Middleport Pottery Antiques Roadshow


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Middleport Pottery

Michael Aspel and the team survey heirlooms at the last working Victorian pottery in England, at Middleport in Staffordshire. A portrait of William Gladstone puts in an appearance.


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Arnold Bennett once wrote that you couldn't drink from a teacup

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without the aid of Staffordshire pottery towns.

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Well, it's tea time. Today we're in Burslem,

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the Mother Town of the six that form the city of Stoke-on-Trent.

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Then its proud claim has been put to the test in the years between

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with competition flooding in from the other side of the world.

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But the flag still flies and with all the imports from the Far East,

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it's nice to raise a pinkie at a tea set that's only had to cross a

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few metres of water to get here.

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By the Trent and Mersey Canal you'll find the Victorian

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pottery of Middleport the home of Burleigh ware.

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Built in 1888 by William Burgess and his partner Frederick Leigh

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it was recognised in its day as the model pottery - efficient, profitable

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and good to its workforce.

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Generation after generation have

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helped produce fine quality earthenware here, and with the

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passing of the years very little has changed in the production process.

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Pottery from here has been shipped all over the world.

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When you walk through the pottery's main gates you half expect to

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come across young William and Frederick planning their next line.

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An entry in Leigh's day book gives a hint of his philosophy.

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"Be frugal, that which will not make a pot will make a pot lid."

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There are literally thousands of dusty old moulds here

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waiting to be rediscovered.

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Some of them were eagerly snapped up by Middleport

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after other potteries closed nearby.

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Burleigh's speciality is something called underglaze transfer printing.

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It's a skill that's been practised for over 200 years.

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It was once an everyday technique but Burleigh is the last pottery

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in the world still using it.

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Sadly after all the years of glory

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the company very nearly came to a disastrous end.

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Five generations of the Leigh family had run the business but by 1999

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they were in financial difficulties and the receivers were called in.

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At the eleventh hour a couple from

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Hampshire with only £400 in their current

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bank account stepped into the breach and mounted an audacious rescue bid.

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More of that later.

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It would be nice to think that some ancient items of Burleigh ware

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will find their way home today.

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Our ceramics team are licking their lips, they're also crossing their

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fingers, the weather forecast isn't good but when did that ever stop us?

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They all originally belonged to my grandfather who worked

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at Middleport pottery for over 50 years, so they were all his.

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And he left them to me

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and they're just a little collection of things.

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Was he a potter here, what was his job?

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He was a warehouse master. Cross-warehouse.

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-And these things I suppose he just acquired while he was working here.

-Basically.

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I mean these really in a way show the variety of wares that

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were produced here in its greatest period during the 1930s, '40s, when they really understood glazes.

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Let's look at the colours here. This jug is a bit of an oddity in a way

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because it shouldn't be in these colours.

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Here we've got a jug that was modelled in the 1850s, 1860s

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in a very tame colour, but here it's been brought up-to-date.

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When did he join the factory?

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1928.

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Because here we've got the colours of the early '30s

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that's when he was there, but it's actually on the bottom there

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there's a little maker's mark,

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that's the registration lozenge for the Victorian period,

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that mark says it was made in the 1860s, but it wasn't.

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The old moulds, they stayed in the factory, that long tradition,

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and they reused the old moulds

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and here they produced a Victorian jug in the 1930s colours.

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I mean, this sense of modelling they produced, did your grandfather

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-know the modellers and work with them?

-He knew Earnest Bailey.

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Oh, Earnest Bailey of course was perhaps the epitome of the modellers here, just a superb work, isn't he?

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This is one of his designs, isn't it?

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How much more decoration can you get in one jug?

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Just look at it, church interior, there's the - what's it -

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bell ringers, Oh, I see. The bells ringers Jack of Lincoln.

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And signed on the bottom by...

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Bailey sculpt it.

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Yes, of course.

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He produced the original model from which these were moulded

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and cast here, what 1948.

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I mean, not an awful lot was being done at that time

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and especially locally. These were of course wartime restrictions,

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were still export only, they couldn't really be sold locally.

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-That's another one of Bailey's work, isn't it?

-Uh-huh.

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It's a marvellous idea of a jug, isn't it?

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There one sees all around it - that's not just a vessel, it's the

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bottle kiln, the big kiln we're sitting underneath the shadow of

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and there is Edmund Leigh the first chairman of Burgess and Leigh.

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Made as a very proud piece. So these came down to you of course

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in the family. What do you think of them?

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I'm not particularly keen on these two but I love this one.

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I think this is fun and, that's a beautiful piece of pottery and I really enjoy that piece.

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This is really a very different design altogether, this is...

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it's tube-lining, isn't it, drawing the patterns out in colours.

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Very different but equally great workman from the factory here,

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or work lady because there we have the mark of Charlotte Rhead.

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You don't see much of the Rhead pieces on the Burleigh ware.

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It's sort of something which... It's again, is this a

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prototype that stayed in, was given in the family, I presume.

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It was presented to him when he retired.

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What a lovely piece to be given.

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One knows that these factory, the Burleigh wares are becoming

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more and more appreciated but it's still relatively new to collectors

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compared to other factories but it's growing steadily in market.

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A simple moulded jug like this, you're looking at what, sort of

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£150 for an unusual jug like that.

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They are affordable I think.

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Even the great eccentric jugs like this,

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They're going to be £200, £300.

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Lovely bits of pottery for that, aren't they? They're great.

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That's a rare prototype jug, not many were made of those pieces,

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today what are we gonna be - £400 rising.

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But they're going up, they're going up.

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These are scarce things. People are looking at them in a new way because they've got the quality.

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And here, Charlotte Rhead's work is popular anywhere,

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and a rare piece in Burleigh,

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so I mean that's going to be again, I suppose £500.

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OK, brilliant. Excellent.

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I bought it from a church fete in Cheshire last year

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and it was among some costume jewellery and it

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sort of stuck out and I asked how much it was and it was 25 pence.

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-So not an outrageous sum of money.

-No, no.

-No.

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Let me tell you a little bit about it, it's gold,

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and the gold wreath border is set throughout with little pearls,

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and there's a little tiny monogram here, a letter, with pearls

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and tiny diamond chips in the letter here.

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And then you have a blue enamelled

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field, it's got a circular gold back, and did you wonder

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at what this little mechanism was at the back there?

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-Yes.

-You've got two little pin holes and the idea would be that you would

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take a screwdriver and you would put this little peg-like screwdriver

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into the back and you would twiddle it,

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you'd unscrew it, and the front would fall out and you

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-could replace that blue plaque with a different colour plaque.

-OK, OK.

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So what this is, is a gold pendant that was probably made in let's say

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1900, 1905 - so it's the start of the 20th century.

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Gold, pearls, blue enamel and diamonds and you paid 25 pence.

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-That's correct.

-In a fete for it.

-That's correct.

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Well, if it happened to be by one of the great craftsmen Faberge,

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Cartier, believe me that would be one of the ultimate finds, it's not.

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-OK.

-There are no makers marks on it at all that I can see.

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Because of that I think we have

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to be a little bit careful not to go too high with it.

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But nevertheless I think if someone had that letter if their name began

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with that particular A letter, I should think that someone would

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-be delighted to pay something in the region of £500 for it.

-God.

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So your 25 pence was a very good investment.

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-Certainly gave me a good profit then.

-Yes, well done you.

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Have you noticed how accurate our weather forecasters have been getting,

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they've been promising us rain for days and here it is on the dot.

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What we do on these occasions is

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onwards and inwards, as it happens it is a weekend

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and the workers are away from their pottery benches which means that

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there is space in there for us to move in, so let's do it.

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Isn't that gorgeous? I love that beautiful sweep

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round with, with the object but where did you get it from?

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Well, it's actually my mother's and I think it came from her mother -

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she was very, very keen on, on sort of country house

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sales and that sort of thing. Mother says it's something like £12.50.

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-Right.

-So.

-Yes, not bad.

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It's actually very exciting.

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Cos what we've got here is the mark of C R Ashbee.

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Now, C R Ashbee was the chap who bought William Morris' idea

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of a guild work, the Arts and Crafts movement into effect,

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from a point of view of silver.

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Look at the handles, the way those - there's actually two wires joined together,

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and then, splitting at the top,

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and then just that little plate.

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And right at the end of the wire, how it just spreads.

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Now that actually is quite an early feature,

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other thing to particularly notice,

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can you see as I turned in the light,

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that slightly rippley effect on the surface?

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Now that is what's known as the final planishing.

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-It's hand-done?

-Everything's hand-made.

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Because in fact, this was really a revolution against industrialisation

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so you had a small group of men working together.

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Each using their own particular skills to create the object.

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The marks are fascinating because what standard London marks there,

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with the date for 1900 but that mark is jolly rare,

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it's the CRA mark, the C R Ashbee as opposed to G of H limited mark

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for the guild of handicraft. Any thoughts on its worth?

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Probably a bit more than £12.50, I would think. It's a beautiful piece.

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Right, certainly more than £12.50, at least £13.

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-OK.

-No, no seriously.

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At auction if it was Guild Handicraft normal mark I would

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-be thinking 3,000, 4,000 quite easily.

-Gosh.

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That mark is going to push it up cos it is so rare.

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And I think we're looking more around the 5,000 mark.

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Right, OK, that's, that's very, very nice.

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-Good old granny.

-Yes, well done.

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At the beginning of the show I mentioned the brave act of

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a couple from Hampshire who came to the rescue of the company when they got into trouble back in 1999.

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And they are Rosemary and Will Dorling.

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Now you lived in 200 miles away from here

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down in Hampshire, what was your connection with Burgess and Leigh?

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We had a china shop in Winchester near the cathedral and we specialised

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in Staffordshire ceramics, so we didn't buy anything from Italy or

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Portugal or the Far East, we just had a passion for English ceramics.

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Hence Burgess and Leigh.

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-And is this jug part of the output?

-That's right, this jug was made 100 years ago at this factory,

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fired in a bottle oven and given to us as a wedding present

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before we even knew about Burgess and Leigh.

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So you knew the product, you wanted to help

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but how were you able to help?

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In 1999 we heard that the pottery had gone into liquidation

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and it got to 11 hours before the deadline the receiver wanted

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all his offers in, but we decided we'd go and see our bank manager and

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put an offer in for the business.

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We decided we'd take the business to a modern unit and we would start

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again and this poor old factory would be left behind to the developers.

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But after we saw our bank manager who said he'd loan us against our house

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for the business, we walked out into the street in Winchester

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and met our old neighbour who said you've got to keep the two together,

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you must keep that fantastic Victorian building and the business together

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and I'll arrange a commercial mortgage for you.

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Had we not met Peter in the street, we wouldn't today be in this wonderful factory.

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we thought this has to be the last tribute to the people of Stoke-on-Trent,

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who gave their lives in horrendous conditions to make art.

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So, an intriguing box.

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And is this something from your family?

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Yes, it is. My grandmother's brother -

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they're originally from Poland - was caught by the German soldiers

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and put in a prisoner of war camp, and what he used to do is,

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as you can see he's very artistic, he used to make little figurines of

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fairytales for the German soldiers to send back to their family.

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And in turn they used to give him a little bit extra food

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and he used to keep some of the materials aside and what he did

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was he made this little set of a Polish fairytale called Maria the Orphan, for his niece.

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To send back to...she was only three at the time, and then the soldiers

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sent it back to her after the camp was closed.

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That's amazing. I mean, these are so beautiful, I particularly love

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this little dog.

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-It's beautiful.

-It's just gorgeous.

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I remember this is giving a lot away, I remember having a

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-set of these little very similar farmyard set in the 1950s.

-Oh, OK.

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So they were obviously very popular then.

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-They're incredibly well done.

-So detailed.

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I think my set in the '50s was slightly more rustic than this.

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I think it's had a lot, a lot of talent. And it's just

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so wonderful having all these, the geese, what was the story?

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It was about Maria The Orphan, it's similar to the English fairytale of Red Riding Hood.

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-If it was to sell, I could see it going for you know, £150, £200.

-Yeah.

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But its value is ten times that.

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-Definitely.

-It's just an amazing story

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and amazing set and it's fabulous that it's stayed in the family.

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Thank you, thank you.

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It's a family picture.

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Was in my grandparents' house and certainly I remember -

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I've been told - as a small child in my family used to holiday in Iona,

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most years with my mum, when my grandfather was growing up.

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And this is by Cadell, one of the Glasgow artists

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and painted in the 1920s perhaps, when did they have it, do you suppose?

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I know that my grandfather was in India, there was three generations of

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the family in India and he came back in the early 1930s.

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-Right.

-So that's as clearly as

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-I could date it.

-And he'll have bought it new.

-I think he'll have bought it then.

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Cadell was apparently a very jolly

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man and I think his light-hearted character comes out in the

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picture, lovely bright colours, very quick paintwork and so on.

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It's a man who's really enjoying life I think, don't you?

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-I love the colours.

-Cadell studied in Paris at

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the end of the 19th century, 1899 to about 1905, something like that.

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And at that time there was a great movement for painting

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outside and "plein air" painting and the Scots really picked up on this.

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And through the 1920s and '30s - he dies I think in 1933 -

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he went to Iona every year for his holidays and

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so on, do you recognise this particular view?

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No I don't, no I suspect my father might have been able,

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but he's no longer with us but I don't know that particular one.

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I just love this use of this bright splashes of colour which draw your eye into the picture.

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It's just absolutely full of life - it sings, doesn't it?

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It's a wonderful picture.

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Well, I mean he's really one of the most desirable of all the

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Scottish colourists really and a picture like this today would make

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somewhere between £30,000 and £40,000.

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SHE LAUGHS

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I had no idea!

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When we took the show to Toronto in Canada a few years ago

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a queue formed separately and quite spontaneously and consisted of

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Henry Sandon fans who simply wanted to kiss the great man.

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Well, he has been oozing charm and his great knowledge of ceramics for 29 of the show's 30 years.

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Henry we're always celebrating big valuations and huge reactions

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but some of the things that have

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landed on the ceramics table have really changed people's lives.

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Yes, the biggest one I suppose came in Northampton.

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A lovely lady brought

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a slipware model of an owl made in Staffordshire.

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It's a remarkable

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example of a rare class of things, so rare that I

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for many, many years I've never had the privilege of handling one.

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So it's a joy to have it.

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-I don't know what you or your father think it's worth. Any ideas?

-We don't, no.

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-Do you know what I think its value is?

-No.

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Are you comfortably sitting there?

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Yes, I'm OK.

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Something between about £20,000 and £30,000.

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-Good gracious, never!

-£20,000 and £30,000.

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Oh, my word.

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She subsequently sold it at auction and the auction house didn't make a

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commission charge at all - very kind of them - and she used

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a large chunk of the money to help the Salvation Army

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use for adopting children in Sao Paulo and the rest of it she used to

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bring up her own adopted children - six adopted children, and...

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I have Christmas cards from these, they call themselves the Owlets

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because it all came from the owl, these are some Christmas cards I've had which says,

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"Happy Christmas from the Owlets", which is nice and,

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and they even sent me a calendar which I've taken the calendar off

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but there's Ozzie the owl and on the back of it said,

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"He came out of his nest and is now roosting in Stoke-on-Trent.

0:19:520:19:56

"From Mrs Owl and the Owlets", it's lovely.

0:19:560:19:59

I can almost cap that but not quite the goods back in 2002

0:19:590:20:05

I gave you a slight surprise when I crept up to you one day and said,

0:20:050:20:08

Henry Sandon, This Is Your Life, do you remember that by any chance?

0:20:080:20:12

It was a dreadful shock I nearly died.

0:20:120:20:16

And now I have this wonderful book with them all, my history inside it.

0:20:160:20:20

-That was a happy day wasn't it?

-It was a very, very happy day, I've never forgotten it.

0:20:200:20:25

Well, one final surprise for you Henry, you first met this person

0:20:250:20:28

in 1987, and like you, he's become extremely popular but I know you

0:20:280:20:33

have a very special relationship all the way from the Potteries Museum himself. Ozzie the Owl.

0:20:330:20:40

Ozzie the Owl, Ozzie the Owl! Oh, bless his little boots,

0:20:400:20:44

-thank you, thank you very much.

-Together at last.

0:20:440:20:48

Oh.

0:20:480:20:50

"Be all right with the freak and funky Jimi Hendrix", classic.

0:20:500:20:54

What a classic line, and what can I say, Jimi Hendrix's autograph

0:20:540:20:59

it's fantastic and, it's in an autograph book with bits of Mitch Mitchell's drumsticks as well,

0:20:590:21:07

Jimi Hendrix's drummer. How d'you happen to have these?

0:21:070:21:10

Well, we just went to see Jimi - it was April 1967 and we were just waiting

0:21:100:21:17

-outside on the stage door, me and my friend.

-Where was he playing?

0:21:170:21:20

Hanley, the Gaumont.

0:21:200:21:22

The Gaumont at Hanley and this was the bill that he was on with the Walker Brothers.

0:21:220:21:27

-Cat Stevens, Engelbert Humperdinck.

-Yeah.

-Bit of a strange mixture actually but actually I must admit

0:21:270:21:33

I like Scott Walker as a musician and this was an interesting tour

0:21:330:21:36

because I don't know whether you know, Jimi worked his way up the bill

0:21:360:21:40

becoming more infamous at every gig that he played.

0:21:400:21:44

So, what was he like then, to watch?

0:21:440:21:47

What was he like? Well, we didn't actually see him play.

0:21:470:21:50

-Right.

-We were schoolgirls

0:21:500:21:52

we couldn't afford to go in. So we just waited at the stage door.

0:21:520:21:56

-Terrible thing to ask a lady, how old were you?

-I was 15. My friend was 14.

0:21:560:22:00

-Right, OK. And obviously he came out and you got his...

-Yeah, came out

0:22:000:22:05

and he was really friendly, he was chatting to us and we had the autographs,

0:22:050:22:09

but then, a bit of drama occurred because, someone

0:22:090:22:13

actually stole his guitar as it was being loaded onto the bus

0:22:130:22:17

for them to go home, this person ran up the street, we ran up

0:22:170:22:20

following Jimi and his entourage.

0:22:200:22:22

You gave pursuit after Jimi Hendrix's guitar?

0:22:220:22:25

Yeah, anyway, he managed to stop the

0:22:250:22:27

person and actually got the guitar back.

0:22:270:22:30

It's a fascinating tale I have to say, and this,

0:22:300:22:33

what's this, this bit of Beano?

0:22:330:22:34

He actually got on the bus after this and he was reading it

0:22:340:22:38

and then, the engine started and he was going to back

0:22:380:22:43

to home or whatever and then he pushed that through the window

0:22:430:22:46

as a souvenir and also

0:22:460:22:49

the ring, he took the ring off his finger.

0:22:490:22:52

-That's Jimi Hendrix's ring?

-Yes.

0:22:520:22:54

-So he gave you that?

-Yeah.

-As well.

0:22:540:22:56

-Yeah.

-Looks like something out of a Christmas cracker.

-I know.

-Can I have a look at it?

0:22:560:23:01

It is something out of a Christmas cracker, isn't it? But I suppose

0:23:010:23:04

at the time that was not important. Hold on a sec, I've got to wear it.

0:23:040:23:08

It's just like him, he was flamboyant.

0:23:080:23:10

Well, I'm quite flamboyant as well. Do you think it suits me?

0:23:100:23:13

It's a little bit small for me, it fits on my little finger.

0:23:130:23:16

It is a Christmas cracker ring, but at the end of the day,

0:23:160:23:20

it's not quality that's important here - that's Hendrix's ring.

0:23:200:23:24

Had you ever thought about what a little thing like this is worth?

0:23:240:23:28

No.

0:23:280:23:29

Given there's a little bit more to it than an average autograph page,

0:23:290:23:34

and this particularly, even though in real terms is worth tuppence,

0:23:340:23:38

I think the whole lot is going to make £500 to £700 at auction.

0:23:380:23:44

Yeah.

0:23:440:23:45

So it's a great little thing.

0:23:450:23:47

And I have to say, the story makes it. Thank you very much.

0:23:470:23:51

OK, thank you.

0:23:510:23:52

I went to a market and I saw it on a stall and I liked it.

0:23:550:23:59

I thought it had no particular value but it was aesthetically pleasing.

0:24:020:24:07

-And you purchased it for how much?

-About £10 I think.

0:24:070:24:09

About £10, OK. >

0:24:090:24:11

It was the enamel that appealed as well and the signature.

0:24:110:24:14

Ah, the signature.

0:24:140:24:15

Signature. I thought the signature was slightly familiar to me.

0:24:150:24:19

I was going to say, you've obviously noticed the signature

0:24:190:24:22

Rhead - it's there, something's in the conscience?

0:24:220:24:26

The name Rhead within this region is actually quite an important dynasty,

0:24:260:24:30

we have 3 generations of important artists, designers who were working

0:24:300:24:34

around this area from George, the, let's call him the grandfather,

0:24:340:24:38

who actually established the Fenton School of Art, to Frederick F Rhead

0:24:380:24:43

who worked for a number of important pottery manufacturers in this area,

0:24:430:24:48

and let's call her the granddaughter, Charlotte Rhead,

0:24:480:24:51

who of course is one of those names just synonymous

0:24:510:24:54

with the 1920s and '30s and the Art Deco period.

0:24:540:24:57

And Charlotte actually spent an important part of her early career

0:24:570:25:01

working here at Burgess and Leigh.

0:25:010:25:03

Your plaque, though, is clearly signed F Rhead, and I'm happy to say

0:25:030:25:08

that we've got a Frederick Rhead, we're middle generation,

0:25:080:25:14

and we're on a tile panel and in terms of date,

0:25:140:25:18

we're looking at a date fairly specifically between 1908 and 1910.

0:25:180:25:23

Now around those years Frederick actually went into business with

0:25:230:25:27

a gentleman called F H Barker, and they established a tile company

0:25:270:25:31

at the Atlas Tile works.

0:25:310:25:33

It was a fairly short-lived exercise, actually,

0:25:330:25:36

and the company dissolved after two years, and what we're looking at

0:25:360:25:40

here is a piece that is obviously hand-executed by Frederick who was

0:25:400:25:44

actually a very accomplished artist who trained under a name

0:25:440:25:49

you'll also probably have heard of, Louis Solon, at Minton.

0:25:490:25:52

The heritage is there, it's all starting to fall into place,

0:25:520:25:57

and I think it's safe to say that your £10 purchase was actually

0:25:570:26:00

quite modest and a very good acquisition on the day, because

0:26:000:26:05

I feel if this were to come up in a saleroom, I'd be quite confident

0:26:050:26:09

in putting a pre-sale estimate of £500 to £800 on it,

0:26:090:26:13

it's a wonderful piece,

0:26:130:26:14

and I'm so glad you brought it along today.

0:26:140:26:16

Thank you.

0:26:160:26:18

Someone I didn't expect to see at the Roadshow today is Nick Hancock.

0:26:210:26:25

Surely you've got better things to do than come and see us.

0:26:250:26:27

-You'd have thought so.

-I would.

0:26:270:26:29

But it is Stoke On Trent on Sunday afternoon, it was either you or the launderette,

0:26:290:26:33

-and the laundrette's shut.

-And we won.

0:26:330:26:35

Only cos it's shut, yeah.

0:26:350:26:37

-So why are you here.

-Well, I was desperate to bring along a few things

0:26:370:26:41

that were relevant to the city and relevant to Stoke City Football Club,

0:26:410:26:44

the team I support, so I'd be interested to know what you think.

0:26:440:26:49

You've been a Stoke City man and boy, all your life, haven't you?

0:26:490:26:52

Yes, I have I had no real choice, my grandfather used to take me and,

0:26:520:26:55

and my father, so yes.

0:26:550:26:57

In Roadshow terms, a very high point in my life

0:26:570:27:00

was many years ago, we did a show in Trentham.

0:27:000:27:03

And Stanley Matthews came as a guest and I met him,

0:27:030:27:06

and it was absolute magic.

0:27:060:27:08

The great thing about Sir Stan was that he was a hero,

0:27:080:27:12

a local hero, but he was probably the first global sporting superstar,

0:27:120:27:16

as big as Beckham in a time when there wasn't the television about,

0:27:160:27:20

there wasn't the satellite channels and that sort of thing,

0:27:200:27:23

but he was a massive name, and he was from Stoke on Trent.

0:27:230:27:26

OK, so, are these to do with him?

0:27:260:27:28

Some of them are, yes.

0:27:280:27:29

I mean, I think probably the most important piece is this medal here,

0:27:290:27:34

which is the FA Cup winners medal which Stanley won in 1953,

0:27:340:27:37

because the whole of the nation had been willing Stanley to win.

0:27:370:27:41

He had to do it. He'd never done it.

0:27:410:27:43

He'd never won anything up till then.

0:27:430:27:45

It's, it's fantastic history.

0:27:450:27:48

I probably cherish this one more,

0:27:480:27:51

-because this is a medal he won when he was at Stoke City.

-Right.

0:27:510:27:54

When they got promotion in 1963.

0:27:540:27:56

Stanley'd come back, Stan must have been 48 years of age,

0:27:560:27:59

the crowds came back with him and we finally won promotion,

0:27:590:28:02

then he scored the winning goal against Luton Town, and so that

0:28:020:28:06

is probably slightly more important to me because that as a Stoke fan.

0:28:060:28:09

-And that's real Roy of the Rovers stuff.

-Yeah.

0:28:090:28:11

Scoring a winning goal.

0:28:110:28:12

Oh yes, the old chap comes back,

0:28:120:28:14

and the younger players'd give him the ball cos he could hold onto it

0:28:140:28:17

while they had a breather, it was a fantastic story.

0:28:170:28:20

So you collect memorabilia football stuff?

0:28:200:28:22

I do and if you're gonna ask me why, I'm not really sure,

0:28:220:28:26

and I suppose in some ways, it's just you have a connection with a team,

0:28:260:28:30

and you have a feeling for a player,

0:28:300:28:32

but it just makes it slightly more tangible to have something there.

0:28:320:28:35

I think things that have been part of someone famous are just magic.

0:28:350:28:39

What about the cap?

0:28:390:28:40

The cap, it has a sort of a link with Stanley Matthews,

0:28:400:28:43

it's a Gordon Banks cap.

0:28:430:28:45

when Stoke finally parted company with Sir Stanley and Sir Stanley

0:28:450:28:48

had been fantastic for them bringing money into the club,

0:28:480:28:51

we used to go on tours round the world, because Stanley was playing.

0:28:510:28:54

The first thing they did immediately was that they bought

0:28:540:28:57

Gordon Banks, another iconic player.

0:28:570:28:59

This cap is for the 1970 World Cup,

0:28:590:29:01

and I suppose, apart from winning the World Cup in 1966...

0:29:010:29:05

Yes, it wasn't a great World Cup.

0:29:050:29:07

It wasn't great for us and if, but, but of course Gordon was ill,

0:29:070:29:09

for the game we lost.

0:29:090:29:11

But he did make what was commonly considered...

0:29:110:29:14

-The greatest save.

-The greatest save of all time.

0:29:140:29:16

-OK, so you collect these things, you buy them.

-Yep.

0:29:160:29:20

And they're expensive, aren't they?

0:29:200:29:22

They can be very expensive, I tend to...

0:29:220:29:24

Like a lot of Stoke on Trent people I'm quite nosey, I'll go to the sale with no intention at all of bidding.

0:29:240:29:29

As we all do, but suddenly your hand creeps up.

0:29:290:29:32

"That should be staying in the city."

0:29:320:29:34

Yeah, OK. Can we ask?

0:29:340:29:37

The cap is in the thousands rather than the hundreds.

0:29:370:29:40

Yes.

0:29:400:29:42

Now, just below 10,000 I would have said.

0:29:420:29:45

This medal much, much more reasonable

0:29:450:29:47

-and yet strangely, the thing I cherish most.

-Exactly, yes.

0:29:470:29:50

-That medal...

-That's an expensive medal.

0:29:500:29:53

Yes, that's a very expensive medal that, tens of thousands probably.

0:29:530:29:56

-Well, 20.

-20.

0:29:560:29:58

-Let's be precise.

-20,000.

0:29:580:29:59

I think these are good investments, whatever you pay doesn't matter,

0:29:590:30:04

they're important things, they're important to you.

0:30:040:30:06

I think iconic things like that will hold their price.

0:30:060:30:09

Now I'm gonna say to you, you thought it was all over, but, stop.

0:30:090:30:12

-Well.

-Hang on a minute. I've got a present for you.

0:30:120:30:15

Oh, right.

0:30:150:30:16

Stoke City, I think it's 1961, versus Liverpool.

0:30:180:30:21

How fantastic, thank you very much, that's wonderful.

0:30:210:30:24

-Well, it's better in your collection than in mine.

-Thank you very much.

0:30:240:30:27

I suppose it's not a huge coincidence

0:30:270:30:29

that we've got a portrait of William Gladstone, cos he didn't live that far from here.

0:30:290:30:33

About 30-ish miles, I think.

0:30:330:30:35

-All right.

-Just inside the Welsh border.

0:30:350:30:37

And, and where did you find him?

0:30:370:30:39

Antiques fair in Chester, Chester racecourse.

0:30:390:30:42

-Oh, really and you just came across this.

-Yeah, just lying on the floor.

0:30:420:30:45

What did it look like when you first encountered the man.

0:30:450:30:49

He looked a mess really, there was a big hole and we had it restored

0:30:490:30:55

and we're just delighted with it.

0:30:550:30:59

So have you attempted to find anything out about it?

0:30:590:31:02

-Yes. Obviously, that's fairly prominent.

-Which looks like a cipher.

0:31:020:31:06

Yes, and we have no idea, we looked on the internet, couldn't find it.

0:31:060:31:11

So we wrote to the National Portrait Gallery, just in case

0:31:110:31:14

they had a reference and they wrote back and said they

0:31:140:31:17

thought it was Henry Weigall,

0:31:170:31:20

and that they knew of the existence of a similar painting,

0:31:200:31:24

but that was it, we drew a blank.

0:31:240:31:26

Perhaps I can put you out of your misery and tell you

0:31:260:31:29

a little bit more about it. OK.

0:31:290:31:30

Well, the W at the bottom, the H W is indeed Henry Weigall,

0:31:300:31:35

who is an extremely interesting artist.

0:31:350:31:38

He married into aristocracy, and I suspect a little bit of wealth

0:31:380:31:42

as well, he married the daughter of the Earl of Westmoreland,

0:31:420:31:47

and through that I suspect he got a whole raft of great commissions,

0:31:470:31:52

got to the Royal Family, got to people like William Gladstone.

0:31:520:31:55

He painted predominantly for clubs and for regiments,

0:31:550:32:00

very Victorian style institutions, but he had a particular way about

0:32:000:32:04

him, he had a good solidity,

0:32:040:32:06

he in a sense epitomises the grand Victorian face.

0:32:060:32:11

The subject, William Gladstone, of course, is a subject

0:32:110:32:15

that many people will instantly recognise

0:32:150:32:17

but that's not surprising because he was really into his face.

0:32:170:32:22

In fact, at this time in politics people like Gladstone, people like

0:32:220:32:26

Disraeli understood the power of personality, the personality cult.

0:32:260:32:31

And through carte de visites and

0:32:310:32:33

portraits like this, they managed to get their image around.

0:32:330:32:36

Now Gladstone was a difficult man to paint, he's one of these people who

0:32:360:32:40

loved adversity, he loved to confront.

0:32:400:32:42

Queen Victoria loathed him, I gather, and said something like,

0:32:420:32:46

being addressed by him was as if being addressed to the public rally,

0:32:460:32:50

you know, he didn't talk gently, he just sort of lectured you.

0:32:500:32:54

Now, what we're dealing with here is something where we can

0:32:540:32:58

tick a few boxes.

0:32:580:33:00

It represents one of the most significant figures

0:33:000:33:04

in Victorian England, together with Disraeli.

0:33:040:33:07

Politically, they reigned supreme for a bit, one way and another.

0:33:070:33:11

It's painted at a time when he is prime minister,

0:33:110:33:15

it's an emotive period in his life.

0:33:150:33:18

Political portraiture, particularly for the collectors out there who want these things,

0:33:180:33:22

they like the idea of them being painted when the career is peaking,

0:33:220:33:26

when something exciting is happening.

0:33:260:33:29

Weigall is an artist who is rated.

0:33:290:33:31

I've actually had works by him, not of Gladstone but of Disraeli,

0:33:310:33:36

so I'm reasonably familiar with the artist.

0:33:360:33:39

Can I ask you what you paid for it?

0:33:390:33:41

£350.

0:33:410:33:43

And then we had it restored and reframed,

0:33:430:33:47

so we spent a total of about £700 altogether.

0:33:470:33:51

Well, I think you, you paid a rather good price,

0:33:520:33:56

because I would comfortably value this picture

0:33:560:34:00

at anywhere up to £20,000.

0:34:000:34:03

God!

0:34:030:34:04

Glad I'm sitting down.

0:34:040:34:07

Can't believe that.

0:34:100:34:11

What we have here is quite a spectacular looking thing, obviously

0:34:120:34:15

and it's quite strange, and in fact when we look at it,

0:34:150:34:19

we don't really know what it is, but it's what we call a street piano.

0:34:190:34:23

Now, this is the kind of thing that was originally made for a parlour,

0:34:230:34:28

it's really a piece for entertainment,

0:34:280:34:31

and you can imagine people in a parlour circa 1900, sitting there with this piece playing.

0:34:310:34:36

What's the story behind it, where did you acquire it?

0:34:360:34:39

It was acquired from my grandmother and it was left to me son.

0:34:390:34:42

Right, OK.

0:34:420:34:43

And it won't fit in my house so it's stored in the workshop.

0:34:430:34:47

-Right, OK.

-It's the first time it's been out in 3 years.

0:34:470:34:50

So it's your responsibility, but it belongs to you.

0:34:500:34:52

It belongs to him.

0:34:520:34:54

Right, OK. And what do you think of this, do you like it?

0:34:540:34:57

I love it, it's really... I like the panels.

0:34:570:35:01

The panels are spectacular, aren't they?

0:35:010:35:04

And we've got back engraved mirrors here,

0:35:040:35:06

we've got coloured glasses, very much in the style of Tiffany,

0:35:060:35:09

some of these pieces, but all of those things are put together

0:35:090:35:12

to give the impression it's spectacular,

0:35:120:35:14

when in fact, actually, it was a fairly cheaply made thing.

0:35:140:35:18

Look at the quality of the case, I mean, most of this is oak,

0:35:180:35:21

in fact, there's an inscription across the top there which says,

0:35:210:35:25

"Jules Moisse Rue Jerusalem Vingt Cinq Schaerblek",

0:35:250:35:32

I can only just make that out.

0:35:320:35:34

What's interesting about that is it suggests to me that that might be

0:35:340:35:37

the maker, but what I've noticed here is that you've got a coin slot

0:35:370:35:41

up the top. That is not original to this piece of furniture.

0:35:410:35:46

That has been added afterwards, and that suggests to me that it

0:35:460:35:49

was then obviously later put perhaps into a cafe or something like that.

0:35:490:35:54

And now's the point at which we should open it because we can look at those sort of things.

0:35:540:35:59

What I'm going to do is have a look at this very carefully.

0:35:590:36:03

Let's lift out this central panel

0:36:030:36:07

and put it to one side.

0:36:070:36:09

And that reveals the mechanism to us and of course we have this barrel

0:36:090:36:13

here with the pins which as it spins are powered by a big clockwork

0:36:130:36:17

motor in the back, obviously operate the hammers as the pins pass.

0:36:170:36:20

Obviously on here on the frame we can see the name

0:36:200:36:23

well actually it says Brussels, so we know that it's Belgian,

0:36:230:36:27

Place de la Reine trois which

0:36:270:36:29

obviously is the place of which the frame was made, essentially.

0:36:290:36:33

I have to say I don't know how many tunes...

0:36:330:36:36

-Do you know how many tunes it plays?

-Not sure.

0:36:360:36:40

Think it's eight, but I can't be sure on that.

0:36:400:36:42

Often these machines do have what we call eight airs or eight tunes.

0:36:420:36:46

Because obviously these rows of pins are in fact different tunes.

0:36:460:36:50

I mean you've been given a very interesting thing, that's one thing,

0:36:500:36:54

but in of course it does have value, and to someone who collects

0:36:540:36:59

these kind of pieces, who's interested in mechanical music,

0:36:590:37:03

I think if it had a little bit more work, a little bit more restoration done on it to bring it up to speed,

0:37:030:37:09

I think 2,000 to 3,000 at auction would be a nice estimate for it.

0:37:090:37:13

Having said that, I think we should run it.

0:37:130:37:16

I have no idea how to get it going.

0:37:160:37:18

Do you know how to get it going?

0:37:180:37:19

-Think so.

-Right, OK, you're gonna have to show me, where do we start?

0:37:190:37:23

I think you have to turn the handle down here.

0:37:230:37:26

Right, OK, do you want to wind up the handle for me.

0:37:260:37:29

That's the clockwork handle, is it?

0:37:290:37:31

METALLIC PIANO TUNE PLAYS

0:37:310:37:35

Try it again. Bit more.

0:37:350:37:38

CACOPHONIC PIANO SOUND

0:37:380:37:40

Excellent.

0:37:420:37:44

PIANO TUNE EMERGES

0:37:500:37:54

TUNE CONTINUES

0:38:000:38:02

These are a curious pair of bowls, were did they come from?

0:38:060:38:11

I don't really know,

0:38:110:38:14

my father bought them in '47 in London,

0:38:140:38:21

I think he just saw them in the shop,

0:38:210:38:23

and thought they were nice, he liked them.

0:38:230:38:26

-The shop being...

-Moss, Sydney Moss.

0:38:260:38:28

-Moss. Is that the receipt?

-It is the original receipt.

0:38:280:38:31

Yes, Moss.

0:38:310:38:34

Well, we love bits of paper because they're always wrong!

0:38:340:38:37

But sometimes they're right.

0:38:370:38:40

Sydney Moss, well respected dealer, and here we've got a pair of

0:38:400:38:45

Chinese black glazed Famille Noire rice bowls and covers,

0:38:450:38:50

K'ang Hsi Period 1662 to 1722.

0:38:500:38:54

Well, that's what they said.

0:38:540:38:56

We don't know whether that's right yet.

0:38:560:38:58

And he paid in 1947, £105.

0:39:000:39:06

-Quite a bit then.

-He could buy a house in London for that.

0:39:060:39:09

Could you?

0:39:090:39:10

You could, you could.

0:39:100:39:12

What do you like about them?

0:39:120:39:14

I like the red lining contrasting with the black.

0:39:140:39:18

OK, you say red lining, let's have a look.

0:39:180:39:22

Well, we would call that coral.

0:39:220:39:25

-Would you?

-Yes, it is a coral colour.

0:39:250:39:28

And the Chinese developed it in the 17th century,

0:39:280:39:32

so that's quite feasible.

0:39:320:39:35

The combination of black and coral is actually quite rare.

0:39:350:39:41

-Is it?

-You see this on porcelain extremely rarely. Extremely rarely.

0:39:410:39:46

They are made of porcelain, hard paste porcelain.

0:39:460:39:50

Fired at about 1,250 degrees centigrade and the colour,

0:39:500:39:56

the coral and the black are in fact enamels,

0:39:560:40:00

put on top and then fired again at a slight lower temperature.

0:40:000:40:04

I think probably, the reference in the colour scheme is to blacker,

0:40:040:40:11

which is often in red and black, I think it's probably that.

0:40:110:40:15

And they sit

0:40:150:40:17

on these lotus carved ivory stands.

0:40:170:40:23

I've never seen stands like that.

0:40:230:40:25

-Haven't you?

-Never, they are absolutely fantastic.

0:40:250:40:29

Bit fallen off the bottom there,

0:40:290:40:32

which is

0:40:320:40:35

engraved with four Chinese characters.

0:40:350:40:39

And they read Woo Xian Cong Zeng,

0:40:390:40:44

which, excusing my appalling Chinese, means

0:40:440:40:47

"precious pavilion of the calm studies".

0:40:470:40:51

It's obviously a reference to your house.

0:40:510:40:54

That honestly should be stuck back and I'd be quite happy for

0:40:560:41:00

you to stick it back with anything,

0:41:000:41:02

rather than it getting lost, that would be a great tragedy.

0:41:020:41:06

And that's ones lost it. I mean, that's what happens.

0:41:060:41:09

-Lost when we had it.

-I'm quite happy with the dating of K'ang Hsi.

0:41:090:41:12

-Are you?

-I would think they dated,

0:41:120:41:16

very late 17th, early 18th century, right on the cusp of that period.

0:41:160:41:23

I think these are spectacular,

0:41:230:41:29

they are exactly the sort of thing which the Chinese,

0:41:290:41:33

now centre of the ceramics industry in the world...

0:41:330:41:39

whereas if you go back to the 19th century,

0:41:390:41:45

here was the centre of the ceramic world,

0:41:450:41:48

and where is all the stuff gone,

0:41:480:41:50

all the work that's gone from here, where's it gone, it's gone to China.

0:41:500:41:54

It's quite extraordinary, they seem to go round and round in circles,

0:41:540:41:57

cos we knocked the Chinese out of it in the 19th century,

0:41:570:42:00

they were the leaders in the 18th.

0:42:000:42:02

So, it all goes round in circles. This is exactly what they'd like.

0:42:020:42:06

Do you have them insured?

0:42:060:42:09

Only on household.

0:42:090:42:12

Only on the household. They're such unusual things that it is,

0:42:120:42:16

quite honestly, difficult coming up with a justifiable estimate.

0:42:160:42:21

But I think I would be justified

0:42:230:42:26

in coming up with an estimate of £10,000 to £15,000.

0:42:260:42:30

Oh, gosh.

0:42:300:42:31

-If I had the money, I'd buy them, I think they're...

-Would you?

0:42:330:42:36

I would, I think they're wonderful.

0:42:360:42:38

You'll never see another pair.

0:42:380:42:41

Today's weather makes you appreciate strength of character

0:42:410:42:45

and the Potteries have always produced plenty of that.

0:42:450:42:48

Apart from the great Stanley Matthews,

0:42:480:42:50

Reginald Mitchell, the man who designed the Spitfire was born here,

0:42:500:42:54

Oliver Lodge, who invented the spark plug, he was a local man.

0:42:540:42:57

So is Robbie Williams, and so, this weather reminds us,

0:42:570:43:01

was E J Smith who went down in history as the captain of the Titanic.

0:43:010:43:06

Well, thanks to today's heroes who've been with us,

0:43:060:43:08

and from Middleport pottery, goodbye.

0:43:080:43:11

Michael Aspel and the team survey antiques and heirlooms at the last working Victorian pottery in England, at Middleport in Staffordshire. A lost portrait of William Gladstone puts in a surprise appearance, and a pendant purchased for 50p at a boot sale turns out to be worth quite a bit more. Also, a pair of rice bowls turn out to be worth thousands of pounds.