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It would look very beautiful when it's going.

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The rest is lovely blues of porcelain.

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It's a stunning-looking piece. Have you ever thought, though,

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-what it would look like cleaned up? Would you want it to be?

-Yes, I'd love it to be.

-Right.

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Because all these mounts here,

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this beautiful sunburst up here, all this gilt work here,

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could be taken off and cleaned by a clockmaker,

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-but I do warn you, when it comes out, it will be a bright, bright gold in colour.

-Oh.

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What I suggest you do is make certain you like the look of that

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because if you have it done and you don't like it, you'll have to live

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-another 150 years to see it back in this condition.

-Yes.

-So that's a warning I give you there.

-Yes.

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It could be made to go quite well just by having the movement cleaned.

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You don't have to do the case. It's a personal choice, isn't it?

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-Yes.

-Not doing any damage. What's lovely, if you look at the hands,

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-they mirror the shape of the clock - also lyre-shaped.

-Oh, I hadn't noticed that before.

-As to value,

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well, currently I think it's worth £2,000-£2,500.

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-Certainly a very pretty clock, and a pity not to see it working.

-Yes.

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-So maybe I could persuade you to have it done.

-That's a good idea. Thank you.

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Fortunes read. Have your fortune read, sir? Fortune?

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-I don't smoke, thank you.

-No, I'll tell your fortune.

-What do I do?

-You just pick one, any one.

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Tell me the number.

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Number fifty, 50.

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50. Just a minute, let me dip into my book of words by Kwan Ling.

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Here we go, 5. Right, are you ready for this?

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Yes.

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Family safe,

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birth of a son,

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crops and silk worms good,

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missing articles not found,

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-treasure not abundant.

-Ridiculous! We're surrounded by them.

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Ah, Charley Weaver, the bartender, dating from the 1960s, early 1960s.

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-The nice thing is he's in good condition.

-Yeah.

-With the original box.

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-Yes.

-Though a bit battered.

-Yes.

-How did you come by it?

-Years ago, I went to a garden fete.

-Yes.

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-And I picked it up for very little money.

-Yeah.

-Very little.

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-They're quite fun and are beginning to become quite collectable.

-Yes.

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-I think currently his value's around £40-£50.

-Yes.

-But it's going to go up in value, certainly.

-Yes.

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So keep the box, keep him in reasonable condition and he'll keep going up in value,

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-and since Charlie's asking, mine's a large one.

-Oh, is it?

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I had it cleaned a few years ago and the chap said

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it had an interesting hallmark, and it's just been dumped in a drawer.

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It's a Russian mark that was placed there in the late 19th century

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by a jeweller called Frederick Kochli, he was supplier

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of the Russian Imperial family in those days. He used to work in larger scale mainly.

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I would say cigarette cases was his speciality, so it is quite interesting to find

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such a pretty, tiny, little brooch, very delicate.

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A lover's knot and diamonds are for "love forever". So you knew what the stones were?

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Yes, when Dad gave me the brooch, I scratched their mirror in the sitting room right across.

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-You did a proper job because diamond cuts anything, glass included.

-I knew they were real then.

-Lovely.

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Well, I would say that at auction this brooch would probably bring you something between £1,200 and £1,800.

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So to insure it?

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-Make it three times as much, £3,500-£4,000.

-All right, thank you very much.

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My husband bought them from a boot sale - that one a couple of months ago, and that one about a year ago.

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Right, let's see what he's found. This jar sitting on the table there,

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ought to be Chinese porcelain from the Ming period, a classic Ming vase from the 17th century.

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But it's a fake, a copy. But having said that, it's a very early copy.

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If we look at the base, it's a coarse earthenware pottery covered in a white glaze.

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It's Delftware, Delft made here in Holland to imitate

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-what was then a valuable piece of Chinese porcelain.

-Right.

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This was made in Holland in about 1690-1700, copying a Chinese vase of the time.

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Oh, right.

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So the designs, we're looking here at birds and plants, typical Chinese emblems - peony flowers -

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and the painter in Holland has copied the Chinese work exactly.

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I mean, it really does look like the real thing.

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It's had some mending around the rim. At some time someone's repaired the top, it was broken a little bit.

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-Maybe someone made a lamp out of it.

-Right.

-And ended up at a boot fair.

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-What did he give for that one?

-About a pound.

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-He just saw it as a bit of bric-a-brac, I think.

-Good.

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Well, a very early fake, so it's still highly collectable as Delft. So from a pound, we're looking at,

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um...£500.

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-Oh, crikey!

-That's right. Not a bad little find. What about this one?

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-What was he thinking about, buying this strange pot?

-He just liked it, he's got very unusual taste.

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That's probably why he chose me! He just liked it.

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-Not a thing of beauty.

-No.

-But a thing of great age.

-Oh.

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It's a piece of polished alabaster, a rather simple little jar, the surface wonderfully smooth.

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-Right.

-An age that's been caused by being in the ground not just hundreds, but thousands of years.

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-Crikey!

-This would've probably been dug up somewhere in, perhaps, Egypt.

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It would have come from a tomb and have been probably highly treasured

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when it was found in Victorian times.

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These things are usually seen in museums and special collections.

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But somehow forgotten about - its history, provenance, where it's from, all lost. Instead,

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-there on a shelf in the boot fair.

-Oh, right.

-So, another pound or so?

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Yeah, I asked him and he said about £1-£1.50 he paid for it.

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For its age, these don't make a huge amount of money, but even so that's worth perhaps £1,000.

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Oh, my God!

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Right.

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-Crikey!

-Fantastic.

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Two of this group are real and we have to guess who they are.

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-Well, there's me. You must be the other one.

-Definitely, otherwise they couldn't talk, could they?

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-How many of these have you got?

-I have about 1,200.

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-1,200?

-Yes, not the biggest collection, but some rare pieces.

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-'Yeah!'

-Yes, good boy, don't do that again. Thank you very much.

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Are they local pieces or international?

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No, they're mostly local -

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um, Essex, Anglia,

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London, places like that, you see.

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And how old are they?

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The little one with the orange pullover was used along the Norfolk and Suffolk beach

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before and up to the war-time, and the man had to give up his clothing coupons to buy shoes.

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They're still brand new, with the utility mark on the bottom. This one...

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-'Yeah!'

-Yes.

-This one is well over 60 years old

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-and he worked along the Norfolk and the Suffolk beaches.

-Did he?

-Yes.

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-They're all ex-performers?

-'Yeah!'

-And you too?

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'Yeah!'

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I didn't see your lips move. Which is your favourite of this bunch?

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-'This one.'

-Really? What's he called?

-This is Jingles.

-Yes.

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I can say the rudest things and get away with it.

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-'Give us a kiss.'

-You're very kind.

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We have here a watercolour by one of the best known

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of all British 20th-century artists - Sir William Russell Flint.

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Here's his signature in capital letters, as he always did,

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and Flint was a Scotsman, born in 1880, came to London about 1900,

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spent the rest of his long and successful career in England,

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but he's an artist who inspires equal like and dislike -

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you love him or you hate him.

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Obviously, you like Russell Flint.

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I like these paintings, I don't like his more naked ladies.

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You've put your finger on it there.

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He of course has become famous for these pictures of flamenco dancers, generally topless,

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but here we've got a beach scene, but I don't see any naked ladies.

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I see a lot of bathing ladies here in very '30s-looking bathing hats.

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-I would think this is about 1930, isn't it?

-Yes, I think so.

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What's its history? Did you acquire this or buy it?

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Russell Flint painted at times with my husband's grandfather

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and they swapped paintings.

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Mm. Well, whatever people do say about Russell Flint, I always think that he is a master of watercolour.

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There's no question his technique was extraordinary.

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-Actually, my favourite part of this watercolour is the sea.

-Yes.

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The way he's done the waves and the feeling of waves coming up the beach

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and the spray and so on, is brilliantly done.

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To do that in pure watercolour is incredibly difficult.

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As to value, I expect you know Russell Flint's watercolours do make fairly considerable sums of money,

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and I would say, in a sale, you're likely to get £10,000 for this.

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My wife's grandmother had a sister. They had this piece of furniture in a corner, dirty, dusty,

0:19:050:19:11

leg broken, replaced by a broom handle, no-one thought anything of it.

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When we first visited them, I just thought it an amazing piece of furniture.

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-To cut the story short, we inherited it, we had it restored and it blossomed.

-Of course.

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-Where is your family from?

-Hungary. We've lived in England six years.

0:19:290:19:34

When we first look at it, there's a Chinese cabinet.

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But it's not made in China because these are not Chinese faces.

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They're a European's idea of Chinese faces, so it's an interpretation.

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Now, we had three main periods of what we call chinoiserie taste -

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one in the 17th century, one in the mid-18th century

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and one which sort of started 1790 and went through to...

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Well, it lasted all through the Victorian period, the 19th century.

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This particular type of decoration,

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combined with chinoiserie, was popular at the beginning of the 19th century.

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It's known as lac burgaute.

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When we see bits of mother-of-pearl around Chinese scenes,

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it does indicate that later period.

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1830-1845, OK?

0:20:260:20:29

We look all over and you see this exaggerated cabriole leg form.

0:20:290:20:35

This was throughout Europe, but I have a feeling, I just think instinctively,

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that this in fact is an English one,

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and when we open it up and look at the fineness of that work,

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that is gold leaf

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applied in such delicacy

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as defies belief.

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And this was perfected by a company called Jennens and Bettridge. OK?

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They made the finest papier-mache,

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chinoiserie and lacquer decoration work that we've ever seen.

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It is just stunning.

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-Anyway, do you use it and enjoy it?

-Yes, we keep our passports in it.

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-We don't want to put anything heavy on it or in it.

-Absolutely not.

-Passports are not that heavy.

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Well, the passports are standing in a cabinet which, um...

0:21:220:21:27

if you wished to replace it - if you could find one as pretty as this -

0:21:270:21:32

it would certainly cost you in the region of £30,000 to £35,000.

0:21:320:21:37

Thank you very much.

0:21:370:21:41

Clive, would you be interested to know that I once, aged 14, wrote to Elizabeth Taylor, a fan letter,

0:21:430:21:49

got back a photograph and I wet the signature and it didn't run?

0:21:490:21:53

-But if it had been a real signature, you'd have lost it.

-I never thought of that.

0:21:530:21:59

But it proved it wasn't genuine. A lot of that goes on, doesn't it?

0:21:590:22:03

We get it here all the time. I've got a photocopy here of a letter of Churchill's. It says,

0:22:030:22:10

"I'm so much obliged to you for your very kind token of goodwill on my birthday. Winston S Churchill."

0:22:100:22:17

He wrote the original and then had the rest printed and sent out. He wasn't intending to deceive,

0:22:170:22:23

but he wanted to reach as many people as he possibly could who'd thanked him for his birthday.

0:22:230:22:29

This goes on all over the place, even royalty.

0:22:290:22:32

Prince Charles and the Princess of Wales...

0:22:320:22:36

used to send out autopens. Now, an autopen is...

0:22:360:22:41

You sign a matrix, just once, and the machine will take your pen

0:22:410:22:47

and sign your signature as many times as you want. I've got a lovely Charles and Diana Christmas card

0:22:470:22:53

with a picture of the boys, Harry and Wills, "From Charles and Diana."

0:22:530:22:58

It's definitely in ink, there's a surface to it.

0:22:580:23:02

You can feel it, you can touch it. But look at this one.

0:23:020:23:06

There's the photograph

0:23:060:23:08

and these two are... You can virtually trace them over.

0:23:080:23:13

No variation at all, that's...

0:23:130:23:16

Just look at that, absolutely no variation at all.

0:23:160:23:19

What about secretaries who sign on behalf of great men and statesmen?

0:23:190:23:24

I think you're thinking of somebody like, um...

0:23:240:23:27

John F Kennedy. You could identify secretary 1, secretary 2, secretary 3,

0:23:270:23:33

-and probably any other of the women in his office.

-Isn't it illegal, signing someone else's name?

0:23:330:23:39

I don't think it's illegal at all. On an official document - passing a law or something like that -

0:23:390:23:46

I suspect you would be more circumspect,

0:23:460:23:50

but no, it's not necessary.

0:23:500:23:52

So how can an autograph collector ever know they have the real thing?

0:23:520:23:56

It's because they come to people like us, and we have seen these autopens before.

0:23:560:24:02

Charles and Diana nearly always autopenned.

0:24:020:24:06

It's very difficult not to find anything that isn't autopenned.

0:24:060:24:10

Occasionally, a courtier may die and their collection come on the market

0:24:100:24:15

and it is super-inscribed to such and such a person and then it is normally signed, that's OK.

0:24:150:24:22

Are you saying if somebody gets the OBE and receives that document, it isn't the signature of Her Majesty?

0:24:220:24:29

When you get your knighthood, I assure you she will actually sign it herself for you.

0:24:290:24:34

-That's what I was getting at.

-I thought so.

0:24:340:24:37

My grandfather's family were all haberdashers and I think probably they were originally haberdashers.

0:24:410:24:48

I wondered if she had maybe been used as a costume doll to show designs and fashions.

0:24:480:24:54

No, I think that's highly unlikely.

0:24:540:24:57

-Can I have a look at her?

-Please do.

0:24:570:24:59

We're talking about late 18th century, probably around 1770, thereabouts.

0:24:590:25:06

So they didn't have costume dolls then.

0:25:060:25:10

They would have been commissioned by the family to wear the clothes of the mother.

0:25:100:25:15

I don't think this is 1770, I think this is a much later material.

0:25:150:25:21

-Looks more like 1815 from the design.

-It does, doesn't it?

-Yes.

0:25:210:25:25

These long legs are very typical and painted as well. It's very simple,

0:25:250:25:30

maybe made of alder, maybe made of just pine and then painted.

0:25:300:25:36

-Actually quite simple tenon joints.

-Yes.

-Um, because...

0:25:360:25:42

what they were doing WAS showing off clothes,

0:25:420:25:45

-but not to anybody else other than the child who wanted to emulate her mother.

-Oh, I see.

-Um...

0:25:450:25:51

her head is very typical of the period,

0:25:510:25:54

she would have had a layer of very fine gesso

0:25:540:25:58

over the wood, then an oil-based paint on top

0:25:580:26:03

-to give her these rouge cheeks and the sweet little nostrils and the little mouth like that.

-Yes.

0:26:030:26:09

What I love are the eyebrows, these tiny little dots,

0:26:090:26:13

tiny little dashes for the eyelashes

0:26:130:26:16

and then you can see there's just a little bit of real hair left,

0:26:160:26:21

so someone has probably said, "I'm going to cut her hair, like Mummy cuts mine." There's not much left.

0:26:210:26:28

And this is the original lovely little remains of the net bonnet

0:26:280:26:32

and lovely little silk ribbon.

0:26:320:26:36

-Great.

-What a lovely doll! I would recommend

0:26:360:26:39

that you insure her separately for £5,000.

0:26:390:26:44

-Really?

-Yes, they're very difficult to find, these dolls.

0:26:440:26:48

Thank you very much.

0:26:480:26:51

Anything that has a hole in one end and a button on the other generally tells me - a concealed gun.

0:26:510:26:57

-There we are.

-That's what it is. How old is it?

0:26:570:27:01

Well, if you look at it, it's a very typical flintlock pistol

0:27:010:27:05

of the very end of the flintlock era, from 1820 to...

0:27:050:27:09

It'll have been made in Birmingham. It's got a name on - Clement Shaw. If we just look down there, it says,

0:27:090:27:17

-"Fossgate, York".

-Yes.

-So that tells us that he was the retailer of this.

0:27:170:27:22

Now, this, I am certain, was not set up in Clement Shaw's shop

0:27:220:27:27

because it's very, very crude, and I think this is some ingenious chap

0:27:270:27:31

who might have been robbed and thought, "Enough's enough of this!"

0:27:310:27:36

-Right.

-Particularly in Yorkshire, they're careful with their money.

-Oh, absolutely.

0:27:360:27:41

And he thought, saw the back end of the butt off and put it into this piece of wood

0:27:410:27:48

which has got a couple of holes in there. Couple of spare bullets in there, gunpowder charge in there.

0:27:480:27:55

-Twist of paper, probably, no more than that. You'd probably only need one reload, wouldn't you?

-Yes.

0:27:550:28:01

-And then the clever bit is that through there is a hole.

-Right.

0:28:010:28:06

I'm certain there was a string or wire running from the back of the cock there, through the side there,

0:28:060:28:12

which you just pull, then you'd feel a click and you'd know it was ready

0:28:120:28:17

and when you were ready to fire, you pressed. "Night-night, mugger."

0:28:170:28:21

So this is a Clarice Cliff and as I was saying, the orange...

0:28:210:28:26

Oh, my word!

0:28:260:28:28

The biter bit.

0:28:290:28:31

Revenge.

0:28:310:28:33

-Meet my friend.

-He is grotesque.

-Yes.

-Does he have a name? ..Sorry, I shouldn't say that.

0:28:330:28:38

-Oh, I like the eyebrows.

-Yes, it's got everything.

0:28:380:28:42

-All in working order.

-Can you do that without moving your lips?

0:28:420:28:46

'That's the way to do it.'

0:28:460:28:48

Actresses' dressing room at Drury Lane. Rowlandson. Thomas Rowlandson.

0:28:510:28:55

Yes, very nice too. He's the late-18th-century watercolourist and cartoonist

0:28:550:29:02

and, um, he's well known, of course, for his slightly risque subjects, shall we say?

0:29:020:29:08

Yes, indeed, I think he has done a lot of work, some of them are a little bit saucy.

0:29:080:29:15

Oh, yes, saucier than this!

0:29:150:29:17

-Yeah, I haven't been tempted to buy any of those.

-What's the next one?

0:29:170:29:23

What's this? You've got another one?

0:29:230:29:26

-This is the same subject.

-Indeed. What happened is that I bought one

0:29:260:29:31

and, er, subsequently, I came across another one at a fraction of the price.

0:29:310:29:38

So what are these other ones?

0:29:380:29:41

Here's another. This is amazing! I don't believe this.

0:29:410:29:44

-How many have you got?

-Well, I've got altogether six of them.

0:29:440:29:49

-That's amazing! I don't believe it. Six watercolours by Rowlandson, all the same subject.

-All the same.

0:29:490:29:56

You've got at least £3,000 on the one you bought first.

0:29:560:30:02

Then five others all worth about £1,000, so if we're totting that up,

0:30:020:30:07

-that's getting to about £8,000. I would reckon we've got £10,000 in this lot.

-Oh, that's wonderful.

0:30:070:30:14

-'Probably.'

-ARRGH!

0:30:140:30:16

'What's the matter with you then? Ain't got a sense of humour?'

0:30:180:30:23

It was given to me on the day I got married in 1972,

0:30:250:30:29

and my mother-in-law gave it to me as a wedding gift

0:30:290:30:34

and I believe my father-in-law gave it to her on her wedding day.

0:30:340:30:39

-It would have been in the 1950s and she was his second wife.

-Lovely.

0:30:390:30:43

This is an exciting and beautifully made piece of jewellery. Tiny, but exquisite and hugely refined.

0:30:430:30:51

I'll tell you why. Turn it over here

0:30:510:30:54

and we can see that this piece of hard rock crystal - it's quartz -

0:30:540:30:59

-has been engraved in what's called "in intaglio", which means like a cameo but in reverse.

-Right.

0:30:590:31:05

As it's transparent, you can see into the decoration,

0:31:050:31:09

and the decoration is as important. But let's talk about the frame.

0:31:090:31:13

It's platinum, set with diamonds and two little sapphires

0:31:130:31:18

and then lurking here is a little eagle's-head guarantee mark.

0:31:180:31:22

-Oh.

-That tells me that this is a French brooch.

-Really?

-Yeah.

0:31:220:31:27

It's French jewellery from 1900. We know that two or three firms were very prominent then.

0:31:270:31:33

Strangely enough, Tiffany in Paris were working.

0:31:330:31:37

-Boucheron is a likely candidate to have made this.

-The first one I've heard of, the second one, never.

0:31:370:31:43

No? It was a competitor of Cartier - still running there.

0:31:430:31:47

Living in this little plaque are gods and goddesses.

0:31:470:31:51

-The one on the extreme left is Psyche, goddess of the soul and all higher emotions.

-Right.

0:31:510:31:57

We know from the little butterfly wings.

0:31:570:32:00

It's a Classical source. And she's always being tormented by Cupid.

0:32:000:32:06

We see Cupid here in front, being dragged in chains away from her

0:32:060:32:11

by what's called a "putto", a small boy.

0:32:110:32:15

There's a marvellous legend associated with them, because he would visit her at night

0:32:150:32:20

-and to comfort her in every way she wanted him to.

-Oh.

-Exactly.

-Right. Appropriate for a wedding day!

0:32:200:32:27

And you said it! Because all this allegory is building up to something very significant for a wedding day.

0:32:270:32:35

-Yes.

-That's a brilliant observation.

0:32:350:32:38

It's an allegory of love to be given to brides, and a great treasure. How do we value a treasure like this?

0:32:380:32:44

-Any idea?

-No.

0:32:440:32:46

If this came up for sale and was properly understood and catalogued,

0:32:460:32:51

maybe somebody might go completely mad and give £3,000 for it.

0:32:510:32:56

Oh, lovely.

0:32:560:32:58

-Thanks very much.

-Thank YOU!

0:32:580:33:01

We've got dolphins up here, muskets, guns,

0:33:010:33:04

and this wonderful garland at the bottom here.

0:33:040:33:08

"The Pedigree of the Right Hon Henry Fienes Clinton, Earl of Lincoln." So please tell me, why have you got it?

0:33:080:33:15

My family has a stable of titles,

0:33:150:33:18

but the really interesting one is my eldest son, who is Lord Markham Clinton Nottinghamshire.

0:33:180:33:25

-Has the Clinton got anything to do with any other Clinton?

-Yes. We believe it's the lineage

0:33:250:33:31

of former President Clinton from the time of William the Conqueror,

0:33:310:33:37

through the ages, and the move from England to Ireland

0:33:370:33:42

and then from Ireland to the United States.

0:33:420:33:45

-This is all Clintons quartered with, um...

-That's right. Clinton is quartered with everybody.

-Yes.

0:33:450:33:51

And, of course, that shows relationships through marriage also.

0:33:510:33:57

Yes, this is beautiful. I don't think I've seen a better genealogy. I've seen many,

0:33:570:34:02

but this one, on vellum, is absolutely

0:34:020:34:06

the most elaborate, and I have to say, goodness knows who you're NOT related to, quite frankly!

0:34:060:34:13

Exactly. And I think,

0:34:130:34:15

when one looks back through the ages you'll see the Clinton family were very successful,

0:34:150:34:21

um...having heirs in Warwickshire, Nottinghamshire, all the way down to London.

0:34:210:34:27

This one is just absolutely incredible - here's the Clinton quarters again.

0:34:270:34:33

-Yes.

-And with the garter there and these two wonderfully heraldic dogs there.

0:34:330:34:40

And this strange piece of, um, Latin here -

0:34:400:34:45

loyalty, "loyaulte na honte".

0:34:450:34:49

What does that mean? Is it, "loyalty not honesty"? Because I think...

0:34:490:34:54

I believe it means that, and it's very interesting because,

0:34:540:34:58

er, King Richard befriended King Connach of Ireland.

0:34:580:35:04

Um, and he attended his coronation.

0:35:040:35:07

In fact, Clinton carried the crown.

0:35:070:35:10

As a result of that friendship, Baron Clinton went to Ireland.

0:35:100:35:16

-Right.

-The extraordinary thing...

-Is it an Irish title...?

0:35:160:35:21

No, they spread out and there were lots of branches of the family.

0:35:210:35:26

The Clintons actually fought against the English.

0:35:260:35:30

-Baron Clinton was killed and his sons fled to America.

-Right.

0:35:300:35:36

But at the same time, the Clinton family were entrenched in England

0:35:360:35:41

-in lots of noble families all the way down through to 1862.

-That's incredible.

0:35:410:35:48

-Did you know you were related to a president of the United States?

-No, I didn't.

-Well, you do know.

0:35:480:35:54

I think your grandpa has actually sort of confessed to this "hands across the sea" business.

0:35:540:36:01

Look at this lovely binding, early 18th century again - priceless.

0:36:010:36:06

But I think if one had to put an amount of money on it

0:36:060:36:10

for a piece... or a work of art like this,

0:36:100:36:14

I could easily see it going for £10,000 or £15,000. It's wonderful.

0:36:140:36:18

-But we wouldn't sell it.

-No indeed, but it's such fun, it really is.

0:36:180:36:23

-Where did they come from?

-We were left them by our great-grandmother about two years ago.

0:36:230:36:29

-Do you like them?

-Yes.

0:36:290:36:32

-Whose is whose?

-They're really a collection that we share.

0:36:320:36:36

I know, but eventually you're going to fall out and move away - who's going to have what?

0:36:360:36:42

-We'll wait and see.

-OK.

0:36:420:36:44

Do you each like each piece?

0:36:440:36:48

-Yes, but...

-Which is your favourite piece?

-The rat ball.

-Definitely the rat ball.

-The rat ball.

0:36:480:36:54

Do you remember it from a young age?

0:36:540:36:56

-Yeah.

-This would appeal to a child, wouldn't it?

-It does indeed.

0:36:560:37:00

It's made of ivory, carved meticulously

0:37:000:37:04

with hundreds of rats spilling over one another.

0:37:040:37:09

And, of course, the rat in the Orient,

0:37:090:37:12

the rat is one of the 12 animals of the zodiac

0:37:120:37:17

and it symbolises good luck.

0:37:170:37:19

It dates from the late 19th century and it's an extremely nice one of its kind.

0:37:190:37:26

That's going to be worth somewhere in the region of £300 to £500.

0:37:260:37:31

You've got a nice netsuke here,

0:37:330:37:36

in the form of a monkey wearing a monk's hat,

0:37:360:37:41

and it's taking a bit of fun out of religion, really.

0:37:410:37:46

There are the two holes to take the cord and they're of different sizes, a large one and a small one.

0:37:460:37:52

That generally indicates an earlier date if they're different sizes.

0:37:520:37:56

He's going to be first half of the 19th century

0:37:560:38:01

and worth in the region of £300 to £500.

0:38:010:38:05

-So it's clocking up.

-It is.

0:38:050:38:08

And then a very nice group of a man and woman with a water buffalo.

0:38:080:38:13

-That is worth again £300 to £500.

-What would that be used for?

-That is an okimono.

0:38:130:38:19

-Right.

-A standing figure which is meant

0:38:190:38:23

simply to sit there and be entertaining.

0:38:230:38:26

The bowls - do we have one each?

0:38:260:38:29

Supposedly.

0:38:290:38:32

They're... painted in underglazed blue

0:38:330:38:38

with mallow flowers and we've got a double ring on here

0:38:380:38:44

which is characteristic of Chinese. The Japanese used one ring.

0:38:440:38:48

And a six character mark - "ta Ming Xuande nian zhi".

0:38:480:38:54

which means, "Made in the reign of the great Ming emperor Xuande." He was a 15th-century emperor,

0:38:540:39:00

but they're not 15th century.

0:39:000:39:03

-Right.

-They actually date from the reign of the Emperor Kang-Xi

0:39:030:39:07

who reigned from 1662-1722

0:39:070:39:10

and these date very close to 1700.

0:39:100:39:13

But the painting is what one might almost describe as sloppy.

0:39:130:39:18

Not at all characteristic of Xuande painting.

0:39:180:39:22

I think they're trying to imitate the Ming porcelain of this period.

0:39:220:39:29

-Right.

-And because they haven't quite got their mind round it,

0:39:290:39:33

it's not quite come out right.

0:39:330:39:36

So they're very unusual bowls and I like them very much.

0:39:360:39:40

I think they're very good.

0:39:400:39:43

I think we're looking at around £600 to £800 each for these,

0:39:430:39:49

-maybe even £1,000 if you were lucky.

-Right.

0:39:490:39:52

So it was a very nice thing to have been left, and I hope when it comes to it, there's no fighting.

0:39:520:39:59

-No.

-We'll try not to.

-Thank you for bringing them in.

-Thank you.

-Thank you.

0:39:590:40:05

-Wonderful, absolutely wonderful.

-It's a cracking little table.

0:40:050:40:10

What do you know about the table? Tell the family history.

0:40:100:40:14

I inherited it from my father.

0:40:140:40:16

-Right.

-And he in turn inherited it through his mother -

0:40:160:40:21

ie, my grandmother - but as my grandmother was married twice,

0:40:210:40:25

we don't know if it came through her first husband or my grandfather.

0:40:250:40:30

Right. Have you had any idea...?

0:40:300:40:33

I mean, this is, to both Martin and I, one of the great surprises of the day.

0:40:330:40:39

So what do you know about it so far to give us something to go on?

0:40:400:40:44

-It was always an ornamental piece.

-Right.

0:40:440:40:48

-It had little sort of snuff boxes and things on it always.

-Yeah.

0:40:480:40:53

These marks look as if somebody's dropped cigarette ashes on them.

0:40:530:40:58

Well, I think the table that had cigarette ashes on

0:40:580:41:03

may be by one of the great names in English cabinet-making.

0:41:030:41:08

-There are many features about this table... John, do you agree?

-Absolutely.

0:41:080:41:14

-..that would suggest Thomas Chippendale.

-Yes.

-A piece from his London workshop.

0:41:140:41:20

This table has many features of his documented furniture. If we look...

0:41:200:41:25

-Underneath.

-..Look underneath.

0:41:250:41:27

-1770-1775?

-1770s, I absolutely agree.

0:41:270:41:32

Very elegant fluted column with a vase at the bottom

0:41:320:41:36

-and a very distinct feature - the curve of the three legs.

-And the French scroll foot.

-Absolutely.

0:41:360:41:43

If we look at the tripod tables from Harewood House, one of Chippendale's commissions,

0:41:430:41:49

you'll find very much the same bases there.

0:41:490:41:53

-One antique dealer said he thought is was John Vile.

-That's interesting.

0:41:530:41:58

WILLIAM Vile is another very notable cabinet-maker of the period

0:41:580:42:02

and it's a perfectly sensible suggestion,

0:42:020:42:06

but these lovely inlays following the top and this starburst in the middle are typical of Chippendale.

0:42:060:42:14

So the guess, or suggestion, ought to be in the Chippendale direction rather than Vile.

0:42:140:42:20

-I mean, it's still...

-A real star on this show.

-Fantastic.

0:42:200:42:23

-So have you had it valued? Do you have an idea?

-Ten years ago.

0:42:230:42:27

Ten years ago. Well, don't tell us what it was.

0:42:270:42:32

-You ought to insure this, even in this condition, for...

-35?

0:42:320:42:36

-£35,000.

-£35,000, there we are. Or even £40,000.

0:42:360:42:40

-It's made our day.

-This is the best thing I've seen in many programmes. One of the best things ever.

0:42:400:42:46

Absolutely wonderful.

0:42:460:42:49

Thank you very much for being with us, and from the ancient barns of Cressing Temple in Essex,

0:42:490:42:54

it's goodbye from me, and goodbye from him.

0:42:540:42:57

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:210:43:24

Michael Aspel and the team visit Cressing Temple Barns in Essex and amongst the rare finds are a collection of ventriloquists dummies, an Italian chair by Bugatti, a watercolour by Russell Flint and a Chippendale table.