Michael Aspel and the team kick off their 30th anniversary celebrations in Hereford, with a tantalising taster of the special locations to come in this series.
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This year is a special one for the Antiques Roadshow
because it is 30 years old.
That means we're celebrating our Pearl Anniversary,
and we shall be casting around for pearls, diamond tiaras, nice pieces of pottery, bits of furniture,
in fact everything we've had a look at over the past three decades.
And for this season, we've found some spectacular locations.
In Scotland, we shall visit the most northerly chateau on the
British mainland, the castle of May, much-loved by the Queen Mother.
We shall travel to Wales to film the glorious Powys Castle,
setting up camp in its world-famous gardens.
There are a couple of cathedrals on our list - Coventry and Rochester.
And we tread some new territory. For the first time,
the Roadshow visits the banqueting house in Westminster,
a working pottery at Middleport,
and a former World War II airfield,
time-capsuled in rural Lincolnshire.
But that's all miles and months ahead.
We start our 30th series in Hereford, which is
a good choice because this is where it all began.
SYNTHESIZER VERSION OF THEME TUNE PLAYS
That very first show was filmed here at Hereford Town Hall
on May 17th, 1977.
It was introduced to an unsuspecting world by Bruce Parker.
Hello again. We're in Hereford today, the city that gives its name to white-faced cattle and cider,
a beautiful cathedral city on the River Wye.
There are people with all sorts of packages, large, small,
some objects carefully packed up, others in supermarket carrier bags
and the people here all have the one idea of finding out more
about that particular item they've had at home,
perhaps through generations,
but they've never had the opportunity to ask anybody.
No-one really thought that the show would set the world on fire,
but it immediately became a roaring success.
That old British stand-by, the queue, had suddenly found a new expression.
And as affection for the Roadshow grew, so did the crowds.
The BBC had to look for larger venues.
Today we're at Hereford's Courtyard Centre for the Arts,
one of the first projects to receive lottery funding,
and because we're expecting long queues,
we've taken over not only the theatre, but the foyer as well.
Like the Roadshow itself,
the Courtyard goes from strength to strength with each passing year.
Happy birthday, everyone. Welcome to the party.
I, um...havered about this object.
I bet you did.
-I've been havering about it for 76 years so...
-Have you really?
-So you've known it from since childhood?
Oh, yes, it's been in the family... My...my grandfather
acquired it in China.
And the legend has been about this question about India and China.
-And I don't...
-Where does the India come from?
-The idea of India?
-Well, the idea was that at one time China paid tribute to India,
I don't know whether it's true or not, this is going way back into history.
Or, later, India paid tribute to China, I don't know which. And the story of this
is that this is supposed to be one of the Chinese elephants
proceeding in the direction of India, but I don't know,
I mean, I simply don't know, and I'm here for you to tell me.
-I'm going to squash the Indian bit completely.
This technique of inlaying hard stones, stained ivory,
mother-of-pearl into a lacquer ground,
-is known in Japan as shibayama and we see it quite a lot.
And my first impression was, shibayama.
This is far better technique than the Chinese could do.
That's what I THOUGHT.
-But I'm now convinced that this is Chinese.
The thing that convinced me that we were looking at
a Chinese object was this saddle cloth.
-That technique of simply incising lozenges as...
with little flicks is characteristically
-Chinese and not Japanese.
But if you look at this man's face.
-That is a Chinese face.
The Japanese would... Even if they were trying to do a Chinese face,
-it wouldn't look like that.
-It would be much more characteristically Japanese.
Because they can't escape from that.
-Then you start looking at it and you think,
that detail, that would never be Japanese,
and suddenly the whole thing implodes and becomes something different.
And I love that, you know, let's prove ourselves wrong.
And it's a very rare plaque indeed.
-Which would have stood on a scholar's table.
There is a very fair chance that this is 18th century and I think
we're looking at a price of somewhere around
£8,000 to £10,000.
Well, 15 for insurance, if you insist.
Thank you so much.
-I went to visit my aunt about 20-odd years ago.
And she'd got it in a display cabinet.
And she said, "What do you think that is?"
And I thought, "Well it's a cricket ball from when my grandfather used to play cricket above W G Grace."
And he would have liked to have been professional but, erm,
my grandmother said she'd divorce him.
-She wasn't going to become a cricketer's widow!
-No, very good.
-So my aunt said, "Go and get it out of the display cabinet
"and give it to me."
I couldn't believe it when she opened it up, it was,
-you know, magic.
-Do you love it?
And it IS magic, because you open it
and there on one side are the heavens
with all the signs of the zodiac and the heavenly bodies depicted.
-And then you have the terrestrial globe
and I'm going to put the other glove on
because the varnish on these globes really is such
that you shouldn't really touch the varnish ungloved.
I presume you handle it always at home with gloves. Do say yes.
I'm sorry. No!
-I think from now on, just do be a little bit careful with it.
The first thing to do is to see if there are clues to the date
and what's lovely here is that you do have a clue with the name
Captain Cook and the details of his particular journey.
Then twisting it round, I also like to look at some of the places
to see what they had discovered, and if we look at Australia
for instance, we can see that it's called New Holland,
but also we can see that Tasmania is still attached,
they haven't quite worked out that Tasmania is an island,
so that's a little clue.
And going round, let's see what else we have that might be interesting.
Early on, you often find that California
is indicated as an island
because again they hadn't worked out that it was a peninsula,
and here they HAVE done that exploration
and worked out that it's attached to America.
And then finally we have the detail of the maker,
"New Globe of the Earth".
Now, as far as date is concerned, I would have said
that we're right at the end of the 18th century,
perhaps the beginning of the 19th century,
so 1780 through to 1810, perhaps, and that was a time when really
the coffee houses were the centre of intellectual exchanges.
New inventions, new discoveries were discussed at the coffee houses
and you can imagine some swell in the latter part of the 18th century
would come in, and they'd compare their globes.
Somebody might have Captain Cook's second expedition,
whereas somebody else may only have his first expedition.
It's a bit like having an internet search engine in your pocket
in the 18th century!
-You love it, you say.
-Well, you're in good company,
there are lots of people out there who also love it
and I would have said at auction we'd be talking about...
certainly £3,000 and perhaps a little bit more than that
and the reason that I say that
is actually last week I tried to buy one and I was outbid,
so I know that the market is really, really buoyant at the moment.
It's a little treasure and I'm so pleased that you brought it in.
Have you ever really stood back and looked at this?
No, I don't think I have.
This is timeless, this shape, it could be modern Japanese,
it could be very early Oriental,
it could be anything. It's an organic shape, it could be a bronze,
-it could be... It's just classic.
And there is Granny, Great-Granny...
-Yes, my great-grandmother, yes.
-..sitting in the chair, in the sunshine,
-She was already sitting in a chair 400 years old.
This chair is 16th century, round about the time of Henry VIII
-or his daughter, Elizabeth I.
But look at the way it's constructed. A, the shape,
these great boards coming out each side.
-A strut underneath all tenoned and pegged
so there is a mortise and a tenon. The tenon is the bit that lives in,
-as in tenant.
-These are pegged through with willow pegs,
but just look at that,
the man who formed that just got that shape right
and just took a simple scraping off each side to make that
really very smart, very smart.
-And then to think that they were bending
large sheets of thin-cut timber. The precision with which
they had to cut that to that thickness, or that thinness, really,
And then he didn't just join these two top pieces, he overlapped them,
so he cut that piece under there and that piece over there.
But over the years that sort of wore loose, that's why you've got
so many nails and pegs in there.
The first time you would have only had two.
-So very sophisticated for this period.
And it's made of oak which was extremely expensive timber,
this came from the Baltic rather than English oak.
-It was imported, and so it would have come from
a house of some considerable importance
to have that much thought and skill go into making the chair.
Then we look at this basic shape, now this type of arm you find
-from the 16th century...
..in one form or another in areas of the UK for the rest of time,
-I mean, we still make it today.
But in the 16th century, you find it on the east coast of Scotland,
and all the way down, you find this arm. Why?
Because it looks French, it was a French form, that arm.
It got smaller, sometimes fatter.
-But it's still there.
Most of the English form was always...
-The arm went that way, right?
And then this developed into stick-back chairs
and all types of what we call Windsor chairs,
was from primitive design like this.
It's absolutely fabulous,
it's like a bit of old iron, it's just wonderful.
I have actually taken a sit and it's not too bad, it's quite comfortable.
-No, it's fairly strong still!
-So now where do you keep it?
Well, it's just kept in my mother's house, just tucked away in a corner
and nobody actually sits on it any more.
Why don't you sit in it?
-Come on, come and sit in it.
And tell me if that's...
-It is quite comfortable really, yes.
-You could watch the Roadshow sitting in it.
-I could do, yeah!
-Well, I hope you do.
-That's a good idea.
If it should ever leave your possession for any reason,
-and I'm sure it won't...
-..its next rightful place would be in a museum.
-Oh, right, OK.
This is of sufficient importance - not value, but historic importance -
to be in a museum.
We have to talk values, out of interest.
-And it's very, very difficult for something which is not unique
-but extremely rare.
In a commercial market today, I would value this between
-£6,000 and £8,000.
I never thought it was going to be anywhere near that.
I was lucky enough to come up here a couple of days ago
and walking through Hereford Cathedral close
on a fairly typical tour of the city, I came across what is obviously
a larger version of this, a remarkable statue, I thought.
What is the connection?
This is the maquette of the statue of Elgar with his bicycle...
-..unveiled about two years ago to commemorate the 100th anniversary
of Elgar coming to live and work in Hereford.
So he was a son of the city, almost.
His mother was a Herefordian.
So he was a son of Herefordshire by both descent and residence.
And cycling was a great source of inspiration and relaxation.
And can you imagine what it was like cycling round here 100 years ago, roughly?
-No cars, just the odd farm wagon...
Total silence, peace, bliss, no danger, it must have been wonderful.
We can't ignore this either, can we?
-Tell me about it.
It's a Royal Sunbeam bicycle of the period and make
which Elgar would have cycled round Herefordshire and Worcestershire on.
Right, this not his clearly, or I presume not.
-No, it's of the period and make of his bicycle.
This was a Rolls-Royce bicycle in its day, it was very expensive
and it had features that most other bicycles wouldn't have had.
It had gears, it had brakes - very effective brakes on both wheels -
and it had this totally enclosed chain so there were no problems
with maintenance. The dust of the road
would wear out chains very, very quickly and this is a wonderful...
It's actually a very good example, and you paid how much for it?
I think that's very good value, and he had a nickname for his bicycle, didn't he?
Yes, Mr Phoebus, after the god Apollo,
the God of light, enlightenment and appropriately, poetry and music.
And in fact the inscription round the statue, and the maquette,
is one of Elgar's. "This is what I hear all day,
"the trees are singing my music or have I sung theirs?"
Isn't that beautiful?
FLOWING ORCHESTRAL MUSIC PLAYS
Now, I believe this is something of a family affair
-because I know you two are sisters.
But you've brought along a couple of your relatives, is that right?
-That is correct.
-OK, so just introduce me to the elder of the two.
Well, yes, now this is Marguerite and her maiden name was Heathfield
and she married a very wealthy German and they lived in Leipzig,
-and he was a minor poet and a bookbinder.
-But, anyway, that is the daughter.
-And this is the daughter?
-Lilian, she's known as Aunt Daisy in the family.
-That's Aunt Daisy.
-And did you ever get to meet her?
She lived to over 100.
-Oh, did she?
-I went to her 100th birthday party.
That's a pretty good innings!
And Lilian lived until 1993.
So she could have actually turned up 30 years ago
to the very first programme that we made in Hereford?
Yes, but I think she lived in India at that time.
-That would have been a bit of a trek!
Well, it's interesting that you said Leipzig
because it's all in a name, isn't it?
-And I can see the sculptor's name on here is, er...
And Pfeifer himself was born in Leipzig
-then he went on to Berlin...
-And he IS a great sculptor.
That's very interesting...
I always thought they were beautiful and when we were moving house when I was first married,
there were these two shrouded things outside the house
and I said to my husband, "What are those?"
and he said, "Those are the busts",
and I said, "They're too beautiful to be shrouded in sacking!"
But if I can just look... Can we just start with...
-Her, yes, Aunt Daisy.
-I can call her Daisy, can't I?
Oh, yes, absolutely. She doesn't mind!
-She doesn't mind!
Because this is marble, white Carrara marble,
I mean, you're looking at the time of the Great War...
-Yes, about 1919.
-1919 and here's a costume which is so typical
of the age and the beads. Now, the beads...
-I've got those here.
-You've got them there.
Can I be so bold...? I don't know if they'll fit over her.
I did try, actually.
Can we give it a try? Because I think it's only right.
-Well, there you go, but the actual material is what?
-They certainly look the part.
-I feel very honoured,
I was given this after I was given the bust and I didn't know for some time
-that this was the necklace.
-Well, there you go.
-She told me.
Can we just look at. .
-No, she's Lilian and...
-I want to give Lilian a bit of a turn if I may.
-And the reason I want to turn her round is...
She's got the hairstyle.
It's wonderful, isn't it?
And she lived, as I say, she was 87, I think, when she died,
and she spoke about seven languages.
-All with a strong Germanic accent.
What is important is that in my business
-I see so many busts of quality...
..but they're never inscribed with whoever the sitter is.
-It's so frustrating but with something like this
it's very important that you make a record -
I'm not going to say chisel it in -
-but a record of exactly who they are.
Cos it means so much more. So after that,
if this turned up in an auction, I would expect her to be estimated
at somewhere around about maybe £800 to £1,200,
and size isn't everything,
-and I think youth could push this girl to £1,000 plus.
That's very nice to know. Thank you.
-Not at all, it's nice for the introduction.
-I got it from a house clearance...
..in about 1981 and it was obviously smashed
so I paid very little for it, but I love the painting
and I've always been interested in Greek myths.
Right, do you remember what you paid for it then?
Which I thought was quite a lot for a very cracked plate.
It's broken, of course,
but the clue to the story is here written on the back,
you've got the inscription there, "Andromeda et Persio, 1545",
and that's the date it was made.
I wondered if it was a forgery, you see,
I thought it could have been made to look old for the tourist trade,
that was my thought, but I've always wondered if it was genuine.
Yes, 1545, it was made in that year
and that's the reign of Henry VIII we're going back to.
Yes, that's tremendous.
-But English pottery was pretty crude at that time.
But this is from Italy where it was the Renaissance
and of course what we have here is a Renaissance masterpiece.
It is a great thing, it was known as an istoriato piece
and istoriato plates literally are story-telling plates.
You'd learn your Bible stories and your myths from these pieces.
And the best of these painted plates were made at the town of Urbino
and that's where this was made in 1545 and it tells the story
of Perseus and Andromeda and there is Andromeda bound to the tree...
-..and being terrorised by this extraordinary sea monster
which is really quite ferocious, isn't he, there?
-So there's Perseus.
-And he's fighting an enemy
presumably off at the side there and the nice thing about maiolica -
the name for the early Italian pottery -
is the colours are sealed within the glaze. When this was made
it was painted straight onto the melted glass of the glaze
and fired in the kiln, and when it came out,
these were the colours you saw, so it hasn't changed.
And this isn't just ordinary painting either,
there were many painters working at Urbino, but I feel
-this is really quite a good hand.
It's going to be one of the masters, I think it might be
a painter named Orazio Fontana but they are hard to pin down.
Even broken to pieces, it's still a special piece,
it's still quite a valuable piece,
certainly worth a bit more than £4.50!
I mean, as it stands I would think we're probably looking at, broken,
My grandfather gave it to my mother.
Really? What a lovely present.
And it was... I would think that he bought it at auction.
-Erm, between the wars.
And what kind of man was your grandfather?
Yes, my grandfather... Erm...
A very interesting man and very much into art and music.
Well, he obviously knew his pictures because this is an absolute beauty.
-It's by John Lavery, as I'm sure you know.
I mean, he's just this consummate artist, everything he touched
just had this extraordinary confidence and bravura...
There seemed to be nothing he couldn't do with a brush,
it seems to me.
He was born in Belfast and he worked for most of his life in Glasgow, actually,
so, you know, you've got this Irish-Scottish thing,
but in between and after having been to art school in London,
he ended up in Paris and that's when it starts to get interesting.
He was lucky enough to get to Paris
in a rather unusual way, actually.
His studio in London burned down.
-It did, razed to the ground and with the insurance money
it was enough to get him to Paris and to the Academie Julien
where he studied, but whilst there... This is a very exciting time,
in the 1880s, to be in Paris, everyone was there. You know,
the influence of Degas, Manet... In fact he painted a picture
called The Fishers... The Fishermen, which was hung
right next to Manet's Bar At The Folies-Bergere
in the salon of that year, which is just to give you some idea
of what this picture comes out of. And when you look at it,
you can see the influences of people like Degas, this black -
I mean, nobody used black like Degas used black and Manet as well -
and I think you can see that in this picture.
But don't you think he painted it very quickly outside?
Yes, probably, yes, yes.
-Has that feel...
-Yes, yes, hm.
..with dappled sunlight coming through with the slightest touch
and it's quite thinly painted in areas, I mean if you look up here,
that's just the background really,
this darker area here, and then you've got
these really thick slabs of paint to suggest where the light
is at its strongest, like these leaves above her head
and the side of her face there, that's just one single brush stroke.
-And the child's head is sort of limned in gold by the sun
but seen through that parasol which is very brilliantly highlighted
with just a few confident strokes,
you know, he just wants to get to that lovely light.
But what's fascinating is how well the picture comes together
just with a few strokes.
-It's a shorthand, isn't it?
Which, clumsily done, you would never be able to understand
the structure of the painting, but in the hands of a master
-It just comes together.
Well, now, I suppose he didn't pay too much for it in 1920-whenever,
-did he? Do you know?
I think this picture is going to be something in the region of
£200,000, £250,000, that sort of thing.
-Oh. How nice!
-At its very best.
Yes, my mother always rated it.
-Oh, thank you very much.
-Yes, thank you very much.
For some people, it's hard to imagine a Sunday tea-time without the Antiques Roadshow.
I mean, what did we do? Stare into space, vaguely aware that something was missing from our lives?
Well, that gap was filled exactly 30 years ago here in Hereford
and the man who introduced us to the Roadshow habit -
he was the host of the show that first day - is Bruce Parker.
Bruce, you have a very great deal to answer for! How did it all start?
Well, the big auction houses were doing their own roadshows in towns
and cities all over Britain where people were invited to have their antiques valued.
A BBC producer, Robin Drake, thought it would make good TV
and he came to see me in my Hampshire house,
discussed it with me and said, "Will you join me?" you know, and that was it.
Were you nervous?
Yes, because we didn't know what was going to happen.
I think the BBC put some adverts in local papers
but we didn't know if anybody would turn up.
-But they did.
-They did indeed.
The doors opened, and in they flooded and by the middle of the day
we realised that we were going to have some problems here with crowd control
because there were great queues. They were behaving themselves -
people who collect antiques are civilised -
and so everything went off all right,
but subsequently we had to have security people and crowd control.
Well, it's still, as you see, very well supported, lots of people.
Has the atmosphere changed at all?
I think it was a bit formal in those days, and looking back at some of the recordings
of the original Antiques Roadshows, I mean, we're all very plummy,
not just me, but the experts as well. I mean, we had that, "How did you come by this?"
And I think some of the experts too were a little bit hectoring
and very formidable, actually.
Might be a good idea to have the enamel cleaned
because it's very dusty inside and slightly discoloured.
Might have put some oil on it at one time.
And people always leave them on top of the mantelpiece over the fire
-which is really the worst place for them.
Yes, it was all rather frightfully-frightfully in those early days!
-Ever so, ever so.
-Rather. But then, as now, like everyone, you were looking for a good valuation,
but a good story to go with it is what you wanted.
Exactly, always the story clinched it.
Mind you, it wasn't always all that smooth.
I remember an argument between the expert and somebody who'd brought in a plate.
She said, "How old's that?" and they said, "Well, it's 1910",
and she said "Oh, no, no, it can't be 1910",
and he said, "Well, it is, because the marks show it's 1910".
She said, "No, no, no, my mother was 90 and she was given it
"by her mother and she died when she was 90
"so it's got to be 180 years old."
Well, you could make a TV set an antique on that basis!
And indeed people came in, they really didn't know what they'd brought in.
The shape is what's known as a bourdaloue and it was used
by ladies in church to relieve themselves during the long sermons.
And originally it had a cover and the reason it's called a bourdaloue
is because the man who preached very long sermons in France, Father Bourdaloue,
went on for two or three hours sometimes and ladies had to relieve themselves during his sermons
and this dates, I should think, from about 1750,
possibly 1760 and, erm, the value of it...
-You haven't got its cover have you, by any chance?
Without its cover and with a damaged handle,
it's probably in the order of £100 to £150.
So you never know, you could be sitting on a fortune!
During that first series you worked with the master storyteller, didn't you?
The master, Arthur Negus, of course, yes, and he was absolutely masterly
as well with the public and he really got on well with them.
Mind you, some producers got really cross with him because he somehow shied away from the value of things
and of course the thing we like about this show is very often the value,
but he'd say to people, "You don't want to know the value, do you?
"You just take that home and take good care of it,"
and of course it wasn't quite what the audiences wanted, but he did know how to bring things to life.
-It's really a fortune-telling doll isn't it?
Because there she is, all dressed as it were
in a crinoline and you fiddled it and twiddled it about
and lo and behold you could take any one you wish.
You just pick one and let's see what luck we get between us.
-"You will live free from want, and have...
-wherewithal to do good."
You couldn't have any better advice than that, could you?
No fortune-teller could guess the show would still be going after 30 years. Are you amazed,
and perhaps a bit proud?
Very proud to have been part of, and the start of, what is now a national institution.
It's been a winner, hasn't it? And it's obviously going to continue.
Well, this is a Jungle Book brooch, isn't it?
It's the King of the Swingers... Have you worn it?
I have, on an evening dress.
And...and I think one couldn't hope for a piece of diamond jewellery
to be more inspired in its composition, could you?
-I mean, it's a fantastic thing, a monkey on a trapeze, isn't it?
And it's the sparkle of the diamonds and the little ruby eyes...
-Ruby eyes, yes.
-And then, pearls at the end of the trapeze.
-On pure gold. Well, it's a complete delight, isn't it?
-I'm the King of the Swingers, Jungle VIP.
And he's certainly reached the top because in a way
this is the absolute top of Edwardian jewellery, really,
it's top in its composition, it's top in its craftsmanship
and it's top for us now
because it has a sort of theatricality about it
that people would want very, very much.
Tell me about its history with you.
Well, I've had it for the last 20-odd years,
it was bought for my grandmother
about 100 years ago from a Hereford firm.
Oh, yes, we see it on the lid, so it's of local interest.
Yes. And it's a beautiful box, actually, lined with blue silk velvet
with a white satin lid with the supplier's name on it.
And I've got a funny feeling that these things are inspired by
Japanese art. There's a sort of obsession with monkeys
in Japanese folklore
and I've got a funny feeling that the jeweller who decided to make
this highly amusing brooch had seen Japanese examples,
perhaps in pottery or in glass.
I haven't a shadow of doubt that this little brooch
comes from the early 20th century, I think somewhere about 1902-1910,
perhaps, does that fit in with your family history?
Yes, it would, my grandmother would have been married around 1900.
And do you have any photographs of her wearing that?
Yes, because she was a lady from a wealthy background
-and it would have been worn in the afternoon.
A little tea-brooch, how marvellous, wow.
-And did you know her?
-Yes, very well.
And what kind of a person was she?
Very quiet, gentle, pleasant, typical Edwardian lady, really.
-Yes, yes, but very kind.
Ah, so in a way that means a lot, the value of this object
-lies in that memory of her really for you, doesn't it?
-Oh, yes, yes.
And then to return to something rather more sort of intrinsic,
I suppose. Have you ever had it valued?
Yes, I have, about 20 years ago when it was given to me when she died,
cos she lived to be 100, and I was told then about £400.
We can safely add a nought to that and we might take it even a little bit further.
If this turned up at a specialist sale and two people wanted it very badly,
-it might fetch £6,000, something like that.
Because it IS diamonds, it IS diamonds,
and it's monkey business,
it's a complete delight and I was so thrilled to find it.
Well, we don't really know where they came from,
I inherited them from my grandfather.
In fact, my wife loved them so much,
she said to my mother, "Please, eventually, can I have them?"
and my mother said, "Well, why not have them now before I move on?"
So my wife actually has had them for the last 15 years but before that
my grandfather lived in Europe, before that Hong Kong,
so we don't actually know where he got them.
He obviously had, you know, a quirky eye because these are not
the sort of thing that would appeal to everybody,
but let's just have a look...
Now, that's interesting, cos in here, it's got a fitting,
so do you put a lamp in it?
Yes, you can actually put a lamp in and they look great
on the mantelpiece lit up, there are lights for these two.
This one I think, we can't, we can't do that,
but these two look absolutely beautiful
at Christmas with the lights on.
Now, look, if we turn it upside down even further,
it says "Made in Italy",
so would he have been in Europe in about 1920?
Well, yes, he actually retired from the Indian Army,
he was invalided out and he retired to Switzerland
-late '20s, early '30s.
-So he probably got it...
Well, that ties up quite well cos I think they date from
the late '20s early '30s. And of course the art of glass
-and glass beads is very much an Italian thing.
It has a long tradition, we had beadwork in England
in the 16th century,
bead work as ornamentation, and we think of it as being
very Victorian but these are pretty modern in our terms.
-They're sort of new antiques.
1920, 1930. But they are so decorative,
the colour is just so vibrant and of course with a light inside it,
-I mean, I should think this parrot just sort of...
-Yeah, well, actually,
although I didn't bring the lights, I brought a torch and...
I don't know if it will show up, but...
Oh, fantastic! The colour is just fantastic.
So on your mantelpiece with the lights dimmed,
they look really great
and we've never seen any others like it before.
I've never seen... I mean, for my money
this is my favourite, I think he's completely wonderful,
all the different colours and variations,
-brilliant for Christmas Day.
-They're great, yeah.
My wife's favourite, actually, is the parrot, she loves that one.
Well, that's quite interesting, cos actually I think
it's going to reflect on the values that I'm going to put on them.
The cockerel here, I'm going to put a value of
-somewhere between £500 and £600.
Moving on to the pheasant,
£800 to £1,000, and my favourite, the parrot,
I think it could be worth as much as
When I was a kid I'd go to the pictures and sometimes
a slide would flash up saying "Would Mr Thompson of Copthorne Avenue return home at once."
-But you've got a more romantic story than that.
this is a slide for a request for a tune to be played on the organ
from my father for my mother and myself.
-So your father was obviously away at the time?
This was 1945 so he was in the 1st Battalion,
the Cheshire Regiment at the time.
Well, here's the letter that came with the slide.
"Dear Mrs Strangward, I intend to play your husband's request item
"on Monday and during the week except Friday."
Sounds like Family Favourites!
"If you would like to possess the slide
"used for this announcement,
"kindly call at the Manager's office at any convenient time
"during the following week. Yours faithfully, Frank Slater."
-So what does the slide say?
-It says, "Private Sidney Strangward,
"1st Battalion, the Cheshire Regiment,
"desires me to play When Day Is Done
"as an offering to his wife and Sandra,
"at 16 Maylord Street."
-What did your mum think?
-She must have been very pleased
to have gone and collected the slide.
It was something my godmother grabbed
to take into the prisoner of war camp, Changi, in Singapore.
We believe it was a rubber-tapper's bowl
and there were plenty of those around.
Absolutely, in Peninsular Malaya this rubber-tapper's bowl
-would have been...
-A common thing.
Absolutely, lying around everywhere, so Changi was the prison
that the British had built in Singapore and became
the prisoner of war camp for 3,500, 5,000...
I don't know how many people ended up in Changi prison...
-..after the British surrendered to the Japanese in 1942.
-The conditions were...
-So, this little bowl
-were your godmother's rations for the day?
And everything, and her water and everything was in that for the day.
And she never talked of it.
Tell me about the book you've brought in.
The book was written by one of her co-prisoners of war
and it tells of their time in there.
One of the plates that I found particularly interesting
is this one here,
the view of the interior of one of the areas in Changi
where the author of this book lived, and presumably
-your godmother's conditions must have been very, very similar.
Tell me about her as a person,
how is that she survived when so many others didn't?
She had a wonderful spirit and that was with her always,
it was a strong inner core and she was a generous, spirited person,
a wonderful Scot, she was a Scot through and through
-and I mean she was alive...
Indeed, and if she was alive today and she could see Scotland getting its independence,
-she'd be there at the front.
-She'd be waving the flag!
-So it's a little bowl that has nothing to say,
yet it says everything.
It has no value but actually...
It is magical.
We store it in one of our most precious parts of our cabinet
with everything that's precious... and it's hers.
-Thank you very much for bringing it in.
-You're welcome, thank you.
Well, when I first saw these two pieces of jewellery,
my eyes nearly came out on organ stops because I recognised in them,
a sort of handwriting and there was absolutely not a shadow of doubt
in my mind that they were made by a very particular Victorian jeweller.
You tell me what you know about them.
I actually know nothing about them.
-That's why you brought them.
And tell me, how did they come to you?
-From my mother-in-law.
Who got them from her mum, they came out to Africa
and I brought them all the way back, that's all I know really.
-Fantastic, and you enjoy wearing them?
-I love it, yes.
I can tell you quite a lot about their history.
-Because rather conveniently, never mind the "handwriting" of them,
they're signed on the back.
-Have you ever wondered about these funny little tabs here?
It says "C & A G" on the back.
-That's a little trademark almost of,
I have to say, THE most famous jeweller
-working in the 19th century in London.
And this business was founded in 1860 by a man called Carlo Giuliano
and it became very successful. It moved to Piccadilly in 1874
and then it was very frequently visited
by a very interesting clientele indeed, certainly Queen Victoria,
later Queen Alexandra, Ellen Terry, Heinrich Schliemann...
the man that discovered Troy - took the jewellery that he found
at Troy and he had assumed had been made for Helen of Troy,
to Giuliano's to be assayed. His opinion was very highly regarded
about antique jewellery and he made modern jewellery
to reflect that, in the Greek, Roman and Renaissance tastes.
Very happily his sons, Carlo and Arthur took over the business
and it's by Carlo and Arthur Giuliano that these two pieces are made,
so we can date them very confidently to within 1895 and 1914.
And this particular jewel here is in the Renaissance manner
-and it's decorated with, as you've probably guessed, enamel on gold.
And it makes a reference to English Renaissance jewellery
in the sort of rather subdued palette, the black and white enamel.
Do you like that subdued palette? Do you wear that one?
I do, yeah, I do.
Wear it what, on a chain literally round your neck and...?
-That's very good because there's a little natural pearl there.
-That picks up nicely,
-Sapphires and rubies and diamonds.
This one, I think in a way he's relying more
on the power of the gem stones for its charm.
Put that on your wrist there,
it looks very slinky-malinky, isn't it?
-Gorgeous, isn't it?
-It is, and the stones are interesting too
because they're cabochon stones, they're not faceted,
they're in the round.
Cabochon sapphires, moonstones, cabochon chrysoberyls
and very pale rubies.
So here are two, I think, absolutely marvellous examples
of Giuliano's work.
The output's very rare
because it was a very small organisation. And it may have been
a small output but it's eagerly sought after
by a band of collectors today and I haven't the slightest hesitation
in suggesting to you that that would fetch
-£7,000 or £8,000 alone.
And, well, frankly, what's wrong with
about another £7,000 or £8,000 for that one?
Oh, thank you.
-£7,000 or £8,000!
-Yes, I promise you.
Time to wring out our hankies after our sentimental return to Hereford,
scene of the very first ever Roadshow, and after 30 years still a very nice place to be.
The countryside is like something from a Rupert Bear manual...
the River Wye and the cathedral and, I'm told, some very nice cider.
Altogether perfection, so, many thanks to the people of Hereford, the Herefordians,
for having us back, and from the Courtyard Centre for the Arts, goodbye.
Michael Aspel and the team kick off their 30th anniversary celebrations with a tantalising taster of the special locations to come in this series. To get the party started they return to Hereford, the city where it all began in 1977. The Courtyard Theatre hosts the homecoming.