Exmouth Antiques Roadshow


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Exmouth

Michael Aspel and the team do some beachcombing at Exmouth on the Devon coast. They uncover finds which include a toy that once belonged to Jane Austen.


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We thought the team had been looking a bit peaky lately,

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so we've brought them down

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to Devon's first fashionable seaside resort - Exmouth -

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to let them enjoy a little rest, recuperation and of course Roadshow.

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"Diversion and Bathing by the Sea"

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has been the motto here since the 19th century.

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With over two miles of life-size sandy beaches, Exmouth has been

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a favourite destination for generations,

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but its strategic location, at the mouth of the River Exe,

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made it important long before all that.

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Francis Drake and Walter Raleigh often sailed from Exmouth Harbour

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across the Atlantic on their Empire-building exercises.

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Not all the historical figures attracted to Exmouth were men.

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Famous former residents include Lady Nelson and Lady Byron

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and then there was Powder Monkey Ann.

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Powder Monkey Ann, real name Nancy Perriam, lived here in Tower Street.

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And she earned her nickname not from the sale of cosmetics

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but because she was one of the very few woman

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to have served in Nelson's fleet.

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Alongside her husband she fought at the Battle of St Vincent and The Nile.

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In battle, Powder Monkey Ann carried cartridges of fresh gunpowder along

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narrow gangways and up and down ladders to the waiting cannons.

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A tough life, but it didn't do her any harm.

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The Navy gave her a pension which cost them quite a lot, as she lived to the age of 97.

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At the other end of the social scale was Mary Anne Clarke, who lived here

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in Imperial Road as mistress to Frederick, Duke of York.

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In 1806 their relationship became a political scandal when the duke was charged with corruption.

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He was accused of promoting officers after Mary Anne Clarke had taken bribes from them.

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It's said that when the affair ended,

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Clarke threatened to reveal all in her memoirs: a shrewd move which forced the government

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to provide her with a huge pension in return for her silence.

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And we're hoping for a few more interesting stories in today's Antiques Roadshow

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which is being held at Exmouth Pavilion on the Esplanade.

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Well, it really looks good enough to eat, doesn't it?

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-It does.

-It's not a real cake at all, made of pottery.

-Yes.

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What's the story?

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It was a wager between my great-great-grandfather Edward Holland.

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-Right.

-And his cousin, Josiah Wedgwood the Third,

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that Josiah couldn't make a mould

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in the shape of a Charlotte russe in jasperware.

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Let's have a look at the really strange object because in here we have a case...

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exactly like the real, the real...

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-Indeed yes.

-Is that pudding, or a cake? What is a Charlotte russe?

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It's a pudding. It's an old Victorian pudding.

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-Right.

-Made of sponge fingers...

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I don't know what they put inside it, sort of jelly stuff...

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-Because here is rather like the shape of a mould for a jelly.

-Yes.

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-But you've got the entire cake here itself and these I suppose are the sponge fingers all around here.

-Yes.

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They look so real, don't they?

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-They do.

-And this is the icing that will be decorating the cake.

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Not produced in real icing sugar, but this is Wedgwood's own jasperware.

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-Yes.

-Um, very finely modelled in clay and looking like a real cake.

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-Indeed.

-So it was your great-great-grandfather had the wager.

-Yes.

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-Do you know when the wager was?

-No, I don't, I'm afraid.

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Presumably he was living in the beginning of the 19th century?

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Yes, 1805 he was born.

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Oh, right, so I suppose that would make this piece, I suppose, therefore 1830s would it have been?

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Yes, probably about that.

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Because Wedgwood developed the confits in this material

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looking like pastry, a little bit earlier,

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around about 1805 because at that time during the Napoleonic War

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-there was a shortage of flour in England.

-Oh, yes.

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And it became fashionable to make copies of pies and pastries

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out of Wedgwood's pottery, so it was placed on the table, like the real pies,

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-and I guess this is a rather elaborate version of that idea.

-Yes.

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But the design there is classic Wedgwood.

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-Yes.

-And there you've got a design with love trophies.

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-Yes.

-Very much a symbol of love, the quiver and arrows, the love doves.

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-Yes.

-And a little garland there.

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-Um, it's really nicely done, that sort of design was made in Wedgwood in the 1770s, 1780s.

-Yes.

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So they had some designs in their stock and they put them together

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to try and work out the wager.

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-Yes.

-I wonder if it was good enough to win.

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I don't know, I would imagine so.

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Do you think it would have fooled people?

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-Oh, yes, I think so.

-They made a few of them, I've seen a couple in collections of Wedgwood in America.

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-Have you?

-But some time ago, you don't see them very often.

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-No.

-Because I guess they were so difficult to make.

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What's it worth as a very realistic pudding?

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Is it worth I suppose £1,000.

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-Really?

-It's so rare and, and a lovely thing.

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-Oh, that's very nice.

-Thank you very much, thank you.

-Thank you.

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Now, I was lucky enough earlier this year to go to Canada.

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I've been before but this is the first time I got really involved

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in what you might...what is now called First Nation material.

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I went to museums, I went to collections,

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and although we see things of this type on the Roadshow,

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I'd never really thought about it, and so seeing this today,

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it's a great treat for me, but also I think,

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"God, you know, this is fantastic material."

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What is it doing in Exmouth?

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Well, I first remember this stuff as a child, we used to play with it,

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my brother and my sister and I, and, um, my grandfather travelled

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from Scotland when he was age 18 to work for the Hudson Bay Company

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-in Canada as an apprentice clerk.

-What sort of date?

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Er, that would have been 19... around about 1910, I think.

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And eventually he managed the trading post at Churchill.

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-He married a Cree Indian lady...

-Hang on.

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Stop there. That must have been terribly unusual at the time.

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Er, they didn't talk about it, it was not the done thing.

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Did he ever come back with her?

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Er, no. He came on leave back to stay with family in Scotland

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on several occasions but didn't bring his wife and children with him

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and in letters to his family, he didn't even mention her by name,

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he called her "the missus", I think, or something like that.

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-So he was stepping out of line in a way.

-Absolutely, yeah.

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-It was taboo to marry somebody from the Colonies or...

-But she was your grandmother.

-Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

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-So you never met her.

-No, and we had this photograph of her.

-What's this?

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This is a photograph of her with my father and my Uncle Ronnie.

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So hang on, so this is your grandmother, the Cree lady...

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-Yeah.

-..with your father and your uncle?

-Yeah.

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So you just have this photograph.

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That's all we have, the photograph and the beadwork, yes.

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So how did the beadwork come back?

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-My grandfather died.

-Out there?

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Out there. And my father and his brother were shipped back to Scotland

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-to live with their aunt.

-As children?

-Yes.

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So they were taken from their mother and she never saw them again?

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-No.

-What an extraordinary story.

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Yeah, my grandfather mentioned in his will that he wanted his sons

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to have a good education and I think that...

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we think that that's the reason they were sent back to Scotland.

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Right, we're talking what... When do you think this was made? 1910...?

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We think between 1900 and 1915, around about there.

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So it might have come with his wife as part of her dowry, perhaps?

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-Possibly. Or we didn't know whether she'd made some of this beadwork.

-Herself.

-Herself, yeah.

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Because what you've got, 1900, obviously we're no longer dealing

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with warring tribes and building, making things

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entirely for tribal purposes.

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Peace reigns, up to a point,

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and therefore tourism has taken over, and this is why

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you get so many echoes of European design

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contrasted with traditional First Nation design, because many

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of these pieces will have been brought back by visitors.

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-A tablecloth is not a traditional item.

-No.

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Whereas the shirt is. This started out as a warrior's shirt,

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by 1900-1910 it's become something entirely ornamental.

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Do you know the background to it?

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We know that my grandfather made reference to buying some doe skins

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to make a jacket, now that's a date I think about 1917.

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Right, so this may be, that may be that jacket,

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in which case the embroidery may be by your grandmother.

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-Yeah, we think it could well be, yeah.

-So we can date that piece.

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Dating the others is hazardous in the sense that we know

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they're not 19th century, with the possible exception of the bag,

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but they're probably 1900 onwards

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but not much later than 1916, '17, '18, I would think.

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So you've got here remarkable pieces,

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but I think what makes it to me much, much more exciting is that...

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I mean, in effect you're quarter Cree, aren't you?

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-Yeah, absolutely.

-Have you always felt proud of that?

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I have, personally, yeah, but my father never talked about it.

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-I think at the time we grew up...

-It was shameful.

-It was, yeah.

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-It was not acceptable.

-Have you been to Canada?

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-No, I'm hoping to.

-You must, because you know, you will find you fit in,

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it's your tradition, your background, your culture.

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-Yeah, I look forward to doing that.

-Now, shall I start going through it?

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If you like yeah, I mean...

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-Well, those are going to be about £2,000 to £3,000.

-Really?

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Um, those a bit less, they're smaller, say £1,000 to £1,500.

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These are going to be £800 to £1,500 each,

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Um, this is interesting,

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this may be an earlier piece, I suspect,

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partly because it's still got the traditional decoration.

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Also, we're always told that this red bordering

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originally was taken from the red coats of British soldiers.

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-Really?

-That's how they got that red fabric, and on domestic pieces,

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they had this red rim to say, "Look, we've killed British soldiers."

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So that could go back to the 1880s or even 1860s,

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or be later, just done in that traditional style.

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But again you're looking at probably £2,000 there.

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Shirt... Find me another outside a museum.

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-Yeah.

-Of that period. 1920s and '30s,

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-the price is a fraction because it's common tourist ware.

-Right.

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An authenticated shirt, OK not 1880s but going back to the 1900s, £5,000.

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-Crikey.

-So, you know, you're looking at £10,000 to £15,000 at least...

-Yeah.

-..for this group.

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Well, it's a slightly battered

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but very good looking handbag. BVS,

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the initials on it... Who was BVS?

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She was my grandmother, Beatrice Violet Scofield,

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she was born in 1884 and she married a Rochdale mill owner,

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Benjamin Scofield, who was about 40 years older than her,

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and this was her handbag.

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It's quite a weight, isn't it?

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It's very heavy and men always complain we carry too much,

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-but they did in those days as well.

-Shall we have a delve inside?

-Yes.

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It's more like a dressing case than a handbag!

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-Incredible, isn't it?

-Incredible to think that she carried it around.

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Silver fittings dating from the early 1920s and all with enamelling

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on them, and it's in great condition, isn't it?

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-Beautiful.

-So I guess she would have been in her 40s

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-when she had this bag.

-I would think so, yes.

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There's the wallet... Just sort of goes on and on.

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-A beautiful looking...

-Compact.

-Compact, yes.

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-Propelling pencil.

-Pencil.

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So, did you know your grandmother?

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Oh, yes, she was a very Victorian lady, we used to stand by the piano

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while she played music, or do ballet, we were terrified of her, actually.

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-So, a fearsome character.

-Very fearsome.

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But tiny, really Victorian and very small.

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The bag, a crocodile bag, made in England,

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and these fittings here were all made in England

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in the early 1920s. They have various hallmarks on them,

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they were assayed in Birmingham.

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Oddly enough, the compact is Austrian,

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and in the late 19th century Austria, and Vienna in particular,

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was a centre for enamelling, so this is just the tail end of that.

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It is a difficult thing to value. Somebody else's initials on it.

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But the enamelling is in good condition and the fittings alone

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are worth £600.

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Gosh! Amazing!

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When I heard earlier on that there was a guy outside with 37 pictures,

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-I thought it was a wind-up, but it's not.

-No.

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-Where on earth did you get these from?

-From a recycling yard.

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-Hang on, a recycling yard?

-Yes.

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So you mean they were going to get scrapped?

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-All of them, yes.

-They were going to get turned into something else.

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-All of them.

-And how come you actually fell for these things?

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Well, my granddad and grandmother were in the Masons in Cornwall

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and I saw this lot altogether and knew they were from one Lodge.

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They're history, I just couldn't see them scrapped.

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So all these represent things that are quite close to your family life

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-as it were.

-Yes.

-And there's an image here of the entire Lodge

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at some point in its history, assembled.

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Yes, it looks like their annual meeting.

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And the look of civic pride upon their faces is almost palpable

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but it's the individual images,

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particularly the ones sitting over there,

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that really strike me as remnants of a bygone age.

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Yes. The regalia and the medals

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and what they represent, I find it fascinating.

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We need to sort of reflect a bit on the history of the Freemasons

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because they are an extraordinarily ancient organisation.

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I gather it was in the medieval period they began as stone masons

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and indeed some of the regalia does reflect exactly that,

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the instruments of stone masonry. I mean that fellow over there,

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he's showing them almost with a sort of tribal leader's intensity.

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There he is, these objects glowing on his chest.

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This is a man not to mess with, certainly within the Lodge.

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As they developed they became more and more both a secret society

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and a society devoted to charity.

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-Yes, yes.

-But also at the same time

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developing a little bit of a bad reputation amongst those

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who weren't part of them, probably because of all of the secret signs

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and handshakes and what have you.

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There's something, to me, quite poignant about this. We're looking at 38 pictures

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that were once regarded almost as sort of reverential objects

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and you find them in a recycling yard!

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-Can I ask you how much you paid for them?

-I offered £100, they accepted.

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£100. I mean, it's ridiculously cheap on one level,

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ridiculously cheap because you're dealing...

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apart from anything else...

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with 38 very good frames.

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Some fumed oak frames themselves can be worth up to £100 each.

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This is one of those intangible areas that we have to be prophets about.

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But I reckon you could be one day talking about an important collection and a complete collection

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of a part of British history that has all but disappeared.

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A bit of a sea breeze this morning, right beside the sea,

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but this was never meant to be sailed on the ocean, was it?

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No, it was in sailing ponds or lakes, inland waters only.

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-And you've sailed her?

-I have yes, when I was a teenager.

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I used to go as a young lad to the Highgate Ponds in London

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and watch the older men sailing these

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and the old gentleman who owned it felt he couldn't deal with it any more.

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He said, "If you bring your father and £3, you can have her."

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It took me a month to talk my dad into coming up.

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And the condition was that I didn't tamper with it or alter it.

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Where were you living at that time?

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In a place called Camden Town, used to go on a bus, carried her on a bus.

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-Up to Highgate Pond.

-The boat and some sandwiches up to the pond

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for the day and then back again, yes.

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Well, this is... What's it termed?

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-A ten rater.

-A ten rater which was a serious model yacht, wasn't it?

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-Yes.

-They had various classes.

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They did and they used to have competitions around a course,

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they had buoys in the pond and you had to sail the course.

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-And how long would that take?

-Oh, half an hour or so, yes.

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And a very ingenious self-steering gear, how does that work?

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You analyse the wind pattern on the water,

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then set these different things up,

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different slides, so it would go to halfway across and then turn,

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but if you got it wrong, you had to run round to the other side!

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And do you sail her today?

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No. No suitable water and getting a bit old to run round after her.

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So what's going to happen to her?

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I'd like to pass it on to someone else to look after it for another 50 years.

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Lovely idea. I suggest you take it up to one of the great ponds,

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-like the Round Pond. They're still racing such yachts.

-Yes.

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I'm sure you'll find an enthusiast, just like you were.

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-And it cost how much, again, in 1953?

-£3.

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£3. Well, a beautiful piece, fully working order, today we're probably talking a figure

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of between £1,200 and £1,800

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so a good return on your £3 investment.

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It certainly is, thank you very much.

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For 16 or 17 years I normally look at antique silver on the Roadshow,

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but I have a secret passion,

0:18:210:18:24

and these are my secret passion, electric guitars.

0:18:240:18:27

I've been in love with them since the age of 12, maybe 13.

0:18:270:18:32

-Now how many have YOU got?

-At the moment I've got about 80.

0:18:320:18:37

Well, I have to say you've brought along one particular guitar that is

0:18:370:18:43

full of wonderful memories for me,

0:18:430:18:45

because on my 13th birthday I went to a guitar shop

0:18:450:18:49

in Surbiton in Surrey and I saw this particular guitar here

0:18:490:18:53

-which I think is a Watkins Rapier, isn't it?

-Yes, it is, yeah.

0:18:530:18:57

So it should date from around that time, am I talking about 1963?

0:18:570:19:02

Yes, they date from the early '60s up until about the mid '60s.

0:19:020:19:06

Right, and I saw this hanging on the wall and I thought it was wonderful,

0:19:060:19:11

so I went home to my parents, "I want an electric guitar, I want an amplifier!"

0:19:110:19:15

They said, "Oh, far too expensive".

0:19:150:19:18

I've got a feeling this was 30-something pounds at the time?

0:19:180:19:21

I think at the time it was about £29.19.11

0:19:210:19:25

-or something like that, yes.

-Wonderful!

0:19:250:19:28

Next to this we've got a guitar which I've heard about

0:19:280:19:32

but never seen and it's called a Dallas.

0:19:320:19:36

This is the Dallas Tuxedo which is quite legendary

0:19:360:19:40

in the guitar world because it was the very first guitar

0:19:400:19:44

that was commercially built in this country

0:19:440:19:47

and this one dates from about 1957-58.

0:19:470:19:50

Fantastic. Right, now lastly this is an unusual guitar.

0:19:500:19:55

This is the Gretsch Traveling Wilburys,

0:19:550:19:58

-which was a promotional guitar.

-Oh, right.

0:19:580:20:01

I've heard about these.

0:20:010:20:03

Well, it's got the signature, or the facsimile signature,

0:20:030:20:06

of the five Traveling Wilburys.

0:20:060:20:08

Ah! Look at that. So we've got "Nelson"...

0:20:080:20:14

that was George Harrison, "Lucky" is Bob Dylan,

0:20:140:20:18

"Otis" is Jeff Lynne of Electric Light Orchestra,

0:20:180:20:22

"Charlie T" is Tom Petty, of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers,

0:20:220:20:28

-and "Lefty" is Roy Orbison.

-Yes, it was, that's correct, yes.

0:20:280:20:33

So, I suppose now two of them are no longer with us,

0:20:330:20:36

this is probably going up in value.

0:20:360:20:39

I think they have gone up very considerably.

0:20:390:20:43

I've got to ask you, which guitar do you like playing the most?

0:20:430:20:46

Well, Alastair, I was hoping you wouldn't ask me,

0:20:460:20:50

-because I'm not actually a guitarist.

-What? What?! This is all a front?

0:20:500:20:53

-I'm a drummer.

-You're a drummer?

-Yes, I...

-Can't believe it.

0:20:530:20:58

I am, and, um I've never been able to play guitar, and I think probably one of the reasons that I collect guitars

0:20:580:21:05

is because I'd love to be able to play them,

0:21:050:21:08

but I haven't got the ability to do so, and I have tried over the years.

0:21:080:21:13

-And I've brought somebody with me...

-Right.

-..who can demonstrate.

0:21:130:21:17

For old times sake, I'd love to hear what the Watkins Rapier sounds like.

0:21:170:21:21

So let's hand it over to him,

0:21:210:21:24

and give us a twiddle.

0:21:240:21:27

CRACKLE

0:21:280:21:30

Very old!

0:21:300:21:32

Excellent.

0:21:530:21:55

If you ever have deja vu, you're probably having it now

0:21:590:22:02

because this furniture has indeed been seen on the Roadshow before, isn't that right?

0:22:020:22:07

Yes, it was first shown at a recording in Tavistock approximately two years ago.

0:22:070:22:11

And it was...a very strong story attached to it.

0:22:110:22:14

There was a story because this is part of a set of four items

0:22:140:22:18

of furniture made by Robert Thompson, the Mouseman, in Yorkshire.

0:22:180:22:23

They were made for my father, also there was another set of four

0:22:240:22:30

identical pieces of furniture

0:22:300:22:32

made for my father's identical twin brother.

0:22:320:22:35

Unfortunately, my father's twin brother lost his life

0:22:350:22:40

in the war and we are unaware of what happened

0:22:400:22:45

to the mouse furniture itself that he held.

0:22:450:22:48

Well, since your visit to the show, as you know, we had a letter. This letter was from a lady called...

0:22:480:22:54

who used to be called Elizabeth Mills.

0:22:540:22:57

She too was a twin, she and her twin brother, the Mills twins,

0:22:570:23:00

knew your father and your uncle when they were young.

0:23:000:23:04

And when your Uncle Charles died,

0:23:040:23:08

-that furniture was given to the Mills twins.

-Oh...!

0:23:080:23:12

As a keepsake, and she still has it.

0:23:120:23:15

-Oh, that's...!

-Would you like to meet her?

-I certainly would.

0:23:150:23:19

-Oh, my word!

-Elizabeth Smiley, once Mills.

0:23:190:23:22

How do you do?

0:23:220:23:24

-And who are you?

-James.

0:23:240:23:26

-Ken's son.

-Ken's son.

0:23:260:23:28

Well, tell us your side of the story, tell us about the furniture, knowing the twins.

0:23:280:23:34

Well, it's a long time ago, before the war,

0:23:340:23:39

we were living fairly near the next village in Yorkshire

0:23:390:23:44

and we were all at school, boarding school, and we used to meet,

0:23:440:23:50

play tennis, went skating on Shibden Lake

0:23:500:23:55

and saw each other in the holidays.

0:23:550:23:58

And they were known as the First Twins and we were the Mills Twins.

0:23:580:24:03

So we were always invited, the four of us, to parties and things.

0:24:030:24:08

And then the war came. We were all going to university but sadly the war stopped that.

0:24:080:24:15

And Charles was in the RAF and his plane was lost

0:24:170:24:23

and his mother decided that he would have liked

0:24:230:24:29

the Mills Twins to share some of the furniture

0:24:290:24:33

that was given to them on their 21st.

0:24:330:24:36

-There's that story.

-Isn't that amazing?!

-All we need now is the evidence itself...

0:24:360:24:42

the furniture, which we have.

0:24:420:24:45

Oh, my word!

0:24:460:24:48

And that is mine.

0:24:490:24:51

Together at last.

0:24:510:24:53

-Isn't that amazing?!

-Yes.

0:24:530:24:56

Oh, it's so wonderful! Oh, it's so....!

0:24:560:25:00

Oh, well...! So thrilling, it really is!

0:25:000:25:04

Let's just look at the photographs.

0:25:040:25:06

-That's a photograph...

-These are the Mills Twins, this is you.

0:25:060:25:10

-At 21.

-At 21 with your brother.

0:25:100:25:13

That's my twin brother...

0:25:130:25:15

-And here is the picture of the First Twins.

-..became a General.

0:25:150:25:18

-Charles and...

-Kenneth.

-Kenneth.

0:25:180:25:22

And you're the son of...

0:25:220:25:25

That's right, I'm the son of Kenneth.

0:25:250:25:27

Those are lovely photographs.

0:25:270:25:29

-All reunited by this furniture.

-That's lovely.

0:25:290:25:33

This is a great pig! Wonderful pig.

0:25:340:25:38

Is it a male or a female...?

0:25:380:25:40

Looking at the eyes, it has to be a girl, I think.

0:25:400:25:43

Oh, yes. Sweet little thing.

0:25:430:25:45

And of course marked under the base,

0:25:450:25:48

says, "Wemyss Made in England".

0:25:480:25:52

It does.

0:25:520:25:54

Which puzzles everybody because,

0:25:540:25:56

-I mean, Wemyss naturally they think is Scotland.

-That's right.

0:25:560:26:00

Up in Wemyss. But it was designed and made by Nekola, Karel Nekola.

0:26:000:26:06

-Mm-hm.

-Who moved down from Wemyss in the 1930s when they packed up.

0:26:060:26:11

-Right.

-And came down here, locally to Bovey Tracey.

0:26:110:26:14

Just round the corner.

0:26:140:26:16

-Just round the corner, yes, it's just a few miles from here.

-That's right.

0:26:160:26:20

And there is a Wemyss display and a place in Bovey Tracey called The Marble House.

0:26:200:26:25

-Is there?

-There is, I've seen it many times but never linked the two.

0:26:250:26:29

So it's very much a local thing now, down here in Devon.

0:26:290:26:32

So the making would be by mould.

0:26:320:26:35

-Right.

-And painted all over with these mad, mad, mad flowers.

0:26:350:26:39

I don't know what the flowers are. Are they Devon flowers?

0:26:390:26:42

-We thought they were clovers because...

-Oh, clovers.

0:26:420:26:45

-That's what we thought.

-Are you a farmer?

0:26:450:26:48

We've got a small farm, we specialise in traditional and rare breeds,

0:26:480:26:51

-British rare breeds.

-Yes.

-We haven't got any pigs.

0:26:510:26:54

-But no pigs.

-Maybe we should start thinking about it.

0:26:540:26:57

I think you should! It's a great chap. How did you come by it?

0:26:570:27:01

This used to be my grandmother's and she collected it,

0:27:010:27:04

I couldn't tell you when. When she died, she passed it down

0:27:040:27:07

to my parents and I moved house a couple of months ago

0:27:070:27:10

and they gave it to me as a house-warming present.

0:27:100:27:13

It's absolutely great. What do you reckon the value is?

0:27:130:27:16

-I have absolutely no idea.

-It's incredible.

0:27:160:27:19

They go by size, porkers, in Wemyss,

0:27:190:27:23

you know, the bigger they are, the better they are.

0:27:230:27:26

Some of them are made incredibly with flat, or lying on their backs,

0:27:260:27:30

all sorts of funny things, but this is a normal wonderful chap,

0:27:300:27:33

or girl. I think it's absolutely marvellous.

0:27:330:27:36

-I reckon you're looking at now over £1,000.

-Really?

0:27:360:27:42

-Perhaps £1,200, something like that.

-Amazing.

-Incredible.

0:27:420:27:46

-And I suppose that's more than a real bit of pork.

-It's a lot of bacon, isn't it?

0:27:460:27:50

-But congratulations on it and look after it.

-Thank you.

0:27:500:27:53

-And look after it well.

-I will. That's a promise, that's a promise. Thank you very much.

0:27:530:27:57

That box was sent to my father by the Duke and Duchess of York,

0:27:580:28:02

as they then were, became of course George VI and Queen Elizabeth...

0:28:020:28:07

At a later date.

0:28:070:28:10

-..and then she became the Queen Mother.

-Yeah.

0:28:100:28:13

Because my father was up at Glamis Castle attending the Queen Mother,

0:28:130:28:17

or Duchess of York, as she was then, when Princess Margaret was born.

0:28:170:28:20

-So your father was a gynaecologist?

-He's a gynaecologist.

-And he was on duty.

-Yes, that's right.

0:28:200:28:25

Was he Scottish? Why was he up there?

0:28:250:28:28

No, he was taken up by the then absolutely top-notch gynaecologist in the country called Sir Henry Simpson.

0:28:280:28:34

-Right.

-Who was, I would say, my father's mentor.

0:28:340:28:38

-Yeah.

-And over the next half...

0:28:380:28:41

between 1930 and perhaps 1950, I would say that my father took over his position.

0:28:410:28:47

So the box, which is a cigarette box, says,

0:28:470:28:50

"To FN Reynolds from Elizabeth and Albert, August 1930".

0:28:500:28:57

-Indeed.

-There's two curiosities to me about this, one is that...

0:28:570:29:01

do you give your gynaecologist a cigarette box?

0:29:010:29:05

Today it would seem extremely odd,

0:29:050:29:08

but of course in those days it was a very acceptable present.

0:29:080:29:12

Yes, um, yes, I think my father

0:29:120:29:15

always received a lot of presents, rather more presents than he did fees, I think.

0:29:150:29:20

That's why the family are very poor today!

0:29:200:29:23

-And this is the secret of gynaecology?!

-I think so!

-That you take the present.

-Yes.

0:29:230:29:27

-The other thing is that it's Elizabeth and Albert.

-Yes.

0:29:270:29:30

At that point, putting it crudely, you know, we have the heir and the spare.

0:29:300:29:34

-Right.

-He was the spare, he was the Duke of York.

0:29:340:29:38

-Yes.

-She was the Duchess of York with no hint how history was going to be.

0:29:380:29:42

They expected to play a minor role from that point on, but nothing to do with being heir to the throne.

0:29:420:29:47

-No.

-The Prince of Wales, who was to become Edward VIII of course,

0:29:470:29:51

was fulfilling that role, they were just sort of in the background.

0:29:510:29:55

-Yeah.

-And so this as a result, is very informal

0:29:550:29:58

and he's still using his birth name "Albert".

0:29:580:30:02

-Yes.

-Which to me is the key thing.

0:30:020:30:04

-He only became George when he came to the throne.

-Yes.

0:30:040:30:07

So that's the box, which is a very nice silver box.

0:30:070:30:10

-The letter I think is wonderful. May I read it?

-Of course.

0:30:100:30:13

"Dear Mr Reynolds, we are sending you a very small box of cigarettes

0:30:130:30:18

"as a slight souvenir of August 21st and I will also take this opportunity

0:30:180:30:23

"of wishing you a Happy Christmas and a good 1931.

0:30:230:30:26

"My husband would have written but he is in bed

0:30:260:30:28

"suffering from the effects of anti-tetanus

0:30:280:30:31

"injected after a horse had kicked a hole in his leg.

0:30:310:30:34

"But he wishes to join with me in sending all good wishes."

0:30:340:30:39

-What an extraordinarily informal letter, wonderful.

-Lovely.

0:30:390:30:43

With the, "I am very sincerely, Elizabeth"...

0:30:430:30:46

Well, they'd had a very intimate experience together,

0:30:460:30:49

he was there while she was giving birth and I suppose,

0:30:490:30:53

they must have developed a sort of friendship, which this hints at.

0:30:530:30:56

-Yes.

-And again it's a written, it's a personal letter,

0:30:560:30:59

she's even addressed the envelope,

0:30:590:31:01

it's been stamped, it's gone the usual way. Again this underlines

0:31:010:31:06

-the fact that at that point they were very unimportant people, relatively.

-Yes, yes.

-And it also...

0:31:060:31:11

From 185... 145 Piccadilly.

0:31:110:31:13

Not from Buckingham Palace or Clarence House or any of that.

0:31:130:31:17

I think it's a lovely, it really puts the box in context.

0:31:170:31:20

-It does, it makes the whole thing a little bit more.

-Very personal.

0:31:200:31:24

Yeah, it does, it does.

0:31:240:31:26

It's slightly ironic that in the end smoking finished him off,

0:31:260:31:30

but, you know, let's not go there.

0:31:300:31:32

-And my father.

-Really?

0:31:320:31:34

Let's not go there either.

0:31:340:31:35

Now these are wonderful things.

0:31:350:31:37

Value... Funnily enough, letters from the late Queen Mother

0:31:370:31:40

are not that rare, she was a great correspondent.

0:31:400:31:43

-Sure, sure.

-And so that one, full of personal detail,

0:31:430:31:47

is going to be £150, £200.

0:31:470:31:50

She was not a rare correspondent, unfortunately.

0:31:500:31:53

The box, nice silver cigarette box of 1930

0:31:530:31:58

is going to be £200 or £300.

0:31:580:32:01

Because of what it represents and because it ties in with the letter,

0:32:010:32:05

I think I would at least triple that.

0:32:050:32:08

-We're looking at the most sort of £1,500 for the story.

-Quite unimportant.

-Totally unimportant.

0:32:080:32:14

Quite right, but to me it's just being in touch

0:32:140:32:19

with that strange period in our history when all was about to change.

0:32:190:32:22

-It was certainly an interesting time.

-Thank you very much.

-Thank YOU.

0:32:220:32:26

I can tell you it was collected about 1900

0:32:270:32:31

by this gentleman here, George Luton.

0:32:310:32:34

He was a merchant seaman so whether he was able to bring it back

0:32:340:32:38

-on the ship that he was on, I don't know.

-I mean this all started

0:32:380:32:42

when they were killed for their meat

0:32:420:32:45

when the crew needed food.

0:32:450:32:47

And somebody said one day, "I think I'll keep that turtle shell.

0:32:470:32:51

-"That's almost big enough for a boat," or something like that.

-Yeah.

0:32:510:32:55

"I'll take it home with me."

0:32:550:32:57

-Right.

-And that's how it developed from very early times.

0:32:570:33:01

Well, this of course is what we misname tortoiseshell.

0:33:010:33:04

-Right.

-This is where all the tortoiseshell decoration comes from.

0:33:040:33:08

-Oh, right.

-Not from tortoises.

-But turtles.

-Turtles. That's right.

0:33:080:33:12

And we were very late in the UK in taking that on as a decorative medium.

0:33:120:33:16

It was in the Middle and Far East much earlier,

0:33:160:33:20

-came to Europe round about the late 17th, early 18th century.

-Right.

0:33:200:33:24

Used in the form of marquetry in contrast with brass.

0:33:240:33:28

And thin sheets of this were produced,

0:33:280:33:31

depending on what colour you put underneath it,

0:33:310:33:34

you got amber, green, red tortoiseshell. That's all it was,

0:33:340:33:37

it was what colour base you used.

0:33:370:33:39

Once this is warmed it becomes pliable.

0:33:390:33:42

Ah, I didn't know that.

0:33:420:33:44

And you flatten it and then you can cut, to a 16th of an inch,

0:33:440:33:47

you can cut thin slices which create pieces

0:33:470:33:50

not much bigger than each of those. So really and truly the great age

0:33:500:33:54

for tortoiseshell veneering was from 1690 to 1720

0:33:540:33:59

and then again 1810-15 through to, I suppose, about 1840.

0:33:590:34:07

Now, I think this is older than 1900.

0:34:070:34:10

-Do you?

-It has a patina. I mean, it is like a piece of timber

0:34:100:34:14

and it doesn't get to look that that in just 100 years.

0:34:140:34:19

-Right.

-It really doesn't.

0:34:190:34:21

This is an ancient piece.

0:34:210:34:23

-What does it look like underneath?

-Let's have a look.

0:34:230:34:27

Still got the backbone in place.

0:34:290:34:32

-Gruesome! Oh, dear!

-No flesh on it!

0:34:320:34:35

No, this is... I'm sure this is late 18th-, early 19th-century,

0:34:350:34:41

-Absolutely.

-That's good news.

-Oh, sure, this is a very rare thing.

0:34:410:34:45

-Oh, really?

-This is a very rare thing.

0:34:450:34:47

It doesn't make it very valuable but to me, it's academic -

0:34:470:34:52

-it's a fascinating piece.

-And to me.

-Yes, of course.

0:34:520:34:56

But on the market, could be anything -

0:34:560:34:59

-£2,000 to £3,000.

-Good grief!

-Oh, yes, but...who knows?

0:34:590:35:04

-But it's wonderful.

-Well, it's family history,

0:35:040:35:07

-so it stays in the family.

-Of course.

0:35:070:35:10

-A tea cosy.

-Yes.

0:35:100:35:13

-And has the tea cosy got any story?

-Yes,

0:35:130:35:16

it was made to go on the Titanic and this gentleman was the designer,

0:35:160:35:22

the embroidery designer for the linens that went onto the Titanic

0:35:220:35:26

and I understand he worked for Bannerman and Sons

0:35:260:35:30

which is a big property company,

0:35:300:35:32

and it belonged to his daughter who I knew for many years

0:35:320:35:37

and nursed her for a number of years. She was very, very proud of it.

0:35:370:35:42

The white star.

0:35:420:35:44

-The star of David, yes.

-You know, for the line.

0:35:440:35:47

Yes, so how do you know it was actually meant for the Titanic?

0:35:470:35:50

Well, there was originally a letter from her father,

0:35:500:35:53

starting, "Dear Winifred, do not allow this to become damaged or destroyed,"

0:35:530:35:57

telling her that he took it from the batch that was made to go onto the Titanic.

0:35:570:36:02

Well, this is incredible because anything to do with the Titanic

0:36:020:36:06

causes tremendous excitement.

0:36:060:36:08

-Yes.

-There's the really good news and the not so good news.

0:36:080:36:12

Well, it never went on the Titanic.

0:36:120:36:14

Exactly. And in that sense, if somebody as they were getting into the lifeboat

0:36:140:36:19

had grabbed one of these and put it on his head

0:36:190:36:21

and brought it back, we'd be talking...

0:36:210:36:24

£30,000, £40,000...

0:36:240:36:28

But even though it didn't go on the Titanic,

0:36:280:36:30

-I still think this is £300...

-Really?

-..£400.

0:36:300:36:35

-Very, very difficult to value, because this is a one-off.

-Yes.

0:36:350:36:39

It's a complete one-off.

0:36:390:36:41

You're holding a rather poignant looking object, what is it?

0:36:420:36:45

It's a certificate presented to my great grandmother,

0:36:450:36:49

to Sarah Thead, and presented to her by Queen Victoria,

0:36:490:36:53

who signed it. It's a prize for working at Windsor Castle.

0:36:530:36:58

And how did you come across it?

0:36:580:37:01

I found it in a drawer after my grandmother died,

0:37:010:37:04

and my grandmother always told me that her mother,

0:37:040:37:09

she was put into an orphanage with two other sisters

0:37:090:37:13

and this is where we looked and found out they'd gone to the workhouse

0:37:130:37:18

somewhere up in the Middlesex area

0:37:180:37:21

and we traced them down and found them.

0:37:210:37:24

-So the family traced back your great grandmother to the paupers' house.

-To the pauper house.

0:37:240:37:30

-And did you get the facts of that? Did you get the details?

-Yes, it broke my heart

0:37:300:37:35

-to see that, my great-grandmother, "Occupation, pauper."

-"Occupation, pauper."

-Pauper.

0:37:350:37:40

Then she was taken from the workhouse, you discovered...

0:37:400:37:43

-To Windsor Castle.

-To work for the Queen?

-Yes.

-Amazing juxtaposition!

0:37:430:37:47

-Workhouse then the Queen.

-Then the Queen.

0:37:470:37:49

And it says here, "..Received a prize of £1 at the annual meeting

0:37:490:37:52

"held at Windsor on the 16th day of July

0:37:520:37:55

"for having continued four years in her first place of service."

0:37:550:37:59

-So she was rewarded for having made it from the workhouse into Windsor.

-Into Windsor, yes, yes.

0:37:590:38:04

-What a wonderful tale.

-Yes. Absolutely.

0:38:040:38:07

-And a very poignant one for you.

-That's right.

0:38:070:38:09

She moved then to Sherborne and then down to Chudleigh, where I live, in Devon

0:38:090:38:14

and did so well for herself.

0:38:140:38:17

-And given with this was this picture behind.

-Yes, that's right.

0:38:170:38:22

Which shows the young Queen Victoria being told...

0:38:220:38:25

-rather like the young Elizabeth I... that she's about to be Queen.

-Yes.

0:38:250:38:28

-Absolutely.

-Adding to the sentiment.

-Yes.

-Isn't that touching?

0:38:280:38:32

I mean, this is the young Queen Victoria, that was your young great grandmother,

0:38:320:38:36

-there's a sort of feeling of synergy there as well.

-Absolutely.

0:38:360:38:40

And as to the value of these?

0:38:400:38:42

Well, the value is of course massively from the family point of view.

0:38:420:38:46

-Who knows what they're worth? A few hundred pounds, probably.

-Yes, but still precious.

0:38:460:38:51

-Who cares!

-Yes. Thank you very much.

0:38:510:38:54

This is a most impressive looking family tree. Is it your own?

0:38:540:38:58

-Yes, it is.

-I see it starts with Edward Austen

0:38:580:39:01

who took the name of Knight.

0:39:010:39:03

-Who was he?

-Edward Austen was Jane Austen's brother.

-THE Jane Austen?!

0:39:030:39:07

THE Jane Austen, and he changed his name to Knight when he inherited Chawton and Godmersham estates.

0:39:070:39:13

-And you're a descendant?

-Yes.

0:39:130:39:15

-So you're a direct descendant of Jane Austen?

-Yes.

-Wow!

0:39:150:39:18

-She's my great great great grandfather's sister.

-Fantastic!

0:39:180:39:23

So you feature on this family tree, presumably, near the bottom?

0:39:230:39:26

-Yes, yes.

-How wonderful and I'll just fold the family tree away

0:39:260:39:30

for the moment so we can see the rest of the items

0:39:300:39:33

that are brought along.

0:39:330:39:35

Which are a wonderful selection

0:39:350:39:37

and seem mostly to be contemporary with that period.

0:39:370:39:41

-Yes, I think they are.

-Who is the man in the daguerreotype?

0:39:410:39:45

That is Edward Knight, the son of Jane Austen's brother,

0:39:450:39:49

-that's another Edward Knight.

-So that's Jane Austen's nephew?

-Yes.

0:39:490:39:55

And this is wonderful, "The New Game of Emulation...

0:39:550:39:59

"The amusement of youth of both sexes

0:39:590:40:03

"and calculated to inspire their minds."

0:40:030:40:06

Isn't that terrific? And then a line that could be straight out

0:40:060:40:09

of Jane Austen itself, "Abhorrence of vice and a love of virtue."

0:40:090:40:13

-Brilliant.

-Looks a fascinating game, have you ever played it?

0:40:130:40:16

No, I haven't, I don't know how to. I'd love to have a go.

0:40:160:40:19

Looks fiendishly complicated but it's exactly the right period for Jane Austen.

0:40:190:40:24

-Yes, it is.

-And if I remember rightly, the Austen family

0:40:240:40:27

were great ones for playing games and acting plays within the family.

0:40:270:40:31

-Absolutely, yes.

-So the chances are

0:40:310:40:33

that Jane herself would have played this game.

0:40:330:40:36

Almost certainly, yes, I mean the date's right, it's 1804.

0:40:360:40:39

-Yes.

-And this is from the games drawer at Chawton and we know

0:40:390:40:43

that when she living at Chawton cottage, which she was given by her brother,

0:40:430:40:47

she used to go along to Chawton great house when the family were there, with her brothers used to stay there

0:40:470:40:53

and they'd have games evenings so I'm sure she'd have played that.

0:40:530:40:56

This is absolutely remarkable. It's wonderful literary history here,

0:40:560:41:00

and it's in beautiful condition too.

0:41:000:41:03

And here we have a silhouette, I suppose that's too much to hope

0:41:030:41:06

-that it's Jane, is it?

-I'm sure it is, yes. ..I wish it was!

0:41:060:41:09

-It's the right sort of period, early 19th century.

-Yes.

0:41:090:41:12

Showing a young girl playing with a cup and ball. And here we have

0:41:120:41:17

an ivory cup and ball, now tell me about this.

0:41:170:41:21

Well, that is Jane Austen's cup and ball, that is her own cup and ball.

0:41:210:41:25

-You're sure about that?

-Absolutely certain, yes.

0:41:250:41:28

How astonishing! And is it recorded that she played with it?

0:41:280:41:31

Yes, it is, yes, that was...

0:41:310:41:33

She's well known as spending hours with her cup and ball, she could do over 100 in the cup...

0:41:330:41:38

I don't know how good she was on the spike, but it's one of the things she used to enjoy doing.

0:41:380:41:43

Well, it's absolutely wonderful,

0:41:430:41:45

because it's typical of a cup and ball of the period,

0:41:450:41:48

made of ivory, nice baluster ring turning here

0:41:480:41:52

with the ball on the top.

0:41:520:41:54

-And then you can play it two ways, can't you?

-Yes.

0:41:540:41:57

You can either flick it up and land on there

0:41:570:42:00

or the other one is landing on there, isn't it?

0:42:000:42:03

That's the easy way, in the cup. The hard way is getting it on the spike.

0:42:030:42:08

It's in pretty good condition, a bit chipped but...

0:42:080:42:11

-It's been used!

-Yes, it's been used by Jane Austen.

0:42:110:42:14

Yes, and generations since. My son plays with it.

0:42:140:42:18

Well, I have to say, this is a quite remarkable collection,

0:42:180:42:21

and it's wonderful to see

0:42:210:42:23

because, I mean, Jane Austen is the Holy Grail

0:42:230:42:28

for a lot of literary collectors,

0:42:280:42:30

she's absolutely up there with the gods

0:42:300:42:33

and to see all this which is directly related to her, is a great treat.

0:42:330:42:37

And we have to put values on the items.

0:42:370:42:41

I think probably the daguerreotype of her nephew

0:42:410:42:44

is worth maybe a few hundred pounds.

0:42:440:42:47

Again with the family connection,

0:42:470:42:50

the game with the cups and ball there, about the same sort of value.

0:42:500:42:55

The silhouette, as it's not directly related, but it's great fun,

0:42:550:42:59

and that's probably worth £150, £200.

0:42:590:43:03

-This I think is superb, and lovely condition.

-Yes.

0:43:030:43:06

I wouldn't be surprised if a game collector, if it came on the market,

0:43:060:43:10

would pay several hundred pounds for that, it's quite delightful.

0:43:100:43:14

But this is the piece de resistance, absolutely wonderful.

0:43:140:43:18

And used by Jane Austen frequently.

0:43:180:43:22

And if that came up on the market

0:43:220:43:25

and was accepted by potential buyers as definitely being Jane Austen's,

0:43:250:43:31

I would expect that to fetch

0:43:310:43:34

something in the region of £20,000, £25,000.

0:43:340:43:37

-Goodness me.

-Well, it is literary history, no more, no less.

-Yes.

0:43:370:43:41

And it's been a complete joy to see it, thank you very much indeed.

0:43:410:43:45

Thank YOU very much.

0:43:450:43:48

According to my information, the estuary of the River Exe

0:43:480:43:51

is an important habitat for wading and migrating birds,

0:43:510:43:55

which makes it a perfect place for the experts

0:43:550:43:57

because they love a place to snuffle around and then move on from.

0:43:570:44:01

We've all agreed we like Exmouth so much, we shall be a little sad to leave, but leave we must.

0:44:010:44:06

And so, until the next time, from Devon, goodbye.

0:44:060:44:09

Michael Aspel and the team do some beachcombing at Exmouth on the Devon coast. They uncover finds which include a toy that once belonged to Jane Austen and a collection of Native Canadian Cree embroidery with a heartbreaking story.