Antiques series. The team returns to Rochester Cathedral, toasting the festive season with Napoleon's drinking glass.
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Welcome back to the ancient and atmospheric
cathedral of Rochester,
setting for Charles Dickens' last novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
The organ here has nearly 4,000 pipes...
roughly the number of characters in the average Dickens novel.
And let me show you something else that's very interesting that I've found here.
ORGAN MUSIC PLAYS
Have you ever wondered why a cathedral is called a cathedral?
It sounds so grand and yet it all boils down to a chair, admittedly a very grand one.
It's the Bishop's chair.
The Latin word for this impressive object is "cathedra"
and apparently the purpose of a cathedral is to house the bishop's seat.
This is Rochester's.
I would ask John Bly to value it, but he's busy in the nave with the rest of the experts.
-Well, it's a bit rough isn't it?
-Where's it been?
-It's been in the shed for two, two and a half years.
-Dear, oh, dear.
So tell me the story behind it.
I bought it from a junk shop, second-hand furniture and junk shop,
-I wanted to buy some more practical furniture, some chest of drawers.
And this caught my eye, tried to negotiate a better price
-for the chest of drawers and the chap sort of threw this in as the bonus.
-This was your discount?
-"What's your best price?"
"That is my best price but I'll give you this sideboard."
-Indeed, yes, yes.
-Well, it looked like this, obviously, this bit's broken off,
and if you put that up there...
we can't leave it there... but that starts to make it look something.
And, in fact,
this was, when made, an extremely expensive bit of furniture.
This cost a lot of money.
Imagine making that...
the wastage of material to make that,
and these doors, I mean look at this!
Look at the depth there. It's like a vase, it's three-dimensional this thing, fabulous, fabulous.
That's a hugely important piece of furniture of its time
and its time was 1860.
It was very expensive, very exclusive, and if you look...
they didn't want to spoil those doors by putting a keyhole anywhere,
so they put the keyhole in a secret little opening round the side.
So it looks immaculate.
-Fantastic quality and a waste of huge amounts of material to make it.
-Trays in one end, cellaret here for the wines.
-That's right, yes.
-Oh, for the wine?
-Yeah, you put ice in there.
-Oh, right, OK.
Or beer, if you like, I don't mind, but that's what it was for.
You don't need to do much to this.
I mean, it wants mending and it wants nicely, lightly cleaning.
Do not have it polished, have it nicely waxed, it'll look wonderful
and it's worth £2,500.
-Is it really?
Oh, that certainly is good news, well thank you, cheers.
You'll go back to that shop again.
Most people who have three works of game birds basically,
are fanatical shots.
-Can I ask you, are you a wonderful shot?
-No, not at all, no.
-Don't shoot at all?
-Not at all, no.
-Are you a great countryman?
-Er, no, not really.
Your family? No, nothing like that?
-No, no, not at all.
-So how come you've got three wonderful works
in your collection, if you don't shoot or like the country very much?
-Well, um, my dad, his step-father was a bricklayer.
And he done a job for somebody.
-Who couldn't afford the payment for the job so, um, the guy gave
my dad's stepfather these as part payment for the job.
-Do you know what the debt was?
-No, not at all, no.
-Guess. Few hundred quid?
-Yeah, probably about that, yeah.
-Few hundred quid.
So tell me, do you like these pictures?
Er, I think they're OK, I mean I'm not a big fan of paintings really.
-OK, of paintings.
-No, not really no.
Do you hang them in your house or do they sit under the bed?
No, my mother hangs them in her house.
-Up until ten years ago they were just wrapped in brown paper.
-And then we thought, well we'll put them into the frames
and they've been on our wall for about ten years.
-Do you know anything about these works?
-Not at all, no.
Well, you can see very faintly in the corner of each one,
there's the artist's name,
George Edward Lodge,
and he actually was an incredibly important painter of
animal and bird life, he was a great naturalist and his best friend
was the greatest of these naturalists called Archibald Thorburn.
They paint very much in the same sort of style, so very realistic, very...
almost photographic portraits of birds.
Now there is a big hierarchy in purchasing of birds.
Now song birds - not very desirable really. I mean, they're OK but a robin's very sweet and all that,
a thrush...not so easy, a starling - not very commercial, but game birds are always commercial.
The great thing is they're alive, they're not dead game birds as well,
so we have three fantastic works by George Edward Lodge.
What do you think, probably painted around 1900-1910?
So they've got a bit of age to them, so let's look at the top one.
Partridge in a sort of meadow, really beautifully done
and you've really got the atmosphere of that nice low countryside
and then below, we have two pictures of pheasants.
Have you any idea what you think they might be worth?
Er, no, not at all.
OK, so if I gave you £1,000 for the lot, would you be happy?
Well, we can't do that on the BBC, of course, but I think...
I think they're absolutely wonderful.
I would say they were worth between £1,500 and £2,500 each.
-So even by my maths, that's quite a lot of money.
-It is, yeah.
-Well done, I mean, you know, for a small debt...
-or maybe a big debt.
You've made a big investment, so congratulations, enjoy them.
-Yeah, thank you.
Now although this looks like a fantastic radiogram, I actually know it's more than that, as you do.
Now let's see what we've got here, let's open it up.
So what appears to be a radiogram is actually much, much more.
-Because we've got the gramophone, we've got the radio.
But most important, here we've got the television.
Now, my memories of television start,
like so many people of my generation, in 1953 watching the coronation.
-When do your television memories start?
-I would think
they go back to, um, because I was a war baby and I grew up with this,
-so I would think in the '40s, mid '40s, late '40s and onwards.
-Right, was this working then?
Absolutely right, yes, my father bought this
brand-new in Harrods and he paid 101 guineas for it.
-He was married in 1936 so it was to actually celebrate my parents' wedding.
Right, so in a sense it was like a grand celebration of a great occasion.
-Do you play the record player?
All the time, all the time.
My father was always playing opera there, Edmundo Ross, Caruso.
I can remember when I was a teenager putting on, um, Elvis Presley...
-So Elvis was played on here?
-Absolutely. On the old 78s. Yes. Because you'd put eight...
It's only a 78 gramophone?
-Maybe we should look a bit at how this works.
The problem with early televisions was the screens were tiny
and so, very cunningly in this particular design,
they arranged for the image to be projected onto a mirror which was a way of actually
seeing it larger, it also meant that the cathode ray tube,
which is very big, could be arranged vertically
rather than having a hugely deep cabinet behind, and so you'd sit over there, as I imagine you did.
-And you'd watch it in the mirror.
-All the time.
-I've got something to show you.
-Thanks to the wonders of the internet.
-Here is the catalogue of this particular machine.
It's the "model 703, television,
"six-valve, four-waveband radio receiver and automatic gramophone".
-And it had the wonderful title of the "Marconi Phone Mastergram".
Marconi were pioneer television producers, there were others.
They made 13 different models between 1935 and 1939
and, of course, by 1939 it all came to a stop because of the war,
but in 1939 there were about 19,000 televisions in Britain.
It had taken off in quite a big way even though viewing was very limited,
so your father was a real pioneer.
Now what this also shows, tells us, is that it cost 120 guineas.
Yes, I thought he said 101 but it could have been 121 or something.
-So that's what it was.
-So it was a very, very expensive thing.
I mean that was the price of a car.
-So if you were buying a television today, it would be
-in equivalent terms of about £6,000 or £7,000 or even £8,000.
It was very, very expensive.
Now I gather that this is a very rare machine.
I think in the world at the moment there are only
-about four or five of these known.
Now when it was new it cost 120 guineas, or £5,000 or £6,000.
Well, things have changed. In a sense this is useless.
You can play the radio, you can probably play the gramophone.
You'll never watch the TV without fiddling with it beyond reason.
So what's it worth?
I think a collector's going to pay somewhere between £3,000 and £4,000.
-So not quite what it was worth when it was new, but getting there.
-No, no, well thank you very much.
-William Stephen Coleman, W S Coleman, and it's dated 1905.
-He was a very interesting artist because he started life off in training as a surgeon.
-And he turned to art and both his sisters painted as well.
-As well, good grief.
-He also worked for the Minton factory designing, er, designs for tiles and pieces of ceramic.
-Beautiful designs, and I'm very used to seeing his oils and watercolours which are of Egyptian girls.
-Young girls, some Roman scenes with marble, very Classical.
-So he's quite a prolific painter?
-Not that prolific.
-You see a lot of pictures and a lot of prints of his work, there are a lot of reproductions.
When he does something like this, these country garden scenes, they are superb.
-There's a lot of detail.
-Oh, yeah, and I prefer these to the oils, and when you look at this, you've got...
-well you've got irises here, you've got poppies.
So soft. He's very, very like Birkett Foster in some ways.
-But actually almost more loose and impressionistic.
Have you ever thought what it might be worth?
Um, I must admit the thought has occurred to me but, I mean, I have no idea.
Well, given the subject matter and the strong colour,
I mean that would make at least £3,000 to £5,000 at auction.
-Really? That much?
-Yeah, and maybe £4,000 to £6,000.
It's a really, really good image.
-Oh, right. Not bad.
-Everything good about him is in that picture.
So you want me to tell you what it says on here I expect.
Yes. Yes, please really and...
I hate to disappoint you, I can't.
-I can't read it, it's in Chinese but the text on that side is almost
-certainly related to the scene we see on this side.
Which is two young ladies reading,
I guess some sort of a romantic story from their book on this table.
-Do you know approximately what sort of year it is?
-Yeah, it's about, it's about 1860 but you can date it almost from the style of the painting of the faces.
That's a really good clue and then these under-glazed blue borders.
It's a nice little teapot and I want to know, do you actually use it?
-No it sits at my mum's still, on top of the wardrobe.
-Do you, do you go for picnics?
Yes, but I wouldn't take something like that, no.
-Too scared of damaging it. Because my grandad brought it back from the Navy.
-It's something he really sort of looked after, my mum wouldn't sell it, I wouldn't sell it.
It's something that will stay in the family.
-But it is a picnic teapot.
-Oh, it's for picnics.
-Yeah, well you've got the original padded box.
And in fact you could almost say that the padded box
is almost better than the teapot itself.
-It's a wonderful...
They've even left a little nozzle for where the spout of the teapot sits.
And once you've brewed up your tea, you stick it in there
and it sits nice and snugly in this lovely little wicker basket.
It's basically a sort of 19th century thermos.
-Right, with you, yeah.
-But even today in China you can buy
-kits like this.
-An age-old design, it's absolutely timeless, it's a nice object.
Well, the teapot on its own is really actually not worth that much money.
Let's put the whole thing together, the teapot with its container,
probably worth somewhere between £100 and £200.
Right, yes, I wouldn't sell it.
-Time for a brew up.
-Yeah, yeah, I'll see if she wants to take it on a picnic, but I don't think she will.
Deep in the Roadshow is a small but very select club,
it has only three members - Simon Bull, David Battie and Roy Butler.
Apart from being all Bs
they're the only experts who've been with this show in every series since it began 30 years ago.
But, Philip Hook,
as an art expert, you did a very respectable 25 years.
I did, yes, and I...
I remember the beginnings, that first series.
We were making it up as we went along really, I mean we just didn't know what was going to happen.
Would anyone bring anything in?
Would anyone turn up?
What would they bring in?
You were a very young expert.
Well, I'm absolutely staggered looking at the footage of that first programme
30 years ago, of how young I did look, it's been of great amusement
to my daughter who's seen the footage.
And ironically I remember at that time thinking "Oh, if only I had grey hair,
"people would take me more seriously as an expert" and now it's a different story.
Between £200 and £300 now at auction.
I think another interesting difference was that in that first series,
no-one knew very much when they came in. I think the Antiques Roadshow
over the past 30 years has really educated people, educated the public with the result that
people now come in knowing more, and perhaps with a greater degree of expectation,
so in that first series we were giving more people very happy and pleasant surprises.
And what was it about the show that kept you coming back year after year? Apart from being asked.
Well, it was the objects. But it wasn't just the objects
that people brought in, it was the people, it was the owners -
they were such a wonderful mix of characters.
And I remember one great garage owner
who brought an L S Lowry in, in Manchester.
Three years ago I was doing a job for a chap in London
on an E type Jaguar and he was short of the payment
of about £250 and he asked me would I like to take this painting,
and I took it and that's how I acquired it.
And when I had to tell him that, er, that his L S Lowry was not actually genuine, he was a bit crestfallen,
and then he brightened up and he said that it didn't really matter
because the car repair had fallen off the next day anyway.
So all's well that ends well. What's your own personal favourite find?
Well, there were many wonderful things that one finds over the years,
but I suppose one particular one sticks in the mind.
It was at a north London Roadshow.
The owner hadn't intended to come but he was sitting in a cafe
outside the venue, having a cup of coffee, watching the queue
get slightly less and then suddenly on a whim he got up, nipped round the corner back to his house -
he was an American guy - and picked up a picture his father had left him.
He didn't know what it was, what it was worth,
and when he brought it in and I was able to tell him, he was absolutely flabbergasted.
Down in the corner here we've got this signature here.
Here we have the most important Japanese painter in a Western style, of this century.
Well, I suppose, I suppose...
How can I put it? I think you should probably insure it for £50,000.
And I am sure there are plenty of Japanese lurking round the corner
who would probably pay you even a bit more for it.
-He's the most desirable name for Japanese collectors.
-That's the best cup of coffee I ever had.
And then one thing the cameras didn't get at the end,
was him turning to this little old lady in audience just next to him,
who'd he'd never met before in his life,
and he said, "Want to marry me now?"
Now I have to say, this looks like
a very simple ring, almost like a wedding ring.
Is it a wedding ring from your point of view? What's the story behind it?
No, um, 25 years ago I was digging the garden, digging the potatoes up,
talking to my next door neighbour. My mother was with me and she bent down,
and picked something up
-and she just opened her hand and there sat this ring.
Do you know anything about the people who were living in the house,
-who might have owned the garden, going back a few hundred years?
Originally it was a cherry orchard, before we had the bungalow put on it.
And what have you done with, with the ring since?
Well, I used to wear it, because I had it valued
-and they said it would be about £7.
-£7, yes, OK.
-Yes, so I thought,
"Well, I might as well wear it."
If they said £7, first of all did they tell you what it was made of?
-So from your own point of view, this is the first time anyone's seriously studied it.
um, it does have an appearance of a rather simple gem ring, there's something
slightly more interesting about it. It is in fact an old mourning ring.
-And if it was £7 you would assume it was made of something like
base metal, but of course it's very high carat yellow gold.
-Oh, it's not!
So that's the first good thing.
The second thing that's quite interesting is that using my lens,
I can see right into the hoop itself and there is an inscription.
-And, um inside the hoop is engraved as follows -
"..obd..." - died -
-"..7th November 1718".
In other words we've got a ring here that is nearly 300 years old.
Does one assume that it was lying forgotten in your potato patch...
-..for all those years?
Well, OK, the top of the ring is set with
a blue stone and it is not contemporary with the ring.
What's the story there? Do you know anything about that?
Well, I was having a driving lesson and I think I must have hit it on the steering wheel
and it was like crystal and it fell out and I couldn't find it.
-So the jeweller...
-That would figure,
because mourning rings were mounted with little crystals at the tops,
-but often contained a little lock of hair underneath.
That's dropped out and a jeweller's put this blue lapis lazuli in.
So it must have been really small because I didn't see a hair at all,
so it must have been really small.
Well, your lucky find in your potato patch -
you've been told it's worth £7 -
I think it's probably worth something like £300 to £400.
Now that was a good find.
And I used to wear it.
Well, these are items of war,
but we're standing here in a place of peace, Rochester Cathedral,
and this is your cathedral, so tell me how they got here.
I can't answer for my ancestors, but in the 17th century
amazingly, the cathedral employed six militia men.
Those militia men were kitted out with muskets and swords and they were told to keep the peace.
We don't know whether just for the cathedral, or for Rochester as a whole, and this is part
-of what they were equipped with.
-And these were found recently?
-They were in the crypt.
We don't know when they were found in the crypt.
They've been passed on to the museum who look after them for us at the moment.
Let's look at them in a little bit of detail and talk about them.
They're both Civil War items from the English Civil War, this is what is called a mortuary hilted
back sword. It's called mortuary hilt because if you look at the hilt here,
-you see it's got masks. I don't know if you can see.
That's supposed to represent the severed head of King Charles.
-And that's why it's called a mortuary hilted sword.
What interests me about this however, is that I think this composition -
I think this has been put together.
Now this hasn't been put together 400 years ago, 300 years ago, this has actually been put together,
-I suspect, in the last 50 to 80 years.
But it's still a nice object and it's an early object
and it's certainly mid-17th century.
Let's go to the musket next
because actually this is more interesting.
Although this is scarce, this sword is rare, the musket itself
is as rare as hen's teeth.
This is called a dog lock and it's a dog-lock musket
from the Civil War period, and they're incredibly scarce.
-They are incredibly scarce.
They would have been used.
These are objects of war - they would have been used
in battle I suspect. You mention six militia men who were here during the Civil War.
In theory, there's no reason to suspect that they weren't using
these very weapons that were found in the crypt.
But cathedrals were used for many things, and what was the cathedral used for during that Civil War?
It would be nice if we had a film, a documentary of what was happening but we know, for instance,
that horses were stabled here during the Civil War. Some people have said that's in the crypt
but I suspect they might have been in the nave.
-Now, as a matter of interest, you've got them in the museum, do they have them insured?
OK, they need to have them insured for quite a substantial amount.
Are you going to tell me how much?
Well, I saw three or four muskets like this selling at auction last year, made a lot of money.
-So let's start with the sword.
The sword you should insure for £3,000.
you should insure for
-£10,000 to £11,000.
-These are nice objects.
-Very nice objects.
-I hope the museum looks after them well.
-I hope they do,
especially in the light of what I now know.
A rather battered box, what have you been doing to it?
Well, that's how it came to us.
I think what it did, it came out of Russia and then it was moved to France,
miles up in the Alps, but it lived in a wardrobe
under a load of shoe boxes because the person that owned it then felt
nobody would take the shoes and they wouldn't find the box.
-So there aren't any shoes in there?
-No shoes in there, have a look.
OK. And, of course,
what you've got is this fantastic fitted flatware service.
Not its original case. So when did it come out of Russia?
Well, I guess sort of, you know the Revolution time
-I'm thinking, I don't know.
-Ah, now, we've got a clue here
because if you look on the box itself, the box says,
-"Savory and Sons".
Now, Savory's were a very important London firm
that ended in the late 19th century.
So it has to have come out of Russia before the Revolution.
-So we're looking at the Victorian period.
But it is quite an amazing service.
It's not unusual to come across Russian spoons like this.
It's a particularly good Russian spoon
because we've got this decoration here which is known as niello work.
Basically what they did was to carve the surface
with that decoration. What you see as black was carved out.
Then they put the niello powder on the surface
and they fired that in, but the whole surface then would be black.
-Then they rubbed it back
until they got to the original surface
and that left the black as an infill.
So let's have a look and see just what date we're looking at, 1837.
It's earlier than I thought, mmm.
Yeah 1837 and we've got there the mark for Moscow
which is Saint George and the dragon,
-because Saint George was the patron saint of Moscow.
And we've got really everything going on here.
These knives are interesting as well.
We've got the same decorative scheme
-but that is not a Russian blade.
And what you see there is "Savory"
so they were re-bladed when they came to England.
Why would that have been?
-Probably because the original knife blades were already worn out.
Does that detract from the quality, the fact that they've been re-bladed?
Not really, so many knives are re-bladed at some stage.
I mean, clearly, it would be that much nicer if they were
the absolutely original knife, but to get Russian knives like this, is so unusual.
So what a service.
Now it's an extraordinarily difficult set to value
because odd spoons do come on the market.
I cannot remember a set like this ever coming on the market,
-but of course the Russian market is a very good market at the moment.
A lot of money in Russia - well, certain individuals -
and, of course, they absolutely love and want
pieces like this. I mean, this is absolutely right for the market.
I would not be surprised, and this is a guesstimate,
-that this might sell for about £15,000...
-..because of the Russian market.
-The Russian market.
Paul, Rochester Cathedral
is becoming the spiritual home of the Antiques Roadshow
with so many people claiming connections, but yours is impressive.
I think I can claim the best one ever.
Francis Atterbury, Bishop of Rochester.
We're actually descended from his brother,
so it's co-lateral, not quite, but it's a pretty good claim I think.
-Bishop of Rochester?
-Yep. Well, he was actually quite a guy.
He was born in the 1660s.
He was a cleric all his life.
He became Bishop of Rochester in 1714.
The trouble was, after that, he became Dean of Westminster
and then he got into trouble, as you might say, by backing the wrong side.
He became a Jacobite, or he'd always been a Jacobite, and he was seen as a rebellious cleric.
When George I came to the throne, he was actually sentenced to death for saying the wrong things
and was exiled to France, where he died. So he simply made a bad choice at a certain point
and whether I've inherited those traits I don't know.
-You've certainly inherited something - very noble hooter of the Atterburys there.
-Oh, the big conk?
-Let's be honest about it.
-The Atterbury hooter, very distinguished.
Yes. He's, in a sense, my only claim to fame
because when I was a child,
we were often taken to Atterbury Street in London by my grandmother which is beside the Tate Gallery,
and she always used to say "that street is named after your..."
however many great-great-great uncle it was,
and so there are photographs of me standing beside Atterbury Street sign,
my children standing beside Atterbury Street, the sign,
and so it goes on.
CHOIR: # Away in a manger... #
Rochester's Cathedral Choir have been in fine voice this weekend
and where better to celebrate the coming of Christmas
than the place where Charles Dickens drew inspiration for his heart-warming novels -
as full of convivial and sprightly characters as any Antiques Roadshow.
With that, let's wallow in seasonal nostalgia as we welcome the cheerful ghosts of programmes past.
He was my father's, who was born in 1907
and he's been looking after our Christmas trees, as a family, for 90 years.
-So every single year he...
-And was he used this Christmas?
-This last Christmas, yes.
Lovely, well he's got his little Christmas tree here
and he's dressed in what would have been a bright red coat.
-Maybe in the folds you can see it's a little bit brighter...
-..than what it's faded to now.
The first Christmas card was invented by a man called Henry Cole
in England, and I think it was 1849, late 1840s.
And so all the nonsense we go through, the rituals today, are part of our Victorian legacy
and the cards like this, I think,
are a wonderful mirror of what the Victorians thought about it.
Particularly desirable are these ones
with pierced paperwork, fantastically complicated in their technology.
What fascinates me, though, is his head because what we have here
is a bisque head which one associates with pretty smiling attractive dolls
-of the period.
-But this is anything but.
He's got a very pointed nose,
he's got lines here on the bridge of his nose, he's wrinkled,
he's obviously an old man
and that makes it really quite an interesting doll.
Now, these are the most desirable sort because here we have a church saying "Happy Christmas".
And what you do, is,
you pull the ribbon, and it animates - it all comes to life.
And there inside is the church, the stained glass,
and inside the children praying, as a wonderful image of Christmas.
Now, of course, in collector terms they're not particularly desirable,
I mean they range from £5 to £15 but that's completely irrelevant.
-For once we're not talking about money. For the total album it might be £200, £300, £400
but it's not the money, it's what it represents about Victorian life.
And Santa Claus, as a figure, is actually very widely collected
-and a little figure like this could easily realise between £800 and £1,200.
-And in the right sort of venue.
-I think next Christmas...
-We'll keep him in a parcel rather than putting him on the tree.
We have it hanging at Christmas.
-Just every Christmas I can remember, we just bring it out.
-So you treat it like a Christmas decoration?
It comes out with the decs at Christmas. I know.
That's extraordinary. If I owned this, I'd want to look at it all the year round.
How long have you had this?
About 20 years I think.
My husband actually bought it from a book dealer in Edinburgh.
-And when he died, his wife wrote to my husband to say
how much they loved having it in their family, and we hope we get as much pleasure in our family.
-It's obviously a watercolour that's charm generates that kind of personal interest, doesn't it?
-I think so.
-Yes, so do you know about the artist, Kate Greenaway?
Um, a little yes, I know she was a Victorian watercolour and I think she...
didn't she paint a lot of children?
-Absolutely her thing.
I just love that little detail of the child asleep
and the way the light is falling on her, presumably moonlight...
just caught the features of her face and her lovely eyelashes, it's beautifully done.
-Yes, it is, isn't it?
-It's really sweet and I find it interesting that
-it was bought from a book dealer because it's possible that this was a book illustration.
And then again it occurred to me that it might even have been a design for a Christmas card.
-Yes. Well, we actually had a Christmas card made.
-For ourselves, and sent it out.
-Such a good idea.
-In my opinion, it's worth at least £6,000 to £8,000.
Yes, that's amazing.
Now, according to this piece of paper
it says "Wine glass of first Emperor Napoleon...
And if we look inside we find...
..that, which looks to me
like a Napoleonic wine glass. So what's the story?
The only thing that I know about it is that my father had it
and when he died it passed on to me,
but I've tried to find out about this inscription and had no success at all.
-Right, you don't know where he got it?
-No, I have no idea at all
-where he got it from.
-So he wasn't a friend of Napoleon's?
-I don't think so.
-Slight age problem there.
Well, let's look at the evidence here, what have we got before us?
We have precisely Napoleon's cipher.
-That's what it looked like, that's absolutely correct.
We're talking about a piece of exactly the right form and date.
We have a nice coin-disc foot, star-cut base.
We have hexagon facets up the stem, solid bottom bowl.
-Weighs a tonne, doesn't it?
-It is quite heavy, yes. Heavy lead crystal. Yeah.
What do you think a glass like that was used for?
-You wouldn't drink out of that, would you?
-If I served you wine...
-Wouldn't get enough in there.
Not enough in it. So it was for toasting.
-So this glass
conformed to the etiquette of the period which was that you didn't have the glasses on the table.
You would toast to your neighbour. You'd say "cheers"...
down the hatch and then the glass would leave the table, be refilled
-and come back, that's why it's so small.
-Same glass, mmm. Good.
So I reckon that's a pretty hot bit of stuff and it's ironic is it not,
that while Europe was blazed and was destroyed by Napoleon and his armies,
his little wine glass, perhaps the most fragile thing around him, has survived to the present day!
Value, I reckon that the auction estimate would start at £3,000
and if it sailed past £5,000 I wouldn't be at all surprised.
-That's very nice.
-Isn't it just?
-Very, very nice.
What a nice man you are.
Can't help it. Born like it, gal.
Well, I went to the verger after I saw you with this service
and I asked him if we could borrow one of their candles and he's very, very kindly obliged.
But before I get all romantic over the candle, you tell me about this tea service.
Well, I really want to know, we know a lot about it, but I've taken it
-to one or two places and I wanted to know really where it was made.
A name for it. We're more worried about the provenance than the value.
Your provenance, your own family, you've been using this as a tea service.
-You haven't been using it?
-It's on the wall on shelves.
OK, because look, going through it individually
piece by piece we've discovered that maybe 40% of the pieces
are damaged or imperfect in some sort of way.
-That's why we had it.
-So somebody obviously enjoyed using it.
And maybe were a little bit rough with it. Maybe there wasn't enough light where they were using it.
-Maybe they were working in candlelight and tallow light
and so things got a bit chipped.
-Do you know how old the service is?
No, I know the man, John, um, Sleigh, we've chased him back on our family tree
-and he bought it, he didn't inherit it, and he was born in 1872.
This is going to be earlier than that.
This takes us back to the Regency, this is something you might see
in one of those television dramas about young women, usually by Jane Austen.
In the Regency period - we're talking about the early 19th century,
the early 1800s - it became more and more popular to take tea,
and one of the things that you would do is, especially with a service like this,
you would take tea in the evenings
when the light was low and when the candles came out.
And this particular service really answers to and resonates
-to that late Georgian desire for brilliance and sparkle.
You'll see there is absolutely tonnes of gilding on here,
acres, I should say, and the whole reason is if you are...
if you are taking tea by candlelight,
then it really does show off in a way that the other colours don't.
The essential idea of this is Japanese.
These radiating semicircles and circles
-are what the Japanese would recognise as heraldic devices called "mon".
Here the English have made it all their own, this is English porcelain. We turn it over...
you can see that characteristic dark blue...rather soapy texture.
But no markings.
-No marks. I've been through every single piece.
-We've got this stippling on the foot rim,
that's also quite characteristic.
So we know it's English from the actual colour of the paste.
I think this is by a Coalport factory.
-Yeah, and of course you know the name.
Coalport's one of the great names of English porcelain.
It's absolutely typical of what they did. This would have been a very expensive service when it was new,
in around the 1820s. This would be state of the art, very expensive, high fashion, high taste.
I know that you're not interested in the value but antiques do go up and down with time, with fashion,
-and today you could probably buy a service like this for under £1,000 at auction.
-So I think it's a superb service and I'm thrilled that...
-..the verger let us use one of his candles.
-I think we'll offer a little prayer
to the verger, and thank you for bringing this huge service in.
Thank you for all that information, Lars.
I can't believe that two such diverse pictures have been brought in by one person today.
Now, how come you've got these two very different pictures?
Well, my dear uncle, a retired GP in Bristol,
it's been his lifelong hobby collecting antiques and particularly paintings.
He goes to the big auction rooms and purchases and, er, gets catalogues of things.
He's down-sized from a bungalow to a flat and he just lives in a room.
Every time we've been very fortunate that he's allowed us to choose
maybe what we like, if he doesn't want them to be put up in his room.
This one is in memory of my grandma who died in 1977
and this was one of them that's always been on the wall which I really rather like.
The first one up here is really interesting because in fact it's Dutch.
-It's 17th century.
It's by an artist, or attributed to an artist, called Van Brekelenkan.
I'd catalogue this as "circle of this artist".
In the 17th century, the Dutch were very, very keen on doing interior scenes.
You can look at Ostade and Teniers, you know, wonderful detail. This is quite good -
very good detail on here.
But it is a bit thin
and it's thin because it's had over-cleaning at some time
and also it's had the split in the panel, but it's a nice painting.
When we come down to the bottom here and we've got a 20th century picture.
-And it is signed
-by Munnings, 1908.
-And I'll just tell you about Munnings.
Munnings is actually one of the favourite artists of mine.
-He is very famous for painting horses, he was an equestrian artist later on in life.
He was born in 1878.
This is 1908 and it would have been painted when he was 30 years old.
-But really lively painting and you look at the way that he gets the blossom on the tree.
And just a few brush strokes to get the water, really positive.
And, you know, when he was very young,
he started off working for Colman's Mustard doing the design for their cans. Yes, I've seen
some of the original designs and then... He was a genius really.
In the early 1900s painting like this and becomes very famous for his horse paintings
in the '20s and '30s. He actually became President of the Royal Academy
and gave a very famous speech in the '50s where he derided modern art and he was not a popular man.
-But this is fantastic.
We have to come to values now.
I hate talking about values because it's such a nice picture. But the top one here...
-..um, I think today if one had this as attributed to Brekelenkam
I would say...
somewhere in the region of, er, £3,000 to £5,000.
The one down here is absolutely sensational.
-I know that this is worth £20,000 to £30,000.
-I thought the top one would be the expensive one.
And having told you that, it could even go on more
and make £30,000 to £35,000. It's a really lovely picture.
He would just be so thrilled
to know that... He bought it in memory of his mum and he'd be so thrilled.
A day of delightful discoveries
including some extraordinary personal links
between the Roadshow team and Rochester Cathedral.
Relatives have included one dean, one canon, one verger
and assorted members of the choir.
My own father was born just down the road in Chatham
but he never achieved high office
and he wasn't much of a singer either.
Many thanks to everyone who's joined us today,
and from Rochester in Kent, goodbye.
Micael Aspel and his team of experts pay a return visit to Rochester Cathedral to examine more local heirlooms. They toast the festive season with Napoleon's drinking glass, and uncover a very early piece of television technology.