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This week the wheels of the Roadshow have rolled to a halt in Birmingham.
Looks like another busy day as the visitors file in
with their mysterious bundles.
Birmingham was known as the workshop of the world - busy, prosperous and highly respected.
Pretty well at the centre of that world was Soho House, home of the legendary Matthew Boulton.
Boulton made his name as a pioneer of 18th-century industrialism.
Talk about hive of industry, Boulton's busy bees made buckles, buttons and snuff boxes,
gilded clocks, candelabra and silverware fit for the poshest of dinner tables.
There was even a mint for pressing coins.
Boulton catered for all your metallic needs.
Birmingham's jewellery quarter was another frantic scene of activity.
At one time, 70,000 people were engaged in the business and there's still a thriving community
of craftspeople here today.
Birmingham also did well for toy enthusiasts.
Remember Chad Valley? Hope you kept the boxes.
Another whole area of town was given over to the Birmingham Small Arms Company, BSA.
In fact, the whole bewildering variety of products is what counts.
They even invented the whistle here.
At which point our tour ends
because we've arrived at today's venue - Birmingham's Symphony Hall.
Symphony Hall, by the way, is reckoned to be the finest of its kind in Britain.
It certainly is an acoustic marvel.
You could drop a pin and it would clearly be heard from any seat.
Imagine what a cough would sound like at the wrong time.
After all that, we're holding the Roadshow in the atrium of the Symphony Hall.
Well, it's good enough for the likes of us.
Well, this is a very artsy craftsy necklace, isn't it? Can you tell me anything about it?
Well, it belongs to my daughter and it was made for her grandmother, for grandmother's 21st birthday.
And she handed it on to my daughter when she was 21
and as far as I know it's moonstones and little pearls and...
And it's obvious that it's made
-by the Gaskins.
-The Gaskins, yes.
-Arthur and Georgie Gaskin.
And they were absolutely at the centre
of arts and crafts jewellery here in Birmingham, weren't they? In the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
I can't think you could ask for a better example.
It's very subtle, the use of the moonstones. Do you find it easy to wear?
Well, I've borrowed it once or twice but as it's not mine really... I think it's lovely.
-It's very pretty.
-They were self-conscious the Gaskins, going out of their way to use
-precious stones that weren't very precious.
They weren't interested in intrinsic value, only artistic value.
The artistic value's very high. Have you thought about the design?
-It's called Sweet Charity, I think.
-Well, that's absolutely fantastic.
-And actually lurking
amongst this foliage here are the usual emblems
of love. Here a stylised forget-me-not flower with pearls.
-What about these green ones? Have you thought about them?
-No, we never
-knew what they were.
-They're quite stylised
but I actually think that they are ivy leaves
and so I was surprised to hear that it was a birthday present and not a wedding gift.
-Ivy is emblematic of marriage in the Victorian language of flowers.
-No, I think, no, it was definitely...
-We were told it was a 21st birthday present.
-And it's like a picture in its original frame.
It says "The Gaskins" in the lid. They did terribly well.
They were married in the late 19th century and began to work together.
It's quite difficult to know who was responsible for which particular technique.
But what we do know is that they made a necklace for Queen Alexandra
and that's quite a strong claim to fame, isn't it?
-And this silk is very, very beautiful because although
it's now very old and slightly worn, its colour is perfect, isn't it?
-And very tight French silk which you simply can't obtain today.
a silk lid satin. A beautiful thing from the centre of Birmingham arts and crafts.
So you can imagine my excitement, can't you?
And we've got to try and measure that excitement in some way
or another and value is very often a very false barometer of interest.
I think, to be perfectly frank, this thing is really rather undervalued
at £3,000 but that's my personal view.
-Thank you very much. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
-I did, very much, thank you.
Working on the miscellaneous table, I get to work with what you might call the weird and the wonderful.
And I've got to say that your cabinet qualifies in both cases.
-There's something in a word because I said
"weird and wonderful" because I know
that this type of object is peculiar to one part of the British Isles in particular,
-and that is "Weird-dale".
I should say Weardale to be more precise, shouldn't I?
A spar case. I'm assuming that the terminology comes from the fact
that you've got a lot of fluorspar in there, is that correct?
-That's right. Spar was the word that the miners used simply to describe crystals.
-Let's have a look inside.
-It's like a fairy kingdom in there.
-It really is amazing.
First of all, all these minerals are the sort of things
that would be picked up by miners in that part of the world.
Correct. In Northern England, in two areas in particular - Weardale but also the west coast of Cumbria.
-There were iron mines there that produced some magnificent crystals
so you'll see these pointy ones are aconite
and the black ones are specular haematite.
-Specular haematite? Sounds more like a disease.
-Yes. It's an iron ore and those are from West Cumbria
but the brighter ones - the yellow, the green and the blue cubes - are fluorite or fluorspar.
-The quartz, calcites, various other types of minerals are from Weardale.
-It's a mixture from the two areas.
-And the use of the mirrors in there, very clever.
Because you've got this effect of going on and into infinity.
Indeed. You can look in and see chamber after chamber,
each one lined with crystals and it gives a magnificent view inside.
You like this, don't you? Your face is lighting up talking about it.
I've been keen on these for many years and I've spent a lot of time tracking them down,
-just to build a photographic record of them because, as you say, there aren't very many about.
-Good for you.
And this one I actually saw about 15 years ago, it was in private hands
and I kept in touch with it, and eventually it was inherited by a person who was prepared to sell it.
So fortunately for me, I was able to acquire it.
I mean, to make a work of art like this is quite special.
It is special, considering when it was done.
Back in the late 19th century there was a fashion for building these.
-I think along with the Victorian fashion for displaying all sorts of natural history in the home.
You see the birds and the animals and the butterflies and the fish in their cabinets.
Well, in the mining areas they used their natural history -
the minerals - to create these boxes in the same way.
We have to come to price, obviously,
and I've got to say that it's tricky because I don't have very many precedents.
You know, it's around about 1900-1910, so I'll stick my neck out here.
An object like this, if it came onto the open market, I don't think
that I would be able to buy it for much less than £3,000.
Now, put me out of me misery, how much did you pay for it?
-I paid 2,000.
-Oh, did you? Ooh, that was a near one, wasn't it?
-But if I offered you 3,000, would you sell it to me?
-If I offered you 4,000, would you sell it?
-You'd have to go higher than that I think.
Your wife's nodding over your shoulder by the way. I'm not going to say any more.
-I've put a value on it, but it's worth more to you.
-I think it's a treasure.
-Thank you. We'll leave you alone now, fairies, OK? Bye.
Well, as I look at this, I'm catapulted back to my childhood
and my grandfather telling me the most wonderful fairy stories.
But what better fairy story than Peter Pan? It is the best.
And, as we look here, we've got the most wonderful
hand-painted, hand-decorated jigsaw.
But where's it from, and how do you come to own it?
In the mid '60s, I worked at Chad Valley as an artist and one day there was a new manager installed.
So the chairman of the company cleared out the whole department and the workshop alongside it,
left a huge pile of stuff in the middle of the room with the words, "Help yourselves.
"Take what you want. Take what you want because whatever's left tomorrow, it'll be burned."
-And it was.
So this was the result of my endeavours in that pile of rubbish.
-Was it complete when you found it?
-No, it was all in separate pieces.
-All over the floor?
-All over the floor.
Well, I notice that we do have a couple of pieces missing,
so with that tale told, I think I'll forgive you.
I certainly hope so.
I think you've done a wonderful job.
Now maybe you'll enlighten me a bit but looking at it,
looking at the style, the way it's been decorated, it feels very 1920s,
very 1930s, is there any indication you can tell us?
-Well, there is, on the reverse of, I think, the ship, there is a date.
1926. Well, that for me, fits in beautifully.
-It does, perfectly with the story.
-This was one of the peak times for Chad Valley and you working there,
you'll know they were absolutely at full steam.
They could do no wrong. They were making everything from tinplate toys, to soft toys, to jigsaws
and this really, for me, has got to be a prototype but you said "studio", you said "artist".
In my recollection, I've never seen this jigsaw out on the market
as a printed finish because it wouldn't have been painted commercially.
-It would have been...
-It would have been printed.
-Exactly. Paper printed, cut on and laid out.
To my knowledge, it was never actually put into production. I've never been able to trace it.
If you have to put me on the spot, and that's what we're here for,
my gut instinct is that an auction estimate, to start things off,
would be maybe, I don't know, £600-£800.
But, to be honest,
where do you go from there?
Maybe I'm spot on there, but the other thing that sort of comes to my mind
is something that my dad used to say to me, "Go and get me another."
-And I can't.
But the one thing is, appeal will always be appeal when it comes to childhood.
Thank you ever so much for bringing it on. Thank you.
It's very special to me.
I can honestly say
that I have never seen anything
quite like this and I feel it's a real family treasure.
Tell me who this lady is.
That is my aunt and she was Matron of the First Southern General Hospital
which was in the
Great Hall of the University of Birmingham
in the 14-18 War.
-So the Great Hall was made into a hospital during the war?
So these are the patients in bed?
-In the hall?
She had a lot of soldiers there for some time convalescing.
-She had to keep them happy, so she thought she'd get them
busy on some embroidery.
Incredible, what a resourceful woman.
Well, she was very practical.
It just shows the absolute depth of her character to come out
with such a brilliant thought, to get them working together in groups,
and also to do something that required an immense amount of concentration
and application because, you know, in their very unwell state,
the detail and the attention, because they're sewn quite
beautifully, I mean, there's no missed stitch if you like.
Then at some point, obviously,
the large panels were put together.
Yes, each group of soldiers did their own regiment.
I mean, I would like to imagine that by doing something like this,
they were really able to take their minds
off what they'd been through and to produce something that they could feel truly proud of.
So having sewn it, what happened to it then?
When it was finished, they gave it to her and then she gave it my mother
because they got on very well - my mother and Aunty Kathleen.
-And then when my mother died, it came to me.
-Do you keep it and show it to your friends when they come?
No, we had it in our house - when Aunt Kathleen died it came to us -
and it was in our house for some time doing nothing, so we have now given it to Birmingham University
because they are planning to set up a permanent exhibition
of articles to do with the First World War and this will obviously stay in their exhibition.
That is... That is... I mean, that is such a good place for it to go
because very often things like this languish
-in people's cupboards.
It never does them any good.
Putting a value on something like this is very difficult.
Commercially, I think you would put £600 on it.
But to the University, to Birmingham
and to your family, it's absolutely priceless.
A ginger jar too. And so these are all things that you've found at boot fairs?
-All from car boot sales, apart from that which was from a charity shop.
-And so you're quite a regular at the boot fairs, then?
-I am, yes. Yeah, yeah.
Well, what sort of money do you pay for these things? What do they cost at boot fairs?
Well, there's nothing here more than £5.
-It's typical in a way of the sort of odd selection you can find at boot fairs.
-You've got quite a mixture. Some of things probably aren't worth much more than you've paid.
But you've got a little paperweight here
-from the Far East, a Chinese reproduction paperweight.
-That's only worth £3 or £4.
A ginger jar here, the reign mark of K'hang Hsi, that's sort of...
The reign mark tells us it was made in around about 1700 in date.
-Except it wasn't. I mean, that piece is a Victorian copy.
-So, it's still nice,
-but £10 rather than £500 for the real thing.
So, I mean, a lot of these things aren't what they seem.
A Japanese bowl is from Satsuma and we see lots of Satsuma.
-Some Satsuma is worth a lot of money.
-Others are more everyday.
This is a nice piece from 1920 and that's probably worth £40.
-But then, what else? You've got the few bits that are older.
-What was this? What did you think you had here?
-I thought that might be Worcester.
-But, having no marks on, I wasn't sure.
Yeah, I mean it looks very much like a Worcester one.
-But this is again a copy.
But this time, a contemporary copy. This was made as an imitation of Worcester but made at Lowestoft.
-It's an East Anglian one.
-Lowestoft, little cream boat.
That was made in, what are we looking at, 1760-1762.
-An early Lowestoft, a nice little piece, quite rare.
One's looking there at a cream jug, lovely condition.
-In a boot fair little things are put out there...
-For a pound.
I mean, there, one's looking at a jug worth £1,000.
-A winner there, definitely.
-And the little medallion here. What did this one cost you?
-That was £4.
I mean, a simple little head of one of the Caesars.
"Illustrious Greeks and Romans" they were called, when Wedgwood made the set of these...
-We're looking here, early Wedgwood, it's 1780.
And not a huge amount of money for the period but £150.
-Not bad. Not bad at all.
And another local piece, what about that?
That was from a charity shop.
Obviously I know it's Ruskin because it's got the mark on the bottom.
Look at the colours and the glaze. That's the thing, the charity shops really ought to find out before...
What did they sell it for?
I mean, a classic piece of locally-made stone ware,
because Ruskin of course were Midlands based at Smethwick, they made some amazing glazes.
-And the joy of Ruskin... I mean, this is so different from the early porcelain, a modern design
-from... We're looking at 1920s. But what a glaze?
-It's lovely, isn't it?
-It's tactile isn't it? Yeah.
-It is, it's gorgeous.
And so a vase like that is going to be what these days?
Very nice. Very nice.
-So, not a winner every time.
-But you've got quite an eye.
-So are you going to keep going back to these boot fairs?
Definitely, yeah. Yeah.
When I first looked at this, I must say, I loved the legs.
They are superb examples of 1815-1820 turned legs.
Absolutely, that's the date of this little square piano.
-So how did you find it, how did you come by it?
-Well, I went to
a local farm on a business trip and I was in the barn with the farmer
and when we'd finished I saw this at the bottom end
but it had two bales of hay on top of it and some old hydraulic pipes
and it was its lovely legs I saw.
-And I said, "That's something old." And he said, "Oh, it's French, a bloody old piano."
And I said, "Well, you can't leave it like that."
He said, "Well, you can have it." And I said, "Oh, I can't take it away."
"Well," he said, "I don't care." And I said, "Well, £50 then."
But we'd been talking about a bathroom he was doing up and I'd got an old shower suite
so I said, "Well, you can have the shower suite as well."
But when he came to fetch the shower suite he said,
-"Oh, I think I've overcharged you, have a couple of dozen eggs."
Oh, what a marvellous story, but I notice here you've got photographs.
-Let's have a look. This is how you bought it.
There are the lovely legs. Well, well, well!
That was some mess, wasn't it?
-Oh, full of straw.
-Well spotted and there it is inside the...
Inside the back of the car.
That's remarkable. That's a labour of love.
So what restoration did you have to do?
Well, there was a little bit of fret here that wanted replacing
but the main thing was that it didn't have a foot pedal.
So I found out that the local stately home had a Broadwood.
I went along, sketched the foot pedal, took it again to the same cabinet maker and he made that.
Well, he made a good job of that too. Excellent.
Well, it's fortunate you've done all this because...
for a long time they were unfashionable.
And they're actually a nightmare because there's a wooden box frame
and, of course, you would have to have it tuned fairly regularly.
If there's a wet day, it goes out of tune.
If it's too warm, it goes out of tune.
And I'm ashamed to say that, while I wasn't personally responsible,
many antique dealers used to take the insides of these out and make them into drinks cabinets
or toilet tables or dressing tables or anything other than the piano. So it's quite rare to find one
where there's enough of it left actually to restore.
Broadwoods made literally thousands of these.
They were THE instrument of the early 19th century.
An unsophisticated basic musical instrument, a joy to play
and great sound and of course fitted into any salon or drawing room.
And if you did want to transport it, you could unscrew the legs.
It all comes to bits and put it in a box and over it goes.
You can take it abroad with you, as they did.
Well, in working condition, as it is,
today I think your £50 and actually your shower suite and a dozen eggs
turned into somewhere between £1,200 and £1,500.
-Oh, that's very good.
-But you don't play?
-I don't play.
The wife doesn't play but my grandchildren do.
Then that's absolutely marvellous.
-And actually, of course, we've brought it to the perfect place to see what it does sound like -
-the Birmingham Symphony Hall.
-PIANO MUSIC PLAYS
This is a lovely picture of a little girl holding primroses
-and bluebells and this lovely title Spring Flowers.
Where did you get this from?
-From an antique shop in Combe Martin when I was on my honeymoon.
-Oh, that's lovely.
-Yes, yes, these are the receipts.
-And how much was it then?
Er, five guineas.
-Well, and that was when? Oh, 1963.
-Well, quite a lot of money then.
Walter Duncan is quite an interesting artist but this is the best one I've seen by him
because most of the pictures I see were painted in the early 1900s, those sort of street scenes.
Of course he was the son of quite a famous marine artist called Edward Duncan.
-But it's so fresh, the colours are so strong.
Well, having got that on your honeymoon for five guineas, today that is so desirable,
I would expect it to make somewhere in the region of £2,000 to £3,000.
-Oh, I'm amazed. I'm amazed.
-So it's a good honeymoon.
You know, this collection amazes me because I've been a radio fan since birth.
I mean, there wasn't any television when we were small but I never got into, or knew about, clubs,
broadcasting clubs for children and you've got this whole mass of badges about it.
Yes, yes, each individual station around the country
produced membership cards and certificates.
Now here, for example, to show hold old it is, this little badge here from Manchester
saying "The British Broadcasting Company",
-so that must go back to, what, 1927 or something?
-Absolutely. Yes, yes.
Were you a child listener and applied for your club membership?
In fact, no.
The reason I collected those was that as a youngster
I was really amazed at the fact that Marconi
had managed to solve the mystery of how to send messages
through the air without a cable, without pipes or anything like that.
And, to me, that was absolutely marvellous.
-Well, it still amazes me.
And then we whiz ahead some years.
Here we've got Blue Peter Locomotive Society.
So we've come into the, what, the '60s here, '70s?
Yeah, '60s, yes.
Blue Peter badges. Did you own these yourself?
No, no, no, no. They're all ones really that I've collected
from collector's fairs over a period of, oh, 20-30 years.
So many different radio stations, one would never have imagined
every single part of the country had its own little station,
its own club - Belfast, London, Scottish, Plymouth, Nottingham. And I've suddenly seen this,
-and I can't believe my eyes, a This Is Your Life badge.
I never knew there was such a thing. Where does that date back to?
Er, probably in the '60s.
Eamonn must have handed those out unless they were sent with the big red book with the photographs in.
Now, I don't know if this quite qualifies for your grand collection but I wonder if you'd like to accept
-this little number from the Antiques Roadshow.
A mere key-ring but a work of art.
-Well, that's really nice of you, thank you very much indeed.
Do you play?
-Not any more. I used to play to a moderate standard a long time ago.
-Batter or bowler?
You've hit the right spot with me here.
I've got cricket on the table which is marvellous for me, my love, really.
It's quite an interesting mix of items.
Have you collected them yourself?
Well, my mother bought the Wisden for ten shillings in about 1970
-when it must have been worth considerably more. She was proud of that.
The other stuff was given me by a great aunt who despaired of her own sons ever being interested in cricket
and gave them to me when she discovered I was a teenage fanatic.
And the autograph book there, she went to Lord's as a little girl.
-I think quite a little girl.
-With her father?
-I don't know.
But the gate keeper, I think, used to collect the autographs for her.
She's written her name and dated it inside, it starts in 1903.
How interesting to have a single lady, girl, going to a cricket match, being interested in cricket.
-Then! I mean, there are precious few ladies interested in cricket now. That's marvellous.
You've a photograph here. Does history relate to who took the photograph?
I've no idea where that came from.
And of course it shows right in the centre, the great WG Grace,
-I suppose THE most famous cricketer of all time.
Enormous man, huge black beard. Bit like Rasputin I would have thought.
But it's tremendous. It's the first original photograph
I've seen of WG Grace, I think, other than in the Long Room and places like that.
It's wonderful. Perhaps we could open the autograph book
the great thing about these
is the age of them.
Countless numbers of people have got autographs,
post-war autographs, of cricketers.
And here we've got very early 20th century.
One or two names I'm recognising there - Warwick Armstrong,
Clem Hill, Rhodes, Lilley.
It's a "Who's Who", an early "Who's Who" of cricket.
It is. It goes from 1903 to 1906.
It's the best collection of early ones I've seen.
You see the odd one dotted around in an album and, as I say,
you see countless from the '50s and '60s. I think they're just marvellous.
-I don't suppose you'd think of selling them?
-I wouldn't allow you to.
I might have to change my will, depending on what you're going to tell me...
-Have you thought?
-I have no idea, absolutely no idea.
Well, I would say... I mean, I think the Wisden is worth a few hundred pounds.
It's not worth thousands but it's a hard back, it's in pretty good condition. I think the photograph
also is worth a reasonably substantial amount of money.
The other things are of interest.
That autograph album, I think with that collection of names,
-could well be worth in the order of £4,000 to £6,000.
But it's just priceless.
Sounds a silly word to use about autographs but, needless to say, you won't be getting them again.
And to have them all in one album that is in good condition, I just think it's marvellous.
-OK, I give in.
-You give in?
I've not a clue. I've never seen anything like it.
Well, it's called a Chinese ring puzzle
and the puzzle is to get the rings off the stick,
which has got this loop.
And actually, you wouldn't believe it,
but to get them all off
there are over 300 moves.
-And you have to do them sequentially?
-You have to, yes.
This one, being smaller, is easier to show you
because that's only 28 moves.
This was at home when I was young and I got very good at it. It was my thing that I could do,
like later on it was Rubik's Cube. I used to have it under the bedclothes and see how fast I could do it.
-What, in the dark?
-In the dark.
Do you want me to show you how to do it?
-As you're completely astonished by it.
You can get the second one off while the first one is on.
But that's no good because you've got to have the second one on
to get the third one off.
And only when you've got the third one off,
and you're left with the last two, can you get the last one off...
like that. So, then,
in order to get the second to last one off, you've got to get that one on again.
So you go in reverse.
But didn't it drive you completely mad trying to work this out?
Well, it's a bit like Rubik's Cube, you know, I mean, it does. So that's 28 moves
-just to get five off. So then you have to put them all...
-And one of the rules in our family...
-Look at that.
-..is if you take them off,
-you have to get them on again.
-And are you a very patient person?
-Well, obsessional I think.
I think they're terrifically good fun and, of course, you know,
it's the sort of thing you'd have in a Victorian cabinet of treasures.
-I think this is the oldest one and I think it dates from the middle of the 19th century.
I like it because it's got a very simple handle and you can relate it to other things
like bone hairbrushes and things like that, which were very popular,
-and I think it's probably worth about £250.
-You don't think that is nicer with the carving?
-This is the one.
I think this is a little bit later, although it's got a much more intricate decoration on its handle.
I think this dates towards the turn of the century and worth about £150
and this one a little bit less.
You have given me so much pleasure bringing these in. I love things that I've never seen before.
Now, would you like to try putting those back on?
Over to you.
This is an incredibly deep cameo. I mean, tell me, what do you know about it?
-I don't know much about it. It was given me two years ago.
-Two years ago?
It said quite a lot to me because it's a stone cameo
and it's the goddess Flora and there are three levels of colour here which have been cut down
to reveal not only her beautiful face
and her skin, but also the flowers in her hair which are her signal, one of her attributes.
And beneath it is a sort of pale pink background colour too but quite a tour de force
-of lapidary work and it's the first sign that this is a very, very distinguished jewel indeed.
Tell me about it.
It was given to me by my daughter-in-law.
I looked after her mother a bit and I was with her when she passed away
and she says, "My mum would want you have this," and she gave it to me.
How marvellous. And it is a very sort of, you know, sort of imperial looking jewel, isn't it?
-The gold mount is as significant as this hard stone cameo.
-Oh, right. Is it gold all the way round?
-It's gold all the way round and it's a very distinctive pattern.
-These are the Doves of Venus walking through a sort of field of flowers.
And it derives from a classical jewel, a Greek jewel, a rather famous one,
but actually this is a 19th century jewel and I would like to think that it was made by
one of the most famous Italian jewellers of the 19th century.
So here we have a neo-classical hard stone cameo in a neo-classical
hard stone mount which I think we can attribute to Castellani.
So it makes it very interesting indeed. I think it's quite a noble background, really.
I think you have to be quite something to go there.
He had the most fantastic clientele and Napoleon III went there, Robert Browning went there,
Princess Alice - Queen Victoria's daughter - went there.
So it was a very, very special place indeed.
-Now, I can't prove this is Castellani but I just feel it in my veins that it is.
And I've handled quite a lot of those things and I do believe it and that's very, very good news.
The slightly sad news is that the condition at the back isn't quite mint
and that is a great sadness in a way because had it been in perfect condition this would be, you know,
-a great masterpiece of Revivalist jewellery, Italian jewellery.
And, I think, without any hesitation at all,
-it would have been worth £10,000 to £12,000.
Fully attributed to Castellani, but it's the good news and the bad news slightly.
The attribution to Castellani I'm less worried about than the condition.
-That takes the value off?
-It does take the value off and we have to say it.
You see the brooch fitting's been torn off and repaired.
It might be possible to tidy it up a bit and make some delicate restorations.
But, having said that, I think there's absolutely no doubt
-that this thing is worth £5,000.
-Really? Oh, I'm gobsmacked.
Oh, she was ever such a nice lady.
And I'm sure she wanted you to treasure it and it is a great masterpiece
of 19th-century jewellery design and I'm thrilled to see it.
-Oh, thank you.
Well, you've certainly got
an incredible group of photographs here.
Here we've got Anthony Curtis,
Jeff Chandler, all the stars. Look, Abbott and Costello,
Jimmy Stewart. It gets better and better this. Look at this,
Gregory Peck. How come you've got so many of these signed photographs?
Well, in the 1950s I was employed by GFD, General Film Distributors,
which was the distribution section of the Rank Organisation.
-My job was organising film star appearances,
mainly British film stars, and I even went backstage at the Hippodrome
down the road when Ava Gardner was there in the dressing room.
-Really? That would have been interesting.
-Oh, very interesting.
-Many would have liked to have seen Ava Gardner in the dressing room.
-How many photographs have you got altogether, do you think?
-Well, do you know, I haven't counted them.
-But this is just a small part, isn't it?
-There must be about, oh, 20 to 30 there.
And I have other ones, personal ones, in the studios and on tour and so on.
-So when Frank Sinatra came to Birmingham, did he present you with this picture?
-I would say invariably, "It's nice to have been of service," cos it was my job.
Invariably, "Thank you for looking after us." "May I have a souvenir?"
-So you'd say to Frank, "How about a signed photograph?"
And I had a nickname.
My initials are James Anthony Monk, JAM, my boss was J Arthur Rank, JAR, so some called me Jimmy Jam Jar.
That's quite true.
Well, that's fantastic because the problem for most people
with signed material of this type is, how authentic is the signature?
And it's extremely difficult because the studios produced large numbers of these images.
Of course they did - these people are major stars.
Very often the signature that's on the photograph is absolute rubbish
because they had a signer in the studio who simply did the necessary.
But if you're saying to me that when Frank Sinatra came to Birmingham
-he presented you at the end of his visit with this signed photograph...
-Which he did.
..and you saw him sign it, so to speak,
THAT is copper-bottomed provenance.
And it's extremely important.
As a result, because you're able to say that,
some of these images, particularly for the bigger stars,
I have to say, will be worth a considerable amount of money.
-If you take that image, though, one of your glazed ones.
-That's Joan Collins when she was 18.
-That's Joan Collins when she's 18.
-Yes, and I was 32.
Ah, that puts you in your place then, doesn't it?
-So Joan Collins, aged 18, did she sign this for you?
-And here we've got Dickie Attenborough.
-That's right, Lord Attenborough now if I may say so.
-I'm so sorry.
And even he says "Bless you, Jimmy, for looking after us. Yours, Dickie Attenborough".
-Well, that's a wonderful series of memories for you.
-You'd never want to sell them, would you?
-No, just want them valued.
-Just want to have them valued.
So many of my friends have said to me, "They must be worth thousands." I said, "Oh, steady on a bit."
It's difficult to value, quite frankly,
but the fact that you've got this copper-bottomed provenance makes an enormous difference.
So a really good photograph of the youthful and extremely good-looking Frank Sinatra
-is probably worth around £1,000.
If you take Gregory Peck, looking immaculate as only Gregory Peck can, £600 to £900 probably for him.
Jimmy Stewart is worth £800 to £1,200.
Abbott and Costello -
they didn't sign very much during their lifetime,
and this photograph is probably worth £1,000 or £1,200.
So if you take this lot as a mass,
I hope you'll feel that all that work that you did at the time,
schmoozing them, "Can I please have an autograph?" you'll find worthwhile. Do you?
To be honest, I thought something in the region of about £3,000 for this lot alone.
-Well, it would be more than that.
-Definitely. Now you've told me, I believe you.
Good. So you should!
-You should know.
And with that, the wheel of good fortune comes to a halt
and we hop off, bidding farewell to the glorious surroundings of Symphony Hall.
Until the next time, from Birmingham, goodbye.