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Welcome to Wilton House, near Salisbury,
the home of the Earls of Pembroke since 1543.
Being rich and well-connected,
the earls employed only the best artists, designers and craftsmen
to add the necessary embellishments to the house.
The early Earls were immortalised on canvas by the Flemish master, Sir Anthony Van Dyck,
and their portraits form part of the largest collection of his paintings in private hands.
They grace the walls of perhaps the grandest Palladian-style rooms in England.
The double cube room was conceived by Inigo Jones
and contains furniture by Thomas Chippendale and William Kent.
Kent also sculpted the original of this statue of Shakespeare for Westminster Abbey.
The bard would feel quite at home here because the Pembrokes were generous patrons of the arts
and Shakespeare dedicated the first ever published collection of his plays to the third earl.
There have been plenty of grand visitors too.
These cushions have felt the weight of every reigning monarch since Charles II,
but in the First World War, things were a lot less languid here
when Wilton House was a Red Cross hospital.
25 years later it became the headquarters of Southern Command
when Winston Churchill and General Eisenhower paced this floor planning the "D" Day landings.
But today it's "V" for valuation day
as Operation Roadshow gets under way.
She's not the most beautiful baby, but obviously her parents love her.
Where did you find her?
I found her in a rubbish heap.
As a Community Centre caretaker I was going through a pile of rubbish.
A couple of black sacks - I was going to put them in the bin,
and I looked in there and there were two dolls and one of them was this one.
That was about eight years ago, I think.
Well, sitting here actually you don't get the real reason of her existence.
It's when you pick her up. She's heavy.
I'd say she's around eight pounds...
the weight of a real newborn baby. Yes.
And if one just looks at the way that she's made...
She's made out of a sort of stockinet which has then been painted.
She's got... She's really quite crude underneath these nice baby clothes.
She's got articulated joints - very simple ones,
but then she's also got something much more interesting,
which is a mark here
which says "Chase Hospital Doll".
And this particular type of doll
was invented by a woman called Martha Jenks Chase,
in the 1880s, in Pawtucket in Rhode Island.
And she made this particular type of doll, this weighted doll,
to be used as a teaching aid really for nurses or young mothers.
Now, there's something else that I wonder if she has...
and she does have. Yes, that's right. She does have the place where you test the temperature of babies.
So, she's got a little hole there for slotting in the thermometer,
so complete in every detail.
Do you know what she's got inside her?
It should be sand.
Another company that made similar weighted dolls for that sort of purpose,
was a company called Kathe Kruse who were based in Germany.
But the American ones actually are very scarce over here.
We see quite a lot of the...the German makers
but the Martha Chase dolls are unusual.
Who looks after her? My daughter. Does she?
And how old's she? She's nearly 16.
So, does she sort of take out her maternal instincts on...?
Sleeps in her bed. Oh, really? Yeah, sleeps by her.
Because don't they do something like this with, with kids today?
Don't they have pretend babies they can...
That's right. Sarah had a baby from school a few weeks ago
that she had to look after for the weekend.
It cried intermittently. She had to put a key in the back to stop it crying. It is a reality doll.
To put you off having babies. That's right.
How interesting. Well, I suppose this is the sort of equivalent from earlier on in the 20th century.
This was a teaching aid, just as the one your daughter has now is a teaching aid really.
This one, although the first dolls were invented in the 1880s,
this is quite a bit later. I'd say this dates from the 1930s.
And value? Well, I mean, it came to you for nothing just in a black bin bag. That's right.
I would have said in this condition,
we're talking about something around £500, maybe a little bit more.
It's not exactly easy bringing furniture to a Roadshow, so... No.
But I've seen some unusual ways of bringing it but a horsebox is definitely a first. Right. Yes.
Obviously something which, um... needs something more than a car.
Well, yes, but we ran short...
so we decided to just bring it along and hope for the best, so...
Oh, is that made of ebony? Yes, I believe so.
Oh, my goodness!
That IS about the most exciting thing I've ever seen in a horsebox actually. Right.
I can quite see why you didn't want to carry it.
I imagine it weighs an absolute ton. Yes. Yes. It's quite a lump.
It's very heavy. It's made of solid ebony, the base, is it? I believe so, yes.
Oh, my God.
Fantastically well carved, completely made of solid ebony.
You couldn't carry that across a field very easily. No. Now, this must have a story to it.
Well, it was my grandmother's who handed it over
to my mother and father who have since handed it down to me,
so it's come through the generations.
She bought it in a Bournemouth auction room about 60 years ago.
Originally, it came from further afield than Bournemouth,
as you'll realise. I mean one of the great giveaways is the fact that
it's made completely in the solid, from not only ebony
but also this whole block is made of solid padauk and the top is,
I think, one of the best I've ever seen of its type.
Apart from having this extraordinary, swirling pattern
of arrangements of specimen hardwoods,
it's also got ivory inlay
and ebony inlay as a sort of chevron pattern.
And inlaid in-between those is little fillets of silver. Yeah.
Not just white metal - it's actually silver inlaid in the top.
Having silver is about as good as it gets.
It's difficult trying to identify all these specimen woods,
very time-consuming. But you've got everything from tulip wood
to holm oak, to calamander to Makasar ebony, pear, apple -
all of the things that were available in India in the first half of the 19C.
This is an Anglo-Indian centre table
and it's a complete celebration really of colonial trading in the early 19C
and the availability of woods from all four corners of the world.
It's a complete celebration of that. Shall we try and put the two together?
It's not very easy work, I'm sure, but...OK...it's heavy, isn't it?
It is, certainly is.
Well, it's absolutely the best I've seen of its type
as Anglo-Indian tables go.
I guess, in Bournemouth 60 years ago, this was not everybody's taste. Do you know how much it cost?
I believe my grandmother paid £25.
Well, I should think it would fetch
between £20,000 and £30,000. Really?
It's a FANTASTIC thing.
I'm taking a cuppa with our host, Lord Pembroke. Thanks for having us. It's a pleasure.
Now, like everything at Wilton House, there's a story attached. There's a good story.
The... There's an Irish peer who was the Viscount Fitzwilliam, he, um,
he had no children of his own, so he wanted to invite his young nephew, and cousin...
the son of the 11th Earl of Pembroke -
over to Dublin, to try and decide who he would pass his estate on to.
They were sitting there having tea, and the tea was very hot,
and his nephew proceeded to pour his tea from the cup into the saucer,
and slurped noisily. And he didn't really impress his, his uncle so much,
whereas the son of the 11th Earl of Pembroke, Sidney -
he drank it very politely from the cup
and, um, he thought his manners were so good
that he should pass his estate onto, onto his cousin -
the young earl. So, the other guy lost out because he was a slurper?
Exactly. Imagine when he got home, his nanny must have slapped the back of his knees.
So, it's not just your average cup and saucer.
This led to us being handed the, um, the Dublin Estate,
which, unfortunately, no longer exists,
but it's quite a nice story behind the cup and saucer.
1790. Cheers. Cheers.
Well, two AMAZING gold boxes.
Tell me, where did you find them?
Um, I bought this a couple of years ago
um, because I liked it...the detail,
and I like researching things. So, that's where that one come from.
I bought this one five years ago,
um, from a dealer,
because I collect a number of boxes.
I have...two or three dozen boxes.
And the point about this box is, that it hasn't changed at all
since it was made in Paris in 1779.
Now, it's exactly the same state for you as it was
for an aristocratic gentleman who was taking snuff.
Now, it was an age in which status was terribly important.
France was run by a monarchy, a very, very powerful monarchy...
and in order to find your place in society you needed to carry a gold box.
This is quite a plain one strangely,
but it's decorated in a practical way. Do you know what that's called?
No, I've no idea. No idea whatsoever.
Well, that we call engine turning.
The metal is brought against a tooth rather like a sort of gramophone record.
It gives this silken effect to the gold.
It means that when you touch it you don't leave fingerprints.
And about this time, a little bit earlier actually,
a machine was invented, an engine-turning machine - a "tour a guillochage" it was called...
to decorate gold boxes' surfaces in this way. But that's not enough actually,
the goldsmith has heightened the design by decorating it with green gold.
This is red gold alloyed with copper, green gold alloyed with tin.
Right, I didn't, I didn't realise that, oh.
Some aristocratic gents would have one of these boxes for every day of the year.
He could not afford to be seen in society with the same box on the same day,
otherwise it was social death to him.
So, that gives you an idea of how money
was in the hands of a very few people at that time. Not for nothing did the French Revolution come along.
I mean, this is only a little over ten years before this all ended with the thud of the guillotine.
Right. And so this box is telling you all of this, and this is the absolute excitement of it,
because it hasn't deteriorated at all and is a true souvenir of pre-Revolutionary France.
I think that's terribly exciting. It's a story that comes from that.
Tell me about this one.
Well, I'd seen this in the auction room and I thought I've got to buy it, just purely on its weight.
Yes. And the diamonds. I worked it out. I thought, "I'm buying that for its scrap value."
So, I had to buy it. I've actually just started to research it.
I know it's German because it's all laid out there.
I'm just trying to find out a lot more about it because the quality of workmanship is, I can...
is beautiful, you know.
This box has got a different story to tell us.
This is an Imperial box. This was made for an emperor to give away.
We know which emperor it is, because it's quite clearly laid out inside.
Exactly. It's Kaiser Wilhelm...
Now, because of WWI he's not a terribly popular person,
but what very few people bear in mind
is that he's actually a grandson of Queen Victoria and, um, he came to visit her on several occasions -
in this instance, to Windsor Castle. We can see perfectly because it says,
"Presented to Lord Edward Pelham Clinton
"by The German Emperor William II
"at Windsor Castle, November 24th 1899."
It's simply a gift to the head of Queen Victoria's household from an Emperor.
It jolly well had to look Imperial. It does, doesn't it?
Mm, without a doubt. It suffers a tiny bit from the excesses of Victorian taste.
It's decorated with rococo scrolls and simulated woodwork,
but emblazoned on the base there is the Imperial eagle -
the double-headed eagle of Germany.
Right. And the man that held that box was going to wreak havoc and destroy the world.
That gives it a most marvellous context for you, doesn't it? And why these things are exciting.
They have a voice these objects.
They come from the past and it's our job to make them speak to us.
Now what about value? How much was that? Um, I paid a lot.
I paid £7,000 for that box.
Well, I don't think £7,000 is anything, frankly.
If this diamond swag was a wearable thing, without the cipher of the Emperor and the enamelled crown,
you'd expect to pay 7,000 for that.
That's what I thought.
So I don't know what value... I mean, I find value very bewildering but I think £7,000...
well, my goodness, what a bargain! And this one? I think it was £1,500.
Well, I don't how one can repeat that. I mean, it looks like £1,500 without any context at all.
Um, I don't mind raising that up to close to £10,000 today.
Right. I don't think any of these... Wow!
..I don't think these sums are relevant.
I mean, say £10,000 for this one,
£20,000 for that, it doesn't matter...
they're just fascinating things, and thanks for bringing them, thank you. Great.
If, like me, you're computer illiterate and yearn for the time when things were easy to understand,
you'll know how happy I am
to introduce a man who's a passionate collector of OLD things.
And these OLD things are typewriters - easy to understand.
Nick Fisher, why collect typewriters? Are you a frustrated secretary?
No, for some peculiar reason, I was once wandering through Reading
when I alighted along, across a junk shop.
In the junk shop was this typewriter which is fairly unusual.
and it just struck me the absolute craftsmanship involved in it
and the way you could see all the parts that worked. It had absolute integrity.
It was later that I realised each and every one of these typewriters
probably has a story it can't actually tell.
How many have you got? 200 all told.
I think they're most ingenious anyway, from the word go. I presume it's an American invention.
I think the Americans would like us to think so,
but really it was a cumulative invention if you like.
Many people, including the Italians, Germans
and the Americans were involved.
The first people to produce the true commercial typewriter were Remington,
who produced their first model in about 1876 really.
Got one here? Yes, this one here which is not the first.
This is actually model number five
which was produced again in the late 1880s.
It was also a machine, along with this one,
which actually took part in a typewriting duel in 1885 between two typists -
one a touch-typist and one who actually relied upon looking at the keys and using two fingers.
The chap who was using the Remington and using all the fingers actually won the duel
and, as a result of that, gradually, over a period of time, these much larger keyboards disappeared
because this is a much more manageable keyboard system for a touch-typist.
These were men? Now, it's interesting,
you would think it's changed the working lives of women.
It did. To start off with I think there was resistance to allow women into the office,
by people who were already there - clerks who saw them as interlopers.
But what actually happened of course was that they were found to be, with all due respect, very dextrous
and good users AND possibly cheaper to employ.
And so it really did, to some extent, liberate women.
A lot of them, I guess much later on
would not have thought it was necessarily a liberation for them.
Are most fellow collectors women?
No, most collectors seem to be men,
which I think indicates the fact that it's chaps who are interested in mechanical objects.
Is there a golden typewriter in your imagination? There are golden typewriters...
not just one. Not a really golden one, I mean...
There is a golden typewriter, um, Fleming.
The author of the Bond books actually had a gold-plated typewriter.
But, you know, there are plenty of typewriters I'd like to own. It's unlikely I ever will own them...
but that's not a problem. Your mother wrote in...
It was. ..to tell us about your fanatical collection. Did she type the letter?
Um, no, I don't think she... I think she, she wrote it.
I was taught to ask...before you start thinking anything else, what is the picture trying to depict?
In your case, what do you think? Well, it's the Resurrection. Yes, it is, and so this is Mary? Yes.
And there's Christ with the stigmata in his hands. Yes.
What else do you know about it?
Very little until a few months ago,
and then I was told by someone that it was possibly 1890s to 1900. Yes.
And, um, it was possibly painted on silk.
Right, absolutely spot on, as far as it goes.
It's out of its frame to see it better,
and we can see it's actually on fine linen.
Now, I've been thinking about this and trying to figure out who it was by.
I've been getting closer and closer to it.
Now, I'm fairly sure that it's by a member of the so-called Birmingham Group -
a group of painters inspired by Burne-Jones
who came from Birmingham and gave a lecture there in the '90s.
But, finally, I've honed in on an artist called Bernard Sleigh...
who favoured religious subjects.
and what was the clincher for me
is that several of his religious pictures
featuring Christ, have him standing on a kind of glowing launch pad
like Thunderbird I about to take off or something.
OK? And it's clear that this picture, unfinished,
was about to go in that direction,
so I'm going to attribute this, quite firmly, to Bernard Sleigh.
I LOVE it. I do. Why?
I think the features.
The features here, they're so clear.
Um, I don't know. They're very clear aren't they? They are very clear.
They're really clear, it's that kind of plainness, simplicity, very much a...
a...I love her blue eyes, don't you?
And her blonde hair. I do, and her lips in particular I like.
Can't believe Mary really looked like that, but it is a wonderful interpretation.
Um, and then look at the halo
which is almost glowing flowers. So, now, value...
It's a very good example by him and I think very early
and very beautiful, so, I think,
I've really got to put £2,000 on it.
Well, isn't it beautiful? It is beautiful. I didn't expect that at all.
There is, oddly, a link between these two objects.
Did you know that? No, I certainly didn't.
I'll tell you what it is.
Let's start with this one,
this was made by a man called William Henry Goss.
And Goss had this brilliant idea in the late 19th century
that he would make his fortune
by making souvenirs for people who were cycling round the country.
Bicycling was THE craze...
and he thought to himself...
"They cycle round the country, when they get there, they want a souvenir to bring home."
Put it in the saddle bag, mostly quite small, and they're very collectable.
There were some bigger ones,
and this is one of the rarer ones.
It's the Durham Knocker.
We've got on here the mark
of the goshawk which was the factory mark
and the transfer on there.
This is rare
and I think that one would probably make in the region of £500 to £800.
It's a nice thing.
Where do these come from?
They were...certainly this was a family inheritance.
They've been in the family for years. There's an interesting story with the jug
because my grandmother bought it for my father in the early 50s
after my father led a team of physicists at Malvern
in developing the travelling wave linear accelerator. Wow!
That's a...that's a claim to fame!
How extraordinary! So, what was the...
ah, the link is "The Lady's Accelerator"... Absolutely. ..on the back. Absolutely.
OK, what we've got here is the most wonderful Regency pearl ware jug.
Pearl ware is a cream ware
which has been dressed with a slightly blue glaze
to make it more like porcelain.
It's been transfer printed in black
and then all the rest of the colour has been put on by hand.
And we've got here a Regency lady seated in this tricycle and she...
with her feet pedals these boards which drive the wheels
and it was obviously called "The Lady's Accelerator".
On the other side
we've got a bone-shaker bicycle
and it's somebody, I suppose the Duke of Wellington,
with, as a passenger, Queen Caroline
who was of course married THEN to the Prince Regent.
Now, Richmond was where she lived.
Carlton House was where the Prince of Wales lived
and of course they were separated.
And this is showing her apparently going to see him in Carlton House.
It's a DREAM of a jug.
Any political jug collector would absolutely love this.
Made in Staffordshire probably, possibly Liverpool,
it dates from around 1800-1805,
somewhere about that time.
And...I think it would probably make...
..£400 to £600, something like that.
Yes. They're a wonderful two objects and thank you for bringing them in.
A pleasure, thank you very much.
The trouble with doing a show in the open air,
is that we're in England it has a habit of turning a bit SOGGY!
Still, it's good for the flowers and it's won't stop the show,
so what am I complaining about? MUSIC BOX PLAYS
That's much better.
I've known this for, ooh,
the last 50-odd years.
And, um, I went out to Kenya in 1954... Mm-hm.
..and, I think, saw it at the first, um, agricultural show then.
It was always in all the great equestrian events, of which there were dozens and dozens,
all over Kenya. Gymkhanas and horsy events. Oh, yes.
Even in, even in Africa? Oh, gosh, yes. Kenya was a little spot of aristocratic Britain
where time stood still, quite a long time ago.
So you'd seen her being driven around and admired it, had you? Oh, yes.
Very good, and who did it belong to?
Oh, at the time I knew it, it belonged to Daphne Mason.
So, Daphne Mason was whom?
She was the daughter...
as far as I know...of the...
of Lady Muriel Jex-Blake,
who was in turn the daughter of the 14th...
The 14th earl. ..Earl of Pembroke.
So this thing originally came from Wilton, came from this very place?
Lady Muriel had gone to Africa with her husband.
And they had a coffee farm a few miles out of Nairobi.
Brilliant! You found it at auction, did it up and shipped it back.
I put it all to pieces again
and put it in packing cases some years later and brought it back in 1974.
Well, I think it's just extraordinary that this vehicle is now back at Wilton House where it started out,
because Lady Muriel was born in 1885
and this vehicle was probably made around about 1900.
And it's a specialist sort of vehicle called a "whisky" -
which is derived from the term "to whisk" from one place to another.
And these vehicles were known as whiskys because they travelled about frightfully quickly.
And, in a way, around about 1900
for a young girl to have one of these was like being given a sports car...
So, perhaps in 1901, when she was 16,
Lord Pembroke gave his daughter this vehicle.
And if we look down below at the hub cap, it says "Orfords, London". Yes.
Orfords were making specialist vehicles for over 150 years.
They continued until the 1930s
and it was just the sort of place that an aristocrat would go and buy
the equivalent of a sports car for his daughter.
It's an absolutely brilliant object. Well, it...
I'm absolutely delighted to see it, because despite the weather, what finer setting anywhere in England?
Quite. And it's back home, which is lovely.
Well, I have to tell you that these things are really quite desirable.
There's a big market for horse-drawn vehicles.
I think, if you were to sell this today,
you would get between £4,000 and £6,000 for it. Oh, my goodness!
When I came to Wiltshire I thought, "I'll see plenty of sheep on the way down,"
and I haven't seen a single sheep until today.
And then you bring me a glass one(!)
Um, and it's not so much a sheep but definitely a ram's head, isn't it? It is. He's lovely, isn't he?
He is lovely, but you and I know that he should be on a car. Well, he should, that's very true.
Now, tell me about the car that this car mascot started life on.
It's my daughter-in-law's actually, and her father was a chauffeur for Lord Hives.
Tell me about Lord Hives. I'm not very big on aristocracy.
Right. Lord Hives was the chairman of...John Lewis in London.
And...Lalique gave it to Lord Hives as a gift.
OK, well you mentioned the magical name there, didn't you? That's right, I did twice perhaps. You did.
You're a name dropper, aren't you? I am, I am.
Lord Hives and Lalique, because we're talking of course of Rene Lalique.
And there we go. It's there to be seen.
Moulded, actually, in the actual glass itself.
I mean, here is a man
that decides to, um, build a career,
second time around, in industrially produced glassware,
I mean, before then, he was a major, major, um, jeweller
working in the Art Nouveau style in France and then come around about 1907-1910 he moves into glass.
Now, as far as Lalique car mascots are concerned,
um, he...he produced 29...in total. OK?
There was one, just one, that never made it into production.
This particular one I know was introduced in 1928,
um, and what I think is fascinating about them is the fact that...
the way we're looking at it here,
really sort of belies, um, just how this would have been fitted.
Once it was on your car bonnet it could be illuminated
and so, I mean, it worked on the basis that the faster you went
the brighter it SHONE. Oh, right.
Um, now, that only lasted for a short time
because the London County Council decided it was too dodgy to have THREE lights coming up behind you
when you're driving a car down Pall Mall.
So, um, you could still keep a glass car mascot
but you couldn't illuminate it, which is all very sad. That's a shame.
It is, because you could put coloured filters in there too,
so you could turn a clear glass mascot...
and they did a frog - so put a green filter in
and you'd got a green frog once it was illuminated.
I suppose the other, the other question is, condition...
because that's all important.
Um, and I've noticed there IS a small crack.
That's the bad news. Mmm.
Um, the colour goes for it.
It's a nice subject.
There are a lot of people out there who go for them.
These days the market has switched very much from Lalique glass collectors
to motor memorabilia... Oh, really? ..car mascot collectors.
And there are a lot of them across the world.
If that turned up, even in this condition,
I don't think you'd have any problem in a collector putting his hand in the air and bidding
somewhere around about £2,000 to £2,500.
Really? Really. Oh, she'll be pleased. Do you think so? Mm.
Looking at this as a doll,
it's actually not a particularly interesting doll.
But looking at it as...something rather different,
it becomes really fascinating.
And the thing that immediately focuses my eyes
is the badge that she's wearing - "votes for women"
and this extraordinary outfit
that the doll is dressed in, with arrows on it. Now, tell me more.
Um, well, it was my great grandmother's
and she'd have given it to my grandmother when she was a girl.
But all of the clothing is actually made from parts of the actual uniform when they were in prison.
So, this is...
using the original prison uniforms... Yeah.
..that the women were put into.
How amazing! Who was your great grandmother?
Was she a firebrand of the movement?
Well, I'm not exactly sure how far in the movement she was, but she was very up in it.
She called my grandmother after Emmeline Pankhurst.
But you don't know if, for instance, she was ever imprisoned.
I'm not entirely sure. I don't know if she was in prison or not.
I haven't got any documentation, so...
OK. There's a GREAT book, it has an index which lists practically everybody.
And that's called, um, "The Women's' Suffrage Movement"
and it's by a woman called Elizabeth Crawford, so get that.
You might have an extraordinary surprise...
That she might be in it? Yes, exactly.
But the interesting thing for me,
is the way that this has all been put together.
I mean, it's correct in EVERY detail,
every layer from the outer layer to the flannel petticoat here...
Yes. ..the cambric petticoat, the drawers, all with arrows on.
And in fact...oh, in fact, even the little shoes... Shoes. Yeah.
..have got the arrows on.
And the Women's Suffrage Movement was such an important part
of the early 20th century political landscape.
Although the actual movement started in the 1860s, it wasn't a really radical movement at that point.
When we think of Women's Suffrage and suffragettes,
we're thinking of that sort of 1910, 11, 12 period
when all the major political events happened -
chaining to the railings... That's right ..and all the rest of it.
So, this to me is no longer a doll,
and I mustn't look at it as a doll and I mustn't think about valuing it as a doll,
because it IS a symbol of a very important and influential movement.
And Women's Suffrage,
and particularly suffragette items,
have an EXTRAORDINARY following.
I would have thought we're talking about
upwards of £2,000.
Something between perhaps £2,000 and £3,000. That's excellent.
It's good news, isn't it? Yeah. Are you a bit of a firebrand yourself?
Well, I'm all up for Women's Lib, it has to be said.
That's for others to say, is it? Yeah.
Well, it belonged to my mother-in-law.
Um, we don't know the history of it, I'm afraid, at all.
Um, she...arrived one day
with a little bowl...
Mm-hm. ..an enamel bowl... Yes?
..in which there was jewellery, some of it was costume jewellery.
She called it a lucky dip and she asked me if, um,
I would like to choose a piece of jewellery for both of my children.
Amazing. This is probably the most spectacular lucky dip
I've ever seen in my life. She said that she had a King Charles I ring
and we never ever believed it. It was sadly at the end of her days.
She had Alzheimer's
and so one thought that the confusion was normal.
Well... And there was this ring.
It wasn't until after she died that we looked at it and saw...
What? An inscription inside. It has an inscription. What does it say?
I'm not sure. I'll tell you.
Not Charles I but Elizabeth, is it? Well, it absolutely does.
Princess Elizabeth. Well, it says "Princess Elizabeth, daughter of King Charles I".
She was born in, um, 1635
and she died in 1650,
so it was a remarkably short life actually.
And, in a way, this may be some kind of memorial to that life.
In jewellery studies we can recognise the date of a piece of jewellery
by the style of the mounting.
Now, what's confusing to me is that the mounting is slightly later than one would expect from 1650 -
not necessarily the cut of the diamonds
but the way the ring looks is more to do with the beginning of the 18C.
What we've to try to understand is what the inscription on the ring really means.
Does it mean that this ring belonged to that princess?
And, I think, frankly, as we see it now, it didn't.
The stones in the ring belonged to the princess.
Somebody loved it, wore it, wore it out and it had to be remounted.
And I think it was remounted in, in about 1700 - maybe 1720.
Now that's utterly consistent with the style of the script that runs on the inside of the ring
and also this fluted back.
It's actually a closed back setting.
The stones are set against silver foil.
Now, the silver foil's deteriorated over these hundreds of years
and it gives this diamond a much more sultry look
to it really which one doesn't expect.
Modern diamonds look like headlamps and they're frankly rather boring.
And here is a very beautiful stone... It's sparkly.
..Very sparkly. It's doing it now. It likes the attention. I'm thrilled with that.
Um, anyway, so is it a Stuart relic or not?
To be perfectly honest, I think it probably is, which is a very exciting thing for me to say.
But, without doubt, it's been remounted
and, um, how on earth one's to value this, I haven't the slightest idea.
Maybe 7, 8, £9,000 for it...
without any reference to provenance. Put the provenance on and the sky's the limit perhaps.
Maybe £15,000 isn't wrong. Hmm.
It started with the little...
um, oddly enough it was the deer. The little stag.
And, um, then, because we live on a farm
I thought, "Well, I'll collect animals and a few, few birds."
How long ago was this? Were you...? It started in the middle '70s.
Right, so 30...35 years ago. What sort of prices were you paying then?
Well, some of the little ones, of course, were about £30 or £40
but they've become VERY expensive now. They have.
Now, most of these are actually dating between about 1905 and 1910.
Right. And some of them are by leading makers of pincushions
including Sampson Mordan of London,
Levi and Salaman and Adie and Lovekin.
And most of them are very crisply hallmarked.
They're very, very simply made
just by sort of embossing. And, of course, this is where you stick your pins.
Now, what do you make of that?
That was one of the early purchases,
probably a mistake. But you learn from your mistakes
because we think it came from the top of a cow creamer.
Yes, or a butter dish. Or a butter dish.
A finial off a butter dish and the base has been let in, it would have originally screwed onto the lid.
Would they have made a hole? Yes, they pierced it and put a little cushion in.
This is how we learn about antiques, and you learn by your mistakes.
What was the date on it? 1842 and made in Sheffield. Oh, so that's much earlier.
Before they even made pincushions.
So, that's almost a fake, isn't it? Yes.
I think so.
Now, I know you've brought everything in an old margarine tub.
I did. And it's amazing, there's about 42 examples here.
If I said to you...
to replace that one would cost you now...
would that surprise you? That's serious money, isn't it?
It's serious money. Yes. I knew they were expensive,
but I hadn't sort of thought... You didn't realise that much.
A little polar bear. ..Yeah.
It's less than an inch long. Not much silver. No.
There'd be very little change out of £1,000 for that one.
And if I tot up all the other rarities...
You've a range of wildfowl. You've a tortoise.
There's a wonderful little fish -
again, absolutely exquisitely detailed.
If you wanted to go out
and buy all these, you wouldn't have much change
Collectively, over the time... So, you have brought me... ..that's a lot of money.
..£25,000 worth of pincushions in an old margarine tub.
Well, the weather tried to beat us, but it didn't succeed and we managed to find some unbeatable items.
Thanks very much to the people of Wiltshire, and now chin up, stiff upper lip and keep smiling.
And, if you can do that, we'll see you at the next show. Until then, from Wilton House, goodbye.