Michael Aspel and the team survey more antiques and heirlooms. The experts are in Bristol, where the owner of a despised hall clock is surprised to learn its worth.
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When you put your mind to it,
you can come up with a whole list of things
that have made Bristol the special city that it is,
apart from being the home of the Antiques Roadshow.
You could reflect on Brunel's mighty suspension bridge,
or Cabot's extraordinary voyages to Newfoundland,
and while you're reflecting, you could have a sip of sherry,
another of Bristol's claims to fame, or how about a cigarette?
The tobacco trade made one particular family in Bristol fabulously rich.
Over two centuries, the Wills dynasty ran huge factories
that churned out millions of cigarettes from tobacco leaves imported from the Americas.
By 1883, they'd invented the first cigarette-making machine,
producing 200 of them a minute.
Fags rolled out, the cash rolled in.
In 1915, Harry Wills admitted,
"The way the business is making money now, is, to me, positively frightening",
but he knew what to do about it.
The family felt strongly about philanthropy and social justice,
and generations of the Wills clan gave back great amounts to the city
that had helped them make their fortune.
They treated their workers well,
with paid holidays, staff canteens,
and plenty of sports facilities.
They even provided free medical care,
although it wasn't until the middle of the 20th century
that the true dangers of smoking started to be recognised.
The Wills family also put their money into bricks and mortar,
not to build palaces for themselves,
but to endow Bristol with a string of handsome and important buildings,
like the Victoria Rooms here,
and the city museum and art gallery just down the road.
They built churches and homes for the poor and sick,
even a homeopathic hospital.
In today's money, the property portfolio would be worth more than 150 million pounds.
One city institution benefited more than any other,
in fact, it pretty well owes its existence to the tobacco industry.
The University Of Bristol's tower dominates the city's skyline.
It's aptly named The Wills Memorial Building,
itself another generous gift from the family.
It's nearly 20 years since the last cigarette was made in Bristol,
and the factories and the warehouses have long since fallen silent,
but they still stand,
and the Wills Memorial Building
plays host to the graduation ceremonies of today's students.
But on this particular day, the queues lining the staircase
are heading for the Antiques Roadshow.
This is one of my favourite objects, tell me what it is.
Well, it's a Kinora,
and it's, like, one of the first things of moving pictures.
Get it going for me, cos I just love it.
What can you see?
You can see some people talking to each other.
What we ought to have is a lip reader. I wonder what they're saying.
Do you think they're saying,
"I wonder if we'll be looked at in 100 years time"?
OK, great, let me have a look at it if I may.
Yes, so we've got a lovely old lady,
who looks a little bit like Queen Victoria,
and she's chatting to a gentleman. Now, who am I looking at?
This is Charlotte's great-great great-grandmother and grandfather.
Yes, and I think, at that time,
-they were playing around with all sorts of modern technology.
And, er, the thing that to me is staggering
is the fact that we can still see this after 100 years.
It is amazing, isn't it?
Our generation get a lot of pleasure from it.
How does it compare to, I don't know, PlayStation, or...?
Is it an interesting thing to look at?
I think it's interesting, cos it's my family.
Yeah, absolutely, because, of course,
they were long gone before you were ever around on the scene,
-so this is great to see them actually in motion.
Um, just a little bit of history, I mean, the Kinora viewer,
the actual system, was invented by the Lumiere brothers back in the 1870s,
and it came through in England,
re-invigorated by the British Kinora Company,
in about 1908, so what sort of date do you think, looking at the...?
I would have thought it's pretty much 1908-1910.
Er, something like that, and here we are, 100 years later,
still able to look at the footage,
and I just wonder how many of the digital photographs
and video footage that we've got on our computers today
will still be around for people to look at in 100 years' time.
Do you know, that's a very good point,
because with the Kinora viewer,
you could buy ready-made reels that you could rent,
a bit like going to the video library,
or in the case of this, these are home movies.
There were Kinora cameras that actually took images on paper negatives,
which were then made into these.
To me, it's a wonderful sort of peep into the beginnings of technology,
the beginnings of the moving image,
and in the right sort of auction,
I would see this getting between perhaps £700 and £900,
so it's valuable, not supremely valuable,
not nearly as valuable as it is to you,
as a piece of your own family history.
Two very splendid mugs for cider or beer.
They're looking very clean, where have they come from?
The garden shed.
-These were in a shed?
-Yes, I found them in the garden shed.
Right, then what were they doing there?
We've been clearing out stuff from my father and they were in a box,
they've been there for about 18 months.
-Just been packed away.
Right, well, let's see, what have you found?
Two rather different mugs, one in the blue and one in the black printing,
but examples of transfer printing. An exotic mug for everyday use.
-I suppose we're looking here in date, what, 1820-1830?
-Good gracious. Yes.
-Lovely and clean, isn't it?
This is when printing is becoming commercial in mass production in England,
a lot of printing was being done in Staffordshire.
-But it was discovered somewhere else,
it was invented at Worcester,
and here we have, really, a rather splendid printed mug.
-You've got a portrait on one side, of the king.
-And that's King George II.
So that takes it back to... Well, we're back in the 1750s.
Good gracious, yes.
So really quite an interesting mug,
turning it round, there's a big man o'war, a great sailing ship,
because, of course, King George was very much an active king,
he was involved in the Navy, he sailed on ships.
-And was so much associated with the king
that they put his likeness on one side, the ships,
-and here is all the trophies to do with the wars and battles that he was winning, and the victories.
Actually, looking at it there, it's got a signature,
and it's got on one side, RH, and that's Robert Hancock,
who was the great engraver.
-He invented the technique of engraving copper plates
-to be printed onto the surface of porcelain.
Because what we have here is, really,
the first royal commemorative mug that was printed.
-Really is quite a special piece, and that was...
Cos before then, people didn't know what the king really looked like,
apart from on their coinage,
so only now, when you can get Worcester mugs,
can people get a really good likeness of the king,
and this was made in 1757 or 1758.
-And this one is just a nice Staffordshire mug of its kind.
-An example like that, in good condition, £200.
Here, a mug with the royal prints, so what is this worth?
Um, oh, £3,000.
I can't believe it! Really?
It had the onion set in it last week!
-The onion sets.
I find Bristol a really exciting place, cos,
unusually in Britain, in England,
you can actually see the history of the place in its buildings.
All the great industries have left their mark,
and of course, one of the greatest of those industries was tobacco,
and it is a modern nonsense that we try to pretend this didn't happen,
we are standing in a building funded by tobacco,
next door is the art gallery, funded by tobacco.
Let's celebrate that fact, you know, this was a great Bristol industry,
-which takes us to this fantastic image.
It's a painting of a sailor on deck.
I subsequently discovered that the packages, which look a bit odd,
are actually tobacco packets.
So this is the art work for an advertisement.
-It is, yes, absolutely.
-How did you get it?
I bought it in an auction in Bristol about eight years ago,
when I think Imperial Tobacco were selling off...
-Oh, the great sale off of all of the history.
What date do you think this is?
I originally thought it was about 1930,
but in fact, I understand it's about 1916.
-I was going to say, it looks somehow Edwardian to me.
But just think of all the industries of that period,
Edwardian, '20s and '30s, the railways, tobacco, Shell,
all using art to promote their goods.
It was a time when art has never been better served by commerce,
but do we know that this was ever used?
-And the answer is...
-We do, yes, there it is. Isn't that great?
So here we see him, smartened up, younger,
and now he's actually carrying...
The words have come onto the packs.
-This, of course is Players, not Wills.
-But they were the same group by then.
-Same part of Imperial Tobacco.
We can tie it together and say this might have been something
that they had in the board room and never used, but, yes...
-Absolutely, there it is.
-Here it is.
-So what did you pay for this?
-This cost, I think, £160 in 1999.
I mean, that was a fantastic bargain, it's great history.
I'm going to go £600,
-£800, possibly £1,000, simply because it's such a great image.
And you know, it is the history of this city,
it's why you and I are standing here, it's wonderful.
Well, you don't have the look of a dandy about you, but if you were,
and if we were in the 18th century,
then you might have worn one of these.
This is a small sword, and it's a later type of rapier, in fact.
Now, I've seen small swords made of steel and brass and silver,
even gold, but I've never, ever seen one made of glass.
Tell me a little bit about it.
Um, when my uncle died two years ago,
my mother asked me if there was anything that I'd like from him,
and I remember him having a sword in his cupboard,
so I asked if the sword was still there,
and she said yes, so she gave me the sword.
OK, and what do you think the hilt is made of?
-I think that's Bristol Blue.
-Bristol Blue glass?
That's exactly what it is.
Now, I've never seen a hilt on a small sword
made of Bristol Blue glass before, so I think it's quite rare.
It would have been carried, I suppose, at the time,
as an ornament of fashion,
because this really is quite spectacular, isn't it?
You can imagine this at the side of this rather dandyish chap,
wandering around town carrying this sword, and of course,
if perhaps he was approached by some ne'er do well,
he could easily draw the sword out, and out would come this rather...
It's gone now, but there would have been
an incredibly sharp and dangerous point on the end,
you've lost probably a couple of inches of this,
and it's a thrusting weapon,
not a cutting weapon, and it's a dangerous object, really,
but I think it's rare, and I think it's late George III,
and I think that a collector would probably pay a couple of hundred pounds for it.
-It's a nice object.
-That's lovely, thank you very much.
This is my great-uncle.
He went out to Canada for the Daily Mirror as a reporter and photographer,
and he stayed.
He married into the Blackfoot tribe, the chief died,
and he married his wife.
-He didn't poison him?
And adopted the daughter, who was called Mary One Spot.
-Did she have a spot?
-I've no idea.
But his wife was called Maggie Big Belly.
-No, so he fell in love, but he was so interested in...
What was he covering out there? What date are we talking about?
Um, about 1913 he would have gone out there, aged about 18 years old.
He took over 2,000 photographs.
Of the Sioux tribe?
Of the Sioux, Blackfoot, Sarsi, Stoney Indians.
Um, the plains Indians, mainly.
So this is all in Calgary, isn't it?
-Yes. Calgary, yes.
And he took over 2,000 photographs,
and they're now in the Glenbow Museum in Calgary.
-Have you been out there?
-No, I haven't.
So what did he do out there with the tribe? Did he...?
He became a saddle maker.
-And this, I presume, was some of his work,
although I'm not 100% certain.
It's beautiful, kept well, hasn't it?
Beautifully done, yes. That's beautifully done, tooled leather.
-Because of course those gloves are wonderful, and so soft,
very bright as well, you've obviously kept them very well,
out of the light, and tell me about these pipes.
Um, this is the pipe of peace, it used to have a feather, a white feather hanging from it,
and this, apparently, would have been his personal pipe,
although I'm told he never smoke or drank,
which was why he was accepted into the tribe.
-Well, the drinking, certainly.
And this might have been to wear round a belt,
and look at the pristine colours and everything,
the wonderful bead work.
This is another one, which I think is incredibly vibrant,
really vibrant, that is just superb.
What a wonderful story.
You must make a pilgrimage, and to be honest, in this country,
if these were to go up for auction,
I can see the collection making maybe £10,000 to £15,000, but to be honest,
they need to be in a sale in either New York or in Toronto, Montreal,
even over in Calgary,
but I would have thought it's more of an international importance
to get the high price that it would in America.
-Well, thank you very much.
Well, we've had further proof today that the Roadshow refreshes parts that other programmes cannot reach,
like putting together the details of family histories,
but I don't think we've ever helped create a family before.
Remind us how the Roadshow played Cupid to you.
Well, Bryony and I met on a chatroom on the Internet,
and we started, on a Sunday,
having a competition to see who can get nearest to the prices
and the ages of various items on Antiques Roadshow,
and this carried on for some while,
and eventually we got round to meeting,
and the rest is antiques, or history, as they might say.
And the product of your union.
This is Taliesin, yes, indeed.
Oh I thought you might be called Henry Sandon Junior.
Well, we did consider it, but, er, Taliesin got the vote in the end.
Well, congratulations, and thank you for watching us,
-and you can thank us for getting you together.
Not to everybody's taste, this particular design,
let's have your thoughts on it, sir.
No I think, frankly, I think they're hideous.
They come from my wife's family, and we have an argument about it,
she likes it very much and I don't like them,
and I'd be quite happy to sell them,
so that's one of the reasons why they've come here,
to see what are they worth. Are they worth anything?
-Everything's got a value.
-Well, everything's got a price.
Or price, absolutely.
The name that comes to my mind when you look at these tables is Gillows.
-Um, they're made of rosewood.
-And this is what we call a tray top.
Yes, they are a mixture, when we look at the base here, you've got this.
-Almost looks like a dolphin's head.
-That's a typical feature of Gillows.
And then you have these cluster columns,
you have this piece which is almost cobbled together,
acanthus leaves here, beautifully carved.
-That's beautifully carved.
-Very, very nice.
-It really is nice.
-It's all beautifully carved.
But because I would attribute these to Gillows of Lancaster,
they're very, very collectable and sought after,
so you're going to be a happy bunny, you're going to be happy.
I would actually put a value on these, being a pair,
-Do you like them now?
-No, I like the price, though!
Well, they are very good things,
they're very collectable, and very saleable.
-That's a lot more than I would pay for them, but thank you.
This is the kind of object that epitomises the tradition of amateur model making,
and it's quite fascinating for me to look at the way that this is constructed.
If we lift off this rather fragile roof, and look inside there,
-just look at the work in that.
-Quite a lot, yes.
What's incredible about it is that it's made out of so many scraps
-and bits and bobs.
-Yeah, that's right, it is.
And I can recognise so many things in that from my own childhood, even,
bits of Meccano kit, it's just a kind of melange of objects trouves
-which have ended up being a carousel, in effect.
I think that says a lot about the kind of patience that people have.
Do you know anything the patience of the person that made this?
-They must have had a lot.
-Did it belong to a relative, or...?
-No, it was bought in an auction a couple of years ago.
Er, I fell in love with it, and I made my dad buy them.
-Had to buy them.
-Buy them, because there's another one.
Oh, right. OK, so what drew you to it, what made you want to own it?
Look at it, come on, it's amazing,
the amount of time that went into that.
I could never do that myself,
and I couldn't have the real thing, so this is the next best one.
Let me analyse it a little bit, because I said objects trouves,
and I can see things here, I mean, the horses, the carousel horses,
remind me of my childhood,
when I used to have TinPo plastic cowboys and Indians.
That's essentially what these horses are. They're salvaged plastic horses.
I can see bits of moulding here
that come from the bits of moulding
that you use to fix onto wardrobe doors,
and things like that, you know,
you could buy those down at DIY shops in the '50s and '60s,
you've got little bits of mirror. If we spin it a bit by hand,
I can see that it actually even has a mechanism,
-the horses are bouncing on it.
-Yeah, that's right, they go up and down.
So despite the kind of naive construction,
there is a lot of skill to make that happen.
And I think that's what I like about the tradition of this construction.
Do you want to tell me how much you paid for it?
-Er, roughly £100 each.
-Roughly £100 each.
-Well, I think you paid probably the right kind of price.
I think, looking at this in isolation,
I feel as a kind of naive interesting object, it's worth £150 to £200.
-You were on the right side.
As a tribute to the person who made it, let's see if we can get it going.
Why don't you make the connection?
It's struggling a bit, I think that 1960s Meccano motor,
possibly just not quite powerful enough for it.
-Lovely, thank you very much.
-Thanks a lot, cheers.
I have to say this is perhaps the tallest doll I've seen,
tell me a bit about her.
It was my mother's, she was given it when she was a girl,
and I inherited it when she died.
-But she's a doll with a difference, isn't she?
-She's a parasol doll.
I'm going to start rooting in her undies, which looks a bit weird,
but anyway, somewhere under there is what I'm looking for, which is this.
Isn't she wonderful? Um, I love the... How incongruous is this?
It's very surreal just having those feet on the end there. How lovely.
The head made out of composition,
nice inlaid glass eyes there, mohair wig,
and then you've got the mechanism underneath, and down at the bottom,
you have the little papier mache feet,
beautifully decorated in their shoes.
-Date-wise I'd have thought we're talking about 1910ish.
But it's the sort of thing that dolly collectors just love,
-anything novel like this.
Um, so although the head isn't a very exciting head,
it's what's in between that makes her interesting,
and I would have thought that a collector would pay
-probably around £250 for her.
Yes, she's just great, so, um, don't use her too often, now.
-I'll try not to.
-Try not to.
Thank you very much indeed.
If we'd seen the brooch on its own, I probably would have thrown it away
with the other things that we took out the loft.
Well, let's talk a little bit about it, because it is,
from my point of view, quite an exciting find.
-And the brooch itself was made in about 1850-1860.
Now, the design of it, clearly,
you can see here is in the form of a beautifully carved cherub or putto,
Cupid, in coral.
This beautiful pink coral, and then it is embellished with diamonds.
-Oh, right, OK.
-Mm, because when you look at it,
it is a prime example of a lover's piece of jewellery there,
I mean, Cupid, you couldn't get something that is more directly connected with love and affection,
and all these different things,
which were so potent symbols in the Victorian period.
The coral itself probably came from Naples, so it's Neapolitan coral.
When you turn it over, you look at the back,
and you can see this delightful yellow-gold mount at the back.
Now, what do you think it might be worth?
Well, given the box, I thought maybe £100 or so.
-Mm, you're wrong.
I think that such a piece like this,
with all its connections with love, sentimentality, corals and diamonds,
that's worth £1,500.
So, I don't know about you, but do you think you should go back into the loft,
-to examine whether there might be further pieces in there?
-Maybe I should!
Now if somebody with a disappointing valuation were to step outside this
building and hurl their fibreglass Chippendale into the air, it might well land in the forecourt of BBC
Bristol which would be ironic because that is where the Roadshow was conceived 30 years ago.
It didn't start with any great ambitions, just hoping to please a few discerning viewers at home, but
it became a hit all over the world, and Lars, you were with the show when it started to stretch its legs.
-But for you, the first trip abroad was going home.
It was going to home, to my country of birth, Denmark.
In 1990, we went to Hamlet's castle at Elsinore and then
after a few herrings, washed down with beer and Schnapps of course,
we went over the water to Sweden and did an edition from Malmo.
I remember somebody telling me when I was starting
that these were carved under water.
Quite a few of the elderly clients didn't understand or speak English.
Sometimes you had a translator sitting behind whispering to the Dane...
THEY SPEAK DANISH
Or in some cases we actually had an ear piece.
Are you a collector of watches?
-No, my husband bought them in auction about 7,8 years ago I think.
Just by chance? You mean he...?
Yes, he likes gold-coloured things, they were so nice, he couldn't resist them.
It was quite an amazing show because we had 3,000 people actually turn up in Denmark,
in spite of the fact that there was no tradition of Antiques Roadshow in Denmark at all.
-And where did you go next?
-Well, it took us three years to recover... so in '93 we went to Jamaica!
Now that was a wonderful show.
We were out of doors in the garden of a fantastic mansion,
people in their lovely summer frocks.
I remember Hugo Morley-Fletcher, having told the lady that her little
brown teapot was worth somewhere around ten Jamaican dollars, she said, "Great, I'll take the money".
Not antique, I mean in every shop in England that's what everybody drinks
their tea out of.
And there have been other trips abroad since then including, in my own time, Australia and Canada
and now of course lots of countries have their own version of the show.
The American version started 10 years ago and hit the jackpot at once.
Here's the way they do it over there.
Watch as this man discovers
his family heirloom is a national treasure.
I don't know an awful lot about it, except that, um,
it was given by Kit Carson, given to the foster father of my grandmother.
Are you a wealthy man, Ted?
-Well, sir, um...
I'm still a little nervous here, I have to tell you.
On a really bad day, this textile would be worth three hundred and fifty thousand dollars.
-On a good day, it's about half a million dollars.
-Oh, my God!
You had no idea?
I had no idea. Just laying on the back of a chair.
Well, sir, you have a national treasure.
-A national treasure.
-I can't believe this.
Big money, big emotions, what's American for lovely-jubbly?
Well, it's true, the American angle is very much fixed towards the dollars, they love big bucks.
In fact they even believe they invented the format
because I had an American business contact who when he heard that I was in the Antiques Roadshow in Britain,
he said, "Gee you've got a show in the United Kingdom as well?"
They think they've invented it.
Bless them, how sweet.
How did it come into your possession?
Well, we go out quite a few times, you know,
and look round various little shops and junk places, and I spotted this and...
-You mean I spotted it.
-No, I spotted if first.
Because I actually bought it.
I was thinking about buying it but she beat me to it, you know.
We've had it now for some time. We don't really know what it is.
-You didn't know what it was when you bought it?
-Just thought it was interesting.
-You have it out on display?
-Yes. I liked it because it's feminine.
OK, right, well, if we look at it, it's made of brass
and obviously it's in the design of a lady's shoe with a bow on the front and a little holder half-way along,
and then at the end you have this brass disc which is adjustable up and downwards and I think,
having looked at it carefully, it's a Victorian hair tong curler heater.
-Really? All right.
-And I'll tell you how it would work.
The handles of the curler would be here
and then the column, the body, would be there
and then the tongs would be at the end, all right?
A little bit of wick inside there which would be lit.
-This adjustable, a disc, as I mentioned, according to the height of the tongs.
And you would put your tongs down there, light it,
and then after 5 minutes you'd have them heated up,
so it's an unusual quirky object and I think it's extremely appealing.
-Yes, I love it.
-We love it, don't we?
People come in and they say, "Oh, what's that?" Polished up, it looks lovely in the room, doesn't it?
I think it dates from probably the late 19th century, 1890.
It's difficult to put a value on it because it's not something that we, you know, that I've seen before.
-You bought it in a shop?
-One of you anyway.
-Yes, all right, but I spotted it!
How much did you pay for it?
The princely sum of £5.
-And that was when?
-About six months ago.
-Six months ago, yes.
-Oh, only as recently as that.
-In Chepstow, yeah. Chepstow.
I think that was a pretty good buy because people like unusual objects.
At auction today, I'd probably expect it to fetch £100-£150.
-So there you are, Victorian hair tong curler heater.
-Thanks very much.
-First one I've ever seen on the Roadshow.
-Thank you for bringing it in.
-A pleasure, thank you.
Your aunt, has she told you very much about the jewellery?
Nothing, I'd never seen it before until we emptied her drawers.
So you know nothing about what you've brought.
Begs the question, what are they worth? Any idea?
Absolutely no idea.
-Could be costume jewellery?
OK, this one here,
do you know of a gemstone that comes from somewhere in Australia?
It's opal. Is it opals?
and that necklace is the sort of piece that probably was made,
I would think in round about 1900-1910, it has a rather Craft look to it.
It's mounted in silver and there's the back of it,
and it's very typical of that sort of Craft look for jewellery
that would have been made at the start of the 20th century,
so I'm interested to know where she might have got that from.
You don't know what the story was?
I expect she inherited it, or was given it.
OK, what do you think about that?
That gold brooch?
-You think it's rubbish?
Well, I think it's sort of, it looks like cheap stones.
-OK. Well, in fact it's a natural hard stone in a gold frame.
Yeah, and in the middle part of the 19th century they were making a lot
-of jewellery that ever so slightly recapitulated the past.
So this is a revivalist brooch of the 19th century
so although you think it's rubbish, it's a gold brooch
-with a natural hard stone in the centre.
-I didn't think it was gold.
Now we move on to this, tell me what you know about this piece,
or what do you think it might be?
Well, I don't know anything, but I'm guessing that they
might have belonged to my great-grandmother.
It would be the 1880s or something,
I can't quite remember.
-I think it's a set, it looks like a set.
It is a set.
-I think you're probably going to find it was made before you think.
-I think it was made in the reign of George IV to William IV.
Yeah, so I think we're looking at an age of it for round about sort of,
I suppose, 1825-35, lovely garnets.
-They're garnets, that's the red stones.
Yes, they're not paste, they're genuine garnets.
-Oh, good heavens.
-And the frames
are beautifully wrought, gold filigree frames around the outside.
Now from all this, one can say
that this is not a box of costume jewellery,
so shall give you a sense of what the values are?
The necklace there, that Arts and Crafts necklace,
I would say that's probably worth about £800.
-Yeah, so that's that one.
-The brooch which you consider is rubbish.
-Well, I... yes.
I would say I would think it's probably worth at least £400 to £500.
-I'm glad you didn't throw it out.
-I nearly didn't bring it.
The garnet set, the fact that the garnets are all so well matched
and they're very large, rich red stones, much bigger than you normally find,
so I think that this set is probably worth £2,000.
Well, that is a real surprise, that is a real surprise.
Thank you, well, that's been really helpful.
-What have we got here?
-It's a Chinese snuff bottle.
OK, now I have to tell you we see dozens of these on the Roadshow,
where did this one come from?
I actually won it about 15 years ago from the Sunday Express magazine.
They had a competition every week where they featured an antique
and a little write-up about it
and you just had to send off your answer to the question.
Do you know, I was involved in that competition,
-I supplied some of the objects.
-Were you? Really?
How funny. So what was the... what did you have to do?
Well, you just had to send off the answer
which was what period this dated from, and it was very easy
-because the answer was in the text, anyone could have entered.
-OK, one of those.
You didn't have to be an antiques expert to know, and it was 1800,
so I sent my postcard off with my name and address
and lo and behold a few weeks later, this came through.
Do you like it?
I do, actually, it's unusual, I find it unusual.
-Did you know it was made of jade?
-I thought it was, yes.
Um, jade to the Chinese is their most precious material
because it confers incorruptibility on the dead
and they've carved it,
in some cases incredibly skilfully and beautifully,
for thousands of years.
And when the Chinese took to snuff
in basically the 18th century, which they did...
I mean they just went mad for it, snuff was the thing.
This one is very lightly
and subtly engraved with dragons,
and dragons of course are...
unlike Europe where they're a sign of bad news...
a sign of good news in China.
How much did you pay for the postage?
Well...about 12 pence in those days.
Well, you've converted your 12 pence into £1,000.
A thousand pounds?
I have a real passion for folk art and naive paintings
and this is just about...
-Ticks all the boxes doesn't it?
-It ticks, yes, yes, I was told it was the primitive school.
Exactly, you're a very lucky girl
and I guess that it's something that you inherited.
Yes, it was, I used to live in this house, and my husband...
before he was my husband... and his parents lived there.
He used to go down to this pub at the bottom for a pint.
-Where there was an old chap called Ernie who had a room,
a rented room underneath one of these other houses.
And he used to get a bit worse for wear every now and then,
so he needed a bit of help back up to his bedroom
and one night my husband helped him up and saw this painting,
and said, "Oh, I like that, where did you get it?"
so Ernie said, "I got it off a dustbin up in Clifton, I liked it too"
so he said, "If anything happens to me, you can have it".
So in due course my husband went into the RAF, Ernie died,
and the painting was again put on a dustbin.
-And the landlord from here
knew that it had been promised to my husband, took it off the dustbin,
wrapped it in newspaper and took it into my in-laws.
Now, lots of information to take in there.
-The first thing is of course we're talking about Bristol.
And when I arrived yesterday in Bristol, I was looking at these houses.
-Am I right in thinking they're now coloured?
-Yes, these are.
-Yes, they're all painted different colours.
Yes, I think we were the very first ones
to paint it in a pale yellow
and then subsequently other people followed and put other paint...
-It's all your fault.
-It's all mine, all my fault because I liked yellow.
So we've got this, this lovely picture of the mud dock,
or the mud flat, but lovely detail in all of this, little figures,
but obviously done by somebody who was not a great artist.
We have a signature down here at the bottom. "P. Key" it looks like.
-I think it's Key, yes.
-Um, sadly not a name that anybody...
-..can really give a huge history to,
but that was often the way, they were one up from amateur.
It's not everybody's cup of tea,
but I'm pleased to say that there are enough people like me out there,
and probably like you out there, who really appreciate it for what it is,
rather than for what it isn't, and I would have thought
we're certainly talking about £3,000 to £5,000
and maybe a tiny bit more than that,
but it's a great picture and I'm sure you're going to treasure it forever.
I love it, and one of my sons already has his name on it.
-Very good, so it'll keep in the family.
I have two words to say about this clock.
Absolutely fabulous, and I've noticed that everyone passing round here
is looking at it, going, "My goodness, what on earth is that?"
I gather that there is a certain link
between this clock and this rather fine standing gentleman.
What sort of connection is there?
This gentleman was my great-great-grandfather Joseph Hume
who was the MP for Montrose and leader of the Radical Party
-in the 19th century up till his death in 1855.
And the received wisdom is that this clock was made for his funeral,
presumably shortly after 1855.
my own connection with it
is that it used to sit in my grandfather's kitchen
as rather a despised item and he used to, in his Scottish way,
call it "that damned clock".
In his kitchen?
Oh, it lived in the kitchen, it was not considered fit for the hall.
It is stylistically the most astonishing clock
-and he died in 1855.
And we've got these wonderful funereal plumes atop the case,
being Scottish, albeit very flamboyant,
I think it would be extremely unlikely
that any decoration would have sat on top of this drum head
when it was originally made, and furthermore,
this style of the case is very much in the style of a man called Thomas Hope
who epitomised the very high Regency style which was entwined within
this Egyptian fever that was sparked off by Napoleon's campaign in Egypt,
the Nile campaign in 1798, I believe.
And that style is reflected in this case,
by the sarcophagus-shaped plinth by these wonderful lion paw feet,
but that's all entwined within this Gothic architecture
which is absolutely fantastic and in actual fact,
it's not only on the front and the sides, but it's just as good quality at the back,
so it is a fantastic high Regency piece of furniture
that happens to be a clock.
Now this style was not prevalent in the 1850s,
it was prevalent in the 1820s, 1830s,
and I think it's extremely unlikely that it was made to celebrate his death.
I think he owned it and then
on his death, he probably loved the clock,
it would have been an extremely expensive piece of furniture, he probably loved the clock,
and the family knew it,
and they put these wonderful funereal feathers atop the case, absolutely fantastic.
J&W Howden were Scottish clockmakers of the 1820s-1830s,
they were not in the 1850s.
-Ah, ah right.
-Um, have you got it insured at the moment?
-Not at all?
-It's despised, I tell you it's a despised item in our family.
Well, the great thing about this is that it's...
Clock collectors will love it because it's a well-made clock,
it's high Regency style, but furniture collectors will love it more.
And I think that at auction
it could quite easily
make between £30,000 and £40,000.
-And you ought to be insuring it
for at least the upper end of that amount.
-Thank you very much for bringing it in.
-Well... thank you.
And with that, another Roadshow bites the dust.
When the Wills family proposed this building so many years ago,
they said they wanted something that would be here in 400 years' time.
It opened for business over 80 years ago and it's still looking as fresh as a daisy.
Perhaps we'll do the next Roadshow from here in 2325,
but for the moment, from the Wills Memorial Building in Bristol, goodbye.
Michael Aspel and the team survey more antiques and heirlooms. The experts are in The Wills Memorial Building in Bristol, where the owner of a despised hall clock is surprised to learn its worth. Plus, cider mugs from a local garden shed are valued and a primitive painting of Bristol's harbour arrives with an amazing survival story.