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We're back for a second visit to the seaside town
of Wells-next-the-Sea on the north Norfolk coast.
Sitting comfortable in this rural landscape is Holkham Hall,
built in 1734 by Thomas Coke.
Although this particular Thomas Coke predates the package holiday,
the design of the hall was inspired by his travels in Italy as part of the Grand Tour.
Thomas Coke's name lives on. There have been seven so far,
and between them they can lay claim to a number of innovations.
And this is one of them.
This legendary titfer was created by the Bowler brothers in 1850
on the instructions of the third Thomas who wanted to protect his gamekeepers
from deer, overhanging branches and the occasional poacher.
They still wear them today in Holkham.
With such an elegant look you can understand why city gents latched onto the bowler,
though it was more for style than for protection.
Thomas number two was more of an agricultural visionary.
He inherited the estate in the late- 18th century when farming techniques
were still in the Middle Ages.
Coke pioneered the concept of crop rotation and soon the entire nation
was enjoying bumper yields.
And that's just what our specialists are hoping for,
as they plough though the offerings at today's Antiques Roadshow
here in the gardens of Holkham Hall.
Now, Lady Glenconner, you're no stranger to people on the lawn here at Holkham.
Well, I'm not really because the last time I was more or less standing here
surrounded with people, was at my wedding in 1956.
-I was married here...
-Because this is your family home.
It's my family home, exactly, my father was the 5th Earl of Leicester
and my mother, who was also Lady in Waiting to the Queen,
started the pottery here in 1950.
She started at the top, didn't she, really?
Well, she did really, I mean, they were made for the coronation
and I went off to America to sell them, not very successful,
until I was sent a telegram by my mother saying,
"You've been asked to be a maid of honour and carry the Queen's train at the coronation."
So I was absolutely thrilled and I came back with an order book bulging.
The Americans must have been buzzing around you like bees round a honey pot.
Absolutely, and I spent a great deal of time trying to teach them how curtsey
because they thought for some unknown reason I knew how to curtsey.
The proof of the pudding with these figures -
and I've got to say that the likeness of the Queen has it for me,
whereas the Duke, I'm a bit dubious about that likeness.
Well, the Duke looks terrifying actually,
something slightly wrong with his eyes, I think.
The mark is quite straightforward, what does it say?
-It says, "The Duke of Edinburgh by..."
-"By Elizabeth Leicester,"
my mother, my mother signed them so they were her... She designed them.
Well, this is number 79, so this was a...
-Was this a limited edition?
-Very much so, yes.
-I think there were 500.
-Oh, were there?
-So maybe they're worth quite a lot, one never knows.
I'll tell you what they're worth.
-I'd say they're worth a sovereign each, how about that?
-That's as good as it gets.
-Are you sure?
The proof of the pudding's going to be in the eating with those.
You've brought something a bit earlier. What's the significance here?
Well, these two figures were a wedding present
and we've never really known anything about them
and I think that's very chic and beautiful.
I think they're lovely, because I love the colours.
-And at first glance they look as though they could be sort of Ralph Ward of Staffordshire and...
They're certainly 1790 but, um...
-Are they 1790?
They're either French or Belgian, but what I like about them
are the colours and the fact that you've got...
There's nothing on the base, there's just a label of a retailer
who I recognise because they're no longer in London,
-they're now in New York.
-So there are ways and means of getting to the bottom of these.
But I just love the, the colours and the fact that the glazes have got...
They've had a little bit of tin glaze added to them.
-To make them that little bit more opaque.
So at first glance people might be forgiven for suggesting
they might be Delft or something like that.
-But they are a form of faience, um...
I love the girl with the fishes.
Well, I love her holding the fish in her hand.
It's not the sort of thing that turns up in this country on a regular basis.
-That's why I'm slightly foxed, quite frankly.
-No, I see.
But, um, this sort of thing, if I was to walk into New York today
and go into the people that sold these originally...
these would probably have a price tag of somewhere in the region of around about 6,000.
I suppose we're talking around about...£3,500, something in that region.
But the great thing about the colours is that
those colours go with anybody's curtains,
even the curtains here at Holkham.
This has been in my family for a long time,
passed down through my husband's side and my husband died 11 years ago
and he always said that if there was an Antiques Roadshow
anywhere in the area, that he would bring this box to it,
to find out what it is, so here I am, I've brought this in his memory,
and I'd like you to tell me all about it, please.
-Oh, that's so... Wonderful story.
-Because I know nothing and he knew nothing either.
Really? Well, I have to say,
I haven't seen one of these before, I've heard about them.
-Oh, you've heard about them? So I don't even...
-Now, this is commemorating
Frederick William III, King of Prussia.
-And on the other side, slightly more elaborate...
..King George III, born June 4th, 1738.
Now it doesn't go back that far, it's much more likely to be commemorative
which were, many of them done in the mid-19th century.
-So maybe we're talking about,
could be up to sort of 1830-1840, it's not silver-gilt, I'm afraid,
I've checked it out, I hoped it would be.
-Is it brass?
It's brass, yes, it's brass, yes.
And inside we have a seal and the wax, we've got all that,
which is fine, for carrying around when you want to seal your envelopes
that you've sent to your lover or your mistress or something,
and on the other...
This is what excites me.
And me, because I know what's in there.
-Now that to me is quite extraordinary.
We have a gaming tool, if you like.
It's... Probably, it was illegal.
-So you know, ostensibly on one side we have...
-This is our seal.
-The seal, yes.
-My seal and let's go next door and look what it does.
-Oh, I see, yes.
What do you bet?
-A six and a four.
I think it's fantastic.
It's going to stick, there we are, one, two, three...
Well, that's neither one thing or the other.
Oh, there we are, ooh, a pair of two's. That is so unusual.
I have to tell you, I've done a bit of research on this
because it is something that I checked with the silver and the jewellery
because they've seen them,
but they haven't ever seen anything like this,
-because normally they have scenes of battles inside.
Events in the reign of George III and William, William III,
but never a gaming tool, and so this is particularly unusual
and I'm going to put more on it because of this.
It would be worth at auction, in the right sale, as much as £300 to £400...
-..even though it's brass.
I'm thrilled, I wouldn't mind going back in there and having a little...
Yeah, oh, a little go and see what dice you...
It's a bit...
-Oh, a six and a four!
-There you are. A six and a four.
The first thing I want to know is,
do you think they had a stormy relationship or a nice, sunny, romantic relationship?
I don't honestly know,
I think they probably had a fairly romantic relationship.
Perfect. Well, that's the first question,
when I look at a portrait I want to know something about the sitters.
-Now tell me, can I see any likeness here?
Well, you might do,
it is my great-great-grandfather and great-great-grandmother, yes.
Perfect, perfect and they're obviously a well-to-do
Because if you look at some of the clothes they're wearing,
and I'd like to perhaps start here.
-I mean, this jewellery would have cost a lot of money.
And it's all dated from the period, so 1850-1860,
and thank goodness for the back of pictures because on the back
-it tells me the artist and indeed, the date.
-It's by Solomon Cole, they're both by Solomon Cole.
I know that he lived in Worcester and London,
and actually these pictures were painted in London, weren't they?
Yes, which is surprising because they both come from Worcestershire.
-That's extraordinary, isn't it?
-So they picked a local artist.
-How fascinating, how fascinating.
-Now she's in black which is a bit, um, worrying.
And he's obviously well alive but in 1861 Prince Albert had just died,
so maybe it was in respect to Prince Albert.
-Don't you think?
-It could well be.
Yes, and as I said, they look rather, um, comfortably off.
-And this is obviously a sort of record of their life.
-And a great lover of greyhounds.
-Do you know anything about this greyhound?
Well, family history tells us that he had a dog that won the Waterloo Cup.
-Now whether this is the one, I have no idea.
-It seems likely, doesn't it?
-Yes, it does.
I think it does, and I love... I mean, only the British, to me,
would have a portrait of themselves with their favourite, um, hound.
And it's absolutely wonderful. Absolutely wonderful.
Now, it's always impossible to value portraits to a certain extent
because other people's relations, you know, our own are quite tough
-but other people's can be...
But they're a good looking couple, they've got...
-They're very... You want to engage with them all the time, don't you?
Um, and I would say for the pair, we're probably looking at,
in the region of £3,000 to £5,000 for the pair.
-Mm, mm, thank you very much indeed, that's lovely.
My great-grandfather, whose medals these are,
was in the Charge of the Light Brigade and thankfully survived the engagement
but on his return up the valley
-he was shot in the shoulder with a piece of canister shot.
And that piece of shot rested in his shoulder for some three years thereafter
until the local surgeon, James Paget, had the skill to remove it.
The family story goes that Queen Victoria actually gave permission
for him to wear it as a medal,
but whether that's family myth or not, I don't know.
I don't know, I can believe that such a thing happened,
because after all's said and done,
we know that the Charge of the Light Brigade was a disaster,
but it was a very heroic disaster.
Now, here we have the three medals,
we have his Crimean War medal, three bars, the Alma,
Balaclava, which is the Charge of course, and Sebastopol.
-Now, he's also got a DCM which is a Distinguished Conduct Medal.
Now, that really makes this group very important
and of course he has the Turkish award, now there's the three medals,
and of course the wonderful thing is, you can bring it alive because
you've actually got photographs.
There he is, as a young man,
and here is as an elderly man.
Now, have these photographs been in your family possession?
In the family since they were taken, yes.
This particular one though, um, I was aware of it,
having seen it as a young boy, but it went missing from the family after my aunt died,
I think the house clearance people came in and things went missing
and I came across it in a bric-a-brac shop a few years ago.
-So I recognised it instantly and bought it quickly.
-Weren't you lucky?
Oh, that's marvellous, marvellous. And the belt, of course.
That allegedly is the belt he wore during the Charge
and it's certainly seen some action.
Well, it is a belt of the time,
-it's a pity you haven't got more of it.
Or perhaps his tunic or his jacket.
Now, with the Charge of the Light Brigade medals,
they're absolutely magic.
They were awarded without inscription, that's the sad part.
Collectively in value you have here
something like £5,000 to £6,000,
but what a wonderful thing,
and I'm so thrilled that you brought it in today.
-Thank you very much.
-Thank you very much.
Do you know, all through the 18th century there were cabinets
and tables to take toiletries,
and this is a retro piece because it has certain features
which from a distance you could say, "Well, maybe 1770, Hepplewhite, serpentine front,"
this wonderful serpentine apron and that leg, with the cross banding
was copied from, er, work by Ince and Mayhew,
you may have heard of those, very famous makers during the 1780s.
-Absolutely, and it has such quality
that it couldn't be 18th century because this is walnut
and of course by 1770 this was no longer the fashionable timber.
-It was satinwood or rosewood.
And there are other little features which just lead you to think,
"Hello, there's more going on here than meets the eye."
Little knobs, these little handles, delightful though they are,
are certainly Queen Anne period,
so there's a combination of the past which has inspired this.
-But when you lift this lid,
I mean, there is the 1930s,
and what an eyeful of wonderful, wonderful pieces.
These are just fantastic.
This opens up... Now, look...
-see that little ivory button?
To stop that rubbing on the carcase.
-Oh, I see.
-What quality, I mean, they thought...
we'd say they thought of everything.
And in the back is a mirror.
Now, I know about the cabinet and I love it
and I could go on and on telling you about it,
but I don't know enough about these to really give you a good opinion,
and I've asked Eric.
I've been waiting in the wings...
It's quite a revelation, isn't it, when you open it up.
Um, and full of Georgian silver.
-Oh, no, no, let me quantify that
because obviously we're looking at something from the reign of George V
so, you know, that's why I say "Georgian."
But, I mean, it shouts sort of Art Deco, I mean, look at these brushes,
you've got this sort of simulated lapis lazuli in here, haven't you?
And almost like a simulated jade.
What are we doing for marks, John? Oh, we've got, um...
It's an imported mark of some sort, it's continental.
-Not English origin.
Oh, yes, um,
it's been imported for G...
Goldsmiths' and Silversmiths' Company...
so it goes without saying it's a top maker, you've only got to look at a cabinet like that,
I mean, you look in here and you think you've just pinched it from a bedroom upstairs.
Well, it's been hidden away for a long time.
-Um, but it's all there, isn't it?
-You've got... Oh, how decadent!
-Look at that, for buffing one's nails!
-You probably use one of these every day, John.
Of course you do.
Well, I've got an idea what the dressing-table set is worth.
I should quantify them and say that they're not normally easy things to sell
-because nobody wants to use anybody else's brush.
-I understand that.
-And if you want to re-brush something like this, they cost you a fortune.
-A fair amount.
But this was expensive when it was made originally.
So all I can say is that the dressing-table set alone
is probably worth in the region of around about £3,000,
I would suspect. So, John...
Well, as a whole, what would I like to pay for that?
Or what would I have to pay for that if I went into a shop, opened it up? I would...
It's £7,500, I would say.
-Doesn't surprise me, wouldn't surprise me. But quality has never come cheap.
-That is quality with a capital Q.
-Very kind, gentlemen, thank you very much.
-Not at all.
I was immediately struck by the ease of composition of this figure,
she's very beautiful but in a very simple way,
there's no great detail to her,
yet she works very well, I think, she's very nicely formed
and I think she's very beautiful. Do you know anything about her?
Yes, this is my grandmother
and I think my grandfather had her sculpted
rather than a portrait painted.
-He was the British Military Attache in Stockholm.
And I think it's a sort of slightly Baltic name there.
That's wonderful, that makes her very special in my eyes -
not only do we have a beautiful bronze,
we have a bronze that has really superb personal connections
and that's something you don't find very often.
Now, if we look at her, you mentioned down there this name,
and if we can see here...
Ida C Thoresen, 1921.
Now, she was born in Gothenburg in 1863 in Sweden
so that ties in beautifully with what you've said.
Now, she was very interesting, she studied in Paris and was very well thought of,
and believe it or not, she was very famous for doing portrait bronzes
of Scottish celebrities and Swedish celebrities.
Now, I don't know how that quite came about.
Well, my grandmother was a Scots woman.
-Oh, was she really?
-Yes, and my grandfather was Robertson so...
That's wonderful, so there's a connection there as well.
The whole thing just ties in beautifully, that really is wonderful.
I like the bronze very much, I think if we just have another look here,
we've got the founder's mark, Otto Meyers, on the back here,
nice to see all of that information.
I think, to be honest with you, she's rather undervalued
and perhaps not as well known as she should be
because she really is a superb sculpture
and I think this works wonderfully, this figure.
We've got a little bit of a problem with the violin bow,
it's quite fragile and could do with being straightened a little bit.
-Um, I presume your grandmother was a good violinist.
Did she perform in society?
Yes, I think so, but I don't think she performed publicly.
Right. Apart from the fact that she's a beautiful bronze,
the family connection is wonderful and it's rare to have that
and that adds a lot to it for me,
-and in terms of value I think we have to be talking about £1,500 at auction...
-..for such a beautiful stylish bronze, I think.
-Oh, thank you.
-It's a pleasure, lovely. Thank you for bringing her.
When I first saw this clock in the distance, I thought to myself,
"This is a typical Scottish mahogany longcase clock."
But it suddenly dawned on me
that the dial is not showing normal time at all,
in fact it's not showing any normal time.
We've got "railway time", "Calcutta time", "St Petersburg time", "New York time",
and it's by a maker I've never heard of, Mr Betteridge,
and I have looked up Mr Betteridge and we know nothing about him.
-We couldn't find anything out about him.
-And you tried?
Well, do you know why it says "railway time"?
-In around the 1830s, 1840s, when railways were starting to be built,
they had a problem because the time that was taken
in different locations was different,
so for example the time in London at 12 o'clock was different from the time in Oxford.
It would be two minutes after 12 o'clock in Oxford from the time taken in London,
that is because we were taking time from the sun
and sun time differs wherever you are in the United Kingdom,
or in America, or in St Petersburg or in Calcutta.
And of course if you wanted to put together a train timetable,
it was rather confusing, so the railway companies decided
that they would make time universal.
Later on, in the 1880s, by 1880, Greenwich Mean Time had come in
and railway time no longer existed, but for a long period of time,
not many people know, the railway time was important.
Why this clock has time for Calcutta and St Petersburg and New York,
I simply can't tell you,
but when you open it up and you actually move the hand...
-They all go together.
-..all the hands go together, isn't that fantastic?
Actually, I do know the St Petersburg time is three hours faster than London time
and we know the time in New York is five hours slower than London time.
-I can't tell you what time it is in Calcutta.
-So you'd set all three in line with...
You would set them properly and you'd know.
It could, I suppose, have been in the first class lounge at Victoria Station,
for people who thought it was smart to know what the time was in Calcutta
or St Petersburg, or New York, I have no idea,
but it's fascinating.
So as far as value is concerned...
-..if this clock were sold at auction but with a standard dial,
it would be worth between £2,000 and £3,000,
but because it has these interesting subsidiary dials telling us the time
in places where we really had no need to know where the time is,
and certainly they had no need to know where the time was in 1840...
because it's such an interesting feature,
I would have thought that it's worth between £4,000 and £6,000.
-I hope that makes you happy.
-Yes, it does, thank you very much.
This is one of the most spectacular pieces of art glass
I've seen for a long time, it's absolutely magnificent.
Have you any idea where this was made?
Someone said it's French.
You're absolutely right, it's French Art Nouveau, 1880s-1890s,
and it's by one of the masters of French art glass at this period,
it's by Emile Galle. I don't know if you've heard of him,
he is one of the masters of art glass.
The main decoration on this,
obviously influenced from Japanese woodcuts and things like that,
sort of very Japanese influence on this piece of glass,
all the decoration that you can see is in relief,
and that relief decoration is created
with an acid that eats the glass, basically,
acid etching the glass away, so not only have you got that decoration
with some sort of sense of depth to it, it's then highlighted even more
with these absolutely wonderful enamels,
and they've got all these sort of autumnal colours,
it's fantastic colours, these.
And something that you might never have noticed on this,
is it's actually signed here,
it's signed Galle,
but it's done in such a way that it's very Oriental-looking,
so it's sort of a script, it almost looks part of the decoration
rather than a signature
so this is something that you could easily miss, you know.
Now, with something this wonderful,
it must have pride of place at home, doesn't it?
-It's actually been in the shed for the last few years.
-In the shed!
Have you ever given it any thought about what it might be worth?
-No, I really haven't.
-Any guess, no guess at all?
-No, I've no idea.
-Well, I'd be confident at auction to expect it to make
certainly within the region of say £2,500 to £3,500,
and, um, if it exceeded that, I wouldn't be surprised.
It is magnificent.
I really appreciate that you brought this in and made my day.
I think you've made mine!
Well, this lovely lady is one of the biggest bisque dolls
-you can come across.
-You know that?
So tell me how, how did you get her?
-She must have been bigger than you at one point.
That's right, I had her when I was three year old.
-Did you play with her?
-Yeah, course I combed off her hair, didn't I?
-You combed her hair.
-That's right, yes. Like all children do.
-Well, she's still got her original hair underneath.
-That's right, yes.
But before we go to that, she's got a very beautiful face.
That's right, her face is porcelain.
-Do you think that's beautiful?
-I think that's really beautiful.
-She's got paperweight glass eyes...
-..probably made in France.
-That's right, yeah.
-And her face would have been made in Germany,
and sold in Paris by a very well known make called Simon and Halbig.
Her eyelashes are absolutely extraordinary.
Yes, I haven't done anything to it.
You've been so good the way you've kept her, because so often that goes.
-They're made of cotton.
-Is that right?
Then they're also painted onto the bisque as well and then fired again.
-And she's got porcelain teeth.
And a dimple in her chin, she's really beautiful,
and she would have had, got pierced ears, she would have had earrings.
-She's not really a dolly, she's a grown-up lady.
And when she's as big as this,
she goes into a different category of doll collecting.
I'll take her wig off, if I may.
-Is that all right?
Well, that's not too bad.
No, well, she... THEY LAUGH
-She's not TOO bald, is she?
-She's still beautiful, isn't she?
But this is real mohair from the mountain goat.
-You didn't like it, did you?
No, I didn't.
That spoiled the look of her.
Now this is a typical very, very good marking.
-Now, see this, 1079, that's the mould number.
-That's right, yeah.
S&H, Simon and Halbig,
DEP is Deponiert, it's a registration, basically, in Germany.
-Now 18 would be the size and size 18 is over 40 inches.
-Oh, yes, yes.
Now that is one hell of a size, that's a little girl doll.
-Have you any idea what she's worth?
No, but I have got a person interested in it.
-What were you offered then?
And what did you say to that?
I said I didn't want to part with it at the time, you know.
-And would you now?
-I don't think so.
Well, I was going to say she's going to be worth
-in excess, at auction, of £2,000.
-Well, she's one hell of a big babe. Thank you very much for bringing her.
Now what's all this stuff?
Well, they're not actually antiques
-but it chronicles the life of this lady.
-Now who is this lady?
-She's May Savage, she's my aunt-in-law.
-so you are married to her nephew, is that right?
-That's right, yes.
And what was her profession?
Well, she started life as...
At the age of 14 she would design headscarves
-and then she went on to Sanderson and she did wallpaper designs.
-Is this what this is?
-Isn't that wonderfully colourful?
Well, this was in the '20s and she did a lot of designs for...
They were very keen on Chinese and that sort of thing.
It was a very fashionable style, so I thought this looked '20s,
-and in fact so she was... When was she born, then?
So she was working almost from her teens as a designer.
Yes, yes, she was, but then when the war came, she...
she thought she ought to be doing something a little bit more important
so she re-trained as one of the first draughtswomen
-and she worked for De Havilland engineering on Mosquitoes.
-she helped design the Mosquito?
-She didn't design it,
-but she was a draughtswoman.
-Is this what we have here?
Hang on, is this...? Look, here's an engineer... So this is... Whoops.
-It's an engineering design.
-This is an engineering drawing by her...
..for some aircraft component, the De Havilland 60,
whatever that may be, the name of a machine, 1942.
-So this was some aircraft component.
So how did she get on in an all-male environment?
-Well, she was a feisty lady.
She had dark red hair and she was really pretty and why she never married I'll never know,
but she was in a room, she was the only woman
and she held her own, she really did.
They didn't give her a light over her, her drawing and she ended up
going to Moorfields and got a letter from Moorfields Eye Hospital
which said that she ought to have a light because she was doing night work.
-So she was resented as a woman in a man's world.
-Even though she was doing vital war work.
What is this life supply of milk?
Well, we nearly threw these away,
I mean, I haven't told you half of it yet. She...
she wrote diaries and she stored them in Marvel milk.
-So all her diaries are in these packets?
-So let's just take... I'll take one completely at random.
So right, so we've got a date,
-we've got money, that's her accounts is it?
And it's immensely detailed.
-Let me just look and read a bit.
-Is this typical?
-"Pets' suppers 6pm, packed up, locked gate 7.45pm,
"rather dark, black clouds around too."
The weather forecast is always there and the ships in the harbour and...
-So it was amazing observation of detail.
-Even though nothing important happened.
-Everything is there.
So this is the story of her life.
-It is, her whole life is here.
-Why did she do it? Who was she telling?
I don't know. I firmly believe that somebody ought to tell her story now,
because she was telling her diary.
We used to visit her and she was, she was a closed lady
but when we read her diaries we find it's all in there.
-Every secret of her life.
-And what, all her accounts, everything she spent?
-So this is... If you wanted to find a 20th-century life, it's here.
-This is it.
I've got a natural affinity with the contents of these bottles,
so the reason for coming along today was to enquire
what you can tell me about them, the contents of them,
the reason for the seals on the front of both of them,
and a little bit of the history, why we had the seals, etc.
Right, well, let's see what we can do. This is a black glass bottle,
it's a wonderful colour...
It's really very dark green but it's called black glass.
The seal is a known seal, John Okes, Bury St Edmunds, 1777.
-So it's reasonably local.
An 18th-century bottle, would have contained wine
and this one is earlier, this is called an onion bottle.
-It's a greener metal,
just got a seal on the front with no date.
Why would they have a seal on the front of the bottle?
You filled it up with wine, and you drank the wine,
and then you refilled it again.
If it went anywhere else to be refilled they knew whose bottle it was
and it came back to you.
Oh, OK, so it's like a deposit, but knowledge of where it came from.
-OK, thank you.
Where do you have them in the house?
-We have them on the windowsill.
-And do you have any animals or children?
We've got two dogs, a springer spaniel and a Jack Russell, so...
-Are they lively?
-Very lively, I'm afraid.
We were told they were going to calm down but they're still as nutty as fruit cakes.
This bottle, the James Okes, Bury St Edmunds, £1,000.
And this one, the earlier onion bottle of about 1720 in date,
£2,000 or more, if we can identify the seal.
-Are you going to leave them on the windowsill?
I don't know where I'm going to put them, but away from the dogs.
-I should have a drink when you get home.
-I'll have one before I get home!
-You look as though you need one.
-Thank you very much indeed.
-Now what's this?
-Well, it's a little part of her life really.
What, you...? There were boxes like this, were there?
Well, I haven't told you about the house. Er, she...
-Well, just let's deal with the box first.
-Because she is this hoarder, she is this collector.
I've opened this, and at random I'm going to pull out what I see.
Packets of used envelopes.
Every envelope she ever had.
Packets of... piles of dog food labels.
Yes, but, but they're all clipped together and if you look on the back
they're all re-used, she was an archetypal recycler before her time,
but she never actually recycled.
This is just a treasure trove, and you dig down further... Good God,
-look, hundreds of bus tickets.
-I must show you. The pink ones...
they're all beautiful colours, the pink ones...
-Oh, that's a dog ticket.
-For her dog, yes.
-"Dog accompanying passenger, Harlow station".
-Isn't it lovely?
-Every... I can't believe this...
-Every bus ticket.
One can go on rummaging in here for hours, you keep finding new treasures.
Um, a Morse key.
Yes, she was a radio ham, we thought she was a spy at one stage
because she kept all her letters all in duplicate.
This is a sort of lunacy. Why on Earth did she do it?
Well, I've thought about it a great deal.
I think for a number of reasons.
One, she didn't want to throw anything away,
she didn't want to waste anything because she came from a poor background,
but it's more than that. She lost her dad when she was quite young
and she lost her mum before she was really grown up
and so her possessions became a comfort to her really,
because if you saw her house, there were boxes all around, her life was all around her.
What's this house here?
This is the first house, and the only house she bought.
-And where is that?
-It's in Ware.
-Well, it was in Ware,
and half of it was a bakery but they wanted to knock it down
to build a roundabout.
-That looks to me a medieval building, is that right?
-It is, yes.
-So this is a timber-framed house in Ware in Hertfordshire.
And they want to knock it down for a roundabout. So what happens next?
Well, Aunty May being Aunty May,
she got the scouts to help her and she numbered all the beams
and she said, "Well, it's oak pegged, it's only a kit of parts,
"I can move it somewhere else and I'd love to live by the seaside".
She was about to retire so she...
So she came to Wells, bought... Is that here at Wells?
-So this is what she got, that's her house?
-That's it, yes.
-And there she is.
-A kit of parts.
-A kit of parts.
-40 foot of scaffolding.
But how did she know how it went together?
Well, because she was a draughtswoman so she did copious plans.
-Did she have professional help?
-Not with the plans, no.
-Or the building?
-No, people helped her every now and then,
but most of it she did herself.
There she is... God, what an amazing woman.
Well, she's my heroine, really, for a woman to do this on her own...
-I think it's incredible.
She sounds remarkable, but chronicling a life like this,
and it was an extraordinary life,
someone who was a designer, draughtsman,
-pioneer in so many fields.
-Yes, she was.
So stubborn, so strong - I mean, how many people, you know, can do that?
-Yes, as a retirement.
-As a retirement. I'll just take my house to pieces and put it together again.
But your job I see, I can see why you took it on,
is to say, "Here is THE greatest, most remarkable 20th-century life," it's all here for the future.
This is the largest flintlock duck's foot pistol I've ever seen
and I've seen, I've seen many over the last 50 years.
Where on Earth did you get it?
Well, I bought it at a local auction.
-Yes. About, well, a few years ago now.
Right, well, first and foremost, it's not an English one.
Now, it's been proved in Belgium
so I take it that it's Belgian manufacture,
but they are usually much smaller than this.
You might say, "Why make such a pistol?"
but anybody that's subject to some sort of violence
or even a boarding party, such a pistol could be very useful.
I see that it's got a belt clip on the side which would suggest
it might be sailor, a sailor item,
and to add to a little bit of romanticism,
this engraving on the bottom
with a pirate rolling a barrel of gunpowder, or whatever,
I think is added at a later date.
Now, the only thing I can find wrong with it, looking at it,
is the safety catch on here's been broken in half,
because when you put it back onto first cock...
..you push that,
which holds that on first cock.
That's the safety but that's been broken,
there's about an inch, or three-quarters of an inch gone off of there.
That is the only thing I can fault it with.
That is full cock so it's all ready to fire.
There's four little holes in the flash pan and when that is primed
and that closed, that is all ready to fire those four barrels.
This is an extremely rare piece. Out of curiosity, what did you pay?
If it was of English manufacture and of the usual size,
a value of something like £5,000,
but although this is Belgian and in collectors' eyes not as good
as an English manufacturer, a London or Birmingham manufacture,
it is unusually large -
I keep endorsing this.
You could expect something in the region of about £8,000.
It's a ginormous thing and I think any gun collector would be proud
to have that in his gun collection, lovely.
-Thank you very much.
-Well, thank you very much for bringing it in.
And with that, another Roadshow heads into the sunset,
from Holkham Hall, Wells-next- the-Sea in Norfolk, goodbye.
Subtitles by Red Bee Ltd, 2007