Banqueting House Antiques Roadshow


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Banqueting House

Michael Aspel and the team take a trip to Banqueting House, in the heart of London. A valuable brooch proves that diamonds really are a girl's best friend.


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This week, the Antiques Roadshow's cameras zoom in

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on a unique square mile of our capital city.

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Here, kings and queens have walked

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and their ministers have trodden the corridors of power.

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This part of London is the birthplace of the pinstriped bureaucracy we know and love.

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A place of spin and political mischief.

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Well, you might say that -

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I couldn't possibly comment.

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Downing Street, Whitehall,

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the address that Francis Urquhart, Chief Whip

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and television's most fascinating villain, yearned to call home.

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Millions of us watched as he trampled his way to the top.

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People come from all over the world to see for themselves the icons and the institutions of SW1.

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The Queen's Household Cavalry have their photographs taken a thousand times a day,

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but they never smile or offer autographs.

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Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the road is our venue for today,

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Whitehall's Banqueting House.

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It's seen countless royal and society occasion.

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It also witnessed, on a dark January day in 1649, one dreadful event.

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Having been found guilty of treason by Cromwell's men,

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King Charles I walked through the Banqueting House for the last time.

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He was taken out onto the scaffold and executed

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to a great groan from the crowd below.

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Eleven years later, his son Charles II was restored to the throne

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and returned to the Banqueting House to general rejoicing.

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This, then, is the background to today's Antiques Roadshow.

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Shall we see treasures?

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Our experts will hope so -

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I couldn't possibly comment.

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We've got the royal arms appearing on the front here,

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those are actually the Hanoverian royal arms.

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This wonderful inscription: "God Preserve King George 1725."

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But what's it doing with the Yeoman Warders?

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Well, it was presented, as we understand,

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by a Yeoman Warder in the 1720s

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to commemorate the swearing in of a Yeoman Warder.

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Right. So what exactly is a Yeoman Warder?

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Well, we all come from a military background.

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We are the part of the Sovereign's bodyguard

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known as "The Yeomen of the Guard in extraordinaire".

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We live and work in the Tower of London,

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but to qualify to become a Yeoman Warder,

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you have to have served a minimum of 22 years military service,

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currently in the Army, the Air Force, or the Royal Marines.

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-Right.

-You have to have been awarded, during your service career,

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the long service and good conduct medal which we...

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So you have to keep your nose clean then!

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Basically, 18 years of undetected crime is the way that we look at it.

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You also have to have achieved the minimum rank of Warrant Officer

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during your service in the Armed Forces,

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and be between 40 and 55 years of age on appointment.

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The pewter bowl is all to do with the swearing in,

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which takes place after a Yeoman Warder has been at the Tower for about six or eight weeks.

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And, after his induction, he takes the oath of allegiance

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to Her Majesty the Queen in front of the constable

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or the resident governor of the Tower of London,

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and then the tradition is he comes down to the Yeoman Warders' Club

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-where we drink a toast.

-And what do you drink?

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Oh, it's port usually, which is put in a glass bowl

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which is kept inside the pewter bowl and it's a great tradition

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that's been going on for literally hundreds of years.

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We really wanted to just make sure that it is the genuine item.

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-It is absolutely genuine.

-That's fascinating.

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-It is a jolly rare punch bowl.

-Is it?

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Punch bowls of this date in silver, you don't see that many of them.

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In pewter, pewter is a difficult thing on the market,

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it's not very fashionable as a collector's area,

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but this one is historically so fascinating.

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Almost impossible to put a true value on,

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-You're never going to sell it.

-No, not at all, it'll stay with us.

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What are you going to put on it?

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I don't know whether you've got it insured at all,

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but I would think you'd have to insure it for at least £5,000.

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Really? My goodness!

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Because it is such a rarity

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and there's so much history attached to it.

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Well, that's absolutely fascinating.

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-Good.

-Thank you so much.

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This is a beautiful Russian Easter egg, an Imperial Easter egg

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made in the 19th century, probably about 1860, something like that.

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Superbly hand painted,

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not like those ones that are coming out of Russia now,

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which are mass produced and printed.

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Every tiny little inch is painted

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and the gilding of course is so wonderful as well,

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that blue colour is marvellous and the gilding is great.

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How did it come into your possession?

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Well, it was... It belonged to my grandfather

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who was the Count Boris Konstantinovich Konstantinov

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in Russia, and he was of course dispossessed after the Revolution.

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He had a daughter, my mother,

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she was orphaned at the age of 10,

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and she was taken out of Russia by a cousin

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who took certain things to remind her of her family,

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so this is what she has from her father.

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This came with her?

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This came with her in 1928,

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first to Germany where she was hidden for four years

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and then sent on to America in 1933

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and it's just remained in the family ever since.

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And when my mother passed away, it came to me.

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Of course they're difficult to display, how do you display it?

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My mother arranged a meat thermometer that has a pole,

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so she would pole the egg on it, and she had a little finial on top.

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So it now sits in my cupboard on the famous meat thermometer.

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But they shouldn't be on that.

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-It might be causing a little bit of damage on that.

-Right.

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It should be threaded on a ribbon and hung, the proper way of doing them,

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so if you can do that, it will be kinder to the egg.

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Well, we must be kind to the egg.

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Now, it's of fair value.

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The Russians are madly collecting their home-made things now,

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going back to the past, and this one, 1860-70 something like that,

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they'd love this over in Russia.

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I reckon, because of its qualities,

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I think you're looking at something like between £3,000 and £4,000.

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Oh, lovely, very nice, a good egg.

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Now my colleagues tell me this is something I can get my teeth into,

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which you don't understand the joke

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-until you realise it's actually a dental cabinet.

-Yes, it is.

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Why do you want to own a dental cabinet?

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Well, we didn't. I didn't know it was a dental cabinet.

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I was shopping for a second-hand violin for my son,

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and it was in the next door shop window and I fell in love with it,

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and went in and bought it.

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And what did you love about it?

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Its shape and its colour and the fact that this went up and down

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and it has lots of drawers.

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I agree with you, I mean I still hate the dentist.

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-Yes.

-But if you can imagine going back to the end of the 19th century,

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the wonderful leather chair, foot treadle, drill

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and this would have been in the corner,

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holding all the dentist's instruments.

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It does lots of things, doesn't it?

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I mean there's a tiny little cabinet at the top

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and you open up the roll top here.

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You could have put some instruments out here with the mirror back,

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and then all these little drawers open up

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and you would have had all your probes and drill heads.

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-There's some still left in here, aren't there?

-Yes.

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So this would have been attached to a foot drill,

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and "zzzzz", they would have been drilling your teeth.

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Oh, he's actually left some teeth behind as well!

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So what do you keep in it now?

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Well, we keep bits and pieces in it, the spare keys,

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but the thing that I loved about it was it's a sort of a celebration

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of Victorian professionalism really,

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and the sort of thing you'd see in the set of a Bernard Shaw play

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like "The Doctor's Dilemma".

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There's two market values to this.

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There are people who collect dental instruments

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and, you know, this would make a wonderful housing

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for a collection of dental instruments.

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Also, it will be a wonderful collector's cabinet for anything small,

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so for coins or medals

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or something that would fit nicely in these drawers,

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-because it all locks away, doesn't it?

-Yes.

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-If you just lock that one lock there, all these lock.

-Correct.

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This locks, that locks, so it's a very secure collector's cabinet

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-and I think it's worth more as that than as a dental piece.

-Right.

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-How much did you pay for it? Can you remember?

-About 80 quid.

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-80 quid, how long ago?

-1970?

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'75 or '6, something like that.

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So 20, 25 odd years ago, right.

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Today, probably you'd get between £1,500 and £2,000.

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-So, a lovely piece.

-Thank you.

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As you say, it's a delightful Victorian extravaganza

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-and I'm sure it gives you much pleasure.

-Thank you so much.

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It does, I'm so glad you like it too, thank you.

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-A glass and pewter jug.

-Yes.

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-What's the history?

-Well, the history of it...

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I don't know much about the history of the jug

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-except that it is late 19th century.

-Aha.

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I got it from my father buying it in Portobello Road before the war.

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-Before the war?

-That's when we... Before the Second World War.

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How much did it cost him, have you any idea?

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It wouldn't have been much - everybody always says that -

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-probably a shilling, half a crown maybe.

-A shilling.

-Yes.

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-So... Well, that's good because I don't want your expectations to be overambitious.

-No, no.

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I picked it up because it is a wonderful design, incredibly elegant,

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this long tapering piece of green glass and then these pewter mounts,

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and looking at the mounts we've got something

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-which is absolutely typical of the Art Nouveau.

-Mm.

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You say late 19th century, I'm going to quibble a little bit,

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I'm going to go for maybe ten years later.

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This is typical of the Art Nouveau style that was used by Liberty's,

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that great shop in Regent Street.

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-Oh, yes, yes.

-Around that time.

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And if we turn it upside down, we've got a mark and it says "Tudric"

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which is one of the two trademarks

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that Liberty sold their pewter through

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in the early years of the 20th century.

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Now, the clue to who designed this is in that Celtic motif

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and let's just have a look, if we're talking about design,

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that's not just a sort of straightforward strap handle,

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that is a handle which is stepped down at the top

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and then it steps back up again at the bottom.

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If you look at it side on, it swells, tapers and swells out again.

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-Yes, yes.

-Every element of this has been thought out.

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And the glass has been made specifically for the pewter

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and vice versa, the whole is an organic piece of design.

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The only tragedy is that, at some stage, the tip of it has been punched

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so that this lid is sort of sitting back,

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you see it sort of doesn't quite flush.

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Oh, yes, it doesn't quite... no, I've noticed that.

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Yes, that it doesn't quite fit.

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-Well, I think I know who designed this.

-Oh, yes?

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Almost certainly a man from the Isle of Man called Archibald Knox.

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-Oh, yes.

-He was one of Liberty's principal designers.

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In fact, when Liberty died Archibald Knox actually designed his headstone.

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Highly thought of designer.

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Oh, indeed, mm.

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So in 50-odd years it's crept up a little bit.

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I mean, we've got allow for this, this damage up here,

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but I think it's crept up

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-to somewhere in the region of £1,500 to £2,500.

-Oh, no, really?

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I was thinking of perhaps 200, but really, as much as that?

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Oh, well, thank you very much.

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I was totally intrigued

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when you brought me this enigmatic piece of painted wood.

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Let's start with where did you get it from?

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Well, I live in a large block of flats

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and my husband, who was then my boyfriend,

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came in one day and said "Yvonne,"

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we have a bin room just around the corner from where I am,

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he said, "Oh, come and see some interesting things in here."

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So we ran and we just happened to see this.

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He said "What's this?"

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"Oh, painting on a bit of wood." I said "What do you think?"

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He said, "Well, it looks OK, you know we'll hold on to it."

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And we put it on the mantelpiece and sort of just left it, and that's it.

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Well, on one hand, it is a piece of painted wood

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and possibly the sort of thing that might end up in a dustbin,

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but when we turn it round we get a bit more of the story, don't we?

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Yes, that's right.

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And it says here, "Vesuvius, November 22nd 1886

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"from Castle Mare di Stabia by Herbert Sidney."

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Yes.

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And have you done any research yourself?

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I looked on the internet, and sure enough I found that he is, you know,

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an artist of some renown and there is information about him there.

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Well, he was indeed and he was actually quite a prominent painter

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but before we go any further there is something missing here, isn't there?

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-The bottom half is missing.

-Yes, the bottom.

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I suspect there many even be a bottom two thirds or even more, who knows?

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-Right.

-So at some point this picture has become broken up.

-Yes.

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So we're in the rather delightful position of being able to speculate

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on what the rest of the picture might have consisted of

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and here we have the advantage of knowing a little bit about Herbert Sidney's work

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because he did do history pictures with titles

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to the effect of people running from blowing up volcanoes,

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and it may well be that at the bottom of this tempting looking mountainscape at the top

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was some real action scene.

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Could have been anything from two or three figures fleeing,

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to figures fighting, to horses galloping.

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In other words you can sit and look at this fragment

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and just imagine what there might have been beneath.

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-Absolutely, yes. It's a pity it wasn't erupting.

-I know.

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-An erupting volcano would have been rather better, I must say.

-Yes.

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I think what had happened was, this is on panel,

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therefore canvas which would normally last the test of time,

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might get a bit blistered, might get a bit rotten,

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it's not like wood because if wood drops it sometimes cracks.

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We know that Elizabeth I would go into houses

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and if she didn't like portraits of herself,

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she'd knock them into pieces and hurl them into the fire.

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-So wood, although it's hard, is also very vulnerable.

-That's right.

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Now I suppose we have to talk about value.

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-Well, the value of this picture depends on whether we can find the other bit.

-That's right.

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So if someone out there...

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Please help me!

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Exactly. And if you two could get together,

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you could end up with a rather valuable marriage.

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Well, let's just wait and hope,

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-because, as it stands, it ain't worth much.

-I understand that.

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It was a nice find anyway.

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I've brought along my umbrella,

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and I just wondered if you'd ever seen anything like this before.

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-Well, I've never seen one with a donkey's terminal before.

-Right.

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But before I talk to you about it, tell me a little bit about the story.

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It was a gift to my great grandmother from Queen Mary,

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because my great grandmother was her lady in waiting,

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from 1923 until Queen Mary's death in 1953.

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-Really?

-Yes.

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So at some point your great grandmother must have said

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to Queen Mary, "I really love that."

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I'm sure she would have done, yes.

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-And they remembered.

-Yes.

-And now it's come down to you.

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Yes, it's come down through the girls' line.

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One thing that is very unusual

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is that it's got this lovely glazed cotton outer cover to keep it safe.

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-Right.

-I mean that is a real mark of distinction, if I may say so,

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but if we take it off, let's have a look.

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-Is it in good condition?

-Yes, it is.

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Now you see that's another lovely thing.

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You normally expect to see umbrellas,

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-I mean our standard umbrellas are black.

-Yes.

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But this wonderful vibrant purple.

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-Yes.

-And, of course, this was probably made, let's say about 1890,

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and in the 1890s -1900s there was a very formal etiquette about mourning.

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And if you were in full mourning, you had black,

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-if you were in semi-mourning you were allowed to use purple.

-Oh, right.

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So, this is an umbrella on a day when you're in semi-mourning.

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So you've got this fabulous carved donkey's head.

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It's the sort of thing that would have been bought in the shops around the Louvre in Paris,

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-it's a real tourist, up-market tourist type gift.

-Right.

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Fantastic carving, I mean look at the bridle

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and this lovely sort of swag and tassel.

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I mean it's absolutely super

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and the donkey's face has just got such character.

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-Yes, he's smiling at you, isn't he?

-He is, absolutely.

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-This is bamboo.

-Right.

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And then this lovely... Why don't you put it up?

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OK. Are you superstitious?

0:17:470:17:49

Well, sort of.

0:17:490:17:51

Yeah, the lovely thing is, I mean it's practically never been used,

0:17:520:17:56

because what happens is of course the umbrella goes at the seams,

0:17:560:17:59

so it's in super, super condition.

0:17:590:18:03

-I know you're never going to sell it.

-No.

0:18:040:18:07

I think, with its outer case...

0:18:070:18:12

lovely provenance, couldn't be better if it tried,

0:18:120:18:17

makes it quite a rare and special little thing.

0:18:170:18:20

I think it would be worth about £1,000.

0:18:200:18:23

Good grief!

0:18:230:18:24

Um, I'm stunned.

0:18:270:18:29

-You'd better get on and have some girls yourself.

-Yeah!

0:18:290:18:32

If at this point I shouted, "Order! Order!"

0:18:430:18:45

I should be slapped on the wrist by the lady with me, because that's her line.

0:18:450:18:49

The only woman Speaker in 700 years of the British Parliament,

0:18:490:18:52

her voice has echoed around Whitehall, the House of Lords,

0:18:520:18:56

and today the Banqueting House.

0:18:560:18:57

Baroness Boothroyd, welcome to the Antiques Roadshow.

0:18:570:19:00

Thank you for having me.

0:19:000:19:01

And may I say, many congratulations, Antiques Roadshow.

0:19:010:19:04

-What a great show it is.

-Thank you very much.

0:19:040:19:07

You've seen the back of a few Prime Ministers in your time,

0:19:070:19:10

and rumour has it that you've watched quite a few of the Roadshows

0:19:100:19:13

over their 30 years, right?

0:19:130:19:15

That's right, I see it whenever I can, early Sunday evening,

0:19:150:19:19

a nice time of relaxation. It's a great educational show.

0:19:190:19:22

I try not to miss it.

0:19:220:19:23

What particularly has caught your eye, over the years?

0:19:230:19:26

Oh, Michael, I love jewellery.

0:19:260:19:28

Diamonds are a girl's best friend as far as I'm concerned.

0:19:280:19:32

I love jewellery and so...

0:19:320:19:35

I saw one piece, because opals are my birth stone.

0:19:350:19:40

It's not everybody's favourite stone,

0:19:400:19:42

but I did see one lovely piece

0:19:420:19:44

which you can have as a tiara or a necklace,

0:19:440:19:47

and I thought that was lovely.

0:19:470:19:49

It is an Edwardian necklace, it dates from about 1900

0:19:490:19:52

and it's a fantastic display of Australian opals

0:19:520:19:56

and the thing about opals is

0:19:560:19:57

they're a mineralogical jelly,

0:19:570:19:59

they're not a sort of crystalline gem stone

0:19:590:20:02

in the same way that rubies and sapphires and diamonds are.

0:20:020:20:05

Lying on the table, we have this curious piece of metal.

0:20:050:20:08

Tell me what that is.

0:20:080:20:09

Um, that's for a tiara.

0:20:090:20:10

For a tiara, a tiara frame, and we have to make the necklace.

0:20:100:20:14

-I wanted my daughter to wear it for her wedding.

-Wouldn't she do that?

0:20:140:20:17

No, she wouldn't. She wore it as a necklace.

0:20:170:20:19

It's not much to ask of her, and it sits upside down like that,

0:20:190:20:23

and many necklaces do make tiaras

0:20:230:20:25

when they're put up on these base metal frames.

0:20:250:20:27

Let's think about it financially,

0:20:270:20:29

everybody's lusting after it, looking at it.

0:20:290:20:31

I don't know what it's worth and I wouldn't part with it.

0:20:310:20:34

No, I don't think it would be very easy to buy this necklace

0:20:340:20:37

for any less than about £5,000 or £6,000, maybe even more today.

0:20:370:20:41

Oh, my God!

0:20:410:20:42

Oh, that's quite a lot then.

0:20:420:20:44

-That's good.

-That's good.

0:20:440:20:45

Well, the price of a good man's above opals, certainly.

0:20:450:20:49

-Oh, I think so.

-Thank you.

0:20:490:20:51

So apart from your first love, which seems to be jewellery,

0:20:520:20:55

what else has attracted you over the years?

0:20:550:20:57

I like looking at furniture.

0:20:570:20:59

Some of the large pieces that are on display

0:20:590:21:02

and come to the Antiques Roadshow I'm not envious about,

0:21:020:21:05

because I associate myself with things,

0:21:050:21:08

and those big pieces wouldn't fit in my tiny home, so I'm not envious.

0:21:080:21:11

But I like the smaller pieces,

0:21:110:21:13

and there was one piece called a credenza. I liked that.

0:21:130:21:17

I could find a spot in my living room

0:21:170:21:19

where that would fit very nicely.

0:21:190:21:22

One should never judge a book by its cover

0:21:220:21:25

how do you come to have a piece like this?

0:21:250:21:28

I wouldn't put the two of you together, obviously.

0:21:280:21:32

Well, the truth is, my grandmother left me this in 1976

0:21:320:21:39

and my grandfather bought it

0:21:390:21:41

from a house clearance, and I think he paid 30 shillings.

0:21:410:21:46

My grandmother said to me, "Mark, if anything should happen to me,

0:21:460:21:49

"is there anything in this house that you'd like?"

0:21:490:21:52

-And I said, "Well, I've always liked the credenza."

-I think it's so attractive, it's so visual.

0:21:520:21:58

I think you're looking at between £5,000 and £7,000.

0:21:580:22:03

Blimey! Really?

0:22:030:22:05

Fantastic!

0:22:050:22:07

So, you've got a place in your home for that piece of furniture,

0:22:080:22:12

but were there any bits in Parliament that you wish you could have taken home?

0:22:120:22:17

Oh, nice pieces when I was in Speaker's House.

0:22:170:22:20

Lovely collection we have in Parliament, yes.

0:22:200:22:23

There were one or two I would have liked. Alas, I had to kiss them goodbye, say goodbye to them.

0:22:230:22:28

-Not a perk of the job?

-No perks there, none at all!

0:22:280:22:32

-Betty Boothroyd, it's a joy to meet you, thank you very much...

-My pleasure.

0:22:320:22:36

-On behalf of the Roadshow in its 30th anniversary.

-Thank you.

0:22:360:22:39

Well, here we are in one of London's most iconic buildings,

0:22:460:22:51

only to find some reminders of another.

0:22:510:22:54

Tell me how you came by these clocks.

0:22:540:22:57

Well, unfortunately, they aren't mine.

0:22:570:22:59

They do in fact belong to my boss

0:22:590:23:01

who picked them up about ten years ago on Brick Lane market in east London.

0:23:010:23:06

Which is just a weekly market, is it?

0:23:060:23:08

Just popping down there on a Sunday

0:23:080:23:11

looking for sort of fabulous old bits of junk and that sort of thing.

0:23:110:23:14

He saw a pile of old bits of kitchen and appliances, and he was going through it and found these

0:23:140:23:20

and spoke to the dealer who told him that they were in fact the clocks from the Stock Exchange.

0:23:200:23:25

He didn't necessarily believe this, but bought them anyway as they were only £10 each.

0:23:250:23:31

-And how many were there?

-There are nine.

-Nine?

-Yeah.

0:23:310:23:34

-So another six like these?

-Yes, yes.

0:23:340:23:37

-Right.

-And I think that's it, that's the complete set.

0:23:370:23:40

-But you're clutching a book.

-I am.

0:23:400:23:42

And that shows a photograph.

0:23:420:23:44

Well, he contacted the Stock Exchange to

0:23:440:23:46

find out, you know, really to verify if they were what he'd been told.

0:23:460:23:51

As you can see they're here and, I mean, that is them.

0:23:510:23:55

-This is brilliant, because this is the trading floor of the Stock Exchange.

-Yes, yeah.

0:23:550:24:00

It's brilliant to have that photograph,

0:24:000:24:03

it pinpoints these timepieces exactly in that building

0:24:030:24:07

-at that moment in time.

-Yeah.

0:24:070:24:09

-The Queen opened the new Stock Exchange and that trading floor in 1972.

-Oh, OK.

0:24:090:24:15

-So it's quite likely that these were installed in 1971 or 1972.

-OK.

0:24:150:24:21

And they're rather wacky things, actually, because if we can open this one up,

0:24:210:24:26

you would expect there to be some sort of movement behind it.

0:24:260:24:30

But, in fact, all you've got are a series of wirings and condensers

0:24:300:24:36

that, in turn, would have been wired up to one central clock.

0:24:360:24:40

-OK.

-And one central clock would have sent a series of messages to these nine repeaters.

0:24:400:24:47

Because you wanted the time to be absolutely accurate

0:24:470:24:50

through all nine of these.

0:24:500:24:52

OK. What would the little lights have done?

0:24:520:24:55

I would imagine that the lights probably flashed a few moments before

0:24:550:25:00

-trading ceased in either one of the trading centres.

-Oh, OK.

0:25:000:25:04

So you could look at the wall and you could just remind yourself that Tokyo Stock Exchange is about to shut.

0:25:040:25:09

Oh, OK.

0:25:090:25:10

But if you were a big city whizz kid, right,

0:25:100:25:14

and your bonus this year is only £8 million

0:25:140:25:16

and you want something for your loft building that you're going to really enjoy

0:25:160:25:22

and have a whizz of a time with your mates.

0:25:220:25:24

Have them on and flashing, it would be amazing.

0:25:240:25:26

It would be something else, wouldn't it?

0:25:260:25:28

So I think this lot, the nine of them,

0:25:280:25:32

in the right sale, to the right audience,

0:25:320:25:34

might make perhaps between £1,000 and £2,000 each.

0:25:340:25:38

-So you might be talking about between £10,000 and £20,000 for these.

-OK.

-So, will your boss be pleased?

0:25:380:25:44

I think definitely. How could you not be, with that?

0:25:440:25:47

At £90, it was certainly an investment, I think.

0:25:470:25:50

-Great, thanks for bringing them in.

-Thank you very much.

0:25:500:25:53

Well, I know what this is, familiar action, but I've never ever seen one looking like that. What's the story?

0:25:530:26:00

Very few of them were made, they were manufacturer's demonstration pieces.

0:26:000:26:04

That particular one was made by Ericsson of Beeston in Nottinghamshire in 1937.

0:26:040:26:09

But specially made for exhibition purposes,

0:26:090:26:12

-because it's all polished inside.

-It is indeed.

0:26:120:26:15

Well, I know what that is. I don't know what this is.

0:26:150:26:17

This is a House of Commons Division Bell transmitter, this is the apparatus that

0:26:170:26:22

was used in the House of Commons to signal to the MPs that a division or vote was about to take place.

0:26:220:26:27

Right, so let's get this right. So, before every vote, there is the famous division bell.

0:26:270:26:33

-Exactly.

-I think we've all heard of the division bell.

-Yes.

0:26:330:26:35

I hadn't realised it actually really was a bell.

0:26:350:26:38

-And so this would sound and it would repeat its sounding several times, is that right?

-Yes.

0:26:380:26:45

And then after six minutes the doors of the lobbies would shut.

0:26:450:26:47

The door keeper shuts the door and locks them and any MP who comes after that is too late.

0:26:470:26:52

-He cannot vote, so this is democracy.

-It is.

0:26:520:26:55

It was in the Palace of Westminster, the House of Commons -why isn't it now?

0:26:550:26:59

It was sold at the British Telecom auction.

0:26:590:27:02

The museum sold off the contents of its stores and so on, and that included this apparatus.

0:27:020:27:07

It says number one, is it the first one?

0:27:070:27:09

It's the first one made, late 19th century, 1880s-1890s, I would say.

0:27:090:27:13

So this had been there since it was installed in the late 19th century,

0:27:130:27:17

day by day, operating the division.

0:27:170:27:19

Yes, but it's the only one of the original transmitters that survived.

0:27:190:27:23

-This is it?

-This is it.

-This is the only one.

0:27:230:27:25

So, only here can we hear the division bell driven by the original technology?

0:27:250:27:32

-Yes.

-Think of who's used this, or heard it.

0:27:320:27:35

We start with Gladstone, you know, Gladstone heard this bell.

0:27:350:27:38

-Mm, he certainly did.

-So did Asquith, so did Lloyd George, so did...

0:27:380:27:43

Well, right up to Churchill.

0:27:430:27:44

-Indeed.

-Every Prime Minister would have heard it.

-That's quite correct.

0:27:440:27:47

Let's deal with two things. We have to talk about value.

0:27:470:27:51

Now, you're the telephone enthusiast, specialist collector,

0:27:510:27:55

you have much more knowledge than me, so I'm going

0:27:550:27:58

to reverse the normal process and say to you, what's that worth?

0:27:580:28:02

That is worth £5,000 to £6,000 depending, you know, on the day.

0:28:020:28:06

And it's my turn to say, "Good heavens, you can't be serious!"

0:28:060:28:10

And now I'm going to say to you, what's this worth?

0:28:100:28:13

First of all, I'll say I agree with you entirely on that.

0:28:130:28:16

It is such a rarity, this is Mecca for a telephone collector.

0:28:160:28:19

And I think that price is perfectly reasonable.

0:28:190:28:22

What's this worth? Well, as a piece of technical machinery,

0:28:220:28:26

without its wonderful political historical overtones, it's worth a few hundred pounds.

0:28:260:28:32

If you factor in that this is the only surviving division bell

0:28:320:28:37

telegraph machine, I could imagine someone paying, God, £15,000 for it.

0:28:370:28:43

Well, I'm going to be the Clerk and I'm going to call the division.

0:28:430:28:47

BELL RINGS

0:28:490:28:52

It's a unique sound.

0:28:540:28:56

-Actually, can I ask you, can you do it?

-Yes, why not?

0:28:560:28:59

We say, "Clear the lobbies!"

0:28:590:29:01

-Clear the lobbies!

-Clear the lobbies!

0:29:010:29:04

So how come you're bringing me a rusty old tin of whatever it's supposed to be...roasted veal?

0:29:130:29:19

Well, the simple answer is that it's not just any tin,

0:29:190:29:23

it's probably one of the first tins of preserved food in existence.

0:29:230:29:29

It was taken by Captain, subsequently Sir William Parry,

0:29:290:29:33

on the Arctic Expedition in 1824, and, uniquely, it was taken twice.

0:29:330:29:39

It was brought back to England in 1825 and taken out again in 1826 to the Arctic.

0:29:390:29:46

Now, this was deposited after 1826 in the Museum of the Royal United Services Institute,

0:29:460:29:53

which used to be in this building in the Banqueting House,

0:29:530:29:58

and it was kept with the preserved meat inside.

0:29:580:30:01

It was essentially as a result of the success of these tins that the Royal Navy adopted, in 1831, canned

0:30:010:30:11

food as one of its requirements and the canning industry took off.

0:30:110:30:16

Brilliant, so it went out to the Arctic on a voyage,

0:30:160:30:20

it came back from the Arctic, it went out to the Arctic, it came back from the Arctic

0:30:200:30:25

and we're talking about the 1820s here, aren't we?

0:30:250:30:28

-We are indeed.

-And then it comes back into the museum.

0:30:280:30:31

Why does it have this dirty great ugly hole in the bottom now?

0:30:310:30:36

Well, unfortunately it was opened in 1939 by

0:30:360:30:41

-some curious gentlemen together with the tin industry at the time.

-Right.

0:30:410:30:46

I suspect their idea was to prove that the canning industry started so well and did so well.

0:30:460:30:53

-But did they eat what was inside?

-No, they didn't, but they subjected it to chemical examination.

-Right.

0:30:530:30:59

And as it turned out, the veal in 1939, over 100 years later,

0:30:590:31:03

was perfectly fit for consumption.

0:31:030:31:06

Well, isn't that brilliant? Because I think this early preservation of food is most interesting, really.

0:31:060:31:12

The fact that in 1811, when the British started doing it, but with

0:31:120:31:16

metal, with iron, effectively tinned iron,

0:31:160:31:20

and then by excluding the air, you were able to prove, by taking it

0:31:200:31:24

to the Arctic and back and forth, that for over 100 years it would keep meat fresh,

0:31:240:31:30

meat and vegetables fresh, it's quite extraordinary, isn't it?

0:31:300:31:33

And you know that it's A proper one because it's got this sealed little nipple

0:31:330:31:37

and that's where the air came out.

0:31:370:31:39

Absolutely riveting. Do you like veal yourself?

0:31:390:31:42

-I don't, actually.

-Ah.

0:31:420:31:44

And I most certainly will not try the one from this can.

0:31:440:31:48

when you come to valuing an object like this, it's difficult.

0:31:480:31:52

Frankly, it's a question of the association of personality.

0:31:520:31:56

If this had been to the Antarctic with Scott, that tin could be worth

0:31:560:32:01

several thousand pounds, £5,000 to £8,000.

0:32:010:32:03

But as it is, even though it's earlier than Scott

0:32:030:32:07

and very interesting as far as the canning industry's concerned, and the preservation of food,

0:32:070:32:13

I would imagine that if that came on the market, it would probably realise a tad under £1,000.

0:32:130:32:20

But it's nevertheless a heck of an interesting tin. Thank you.

0:32:200:32:24

We've got an unusual combination here. We've got

0:32:240:32:27

a lifesaving medal,

0:32:270:32:31

an Iron Cross second class,

0:32:310:32:32

so there's a nice story here, I'm sure.

0:32:320:32:36

Well, my husband was in the Merchant Navy and during the war, in 1944, he

0:32:360:32:41

dived off the liner Queen Elizabeth and rescued a German prisoner of war from drowning.

0:32:410:32:47

And as a result he was awarded the medal and the German gave him his swastika,

0:32:470:32:52

and the crew of the ship presented him with an inscribed cigarette case.

0:32:520:32:57

And these are the letters from the Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society who presented the medal.

0:32:570:33:03

So, what were the prisoners of war doing on the Elizabeth?

0:33:030:33:07

Well, I'm pretty sure they were going to America

0:33:070:33:11

and then the liner would come back with troops on board.

0:33:110:33:14

That's right, they did so. And also they took Italian prisoners of war to America,

0:33:140:33:21

because in the convoy I was in

0:33:210:33:23

there was the Empress of Canada, and she was full up with Italian prisoners of war.

0:33:230:33:28

But they sunk her.

0:33:280:33:29

I remember that, yes.

0:33:290:33:31

So, now, you've got the silver medal for saving life from the Humane Society,

0:33:310:33:38

you've got the letter explaining it, and here we have a picture of him?

0:33:380:33:43

-Yes.

-Which is your husband?

0:33:430:33:46

The waiter.

0:33:470:33:49

He was mostly in the library or the swimming pool,

0:33:490:33:55

but sometimes he was the waiter.

0:33:550:33:58

Oh, right.

0:33:580:34:00

And of course, he's not with you any more?

0:34:000:34:04

-No. He died in 1976.

-1976.

0:34:040:34:06

Yes. But what a lovely combination.

0:34:060:34:08

Now, we've got to come to value.

0:34:080:34:12

-Your humane medal on its own would be about £300, £350.

-Oh!

0:34:120:34:19

But, of course, you see, with this lovely story and the Iron Cross,

0:34:190:34:23

you know the whole thing, I mean you can sort of double that value.

0:34:230:34:26

Because, if a collector had the opportunity to buy it, which he won't,

0:34:260:34:31

it is worth twice that amount.

0:34:310:34:34

-It's lovely to know.

-Thank you.

-Thank you very much indeed.

0:34:340:34:37

Well, this is a wonderfully romantic Russian scene.

0:34:390:34:43

The moon is out and this troika is rushing over the snow there.

0:34:430:34:49

-So this album is completely full of Russian royalty.

-Yes.

0:34:490:34:55

Over 55 images. So did you buy them all together?

0:34:550:34:59

No. I collected them over a period of time and I actually bought the album separately.

0:34:590:35:04

I bought it because it was a Russian album

0:35:040:35:07

and thought it was appropriate to put the family back into something that they would have been in.

0:35:070:35:13

Yes, absolutely. So here we've got

0:35:130:35:16

the Empress, Empress...

0:35:160:35:18

Marie with her son, Tsar Nicholas II as a baby.

0:35:180:35:21

Tsar Nicholas II as a baby, now you hardly ever see photographs of Tsar Nicholas II as a baby.

0:35:210:35:27

And also, it's hand-coloured.

0:35:270:35:29

It's hand coloured, you're quite right.

0:35:290:35:31

So tell me, what made you start collecting Russian royalty?

0:35:310:35:35

When I was quite young, I watched a programme called Children Of Destiny

0:35:350:35:39

about the Tsar's children, and that's what made my interest in the Russian royal family.

0:35:390:35:44

And when I was about 17, I saw an original photograph of Nicholas

0:35:440:35:48

and Alexandra at the time of their engagement, and I bought that, and from there the collection grew.

0:35:480:35:55

It's absolutely splendid.

0:35:550:35:56

Now, here is one that particularly interests me.

0:35:560:35:59

You explain who these people are. This one I think is Ella, isn't it?

0:35:590:36:02

Yes, it's Grand Duchess Elizabeth with Grand Duke Serge.

0:36:020:36:06

He was murdered in a dress rehearsal in 1905 of the First Revolution

0:36:060:36:10

and she was thrown down a mine shaft by the Bolsheviks in 1918 in the Second Revolution.

0:36:100:36:17

-Yes, yes.

-And she became a saint.

0:36:170:36:19

And she became a saint, became a saint of the Russian Orthodox Church.

0:36:190:36:23

-And I believe the horrible story, you could hear her singing hymns at the bottom of this shaft.

-Yes.

0:36:230:36:28

She was meant to be a great beauty, in the whole of Europe everybody thought she was enchanting.

0:36:280:36:33

The Kaiser wanted to marry her, Kaiser Wilhelm of the First World War

0:36:330:36:37

was in love with his first cousin Ella,

0:36:370:36:40

but sadly they never married and she married Serge instead.

0:36:400:36:43

That's a very romantic story. Look at this, this is absolutely splendid. This is Queen Victoria.

0:36:430:36:48

-Yes.

-And Edward VII, Tsar Nicholas.

0:36:480:36:52

Empress Alexandra and Grand Duchess Olga.

0:36:520:36:55

-And Grand Duchess Olga, now that is absolutely...

-At Balmoral in 1896 when they came over for their visit,

0:36:550:37:01

and the Empress brought her child to see her grandmother, which was very important to her.

0:37:010:37:07

She was very close to Queen Victoria and she'd been brought up by the Queen, and so Alexandra looked on

0:37:070:37:14

Queen Victoria as her mother, and Queen Victoria looked on her as her child.

0:37:140:37:19

It's a beautifully presented thing. You've got, what, over 55?

0:37:190:37:24

55 in this particular album, which I think is quite remarkable.

0:37:240:37:29

-I mean, how long has it taken you to collect this lot?

-Probably about 20 years,

0:37:290:37:34

and...

0:37:340:37:35

I probably couldn't start it again now,

0:37:350:37:39

with the price they are today, but over 20 years, I would say.

0:37:390:37:43

Well, you probably have as much idea about how much they're worth as I do,

0:37:430:37:46

because you keep your eye on the market.

0:37:460:37:49

But I'm going to hazard a guess.

0:37:490:37:50

I reckon that you've got an album there that's worth

0:37:500:37:54

upwards of £35,000, would you agree with that?

0:37:540:37:58

Um, yes, slightly shocked.

0:37:580:38:01

But happily will agree.

0:38:010:38:03

I was going to say that you don't look surprised, but that's a bit better!

0:38:030:38:08

That's the sort of reaction we encourage. Thanks for bringing it in.

0:38:080:38:11

OK, lovely. Thank you very much.

0:38:110:38:13

We bought a new house and we had to remove a bay window and we found it

0:38:160:38:21

under there and I've had it ever since,

0:38:210:38:23

but my husband just keeps saying it's a bit of old tat.

0:38:230:38:27

-Bit of old tat! Have you worn this bit of old tat?

-No.

0:38:270:38:31

-You haven't?

-No.

-It's beautifully made,

0:38:310:38:33

it wouldn't matter what it was made of, really, it's so superb.

0:38:330:38:36

And have you thought about the imagery behind it at all?

0:38:360:38:39

I mean, is it something that you feel there's a message there?

0:38:390:38:42

Apart from an obvious one, that it sparkles like mad.

0:38:420:38:46

Sparkles like mad! No, I just liked it and I just kept it, I just thought it was very pretty.

0:38:460:38:52

It's a jolly good thing you did keep it.

0:38:520:38:54

It's actually like a lot of jewellery, there's a subliminal message of love here.

0:38:540:38:59

These are forget-me-not flowers.

0:38:590:39:01

In the Victorian language of flowers, forget-me-not stands for true love.

0:39:010:39:05

When you turn it into diamonds, it's forever true love, and they're true lovers' knots here.

0:39:050:39:10

It's a highly sophisticated piece of setting

0:39:100:39:14

and I think it's safe to tell you now that this is gem setting.

0:39:140:39:18

These are indeed real stones, they are diamonds.

0:39:180:39:21

-Oh!

-I know!

0:39:210:39:23

So much for my tat!

0:39:230:39:25

So much for your tat, and it's going to be awkward when you go back home,

0:39:250:39:28

because you'll have to tell him all of this!

0:39:280:39:30

And this is a little jewel from 1900, which is probably the most perfect time for craftsmanship in jewellery.

0:39:300:39:39

It's very minutely observed.

0:39:390:39:41

The design rules the composition, not the stones.

0:39:410:39:43

They're secured in what we call mille grain settings, there are tiny little pellets running round these

0:39:430:39:49

channels of metal, which is an indication

0:39:490:39:52

that what we have before us now is a piece of the highest possible quality gem setting from 1900.

0:39:520:39:59

-Wow!

-Yeah.

0:39:590:40:00

-Wow!

-Wow.

0:40:000:40:02

And it gets better and better because, when we turn it over, we can see that

0:40:020:40:07

there's a bit of engineering in the form of a hinge that tells us that this was almost certainly strung

0:40:070:40:12

onto some pearls to be worn high at the neck of an Edwardian lady.

0:40:120:40:16

And we call it a "collier de chien", a dog's collar

0:40:160:40:19

ornament, in diamonds, and a breathtakingly poetic one it is too.

0:40:190:40:24

It may well be made by a firm such as Cartier or Boucheron.

0:40:240:40:27

-Oh, my goodness.

-Or La Cloche.

0:40:270:40:29

Well, it's a bombshell, isn't it?

0:40:290:40:32

It's a bombshell to me.

0:40:320:40:34

I'm speechless.

0:40:340:40:36

Good, good! And is it going to be a test of true love when you go back

0:40:360:40:39

and tell him that I told you that it might be worth...

0:40:390:40:42

..£8,000 or £9,000?

0:40:430:40:45

Oh, my God!

0:40:490:40:51

You're Palace Manager of the Banqueting House

0:40:570:40:59

-and one of your myriad tasks is to look after this intriguing object which is downstairs in the hall.

-Yes.

0:40:590:41:05

Now, I can see that it represents the Banqueting Hall from the outside, but

0:41:050:41:09

in a certain way at a certain time, by the looks of it.

0:41:090:41:12

Yes, it's the proposed contingency plan for the coronation of Edward VIII and Mrs Simpson.

0:41:120:41:19

-The coronation that never took place.

-Exactly.

0:41:190:41:21

We found it in a box in the Royal United Services Institute, which is next door to us,

0:41:210:41:27

when we were refurbishing in 1991 and we rescued it, framed it, because it's an intriguing object

0:41:270:41:34

because it's part of the constitutional history of England.

0:41:340:41:38

Now, I take it, therefore, that because she was a twice divorced American,

0:41:380:41:44

they didn't like the idea - "they" being the powers that be -

0:41:440:41:48

of having the coronation over at the abbey.

0:41:480:41:51

It was to be in this secular building.

0:41:510:41:54

Yes, I guess that's why.

0:41:540:41:57

So this was done by the party planners to the royal family at the time.

0:41:570:42:01

And I can see it's "Hampton and Sons".

0:42:010:42:03

Yes, and November 1936.

0:42:030:42:06

So 1936 being just before, as it were, news breaks that it's not going to happen.

0:42:060:42:13

-Yes, yes.

-So it gives you an idea of just what a constitutional crisis it represented.

0:42:130:42:17

How on so many levels, so much was being prepared

0:42:170:42:21

-here at the Hall and elsewhere.

-Yes.

0:42:210:42:22

-That wasn't to happen.

-No, that's it.

0:42:220:42:25

Have you considered a value for this object?

0:42:250:42:28

Never, because it was...

0:42:280:42:30

I suppose because it was in a box and it was all folded up and... No, we haven't.

0:42:300:42:36

Well, I think it's very intriguing and one knows quite a lot about the

0:42:360:42:41

emotive commercial nature of things to do with Edward and Mrs Simpson.

0:42:410:42:45

-Oh, right.

-Well, in 1997 there was a huge sale of all the objects

0:42:450:42:50

that were associated with them and I remember being utterly amazed, as I think many other people were, when

0:42:500:42:56

-just a single piece of wedding cake associated with their marriage made just under £18,000.

-Oh, my God!

0:42:560:43:04

And it seems to be the combination of the constitutional crisis, which was big, the romantic association of the

0:43:040:43:11

couple, and just general nostalgia for that period.

0:43:110:43:15

It seems to have done it for a big group of rich people, all of whom

0:43:150:43:18

beat it out to try and buy anything to do with the event.

0:43:180:43:21

But as the Banqueting House Manager, a piece of cake as old as that would not be of any value to me at all.

0:43:210:43:27

Well, I couldn't agree more.

0:43:270:43:29

On the basis of that, I would confidently value this drawing

0:43:290:43:35

-at over £20,000.

-What?! Oh, my God!

0:43:350:43:37

You'd prefer that piece of cake now, wouldn't you?

0:43:370:43:40

Yeah... No, but it's amazing. Wow.

0:43:400:43:44

Hovering above us throughout the Roadshow

0:43:490:43:51

has been something that makes everything on the floor level seem fairly insignificant,

0:43:510:43:55

although we have seen some fabulous pieces today.

0:43:550:43:59

The ceiling here at the Banqueting House was painted by Paul Rubens to glorify the Stuart dynasty.

0:43:590:44:06

It took him four years to complete and he was paid £3,000 and a large lump of gold.

0:44:060:44:13

Well, masterpieces don't come cheap.

0:44:130:44:15

More treasures very soon, but for now, from Whitehall in London, goodbye.

0:44:150:44:20

Michael Aspel and the team take a trip to Banqueting House, in the heart of London. A valuable brooch proves that diamonds really are a girl's best friend, and a rare collection of photographs of the Russian royal family have a staggering price tag.