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The Roadshow has arrived at a city,
which to be fair is just a babe compared with London or Edinburgh.
It's just 50 years since Cardiff became Wales's capital and only 100 years since it became a city.
Back in 1913 this port was the world's biggest exporter of coal.
Steamships delivered it to the Americas,
Africa, India, the Middle and Far East.
Nowadays, ironically, the traffic's in the other direction -
coal comes into Wales from South America and Australia.
When the mining industry collapsed, the port had to reinvent itself.
Now it's all go, a place for yachting, new housing, shops and restaurants
and a barrage embankment which provides the bay with a freshwater lake and water front.
Coal may no longer be king here, but the name of the man who reigned over the industry is everywhere.
Not much of a Welsh ring to those.
No, it was a Scottish laird who cast his gaze over the mineral-rich lands of South Wales in 1814,
the 2nd Marquis of Bute became known as the "maker of modern Cardiff".
As coal production increased, he built a canal and a dock. The Taff railway provided rapid connections
between the coalfields in the Welsh valleys and Bute Dock.
In 1848, an infant called John Patrick Crichton-Stuart woke up to realise that
he was the 3rd Marquis of Bute and the richest baby in Britain.
This is him, some years later.
This rich man's hobby was architecture and it led to
the extravagant restoration of Cardiff Castle and the nearby Castell Coch.
The 3rd Marquis became a figurehead for Cardiff, for a time he even served as mayor.
Later on, he sold Cathays Park, a former Bute home, to Cardiff Corporation,
stipulating that the avenue of trees be retained and that only public buildings be built here.
And on that site now the National Museum and Art Gallery,
the Law Courts, the University of Wales and the location for our Antiques Roadshow today,
the handsome City Hall.
I love this little calling card up the top here.
It says, "Made from sycamore wood cut down by the Right Honourable WE Gladstone
"on the Hawarden Estate." Where did you get it from?
Well, we went to a boot sale. I've seen it there
and I asked how much it was. The gentleman said £50, I said, "A lovely dress screen."
I unwrapped it and then I'd seen all these signatures.
What is it? A country house collection, do you think, of people's signatures?
Yeah. The owners, instead of getting them to sign visitors books or something like that,
had got them to sign little pieces of paper or give their signed calling cards
and mounted them in this screen. You've got some wonderful ones -
there's Thomas Edison here... Right.
..the American, and down here
you've got another lovely little grouping, you've got Hall Caine, the author,
and Henry James the author as well. You've got all sorts of people. It is quite extraordinary,
All the great and the good, and probably the not-so-good as well.
We've got another one, a great Cardiff item here. Bute, the Marquis of Bute. Oh, right.
He was Mayor of Cardiff. Right.
And obviously did quite a lot for Cardiff. Are you going to do this trick with it?
Let's close it up.
The horror is that we'll open it up and find we've got the same side. This side is even more spectacular.
Wilkie Collins, who wrote The Moonstone and The Woman In White,
and was credited with the first detective fiction, Lillie Langtry, Edward VII's mistress.
It's all quite extraordinary and it's wonderful to speculate
what sort of parties these people had - the king's mistress.
I don't see the king having signed this, Edward VII having signed it at all. I mean you've got how many?
529 signatures. You've counted every one? Yes.
Have you catalogued every one? No.
Written them all down? Not at the moment. You've got everybody here.
As a screen, I'm sure, a late 19th-century screen, certainly worth the £50 you paid for it.
But I have to say it's the signatures that really interest me, they're fantastic,
everybody who you could want, really, from the late 19th century,
so I value this between £2,000 and £3,000. Really? Nice thing to dress behind, isn't it? Yes.
Thank you for bringing it in. My pleasure, thank you. Lovely.
Now, do you live in a very Victorian house?
No, we don't, we live in a 1970s house.
So how do you accommodate such a Victorian object in your house?
We have a large lounge and it sits on a gate-leg table quite happily.
Technically speaking, these things are called dioramas
and the diorama description is of a fixed group of objects that are
viewed from a particular aspect, normally through an aperture, which is exactly what this is.
Yes. But it's a diorama with a difference, isn't it?
Yes. Because here we've got this family of red squirrels,
all gentlemen, I think. Yes, yes.
Disporting themselves in an incredibly Victorian interior
and frankly, this is Victorian England in one little space.
Yes, it is. I love the arrangement of pictures, entirely children, to sum up the fun of the thing.
And the old enemy for the squirrel is Reynard the Fox doing his stuff in the middle of it.
Absolutely. And that's a big joke.
Yes. They're enjoying a glass of port wine on something called a loo table, a very Victorian table. Right.
They're playing the game of cards, loo, which is brilliant. Yes.
But what I really love is the fact that that squirrel there is... Yes.
..giving a message to his partner on the other side of the table
by showing the cards in the mirror behind, which is really naughty.
How did it come into your house?
Well, we've owned it since 1987 when my father-in-law died.
My husband remembers it coming to his parents' house in 1951
via his grandfather, who accepted it as payment in lieu of a debt. And what did the grandfather do?
Well, he was in a bakery business and general stores in London, so I mean that's quite feasible.
Well, it must have been quite a debt, mustn't it?
I think so, yes. To take this, to take this in lieu. Yes, absolutely.
Well, it's a curious thing and some of these things were set up to sit
in a Victorian parlour and sometimes they were taken around and shown on displays by travellers
and they charged children a shilling to have a look at the squirrels' card party, or whatever. Right, yes.
And those children would come in and they'd ooh and ah about it. It is a fantastic object.
It is, yes, it's great fun. If you wanted an entire Victorian house within your house
without having to move house, then this is for you, isn't it? Mm, yes.
And I would have thought that you'd probably get between £5,000 and £8,000 for it. Would we?
On a good day, who knows? £10,000.
I don't know how endangered these red squirrels are. This is the trouble. They are today. Absolutely.
I think they've been smoking and drinking, that's the trouble with it.
This, I bought in a jumble sale when I was nine years of age
and I paid the princely sum of two and sixpence for it.
Half a crown? Yes, half a crown. Wow.
I believe it's a George III tea caddy but obviously you're going to tell me all about it.
Well, right, yes, it is a George III period tea caddy.
This was the type of presentation box that you took...
Instead of taking a box of chocolates or a bottle of wine, you took a little caddy of tea.
Ah. And this would have been taken to a rather important lady for a very important tea table.
That's what they called the occasion, the tea table, it was the big event for gossiping in the afternoon.
Nothing to eat with it, just the presentation and serving of tea.
It is decorated with a veneer of yew wood, burr yew, which gives this wonderful sort of ripply effect,
and a typical shell on the top.
When it was new, this was bright green background and then these were various shades of gold. Oh.
And that shading is done by dipping each of those little bits into hot sand.
Now, the important thing about it to us,
particularly here, is the Prince of Wales feathers.
Well, I wondered if there was a Welsh connection.
Well, there's no telling. There's much more likely to be a connection between the person
who gave it, or the recipient as an allegiance to the Prince of Wales rather than to the King. I see.
So we know that it was given to,
or belonged to, someone who was a Whig.
Ah. Parliamentarian, right. Wow.
So that, I think it starts to get interesting because now you're at the period when he was Prince of Wales,
leader of high style fashion and a strict coterie of close friends
and that showed a strict allegiance to him rather than the King.
And that takes us into an academic piece of furniture. Oh, excellent.
So it's worth more than half a crown? Oh, yes, just a little.
Probably five bob now, 100% profit.
Wonderful. I should think it's worth between £2,500 and £3,000.
Never! Oh. Oh, yes, yes, wonderful. I don't believe it!
Good gracious alive. I never dreamt it would be anything like that.
I've not seen one with the Prince of Wales feathers on it in 40 years.
Oh, you've made my day. I've seen hundreds of tea caddies, but not one like that.
Wonderful. You've made my day too. Thank you.
'What sort of date do you think it might be?'
There is a little piece of paper inside that has 11th April 1905 written on it.
Well, that's a start, but I think you're a little bit out with the date because...
have you ever looked inside here? No. Well, a glance.
There's the usual nib to open the thing at the bottom. Right.
And there we are, we've got a full set of London hallmarks for 1822.
Good heavens. So rather earlier than you thought.
Yes. And I notice here
that the watch is signed by George Stephenson and Warminster.
Now, what are we doing with a Warminster watch in Cardiff?
My father was, as I am, Bristolian and his father was Bristolian.
So we are a Bristolian family. So pretty close to Warminster.
Nothing to do with Cardiff, I've lived here for the last 30 years.
It all ties up and you might have noticed this extra hand.
Yes. It's a calendar hand. You've got one through to 31 there.
A nice little touch. The hands are original, it's a very pretty thing.
Lovely. So you've never actually looked at this piece of paper before?
I've seen it but I've never removed it,
just in case it disintegrated and it would have been a shame.
All these sort of papers are what we call watch papers, advertising for the specific jeweller.
Right. And on the back, it's not a presentation but it would have been the date of a repair.
We'll just take it out gently without damaging the silk that's inside and oh, isn't that lovely?
We have a little picture here of a shop front and in the windows
are clocks hanging up, and up here, we have advertisements to say, "Gold and silver."
And then it says "18/6d". Oh, that's lovely.
So this would have been an advertisement for his shop. Yes.
And having done the repair, he put that back in the watch case and then you'd know when it was last done.
Oh, that's amazing. And you've never seen that before?
Never ever seen that before, I'm not even sure whether my father had done. I love that.
Sometimes, you'll get five or six,
even ten of these in a watch and you can build up a history of when it was cleaned and repaired over many years.
So that's when it was last in the repair shop. Isn't that fun?
That's absolutely lovely. Oh, I'm so glad I brought that in now.
So a silver pair case English verge watch.
The sort of thing at auction - £220, £250.
Yes, lovely. Thank you so much. That's lovely.
Today, we're in a Sandon-free zone.
Right. Which means that me and the chaps get an opportunity to talk about Royal Worcester.
Do you like this? I do. It's my favourite piece. And my husband's favourite piece.
It is? It's not ours, though, it's my father's, so...
OK, but it's got your name written all over it in later years, has it?
It has. Well, it's one of those pieces that the minute you see it,
it shouts but one name, and that one name is George Owen.
It's not signed, and to be frank it's one of those objects that
it doesn't really need a signature, because the signature is the piece itself,
and you've just got to marvel at this man. He's working in the early part of the 20th century.
I think he actually locked himself in a room to do all this piercing.
I did wonder how they actually do this.
Well, he was very careful to keep the secret to himself. I mean, obviously he was big on patience -
I mean, lots of patience - because it just beggars belief, doesn't it? It's fabulous.
It is fabulous. Let's give it a bit of a twirl because you've got...
You've got that lovely pierced ovoid body, and then look at that handle and look at the beading...
You've got the beading on that top and then the actual lips themselves -
you'll notice they're actually pierced as well with a pretty design.
The gilding... Wow! It just sparkles like, you know... This should be with the crown jewels, it's so sparkly.
This is quality with a capital Q, isn't it? It really is. Yeah.
If I could go out and buy a single ewer to match that,
I would probably have to pay... Well, probably more than £10,000.
But it's only money. Yes.
And aren't you pleased that you've made it clear that
that was the piece that you wanted before I told you what it was worth?
We're in Wales, and the passion of this week's collector is mining memorabilia,
but for Bill Richards it's not just a collection -
it's a celebration of a way of life and a family history, because, Bill, you were a miner. Yes, I was, yes.
How long were you down there?
15 years. Man and boy.
Man and boy, yes. And you're not the first miner in your family. No, all the family, on both sides,
going back to 1840 - my grandfather,
That's one from Bristol.
That's your great-grandfather? That's my great-grandfather. A miner, as well. Miner, born in 1841.
And were the women involved as well?
My grandmother worked on the surface of a colliery in the Rhondda and she lost an arm, severed about there,
making bricks when she was 16 in 1893.
So, you've really earned your name as a mining family.
Did your collection start from your own experience? Did you bring your own equipment?
Well, I kept a lot of stuff when I left the colliery, and I was in business in Tonypandy,
and a lot of my customers gave me stuff to display in the window, you know, and it's grown from there.
It's interesting, this is all stuff that has a purpose and a useful working life,
and yet it's quite lovely, as well. Now, what are these sort of tokens over here?
When you sign on at a colliery,
you were given a check, and on your first day when you go to the lamp room you'd take a lamp out...
..off the shelf, take that away, and you hang the check in place,
so that if at the end of the shift - say, two hours after the end of the shift - that check is still there...
Proof that a man is missing.
Proof he's still underground or he's missing. That's quite dramatic.
I don't want to be morbid, but did you see any bad things when you were below?
Well, yes, I think every miner saw that.
The biggest thing that will remain with me for ever is the explosion of 1965 in Cambrian,
when 31 of our colleagues died. They were shocking days, shocking. Yes.
Now, what are these boxes? I mean, they look like something
one of our experts would be pleased to see snuff in. What are they?
Well, that's a tobacco box.
And that is actually what we call a chew of tobacco,
and you chew that...
break it off and chew it, to keep your mouth moist and stop the penetration of the dust.
And was that sort of something that they all had to do?
Suppose you hated the taste. Well... Could you sell it to another miner?
Oh, no, it was all given away, because someone would say, "Give us a chew,"
and if you look at that box there, you see, what he did then, he'd put it like that... Yeah.
..and that's why... That is worn away there. It's worn away there. Yes, fabulous.
What's the star of your collection? Would I be right in guessing it's those watches?
Because they are magnificent. Well, yes...
That was one that I used, that was my father's, and that was his father's.
He was killed in 1915. A tram run over his body, but I've been told that the watch was still going.
The watch was working, I know, at one time, but it's not working any more.
This is really concentrated family history, three generations. Yes.
What do you want to happen to your collection? Are you interested in its actual value?
Not particularly, because I just hope...
I've got two grandsons and I've got a granddaughter coming,
and I just hope that it'll be kept and passed on for them.
It's a great story, Bill. Thank you.
Do you come from a gambling family? Yes.
You do? We have a local bookmaker's shop in Grangetown in Cardiff, yes.
Ah, right, OK. And a social club.
Where was the club? Oh, it's in Grangetown in Cardiff. Right. Still running at the moment.
Where was this from? This is from the social club. Right, OK, and I take it no longer used, obviously.
It's been in the front room for about 20 years. Right.
I like Jennings machines a great deal. There's quite a history behind them. They were an American company
I believe, based in Chicago, in fact, and some of their early machines from the 1930s are extremely stylish.
Now, I believe that this model,
which became a lot more sort of boxy and less complicated in its design,
came in after about 1938, so hopefully that ties in with the history of the club.
Um, it's called "The Governor" here, but obviously these are plates
that were made for use in Britain, and a lovely piece of design.
Now, unfortunately, it seems to be jammed.
Yeah, I think my son jammed it.
Ah, right, OK. A few years ago.
I suspect if we could get into the back and have a look, it may be possible to unjam it.
What's interesting, as well, is it's got its original stand, so it's a whole package, in fact.
I think whether it's working or not, people like them for decoration - they're good-looking things.
This obviously isn't one of the earliest examples, which can make a fair amount of money.
As a later example, and as an auctioneer, I'd tend to put £400 to £600 on these for auction.
Right, lovely. Thank you for bringing it.
Yeah, thank you very much. Happy gambling. Yeah.
Did you know it was 18th century? No.
Do you know how to tell whether it's 18th or 19th century? No.
Well, there are an awful lot of copies around and you have to be very careful and one way to tell
is to take a pen and a piece of paper.
Smaller on the top than the base.
The fakes are almost invariably the other way round. Right.
They never make the base big enough.
Pretty sure-fire way of telling.
This one dates from about 1755,
with this lovely cotton-twist stem...
Do you know how they made the cotton twist? No. Absolutely amazing...
You get an iron collar
and you put a pattern of white glass rods and clear glass rods
in the pattern you want. You heat the collar up until the glass has melted,
and you put an iron rod on one end and an iron rod on the other end
and two men walk the length of this hall,
and what started out that big, ends up that big,
and they break it up into sections and make it into a glass stem.
Then they put the foot on it, then they put the bowl on it.
Now the nice thing about this one is that we've got an inscription on here
in diamond point. This was actually engraved with, possibly a diamond ring,
but more likely a diamond fixed in bitumen on the end of a pencil,
and they've engraved it with this message. I can't see it -
I haven't my glasses - what does it say?
"A keepsake from..." Yeah.
"to Sarah Louise Ford."
Sarah Louise Ford would have been my great-grandmother.
I think it goes back further than that.
There might have been another one. Do you know the other person?
No, Ford was my grandmother's maiden name. They were from Bristol.
Well, it might be a later engraving, but I would have put that engraving to the beginning of the 19th century,
and that would take it back way beyond your great-grandmother,
but who knows? Um, very unusual, very sensitive message for this date,
a woman to a woman, very uncommon, and clearly done not a professional engraving,
but possibly even by Sarah herself.
Oh, right. Lovely thing.
Chip on the bottom - it will affect the price,
but it's boosted by the fact that you've got this unusual message on it.
You could easily see it making £400 to £600.
Very good. Nice thing. Thank you very much. Yes, thank you.
My grandfather bought her, and then she came down through the family
and after my mother died, she became mine.
Right, was that difficult? I mean, have you got brothers and sisters?
Yeah, five brothers and sisters but we have a rule that you're not allowed to argue, so we cut cards.
Anyway, your lucky card turned up and you finished up with her.
Yes. I mean she is an extremely smart society girl, isn't she?
Beautifully wrapped up in her musquash fur coat
with this delightful fur collar and her hair tied up in this exquisite way.
A sort of turbany thing. Turbany thing. It's made of bronze, it's made of cold-painted bronze,
which is a particular type of treatment for the surface of the bronze where you paint on cold,
after it's cooled, a colouring scheme, but it's discoloured over the years a bit with this.
That's why she's got different shades of colour. That's right.
So, the musquash coat itself is that sort of chocolaty brown,
and the fur collar is a slightly different and darker brown, as is her muff,
and then the head-dress is almost greenish.
I've been over her quite carefully and I can find no marks at all.
No, I know. That's why we don't know anything about her.
But, fortunately, I've seen one or two of these before. OK.
It's actually made in Austria. It's made by the Bergman family, and sometimes you get a "B",
a "B" in a vase-shaped ornament, stamped somewhere,
and that's an indication of the Bergman family.
Sometimes they're stamped "Namgreb" and Namgreb is Bergman backwards,
so those are two things to look out for, for this type of bronze. Right.
She's very special. Around about 1910-1915.
Bit earlier than we thought, then.
Bit earlier than you thought, but she has a special feature, doesn't she?
And if we get hold of the edge of her coat...
She does literally reveal all. She always makes you laugh when you do that. She makes you laugh?!
But what I think is so extraordinary is that her silk stockings finish here...
I've never seen a bronze finished with silk stockings. It's a bit naughty, really, isn't it?
And, of course, she's wearing boots. I know. Really wonderful.
Wonderful. The whole business of wearing no knickers but wearing a fur coat has a new connotation
when you're looking at an old work of art, like this.
She's just gorgeous, and her boots are so chunky and she's so elegant.
I know. Very, very schoolboyish, I have to say, but delightful
and incredibly commercial. This sort of thing is popular on the market,
it's popular worldwide. I can't imagine why, but anyway it is,
and if I was valuing it, I'd put an estimate, a cheeky estimate, of probably £1,800 to £2,500,
because of its type, it's a very good one. Yes.
Thanks for bringing it in. Thank you.
This is a really interesting picture and I actually know straightaway who this is by.
If you look very carefully on the right-hand side here, we see Fred Yates incised in the paint.
Now, Fred Yates was an artist who was born in Manchester in the 1920s,
but from the '70s, he was living in Cornwall. This is very much a Cornish street scene, like Helford,
and it's beautifully painted and spontaneously painted.
When you look at the style of the painting, it reminds you of Helen Bradley, and before that, Lowry.
And is this something that you've had for a while?
Well, I bought it about
four or five months ago in a car-boot sale. Car-boot sale?
Yeah. And I asked the woman how much she wanted for it,
and she said, "Ten pence."
Ten pence?! Yeah. I don't believe it.
Yeah, ten pence, so... Well, that's fantastic!
Well, Fred Yates, over the last 12 months, has become very, very popular,
and your ten pence has turned into £700 to £1,000.
Crikey. And, I mean, that is amazing - ten pence.
What can you tell me about its history?
Well, it was left to me by my great-grandmother.
Right. So that would put it back - what? - into the 19th century, do you think? Yes, I should think so.
Yes, right. The features that I think make it such a lovely object
are the way the potter has been able to recreate the tabby markings on the cat so effectively
with these wonderful stripes.
And also to give it this really strange feel which...
You know, it's rough but it's smooth - it's what we call "salt glaze".
Oh, right. And it involves putting the pieces into a kiln,
and at a certain key point in the firing process, you put salt
in the top of the kiln, it falls down onto the pieces inside the kiln,
reacts and creates this wonderful effect. Almost grainy.
Yes, this is a Staffordshire cat. Oh.
It was made in two pieces. Yes.
And flat clay was pressed into a mould,
but when you look underneath it, the tabby markings on the outside...
Go right inside. ..are also on the inside, which seems rather strange.
The reason for that is that the body of the cat is what we call agate -
it's made of a mixture of different clays all swirled together.
It's quite a skilled technique to do it,
but when the clay is then rolled out and pressed into the mould, you get this wonderful effect.
In the 1920s, some excavations were carried out in Staffordshire
and the broken pieces of similar cats to this were found
buried in the ground on the site of a pottery there,
so this is a cat that dates from about 1745.
Gosh. They're really quite rare,
um, and I think we'd really be looking at a figure in the region of £2,000 to £3,000.
Oh, my gosh!
It's a wonderful little cat. Oh, yes.
And it was your great-grandfather who established David Morgan,
which became the largest department store in Wales.
That's right - David Morgan on the picture there.
A great landmark in Cardiff, certainly.
And it sadly, after 125 years, will soon be closed.
Will be closing at the end of January, next January,
but in the meantime we celebrate our 125th anniversary this October.
I don't know if you realise it, but I do have a personal connection with this place.
I had received a hint, and by sheer coincidence, I have the documentary evidence here.
Oh. Your record card when you were with us 50 years ago.
I can't deny that, of course.
The evidence is there - your signature. Yes. Good references, though.
And I worked for your family store for quite some time as a sort of salesman,
but I was getting into broadcasting at the same time here in Cardiff in the early '50s. Yes.
And I was allowed to have time off by Mr Gerald, who was your...?
My uncle. I was doing Children's Hour Serial Play, and he let me off for four of the episodes,
but he wouldn't let me off for the fifth. I said "I get killed in that episode - I must go,"
and he said, "Choose between the BBC and David Morgan," so I went to the BBC and I did the thing,
and when I came back, he said, "I told you you had to choose," and I said, "I have chosen the BBC,"
and he said, "I do not accept your resignation - you are dismissed," and here it is. There it is.
"Reason for leaving - absent without permission."
Yes. Oh, have you forgiven me?
Oh, I think after 50 years we can forgive you.
Well, you are obviously very keen on jewellery, aren't you?
My husband always bought me nice jewellery. Did he? Did he buy you this?
No, I was left it by a great-aunt about 30 years ago,
and, apparently... I think it's like a Polish origin, because this lady,
it was an engagement present instead of a ring,
and then some Polish connections.
But I'd love to know the value, and I'm afraid to wear it because it's valuable.
What did you feel when you opened that box, when you were first left it? Was that an exciting moment?
It was, yes, because I hadn't seen such a lovely piece, and I didn't know that she had this thing.
Well, lovely it certainly is, and, my goodness, it's decorated.
And I'd love to know what the stones are and...
Right, shall we run through those quickly? All right, then.
That's a chrysoberyl there. Yes.
And that's a hessonite garnet called a "jacinth", and there's an amethyst and a pink topaz and a turquoise.
Pink topaz? That's my lucky stone, because I'm a Halloween birthday.
You're a Halloween birthday?
Yes, and my name's Mrs Wookey, so I'm Wookey the witch. Wookey the witch? Well, that's fantastic.
The turquoise, and there's a peridot at the end,
but it's spattered with turquoises and rubies and it's...
Oh, I see a ruby there. Oh, yes, I hadn't noticed those.
It's an amazingly rich-looking object, isn't it?
Have you tried to understand what these funny girls are all over it?
What are they all about? I've no idea at all.
Well, they're in national costume. Oh, I see. Of what country?
It's not Poland - it's actually Switzerland.
Switzerland? I'm surprised at that. These are the...
And each little portrait of a girl in national costume
is actually paralleled with a shield emblematic of a Swiss canton.
Oh, Swiss canton? Swiss canton, yeah.
And these little panels are painted enamel, so truly astonishing
and it's rather older than you think. How old do you think? Older than me?
Well, it's certainly older than me!
And it's made in about 1840. 1840?
Yeah. And it's a souvenir. What do you think of that? Souvenir.
Well, it was bought as an engagement present.
I mean, I think, you know, what we can be certain of is if it was given in an engagement present,
that wasn't the first owner - it was already an old thing by that time.
Switzerland, particularly Geneva, is a centre for enamelling and watch making,
and when you went to Switzerland, which was an accessible place to go to on a grand tour of the continent
in the 19th century, you wanted to bring back a little flavour of what you'd seen,
and you'd probably be taken round enamelling factories and watch-making factories...
It's a souvenir of the grandest possible type.
It would have cost an absolute bomb in its own time. Oh. Lucky girl who received it. Yes.
It's in fantastic order. There's some damage to the enamel there, which I don't think is too serious.
It's a miraculous piece of craftsmanship to work up this wonderfully malleable gold...
It's almost a sort of museum quality thing, terribly exciting, and if you found it in an antique shop
specialising in jewellery, you'd be asked something in the region of...£8,000.
£8,000?! Oh, that's a nice lot. Another few cruises.
Very, very good. Absolutely brilliant. Fantastic. Thank you very much.
And the locomotive itself, because it's in such nice condition
is worth probably around about £120 to £180.
I like this because it's in GWR livery, God's Wonderful Railway, of course. Everyone loves GWR.
It's an engineering tour de force underneath here,
where we've got a ribbon of brass and then these solid steel supports,
each of which go to bits of bamboo
and finish up with the ivory terminals. That is an extremely rare and very beautiful example.
I'd give you more for this one than I would for all those brollies on that heap -
between £400 and £600.
Never. Yeah. Wow...
John Lennon bought it about 1967.
Bought this very figure? Yeah. Wow.
And gave it as a gift to Yoko Ono...
Fantastic. ..when they lived together in Kenwood in Weybridge, between '67 and 1970 I think.
Are you a bit of a Beatles fan yourself? Oh, yeah, I love the Beatles,
but I also collect Royal Doulton and I do have several other figures, so the connection...
And it so happens that this is Royal Doulton. Yes, that's correct.
The great thing is that you don't have to be a rocket scientist to spot Royal Doulton,
because it's so beautifully stamped. The backstamp's always very clear on the underside,
and what we've got on the underside here, we've got the Geisha and also the backstamp of Royal Doulton,
and this particular figure was produced between 1927 and 1938 by Charles Noke
who was actually one of most influential figures throughout the whole history of Royal Doulton.
Yes, yes. It has collectability just because it's Royal Doulton. Yes, yes.
But the amazing fact that it was purchased by John Lennon...
Now have you got any sort of proof? At the end of the day, it's all very well having hearsay.
It just so happens I have some...
Sorry. Here it is.
What have we got here? Well, this...
I'll just give you that, shall I?
That's a signed letter from
Ken and Margaret Brunt who were the haulage contractors of the Beatles between 1967 and 1970. Yeah.
And, in fact, when the Beatles broke up in 1970, John Lennon gave it as a gift to Ken and Margaret Brunt.
So here we have concrete proof that John Lennon actually gave this to the hauliers. Absolutely, yes.
As a gift. What a fantastic thing to do.
And a number of other documents, such as an Apple headed letter to Mr Brunt,
organising some car tax, I think, and... But it just guarantees the authenticity of the letter.
Yes, yeah. I've just spotted at the top here, a bit of restoration. What's the story behind that?
Yes, when I bought it,
the tip of the mandolin...
Yeah. ..was broken and it had been glued back on.
I had it professionally repaired, as you can see.
Yeah. It's a beautiful piece of...
She's quite revealing for a 1920s figure, don't you think? That's right, yes.
Because of the damage,
I could see a figure like this at a general auction sale being valued at between £150 and £250.
Because it's quite a rare figure in good condition, you're looking at more £300 to £400
for a figurine. Maybe more,
but that's at auction. Now, what did you pay for it?
Um, a lot more than that actually.
Yeah, yeah, well, that's fine. How much?
About £700, £800.
Well, that's fine, because anything connected with John Lennon, you know, turns to gold.
That's why I bought it, really,
that connection. Thank you very much.
Let me ask you why it is so dirty - do you not look after it?
No, it lives in a box in the attic because it's so ugly.
Really? Who banished it up there?
My wife. And how long ago did she put it up there, dare I ask?
Well, it was given to me about five years ago and it was put straight into the attic.
But who would give you a clock that you didn't like that much? A friend or family or...? My uncle.
Do you remember it working in his house when you were a youngster?
No, it worked in my grandfather's house when I was about 11 years old.
That would be during the war.
Right, well, it would be silly for me to say to you, "Do you know where it came from?" Because the "Paris"
on the dial is a bit of a give-away, so we clearly know it's French.
Underneath all this filth and mess, we have the most wonderful bronze bull,
and he is standing on a magnificent ormolu stand, and then we have this lady on the top.
Now, do you know who she is? Europa.
Europa. Absolutely right.
And this of course signifies the Rape of Europa,
when Zeus turned himself into the bull and theoretically raped her.
The casting of her is absolutely sensational.
I'm just looking at things like the detail on her sandal. She is absolutely beautifully cast,
and all these very, very fine Louis XVI clocks
are signed on the back plate, and we've got the most magnificent signature along there.
Sennellier, I don't know really particularly well.
You're lucky - look. The original pendulum is still there,
and that hangs on the little silk, and the actual pendulum swings within the tummy of the bull.
The bell's missing, but bar that, that movement would clean up a treat,
and it's a lovely top-quality French movement. Would it still work?
Oh, it would still work. That could be very easily done.
You're probably gathering I'm rather excited about this. Yes, yes. And you still hate it, don't you?
Well, I think my wife might still, but I'm getting to be quite...
Getting keener. Yes. Getting keener. What sort of sum do you think would tempt it to come out of the cupboard?
I really don't know.
I did take photographs of it to an auction house,
and they told me something like £300, £400.
How long ago was that?
Oh, ten years.
Right, OK, that's still a bit mean in those days,
so if I said to you it's worth £4,500,
would that tempt you to bring it out and make sure she enjoyed it?
Yes, I think she would enjoy it.
Well, that's what you'd have to pay for a 19th-century copy.
This is the real thing.
Even in this state I think your initial offer would be in the region of £20,000.
Twenty? £20,000 in the rough, like this. Good heavens!
And by the time it's been lovingly cleaned, restored, everything done beautifully,
you're not going to replace this retail,
anything under £30,000 to £35,000.
Would you mind telling me again, how much?
In the rough, like this,
I think in the region of £20,000.
Good heavens above!
My wife will never believe it. Absolutely marvellous.
There are some very early birds in Cardiff. The first visitor arrived here this morning at five o'clock,
and we don't open the doors till nine.
All day, the City Hall has been humming with the discreet sounds of the Antiques Roadshow,
but I remember when it echoed to the more raucous noises of the jitterbug and the quickstep,
because we came here, in the '50s when I lived in Cardiff, every Saturday night for the weekly hop.
Happy memories. And we're coming back.
Next time, we shall be having a look at the castle and other treasures. Until then, from all of us, goodbye.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd