Michael Aspel and the team visit East Kirkby airfield in Lincolnshire, where many treasures are examined and a few wartime memories are shared in the shadow of a Lancaster bomber.
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This week the Roadshow has come to Lincolnshire,
to the village of East Kirkby.
This part of Britain has a vast amount of sky,
which is why in the 1940s, it was chosen as the setting off point
for a group of young men
whose mission was to inflict as much damage as possible
on their country's enemy and to protect a way of life.
Many of them went off into that sky. Not all of them returned.
This is what they flew - the Lancaster Bomber.
Over 40 of these planes were stationed here. They all had names.
This survivor was christened "Just Jane".
She's one of only three operational Lancasters left in the world.
There were seven crew members. The most dangerous job was generally
agreed to be the rear gunner who sat alone and exposed to the enemy
in outside temperatures of minus 40 degrees.
Most of them didn't survive more than four missions.
The airfield and its buildings,
30 miles outside Lincoln, have been meticulously restored
to commemorate the days of Bomber Command.
This is the original World War II
control tower - some say it's haunted.
And a chill is felt sometimes in this room,
although when it was in use, it must have got pretty hot in here.
This was the operational heart of the airfield
where ground controllers talked pilots through their take-off
and then waited anxiously for their hopeful return.
In 1981, two brothers, Fred and Harold Panton, bought part of the defunct East Kirkby airfield
and gave it a new name.
Creating the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre has been a labour of love for Fred and Harold.
Their brother Chris was one of those brave young men.
He died on a bombing raid over Nuremberg in 1944 aged just 19.
In the twenty-one months East Kirkby airfield operated, 844 men were lost
and of Bomber Command's total force of 132,000,
more than 55,000 died in the defence of their country.
The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre aims to make sure
those extraordinary times are not forgotten.
Thank you, all out, please.
Perhaps there'll be a few more reminders among the items we'll see
in today's Antiques Roadshow.
-Success to Lord Rodney.
-Do you know who he is?
-Haven't got a clue.
-Do you know how old it is?
No, that's why I brought it here.
OK. Well, it's rather appropriate we're on an airfield. After all,
the aircraft is the modern weapon of war,
but in the 18th century, the lethal modern weapon of war was actually the ship.
-The ship, yes.
-And this man
was one of the most important admirals in the British Navy in the 18th century.
If Lord Nelson hadn't been as famous as he became, especially after Trafalgar,
you could argue that this man might have been our Lord Nelson.
Just looking at the portrait, it's fantastically well done.
He was born in 1719
-and he died in 1792, which is a very good and long career.
If we turn him round, we can see he's a jolly tar, because there he is -
his sailor's pigtail.
If you were a successful man of war - sailor - in the British Navy
in the 18th century, it meant that you could potentially
become incredibly rich, because you captured all the ships as prizes,
-you took a share of all the money, you passed the money out amongst all the crew.
It was, it was legalised piracy.
Now this guy, Lord Rodney was mustard-hot on getting prizes,
and there were a lot of disputes between himself and parliament
as to how much he and his men were entitled to.
Anyhow, in the Seven Years War, in the 1750s-60s,
this man actually thwarted a French invasion of England.
-So an incredible hero.
-Now, the question is...
is this mug as old as the man depicted?
He died in 1792 and this was probably made some time during the 1780s.
-And at this time, he'd become an MP,
he'd lost a fortune, he'd made another fortune and some people were
against him, some for him, when it came to the elections.
This is an electioneering mug
and it says "Success to Lord Rodney".
Obviously it's pro-Rodney. It's damaged, got a hairline fracture,
but it's beautifully crisp.
-I like it. Do you like it?
-I like it very much.
-Do you think it's worth anything?
-Couple of hundred quid.
-A couple of hundred, yeah, I should think so.
To an English maritime collector, that's certainly £300 to £500.
Right, very nice.
The best one I've ever seen.
In 1787, Captain Cook stopped at a small group of islands. Those islands
we now know as Queen Charlotte Islands off British Columbia.
There, he encountered a group of people known as the Haida.
And for me, to have something like this arrive at the Roadshow
is an ambition fulfilled because I hope that objects
like this are going to turn up.
These are Haida carvings.
-In fact, one reason I'm so passionate about them is because I do have a piece at home.
I need to know where they come from, how you have them.
-Well, the story goes that my great grandfather was the Mayor of Rochdale.
And I understand that at that time,
Indian Chiefs were toted around towns in the UK and...
-What sort of date are we talking? Do you know?
-I think about the late 1800s.
-But I'm not absolutely certain about the date.
Um, and these were the personal gifts that the Chieftain gave
to my great grandfather and they were passed down through the family.
And then when this lady -
my aunt - died, they came to my mother
and my mother wouldn't have them
on display because she was a strict Methodist.
-What did she regard them as being? Pagan?
-I think idolatrous, that sort of thing.
She hid them in a drawer, then gave them to me, her wayward daughter.
-I see there's a photograph as well...
..with both items on the mantelpiece.
-And that obviously dates from the 1930s, that photograph.
-Seeing them in context here, beautiful, because it pushes the date
and it makes me absolutely confidant of their place in history
around about 1860-70
and is very characteristic of this period of carving.
They were a very interesting culture in that they had excess time
and they had excess time because they lived in a very bountiful place.
They were never short of salmon and game and natural materials
to live with, so they had time to develop their art.
After the earliest communications with Europeans, the Haida
started carving in this material, called argillite - a kind of shale.
-And what would they carve it with?
-Well, they carved with metal tools
essentially, or stone tools initially, but then metal tools
and then polished with shark skin and oiled, and the symbolism
-is extremely surreal and very, very complicated.
They made full-sized totem poles and these are kind of argillite models
-of their full-sized totem poles.
They were an interesting race as well because they actually
had what they called a "potlatch" culture.
And they were conspicuous consumers, they had spare time, they did art,
but they had so much spare time that they could keep making these things,
-so every year they would burn or give away all their possessions.
I know it sounds absolutely staggering, but it was a system that worked very well.
-Especially coming from such a basic sort of culture.
-They weren't basic.
The things that were given away would obviously be given to people who had already lost their things...
It was a kind of perpetuating system,
-and it meant that they produced quite a lot of material as well.
And this comes from that kind of culture and they're just
absolutely magnificent. I would love to have them myself.
I'm glad you like them and appreciate them.
-I always have done.
-It's an interesting one
because valuing these things is very difficult.
They don't come up for sale that often. In fact,
you can go on the internet and buy them, but the ones you buy
are modern versions done by modern living Haida artists, but because these are old,
they're a different matter.
I have no hesitation in putting
£1,500 to £2,000 on these two carvings.
-I think they're superb.
Oh, heavens, thank you.
So what can you tell me about the history of this?
Well, I want to know the history, I want to know about it,
because I've no idea what it is.
No, but where did you get it from?
Well, my parents had it before I was born. They married in
the '20s and I understand that it came from a Russian person
who fled the Revolution,
and she, um, bought it and gave it
-to my father because he'd been kind to her.
-But I don't know what it is.
-You can forget Russia.
You want to go west, south west.
You want to go to
South America because this nut fell from a tree in Brazil and instead of
splitting open, it's been put on a lathe and spun on a lathe...
-so that the outer surface has been cut away.
This little nipple turning has been made in the top.
And then it's been cut through and the nuts that are inside...
are brazil nuts.
-That's where the brazil nut comes from, within an outer nut which happens to be this nut...
which is pretty nutty, isn't it, really?
It's very, very strange.
Strange is not the word.
I think it's the most bizarre and wonderful object, I have to say.
-So Russia and fleeing from the Revolution...
But what would some nutcase pay for this, do you think?
-Well, actually, some nutcase would like it, because
it is a nutcase and it's been turned in this way.
-It was probably done maybe 100 years ago as a novelty.
-You shake it like that.
And you can hear the nuts running around inside.
-I think somebody would pay for that - a treen collector - perhaps £100 to £150.
So here we have "The Shakespeare Masonic Lodge, Stratford".
Now, therein lies the root of it all.
Yes, well this furniture originated in the Shakespeare Lodge,
Stratford on Avon which started in 1793.
Now that Lodge ceased functioning in around about 1932.
When they were setting up a Lodge here locally and one of the persons
who was helping to set it up,
was a prison governor and he came from Birmingham and he knew of this
furniture that was in storage and he bought it, the whole lot, for £15.
-So I suppose he paid about £1.50 for this chair, £1 for this.
Those were the days, weren't they?
So tell me a bit about Freemasonry. When was the first Lodge founded?
Well, history says that it was Solomon, King of Israel
-had the first lodge, but I don't think that's quite true.
Freemasons used to be the Masons Guild. Masons in the 1600s and 1700s
were running short of members, so to keep the guild going, they invited
famous local dignitaries to become honorary members and gradually,
the Masons Guild itself folded, and it changed into the Freemasons.
I would be really intrigued to know the ceremonial role of these
wonderful chairs for instance. Where do they fit into the whole scheme?
Well, this one
-with the plumes on is the Master's Chair.
And these two are his deputies.
Associated with each chair is a candlestick.
-So there are three of those.
-Three candlesticks, one for each chair,
and also the two deputies
have one of those each and it's a sign of authority.
And these fantastic globes?
Well, the globes, one of the world and one of the moon,
the celestial and terrestrial globes,
they're to signify that Masonry is universal.
Because you've got this wonderful gold filigree chains
and above them on each side, these beautiful little roundels in enamel and what looks like
fantastic quality silver and gold wire, which has been creating these
little medallions with a portrait inside,
-almost as if that's the original Grand Master.
-I've no idea who he was.
It's something that's been lost in the mists of time.
And these are supposed to be pomegranates.
Right, where do they actually sit in, in the Lodge? How is it arranged?
Is this here... Is that...
-that's exactly how the chair sits on top of there?
-Yes, these two globes are those,
a desk there and the Master's Chair is behind this pedestal.
-That is a glazed window which is in the wall behind there.
-Directly above it?
And here we have all the Masonic symbols.
Yes, all the Masonic symbols.
So the square and compasses and the all-seeing eye.
So where does this wonderful sort of Pythagoras's theorem?
It's called the Master's Tracing Board and as far as I'm aware,
it's the only one in existence in England.
I suppose the symbolism - it's supposed to teach industry.
Right, so here we have the Lodge founded in 1793.
What's interesting about the chairs is stylistically,
they're a little bit earlier, because they've got this wonderful sweep of the arm with these...
oval back coming into these arms that go straight into the top of the legs
and this is a constructional technique which was used by a firm
called Mayhew & Ince who were great contemporaries of Thomas Chippendale.
What's very interesting for me is that if we look at the construction, the underside,
we've got this cut-out here, called crab-cuts,
which is the way of gluing the joints on the backs of chairs,
and although not a signature thing, those are some of the hallmarks used almost exclusively by Chippendale
and by Mayhew & Ince only.
And so it appears that these chairs, and indeed the Grand Master's chair,
which these wonderful, sunburst and the Prince of Wales feathers, are all
later additions which have been put on,
actually had a former life, possibly not a Masonic life, because they
haven't got the Masonic symbols on the chairs or frames unlike some Masonic furniture,
but they actually were part of domestic furniture that was commissioned for a very grand house
and was then was given to the Lodge when it was founded in the 1790s.
This is an extraordinary group.
They are worth dramatically more than the £15 that was originally paid for them.
There are three of those wonderful candle stands, they're all from about 1790 when the Lodge was founded.
Three of those are worth probably £10,000 to £15,000.
Then we have our two...
pair of columns here for authority, the pair of those
which make wonderful objects, are probably worth £5,000 to £8,000.
Then we have the chairs.
The chairs - these wonderful 1770s Mayhew & Ince chairs -
this is probably worth £3,000 to £5,000.
That one is a bit closer to Gillows in the straightness of the leg,
is worth probably about the same, sort of £3,000 to £5,000
and this beautiful chair here is probably worth £6,000 to £9,000...
£7,000 to £10,000. And finally, the celestial
and terrestrial globes, and they're probably worth £12,000 to £18,000
so there are some pretty fantastic things here.
Pulling all those figures together, it gets to a grand total of £40,000 to £60,000, maybe even a bit more.
It's a very, very rare group.
Perhaps a trip to the Bahamas this year's in order for a holiday.
It's a bit cheeky for you to bring me this rather grubby menu from "La Dolce Vita, Newcastle upon Tyne,
"the North's most luxurious Night Club!"
But that's until I turned it over and...
fantastic signatures - Gerry of Gerry and the Pacemakers...
-The Beatles, all of them.
-And they said who they were. And Roy Orbison.
A very famous concert because Roy Orbison actually was the lead with follow-up by The Beatles.
But during that tour, they swapped.
And it says "To Margaret".
-But you're so young. You couldn't have been in a nightclub in 1963.
I wasn't. I was about 12 years old at the time, and my brother,
who was an entertainer, got them for me, because
he was appearing at Dolce Vita on that particular evening
and he woke me up at about 3 o'clock
in the morning when he come home, after finishing work,
and he said, "Got something for ye, I've got you these...
"One day, these boys will be famous!"
And I've had them ever since.
They're not a bad gift at 12 years old.
-Have you ever had it valued?
-Well, obviously, The Beatles signatures are the most valuable.
But to get everybody who appeared is very unusual.
For The Beatles to actually say who they were, George Harrison,
again most unusual, and good strong signatures, so you've got it all.
Um, to a collector,
we're probably talking about £4,000, £5,000, £6,000 at auction.
Oh, my goodness, oh.
So from all those years ago, as a free gift to you.
Oh, I'm amazed.
-A fantastic piece of memorabilia.
-Thank you, Eddie.
You seem to have brought me a rather burned and useless Portuguese bank note. What's the story of that?
It was retrieved from a crashed Lancaster Bomber
that had just returned from a raid over Germany,
-which, unfortunately, upon returning to the UK, crashed.
Some of this money was recovered from the aircraft because they used to carry this
in case they escaped from a burning aircraft and made their way to Portugal,
they'd always got some currency they could use to help them return.
Why did it come from the plane?
Well, my father was a Senior Medical Officer for Bomber Command 617 Squadron,
-which as you'll know is the Dam Busters Squadron.
He was based at Scampton and Swinderby and happened to be called to that site on that occasion.
I suppose that was one of the more ghastly parts of his job.
Yes, one of the more upsetting parts of the job which affected him very much.
One forgets that not everybody was shot down over Germany.
-Aeroplanes crashed here on their way back.
-Indeed, coming back.
-Much more distressing.
-Is that him?
-That is indeed him, before the war in Pittsmore in Sheffield,
-And proud of that little child.
I know. Isn't it sad? That turned out to be me.
You look just the same.
-Not a lot of difference, is there?
-Now what's this autograph book?
Is that part of the story?
That's really the main part of the story in that I used to be
invited to go to the Officers' Mess at Scampton on Sundays to have
lunch with my father who always said, "Bring the autograph book,
"because a lot of the pilots and crew will be there having lunch.
"Take your book round and ask if they'll be kind enough to sign it."
That must have been an extraordinary experience meeting those people.
It was. I had to be on my best behaviour because I was the only child in the Officers' Mess.
-And of course these were young men in their early 20s.
-So here we've got a page which lists several names.
Now these are the autographs you've got.
-Royal Australian Air Force, what have you.
But then it says "Killed", "Missing", "Presumed Killed", "Prisoner of War".
It's the saddest part of all because my father kept it up to date and...
these people unfortunately didn't come back from a lot of these raids.
So did you get any Dam Busters?
Well, Melvin Young was one of the really important pilots in the 617 Squadron.
We even went on holiday with him.
-Unfortunately he didn't survive long after that.
-He was a family friend?
-Yes, he was indeed.
-Did he actually die on the dams raid?
On the Mohne and Eder dams, that's where he lost his life.
-An extraordinary story.
-Very sad, but extraordinary indeed.
-So your father went on with a service career?
He left the Air Force at the end of the war in 1946
-and set up as a GP again after the war in Stratford-Upon-Avon.
-So he remained in medicine.
-Indeed, until he died.
-So his experiences in the war hadn't put him off.
No, but he loved the war, it was the sort of best thing that ever happened to him, rather sadly.
I think it was for lots of people. It was an excitement that was never going to be matched.
I've met so many people who've said, terrifying and frightening though they were,
those days were just so exciting.
He was a star in his own right, as a Senior Medical Officer,
-but then he finished up as an ordinary GP in Stratford-Upon-Avon.
-And life was never the same again.
That's right, the contrast was unbelievable.
Now this is wonderful personal memorabilia and wonderful documents and memories...
-It has value, I mean, we've got to talk about value.
-In a sense, the value of this, which is probably a few hundred pounds...
-..compared to what it's worth to you.
-But I've loved sharing this with you.
A word I've heard several times from visitors here to East Kirkby Airfield is "humbling"
and the people we have to thank for all of this here is brothers Harold and Fred Panton.
So you are farmers who... who bought an airfield?
Yeah, we bought part of this airfield in 1981.
It was the death of your brother that really prompted you to do this.
We done it as a memorial to bomber pilots, ground crew and whoever served in Bomber Command.
Did you know your brother very well?
-Were you close?
-Oh, God, we were yeah, very close, yeah.
-I used to go and meet him off the bus when he used to come home on leave.
I gather your father wasn't too keen on the idea of this.
No, no, he wasn't. He never really got over it, Father didn't.
He didn't want to know, we didn't even know really where he was buried until he asked me to go to
Germany for some photographs of where he was buried and that was in 1971.
-And we didn't know... We had to get the information we required
for me to go and find his resting place.
-Well, you must be totally satisfied with everything you've managed to achieve.
-Ah yeah, we are, yes.
We are, it's gone well. We're having a job to keep pace with it really because it's growing too fast.
You just don't know how big to go, but we think we're going
then it's, "You're not big enough" so we're having to keep expanding.
-Well, you keep doing it and they'll keep coming.
-Yeah, that's it.
Thank you very much on behalf of all of us for doing this.
All the memories here are not sombre ones.
People in those days really knew how to have a good time
and some of the stewards here have their own way of reminding us. Take it away.
BIG BAND MUSIC PLAYS
Well, I always think of these as being real sort of treasure chests.
It's a work box and I used to love playing with my grandmother's work box when I was younger,
finding all the little bits of elastic and strange hooks and things.
What's the story behind this one?
This one was my mother-in-law's, she died, and I inherited it.
-Everything inside is as it came.
-So totally untouched...
-..since the day you received it.
Despite the fact it's got all these little bits of shell which aren't from these shores as it were,
it's definitely made in England.
It's made of papier-mache. Sadly it's not by Jennings and Bettridge,
who were a Birmingham-based firm who used to make a lot of papier-mache trays and boxes,
but it's certainly an excellent example.
The good thing about it is that the gilding hasn't worn too badly,
because very often they do become quite sort of tired looking,
and, er, also there are sections of mother-of-pearl inset into the top.
-And then the people who made these then painted over the top,
so that you get this sort of rather nice iridescent glow coming through
to give a more three-dimensional look to this spray of flowers.
Let's have a look inside.
Oh, even better.
All the spools are here, now, so this...
-They've always been with this?
-You've not bought anything to go in here?
These would probably have
-been made in China, they're made to be slotted in here.
Now this is interesting.
That's some wax and the idea with that is that you'd have a thick cotton
and then to make it extra strong and sort of waterproof, if you like...
-..you would then wind the cotton around there.
-The box dates from around 1850 or thereabouts.
Oh, even better inside. This is much better than my grandmother's box,
which had all sorts of oddments in.
Lovely sections of silk ribbons,
-it's just a really nicely put together box.
-You obviously don't use it now.
-No, it's just beautiful to look at.
-It's sort of like a little museum really.
It looks as though at the end of the 19th century, or earlier this century,
nobody's used it, nobody's put anything else into it,
so just confirmation there on the lock plate "VR"
so we know it's Victorian.
What sort of value do you place on it?
I don't know, I hadn't thought of the value, um, £100?
It's worth more than that.
In such a complete condition, it must be worth in the region of £500.
-It's a really well put together work box.
Five hundred? That is lovely.
This print down here, woodblock print
looks just like a Sir William Nicholson.
I'm absolutely fascinated by the inscription because it says
"Skating with acknowledgement to Sir William Nicholson. Peter Blake 1980."
As we know, Peter Blake, the great pop artist,
one of his big things was he designed the cover for Sergeant Pepper's
and here it's inscribed on the bottom here "For Celia from Peter Blake."
And who's Celia?
And so why do you have this?
I worked for a design group
for many years, and every Christmas the partners of the design group
got together all their friends and their friends were all contemporary
artists of the time and each year we were given a little present...
-as a Christmas present.
-So Peter did this one in 1980?
And what is really nice about it...
when you buy a print, a woodblock, limited edition,
you want a nice small edition and here you have the number "8/60".
There are sixty like that.
I just think it's fantastic and it's such a personal thing for you to have that.
-And then we come up here, something very different by
who is a female artist.
When did you acquire that?
This has always been in my family
and Jose Christopherson
I believe was an art student with one of my great aunts who
studied at The Slade School of Art.
-And when do you think this was painted?
-I think it's about 1920-25.
Well, she was born in 1914,
so I think this is late '30s.
-And obviously going down to St Ives,
and as you know Ben Nicholson was in St Ives,
and Christopher Wood was in St Ives and she's very influenced by Christopher Wood.
I love this because it makes me laugh,
it's just so humorous.
It doesn't look like she's tried to do it, you know, really really perfectly,
just it looks like she wanted to have fun with it.
But when you look at this,
this is painted in watercolour...gouache
and it's very spontaneous, you know.
It's not contrived and it's just freehand and actually the strength
of line here is very, very good and I think it's fantastic because I've
never come across this artist, but that doesn't matter, you know.
Because the style, because we can date it, I think that would
-probably make £800 to £1,200 maybe £1,000 to £1,500 at auction.
The Peter Blake at the bottom here... this wonderful present you got...
I think that, one out of sixty, that's certainly worth £600 to £900,
it could make £1,000. I just think it's lovely.
Aren't we lucky?
Very, very lucky.
Well, I can see from a case like this that the contents are...
is going to be French and there they are.
That's what we call a demi-parure of jewellery, definitely French
and a demi-parure means a suite of jewellery in three parts.
So tell me about its history in your family.
It was a last minute purchase by my father, for a birthday present for
my mother, in 1944-45... at the end of the war.
I think he dived into a second-hand shop or a jewellery shop about five to six and just managed...
I think he paid about £3 for it.
-Three pounds! Well, it's certainly worth every bit of that.
-But it is a slightly sort of severe piece of jewellery...
-..to buy one's wife.
It's a cross, it's also decorated with forget-me-nots
which are very relevant I think
to its history, which I think you know a little bit about.
It's a commemorative piece made in 1871-72 to commemorate the
Franco-Prussian War and in this case the French were soundly trounced by
the Prussians and as a result Alsace-Lorraine, two provinces on
the western border were annexed by Prussia, later Germany, and the
French didn't get them back till 1919 at the Treaty of Versailles.
-So it's almost a sort of a mourning jewel.
There is a slightly gloomy character to it, it's made
of oxidised silver and gilt metal
and I think the message is pretty strong in the middle here
because this is what the French call myosotis.
that are gathered together with the French colours,
the colours of the flag, and it means "forget me not",
I suppose really for those people that died in that hideous confrontation, doesn't it?
And the "AL" in the middle of the cross presumably for Alsace-Lorraine.
The extraordinary thing is to try to imagine what kind of a woman would have worn those at the time.
I've a funny feeling that she was rather a sort of severe French lady,
probably dressed as a sort of rather terrifying widow character really, in sort of...
-I think so, sombre black I imagine and we think of her
turning up at a reception wearing this commemoration of a defeat.
So it's an extraordinarily unusual suite of jewellery
because jewellery's usually rather sort of joyful and in a way this
has a rather, rather morbid tone to it, but in a way
because it is highly evocative of, of history, it's beautifully made,
it's probably made in Paris, it's a collectable object,
it's the sort of thing a museum I think would jolly well like to have.
I think a French museum would be more pleased than anybody else to have it.
And, and with that comes the usual old chestnut of value.
Well, I think it's got to be worth about £800 of anybody's money today.
It's a great thing, a great one to see. It's a historic jewel and...
an enormous rarity, I've never seen anything like it.
Thank you very much for bringing it.
I say, your hair's looking pretty fab.
Thank you very much. It hasn't always been like this though.
-I used to have it right down my back.
-When would that have been?
1964, and what else happened to you in 1964?
-I went tenting.
And was that when you acquired this magnificent piece of kit?
This magnificent... it was, my husband bought
it me from a camping exhibition.
Well, it does say on the outside "the caravan hair dryer".
And I open it up, we can see what chic chicks were doing with their
-hair when they went caravanning in 1964.
-That was me.
Which was you? The chic chick.
-That was right.
Now, if we just take this thing out of the box and it's brilliant that
it's survived intact in its box, we can see a hard baked Bakelite case.
It says "mistral" on it which is kind of
a nice way of saying that this is a windy object, which is a hint as to
what it might eventually do, and lo and behold we have the hairdryer hose
to beat all hairdryer hoses, right?
But this is no ordinary gadget, because to generate the heat
in your caravan or tent,
you would set up a Primus stove under the bottom to heat the plate.
-You then take this wire off to your twelve volt battery.
Plug it into the battery, that gets the fan going, the fan goes
over the hot plate, the hot air comes out of the tube, right?
And if you wanted the special fitting,
-you get the paisley plastic bag...
It's a lovely bag.
..into which you insert your hosepipe and as a cool chick...
-I bet you're going to put that on me.
-I am going to put it on you.
-As a cool chick...
-..a cool chick in 1964,
this is how you do your hair.
I was beautiful.
-This is how you do your hair before you go down to the pub when you got out of the tent.
And that's what I think is so amazing.
Amazing, and I looked so beautiful after it was all finished.
-You look so beautiful...
-There you go.
-You look so beautiful now.
-With this on? Yes?
I think it's the most wonderful piece of equipment, I have to say.
-And what's it worth?
No idea, no idea.
-Well, you haven't got the faintest idea?
But there must be somebody somewhere that's collecting camping related equipment.
Yes, I think there must be.
-And for a really unusual thing like this...
-..in its box,
I reckon somebody would pay what?
Fifty quid for a good blow dry.
Probably, probably. Would you pay fifty quid for a good blow dry?
Now there's a question.
Well, first of all tell me where you got all of these things.
The one you're holding at the moment I bought that last year
in a local antique shop.
-And you paid?
-And I paid £60
for that one, hopefully that is Japanese or Chinese Imari.
And this one?
That one came from an antique shop in Yorkshire. That was bought by my
-mother-in-law actually for £14.
Yeah, I looked in one of the marks books as being William de Morgan.
Yeah, OK. Well, that's what it is, it's William de Morgan
and I would say it's actually quite a good price.
£14 for a piece of William de Morgan is pretty good.
-I mean I think he's one of the greatest ceramic designers of the 19th century.
And he uses this wonderful Persian colour scheme.
He is a wonderful artist and he trained in Italy, he was obviously
very, very keen on the arts of the Iznik potters, so a lot of
the colour schemes, these turquoises,
these lovely Persian blues are typical of the influence that...
So £14 is I would say, very, very good. What about the big one?
The big one, er, I've had that round about 8 or 9 years.
I bought it sort of on speculation probably. There was no ticket on it.
-So I decided after a while just to sort of speculate and hoping
that, er, it probably was an early 18th-century vase or...
-Early 18th probably.
-OK, that's what you're hoping for?
-How deep in your pocket did
you go for this, this would-be early 18th-century vase?
-I had to pay £1,000 for it.
-A thousand pounds?
A hard bargain. Actually it's quite a lot of money, isn't it?
Yes, which is what my wife thought when I went home with it.
I'm always interested to know
what is it that drives people's taste...
-A Japanese piece, a late 19th-century piece.
English, and then a piece of Chinese... Why?
Um, probably the, yeah, the Oriental design, Iznik design.
I like Chinese, Japanese.
-You basically have a sort of eye for Oriental works of art then?
-Yeah. Yeah, I think that's the...
how you'd probably link them all together.
Well, they link perfectly together
for somebody of the aesthetic persuasion of the late 19th century.
This is the sort of thing that the great China maniacs, people
like Charlotte Schreiber, James McNeill Whistler, Oscar Wilde,
all of these people who were interested in Oriental works of art,
they went for precisely what you've gone for.
I think you could be a reincarnated aesthete.
Let's just look at it, before seeing whether we can put you out of your misery
-or into even more misery.
First of all, it IS Chinese. The thing I particularly like about it
is this wonderful vibrant clash of colours on the collar of the whole piece,
this wonderful juxtaposition of under-glaze blue
and then over-glaze yellow, green and red.
It's actually quite a sophisticated production technique
because all of the blue that you see on there
-has been painted onto the jar before the jar was given a glaze.
The whole thing was then fired, and then came out of the kiln
and then had to go to the enamellers for lower-temperature firing.
If you look at these designs around the front, for example,
the painter had to imagine what this thing would look like
when all the colours were filled in,
so he did a bit of a rock down here, a bit of a leaf up here,
a few more leaves up here, and he had to remember that his colleague...
after the under-glaze blue firing...
was going to have to fill in all the bits in between.
So this would have come out of the kiln, looking rather naked really
and sort of rather strange, with bits of design all over the place.
Anyhow, the enamels are what we call the green family, the famille verte
group of enamels, it is Chinese, it comes from the fabled city of Jingde Zhen,
which is where almost all the porcelain we see in the great houses
and palaces of Europe came from.
It was made during the, the, the...
the reign of the Emperor K'ang-Hsi,
so I think if you say, late 1600s, early 1700s, that would be about right, so yeah,
it's a nice purchase.
£1,000, well we'll have to...
-I'm just going to think about £1,000.
Um, your Imari vase,
yeah, I mean, there's nothing particularly special, again
the same techniques that I've just described here, under-glazed blue
and over-glazed enamels.
That was made in the late 19th century, so I hope I'm not going to
-disappoint you when I say...
that its value is probably somewhere around what you paid for it.
-OK. The little...
I have a very soft spot...
so don't get too carried away by my enthusiasm,
because I have a real soft spot for William de Morgan. I think he's
a wonderful, wonderful designer and, and I think his pots are undervalued.
-Fourteen pounds was it?
Fourteen pounds, well I think that today it's probably somewhere in the
-region of let's say £5,000 to £8,000.
Five to eight?
Quite a nice little purchase actually.
My mother-in-law's just stood behind here.
-I am, very.
She gave it to me for my fortieth birthday.
Well, that was a lovely fortieth birthday present.
And the one you treated yourself to, to the horror of your wife, for £1,000...
Well, I mean, OK, we're not...
-In terms of design it's maybe not in the William de Morgan league.
But I think £1,000 is, that's not bad.
I think a thousand pounds is quite a reasonable buy.
It's probably worth somewhere in the region of, um...
well, with all of those cracks... £15,000 to £25,000.
GASPS OF ASTONISHMENT
You are, you are...
-I think he wants a taxi to take this home.
-Fifteen to twenty-five thousand?
I think it's a stunning piece.
I have no problem with that at all. AEROPLANE OVERHEAD
They're coming to take it away now.
I haven't been able to hear so well today, ever since I had that ride in the Lancaster.
Should have saved it perhaps for this glorious Spitfire.
Anyway, today's been a great experience for all of us
and a timely reminder of all the brave and remarkable things that happened here
so long ago, although to some of us, it doesn't seem that long ago.
From East Kirkby airfield in Lincolnshire, goodbye.
Michael Aspel and the team visit East Kirkby airfield in Lincolnshire, where all sorts of treasures are examined and a few wartime memories are shared in the shadow of a Lancaster bomber.