On their second visit to London's Banqueting House, Michael Aspel and the team unearth even more treasure. An inheritance of old pots turns into a substantial windfall.
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Welcome back to our second Roadshow from the magnificent Banqueting House in London's Whitehall.
It's the kind of place that makes your own front room look shabby.
This was built as a house of fun by James I in 1622...
dignified fun of course...
plays, masques and state occasions.
But the greatest jollity was reserved for a space below where I'm standing.
They called this vaulted basement the undercroft.
It was designed as a drinking den for the King and his special friends. The undercroft...
good name for a night club.
Young royals, please note.
Not everyone came here for wine and merriment.
According to long tradition, in the run up to Easter, the poor would arrive to receive Maundy money
and other benefits from their sovereign.
Another ancient custom that was brought back by the Restoration
was called "touching for the King's Evil".
The theory was that the painful skin disease of scrofula could be cured by a touch of the royal hand.
The king wore long gauntlets over boxing gloves...
It's more the Midas touch we're thinking of today,
so back to the experts as they get their gloves off for round two of our Whitehall Roadshow.
Now, we've got a wonderful embossed folio
that doesn't really tell you very much about what's inside.
I've always dreamt of finding an Admiralty model here on the Antiques Roadshow,
and thank you very much, you've found one for me.
Because we just open it up,
and here on the left is a standard drawing, architectural drawing
of a couple of Royal Naval vessels dating from, where?
1706 is HMS Diamond and HMS Greyhound, two ships of the line
from the beginning of the 18th Century, and the history of this...
it was deposited with the, er, Royal Library at Windsor
and it was given to the Royal United Services Institute, which is just next door to the Banqueting House,
in the beginning of the 20th Century
by specific orders of the King to be preserved and to be displayed.
That's fantastic, because in my whole experience,
I've only ever seen one other. And that's over 30 years,
so when I say "rare", it's extraordinarily rare.
But the whole purpose of this was to encourage the Board to commission the vessels.
aSo either you built a model or very carefully,
you could wow them with opening the model like that,
which shows all the construction inside, so you can see all the ribs,
you can see all the cannons, and actually was very important to members of the Admiralty,
athey would show how it would be decorated.
If you can imagine Pepys and all that crowd round there, all the Admiralty Board looking at this,
and then the designer would have popped this up and they said, "We'll have one".
-Or two, in this case.
-Or two, in this case, yes.
I've seen one sold at auction, it was much smaller,
um, and it wasn't as early as this,
and that made, I think £8,000.
This is earlier, much more elaborate.
At auction, I would think £25,000 to £30,000.
So for insurance, we're probably thinking about £40,000 or £50,000.
I'm so excited at seeing it, thank you very much for bringing it in.
I've never seen so many brooches as you've brought me today.
Tell me about them, what, how did all this start?
Well, it started about two years ago.
-Two years ago? My goodness.
-Yes, I, er...
I was looking for a brooch for a friend and I looked in the internet trying to find something new, and...
And you did.
-Yes, it's new.
-How many are there?
-Um, I have about 200.
-200. In two years, that's 100,
100 a year, that's pretty good, isn't it?
Tell us about the value of these, what are you buying these for?
Well, you can buy something for as low as five dollars plus shipping, some a little bit more.
-I paid 100 for that one.
But usually, they're pretty cheap.
-Well, I think that's...
-I'm very bad at mathematics,
-but 5 times 200 sounds all right, doesn't it?
areI spent about, more than 2,000 already.
-More than 2,000.
-Fortunately, I keep an excel sheet
with all the things that I've purchased and I can easily add up, and that's sometimes scary.
But they are absolutely fantastic, and flowers are obviously desperately important in all of this,
-because they've all got separate meanings, the flowers, haven't they?
-Yes, we learn a lot about that
-from watching you on the Roadshow.
-Do you? Well, it does apply.
Here's a pansy flower which stands for, "think of the giver,"
and I think it meant that just as much in the 1950s, which I reckon is when that's made,
-as it did in 1850 really.
And in a way I've brought you to this table under slightly false pretences.
Can you guess why? Because there's a jewel here that's really a very, very remarkable one indeed
and it's not on the table, and it's not on the board behind me,
-but it's on your neck.
And that's one of the greatest reasons for bringing you here,
is that's the most dramatically beautiful 18th Century,
presumably Spanish gold and diamond
pendant jewel that I've seen,
it's a lovely one. Tell us about that one.
Well, that's one my father bought for my mother in Salamanca,
and that was in the '80s,
and my parents were in a jewellery shop buying for something else,
and the owner told my father that he had something very special
-that a family had the need to sell, unfortunately.
And that perhaps he would like to buy it.
-And they fell in love with it and bought it.
-Yes, how marvellous.
They're very interesting diamonds. They're sort of,
almost steely and grey, and they're foiled at the back,
they're closed back and indeed, the steely greyness
probably comes from silver foil that's deteriorated behind
and has gone black and, um, and it's highly distinctive Spanish work,
very rich gold colour,
and if we were to shovel all the value of all these brooches
-into that, we might not be able to acquire it, would we?
-You think so?
I don't think so, no, I don't think you'll get that for 2,000.
Tell us about the value of that one.
Um, I think my parents paid about £350.
I think that's a fantastic bargain.
I wonder what it's worth today, maybe, maybe closer to £3,000 today.
-And a great thing, very difficult to value, you wear it highly effectively,
it's a very Spanish look on you, I must say, and have you come a long way to us today?
Yes, my husband and I have come from Barcelona,
-specifically for the Roadshow.
-Well, how marvellous, and what a joy to bring it all here.
You've given us a sight that we'll never forget, thank you very much.
Well, it displays beautifully here, it's just amazing to look at them.
I'm proud to be the owner of this and owner of this.
These are two very impressive sights.
That, and yourself, tell us about yourself first.
Myself, I'm the Yeoman Gaoler at the Tower of London,
and I'm basically, the 2IC of the Body of Yeoman Warders, the Body of Yeoman Warders...
headed by a Chief Yeoman Warder, myself...
and 33 Yeoman Warders and we all live and work inside the Tower of London.
Right, and now the weapon.
The weapon itself. Well, this is the axe,
and it was never used for beheading anybody,
but it's a staff of office. And myself, accompanied by Yeoman Warders,
would take a prisoner from the Tower of London, of which there was many,
up to Westminster or Guildhall or wherever they were to be tried.
If they're found guilty, I'd bring them back to the Tower of London.
The axe was like an advertisement, so if they were coming back by boat
down the River Thames from Westminster, if this blade of the axe was pointed away from the prisoner,
then the prisoner wasn't to be executed.
But if the axe was...
pointed towards the prisoner,
the prisoner was to be executed. And so the people of London
would recognise straight away if this prisoner was to be executed.
So the axe itself never executed anyone, but do you know the names of any of the victims?
Well, certainly, Queen Anne Boleyn when she was escorted from the Tower,
she was escorted by the gaoler and Yeoman Warders.
Now, I would assume that the gaoler had his axe with him.
This axe? I don't know, but certainly the gaoler would have escorted her,
brought her back again and displayed the axe with the blade towards her.
-And when was it last used?
-Well, I would say in Simon Fraser,
Lord Lovat's time, because he was the last man to be publicly beheaded on Tower Hill in 1747.
How often is it allowed out these days?
I don't think this axe has been out of the Tower for about 50 years,
so it's still, it's a day out for it.
Talking of that, one last thing...
would you turn it away from me, please?
-There you are, Michael.
One of the challenges of the Roadshow which is always unpredictable is that sometimes,
one has material to deal with which is quite difficult,
and I don't mean in value terms, I mean in subject matter.
Did you ever see a Roadshow a few years ago, a couple of years ago, where Lars Tharp
did some bowls that had been discovered in the ruins of Hiroshima?
-Yes, I did.
-So you remember that item?
Did you remember it because of the nature of the item it was?
-More the fact that it was a real object from that time.
These are the same, these are real objects from that time.
What you've brought me here is a portfolio of lithos...
of lithographic prints...
by this artist, Henri Pieck,
-of views of Buchenwald Concentration Camp.
-Why have you got them?
-Um, my mum volunteers in a charity shop,
and this is a donation. And she pulled them to one side not knowing what do with them,
-they're not the kind of thing to sell on the High Street.
-You can hardly put them on a shelf.
So they pulled them apart, put them back and kept them aside.
-Then we saw the Antiques Roadshow was in London and I brought them along.
-Let's start at the beginning,
printed in Holland, Dutch artist, and he is relatively well known as an artist...
"The Long Dead", as a painter, as a print maker.
The most important thing is that he was, he spent quite a long time in a concentration camp,
presumably Buchenwald, because he was a Communist,
so he had, you know, he had the most impossible experience. He survived,
and obviously what he then wants to do is record his experiences so the world knows what it was like.
-How did you feel when you saw these?
-Erm...they're just very emotive,
and you look at them and for me, there's no sort of personal attachment to them,
so I look at them and think it's just desperate, they are desperate.
Mmm, but I think what they reveal is, as you say,
the sheer desperation of life in the camp,
and if you weren't killed, you didn't die,
this is how you lived, week after week...
Can you imagine?
You know this is the labour,
pouring rain, cold conditions, no food, you know.
It's...looking round at everybody in this room,
you know, it's beyond our imagination.
I mean, you came here quite rightly to say, "What are they and what do we do with them?"
I just think they're such a powerful record
of a time which we are in danger of forgetting.
They have a value.
Um, it's very hard to value because I haven't seen a set sold before.
We're looking at...judging by him as an artist, £600 to £800,
-£500 or £600, it's that sort of area, but who's going to buy them?
Do you give them to a museum? Maybe you do, maybe they go to something like
The Imperial War Museum, they've got a very big Holocaust, concentration camp collection.
If they haven't got this set, they may love to have them..
I started talking about the Hiroshima bowls, which you remember.
These are the same, you know, these are real objects from that time and they're telling the same story.
We have to accept that we have done terrible things,
and we mustn't forget, and these do exactly the same as that bowl.
Forget the value,
see if the War Museum have got them.
Failing that, there are other Holocaust museums, see if they've got them, see if they want them.
I'm sure they will. They are powerful, emotive, as you say, they're our history.
-Thank you very much.
So, what do you keep in this?
Well, it really belongs to my son and he used to keep his linen in it until he discovered that...
when he took the linen out, the edges were all covered with black marks from the little spindles.
At the moment, I think he keeps an old video
and a defunct computer and some knitting in the bottom drawer.
-It's a junk cupboard, really.
-It's, it's a box room.
-OK, do you know where it comes from?
-Well, when I bought it,
I bought it in Newbury in the auction rooms and it was sold to me as a Breton cupboard,
-so I assume it comes from Brittany.
-How long ago was that you bought it?
-'61-'62, it cost £32.
Lot of money.
Mmm, OK, let's hope there's been an investment, but we'll come to that in a minute, we'll see.
Quite right, a Breton cabinet.
What's fascinating about French furniture is it's very highly regionalised,
-it's obviously a very big country.
And they've got local sources, woods, craftsmen with their own traditions,
and you can relatively easily work out whether something's from Burgundy or Bordeaux,
which has rich mahogany furniture because of the port, all the things that came across the Atlantic
into the port of Bordeaux, and this is Breton, a little bit crude.
I think it must have been made by a local carpenter who did furniture on the side.
That's a very good point, I wouldn't have said that,
-but if you said it...
-I said it.
-We're singing from the same hymn sheet.
I found this very interesting, have you noticed that this spiral,
or barley twist as it's sometimes called, or "Solomonic columns,"
this one is facing to you and the other one on your side is facing to me, they're reversed.
-But they couldn't do that, or didn't do that sort of turning until the machine age.
And I think this is probably a hundred years old.
-I'm trying to ascertain your accent, you're not from Newbury, are you?
-No, I'm from Iowa.
I met this English sailor in the war,
I met him on the...
17th February, and we were married on the 14th March.
-Blimey, so you're a GI Bride.
-I'm a GI Bride in reverse.
-Lovely. So, valuation.
We should know what the retail cost of this would be,
-just to give you an idea.
Fine, OK, I don't think I'll buy it though.
-I haven't got the space for it.
So here we are in Whitehall, surrounded by very important government buildings,
and it's really exciting to have a painting from the Palace of Westminster, just across the road,
and of course, a very valuable thing and it's been guarded, happily for us, the first time on the Roadshow,
by these two gentlemen. And you're Malcolm Hay, you're the curator of the Palace of Westminster.
What is it, when was it done?
Well, we're looking at the old chapel of the Royal Palace,
which went on to become the debating chamber of the House of Commons.
From our point of view, it's the earliest painted image
of the House of Commons in session, and it's painted by a man
called Peter Tillemans, shortly after. He comes from Antwerp.
And the interior at that time, it's rather difficult to judge,
but it's the interior of the Royal Chapel of the Old Palace.
And by the early 1700s when this was painted, the...
what would have been very fine paintings all over the interior of the chapel, had been panelled over,
-so the wooden panelling by Christopher Wren masks wonderful religious...
-It's concealing them?
It's concealing the paintings. One point is that the layout of Members of Parliament
sitting in pews facing each other is a church layout,
and that continued, that tradition continues even today in the post-war Chamber.
They also put in a false ceiling.
So over half of the original chapel is hidden above the ceiling.
-And I've got a small drawing here...
..which was done in 1834,
and it shows the layout in that area immediately above.
So this is above this ceiling, and there's a sort of...
some kind of gallery that you can sit in and look down, is that right?
-Well, to follow the logic, if you look at the chandelier on the main painting.
..it goes up into the ceiling into a large ventilation block
and that ventilation block is the format round which...
women, or ladies at that time, could sit and they could hear.
In fact, they could not only hear the debate, on the basis that hot air rose, they could also
see the feet of the Members of Parliament in the Chamber and indeed the Clerk's table and the Speaker.
I see. How completely fascinating.
But they look all very elegant, very 18th Century. And each one of these
seems to be a portrait, they do look like individual faces.
How fascinating. And then of course, the whole thing was destroyed by a disastrous fire,
and this is the morning after the day before, as it were.
So, who painted this wonderful painting?
Well, George Scharf Senior
thought this would be an incredible opportunity to come to the building,
literally, the morning after, and he spent the next six months perched on the top of Westminster Hall,
throwing any health and safety considerations to the wind.
Pretty, pretty dangerous place to sit, I should think.
But when did it happen, this fire, and how did it start?
Well, it happened on the night of 16th October 1834,
workmen had been burning tally sticks -
an outmoded form of accounting - at that point,
in one of the larger fireplaces in the House of Lords.
When they went off home, the flue of the fireplace caught fire.
Amazing, a tiny spark and...disaster.
It's almost still smouldering.
It was certainly smouldering when George Scharf began painting it.
He charted various things including the old Victorian fire engine.
-But also the people coming to view, to see what had happened to the old buildings.
The element here of course shows the burnt-out chapel,
so that's where the Commons debating chamber had been and in order to take note, the dome-headed...
Norman windows are very obvious in the painting by Tillemans.
For George Scharf, this was a painting that he felt was hugely important,
he got permission, he spent six months working on the immense amount of detail,
-and he hoped that by selling prints of it, he could make money.
And, well, it never went that way, and in fact shortly before he died
in 1860, he still had the painting,
and he sold it for the pathetic amount of money...
-he got two pounds and ten shillings for the painting at that point.
I suppose the only other finer point to make on this painting is that
-this was found in an antique shop in South Africa.
-Was it really?
Back in about 2001, and it came into our collection in 2003 in fairly awful, fairly ropey condition
and the Tate Gallery spent a year conserving it and putting it in condition as now.
Well, it looks great.
I can't imagine how you would value pictures like this, but you know, I suppose they're so closely bound up
with England's heritage that they'd have a premium if they ever came onto the market,
but you've got to take a bit of a flying leap with the value, haven't you, sometimes?
If you do lend them out, you've got to insure them. Well, my feeling is that,
between the two of them, there must be at least a million pounds worth of pictures,
with where they've been and what they are, that two pounds doesn't sound like very much.
We've seen some fantastic treasures here today, and that's a cue for me to remind you
that this is our 30th year and we are taking the occasional stroll down memory lane,
to relive some great moments. Here are some more.
Good God, no!
Now, that is exceptionally rare.
It's quite incredible. I think we're looking at about £10,000 for a sword like this.
You're not being serious?
I am being deadly serious.
I don't think I've ever seen...
I don't know if I've ever seen a pig, a pig being ridden before.
If I were you, I'd stick to your day job.
My great-granddad was prepared to just take it all down to the dump.
-This is a £3,000 carriage clock.
It's a major discovery.
-Is it really?
-It's so exciting, I'm shaking, holding it.
Why me, God, why me?
I wouldn't have shrunk from telling you
-that it was worth £20,000.
Your five pieces are going to be worth somewhere around £20,000 to £25,000.
Ah, oh, that's heavy, isn't it?
You look like a bride, tell me, is this something that you wore as a...
on your happy day?
I didn't. I was going to, but I decided not to in the end.
Oh, so tell me about it, I mean because you look, I have to say, a million dollars.
The dress that you actually wore for your wedding must have been a real knockout if this was rejected.
Is it a family thing that's been handed down?
No, it's not, I bought it from an Art Deco fair in Eltham Palace last year.
Oh, I know. I know. So you went there looking for a wedding dress?
No, just for the exhibition, the fashion show that they had on.
-Were you engaged at that point?
Oh, fine, OK, so the fact that you then bought a wedding dress,
-you did kind of know there was a wedding happening.
-Yes, I did, luckily.
Let's just talk about it because standing back here, you do look like one of the columns
here in the Banqueting House, and that's what it was all about.
In the mid-1930s, the designers went in for this...
incredibly fluid shape, using this very heavy satin.
-It is very heavy.
-It's heavy to wear?
-That's interesting, because it hangs so beautifully, doesn't it?
-Um, you can't move, can you?
-Your heels are too high.
-My heels are too high.
I want to have a look at the back, because the back is, is just as it should be.
You stay there like a kind of object,
because the back is just as it should be because of course as a bride,
the most that people see is the back of you,.
-And you've got this wonderful row of self-covered buttons
going along behind, this great train coming round, all bias cut.
So there you are, Art Deco queen, queen of Eltham Palace, what does a queen have to pay for her dress?
-Gosh I'm shocked at that, I mean, I wouldn't have been surprised
if you'd said three times that, and indeed,
I could imagine that in a vintage dress shop at easily £200 to £250.
-I think it's just gorgeous, and...
when you renew your vows, I don't know, in 20 years time, wear it then, because it just looks fantastic.
Well, here we have the most magnificent picture of the inside of Westminster Abbey,
and it's a picture of the coronation of George IV where he's being presented to all the Earls and Lords
and all the rest of it, this is the promotion.
Here he is in the middle, and here is the Archbishop there,
actually showing him off to the congregation.
Now, the theme here is obviously Westminster Abbey,
because you've got some other things there as well.
So, you're a clergyman, out with it.
I'm the Dean of Westminster.
-You're the Dean of Westminster. Welcome to the Antiques Roadshow.
-Thank you very much.
It was this particular coronation, George IV, where they all dressed up in medieval clothes.
-Very elaborate, very expensive,
it's a wonderful book, absolutely splendid. Here's the title...
"..An Impartial And Historical Narrative Of Those Momentous Events
"Which Have Taken Place In This Country
"During The Period From The Year 1816 To 1823."
The most important one, as far as I'm concerned,
and as far as you're concerned,
-is Westminster Abbey.
-Absolutely, the coronation.
That is a splendid piece of history.
-But this is the most elaborate one.
-This is even more precious,
and absolutely extraordinary. This is from 1953,
from the Queen's coronation.
-And this was the full music edition of the Order of Service which belonged to Sir William McKie,
the organist and Master of the Choristers at the time.
But this is not only what he used, I think, during the service itself,
but it's been signed by the other musicians who were there, as well as by the Archbishop of Canterbury,
-And the Earl Marshall.
-The Earl Marshall, Duke of Norfolk.
-Sir Ralph Vaughan Williams.
Who wrote a piece of music for it.
-Herbert Howells, Ernest Bullock, who had been one of Sir William McKie's predecessors.
And the self-effacing William McKie.
If you turn over, it's also been signed by Her Majesty the Queen.
-And it's a very beautiful edition.
Absolutely splendid, of which this is number one.
Number one of a limited edition of 150.
That is quite quite extraordinary absolutely splendid.
I have to come clean too, I was a chorister at Westminster Abbey,
-and Sir William McKie was my first Organist and Master of the Choristers.
-You don't want to know the value of any of this.
-Unfortunately, the people who are watching do.
-You're not going to sell them, so it doesn't really make any difference.
The fabulous colour plate book of Westminster Abbey would now be worth
somewhere in the region of £800 to £1,000 and this one, which is in fact
I suspect my favourite, I love, I love all those association signatures inside - best part of £1,000.
I mean, it's so unique and so bound up really with the Abbey
that if I saw that in a second-hand bookshop, I'd fall off my...
-whatever it is.
-I've got Sir William Mackay's coat hanger in my wardrobe, as well,
-I wonder what that's worth.
-Absolutely splendid, thank you for bringing this in
and taking time off on a Sunday, I mean, it must be very difficult.
Great pleasure, very nice to meet you, thank you very much.
These are a lovely pair of pistols,
just to see them, the quality...
Spanish, of course, double-barrelled percussion,
and probably small holster pistols as opposed to travelling pistols.
I notice that they were made in 1839, but tell me the background.
Er, they first belonged to this man, which was Don Toribio Ansotigay,
and he was my great-great-great grandfather.
They were presented to him by the King of Spain because of his help
in the first Carlist Wars, and his advising role in the second Carlist Wars.
Obviously, they must have held him in high esteem to present a pair of
pistols like this, because the sheer quality, and these lion hammers...
But they've beautiful springs on them
like very very strong, and I don't suppose they've ever been fired.
When you look at the top of these nipples, they're so sharp and clean,
and obviously, as I see it, being kept purely as a...
presentation pair of pistols, but they're really gorgeous.
Nice ivory-tipped ram rods, beautiful.
And then of course the woodwork itself,
made by a craftsman.
-Now, tell me more about your ancestor.
-Um, he was a Don,
so he was the Spanish nobility, and he was also the Mayor of Madrid
-for a while.
-And his wife was the lady in waiting to the Queen of Spain at that point.
-Who would have been Isabella, I believe.
Well, you've got a cased pair of pistols here...
as pistols, worth something like £4,000 to £5,000, but because who they were presented by,
for insurance purposes, I would think you should insure them for £12,000 to £14,000.
Hope that pleases you.
Well, they won't ever be sold.
No, of course not, of course not.
-I've just heard that a very interesting piece of furniture has come in.
The trouble is, it hasn't come in, you have to go to it.
It's too important or precious to move and it's over the road,
-across Whitehall in the Horseguards building.
-OK, and we're expected?
-They're dying to see you.
-Knock on the door and...
-Go for it.
Here he is, it looks like St George to me,
and he's hanging over Whitehall behind.
Quite cool, isn't it? Um, does it come from a church?
I don't know where he comes from, because it was given me by my mother.
Yeah. And, er it was given to her by a friend of hers.
-What part of the world does he come from?
-My mother lived in Coventry.
-Substantially re-arranged by the Luftwaffe, wasn't it?
-Yes, severely bombed out in the centre.
And the first thing to go in the Blitz is windows.
Do you think this was plucked from the wreckage of the Blitz?
-It could have been. It does have a slightly ecclesiastical tinge about it, doesn't it?
-It does, doesn't it?
-And if I was rifling through the wreckage, just going for a walk
and I saw that, I don't think I'd be able to resist it, it's wonderful.
-I think, I think I've got a suspect for who done it.
-And I think it was quite possibly by Henry Holiday, who was a great admirer of Burne-Jones.
And it's very much his style, he used to work for Powell and Company,
stained glass makers, in the 1880s and around that time, which is about the time of this,
and he was a very good artist and this is a very good thing, which helps, you know, helps along.
-It's a beautiful face, isn't it?
-It really is.
-Very sensitive and...
Valuable thing too, I suspect,
it's worth about £800 to £1,200.
Wow! I didn't think it was that...
-It may be small, but it's a lovely piece of drawing, don't you think?
-And the colour's great.
This is really unusual for me. I don't think we've ever done this,
we've never come across to see a piece of furniture, it's always been brought into us.
-Why are we coming to you, rather than you to us?
-It's a very special desk.
Mainly because it was the desk used by Commanders in Chief, we don't know how far back...
you might be able to tell me, but we know for certain that it was the Duke of Wellington's desk
while he was here as Commander in Chief.
1827 was when the great duke was first Commander in Chief, and 1842, he was Commander in Chief
a second time until the year of his death in 1852, and it's been here ever since,
in the office of the Major General commanding the household division,
which is the job which I did for three and a half years.
So, I'm just thinking about the relevance of this wonderful print here, I mean, I just love this...
Well, it's the only bit of provenance we have, um, because there you can see the desk
as it virtually is now, in fact the same shape, and of course the...
the room itself, you know with the state portraits of George III and Queen Charlotte
as they were then, and even the decor, the paint is precisely the same, same colour.
Extraordinary, so here is definite proof that this is the desk.
The thought that he actually sat here is quite intimidating in a way.
-Let me just think from my point of view about the desk, and sort of, in cold blood in a way...
it's a lovely mahogany desk, and this oval shape
is very typical of the late Hepplewhite Sheraton period,
so I'm going to date it to about 1780-1790.
It's a partners' desk, you've got the kneehole on this side, and exactly the same kneehole on the other side.
I sat at it for 3.5 years, I never found it terribly comfortable being slightly tall,
I had to rather sort of, you know, squat, and actually there's no room for one's legs to go through,
but even so, it was a great privilege to sit here for 3.5 years.
I think between us, we're going to have to try and value this.
As a piece of furniture without the historical factor, it's relatively easy, it's a rare desk,
it's a very good desk, but how on earth do you value that provenance?
It's impossible, here we've got one of...Britain's...
the world's leading figure of his time, and we're trying to put a value on that.
I really find that very difficult, and almost too much of a challenge.
We always do value things on the Roadshow, so I can't get out of it
and I think for retail replacement purposes, this should be insured for £100,000.
Good heavens, fascinating.
I can't thank you enough for inviting us to look at it, it's a great privilege. It's just fun to see
really good furniture, and the historic provenance, wonderful, thank you.
Certain viewers will no doubt recoil when they reflect on the subject matter here,
I gather there's an inscription bottom right, what is going on?
It's telling us that the monkey and the dog are fighting,
and it's a fight to the death.
We learn that the monkey dies later on in the day, but...
the poor bitch dies on the spot, very non-PC, don't you think?
How did you come by this picture?
I bought it because I'm interested in astrology. In Chinese astrology
I'm the year of the monkey, and I thought that my younger brother was year of the dog,
and as we were always fighting as children, I thought, what great fun for his birthday present.
Turns out he's year of the rooster, so he didn't get the painting and I kept hold of it.
How do you find the painting goes down with your friends?
I don't show too many people, the political correctness thing
is so huge now that, um, I keep it kind of hidden, but I like it.
This is a very interesting picture in many ways. It's unpalatable
to a lot of people, but it throws a glimmer of light on a sinister,
unattractive side of London life, but none the less, something that did go on, this is an event that took place,
so there's social history here, but there's also another element which appeals to me and that is...
the quality of the painting. The more you look at it, the more you realise
that this is by a good artist, it's not by one of your jobbing painters.
-Can I ask you how much you paid for it?
-Yes, I paid £50.
I thought that was just about right for my brother's birthday present.
Had you any idea at the time who it might be by?
I've got no idea and it actually didn't concern me very much, I just loved the painting for what it was.
This will be rather tantalising for both of us, because...
if I may shine a torch on the bottom left hand corner, can you make out
those initials there?
I can't see anything at all, I'm surprised you can.
This is what you can do with a torch.
TW, now I don't know who TW is, it's a monogram.
Now, we're going to find out one day who TW is.
I can't do it now, but I can tell you that this is by an artist of considerable accomplishment.
There are various techniques which suggest he knows what he's doing, or possibly she knows what she's doing.
In the background, those glazey strokes, they're rather masterly.
I also think the way that the monkey's face is done and the...
-moment of contact between the two is by someone who understands animal anatomy.
-So you paid £50 for it?
Well, it would be very interesting to know who the artist is.
But I can confidently say, given its quality, that this is worth in excess of £1,000 to £1,500.
Well, that would have been an even better birthday present for him, wouldn't it?
-Rooster or no rooster.
They were found in two individual boxes when I was sorting out
my aunt's house when she passed away, the beginning of the year.
-When you unpacked them, what did you think?
-They were stunning and amazing.
-You like them, do you?
Here, we've got a group of...
classic Royal Worcester porcelain
from the early years of the 20th Century. At that time, they were...
painting scenes of highland cattle,
birds like that, and they were all the rage at the time, and honestly,
you know, I don't know how many times these have come up on the Antiques Roadshow over the years,
hundreds, I would think.
On the other hand, these are more unusual, do you know what they are?
Josiah Wedgwood was a one-legged potter, chemist, businessman,
a highly important man of his time, not only in the pottery industry, but outside as well.
And he developed many bodies, and one of them was this black basalt...
or basalts, it can be spelt.
And I've got a feeling he was experimenting with it
in 1769 is the year that comes to mind, but I may be wrong there.
These are slightly later than that,
this is obviously for boiled eggs at breakfast,
and...this would have stood on the sideboard,
you would have had salt in there,
-and I think that would probably sell for around £600 to £800.
This candlestick is more unusual,
in that you've got the application
called sprigging...of rosso antico,
which was his red body, much less common.
And it's a very good bit of Neo-Classical design.
The sad thing is, one candlestick.
-There's nothing sadder than one candlestick.
But you know, it's a good example, I can see that making...
£700 to £1,000.
-Just the one?
And then we've got this extraordinary
There's the inkwell, and in this one we've got the sander,
-do you know what that's for?
Well, you put very fine sand in that and when you've written your letter...
off you go. No blotting paper.
-And the sand absorbs the ink, and so you just...
and you've got a dry letter.
And we've got a canopic jar,
and the canopic jar holds a pen holder and another inkwell.
It's actually a very rare piece, one doesn't see them very often,
difficult to date but late 18th, early 19th Century.
And what one should have,
and indeed does have, is a mark.
This is a particularly amusing mark.
Wedgwood...and underneath, "Pearl".
-Do you know what it refers to?
-Well, Wedgwood developed a new glaze at the end of the 18th Century, and he called it Pearl Ware.
What's happened here is that the potter has picked up the wrong tool,
and he's picked up a Wedgwood Pearl tool and gone...
and put the wrong mark on it, isn't that wonderful? I love it, it's good stuff.
Well, I like that very much, um...
This is much later. This is Wedgwood again,
decorated at the end of the 19th Century, I think probably by a man
called Harry Barnard, looks like his work to me.
And although that's a late piece in Wedgwood terms,
-that's going to be worth around, um, £600 to £1,000.
-You like it, do you?
-Yeah, love it.
-We love it.
Would you swap it for that?
-Obviously, that's worth more the way...
-The way you're coming across.
-Yeah. But that is prettier.
Ah, you girls always go for the pretty.
-This is yours.
And the other one's mine.
-That's worth £4,000 to £6,000.
-Ah! You're joking!
-£4,000 to £6,000.
And I actually failed to put a price on this stuff, didn't I?
-Well, another £15,000 there.
-Thank you for coming in, thank you, Auntie.
I think I need the gin!
A thing of beauty may be a joy forever but a television programme I'm afraid,
only has a certain amount of time, and ours is up for this week.
So from the glories of Banqueting House in Whitehall,
the Roadshow heads back to its humble headquarters in Bristol.
It's good enough for the likes of us.
Until the next time, goodbye.
On their second visit to London's Banqueting House, Michael Aspel and the team unearth even more treasure. An inheritance of old pots turns into a substantial windfall, and there's a grisly tale to tell when an axe from the Tower of London arrives.