Michael Aspel and the team of experts visit Kendal in the Lake District. The rare finds include a first edition Beatrix Potter book and Russian silver.
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This week, the Roadshow's in Kendal, Cumbria,
known as "the Gateway to the Lake District" and "the Old Grey Town".
It's the famous mint cake - energy supplier for weary hill walkers -
that the town is really famous for.
Three companies still manufacture it,
and it's exported all over the world.
Yeah! Oh, yeah. My goodness, it works!
One firm supplied Kendal Mint Cake
to the British expedition to Mount Everest in 1953,
led by Sir Edmund Hilary and his guide, Sherpa Tensing.
As the triumphant climber wrote,
"On the summit, Tensing embraced me. We nibbled Kendal Mint Cake."
A less heroic clamber brings you to Kendal's circular Norman castle.
It was the birthplace of Catherine Parr, wife of King Henry VIII.
She drew the lucky number six, and was the only one to outlive him.
As ever, dramatic scenery equals artists.
Turner and Ruskin are among the painters who have committed
the Lake District to canvas.
And legendary fell walker and guidebook writer Alfred Wainwright
can take credit for the generations of walkers whose boot prints
have been left all over Cumbria.
Wainwright was honorary curator of Kendal Museum for many years,
and here you can inspect some of his personal belongings,
including his trademark pipe and well-darned socks.
In the centre of town, in a Georgian mansion called Abbot Hall,
is one of Britain's smallest independent art galleries.
It contains a large collection of the work of George Romney,
one of the most sought-after painters of the late 18th century.
"The Gower Children" is reckoned to be his undisputed masterpiece.
Tucked away in a side street is Kendal Brown House.
It's one of the last snuff mills in the country,
still milling using traditional methods.
They've been turning the leaf and stalk of the tobacco plant
into snuff since 1792.
I don't personally know anybody who takes snuff, but somebody must,
because more than 60 varieties are produced here,
and they're fired off all across the world.
Now this, I believe, is how you take it -
snap on the top, loosen the snuff,
a little pinch like that, take it in the nose.
59 to go.
We'll be on the look-out for a few snuff boxes on today's Roadshow.
Our venue has an historical ring to it - the Queen Catherine School.
-Cleared the house, have you?
-There's some books.
-Where did it come from? Is it an inherited piece?
I was once in general practice,
and about 50 years ago I saw a patient and tried to help him,
didn't think I'd helped him much,
but one day he gave me this.
I've slightly neglected it - the sun's bleached the back of it
-and I haven't dared mend it yet.
-Well, let's have a look at it,
because it really is the most gorgeous object!
The box itself -
the wood is a veneer of kingwood,
which you can see has been quartered
so that you have this wonderful chevron effect.
Now, it wouldn't surprise me... A-ha! There we go.
Is that called marquetry?
This is...really it's almost parquetry rather than marquetry,
because it is this geometric design rather than a more natural design,
and this is almost certainly tulipwood,
with perhaps a little piece of satin wood or boxwood
as the stringing. I particularly like things like
the decorative engraving here on the hinges -
And the same one can find on the escutcheon here -
again, a lovely piece of engraving.
Here, we've got a little bottle,
would have held medicaments or some sort of curative.
Silver mounted. I'm not surprised that these aren't hallmarked,
-because, in fact, this little set is French.
-Is it? Oh, gosh!
And the accessories that go with it...
we have a little funnel here of cut glass,
a little beaker,
which you would have used to down your preparation,
and a little...salver, really, which would be used for mixing compounds.
It is charming, and I would date it to about 1740.
-Then it was pre-1800. I wondered about that.
When one puts it back to the 1740s, it becomes a more important object,
and, as such, I think it really needs to have a professional
-looking at the restoration.
And I don't think it's going to be an inexpensive job,
because when I tell you that the value, as it is,
is between perhaps £3,000 and £4,000,
you can see that it is actually worth it.
-Thank you for bringing it in.
-Thank you. I've learnt a lot.
I'm sorry to say I'd never heard of J H Cookson,
and yet here we have this rather beautiful sketchbook.
-Can you tell me about him?
-I know very little about this person
-except that he was a very distant relation of mine.
And what I assume from these wonderful drawings -
and if we look through...
he was obviously in the Border Regiment
-during the First World War.
Most of them went to the Somme, but he went to Peshawar in India.
And this probably saved his life.
-I would imagine so.
-Not on the Somme, he was in a relatively...
-Kendal has been described as "the town of widows".
-Oh, has it?
Because of the number of soldiers who gave their lives at the Somme
-in the First World War.
Well, I love this sketchbook,
-because I think it shows the amateur at their best.
And this portrait of - I assume a friend,
a fellow officer in the Regiment - is just magical.
The detail is beautiful.
We just thumb through it and we come across a number of nice drawings,
and here he's attempted
to make a quick study of one of the women water carriers in Peshawar...
And what I like also is these colouring notes -
"light pinkish edge,
"reddish black with light spots...
"..pink and white stripes, darker pink, one colour."
Here...we see this other album...
Here is the finished study,
which, obviously when he had more time, he finished,
and he's been very faithful - look at the pink trousers here
and the white shroud. It's a wonderful sort of thought process -
you see the colouring notes, a rough sketch,
and then he goes back home, back to his tent or wherever,
and paints these rather detailed watercolours.
Very beautiful indeed.
And then we can move to these...
-Now, that is a beautiful watercolour.
-That's one of my favourites.
For an amateur artist,
he's really captured the whole sort of flavour of that area.
-You can feel the heat, can't you?
-And this also is interesting.
It doesn't look so Indian, this, but actually if we look on the back
-it says "near Helm Lodge, Kendal, 1913", so before he went there.
I think this again is extremely charming.
-How does one value something like that?
-I daren't ask.
I think, um, for the group of the two sketchbooks,
I would probably say £500 to £700.
-Because they're very interesting.
Wonderful insight into a talented amateur.
-You've taught me something.
Well, the story is that I got it from my brother-in-law,
who died about seven years ago.
He collected guns of all kinds
and he was a keen shooter of, you know, rabbits, etc.
Now, he worked for the Electricity Board - he was a linesman,
and he came across one house
and it was just an old lady, a small farmstead, and...
and he started chatting, he did a few extra jobs for her,
and he asked her if he could shoot rabbits on her land -
this is quite a lot of years ago -
and she said yes, she didn't mind.
And so he got talking about his guns and she said, "Oh,
"I've an old one that Dad left.
"It's no good to me. You can't fire it or anything.
"If you're interested, you can have it."
And we found that this didn't need a licence, and so I hung onto it.
Right. I'm happy to confirm that this doesn't need a licence
because it's an antique firearm,
providing that you keep it as a curiosity or an ornament.
Now, it says on the top of the barrels in this lovely gold script,
"Invention Pauly Brevetee a Paris"
and my awful schoolboy French
tells me that that says "Pauly's invention, patented in Paris".
Now, Samuel Pauly was a Swiss chap who was an artilleryman.
He came over to England towards the end of the Napoleonic Wars
and he was granted a patent in 1816
for a breech-loading gun that used a separate cartridge
-which you could stick in the back of it.
It was ignited by compressed air that was heated by a piston, and
that was the basis of his system.
He'd tried to get the French authorities interested in it,
-but they were wedded to the muzzle-loading musket...
..and they didn't want to know.
So he came to England to see if he could do any better over here.
And this gun is a very late version of his early gun,
and it's almost the same.
It relies on this rather elegantly shaped breech lever
which exposes the two chambers.
-And if I just tip it up, you can see coming out of there
-is one of the little reloadable cartridges.
That would have had a charge of gunpowder in there
and either a ball or some shot for shooting birds in a twist of paper,
-and you would have dropped that into there.
Push that home, close the breech,
and then put a percussion cap on that nipple. Pull the hammer back.
And when you pulled the trigger, the hammer fell forward, crushed the cap
which had fulminate of mercury in it - that flashed and it ran through
into there, and off went the gun.
-This was when everybody was standing with a rod...
..whacking it all down, so it was revolutionary.
And you can see this design carried on into other French sporting guns
-well into the 1860s, 1870s...
So, whilst it didn't catch on at the time, it was the start,
and it was really the sort of...
-The beginning of doing away with rodding.
It would have been a very expensive firearm in its day.
When you think that a London gun of the period would be 120 guineas,
this would have been in that sort of parish, a lot of money.
Today, about £5,000.
-Very, very nice, very rare gun.
-I bet the old lady didn't know that!
-Well, she got the benefit from your brother's kindness...
..and that's worked its way down.
And he kept going back and helping her out, I think, so...
-It's a lovely gun.
-I've enjoyed that!
-Is this something you dug up?
-We found it in the coal shed.
-The neighbour had left it in our...
Went out to get coal, and there's a clock.
I said, "There's a clock in the coal hole. I'll bring it in."
I put it in the cellar and thought no more of it.
And our neighbour had found it in a skip.
-He found it in a skip...
-Didn't want it...
-So he gave it to us.
He said, "You like old things."
-What have you done to the case?
-I just polished it with ordinary...
-You haven't had it restored?
-Done nothing to it.
No, nothing at all. In fact, we nearly had it working.
-You nearly had it working?
-Hold onto that.
-Shall I hold that?
-You nearly had it working, eh?
-Well, we made it tick.
-Right. Well, that is the original movement.
-Um...it's quite interesting, actually.
You've got what they call shape plates -
they're A-frame plates, shaped like an A -
a standard weight-driven timepiece,
and you should, on the back of the dial - if you can hold that...
that will fit on the four pins...
-..that we've got here.
You've also got a name on here which looks like Valentine...
-Never noticed that.
I can't read that.
That could be the name. I'll turn it around. I can't hold all these bits.
It's quite heavy - that's why we've got it in a wheelbarrow.
-Fantastic thing to find in a coal hole.
Let's put it back down together.
-Um, do you know the date of it?
-No, no idea.
-No, no idea at all.
-Well, I'll tell you.
Don't give it any more damage!
Let me tell you, it's 18th century.
-Wow! I didn't know that!
If you look at the design of the case...very well-figured mahogany.
That's the sort of quality mahogany you'd see on a good long-case clock.
These little decorative scroll ears here,
-that's typical 18th century, and this cast concave bezel.
And the amount of turning work, circling work...
-we've got in the actual mahogany.
That's a very nice thing. Um...
getting it restored...
The best thing I can do is tell you what you'd have to pay for it
if you went into a shop and it was fully restored and in perfect order.
I wouldn't think you'd get much change out of...
-So you can make up your mind...
-How much to spend on it.
It needs sympathetic restoration.
-I don't think you'll be doing it yourself, then.
Just hope the neighbour doesn't want it back now.
So, when did you buy it?
20 years ago.
-What was the occasion?
-It was for our silver wedding.
It was a present for my husband.
I knew he liked paperweights.
-And this is it?
-That is it.
Because the great French glass paperweight makers
are Clichy, Baccarat and St Louis,
and you can tell this is Baccarat - do you know why?
-There's a bee in it somewhere.
-There's a bee in it. That's right.
There's a bee or a butterfly right in the centre, and the date 1848.
And then the rest of the canes - we call these coloured canes -
many of them are actually little animal silhouettes -
you've got a dog, cockerel, goat,
but, rather more interestingly, this one here,
a little running... Do you know?
-It's a little devil.
-Oh! Is it?
-Yes, jolly nice. What did you pay for it?
-I'm not saying.
-You're not telling me?
OK, I won't... OK.
It's a pretty little thing and Baccarat is a great name,
and I'm not going to tell you what it's worth.
Well, I'm not going to tell YOU. ..Somewhere in the region of £200.
-Is that good?
-Another signed piece of furniture, this time from Kendal.
What do you know about Simpson?
Not a great deal, really, only that he was based in Kendal
and was Arts and Crafts movement. We have one or two bits of furniture
which we've inherited over the years.
It's a lovely little oak drop-leaf table.
As you say, Arts and Crafts, with this wonderful inlay here.
The way they've done the pegging and jointing, typical Arts and Crafts.
People seem to sign all their furniture round here.
I'm delighted, as a historian of furniture - signed pieces!
Simpson is a good local maker.
I'm not up to speed on local prices for Simpson.
-250, something like that?
-Yes, that's excellent.
I went into what would be the playroom and I kicked this box...
-On the floor?
-On the floor, yeah.
It was in that same condition, all battered,
and I had a look inside and the young boy came out of me again.
It has a handbrake, and the steering linkage works and everything.
-You can actually wind it up, set the handbrake.
-And it holds it.
-Take the handbrake off...
-And it flies away!
-It's great because it's in such fantastic condition.
These constructor toys were a feature of the inter-war years.
We're talking of the '20s, '30s. Meccano did them in Britain.
-There were cars and planes.
But here we've got an American version.
It's a model of a rather earlier vehicle -
by the time this was made, this was an old-fashioned design.
Well engineered. It's very sturdy. But the appeal to a collector today
is not just that it works, but that it is absolutely mint - it's as new.
Because of the condition and because of the rarity,
a collector's going to pay at least £300 for that.
Just as well you kicked that box!
I've heard of multiple personalities but this really takes the biscuit.
They certainly are very unusual and I'm surprised to find one here.
What's the background on this one?
Well, it belonged to my aunt
and she gave them to me when I was a child
and, um, that's all I know about it, really.
-When she gave you the - what shall we call it? - the set...
-..did you like it or did you find it a bit...?
-No, I liked it.
I was rather fascinated by it
and I did used to put the different heads on from time to time...
It was like having four dolls.
Exactly! It's a very clever system.
You have the body,
a very nice jointed body
with lovely layers and layers of...
underskirts and petticoats, and then this very pretty overdress on top -
a nightdress, perhaps.
We have one here with eyes that open and close
and then three other heads with different sorts of hairstyles.
This one could almost be a boy's haircut, couldn't it?
-I used to think of that as the boy.
-And one with golden curly locks
and the last one... This is great.
She's got what I call a pair of headsets on,
a pair of telephone headsets,
wonderful sort of horns like croissants of plaits either side.
She is made of bisque, or the heads are made of bisque,
and hopefully... There we go. On the back of this one,
we have everything that we want to know about,
because it says here Germany and the number 174.
Now, that number actually refers to this particular head -
-it's known as a number 174 head...
..so that's easy to identify.
Ah, there's a bit more information, here on the box lid itself.
It actually says Kestner,
and Kestner will be or is the name of the manufacturer.
Now, JD Kestner, the makers,
were based in Waltershausen in Thuringia, in Germany.
And Thuringia was the great doll-making area of Germany
in the 19th century
and, in fact, Germany was the great doll-producing nation.
And I think that one of the aspects of this that appeals to me so much
is the fact it is in its original case with the label still there,
-almost unplayed with.
-We did used to play with it.
I'd almost say that you're fibbing,
because it is in such great condition.
You were obviously careful. Date-wise...
she's going to be dating from between about 1900 and 1910 -
that sort of period -
and I would have said that the doll herself,
just as she comes, would be worth
-perhaps £300 or £400...
But with the other heads,
and the fact that she is complete in her original box,
-we are talking about more like £1,500.
My great-grandfather, John Shotten Boon,
-went out to Russia in the 1860s in the cotton industry.
-He went to this mill near Tver, near Moscow.
And he finished up being general manager of the mill,
and this was presented to him at a fire insurance dinner.
-Whether it was to everybody at the dinner
or whether he was a director, we're not sure,
but it was given to them then and it's been in the family ever since.
I can't imagine that this would have been given to everyone,
because it's of exceptionally good quality
and it would have been jolly costly if they'd handed out 10 or 20.
It's obviously all in its original fitted case
and bears the label of Ovchinikov,
-who was a very well known Russian silversmith and also retailer.
So, in this case, he is partly the manufacturer
and partly the retailer.
Um...the set, as you can see, consists of...
two vodka cups, I suppose, because they used to give lots of toasts...
-..a napkin ring,
a serving spoon, knife and fork,
and this is a technique that's known as niello.
Niello is a sort of soft alloy which melts at quite a low temperature.
You engrave the piece by hand,
and then you melt the niello onto the surface
and then you just polish it off and it stays in the grooves.
-It's really the most super quality.
Looking underneath at the hallmarks...
Russian hallmarks are very informative,
so they actually have the date 1877.
-And the maker's mark here, which looks like BC, is actually...
The B is a V in Russian, in Cyrillic, and the C is an S,
-so this is Vasili Semenov.
Not a maker I've come across before,
but obviously a very high quality one...
..and he's the maker of the hollow ware.
-The knife and fork are actually made by Ovchinikov,
and there's his name stamped in full in Cyrillic characters
and the same date, 1877.
-I can see there's a piece missing. Any idea where it is?
-There would be another spoon there.
-I think people split things up.
This was away. We had that.
And then we got this back from a cousin.
-Maybe another cousin's got the spoon.
-That's the plaque off the door in Tver.
-In his office?
Office door. And so that says Boon in Russian,
and Boon in English. Interesting.
I've been trying to work out what it should be on a piece-by-piece basis,
-but of course it's worth much more as a set.
And I really think something like this...you'd have to insure
-for between £4,000 and £5,000.
-Right. Thank you.
Outstanding quality for Russian silver of that period,
-so thank you for bringing it.
Here we have a 17th-century subject
and yet the picture was painted at the end of the 19th century,
and we can see here that it's signed and dated by an artist called Lewin,
and I think it says 91, for 1891.
Do you know anything about Lewin?
He's not a very prolific painter,
-as far as I know.
-Well, he's one of these interesting artists,
and it's typical in the 19th century that they are not very well known
and there isn't much information about them in the record books,
and yet Stephen Lewin was known
for painting these sort of historical scenes,
and here we have a rather intriguing subject, don't we?
The label says "a visit to the attorney",
but what do you think's going on?
Well, I think he's pleading, but he looks as if he's saying,
"I don't believe a word you're saying."
Right. That's what I enjoy about these pictures -
you can add your own interpretation to what's going on.
I had a different feeling.
I thought this wonderful swashbuckling,
Errol Flynn-like character,
who's spent all his money, no doubt, on women, wine and good clothes,
perhaps he's having to sell his property,
and we see certainly perhaps deeds of a house
or deeds of property, and I think he's in serious debt, this man,
and, you know, he's lived the life of Riley and now he's paying for it.
And I love this very sort of rather po-faced gentleman here
who's just sort of saying, "Well, you silly old fool," really...
-Has it been in your family for many years?
-Here's the original...
And you've kept it all that time?
"Original painting by Stephen Lewin, £85."
I would have thought something like this...
In a way, the fashion for these,
these sort of historical period pieces,
has perhaps fallen a little bit,
but I would say £3,000 to £5,000.
-Between £3,000 and £5,000, that sort of thing.
-So not bad on your original investment of £85.
-Thank you for showing it to me.
I'll make it very simple - it's a universal, equinoxial sundial.
Let me explain how it works simply. This is called the gnomon.
You've seen a sundial in a garden, and the sun strikes the gnomon.
The thing about a sundial in a garden -
if it isn't perfectly set up, perfectly orientated,
it won't work. That's fine -
if you've got it on a nice big stone plinth, it will work,
but when you go out into the countryside
and you want to tell the time,
-you need a universal...
-..and for different levels.
The way this one works is you have a compass underneath,
so you can set it where you want it,
obviously pointing to north,
and then you can set this, the chapter plate,
which has the actual chapters on it,
to the right latitude. Now, we're missing one bit.
There should be a folding piece...
-There should be a piece that folds up and runs in that groove,
and that would be engraved with the latitude.
45, 50, 55, 59 degrees...
Where you are between the equator and the North Pole is your latitude.
So you can set it to the latitude,
and then it's perfectly orientated and you can get the time anywhere.
They're not particularly rare.
It dates from sometime about 1830, 1840,
but having its original case with the velvet lining is lovely.
Making that scale is quite a problem,
so, as it stands, I would say it's probably worth
a couple of hundred pounds or so.
It doesn't surprise me that these were originally in Bolton because
up in the north-west of England, as in much of the country,
there was a great vogue in and around about 1890,
through to about 1910, for bisque figures.
Whoever sold them in the north-west
must have made a fortune. Biscuit figures were in everybody's home.
I say biscuit. Biscuit or bisque, it's the same thing.
What we're looking at is a porcelain
that's been given a very, very fine glaze.
-Almost like a matt glaze.
What I like about your two figures
is that they're in pretty reasonable condition.
-This type are referred to as piano babies.
People used to stick them on the piano.
They were certainly made in Germany.
-And I would suspect that they were probably made in about 1900.
When valuing your piano babies,
I think you would be hard-pressed
to find a pair like this for less than £1,000.
Is it getting harder to tell the real thing from reproduction?
It's always the same with horrors -
once you know, it's easy. If you don't know, it's easy to be had.
I've brought two things which are fooling people at the moment.
This has been flooding the market over the last 15 years.
It comes from China,
it's a porcelain decorated with various subject matters,
including Japanese subject matter
and Mason's ironstone - reproducing that.
If someone saw something like that, what should they look out for?
In this particular case, very much this smoky black outline here.
If you've got that,
you're pretty definitely looking at a reproduction.
The gold should be real gold,
but here they've used a sort of metallic orange.
This is mine, by the way.
-I bought this from a retail shop for £18.
That is with the shop profit -
High Street price, with the profit -
shipped all the way from China and they can be economic at £18.
-But this is all legal trade.
-Yes, there's no problem with it,
unless it's sold as the real thing,
or it's in an "antiques fair"
and you're led to believe that it's got some age to it.
and it really comes down to
demanding of the person that's selling it to you,
"What is this object?" and getting a receipt -
that is absolutely vital.
This was brought in today by a gentleman, and up until yesterday,
when I was at a lecture given by a dealer at an antiques fair,
-would have said that that was genuine.
It's apparently made by Sylvac -
got a mark on it there -
and it's the sort of thing that Sylvac made. BUT...
these are being made in Stoke-on-Trent NOW.
This company has bought up the rights to Sylvac,
Charlotte Reed, Shorter,
Wood and of one or two others,
and are legally entitled to put those names onto whatever they like.
And they're reproducing something...
That's not even a reproduction of a Sylvac piece.
It's just in the STYLE of Sylvac,
so it's not any kind of a forgery.
They're doing nothing illegal,
but these are in fairs being sold as the real thing,
and they're jolly difficult to tell.
And how much was that doggie in the window?
I didn't ask, but probably not a lot of money.
It's a jolly nice dog,
but it probably sold off the shelf in Stoke-on-Trent for £30,
but if you bought it at a fair, they might charge you £100.
It's an awful warning.
The balance of this is perfect.
I love the shape of it and I'm particularly fond of pendants,
but is this something you look at and think, "This is very pretty"?
Yes, it's beautiful. The shape is lovely,
and just the emerald drop is absolutely beautiful.
Remembering that it was my mother-in-law's, it's very special.
-All the right ingredients are there. The principal stone is there.
They're interesting, because they're not always fantastic quality.
The best of them come from Columbia, and they are characterised
by this very intense blue-green colour.
They get very wishy-washy sometimes -
so pale that, frankly, they look like very pale marked glass.
But the very best ones come from Columbia,
and it's got that intense blue-green colour.
Looking at the diamonds,
we've got what you might call a sort of stylised palmette-shaped top.
The diamonds themselves are set in individual little settings,
where you've almost got a cup that grips the diamonds in place.
The front of it is all mounted - as you might have thought -
in this very white finish, in platinum,
but then when we turn it over,
look at the back of it, we see that it's actually backed in yellow gold.
-I've never noticed that.
-Yeah, it's unusual.
That sort of yellow mount means we can date this to about 1905.
-After then, jewellery was more or less
superseded by platinum, so it's quite an early piece.
On the platinum chain - let me just look at that...
What an emerald! It is a CRACKING stone, and a deep blue-green colour
of an intensity and uniformity that is just what people look for.
So there's the ingredients.
The value for something like this is far higher than you would expect
to break the stones out for.
With a lot of pieces of jewellery that are made in the 1950s and '60s,
they are "break-up" - you look at the diamonds and think,
"The mount's not particularly beautiful.
"All I'd reckon it at is the break-up of the stones."
No way on that. That'll fetch a price based on its beauty
and its wearability.
If this was auctioned, it would make something like £3,000 to £3,500.
Lovely. It belongs to my daughter, so she'll be very pleased.
Can you get them out? My hand will get stuck inside. Heavens!
-This is from the Moorcrofts?
-Yes, this is from Walter Moorcroft
-and this is from his sister Beatrice.
So, this is a while ago?
-Because they've both died now.
-1997 - both of them.
-And it talks about this pot?
So, how did you come to have it?
My parents both come from Staffordshire,
and my father's parents were friends with Mr and Mrs Moorcroft.
-And my mother went to school with Walter and Beatrice.
-That's how it happened.
-They were a great family of potters.
-They were lovely.
-Wonderful potters. This is a super vase.
-I've always loved it.
It's a pattern which is generally called Berry and Leaf,
after these berries and the leaves.
The particularly interesting thing about it
is that it's got not an ordinary glaze - it's got a flambe glaze,
which turns it an iridescent red colour, like the Chinese.
It's exceptionally well done.
I think I like that more than almost any Moorcroft I have seen.
It's a super piece.
This flambe effect - this lustrous glaze on top of it -
is very difficult to do,
and, generally, most of it comes around about the 1927-30 period.
This is probably about that date.
I think the effect is absolutely splendid and it turns it
from just an ordinary pot into a special pot,
so it's rather valuable.
I don't know whether you've thought about the value,
but something like this is going to be about £1,500
and should be insured for £2,000.
It's gone up considerably then since I last spoke to anybody about it.
-I'm pleased about that.
This battle's going on between the man and his...
Got him! I love it. When he gets him, he opens his mouth
in excitement and then starts the sort of teasing bit.
It was made in...probably in Germany in about 18...
1880, something like that.
Now, what is it worth?
It's the sort of PlayStation of its time.
-I would have said we're talking about £300 to maybe £350.
-Do you like it?
I remember when I was a child, my dad telling me
-it was to do with cows and turnips.
-Where do we go from there?
I presume the turnip gets stuck in the cow's throat
and that is pushed in to knock the turnip down.
-That's what I presume.
-I think it's only half the story,
because it's very long and flexible, it's double-ended,
and it's much more likely to be for putting a pill
-or something like that down a cow's throat.
-Ah, it could be.
If you put a pill in the tube and you rammed it through with that,
-it would fly out the end and down its throat.
-Never thought of that.
This is small and this is bigger, so you've got a choice of ends,
depending on the size of the throat.
-Or you go to the other end of the cow...
-I'd rather not.
We'd both rather not go! But then you could equally inject something
into the other end of the cow.
-We look at each other blankly at that point.
-It's clearly made for farming. Your family were farmers?
-It's professionally-made by a London maker.
It's very finely made in the cased leather.
-Now, we have to think what it's worth.
-Wouldn't have a clue.
I would say, to someone who is a keen collector of agricultural implements,
-I can see this fetching... £100 - £150.
"fired from the natural fern
-"by GJ Cox, inventor..."
"..Royal Polytechnic Institute, London, March 4th, 1871."
This is Minton - Minton bone china plate.
He's bought a blank, he's got an actual fern
and he's painted it in enamel colours.
-He's painted the fern.
All the way along the real leaf,
he's painted it green and then purple at the end,
touches of yellow.
He's then laid it onto the porcelain
and stuck it in a kiln,
and he's taken the temperature up to 900 degrees centigrade.
The fern's burned away
and left its...ghost behind.
I love it desperately, because I love silliness.
If I saw this in a shop,
in an antiques fair, and I read that on the back, I'd happily pay £100.
-It's such a mad object.
-Thank you very much for bringing it.
-Made my day!
I know it came from Denmark - probably Copenhagen.
-It was given to my mother as a token for her 21st birthday.
That would have been around 1945.
Well, that ties up beautifully with the piece.
Denmark ties up, because it's made by the George Jensen manufacturers.
You normally see pieces made in silver,
but during the war, silver was at a premium.
Businesses had to continue,
so this is almost a gun metal of sorts as the basis,
then made a bit more elaborate by the application of the silver detail
and the little gold fish.
This was designed by a Danish sculptor called Arno Malinowski.
He did several of this type.
-It looks a bit Japanese because it's a Japanese technique.
His work and Jensen's combined -
and this short period of time when these pieces were made -
makes it very desirable at auction. A piece like this
would make in the region of £500 to £700 - something of that order.
-It's lovely to see it, and they are very rare,
-so thank you for bringing it in.
I thought that was a spade that's gone wrong,
-but I'm not right, am I?
-No, it is a special spade for cutting peat.
-This one was used in the Lyth Valley.
-Chop down and square it off with this?
-No, it's cut horizontally.
-The peat is left on here, then lifted off.
And that looks like something for Moses.
Well, yes, it does look like that.
It's a scoop for handling grain.
They were peculiar to Cumbria and southern Scotland.
-And the grain goes into here?
after he'd thrashed his corn with the flail,
he would put it here and measure it in this bushel measure.
Bushel measure. But what on earth is that?
It's a strange item. It's a horse pattern -
to extend the area of the horse's hoof.
On the marshlands of south-west and north Lancashire,
they needed these things after the lands were drained and reclaimed.
-That's quite old and early.
-Sort of horse galoshes?
-In a way, yes!
-How extraordinary. Is this part of a huge collection of yours?
-You're a farmer yourself?
-So, you know your business.
How on earth do you get hold of this?
We bought a hotel in the Lake District and it was there.
It became part of our contents.
-Part of the fixtures and fittings.
-What do you know about it?
I know that it's come from a home in Tuscany.
It was brought back to England by the previous hotel proprietor,
and we've tried to piece together the history ever since.
We've had every kind of person come to the hotel to tell us about this.
Everything from "I can give you 50 quid for that..."
Even I'D give you more than 50!
From people who have tried to research it for us.
Right. Well, firstly the nationality...
Have a go at that one.
-Well, we would think France...
..though it was found in Italy. And we think a christening font.
Ten points for France, nil points for the font.
-Nil points, right.
These didn't have any use at all. They're completely useless.
It's just a decorative item.
But it's certainly French, let's start with that.
Clearly you've got Louis here,
-and this is Louis XVI.
-Yeah. And Louis XVI,
as far as I remember, was a pretty celibate sort of chap,
so I don't think these are his mistresses.
If it had been Louis XV or XIV,
they might have been mistresses, but they were just elegant ladies.
The bowl is very nice quality -
some of these are early Sevre plates which are painted later.
Because the actual Sevre porcelain factory in the late 18th century
was making white porcelain and it was either painted then,
or 20, 30, 50 years later.
And I love this almost incised gilding here. You can feel it,
it's almost channelled in, and it's gold leaf inlaid into it.
I want to look underneath because the quality, although quite good,
is not actually brilliant for French mid-19th century work.
You've got the typical ram's head, and various motifs from the period.
This ram's head was very common,
again, part of the Bacchic revelry scene -
these little satyrs and cherubs chasing goats around a field.
If it's in a hotel, I hope it's insured.
-Well, it's insured in the general inventory...
-..at what was a guestimate amount of about £10,000.
-It seems a lot for a table you can't do anything with, doesn't it?
But that's what it would make MINIMUM price at auction.
Possibly up to £15,000 or even £20,000 at auction.
I think if it was in a top-rate antiques fair,
I can see this being retailed - it's a very fine one -
-That is amazing.
This picture has been in the wars, I feel.
It's dirty and has been bashed around a bit. Where's it been hanging?
-It hasn't been hanging anywhere.
-Face downwards in a loft!
-Is that just because you didn't like it, or...?
When my mother died in 1977, we cleared her house and we found it.
And because it was not ready for hanging, we just left it in our loft
and then moved it from loft to loft as we moved.
And we'd like to know something about it.
I'm delighted you're here and I hope I can help you a little bit.
When I first looked at it,
I thought that it was probably Amsterdam, but it isn't.
If you look carefully you can see a signature and date in the corner.
It's by a Danish artist called Christian Molsted, 1890.
He is actually quite a well-known late-19th-century Danish painter.
Therefore, I feel very strongly, and looking at the buildings,
this is definitely a view of Copenhagen.
I love it! I think it's absolutely wonderful.
Danish art has rarely been looked at quite seriously,
especially in the last 20 years.
The school started in the early part of the 19th century,
and it was called The Golden Age of Danish Painting.
Although it was a golden age for art,
it was certainly not a golden age for the Danish population.
In the early part of the century they had been bombed by Nelson,
they had lost the Battle of Copenhagen,
they were absolutely morally defeated and militarily defeated.
There was awful hunger and poverty, and it was actually these artists
that restored confidence in the Danish nationality.
They painted very local scenes of everyday life,
and they're very quiet and tranquil.
It's really due to this little core group of painters
that you get the later 19th century painters coming through.
This is a wonderful example.
I assume that if it's in your loft, it hasn't been insured?
-It needs a bit of love and attention.
-A light clean and...
The thumbholes and the scratches...
It's just a little bit battered, and I think all this -
what we call blooming varnish, when the varnish is rotting -
will come off with a clean.
Something like this is worth at least £2,000 - £3,000.
-Possibly a bit more.
Is this a first edition?
It is, I believe so.
And it's inscribed? Oh, wonderful! Is it personal, is it a family item?
It is actually, it belongs to the family, I was an Atkinson,
and it was inscribed to a Mrs Atkinson.
It actually says Mrs Heelis, which was Beatrix Potter's married name.
So Mrs Atkinson - that was your...?
"With kind regards from Mrs W Heelis
"and thanks for the copy of Fireplace and Kitchen."
Oven fireplace, yes.
The pictures were actually drawn of the inside at Spout House,
-which is still my parent's house.
-Some pictures in the book?
-Were based on your family house?
If you look a bit further into the book, you can see...
-Show me. Where do you think?
-All the insides - the fire hearth,
wood panelling and the beams and some of them...the kettle.
All these beams,
This little axe there is actually this.
It's all there now on the same beams.
-That's as it is now.
-That was last week.
So, there's absolutely no doubt about it -
Beatrix Potter inscribed the book with thanks for her visit,
and here's evidence of the two axes still on the beam!
Well...the condition is reasonable -
reasonable for this sort of book.
The inscription is very nice, the contents are in good order,
and it's true to say that any inscribed Beatrix Potter
-is worth between £2,000 and £3,000 in auction.
Might hold onto that one!
-Yes, look after that one.
-Thank you very much indeed for coming in today.
As I'm sure you'll know, apart from Catherine Parr
and Kendal Mint Cake, this is Postman Pat country.
The Post Office that Mrs Goggins used to run was based
on a real establishment near here.
Sadly, it's recently closed down,
and I'm wondering if that means that Postman Pat is now "Pat".
That's show business! To the people of Kendal, thank you for having us.
From the lovely Lake District, goodbye.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
A gilt table bought with the contents of a hotel and an inscribed first edition of Beatrix Potter's Pigling Bland stand out when Michael Aspel and the experts visit Kendal in the Lake District. There is also locally made furniture, Russian silver and a quality clock rescued from a skip and brought to the show in a wheelbarrow.