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'..Malin, Hebrides - north-east four or five, becoming cyclonic, then south-west six to gale eight,
'perhaps severe gale nine later.
'Rain. Moderate or good.'
Well, as you might've gathered, the Roadshow is a long way from home
on one of the most remote, windswept parts of the British Isles.
a place known best to us as a fixture on the shipping forecast.
So welcome, on a mercifully sunny day, to the largest island of the Outer Hebrides - Lewis.
The Hebridean landscape is sometimes beautiful, sometimes forbidding,
but the islands boast a world heritage site, four national nature reserves
and no less than 55 sites of special scientific interest.
The coastline offers dramatic cliff views, secluded sandy coves and mystical standing stones.
The Celts and Vikings both left their mark on these Western Isles,
and a traditional way of life still flourishes among the 26,000 people who live here.
70% of them are native speakers of Scots Gaelic, an ancient Celtic language.
Fortunately, they also speak English, making life easier for our experts.
Now, until recently, there wasn't a venue here big enough to hold the Antiques Roadshow,
then we heard they were building a new leisure centre in the principal town of Stornoway.
In fact, we're due to be the first public event in the new complex, assuming its finished, of course.
Like the Olympic Stadium in Athens, it's showing every sign of being a close-run thing.
Our experts are hoping for some interesting finds, though, and up here that wouldn't be unknown.
During a particularly violent storm in 1831, a local crofter, who was rounding up his cows
in these sand dunes near Ardroil, came across a stone chamber unearthed by the force of the wind.
He broke into the chamber and discovered, to his amazement,
what looked like a gathering of gnomes and elves.
There were 78 little people in all, dressed as churchmen, royalty and warriors.
Wise people at the British Museum finally concluded that they were 12th-century Norse chessmen
carved from walrus tusk.
Many regard the original Lewis figures as the finest early chess pieces in the world.
Lo and behold, come the day and all the pieces are in place here in Stornoway,
where they've finished enough of the building for our opening gambit. So, on with the first event to be held
in the brand new Lewis Sports Centre and the first ever Antiques Roadshow from the Outer Hebrides.
Two classic views of the Highlands painted on porcelain.
Are these scenes you've grown up with?
Eh, yes, I've been in Scotland all my life.
So you can picture the highland cattle there by a loch. Yes. And the sheep amongst the heather. Indeed.
These are scenes I'VE grown up with, because these are from Worcester, they're Royal Worcester plaques. Ah!
And nice to see them in their original frames. This is how they left the Worcester factory.
Yes. And the Worcester always had a little cut-out on the back.
When we look around...inside the frame, there's a little hole showing the factory mark. That tells us...
the Royal Worcester sign, and this little code system,
they've got little tiny dots around the factory mark, 25 dots there, that's the year 1916.
So that's when they were made. Oh!
And they're by two of the greatest china painters of all time, really,
this one by John Stinton and this one here by Harry Davis.
Yes. John Stinton specialised in the cattle. And during his very long life - he lived to be over 100...
during his whole life at Worcester, he painted the highland scenes with the cattle by the loch there.
Yes. Though they're not scenes that he ever saw himself. Oh, he never...? During that time...
His son said that John Stinton never went further north than Droitwich,
which is only a few miles up the A38 north of Worcester. He never came to Scotland at all. Didn't he?
Neither did Harry Davis, here painting sheep. And you can sort of smell the heather in the atmosphere!
Yes, yes. I knew Harry Davis when I was a young lad at Worcester, growing up. Oh.
He was in his 80s, still painting at Worcester - he lived there all his life -
painting the sheep in the landscapes. When I was ten years old, I would watch him paint,
still painting highland scenes, doing it from memory! And I thought, "How did you do this?"
He'd never seen the sheep themselves. Didn't know...
And he showed me little picture postcards that friends had sent him of Highland scenes. Uh-huh?
He did it all from that. He just imagined the scenes.
Neither Stinton or Davis ever went there. Where did these come from?
Have they always been in your family? No, my husband bought them at a house sale in Greenock.
And...? I think he didn't pay very much for them.
£2.10/- in old money, somewhere about there.
Porcelain lovers know the Highlands from the work of Stinton and Davis,
and they pay very big money for them nowadays indeed.
This one here, by John Stinton,
is probably worth, today, something round about £3,000. Mm-hmm.
and this one by Harry Davis, probably £4,000. Oh.
Harry's work is...is just so special. And a plaque like that has got everything.
Oh, I shall look at them in a different light!
"The Peter Pan portfolio by Arthur Rackham, from Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens by J. M. Barrie."
Now, why do you like this?
I bought it because I love... I like anything about Peter Pan, I like the stories and...
Never-never land. And Never-never land.
Yes. And where did you buy it?
I bought it in Inverness at an auction.
At an auction? Yes.
I mean, just look at that!
Yes, it's beautiful. It looks absolutely...absolutely glorious. And this lovely attention to detail!
This one I've always loved because it's got this...
This is Kensington Gardens. There you've got all the fairies.
In fact, you probably have beer bottles down here today.
But they've got fairies. And this lovely sort of twilight...
That's the Serpentine.
And here's another one, look at the movement in those. I mean, they are just absolutely tremendous.
And...autumn fruit, I suppose, coming in there,
and all that. And this little chap.
Well, Arthur Rackham, as you know, obviously a very famous artist, started working for magazines
in the late 19th century. And then, by about 1900-1904, I think,
he started to bring out coloured illustrated books
of other people's texts and, you know, possibly Christmas wasn't Christmas without a Rackham in it.
Now, you'll have to tell me how much you paid for this.
I can't really remember correctly, but it was £300 or £400, I think it was. 300 or 400.
I couldn't be quite... Couldn't be quite sure? That was quite... that was quite a punch.
I thought it was, yes. Yes, very bold. My husband was saying, "Oh!"
Was he absolutely horrified? I love this one of this chrysanthemum as a man.
Yes. Isn't he tremendous?
Gorgeous. And he's got a monocle. I suppose he looks like Joseph Chamberlain, doesn't he?
I mean, you know, of the period.
And this child, the expression on its face!
Well, look, there are various things wrong with this. The binding itself is not in bad condition.
The vellum - obviously people have been putting fingers all round there. But it could be tidied up
and really made to look absolutely very special.
Oh. In fine condition,
the Peter Pan portfolio is worth somewhere between £1,500 and £2,000. I see.
So if you care to - and I think it would be worthwhile - spend a bit more money on it. Uh-huh, yes.
And put it into apple-pie order. That's lovely.
This is your table, isn't it? It's my table.
The chair however, we have borrowed from the Cabost collection in the local museum.
Oh, yes. And that is of interest here, but let us actually concentrate on your table. Right.
What can you tell us about it? Well, it's been in my family... I mean, first knew about it
when we came here to visit my grandparents in the '30s. Right.
And it was there then. And your grandparents were local people?
My grandfather was. Right. But my grandmother was a New Zealander.
But do you think they acquired it or made it, or what?
No, it was made by my great grandfather. Right. He made this.
That's actually very interesting.
Is it? Because, in fact, furniture of this sort, made on the island,
was almost certainly made from either driftwood...
Ah. ..or fragments of wood that were left over from other construction projects. Because there was so...
there's no indigenous wood on the island. Everything had to be imported then and now.
That's right, yes. But your great grandfather had obviously seen fashionable pieces of furniture
on the mainland, and tried to recreate it, without the...
without the real knowledge OR the technology to do it.
This stem - he had no access to a lathe so he simply carved it. Uh-huh.
The legs themselves are shaped, to a degree, as a fashionable one would have been,
but it is likely he tried to find pieces of wood that had that natural shape in them.
Ah. Now, he made the base, but the top is a different kettle of fish altogether.
This is made of oak. It is also a reclaimed piece of wood.
But you can see in the joint here that it's a very sophisticated joint, a tongue-and-groove joint.
Yes, yes, you can see that, yes.
And that was made, almost certainly on a machine.
So it is likely that this was maybe a door once.
Ah. You know. A ship got wrecked and that's a door of one of the cabins.
Yes. And that's as big a top as he was able to salvage from this piece of wood.
So that's fascinating. The other wonderful thing about these two bits of furniture,
now we've put them together. Ah?
Is the size of them. What do you use this for?
Oh, I just use it as a coffee table. As a little coffee table, absolutely.
But have you ever wondered why it was so low? They didn't have coffee tables in the 19th century. No.
Well, they had very low ceilings and very small places to live in. That's exactly right.
The original blackhouses, and do you know why they're so low?
It's not necessarily the height of the ceilings,
it's the level of the smoke that gathered in the roof. Oh. Yes! And if you're low down here,
you're below that smoke level. Yes. A lovely, lovely local detail.
And you only find that sort of thing in local, vernacular furniture. Yes. It's absolutely fabulous.
What's it worth? No idea. I haven't a clue. Not a lot. The curious thing is, this local blackhouse furniture
is so rare - it is SO rare!
And you can value it in many, many hundreds of pounds,
possibly over £1,000. Really? Yeah. My aunt wanted to buy it, but I wouldn't sell it.
How much did she offer you? £10,000. TEN thousand? Yes, she offered me... Yes. She's American. A lot of money.
That's exactly the point. And I said "No, I'd rather keep it".
When... When you find somebody who really wants it, in America...
I said "over £1,000". I wasn't dreaming of £10,000, but it doesn't surprise me! That's what she said.
She said "I'll give you £10,000 for it," and I said "No, I'll keep it." That is absolutely brilliant.
Well, I think anyone watching with a nervous disposition might well be obliged to switch off now,
before we explain what this rather gruesome object is.
How did it come into your possession? I inherited it from my father. From your father, right.
Was he a doctor? He was indeed. That gives us a clue as to what it is.
Well, in fact it's a tonsil extractor. That's right. And how it worked
was that this was put in the mouth,
covering the tonsils. You push this forward...
and the sharp blade here underneath cuts off the tonsils
which then attach themselves to the barbed points
and you pull this back, and the tonsils come with it.
It must've been a pretty horrendous business. Oh, these days it wouldn't be allowed.
I think something like this probably dates from around 1900.
It's made of steel, it's a bit pitted, not in the best of conditions,
certainly wouldn't pass modern hygiene regulations.
Um, any idea as to its value?
None at all, no.
Well, if it came up at auction, I think it would probably fetch between £200 and £250.
Really, would it? Extraordinary.
So this is for making biscuits. Yes. What, sweet biscuits or oatmeal biscuits? Oatmeal.
Oatmeal, ah, the best sort.
Can you read backwards? Yes.
What does it say? "Playtime." And does this one have a name on it?
"Ness." Ness. That sounds very Scottish.
That's where they were made. So these are for making monster biscuits!
The thing is that this is not Dom Perignon. No.
And because it's not Dom Perignon 1921
and it's Guinard 1923,
it's only going to be worth £50 to £60!
After all that! Yes.
I was talking to one of my fellow experts on the Roadshow today about Clarice Cliff,
who told me their mother received a Clarice Cliff dinner service as a wedding present in the 1930s,
and she was so disgusted and appalled with it, she thought it was so common and downmarket,
that she threw it away. What do you think about it? Same. Don't like it at all, no. Same?
But you haven't thrown it away. No, I haven't. Put it in the loft.
You put it up in the loft and then it's been resurrected.
Well, Clarice Cliff is generally a very famous ceramic designer.
She was working in the '20s and '30s and producing things in this wonderful Art Deco style.
I think, you know, when one looks at a jug like that, which is the most extraordinary, even bizarre shape,
in many ways totally impractical... Not nice at all. There's no way to put your finger through the handle.
You have to grip it, hold on to it for dear life, otherwise you'll drop it. Similarly, the cups.
Can you imagine a cup full of scalding hot tea...? She must have had a lot of designs, though.
She did. We looked on the Internet and couldn't find that design. We found other designs but not that. Ah.
It's interesting you should mention the design. There are two aspects to a piece of Clarice Cliff tea ware.
There's the design, the pattern, which in this instance is called "Sunshine". Yes.
And there's the shape. You didn't find this one?
No. It's not actually a particularly rare one.
The shape, however, is the thing I like about this set, and it's called the "conical shape",
Conical shape is what everybody wants because of this wonderful, stylish Deco design.
But the pattern is, perhaps, not so good.
Some of the Clarice designs are really strong, bold geometric designs. Yes.
Although this is clearly of the period, it's a more naturalistic, floral pattern.
So how old is this one, then? This, interestingly, is dated. It's easy for me to tell you when it was made.
Some of the Clarice Cliff pieces have...
impressed, just inside the foot-rim, the date.
And there we have "30" for 1930.
Ah. So it was made in 1930, not all the pieces are dated in this way
but the teapot, being the most important piece...
Well, I never noticed that before. ..is obviously the one thing to date. And you've no idea...?
Perhaps your father bought it? No, probably my mother bought it, I would imagine, yeah.
Or it might have been in her family. She must've been rather avant-garde and stylish. Yes, she was. She was.
You know, had a bit of a sparkle. Yeah. I can imagine - these sort of things, she would've gone for.
She did well and, despite the less commercial design
but because of the wonderful shapes and the completeness of the set,
we're looking at a value probably about £800 to £1,000 at auction
and you should insure it for a little bit more than that. Wow. But it's a really good set. Yeah.
That must've been one gigantic whale! What's the story? Yes, it was over 80 feet long, I believe.
The story is that it came ashore in a bay on the west side of Lewis
and it had been wounded by the harpoon, like you see hanging there.
And whales make for shore when they're wounded.
And the local people, of course, took a great deal of interest in it.
They took all the blubber and used it, in fact, as oil and for various other reasons -
because this was 1920. And leaving... And they left this. All the bones, in fact. This is its lower jawbone?
This is the lower jawbone. And how high is it?
Eh, about 22 feet high and 14 across.
And this was the harpoon that it dragged with it? Yes. And have you any idea what distance it travelled?
We don't know exactly,
but it may have... There was a whaling station in Harris,
but it may have come from anywhere in the North Atlantic. What a difficult job getting it here!
They had two horses and a lot of men -
I think, over 20 young men fresh from the war -
to drag it out the whole length of...
the mile from the shore up to here.
And here it stands, looking like the entrance to a film studio!
A landmark. A landmark indeed.
I think you know what this is. Yes. I knew it was a scarifier,
I knew it was used as a skin incisor,
but I wasn't very sure as to its date. I wasn't sure whether it succeeded the leech,
whether it was a mechanical leech or what. I'd be interested to hear. In a way, it's a mechanical leech.
In the bottom, here, are hidden some blades.
And you hold it against the skin
and fire it, and those blades will come out and cut the skin.
Bloodletting in that way was meant to relieve things like high blood pressure.
I can see on this it's got a name, it's got a maker's name.
It probably dates from the first 20 or 30 years of the 19th century.
That early? Now, we ought to see how this works. Indeed.
I've already worked the trigger to load it, so it's ready to spring,
I don't suppose you want to try it on yourself, do you? I do not, thank you very much.
It just so happens that I have a balloon handy.
Very convenient! And you can see there are no blades showing.
This is how it would work. You would've rested it on the balloon...
LOUD BANG Oh! And fired and that's what would have happened. Very quick action.
The blades have gone again.
That on your leg, or wherever it was held, will have done the scarifying. And blood would be flowing even now.
Yes, nasty. Nasty, really nasty!
So this has some value.
I mean, no medical connections or anything like this in the family?
No, but the ground floor of our house was leased out as a doctor's consulting room,
and when the lease expired and my husband wanted to use the rooms,
he of course ended up clearing out some of the cupboards, and he discovered this amongst other things.
A rather nice find to have. Really?
They're now wonderfully valuable today. No, no.
But old medical antiques, before anaesthetics and before antisepsis, are collected. Right.
And such a collector would pay between £100 and £150 for this. Oh!
I'd like to begin by confessing that this artist is completely unknown to me,
but I think it's an absolutely beautiful image. Can you help me identify the artist?
Well, John Hunter, he's an artist who worked in Northern Ireland.
He was born in China. I believe his mother was Russian...
Missionaries in China.
This particular painting is of the Mull of Kintyre
And it's rather stylised,
but it emphasises the wildness and bleakness of the landscape.
Indeed. particularly like the way he...
We have sort of conflicting planes of both curving lines and angular...
this sort of angular profile of the hills. It's all very geometric, there's a wonderful design to it.
Yes. When I first saw this picture, it reminded me very much of another Irish artist called John Luke.
Now, he worked, essentially, in tempera. Yes.
Um, but his pictures are altogether more colourful than this.
Now, do we know much about when John Hunter was active?
Well, he died in, I think, 1951. And he was born 1875, so...
So he was a contemporary of Luke. So it might be that they'd have known each other? I'm sure they did.
There's distinct similarities.
I just... I love this picture.
I think... Collectors are always looking for new opportunities,
for new artists whose work they may not previously be familiar with.
And this picture has all the elements of different styles in British painting in the 20th C -
the suggestion of Cubism in the foreground, with this very angular approach to the rocks...
and this wonderful diagonal line here,
which reminds us of vorticism. It's just got everything in it!
Have you had the picture valued? No, not at any stage.
It has some sentimental value because it came to me through my mother,
who was married, at one stage, to one of the sons of the artist.
Ah, right, that's very interesting.
In saying all that, it's not a valuable picture,
but I would think, at auction, it would probably fetch in the region of about £2,000 to £3,000. Yes.
Well, you've got a nice little stash
of early 19th-C Chinese porcelain in here.
But it's not really that that caught my eye, it's actually the container.
Tell me the history of this extraordinary box.
Well, I bought it about 12 years ago from a dealer in the North of Scotland.
I saw it in the shop. It was a fantastic object - damaged, like most of the things I buy.
And I had...a thought that at some point I might restore it myself, and I bought it.
Did you have any idea where it was from? Did he say?
I spoke to him about it because, obviously, it's very unusual,
and he said that it had come to Scotland from a Norwegian family who owned a shipbuilding line.
Yeah. Well, of course, there are huge contacts between Scotland and Scandinavia,
in particular Norway.
it's easier to get to Norway if you're living north of the wall than it is to get down south to London.
How do we actually work out which part of the world this comes from?
I think that the beautiful little cartouches of these animals
are beginning to give me a clue, especially the elephant.
The elephant does figure enormously in Danish and Norwegian art
because the elephant represents the Danish state,
the Order of the Elephant - a Danish equivalent of the Order of the Garter. Yeah?
So the elephant is very popular in Denmark.
It's a very interesting box, this, so let's have a look inside.
First, there's a bit of a mystery. "What on earth are we looking at?"
The wood seems to have been used once before, before it became a box.
You've got various lines, you've got oak, you've got pine and then, on the top surface, a bit of mahogany.
Three types of wood. Now, what about the decoration? Well...
you've got almost everything you could throw at a box! You've bone...
running all the way along the edges
and across the bands here.
You've got stained ivory...
this is green stained ivory.
You've got an ivory panel in the middle.
And behind that panel there's this little twinkle which suggests...
That LOOKS like silver foil behind a transparent... Well, it could be mica,
something trying to look like tortoiseshell.
Mm. On the front we have what appears to be a courting couple. Now, that could be the clue.
I think, I think there is...
this has a weddingy feel to it.
If we go round the box, there's a lion standing in a heraldic scroll,
again, a courting couple on the back...and then another lion.
Now how do we date an object like this? Well, I suppose the biggest clue is in scrollwork,
in all of these cut-out panels you've got fragmentary scrolls,
c-scrolls cos they're a "c" shape. Yeah, right.
And with those sort of fragmentary rococo scrolls, I'm going to push it towards 1740-1750,
the middle 18th C. Right.
It's a gorgeous little thing and...
Well, how much did you pay for it? I paid £50 for it. £50? Do you think you got a deal?
I think I did.
Well, you have to bear in mind it is actually quite badly damaged.
I mean you've got these missing parts of the ivory on there,
but otherwise it's in reasonable shape. And I think you've got something there, for £50,
which might today fetch between...
let's say £1,200 and £1,800. ..That's quite nice!
I don't think I'll part with it, though, it's a beautiful object. It was a very good buy. Yes.
And so to our dedicated collector. If anyone in the hall gets a touch of the vapours today,
help will be at hand, because we're going to meet a gentleman who claims to be a gatherer of almost anything,
but specialises in items of a pharmaceutical nature, Sandy Matheson.
Sandy, you have a professional interest in this, don't you?
Yes, indeed. I am a pharmacist. I qualified some 40 years ago, came home to work in the family business.
And when I did my apprenticeship to be a pharmacist, in Aberdeen,
I was taught by an apprentice-master who was very much a traditionalist.
He taught me how to do things like make pills and so forth, all of which are gone, obsolescent and past now.
I always, because of this gentleman, maintained a great interest in pharmaceutical memorabilia.
It was an art almost more than a science. Indeed. And you made the medicines by hand?
That was it, made the medicines by hand, if I can show you for instance, "tincture of opium..."
If you were going to...pour it out,
you would take it like this and you would pour it in there.
And then you would put the stopper back like that - part of the art - then you would pour this into your...
into your medicine mortar for making the pill.
And you would then make it into a mass...
like that, which you would place on there.
And you would...you would roll it into a roll like that.
then you would...
cut it, and you would get your pills.
And that is the birth of a pill?
That is a birth of a pill, then having got them nice like that,
you would want to round them,
make sure they were nice and spherical.
Once they were spherical you would put them in this, a pill-coater,
to coat them with, sometimes, gold leaf, silver leaf, sugar...
the coating actually changes the characteristics of the pill inside, you know.
So you... In those days, I don't think they had music to go with this,
but maybe this is where the maracas came from!
When they were nice and round, you would put them in a pill bottle. And there, the finished article -
which have been coated. These have been coated with chocolate. What about this bottle? I noticed,
when you lifted up the opium bottle, that it's got this ridge. Is that significant?
Yes, very much so. First, it's a green bottle, and that is to change the characteristics of light.
If light got onto the tincture of opium in here, it would speed up its decay.
We call this a "ribbed" bottle and, of course, this is to give you a tactile as well as a visual reminder
that this stuff is poisonous. And these things, being poison, had to be very carefully recorded.
Oh, yes. Pharmacy was institutionalised, or put on statute, in 1841.
In the course of it, one had to take careful notes.
The pharmacist had a responsibility to know to whom he was selling certain drugs and for what purpose,
so they had a register. And this is over a hundred years old, isn't it?
This is just a hundred years old, but in terms of original pharmacy, I have this book
that goes back to 20th November 1863.
And I can see that a Mr John McLean was given a tonic made up by Mr McPherson, the pharmacist,
according to one of his own particular recipes. Wonder if it did the trick? Oh, I'm sure it did!
Well, I suppose we get used to looking at these in glass cabinets or in galleries,
but the joy of a pot like this is holding it, the feel of it, isn't it? Yes, yes.
Of course these are by one of our greatest modern potters, Lucy Rie.
How come you've got two? More important, when did you get them?
Well, I got them in the 1960s, when I was teaching out in Africa and came through London and went to Primavera
and bought these two things - 4/6d each -
and had them with me in Africa from then on, and used them.
They used to come camping with me, they used to be slung into the chock box along with the pots and pans,
and they survived. Well, it's nice to think that the potters who made them
was creating objects to be used. She wanted you to use her pots. Absolutely, yes.
These things have given me more pleasure than almost anything else, so I wrote to her and told her
about using them in Africa. So this is the letter that she sent me. Oh, she wrote back to you!
She was 92, I think.
She's heard about your adventures with her pots and they were, after all, meant to be functional.
Yes. She was a grand old lady. She'd had a great tradition of making pottery by hand
and she was creating a new style in modern pottery. Yes. When you look at the simplicity of that...
It's beautiful. Look at this sgraffito work. Just scratched them through - controlled very well
so it gives a light pattern to the rim. Just really so successful!
But these are so very different pieces of pottery indeed. Yes. These, you presumably you got...
when you were in Africa? Yes, at the pottery at Abuja that was started by Michael Cardew
after he came from the other West African countries.
Michael Cardew was a British potter who went over to set up a pottery at Abuja.
He was learning from their traditions and introducing British traditions to them.
This is the famous African tradition of Abuja pottery...
this, much more European, yet it still works with the traditional African figures,
That's something you got at the same time? Yes, though from further south. It's from the Yoruba people.
You know, they do go together, they have the same sort of... So you're collecting the tribal arts? Yes.
And also bringing back pottery to go with your more modern pottery traditions here.
And of course, these ARE domestic pieces, still, but most of Abuja...
You can actually collect Abuja quite affordably now. It hasn't yet reached crazy prices.
That tureen is going to be a few hundred pounds today. It's becoming collected.
Well, I hope, I hope. Indeed, but of course, by Lucy Rie, domestic or not, is now serious money, isn't it?
Probably is but I'll be keeping those. Those are very, very precious.
As, as you should, but it's best not to use them too much now when, to a collector...
But I do use them, I get tremendous pleasure from using them.
It's a privilege, in a way.
That's nice. But they're probably worth, what, £3,000 each.
Oh, don't say things like that.
No, I doubt it very much, not as much as that. Anyway, they're actually used.
Lucy Rie from the '60s is serious art now, but it's also great pottery,
A lovely story. Great meeting you. Thank you very much. Thank you.
Now, I don't come from a maritime or sea family, but all my life I've liked things to do with the sea,
I don't know why it is. I've always admired these three-dimensional but rather primitive models of ships
and I've always wanted one, but never had one.
This is a particularly nice one.
It's a barque - I suppose the end of the 19th century -
three-masted barque. Tell me about it, what's the connection with you?
This is my grandfather. He was a captain at sea in the late '80s.
This is his ship. He made this himself.
So this old story one hears so often of the sailors in their idle moments making models is true?
It's true yes, he made this himself, the cage, everything. So we've got a model of your grandfather's ship.
Now, what was he doing? Was he in the grain trade or general cargo?
Probably general cargo and passengers. Ships like this were sailing to Australia for grain
and were still carrying cargoes like tea.
There was a lot of activity of this sort of ship.
Now this box...? This box belonged to my grandfather as well. Right. And he had all his documents in there.
Right, so there we've got the same ship. Same ship yeah.
And he painted that? He painted that himself.
So again, we add to the story. So not only does he make ship models, he also paints.
Yeah. Because again, the old mythology is that sea captains would have their special box
with a portrait of their ship. Yes. I've always believed it,
but I've never known it to be absolutely accurate. But here... Oh, it is. ..you can guarantee it. Yes.
If we move on...
Now we've moved on a generation, in shipping terms, we're in the 1930s I imagine. So who is this?
This is my father's ship,
a yacht owned by Sir Thomas Sopwith of aircraft fame. Wait a minute! So Tommy Sopwith owned this yacht?
He owned this yacht, yeah. This is the Vita, Royal Thames Yacht Club.
That's right. And what was your father to do with that?
He was a sailor, an able seaman on that yacht. They used to go across to America for the Americas Cup.
They used to tow the yachts. So the yachts were towed across the Atlantic.
The racing yachts, yeah, and the crew of these yachts would stay in these...accommodations
on the way across the Atlantic.
Right, and then... Then they'd be fit and ready when they got there. Then they would race the yachts.
And which is your father? This is my father, that's my father. Right. He went to sea at probably 14, 15.
Right. And the captain of these ships was a local man called McKillop, Captain McKillop. Right.
And he took the young boys to sea. So a lot of these people came from...?
Most of these people are islanders. These two linking together I think is wonderful!
If you think in terms of value, it's much more to do with the family story - this is your grandfather -
but just to put it in market terms,
a model like that now fetches between £400 to £600.
A painted box like that will be a bit less, but in the same sort of area.
But much... The value is greatly added to by the fact that you can identify who did it.
Again we're looking at slightly less for that. The Sopwith connection makes it important.
Normally that would be about £200 or £300. I think, because of the Sopwith link,
again one can say probably about £600 or £700.
Now, these are very unusual cards. They date from the Cromwellian period - 1649, when he came to power
and chopped Charles' head off and then declared himself Protector.
And just looking through, they all appear to me to be pro the King and anti-Cromwell.
As a Puritan, Oliver Cromwell would not have approved of these cards at all,
Because Puritans...obviously, gaming and all this sort of thing is not on,
so these were an act of rebellion, really,
and they are quite incredible! They're all political. Here,
"A free state, or a toleration of all sorts of villainy."
Here, "Oliver seeking God,"
and there's obviously the king having his head chopped off
in the background there.
They're wonderful! And they're copperplate engravings.
They'd do, I don't know, about a whole page of them at one time and then cut them out later. Yes.
But it's a remarkable collection.
Unfortunately, you don't have a complete collection.
Yes. I don't know where the others disappeared to.
Can I ask you where they came from? Because I think that's important. What is their provenance?
Just don't know. You don't know.
My wife's great-grandmother had them at one stage,
we know that much, but other than that, I'm afraid, we just don't know how they appeared in her family.
But look here, the "High Court of Justice or Oliver's Slaughter House"
I mean what could be more anti-Cromwell? These would have been hidden and, you know, you would...
I'm sure this was a treasonable act, to be caught playing with these.
Yes. Anyway I would need further and better particulars from a history book of some sort,
but I'm sure we could get to the bottom of them. But they are, I am sure, incredibly rare.
Just as engravings themselves, I think that they would be worth
somewhere between, what, £800 and £1,000. But as an incomplete deck of cards,
I think possibly they might be worth even more than that. This is subversion - great stuff.
Yes. That's been my life, I think! Strange that I've got them here.
Subversion's why you've come to live in Lewis, is it? In Lewis, yes.
Well, I bought this picture about 15 years ago and, since I bought it,
I've seen in various places,
in card shops and in buildings, similar prints.
Subjects that are close to it. Yes, I was wondering what the original...
Where it had been sourced from. Right.
Not a print, actually. This is in fact an oil painting by Jack Hoggan,
signed down here. Interesting man, actually, because he worked as a mining engineer in Fife
until, well, well into his 20s.
and then his girlfriend, when he was about 21, gave him a set of watercolour paints
and he set about trying to teach himself to paint, and became surprisingly successful,
moving on to oils.
He didn't really use many subjects that he made up from his own mind,
he would look at other pictures
and make pastiches, really, you'd have to call them, of subjects from other artists.
I think here he borrowed heavily from an artist called John Lavery - this is typical
of his sunlit garden scenes with a pretty girl wearing an 1890s costume, sitting in a deck chair -
but he would then alter them quite considerably so that they became his own,
and really became more generic rather than specific.
Well, I actually bought it... It was in Elie in Fife that I bought the painting. Oh, was it?
That's interesting. So, where he lived I suppose? And when was this?
About 15 years ago. And what did you pay for it?
I don't remember. I wasn't out looking for a painting, I was actually out grocery shopping,
and it was in a window of a bric-a-brac second-hand shop. And I liked it.
Saw it, loved it, bought it. Yes. Yes, that's so often the way. I thought a couple of hundred pounds...
You didn't find anything out about the artist then? No, just bought it.
I didn't think about anything other than I really liked the picture. Well, that's interesting, you know,
because if the story ended there, this picture would probably be worth considerably more than that,
something in the region of £2,000, something like that.
Very pretty picture. But, you see, the story doesn't end there, really.
in 1988, he changed his name.
And I won't tell you what to,
not yet, but I will tell you what his most famous picture is now.
Um, you may have noticed it.
it's a picture of a butler with an umbrella standing on the seashore, do you know what I mean?
Yes. Very modern one. Very modern. It's called The Singing Butler.
And this artist changed his name in 1988
to Vettriano, Jack Vettriano.
so it's very interesting in that respect because, of course,
Jack Vettriano's pictures do sell for rather more money than that.
And, in fact, "The Singing Butler" sold earlier in this year
for £744,000. Is that so?
Yes, it's a lot of money, I know.
Now he's been called the "people's painter", Jack Vettriano,
because the art establishment tends to turn its nose up at his pictures somewhat -
some would say rightly -
but the people love him, his prices show you that. The two markets are HELD very distinct -
those for Hoggan, those for Vettriano -
and it's said that the Vettrianos, that is, those painted after 1988,
are those that have HIS ideas in them, and the ones pre-'88 are the pastiches, you see.
Um, that line does become blurred.
Those people that market his pictures would prefer it was extremely clear...
Hoggan - different market, Vettriano - different market,
but certainly, I think, when you look at this, you realise that the two, two kinds of painting
are very, very similar.
So I really don't think that we can value it
at less than £15,000 to £20,000.
Good grief. Wow.
Well, life is full of wonderful surprises. But here in the top left-hand corner of Great Britain,
the weather has had the last laugh. after our wonderful day of filming yesterday, today the rains came.
Luckily, the roof of the new sports centre doesn't leak.
So thank you very much to the people of Stornoway and round about
for braving the elements and bringing us their treasures.
From the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, goodbye.