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'Hello, Radio Olympia.
'This is direct television from the studios at Alexandra Palace.'
Alexandra Palace, London, where in 1936 television began.
For eight years in the 1960s, I worked here as a BBC newsreader
alongside such family favourites as Robert Dougall,
Richard Baker and Kenneth Kendall - Bob, Dickie and Ken.
And one night, I recall, in 1962 I was required to announce
the death to the nation of Marilyn Monroe,
and I did it with what one critic said was an "almost brutal sense of drama".
Well, I was upset, we all were.
Today's Roadshow should trigger some more cheerful memories for all of us.
Just down the hill in Priory Park is a perfectly preserved example
of what used to be everyone's childhood favourite, the fairground.
It's one of the most exciting and colourful Roadshow settings we've ever had.
These steam yachts date back to 1921 and there are only two sets of them anywhere in the world.
We used to call it the Big Bertha, as I recall.
It put you in suspended animation with that feeling of weightlessness at the end of every swing.
Would I like to go in it again?
Yes, one of these days.
The attractions have been lovingly restored by the Carter
family, who've been preserving fairground antiquities for 30 years.
Not just the big rides, but the side shows
and candy floss machine have been rescued
from the scrap heap and returned to full working order.
Each winter is spent doing serious renovation before their annual spring and summer tour,
and here at Priory Park they've kindly agreed to set up a day early for our Roadshow.
Roll up, roll up, 20 world class antiques specialists,
free valuation every time, come and get it!
If you've come for a valuation, I can tell you, looking at the label, this is worth 17 and sixpence.
-And how long ago was that?
Not in my lifetime.
Do you have any idea?
I suspect the '20s?
Yeah, I think that's a pretty good bet. So where does this come from?
My parents collected Moorcroft.
I believe that they purchased this piece about 20 years ago.
I remember it from my mid-teens on the sideboard.
I remember it turning up and being put on in the lounge and it's been there ever since.
Do you like it? That's the other thing.
Well, they have a few pieces and of the pieces they've got, I like this one more.
There are some that I'm not so keen on but this one I do like a lot.
This is a product of Moorcroft in the Cobridge Works, probably just after...
Well, just before or just after the First World War.
-So your guess is pretty darn good. Fantastic shape.
It's a Chinese shape, it's known as a Meiping, it's basically derived from the 18th century.
It's a beautiful thing. Slip trailing is the technique,
and then you fill in the cells with these wonderful colours and, well,
that tells us everything. It's at home, being used?
It is indeed.
Well, great thing, glad you use it.
17 and sixpence around the time of the First World War, what do you think it might be today?
I have not the foggiest.
I really don't know, I know that Moorcroft
-is often valued quite highly.
But I really have no idea.
I would think it's probably somewhere in the region of
maybe £2,000 to £3,000.
That's a substantial sum.
-Enough to put you in a bit of a spin?
So you've managed to decorate most of your house through car boot sales?
-Generally, yes. When we were first married we had no money, so we went to
car boot sales and bought things like curtains and furniture,
just to kick things off, and the addiction started.
-Yes. Except winter. Too cold in the winter.
-Now, you found this in just such a one, right?
-Yes, yes, I did.
Very pretty. What do you know about it?
I don't know anything about the artist or how old it is so that's...
I hope you can tell me something.
I'm delighted to see it because this is a really prime example of Victorian schmaltz that works.
It's that high sentiment, that high saccharin, which somehow
when it's done well enough, and I think this is done beautifully well, it somehow is all forgiven.
This represents two children scrumping plums,
and it's just the sort of subject matter that late Victorian
and Edwardian audiences adored.
There were two or three artists who pioneered
this particular refinement of Victorian saccharin.
-One of them was Fred Morgan and the other one was an artist called Arthur Elsley.
Now, turning this round,
there are two inscriptions on the back,
-one at the bottom which says "frontispiece".
-And then the other, and you'll hardly pick it up with a camera,
it says here, in reinforced script, I think the words "Arthur Elsley".
With the expression "frontispiece"
written on the back, that fits in with what Elsley
and his contemporaries were doing, because a lot of these images
-were so popular, they hit such a nerve...
-..that they were used in calendars, on biscuit tins.
-They were used as popular images in posters.
Looking at this, you can see it's done by an artist who can really paint.
So often it's done by poor imitators and you don't get the fineness of execution.
If you look at the way the eyes and lips are done, with a small brush,
with real delicacy, they can look rather blobby with a lesser hand.
In this case, they almost have a miniaturist's clarity and fineness.
I'm going to pretty well attribute this to Elsley,
-but I don't think it really matters in valuing this picture.
-What did you pay for it?
-I paid £200 for it, which I thought was a lot of money.
-But as soon as we saw it, we loved it so much, we just had to have it.
So we scraped it together.
Will you give me the time and date of your next car boot sale?
This is worth about £3,000 to £5,000.
-That's amazing. We should go and find some more.
-Fantastic. That's mind-blowing, thank you very much.
Yeah, lovely, thank you.
This is not only a beautifully made piece of real jewellery set with diamonds,
but it's also a piece of Minnie Mouse memorabilia.
And that's a very potent combination indeed because there's a whole public
for jewellery and a whole public for Minnie. How long's it been with you?
At least 15 years, the memory gets foggy beyond that, it could possibly be slightly longer.
And what circumstances did she move in?
-She was a present.
-I think for Christmas.
-How marvellous. From?
-From my husband.
-Sweet, that's wonderful.
Jewellery-buying husbands are rare, and ones that buy
really animated bits of jewellery like this are rarer still.
Were you amazed when you saw her?
I was. She's such fun and I've never seen anything like her before.
Obviously there's other Disney memorabilia but nothing like that.
No, possibly just a hint of it in costume jewellery but never ever in
real jewellery and this is a real jewel, isn't it?
It's platinum, and diamonds, and enamel, and highly animated.
I think we can pretty confidently say that this comes from the very first years of her image too.
I thought she looked like an early version.
So from, well, 1928, 1930, something like that.
It's reflected in the craftsmanship. The mille grains settings,
which means a thousand grains and there are thousands of grains
holding the diamonds in their place.
So what a complete joy that is. And do you wear her?
I think I've probably worn her about once.
-I know, I know, I know.
-That's not very daring, is it? Why?
Probably because I don't go to many places where I could wear her.
Oh, I think you could wear her anywhere.
-She is lovely, yeah.
-And she's almost a badge, isn't she?
-One wouldn't be surprised to see her in that role at all.
No, give her an outing because she's charming and everybody's pleased to see her.
And the intrinsic value of the diamonds, well, it's very low.
It's hardly worth... low hundreds of pounds really.
No more than £300 or £400 but I haven't the slightest
hesitation in valuing her for, well, £3,000 or £4,000, £5,000.
Oh, my goodness!
An expensive badge!
Very expensive badge!
Thank you. Wonderful.
When I first saw you with your collection of domestic brushes,
the first thing I thought was "Thank goodness I have a vacuum cleaner."
Because this is what life was like at the turn of the century
for the Edwardian and Victorian lady's maid.
It's a fascinating collection, where did you find it all?
I found some of the brushes
in various places like sales, and my grandmother collected
lots of them as well.
Starting was with these hat brushes,
and this brush here as well.
-How old are you?
-Ten years old.
What is it about brushes that you really, really enjoy?
Well, I like the
wood and the textures and
-bristles of the brushes.
-Yeah, because when we look at the bristles,
-they are quite intricately made, aren't they?
And something like this, this is "Guess the use", really.
Have you got an idea behind that one?
It cleans like the top and the corners of the ceiling.
It's quite interesting to see how it works actually. What do you do?
Pushed it into the corners?
That would have brushed straight lines and this bit, the corners.
Yeah, that's fascinating, isn't it? What's that one?
It's a black brush.
Yes, it's a blacking fireplace brush.
This is quite a clever one actually, because it's sort of in two parts.
You've got the brush, but you undo that and the black lead would have been in the top.
You would have brushed that onto the grate and then used the brush to polish it off.
And then once they'd done that, it was on to the carpets and floor.
And what would you have used for that?
This brush here was used for carpet beating,
which is like beating the dust out of the carpets.
They used to put things like tea-leaves,
slightly moist tea-leaves, on the floor
and then that would absorb the dust,
but also give a fragrant smell to the room.
So, it's quite interesting knowing how they did all of this really.
There are so many here, but is there a real favourite amongst them?
It's this brush.
It's used for brushing fur coats
and the bristles are very soft.
It's wonderful, isn't it?
Well, if we had to put a value on all of these together -
aside from the social history which I think is worth millions -
probably we're talking about a collection here
that's worth close to £300 or £400 in total.
So it's a real treasure trove.
Who owns these?
-Are you sure?
Well, they belonged to my boyfriend's aunt.
-She was from Poland.
-Your boyfriend's aunt?
-And they've been given now to my boyfriend.
-But they're nice, aren't they?
-Do you know where they're from?
-No, no idea.
-Have you ever looked at them properly?
Yes, but it doesn't mean anything.
I don't know what the bottom means, there's some stuff on the bottom.
There is stuff on the bottom. It says "Burmantofts Faience".
It's a factory in Leeds in Yorkshire.
-Near my home town.
Looking good. They do, they look lovely.
They date from, well, just before 1890,
round about 1880, 1885, that sort of period.
-Older than I thought, actually.
-They are copies of a Persian form, a Persian decoration.
This is the type of decoration you'd find on Iznik pottery
dating from round about 1450 to 1480, that sort of thing.
-Are they a pair?
-But they're copies?
They're not a pair.
And they are copying that type of decoration.
When I first saw them, there's a designer at the end of the Victorian period called William de Morgan,
they look just like de Morgan vases.
But they're not.
-They're not de Morgan vases.
-Oh, no, who did them then?
-They are Islamic. I've told you that, they're Burmantoft faience.
And what do you want to know?
-She wants to know how much.
-How much they're worth.
It's great, cut to the... I mean, why not? OK, OK, OK.
-This one's got a bit of damage.
-It's the prettiest.
-You think so?
-I prefer this one, with the dragon, it's nicer.
But, anyway, the money.
Well, it is quite funny.
This one's worth about £3,000, because it's damaged.
I'm gonna cry.
-This one isn't damaged.
-How much is that worth?
Somewhere between 5,000 and 8,000.
-Can I kiss him?
-Do you want to buy 'em?
-Thank you very much.
How are we gonna get them home?
-We'll have to get a taxi.
-I didn't even wrap them.
OK, thank you very much.
The best bits of Burmantoft's Faience have made 18,000.
But they're not a pair, a bit of damage - they're great!
Thank you very much.
I literally can't contain my excitement,
because I'm reading here "Ronnie Barker Scripts".
Now, the promises that makes for me are...well, I can't describe them
because if what is in this envelope is what it says on the front,
then I'm possibly about to hold something very historic, I think.
Let's have a look what we've got.
What we appear to have is A4, handwritten A4.
Flicking through various...
Yes, Gerald Wiley.
Gerald Wiley, I'm not sure that many people know,
but that was Ronnie Barker's name essentially.
And I see, as I've said that, "four candles".
This is the script for the famous four candles sketch.
Now for me, if there was ever a sketch in English comedy,
it's the four candles sketch by The Two Ronnies.
It just is one of the funniest things I've ever seen
and it is probably one of the most famous English comedy sketches.
"An old ironmonger's shop, a shop that sells everything,
"garden equipment, ladies tights, builders supplies, mouse traps, everything."
"Please discuss" it says in brackets, so that suggests this is a draft.
-Yeah, they look like that.
This looks like a rough draft that was written by Ronnie Barker.
That's...that is so exciting.
"A workman, not too bright either" it says.
"Ronnie Corbett: Yes sir?
"Ronnie Barker: Four candles.
"Ronnie Corbett: Four candles, yes, sir.
"He gets four candles from a drawer. 'There you are.'
"Ronnie Barker: No, fork handles!"
It's just... It's just brilliant.
-It gets funnier as it goes on...
-Absolutely, I can't read..
Afterwards I'm gonna have to read this,
-because the thought that he wrote this...
-I know. It's gorgeous.
-How did you come across them?
-Well, my mother was very ill and she came to live with me.
And she used to shuffle through her papers all the time.
She was forever kind of, you know,
looking at her old papers and throwing stuff away
and I always used to look through the bags that she said were rubbish.
-And in them was this.
So I said, "What, well, you know, what's this?"
and she said that it had appeared on her desk
-when she had worked as a fundraiser.
-So they're kind of...
-She didn't really explain.
-So they dropped into your lap by accident?
I think I rescued them.
They could have ended up in the bin?
They probably could.
If we look through, there are others -
You're welcome, M'Lord, a very funny sketch.
It says, "Quickie - one and half minutes."
I like to think that they are the real thing.
I mean, I've no way of knowing that.
As I say, I found them in an envelope in my mum's things, so you know...
In terms of authenticity, I think there are a few little bits of work
that perhaps need to be done on this,
just to confirm that they're absolutely right
and perhaps some handwriting comparisons or something similar.
Having said that, I feel very good about this.
It's a one-off, it's a rare thing,
but it might surprise you to think that someone would be prepared
to probably pay £2,000 for this one alone.
And that's a speculative valuation, £2,000 at auction,
because, frankly, it's almost an impossible thing to put a price on.
Here we are at Priory Park at Carter's Steam Fair
with all these wonderful Victorian pieces around us
and you've brought this fantastic satinwood-veneered cabinet.
The piece as a whole is beautifully drawn, it's just so well balanced.
Please tell me about it.
Well, my father gave it to me.
I've had it about 45 years and it lives in my lounge.
I've got china, bits of silver and a drinks cupboard in the middle.
What I particularly like is this gallery
and the way it's encased the top shelf.
Then you have these wonderful astragal-glazed doors.
Very, very pretty with this carving here.
I think this is a lovely feature
and then the best thing of all is this roundel.
-It's in the style of a lady called Angelica Kauffmann.
She was an 18th century artist.
This piece is actually the same age as what's going on around us.
It was made about 1900, 1910.
I imagine this would have been made by one of the leading furniture makers of the time
and I'm thinking of a company like Edwards & Roberts,
-or sold by a retailer called Maples.
It's standing on little square tapering legs
and what we call spade feet.
This works in a modern house, it works in an older Victorian house.
-It's very well proportioned.
Being that it's satinwood, it's up there in the fashion
-because people don't want brown furniture.
-They want lighter, blond furniture.
-I would place a value between £4,000 to £6,000.
This type of furniture only goes up in value.
It's not often we get a Leonardo da Vinci on the Antiques Roadshow,
but I think we have to tell everybody that it is in fact a copy.
But an early copy.
-I bought it at auction.
-And how long ago?
-Almost exactly 40 years.
And what did you pay for it then?
Well, looking at this, it's just fantastic
because, you know, when one sees copies,
you try and date them and this is quite early
-and I'm sure... This is a copy of Leonardo - Leda And The Swan.
What is interesting is that the story of Leda and the swan,
as you know, Jupiter comes down, falls in love with Leda,
who's married to the King of Sparta,
and he comes down and makes love to her
and she lays these eggs which hatch out as human
-and one of them was Helen of Troy.
-Helena and Clytemnestra.
Yes, and it's absolutely fantastic.
And do you know where the original is?
-It's a lost painting.
-It is indeed.
-It was destroyed.
It was on wood, it was destroyed at the court of Louis XIV
as far as we know, but nobody knows.
His mistress ordered it away.
Well, there is a write-up on the picture in the 1600s
-when it was in Fontainebleau.
And they say that it was on three separate pieces of panel,
the panel split in three ways, and it just disappeared.
But, of course, there were copies done
from people who saw the picture and also Leonardo's pupils.
-And one was Cesare da Sesto and there's a very good copy I think in Wilton House.
-I've been to see that.
-What really fascinates me,
is actually was this painted in Italy or somewhere else?
From someone that might have seen it in Fontainebleau?
Now, looking at the colour here of the buildings there
and the colour of the trees, sort of green and blue,
it's very much like Dutch 16th century, early 17th century pictures.
Possibly this could be a Dutch-Flemish copy of the original
-and it is early which is very, very important.
So you bought it in the 1960s for...?
Well, any copies of Leonardos that come up do quite well.
This is a very big copy...
..and commercially I'm just gonna say that
I think this would be worth £30,000 to £50,000 at auction at least.
-It's a wonderful early example and you enjoy it.
-Very much so.
I love the smug look on her face.
Well, when you see it, I mean I must say,
-the arm here is quite large, isn't it?
-Truck driver's arm.
Truck driver's arms!
I have to admit, when I first looked at this,
I had absolutely no idea what it was.
I admired it, I liked it, because it looks almost like a scarab beetle,
the shape here and this fantastic Art Nouveau design trailing here
and then the heart below.
So, obviously made in the Art Nouveau period - 1890, 1895, 1900.
But what was it for?
Luckily it's all revealed when you actually press where it says "press"
and down it comes and what we've got is a beautiful hand basin.
Beautifully shaped and the tap here
which, if you just press slowly like that, out comes your water,
you'd then have washed your hands,
been handed that towel by your butler, maybe.
As a piece of engineering it works beautifully
and I think it's a statement of Art Nouveau in its own right.
It is, yes, it is.
We bought it at an antiques fair
-because we're sort of Art Nouveau collectors.
And saw it, thought it was extremely unusual and fell in love with it,
so felt we must take it home.
We didn't know what we'd do with it or where we'd put it
but we just bought it.
You have this set up somewhere?
We do. We have it in our bedroom, not usable, but just on the wall.
-OK. Well, my feeling it's certainly not English.
Although the language is English. My feeling it's certainly French.
-And it's in this fantastic heavy nickel on probably brass.
So a very luxury item.
This wouldn't have been used in some second-rate hotel.
-It would have been either on a carriage.
Or on a yacht.
-Not the one that you'd pay your ticket to go on.
This would have been a private yacht or a private carriage
because the quality is just absolutely breathtaking.
And what I like about it as well,
when you've finished, it said, "Empty slowly"
and up it went and the water gets drained away.
Wonderful piece of engineering.
-Very simple but the great thing about it - it works.
-Yes, it does.
If I were you, because we're here at Carter's Steam Fair,
you should buy a nice gentleman's steam yacht of about 1890.
And then put this back in it because that's exactly what it was made for.
-Can you remember what you paid for it?
We only paid £250 or £300 for it, something like that.
-How many years ago?
-Maybe ten or 12 years ago.
I think today you'd have to pay more like £1,500 to £2,000.
-So a wonderful buy.
-And a most unusual object.
Thank you, well it will stay on our wall.
Roundabout, carousel, call it what you like,
no fairground is complete without the galloping horses.
And tucked away behind the engine of this particular set is Anna Carter
who is the owner of the fairground.
Anna, all this looks brand new and fresh licks of paint and all that,
but it's not really new, is it?
No, the ride dates from 1895
and obviously you do have to replace bits and pieces,
but most of it's original.
We think the horses are made by Anderson in Bristol,
they were Italian carvers.
Obviously, they do take quite a battering over the seven months,
so every year we have to retouch them and varnish them
and there are 30 horses, so it's quite a task.
-And all the art work you did yourself?
-I'm afraid I did.
-Long winters in the shed.
-And the engine?
It had been taken off in 1954 and converted to electric,
so we decided we'd convert it back.
We searched for an engine and we actually found one in 1976
and it fitted exactly,
so we think it's possible it was the same engine.
Now, you and your husband John weren't fairground people,
so how did you get into this lark?
We were actually art students who met up
and we got into promoting shows, air rallies,
military vehicle rallies, antiques fairs, collectors' bazaars
and when we did our outdoor shows we were let down by showmen,
because obviously part of the revenue is to have a funfair in.
So one day he said, "We really ought to have some of our own equipment."
And he came home one day and said he'd found this roundabout,
sort of gently rotting away on a permanent site
and he said, "Would you mind if I bought it?"
"Well, you do what you like", you know, thinking he was joking
and he came home one day and said he was negotiating to buy it.
So, instead of doing a sensible thing like getting a mortgage
and buying a house, we bought a fairground ride.
But we've gone on, I mean the steam yachts,
we rescued from a scrapyard in Glasgow
and I think that really has been a huge achievement,
because it would have just been lost for ever
and it's the only travelling set in the world.
There is one that comes out occasionally
but this one travels week after week for seven months of the year.
"Darling Grandma and Grandpa, my time is practically ended now.
"I shall be on my way to New York when you get this card.
"A few weeks and I shall be back home again. With fond love, Willie."
And another one, "Dear Mabel, my time is nearly finished now
"and I hope you will be quite well now.
"Remember me to Percy.
"With love, Willie." Now, who was Willie?
Willie was my great uncle and he was a bandsman on the Titanic.
William Theodore Brailey.
So he was playing Nearer My God To Thee, was he?
Yes, I mean, he was a pianist in the band
so I'm not quite sure whether he took his piano up on deck
but he did play the violin and the flute as well.
-And there were, of course, two bands on the Titanic
and he was in the trio.
And so why did he like going on boats?
Well, he was a frustrated composer
and I think it was a way of making some money as well.
In fact, the White Star Line had beaten down the musicians' rates
and they were paid quite poorly.
They were freelance, in fact.
They weren't actually employed by the White Star Line.
-Was his body ever found?
What did the family actually think about him going to sea?
Well, they really didn't want him to go to sea at all.
I think because they didn't want to have him away from them,
because they were long sea voyages,
but they were also worried about him and concerned.
And when he went to see my grandmother
he said, "Musicians always die young."
Apparently she always said he paced up and down the living room floor
and she begged him not to go.
She said, "Don't go, Willie, please don't go."
And he said, "No, I must go."
I think possibly people do have a romantic vision of dying young,
but I mean it was a very heroic death.
It was and, of course, the family always said
that if he hadn't have died there,
-he would have died on the fields of Flanders.
-No, it's very sad.
So tragic. And this thing here,
this is a sort of a hand bill, I suppose?
They never came in for any compensation,
the families rather didn't, so the Musicians' Union published this.
I don't quite know what you'd call it,
but it was to sell to get funds for the musicians' families.
And here he is...
-That's Willie, yes.
-There he is.
And then at the bottom here we've got "Nearer My God To Thee."
"Or if on joyful wing,
"Cleaving the sky, sun, moon and stars forgot, upwards I fly.
"Still all my song shall be nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee."
-I think that's, you know...
Yes, it still brings a lump to my throat.
It's quite extraordinary.
Well, as you probably know, Titanic memorabilia is very desirable.
A conservative estimate on this little lot...
Oh, would be somewhere in the region of a couple of thousand pounds.
This is, this is, you know, the stuff of history.
You were in the building industry many years ago.
-And you got this from where?
I was working in conversion work, and they sent us to an old building
to strip it off, to clear it out and they had all the panels on the wall, you know, all the woodwork.
-Oh, yes, yes.
-We had to clean that out and put it in the skip
so this was in the panels, you know.
So it was too good to throw away, I kept it.
Oh, right. But whereabouts was this?
Was this in London or the country?
Yeah, in London. I was in Knightsbridge.
Right. OK, so what's interesting to me is this.
This has elements of something to do with the City of London.
-It's a City piece, because with these winged griffins
and the way it's been executed here, somebody important
had connections in the City.
-Oh, I see.
-Was the room very, very dark?
No, the house was condemned altogether, the place,
-the building was condemned, that's why they sent us to rip everything out.
Because as I say, it must have been a fabulous building, because this is mahogany.
It's solid mahogany. This is all hand-carved.
-It's a very clever piece how it's done, this is
one piece of mahogany and were there other ones like this or was this...?
No, no, there was ordinary panels all around the room.
-But all woodworm, you know, and this was above the
fireplace or chimney breast, above the fireplace. Above the fire.
And this split here, did that happen...?
No, this happened whilst we were stripping, taking it off,
because we'd got to rip everything out of the wall.
-Can I ask you a very rude question?
When you were working then, how much money did you get in a day's work?
I can't remember, in the '60s, you know, I can't remember exactly what it was.
I don't think it was as much as £25, you know.
It was less than that, I think about 15 per week.
What do you think this is worth today?
-No idea, that's why I brought it here.
Well, this is highly collectable because people love coat of arms.
-I would put a value on this between £600 and £800.
So I think it was a good day's work.
Yeah, it is, isn't it? Yeah.
When I first saw this box, it was a bit of a pulse-making moment, because it's a highly
distinctive one made of holly wood and I wanted to open it very much
and to find inside exactly what is there.
-Tell me about them.
-They're a pair of cufflinks that I inherited
and they've come from my grandfather, I know that much.
Other than that not very much except what's written there, which I managed to decipher.
-And how did you decipher it? What does it say?
-It is Faberge, isn't it?
-Hopefully, you can tell me more.
-Well, no, I can. Absolutely.
And of course it does say Faberge, it also says
St Petersburg, Moscow and London and that is a very exciting thing
to see in a box but it's absolutely no guarantee of the fact that the contents are actually by Faberge.
They're almost certainly mounted in platinum and I say that with
authority, because there's no hallmarks on them and that is
a fascinating thing in one regard but it's a slight disappointment in another.
And the absence of hallmarks would mean that all I can say is that they look like Faberge and that wouldn't
be quite enough to bring the full excitement on but we were saved by the tiniest little inventory number.
-On a panel here and it's a sequence
of about five numbers
and it's a stock number and Faberge was a very, very meticulous shop.
Every piece had an inventory number so when the customer brought it
back for valuation, or for whatever purposes, they could look it up and know every detail of its manufacture.
The weight of the sapphires, for instance, would be part of it.
-Then, the next step is to try to find out the exact provenance of them and whilst you were waiting,
I made a phone call to some colleagues of mine to see if I could establish whether
the inventory number referred to the London ledgers and to an exact buyer, an exact price and an exact day.
Well, I have to say sadly, that didn't happen, but that's the sort of bad news,
-but the good news is the sequence of the stock numbers is absolutely exact for a Faberge object.
So here we have a pair of cufflinks of incontestable provenance from Faberge. And do you both wear them?
-No, I haven't worn them yet.
-You haven't yet.
-I like the idea of yet.
-So do I!
I want to say a bit about the magic of Faberge, really.
This was the biggest jewellery manufacturer in the world, the
biggest goldsmiths firm in the world - St Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev, Odessa, London, agencies in Siam.
And the London branch opened in 1903 and it finished in about 1917.
And in this case we can see his address on the lid satin as London, so we can say with every confidence
that these were made between 1903 and 1917, which dates them very precisely.
They look very nonchalant and very simple little cabochon sapphires in platinum mounts
but they are by the greatest jeweller
of the 20th century and so we have to consider their valuation.
-Have you got any ideas?
-I haven't got a clue actually, no.
I started out thinking £200 and then went up to, I don't know what, £2,000 or something like that.
-They're only jewellery.
-No, I know.
I think that at one stage in their existence that was certainly true.
Now the value of Faberge things has been amplified enormously by the
renewed interest from Russia that's opened up and people can afford them
and so I haven't really the slightest hesitation
in valuing these for £15,000.
OK, right. Mmm, right.
-Better get onto the insurance people.
-Never imagined that.
-Back in the box, anyway.
Great piece. Fantastic.
"New Musical Express, 1964 to 1965 Poll, presented to John Lennon."
Now, I may be mistaken but you are not John Lennon.
No, I am not John Lennon.
Relationship there or...?
Right, my grandmother's sister, Auntie Lil as she was known to us,
her daughter Cynthia was John Lennon's first wife.
And when I was about 10, 12 years old we used to go and visit John and Cynthia at the big house,
as we called it, quite a lot and I was given lots of things that were around the house at the time.
Well, it's not a great work of art, I have to say. One wouldn't normally be looking at it.
-It's great to hold anything that was presented to John Lennon.
But actually this is a presentation which has got a sting in the tail.
-Because if I show
the next bit, it's actually...
he was voted "runner-up
"British vocal personality".
I think that's probably why it was given to me at the time.
He'd had his nose put out of joint, perhaps.
It's not one of those he would have highly prized.
No, not at the time.
-Even so, collectors would highly prize it.
It's, I think, a wonderful bit of history.
I mean, how many times would he have ever failed? Very, very seldom.
So, yes, a little sort of throwaway thing given to you as a child.
I think we're talking about £600 to £800.
Oh, right, good.
-And if you get two people there...
-It could go up.
-it could go up.
-It could really be a prize worth having.
-You're chairman of a charity. These ladies around us used to work for the charity.
And this picture here is owned by the charity.
That's right. The charity is John Grooms and that was founded in 1866
and it therefore was in existence
at the time this picture was painted and the artist was alive.
I think we think that the artist painted the picture
and then he heard about the charity which was then called John Grooms Crippleage and Flower Girls Mission.
She's got some flowers here and one in her hand and
we think it may well be that they were flowers that were made by the flower girls of John Grooms.
There's no way of telling but I think that is what motivated
the artist to donate the picture, which he did personally in about the year 1902.
It's interesting to examine the motivations of this artist,
because we're dealing with William Powell Frith, a very interesting man.
He did with a paintbrush what Charles Dickens did with a pen.
-Well, they were friends, you know.
Well, what I perhaps hardly need to tell you is he went on even to illustrate Dickens.
But what he did was, instead of, as a lot of painters of that day did, which was to follow the academic
route of the Royal Academy, he thought, "Ha-ha, I know what would really interest the public,
"let's go out and let's concentrate instead of high-flown subjects,
"let's concentrate on people, on incident."
It's got in the top right-hand corner, that little vignette of something going on.
-He can't resist it.
-Here is a man and a woman, there's
something a little bit more than them having bought a flower, there's a little bit of romance.
Yes, she's just putting it in his lapel, isn't she? Rather like this one.
Much like, absolutely.
Now, what is wonderful also is I gather we have here today, not only the ladies who used to work
in the charity till the '60s making the flowers, but someone here who actually sold the flowers.
-You were in the showroom, I gather?
-Yes, I was in the showroom for 40 years.
Selling flowers to all and sundry, these type of...?
Selling flowers, because we used to have coach parties twice a week
and Christmas time we used to have quite a lot.
So we had to have extra help in the showroom for selling the flowers.
So these flowers would have been produced for all the charities around that wanted fake flowers?
-And there were a lot of them.
-Did you make some of the flowers yourself?
-Yes, I started...
When I first started John Grooms, I was 15 years old at Clerkenwell
and I started making artificial flowers then, they taught me how to do them.
-She's one of our oldest residents now from the original days of flower makers, weren't you?
-Well, I must say we're very privileged on the show to
-have you along and indeed all your companions as well.
-But we must talk about value, because this is after all a chattel of the charity.
So we're all on edge to know what you feel it's worth.
Well, no pressure then.
I think that this is a very good example of his
genre painting but it's not the grandest and most monumental.
She is extremely pretty,
the flowers are beautifully done and the whole story,
the provenance, the way that the people associated with it and where it's come from, enhances the picture.
fairly confident on that basis that it is worth between £40,000 and £60,000.
Is it really? As much as that?
Goodness me. Well, we'll have to make sure it's insured for that value.
-And will the charity hang onto it?
-Oh, we certainly will, yes.
And I think we will find some occasion when we can exhibit it,
particularly being able to say that it was on the Antiques Roadshow and this is the real picture.
-Thank you so much.
-Thank you and thank you everyone around you.
No doubt about it, if you want white-knuckle thrills and
hair-raising moments, the Antiques Roadshow is the place to come.
Many thanks to the Carter family for showing us all the fun of the steam fair, for
everyone who came to have a go, and to Priory Park for being our venue.
From Crouch End in North London, goodbye.