Michael Aspel and the team visit Coventry Cathedral. Pulses race when Henry Sandon values three precious pots, and some surprising relics from the Second World War.
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This week the Antiques Roadshow has found its way to Coventry,
once described as one of the finest medieval cities in Europe.
It was still looking good on the night of November 14th 1940,
when 500 German bombers amassed over Coventry
and subjected it to the most savage air raid of the war so far.
For eleven hours, the Luftwaffe pounded the city,
dropping 30,000 incendiary bombs and 500 tons of high explosive.
When the people finally crawled out from the shelters,
they found their beautiful city ablaze and in ruins.
The onslaught was so severe that the Germans invented a chilling new word to describe the devastation.
"Coventry", they said, "had been Coventrated."
In the heart of Coventry, St Michael's Cathedral lay shattered.
Standing amongst the wreckage that day, the Provost, Dick Howard, vowed that his church would rise again.
In the competition that followed to find a replacement,
one plan stood out above all others- Sir Basil Spence - who was later knighted for his efforts,
proposed that the ruins should remain and a striking new cathedral built alongside.
The result was a testament to the cutting edge architecture of the 1950's.
Spence described his creation as a casket of jewels to be filled with exciting new works of art.
Sir Jacob Epstein contributed a statue of St Michael defeating the devil.
Graham Sutherland created a massive tapestry.
It was the largest in the world and weighed a ton.
Other treasures include a Baptistry window by John Piper
studded with 195 panels of light.
And there are bronze statues by Elizabeth Frink.
And at the west end, an immense engraved window.
Through it, the two cathedrals are brought together.
Still loved and never forgotten, the old St Michael's Cathedral
provides the setting for today's Roadshow, the perfect place to bring treasures from the past.
It's a little bit of Australia dropped down into Coventry.
How does a bit of Australia get here?
Well, it was sent by some long-distance relations who emigrated to Australia from...
-Hang on, hang on, hang on. Emigrated, or were sent to?
-No, emigrated. OK.
From Shropshire, from Bridgnorth in fact, around that area.
And what they did, at Christmas 1890, they sent back a parcel full of these
emu eggs and various curios and Australian beads and bits of Australian shells and the like,
and what happened was that my great grandfather, I think my great grandfather,
-actually made them up into the dome that we see today.
-What I love is this letter that goes with it.
Um, and it says, "By this mail we're sending a parcel containing curios,
"there are three emu eggs, one painted on, and another carved"
which I presume is this one -
"and the third quite plain" so that you get a sort of view of decorating
emu eggs in the round, and then it goes on to say "there are a quantity of quandongs"
Don't ask me what they are, please.
Well, my knowledge of Australian fauna and flora has rapidly risen
because I now know what a quandong stone is
which is this, this little thing in the middle here.
I think when one's looking at a dome like this, my goodness,
20 years ago you would see hundreds of these in the course of a year.
People had them handed down from their relatives and they were Victorian curiosities.
And I have to say, we very seldom see them now,
they are about as unfashionable as you can possibly get,
except when they come with such an interesting story,
and also when they shed light on what must have been a real parcel of curiosities.
Imagine - there you are, sitting in Bridgnorth
and out of this parcel tumble
these extraordinary never-before-seen objects
from a - almost a sort of fairy tale land, far far away, that they're never going to see -
and out comes this sort of treasure of iridescent shells
and extraordinary beans and eggs the size of, you know, ten goose eggs.
You can imagine that this was almost like getting a piece of rock from Mars.
Do you like it?
Yes, I do, it goes in the house. It's in a nice place.
-It suits the place where it is.
It's out of the way cos it's very, very delicate. It's 117-120 years old, I think I'd be delicate.
-And a bit cracked, maybe.
Value is not going to be huge.
I would say in auction,
you'd be lucky if you got more than £150 or £200 for it.
-That's not the point.
The point is, looking into it and having the glimpse
of this wonderful foreign land.
They were my grandmother's and they were on her mantel piece
and I got them when she died, and there was a note in them that said
that they came from the home of her great grandmother.
So this is grandmother saying they're from her grandmother
-Yes, sort of five generations back.
And there's a letter here.
-From somebody who'd tried to find out something about them.
It says, "The cache bowl with its stand is French,
"I've seen this decoration on a large piece before and I should say about 1775".
-Do you think that?
-I have no idea.
Have you looked into them at all?
I've tried but nobody's ever known,
well, nobody that I've talked to has ever known anything about them.
Now they have, inset into the small ones, they have a chunk of glass,
a glass sort of pot pourri, a pot, which I don't think should be there.
These are flower pots or cache bowls, in which you would grow a plant inside,
and they have a hole which is the - for the water to leak through
-into the, into the base there.
-So that's rather nice, and they're not French.
I think they're Coalport, English. They're English porcelain,
made around about 1800-1805 something like that,
and beautifully painted
and I think the painting has been done in London.
Coalport often sold the pieces to London decorators
and I think the decorating studio was Baxters, in London.
I've seen pieces decorated with exactly the same patterns
which are signed by Baxter, so I think if it's not Thomas Baxter himself,
it's one of the pupils in his studio in London.
I think they're absolutely splendid, beautifully decorated
but they're of fair value. I mean you're looking at, probably for a full garniture like that,
-you're looking at something worth around about £8,000.
-They're super things. Do take great care of them, won't you?
Well, this rainy weather absolutely reminds me of Scotland
and here we have the quintessential idea for me of Scotland
with the mist coming down the mountains
and these highland cattle here in the foreground.
-Tell me, are you Scottish, have you any connection with this part of the world?
-No, I'm not Scottish,
-I've been up to Scotland a lot of times and I admire the place.
Well, as you can clearly see it's by Louis B Hurt, Louis Bosworth Hurt,
and I guess from the style it's around the 1880s
and, of course, it's oil and canvas.
What I love about typical Victorian artists is that
they paint so beautifully and so well
and, look, you can see almost every aspect of the coat on this Highland cow. Wonderful.
So have you always loved the artist?
My wife and I, we've admired these paintings for a long, long time,
-and we never expected to be able to own one ourselves.
And my wife's uncle passed away,
left us some money and that's what we invested it in.
Well, he was a very prolific artist and yet not much is known about him.
We know he came from Derbyshire. So he wasn't even Scottish.
But he, to me, is one of these artists that knew his market
and therefore he is best known, and only known really,
-for painting Highland scenes with Highland cattle.
Now, the pricing's quite interesting of Louis Bosworth Hurt,
because in the sort of '90s, or certainly the late '80s,
a lot of Japanese were coming to this country and they were all playing golf up in the North,
St Andrews or going to Gleneagles and all those sort of places,
and I think they thought "This is just what we want to remind us of these wonderful days of golf"
so the prices for Louis Bosworth Hurt went up and up and up.
They've come down a bit over the last five years,
possibly due to the Japanese economy, I don't know.
But this is a great, great example. He varies a lot in size. The big ones, obviously, are more valuable.
-I've seen the big ones.
-You've seen the big ones. I think this is a great work
and if it appeared today on the market I'd expect it would make
sort of between £7,000 and £10,000 -
-it could even do a bit better with the wind behind it...as they say.
-I hope so. I hope so.
It's a wonderful, wonderful work, and thank you for showing it to us.
So what are you doing bringing us this bit of old log?
It's actually a bit of old log from HMS Victory in Portsmouth.
Ah, so what's the story, then?
Well, we were down in Portsmouth and we went to visit the Victory,
to see some of the restoration work and they have a shop on the premises
and they have a certain collection and I thought it was quite unique
because it was the only piece in the collection
that just looked like it had been actually taken off the ship.
-What have you got to prove that then?
-I've got this document.
-Oh I see, they give you a certificate.
The deed of provenance which says,
"In 2004, this was sold for the 'Save the Victory Fund'",
which is great, isn't it? Yes.
-Because, frankly, you do need that piece of paper to stay with this for all time.
-For sure, yeah.
But as they have to restore the Victory continuously
and they've got waste products which are effectively lumps of old oak,
-it's a perfectly legitimate thing for them to sell.
-To generate income.
You're quite right. And I think this thing's actually got great charm
because on the back side we can see this rather curious orange paint,
but certainly in the surgeon's department on Victory,
the wooden walls were painted red so that the blood,
as they were doing those terrific operations - wouldn't show.
This looks orangey, but I'm not saying it wasn't an original
kind of part of the vessel,
maybe from where the surgeon's quarters were.
Got a bit of scorched timber there which could be something to do with the galley.
-Here we've got what looks suspiciously like magnolia.
But not just one layer of magnolia, there are multiple layers there,
-so that's been painted up for a couple of hundred years.
-I think this is a great object.
-I thought it was quite unique.
You paid how much for this?
-I think it was £600.
-Did you really?
I mean, if you were to sell it at auction with the Victory provenance,
-I think you might get £200 or £300 for it.
But it's a patriotic gesture in a way, isn't it?
Yes, yes, because you're making a contribution
to keep this vessel in prime condition.
Quite, so what do you use it for at home?
It's on top of the cabinets
-and the wife puts just a pot pourri in it, that's it.
-Well, I don't know what Britain's premier naval hero
-would have to say about you keeping pot pourri in a bit of his ship.
-Probably wouldn't be amused.
So, how long have you had this delightful-looking doodle?
Well, I think it's from 1973, when my daughter bought it for Daddy
-for his Father's Day celebrations.
And, um, she said that this is one of David Hockney's doodles.
-So this is a present, then?
-From David to your daughter,
-who in turn gave it to your husband.
-Yes, that's right.
-As a Father's Day present.
-What a hugely generous Father's Day present.
-Now, here's a photograph to go with it.
And this shows David with his round glasses and rather slouchy hat,
-and on the left...?
-His very great friend Mo,
according to what Diane used to talk to me about them.
Now how did your daughter know David?
I do not really know how she met him,
-but she did know Ossie, Ossie Clark.
-Ossie...the fashion designer, yes.
-They were friends of his.
-And there's a charming inscription on the reverse -
-"All my love to you, from David".
-That would be to your daughter.
-That's to my daughter, Diane, yes.
And the drawing itself - have you contemplated what it might represent?
No, I don't know, I just can't think.
I think it could be him, because with the glasses - I don't know.
I mean apparently, according to Diane, he did numerous...
While he was talking or on the telephone, he was just doodling
and doing things like that, apparently.
Yes, he was a phenomenal... Is a phenomenal draftsman, because he's still alive.
He's extraordinarily important in the, in the late 20th century
-and he's still extremely active today.
Now, one thing that he was particularly good at,
and something that always mesmerises me,
-is his ability with crayons and with pencil.
And you've got it here, this phenomenal cross-hatching.
There's a feeling of energy, almost violent energy
like the splash of water in a swimming pool, for example,
-to refer to one of his other works.
-Yes, that was... I can remember that one.
Yeah, I can remember that one.
And then the glasses, you see he was very good at portraits,
and in fact he made portrait painting respectable again.
There was so much abstract art around in the '60s and '70s
that doing figurative paintings of peoples faces
-wasn't, sort of, overly cool.
But he made it cool again.
Have you considered what a little doodle like this might be worth?
-It is, after all, a doodle.
-Well, it never occurred to me at all.
I just feel honoured now that I've been able to bring it
and for you to see it and to talk to me about it.
-Well, my job is also to put a value on these things.
-Oh, is that right?
And so I will do so. Um, believe it or not, I'm going to start, not with the drawing but the photograph,
because the photograph itself is a rather fascinating object.
It's intimate, it shows the man in a way that's appealing
and because of the inscription on the reverse,
connected specifically to an event and a person, it's...
From both an artist's point of view,
and also an autograph collector's point of view,
an interesting little object, and believe it or not,
-I think this photograph is worth £200 or £300 on its own.
I can't believe it. It's such a nice picture too, isn't it?
It is too, and the drawing?
Well, I'm pretty confident that there would be a number of people who would like this.
I think it is a self-portrait
-and I think it's worth between £5,000 and £7,000.
No - really?
Oh, my goodness, I really don't... Can't believe it.
I can't believe it. Really? I'm absolutely stunned.
Oh, Eamonn, did you hear?
Good gracious me!
So here we are, surrounded by the ruins of Coventry's old cathedral,
destroyed with much of the old city in November 1940,
and of course that's a moment
-that is forever in the city's history, isn't it?
-Oh, very much so.
-Were you here? Or not you, but your family... Sorry.
-Certainly not me!
I am a Coventrian and my mother was here.
She actually lived in Bradford but they had a small shop just by the hospital
and she walked through this cathedral on the morning after the raid.
So as just a mess of destruction.
It was just total destruction and it was such a shock.
Which takes us to that bit of burnt metal.
Bit of burnt metal, yes. These incendiaries, this particular device
-was dropped in this area and...
-During the raid?
During the raid, it was recovered during the raid, um,
and brought to the museum roughly about 10, 12 years ago.
The Midlands Air Museum has lots of local history to do with...
It is mainly about this area and the industry of this area.
So that was picked up in the aftermath of the raid
and that would have been a cluster of incendiaries.
Yes. They did tremendous damage as we see above us here.
With fire, more than high explosive, wasn't it?
Once the fire got the hold, there was nothing they could do.
Talking of Germany and aeroplanes, here is, presumably,
-a piece of an aeroplane. A swastika...
..and some strange colouration which I don't quite recognise.
Well, the gentleman that brought this, or we acquired it from,
had used it in his garage to test spray paints on.
-So, to him it was just a convenient piece of metal.
Very kindly, though, he informed us about it
and as you can see, it has the original swastika on it.
-So, this is a tail fin, isn't it?
-It's a tail fin of a Ju 88.
Here's one I made earlier, as they say!
Here we have the model of the same plane.
-That's the actual aircraft model.
-This is the tail.
-That's the tail.
That's a model made of the actual aircraft itself, based in France.
I'll fly that back into its hangar carefully!
It's made a safe landing.
So, shot down in the area, this is the relics of that...
These are the relics, and the museum contains a wide variety of these relics
-and manufactured things in this area.
-It's right you have them.
They're museum objects, they're history and so their value is actually incidental.
-But let's not go there. This is living history, and I think it's great to see them.
It's important to get people close to these things so they can talk
-from families to relations...
-And think about the people, the people in that aeroplane
flew over there, all that story, they were shot down or whatever.
-It's an extraordinary period in our time.
-And we must remember it.
-We must remember it, yes.
-Thank you for helping me do so.
Among 30 years of exciting Roadshow discoveries, there's been a fair selection of sporting relics.
One we all liked was a Wimbledon singles trophy that turned up when we took the show to Australia.
John Baddeley got to Melbourne and was amazed to find a magnificent cup
engraved with the name of one of his relations who won the title back in 1893.
Here's an action replay of various sporting highlights, including John's magic moment.
This, you might say, is the bat that won the Ashes.
A great swimmer with his multitude of trophies. That's absolutely fantastic.
That's one of the first gutta-percha golf balls. That dates from 1850.
It's one of John McEnroe's old rackets. Even though he's a really good tennis player,
he did have some arguments with the line judges and so obviously got a bit annoyed.
It's an England international cap?
It was given to him by Laurie Scott.
Oh, I see, it's inscribed. "Very best wishes, Laurie Scott". Yeah.
-What relationship is he to you?
-He's my grandfather.
He was an official in the FA for 20 years.
"Jasmine, lots of love, David Beckham." Excuse me!
I like David Beckham so I got his autograph.
Here are the great Campbells, father and son. Must be something in the air here!
Courage, I think, courage.
This is the actual football that was used in the 1911 Cup Final.
Recently a cricket bat similar to this sold for in excess of £20,000.
You can't be serious!
-On the side there is 1893.
Wilfred Baddeley. Well, my name's John Baddeley, he's a distant relation of mine.
-So I hope you don't mind if I give it a quick kiss.
And then do the classic...
THEY CHEER AND APPLAUD
Oh, very good. No collection of beadwork would be complete without
one of those. Now, I have to ask.
-What's a nice boy like you doing collecting beads?!
We've got furniture and basically I wanted something else to collect
and I looked at tapestries, and if you've got the money, you can buy a collection tomorrow.
Beadwork, I found, was hard to get because the stuff I've got now has took nearly 30 years.
Really interesting. And when you started out, can you remember
what sort of money you were paying for these things?
The first piece I ever bought was a tea tray, and I bought that from
a second-hand shop in Spon End in Coventry and it cost me 20 quid.
That's affordable, isn't it? Now, the history of beadwork
is sort of a history of Europe, because originally
in the 17th century and the early part of the 18th century, the English were
perhaps the best exponents of beadwork. You get some wonderful
beadwork objects, baskets, trays, as well as beadwork pictures
from the Charles II period. Then the French took over as being the greatest
exponents of beads, then the Germans took over, and then back in the mid-19th century,
back it came to England, so it's really...
-Gone full circle.
-It's gone full circle. I'm going to zero in on
just a few that have taken my eye particularly.
Now, the first, actually, is quite a modern piece, which is this...
1917 Turkish prisoner of war snake, which was, I believe, for their girlfriends originally.
That's the reason why the flower's in.
Exactly. Made by prisoners of war, from the Great War, they produced
-these rather crude, I have to say... The beads are huge.
-And the work is quite crude.
-But brought them back as souvenirs for loved ones.
-And this is a... I suppose when it's uncurled it's what? About...?
This is six foot, is it? Heavens!
That's very impressive that that's six foot. So that I like.
The other piece which I think is just terrific is the parasol.
Now, I'm going to open this carefully because
the silk lining is just beginning to go. Look at that.
Again I would have thought probably dating from the 1840s, 1850s, this one.
Beadwork is a dying art. I've been fortunate enough to be out in Malaysia
and that's one area where you do see beadwork still being practised.
The Malays are very keen on beadwork and there are a lot of practitioners there
still doing it, so that's one area in the world where
it is very much alive. When we come to value it, you said that the first piece
you bought cost £20. What's the most expensive piece that you've bought?
-£800. Well, even that doesn't surprise me. I've seen pieces
of beadwork going for well into four figures and sometimes into five figures.
What does one say about a collection like this on the table? What's this worth?
Well, I would have thought we're certainly looking at
£8,000, maybe £10,000 just on the table, and...
I am shocked.
It's a great area to be collecting, well done for collecting it when you started out,
and good luck with filling the very small gaps that probably still exist.
I'm looking around me trying to work out where this
very appealing piece of stone came from.
I gather it was originally part of the old cathedral
and what I want to know is how come you have it?
I'm one of the volunteer archivists at the cathedral
and this sits on the windowsill in our office
and every time I come into the office I see it
and it just delights me. I think it's a lovely piece of stonework.
There's a lovely story to it.
On the night that the cathedral was actually bombed, a policeman on duty
was walking by and this fell at his feet
and he picked it up and he had
every intention of bringing it back to the cathedral at a later date
when things had settled down.
But he never did and he didn't know what to do with it, so he buried it in his garden.
-So, not knowing what to do with it, he buried it?
-He buried it in his garden.
I suppose that's as good a solution as any!
Many, many years later, this policeman had retired by this time
and he'd become ill and he was taken to hospital.
And he started to worry about this little head.
-This buried head.
-This buried head!
So he said to his wife, "You must return this to the cathedral."
So she brought it back to the cathedral and it was very dirty
and he made a remarkable recovery from his illness, which he wasn't expected to.
-So...that's how the story goes.
-A little bit of divinity at work.
-What a wonderful tale!
Now, do we know who it is?
It's the head, supposedly, of St Osberg, who founded the original cathedral -
there's been three cathedrals on this site.
But I have a feeling this is part of a later regime rather than the original cathedral.
a slightly crisp, slightly romanticised appearance.
-I'm pretty sure that this comes from the late 19th century
But it's not surprising, because I gather there was work done
on the cathedral facade in the late 19th century
and I think it's more than likely that it was part of that campaign, as it were.
But still a fascinating object, a very poignant reminder
of the terrible tragedy that befell the place.
Personally, I think it's an extremely attractive object.
It's the sort of thing I would love to put on a mantelpiece or a table, well-lit.
And with that tale attached to it, even though it's late 19th century,
I think it has a sort of appeal that gives it value.
-I realise the cathedral would never consider selling such an object.
-No, we wouldn't.
But as we have the rough business of putting values on things,
I would say it was worth £800, £900, £1,000.
Well, I think the cathedral would be delighted with that figure.
You're paying as much for the story as you are for the object
but the two together I think make it
a rather emotive and attractive little treasure.
Oh, that's lovely. Thank you very much.
This is one of the most magnificent chess sets I've ever seen.
Tell me about it.
I don't know a great deal, but my father bought it, I understand,
in about 1930, surprisingly perhaps in a second-hand shop in Coventry,
I understand, for what was then the magnificent sum of £5.
Which I think was a lot of money in those days, in about 1930.
-Was he a keen chess player, your dad?
-Oh he did play, yes.
He and a friend.
My father built in the garden a chess table out of tiles,
and he and a friend used to play of a summer's evening, in the garden.
They would take these chess men out
and because they were a little bit bigger than normal,
he had this slightly enlarged chess table which he built
and they'd sit in the garden and play chess.
How positively pastoral!
Not quite, in the centre of Coventry, perhaps!
If he bought them in a junk shop around 1930
they were already quite old by then.
-These are Chinese and they would have probably been
exported out of the port of Canton
some time around 1880 to 1900, I expect.
You might call this chap, perhaps, the king.
On the other hand, he could very easily be the emperor,
because he IS an emperor.
And each of the pieces are mounted
on these concentric reticulated rings
and if I give that a little wiggle like that,
you can see that inside this ring, which has been
elaborately pierced out of a solid piece of ivory, there's another ring,
-and inside that another.
-I think there are five.
Five rings of ivory all carved out of solid ivory within one another!
If that isn't a complicated enough process,
-you've done that for every single piece.
The capital pieces as well as...
The small ones, I think, only have one inside - the pawns -
and these others have two, and the big ones five.
You really are showing off
if you've carved your ivory to this extraordinary degree.
-It's an odd way of spending your life.
But if you look at the emperor's robe, all the way round this robe
is the most incredibly intricate design of foliage
and the whole thing, in terms of its quality,
is reflected from top to bottom,
but not just this piece,
because all the other pieces are made to a similar standard,
which I think is quite remarkable.
I think in terms of arriving at some sort of value,
-you have to take into account the condition.
And the condition of the reds is not as hot as it might be.
For me, this set ought to make
-somewhere around £3,000 to £4,000, that sort of amount.
-Good return on a fiver!
-On a fiver, yes!
Here we have a rather wonderful coloured lithograph
by Sir Terry Frost
and it's dated and numbered in pencil
on the bottom right-hand side here,
57, and a limited edition, 23 out of 30.
Interesting, Terry Frost.
Nowadays there's a huge amount of interest in his work.
He's one of the leading 20th century figures in British art,
he's represented at the Tate and international museums.
And he's certainly one very well-respected painter.
Can you tell me just a little bit more about
the history of the picture?
Terry was my cousin.
Was he a wonderful family man?
Yeah, he was very much a family man, yeah.
My sister and I lost our parents quite young
and he used to step in and look after us as much as he could.
They didn't have much money but what they had, they took us with them.
He was born in Leamington
but was one of the ones that was in the St Ives School
in the '50s.
And that was in '57, as you can see.
He was a prisoner of war and when he came back from the War,
my father, his uncle, was very disparaging of him wanting to be an artist -
"Oh, get yourself a real job, lad!
"What are you on about, talking about 50 shades of green?!
"Get yourself back in the bike shop," or wherever it was he worked before the War.
Do you know much about his imprisonment in Bavaria?
The bits that he told us, I think it was a pretty dark period in his life.
He didn't want to tell you much about it.
I think he had a lot of worries about whether he should continue his art
because as I've said, he wanted to do it, he felt a calling to it,
but people expected you to work then, especially just after the War.
Men in grey suits - there wasn't much colour, was there?
No, not at all. Can you tell me the subject of this picture?
No, I'm afraid I can't.
If you asked Terry what a picture represented, he'd say,
"It's whatever you make of it, it's whatever YOU want to see in it."
What do you have in the envelope?
I thought you might be interested in these.
The kind of Christmas cards he used to send which were
definitely a bit different, as you can see.
-These are wonderful! And that's an original Terry Frost?
An original Terry Frost.
I love the Christmas tree. And then inside we also have
a piece of art by him too,
and a lovely note to you and your husband.
-They were always like that.
-2001, only three years before he died.
That's right, yes, yes.
That's really wonderful.
This is an older one, that's '73.
There's a bootlace tied through it.
That's a great design too,
-and so he'd send these to family and friends every Christmas?
-What a wonderful thing to do!
-It was lovely. He was a lovely person.
I suppose value doesn't really matter, they have such sentimental value.
I'd never sell it, I was just interested.
Terry Frost, the major oils can make
tens of thousands of pounds now, he's seriously well regarded.
A colour lithograph print from the '50s, which is a great period too,
this was just after he was working with Hepworth down in St Ives
and this is probably worth about £600 to £800.
And the cards, they can be worth anything from
£200 to £300,
maybe up to £400 to £600 for a truly original work,
but certainly works by Terry Frost now are seriously collected, internationally,
-literally worldwide, and it's a pleasure to see them. Thank you.
-Thanks very much.
-Are these family jewels?
-Yes, that's right.
What's their history in the family with you?
They always seemed to be there, you know, from Grandma, really.
-And have you been wearing that one?
-I have worn it, yes.
And most of your life? Tell me about its history for you.
Well, Mother used to wear it, yes.
-And you're a Coventry girl, aren't you?
-Yes, that's right.
-You've lived through all Coventry's terrible history as well as its marvellous history.
-At the time of its worst trouble, where were these kept in the house?
And where were you?
I was downstairs when the Blitz was on, with Mother under the stairs,
and father was fire-watching on the corner.
-That must have given terror a whole new meaning.
-It did, yes.
You know, when the bombs were dropping, we were all scared.
And then, cos it was the fire bombs that dropped on top of the cathedral,
they burnt the roof, the screen, the floor and the pews.
Then, you see, it just had to burn
because there was no water to put out the fires,
all the water hydrants were put out of action, yes.
What is remarkable about jewellery, about family jewellery really,
is that it is a link with the past and it goes from one generation to another.
The miracle for us today is you're sitting in the burnt-out cathedral,
sitting with your family jewels and both of them have come through.
Yes. That's right, through the Blitz.
This is a Victorian gold bracelet.
It may have been made in Birmingham which is incredibly close by.
-And it's nine carat gold.
It's a very popular form and a very desirable form because it's so wearable.
And I suppose it dates from about 1890
-and might've been your Granny's present.
-Yes, it was Grandma's.
-Perhaps for her wedding.
-It's a lovely thing.
-This one is a Victorian vinaigrette, a silver one.
A vinaigrette actually more often than not contained scent,
-rather than vinegar as the name suggests.
In a time, frankly, when there was more of an assault
on one's nostrils than there might be today.
So you simply opened that up and found, you know, a scent within it,
held it to your nose, and it dates from the 1870s.
It's made by a popular Birmingham craftsman called George Unite.
The value of these things is jolly, jolly pleasing
because that one's so wearable.
If you were to go and buy that in a smart retail shop today,
well, maybe...maybe £600 or £700.
-To buy it again, absolutely!
And then this one here,
astonishingly £200 or £300.
Never! I can't believe it. It's fantastic.
-They're an emblem of survival, aren't they?
You came through, these came through
-and that's the only thing that really matters.
-What a wonderful thing, thanks for bringing it.
-That's all right.
I've seen a number of three-handled cups,
and mugs and things over the years, they're usually called loving cups,
but I've never seen one with three handles and three spouts.
It sounds like you're up for some wild parties with this!
But the first thing I notice,
it's got an interesting inscription on the lid which says,
"Presented by the Guild of Freeman of the City of London
"to the City of Coventry Freeman's Guild
"to commemorate its incorporation, 9th March 1946."
-Well, I'm a Freeman of the City of London.
So I'm interested to know how this has come into your possession,
and to know actually if it's used, and are you a member of this guild?
Certainly I'm a member of this guild,
-and the Coventry Guild goes back to 1300 or something like that.
But it was dissolved by Henry VIII.
-In the mid 16th century.
It was reformed again in 1946, and at that time
the City of London presented us with this as a gift for our guild.
-You asked the question, is it used?
-It is used very regular.
How come you haven't brought some wine along for us to try it out?
I didn't know if it was allowed in the cathedral!
Well, that's great to hear that it's still used. And how...
It was passed from person to person, so would I hand it
with my right hand or left hand? Which direction does it go?
The ceremony of the loving cup means three people are standing at the same time.
-The person drinking,
one to the left, who will actually take the cup,
take the lid from the cup and bow to each other.
That's to your left, that would be.
The one to the right would actually turn his back on you
-and defend your back while you're drinking.
It's to stop you being stabbed in the back whilst taking a drink!
-Well, I think Coventry's moved on a bit since that!
-And did you drink out the spout?
-You do, yeah.
-You need to drink from the spout,
if you try to drink anywhere else you're liable to wear...
two stripes down your shirt!
Well, you know, the history behind it is wonderful,
but I've got to tell you that as a piece of silver, this weighs a ton.
It's fabulously made.
If we look inside, we see that the decoration
on the outside is not embossed, it's not pushed out from the inside,
all this is applied, so that's a much more time-consuming procedure.
It also has all these rather interesting little...
what they call cabochon cut agates, cabochon meaning just the rounded surface to it.
But all this decoration, which is done in a very sort of Art Nouveau,
bordering onto Arts and Crafts style. And...
We've got a coat of arms on here. Do you know anything about it?
-Unfortunately, no, very little.
We've got other bits of information here.
The maker's mark, C & Co, is for Carrington and Company
who were well-known London retailers.
But perhaps most importantly, because this piece,
although it was presented in 1946, was actually made in 1908.
-So we're right in the middle of the Art Nouveau period.
But a fabulous piece of silver. I've never seen anything quite like it.
I'd love to see it in action one day!
You'd be most welcome.
Well, I would say, because of the amount of workmanship in this piece,
it's got to be insured for anything between £10,000 and £15,000.
-It's a really lovely piece of silver.
It's quirky, it's got history. Thank you for bringing it along.
Absolute pleasure, thanks for all your information,
that'll be most useful to us.
Two powerful themes at Coventry are remembrance and reconciliation,
and to prove the point, an exact replica of this statue
here in the ruins of the old cathedral, stands in the Garden of Peace in Hiroshima, Japan.
It was presented on behalf of the people of Coventry.
We shall certainly remember our visit, so thanks to the Dean
and all Coventrians for their welcome and showing us their treasures.
For now, goodbye.
Michael Aspel and the team value antiques and heirlooms at Coventry Cathedral. Pulses race when Henry Sandon values three precious pots at £8,000. A famous artist's doodle turns out to be worth 7,000 pounds and some surprising relics from World War II also make an appearance.