Michael Aspel and the team are at Highcliffe Castle in Dorset. Items include some letters from Noel Coward and a bust of the 18th-century actress Sarah Siddons.
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For this week's instalment of the Antiques Roadshow, we thought we'd get some sea air into our lungs,
so today we've toddled along to Highcliffe on Sea near Christchurch, on the Dorset coast.
Is it Dorset, or is it Hampshire?
Well, it was Hampshire and then they moved the goalposts,
Anyway, you have a stunning view of The Needles and the Isle of Wight,
which didn't go unnoticed by Lord Stuart de Rothesay when he built Highcliffe Castle
overlooking Christchurch Bay in 1830.
Lord Stuart was a distinguished diplomat
and whilst he was ambassador to Paris, he acquired large quantities of carved medieval stonework.
Twelve barges were needed to carry the stonework from France,
it was unloaded at a place that is now known as Steamer Point.
Most people think it was worth the effort.
The result was a unique building in the romantic picturesque style.
Highcliffe Castle remained in the Stuart Wortley family until 1950 but it's had an uneven ride since then.
When the family left, the contents and the furniture were all sold off,
you'll find some of it in the Victoria and Albert Museum, but most of it is in store.
Highcliffe became a children's home for a while and then it was turned into a seminary,
the Great Hall serving as the college chapel.
When the Fathers left in the late '60s, two mysterious fires caused terrible damage to the Great Hall,
the dining room and the bedrooms, leaving the whole place vulnerable to vandals and the elements.
There were calls for Highcliffe to be pulled down and replaced by a housing development
but its Grade I heritage status foiled those plans.
In 1977, Christchurch Borough Council, one of the smallest local authorities in the country,
compulsorily purchased the castle, the grounds were opened to the public
just in time to celebrate the Queen's Silver Jubilee.
What was left of the castle stood behind a high security fence, while argument raged about its future.
In 1994, major restoration to the fabric of the building was assured
through a grant of over £2.5 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Your Lucky Dip may not have been so lucky for you, but it did Highcliffe a lot of good.
The Winter Garden is earning its keep as a venue for civil weddings.
No weddings today though - unless there's something the experts haven't told us -
but I'm sure there will be some lovely things to have and to hold.
This is a toy Crown Derby tea service.
Toy Crown Derby, oh, goodness me.
When you say "toy", do you think it was made as a toy?
Well, I don't know.
There was an elderly lady lived at the bottom of our garden,
in the house there and, when she died,
-her two equally elderly maids...
-Two maids, they were terrified of the telephone
and didn't know what to do, and my mother made all the arrangements.
-When would this have been?
-Oh, in the early 1950s, I think.
-Something around about then.
Wonderful, full of charm. Well, in a way, for me,
that kind of confirms my thinking about the set like this
because I picture this set in a lovely Edwardian sitting room of a rather refined lady,
-perhaps in a Sheraton-style china cabinet, because this wasn't a toy.
This was just something that was made to look pretty and sweet.
-You've got six cups and saucers.
Stand the cups on the saucers like that.
-This is so charming, it makes me just want to play.
Toys for adults.
-So you've got six cups and saucers.
-And a sugar basin.
I don't think that's a sugar basin,
because that is what you put the sugar in, with a lid.
If we were being a little bit pretentious and French, we'd say that's a sucrier
-or in English, a sugar bowl. That's actually the slop bowl.
-Oh, the slop bowl, of course!
You've got a lovely teapot and a milk jug and also, the premier piece...
Look at that, isn't it beautiful?
-You said it was Royal Crown Derby.
Well, let's have a look on the mark.
-Royal Crown Derby.
This is the standard Royal Crown Derby mark there.
-Have you noticed these funny little squiggle marks here?
There is a table that you can look at, produced by the factory, and you can date them using these marks.
-And, er, the dates range between 1910 and 1913.
-So our vision of a sort of Edwardian gentility...
this wonderful Edwardian china cabinet is spot on.
-We're just out of the Edwardian period, but it is the same thing.
This pattern has a rather strange name as well, rather impolite really.
It's called The Old Witches pattern.
they're just luxury objects made for a high class china cabinet to delight and charm.
You know, a little cup and saucer like that is £80 or £100.
And you've got six of those.
That's probably about £500 for the cups.
That's the best bit...going to be a couple of hundred pounds... 700...
There's £1,000 or more there.
Oh, I can't believe it!
-Thank you very much for bringing them in.
"Dear Richard and Phillida. This is just to thank you so very much
"for thinking of me on my first night. All good wishes, Noel."
-And I assume that's Noel Coward.
-It's his signature, so...
This is rather intriguing...
"Dear Blondie. Thank you both so very much for your welcome thought of me on my opening night."
-Blondie was my dad.
-This is your dad?
That's right, he was an actor and he sometimes worked for Noel Coward.
-He doesn't look very blond.
-No, I've never known him blond, but when he was a young RADA student...
He was obviously terribly fanciable. The master fancied him.
Anyway, there's that one there,
and here's another very short one, "I'm so awfully pleased to hear from you."
But this one, which I think is a rather good letter,
Noel Coward probably writing in bed because he's using pencil, not ink.
-In his dressing gown.
-In his dressing gown, yes, and looking absolutely wonderful.
"Dear Blondie. Yes, I am doing an operetta and you can certainly do an audition for me.
"You might be very useful, so let's hope you will be."
It's signed completely "Noel Coward". Noel Coward in full. And underneath,
a very nice vintage photograph of Noel Coward
signed on the cuff here "For Dick,
"(Blondie) Warner, from Noel Coward",
which is a very nice thing. So what value do you think they've got?
Not much really, they've just been in a chest for years...
Well, they're not in bad condition.
These little ones here, these three little letters,
I would say are worth no more than about £150 each.
-Really? That much?
But I really like this letter here which just shows him sitting in bed,
or in his dressing gown or whatever it is,
scribbling off a note. And it's full of character and signed in full "Noel Coward"
here at the bottom. I would put that at about £300 to £400.
-But the lovely, lovely photograph here,
which needs a little TLC, but is nevertheless beautiful,
I would put £500 on that.
-Great, thanks very much.
-You're very welcome.
It belonged to my auntie and we've had it at our house for about 25 years now
and I should think she had it about 1940, I would guess.
-I believe it comes from France.
-Absolutely right, it's French.
And these are typical French shape in the vaguely Louis XV style,
with these wonderful gilt bronze mounts, these are mercurial gilded.
-Typical writing desk, do you know what these are called?
-A bonheur du jour.
-That's it, good time of the day... a good time of the day for writing.
-Have you ever played with this?
No, clearly you haven't!
Well, I wouldn't know what to clean it with, would I?
-Sorry about that.
-That's all right.
-It's original though.
Yes, definitely original.
-I think we'll put that back.
Don't come round the rest of my house, will you?
It's very interesting -
these tiny little lozenges here are satinay - not satin wood but satinay - a wood used very much in France,
but the whole shape is very indicative of a particular period.
-Have you any idea how old it is at all?
-No, not the vaguest idea, no.
Well, the indication for this is very interesting because, obviously,
-these are wired for electricity.
-With light bulbs.
And if you look, the wires are inside,
they're not sticking outside.
-So that suggests obviously then, the arms are hollow
so the electricity can be passed through.
If this were an 18th-century desk,
the arms would be solid and then you pin the wires on the outside if you want to put the electric light on it.
-So this has been made for electricity.
-Now, electricity came in 1880-1890,
more commonly around 1900 and that's when I would date this.
It's not a reproduction of a French 18th-century piece, it's inspired by the French 18th century.
It is actually a totally innovative French bonheur du jour of circa 1900.
-We do need to worry about the condition of it, it's not in the best of states.
This is the most obvious one. Look how fresh the wood is underneath.
-Under this, this is tulip wood veneer
and you can see it's about a millimetre thick, I guess, here and it's just dropped away.
-Easy to repair.
-Have you ever had it valued?
-Well, we had it valued for insurance 20 odd years ago at 5,000.
Right. In good condition, retail, in a shop, let's say a London or smart Bournemouth shop or wherever...
-Sounds more like it.
-..or Glasgow, cleaned up, with a few thousand pounds spent on it,
-it would certainly be insured for £25,000.
-Right, thank you, yes.
I also have to think of the value in this condition.
-I would say as it is, insure for about £12,000 or £13,000.
-Right, thank you.
-But spend a few thousand pounds on it and you're up in the twenties.
-A big difference.
Grace Darling was a young lighthouse keeper's daughter
who saw a ship in distress in Northumberland, rowed out on her own in ferocious seas
-and rescued these men in the water.
-And wrote herself into the history books.
Along with Florence Nightingale, she became one of the great heroines of the Victorian age.
She became a sort of role model for how young ladies were supposed to be super-human people
and it became an absolute pain to her, the celebrity that she endured -
portrait painters queuing up to capture her image.
But more broadly speaking, and what's interesting here, is of course that
Grace Darling's act led to the foundation of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution
which is based just down the road in Poole.
This boat was made by a north eastern glassworks, pressed glassworks,
to raise money to buy lifeboats.
It's an incredibly pertinent piece of glass, though not tremendous value.
It's...a little bit chippy and I suppose this one, with its original registration number,
which you know is in there, is probably worth about £50 or so,
but that pales into insignificance against the story that it evokes.
It's all about kind of things that spin, isn't it?
Yes, well they're all Victorian or earlier, juggling toys.
Right, now what got you into this?
What's your particular interest in spinning and string related toys like this?
Well, I am a member of the Magic Circle and this is allied to magic.
These were tricks that were done in the Victorian days
along with pocket tricks that were performed by magicians and things
and children used to play with these. This little fellow here is spinning a top.
Well, this is an interesting figure as well because this is a French spelter figure.
-This figure dates from around about 1910, something like that.
Um, is this some kind of lost art form?
It is, yes. I mean, he's got that spinning on his...his hand. How did he get it on his hand?
-You can do that, can you?
And there is a special way of winding these tops up.
-And to throw them, they have to be upside down,
because it will land on my hand, hopefully, on that metal piece.
-Here we go, whoa.
What a wonderful round of applause.
-And there's several tricks you can do with this.
-Let me try and do another one.
We wrap that round again. As I say, you have to throw it upside down.
I'm going to make it spin on the table and then make it leap up in the air in this manner...
I hope this works.
Whoa, excellent, excellent.
Well, as well as being obviously an avid collector of these things,
it's wonderful to actually see them being used in that way.
What sort of prices do you tend to pay for these things?
Well, I paid £200 for this.
And then these I've just come across in like boot sales and flea markets.
-I mean these are obviously games, similar to that.
Yes, little ivory and bone spinners from the 19th century.
These are probably Indian or something I would think.
That's right, things like this are of Indian manufacture.
That's obviously a mass produced toy, about 1910 or something.
I mean overall my impression of what's on the table here,
is probably £500, £600, £700 worth perhaps.
Maybe a little bit more than that.
I have to say it's been a pleasure to look at these,
it's been wonderful to see that demonstration. Thank you for bringing them along.
Well, thanks very much for asking us.
I don't often see Irish pictures on the Antiques Roadshow
so it's incredibly exciting to see such a wonderful picture. Do you know who this is by?
I don't know anything about it.
-It's been in our family for 50 years.
Either on my parents' wall, or our wall and so I grew up with it from being very small.
Anyway you can see here the initials.
-This is by someone called Letitia Hamilton.
On the back, there's a wonderful old label. It's called,
"Turf Cart in Achill", which is in Ireland.
I've seen that. It was pointed out to me today but I hadn't noticed it before.
When you live with something, one takes it for granted.
-But look at the colouring in this picture.
-It's lovely, isn't it? It draws you into it.
-It draws you in.
There's a sort of wonderful peaceful feeling about it.
-It's not a very technical term this, but it's great globby paint on it.
-I think that's a very good term.
Globby - we'll use it, shall we?
Yes, stay with that.
And here we have the sea in the background here, the Atlantic,
it's just a sort of scene of everyday life.
Yes, it's lovely, really lovely.
Now the Irish market has been really in the doldrums for many, many years
until perhaps the last ten years when we've seen a huge sort of resurgence in the economy in Ireland.
-Yes, of course, yes.
-And people want to buy things from their home, from their national artists,
it's as simple as that.
So something like this is to me just absolutely lovely.
She had a sister, that she used to paint with, called Eva and they often went to Venice,
and sometimes it's Venetian scenes that on the face of it would be more expensive in other artists,
but because it's Irish, the fact she's painting in Ireland,
and sort of advertising her roots, I think it's absolutely wonderful.
She was born I think in the 1870s and died in the 1960s so lived to a good old age.
-So what sort of age would this be?
-Well, that's a good question.
I guess it would be probably from the 1920s or '30s.
But it isn't dated as you can see.
-Now...well, I'm not sure if I'm going to shock you or amaze you,
-but I think this would be worth £15,000 to £20,000.
Well, I brought it in a black bin liner!
Allow me to quote the words of a wise man.
"The success of the Antiques Roadshow is that it's a conversation
"between two people with several million eavesdroppers."
The man who wrote that presented the show for nearly 20 years.
-Hugh Scully, how good to see you.
-Thank you for having me back!
Now the show is 30 years old, do you notice many changes?
No changes at all. I mean the odd personnel changes, of course that's going to happen,
but essentially, the programme has remained exactly the same, and that I think is its magic.
The format has remained the same for 30 years but every programme is different,
because the places, the people and the things they bring are different.
So no two shows are ever the same.
It's a far cry from those early days
when nobody thought that a programme about art and antiques could possibly last.
I remember people telling me, "Don't get too involved in antiques -
"very arcane, very elitist, won't last very long at all." They were so wrong.
So for you, 20 happy years, any nasty moments?
Never a nasty moment, not one, but there were some strange moments.
I remember I was in Dunfermline in Scotland and the producer said,
"Why don't you walk down the queue, chat to people and see what they've got in their bags?"
So I chatted to various people
and came to this woman in the queue and all I can say is she was extremely suspicious of me.
Now what would be in there?
-£5 gold piece of Queen Victoria.
-Oh, really, can I see it?
-It's very well done up.
I'm frightened I lose it. I'm a well-to-do woman(!)
-Shall I try and undo it for you?
-You try and do it.
-Do you mind if I tear the paper?
You are genuinely with this, you're not just saying you're with this?
-You're with the company?
-I am with the Antiques Roadshow.
You took it quite well, Hugh.
I had to.
A lot of the most exciting discoveries have come almost by accident.
Yes, that's again one of the great magic moments of the show we so often see.
I remember there was a couple in Barnstaple and they weren't going to bother to come to the show,
but the dog needed a walk and the dog's favourite walk
was past our front door, so as they came with the dog, they...
at the last moment, brought this painting from the sitting room which they didn't even like,
and they had no expectation of it, they didn't think it was worth a bean, and, er they didn't like it.
They brought it in to Peter Nahum who was the art expert on the day,
and Peter could not believe what he was looking at.
This was a painting, it was a known painting, painted in the 1840s by a man called Richard Dadd.
Now he'd been employed as an artist on an expedition to the Holy Land
and he painted this picture as one of a series.
It's called Artist's Halt In The Desert and it was painted by the Red Sea, but it had disappeared.
A known painting from the 1840s hadn't been seen until it turned up at a Roadshow in Barnstaple!
It is an extraordinary painting.
Can you imagine the strange picnic in the 1840s on the banks of the Dead Sea with nothing around?
I don't know who this painting's by.
I know it's a wonderful painting. I would hope that...
I mean, it would be too much to hope really that this was a lost painting by Richard Dadd.
I don't know, I honestly don't know.
I do know...
It's unusual in a Dadd watercolour to get such strong colour, so we won't raise our hopes at all.
Obviously, I've only had a few minutes to look at this
and it needs some investigation.
And that was just the beginning of an amazing story.
Yes. It was one of those very rare, perhaps unique, occasions when the valuation was not given on the day.
Peter was still a little hesitant, because his reputation was at stake,
so he asked them for permission to take the picture to London,
to have it authenticated by the finest expert on the work of Richard Dadd. She gave it the all clear
and he went back to Barnstaple...
It is an international treasure and a lost picture
and I feel that it could possibly make somewhat over £100,000.
Oh, my goodness.
-I hope it's safe.
-It's not going to hang on the wall, I'm afraid.
Well, what a story. I've seen that in the British Museum and it's a mesmerising thing.
It was a wonderful story for all concerned because we restored a national treasure to the museum,
the Roadshow had a great story out of it and the couple concerned had £100,000 to ease their retirement
and that would be about a quarter of a million in today's money.
Hugh, it's been very good to see you again, and it's been a privilege as well to step into your size 13s.
You're very kind.
-You fit them very well, Michael.
I've been watching The Antiques Roadshow since I was knee high to a grasshopper
and I walked into a charity shop and caught this out of the corner of my eye.
And just for some instinct, I suddenly thought I should say to my wife, "Can we get this?"
I don't know why. I'm positive that when you watch the programme over a number of years,
a lot of things soak into your brain and for some reason it was calling to me.
So you think that your visual memory has been educated by the Antiques Roadshow and the result is this.
-Absolutely, Lars, yes.
-And did you like it?
I did, yes, very much so.
You have a strange two part pattern.
You've got these spirals which rotate round the vase,
and in-between them, you have these glimpses of natural scenes.
That's a prunus, here you've got bamboo and if we go a little bit further past some of the animals,
we have the third of what are known as the three friends of winter - the pine tree.
So nature mixed with textiles forming the basis of this pattern.
And you saw what I did - I rotated the bottle.
The design is actually asking you to rotate the bottle.
-It is covered in a design which makes you want to know what the whole thing looks like.
It's not a flat object and this is the beauty of things like this
and this is why of course works of art like this are infinitely superior to paintings.
Just be careful what I say actually!
I agree with you.
Anyhow, so you think it's Japanese?
-When I looked at it, I thought it was possibly Japanese.
-And that sort of playing with nature, juxtaposed with fabrics is typically Japanese
and just to make the point absolutely, finally,
on the neck of this bottle you've got imitation ribbons tied around.
Of course a bottle in Japan would often be sealed with a cork
and have a piece of fabric over the top and you would tie ribbons...
Let's just look at the raw material.
You've got a wonderful great big mark on the bottom there.
I noticed on the bottom it had a mark that was,
from some of the pots I've seen, I've never seen one like that before and I thought it was quite unusual.
Well, it's a very bold mark and it is the mark of Kutani.
It's a mark that was used in Japan mainly in the 19th century,
just occasionally you find older pieces with a Kutani mark on it,
but if you actually look at the porcelain itself,
you will see there are lots of little tears in the glaze.
-Can you see small tears?
-And can you see how irregular that foot rim is?
-Yes, it is.
-It's rather amateurish and sloppy.
So this is actually slightly incompetent as a piece of potting.
When we put it down, it doesn't like standing still, it wobbles.
Is that good or is it bad, that it wobbles?
Well, it's bad really, I mean who wants a wobbly bottle?
-You paid how much for it?
-I think we paid about £3.99.
-That's three pounds ninety nine, not three hundred and...?
I would date it to the early 18th century
and suggest that it's probably worth somewhere between £3,000 and £5,000.
Wow, that only goes to show that if you watch the Antiques Roadshow...
You're saying all the right things!
..instinctively you will pick things out.
This is crammed full of absolutely amazing jewellery. I, I don't know where to start.
What made you bring this in?
Um, I just thought it would be fun to come and so I thought what a good idea it would be to bring it.
Well, I'm terribly grateful that you did. I really am.
-Do you know what the blue is?
-I think it's enamel, isn't it?
It's enamel with a diamond flower in a diamond roundel setting.
I should think it was probably made what, around about 1890-1900.
-Very typically for the period, they put a locket back compartment
for you to put a lock of hair or a photograph.
Now this matches, doesn't it?
But I'm a little bit concerned
because it almost looks like one earring.
Well, it is one earring.
-It is, is it?
-There were two.
-Well, what happened to the other then?
Well, I haven't got a long enough neck to wear earrings like that.
So I had them made into pendants and I gave one to my daughter
because I thought it was such a shame to leave that doing nothing,
-and I couldn't do anything with it unless I made it into a pendant.
-So do you wear it as a pendant now?
It's exactly the same materials that are in this, are in this.
Diamonds, blue enamel and silver and gold, probably made at the end of the 19th century.
I can only imagine that the ladies who wore these were very smart ladies. Were they?
Well, my grandmother and my mother and my aunt
were extremely elegant ladies and my aunt, who I inherited these from, played the harp.
Oh, really? Did she play the harp wearing the earrings?
-Because at that time they were still the pair of earrings.
-She did, yes, they were really dangly.
And she had a little Yorkshire terrier which she used to keep up her sleeve
-and play the harp.
-Really? ..Shall we move on?
What an opal.
I mean, spectacular opal plaque,
probably from Queensland, Australia.
The opal is a huge, great big sheet of colour in a border of brilliant cut diamonds going round the outside.
Where's this one from? Tell me where it's from.
I don't know where it originally came from but it was my grandmother's.
It picks up the colour of whatever you're wearing.
I bet you when you wear it at night time that it acquires a kind of red flash to the stone.
Yes, and it has a lot of emerald green in it as well.
You've got a really large harlequin plaque,
"harlequin" being the word we use to describe a kind of rainbow effect of colour.
-Now we've got the inconsequential matter of a diamond ring as well.
Well, that was my mother's.
And I think it looks as though it was about 1930 era.
Well, let me just have a look at it with my lens.
And I would agree with you.
It's a step cut diamond made in around about the 1930s period
with baguette diamond shoulders and very much of the sort of typical Deco design -
geometric, linear, strong, very bold. You've got some pretty nice pieces.
-Yes, I've been very lucky.
-Have you always loved your jewellery, then?
Yes, I have, I love jewellery.
-Right, can I value them for you now?
-Oh, yes, please. Do.
All right, so round about 1900, blue enamel, diamond flower spray, diamond hoop surround
-and I should say that one is probably worth about £2,500 today.
-Really? My word!
As a pendant by itself it's probably worth maybe around £1,500 to £2,000.
Well, that's a nice little sum.
But, but as a pair of earrings, they're worth much more, in the region of £4,000 to £5,000 or more.
Oh, I must tell my daughter and then when I'm gone, she can...
-Put it together again, very wise, very prudent.
This is a wonderful opal, in a diamond frame, absolutely classic design,
probably made in, I suppose something around about...1910.
I suppose, what am I thinking about here?
-£6,000 to £8,000 possibly, do you think?
And now the minor matter of the diamond ring.
Looking at the stone, it must weigh three and half, three and three quarter carats,
-this step cut diamond.
On that size and the fact it's quite a clean stone,
I mean, I don't know, what are we thinking about here?
£10,000, do you think possibly?
Oh, my goodness me.
So if we do a little calculation here, what are we thinking about?
-£20,000 to £30,000.
-A lot of money!
-What can I say?
Well, what can I say?
I'm gob smacked.
So we'll leave it on the basis that we're both utterly speechless
and I can tell you - boy! Great pieces...
-I'm extremely glad I came, Mr Butcher.
-But if you want, you can call me "Butcher", thank you very much indeed.
-I did call you Mr.
I have to ask a question, what is a nice naval commander like you mixing in this kind of company?
Well, Lady Penelope is one of the slightly more unusual pieces in the Royal Navy Trophy Fund -
we look after all the Navy's family silver.
-So how many pieces have you got?
-We've got about 18,000 spread worldwide.
From huge pieces of fabulous centrepiece silver
to a couple of guitars signed by Status Quo given to HMS Ark Royal,
but we rather thought Lady Penelope here, that was given to the ship HMS Penelope back in 1967
by the production company that did the Thunderbirds series, was something rather unusual
and an awful lot of mystique has grown up over the years.
-Oh, tell me.
-Well, she did about ten years sea time
and she spent a lot of that time in the Chief Petty Officer's mess on board.
Occasionally, they come and see us in the trophy centre and they tell us about Lady Penelope,
and they say they remember coming off watch
after a particularly unpleasant bit of time at sea and just offloading all their woes on her.
She was the kind of glamour interest in Thunderbirds.
Thunderbirds produced by Century 21, Gerry Anderson's company
creating these very lifelike puppets with synchronised jaw movements,
and they were much more sophisticated than Bill and Ben
and the other sort of puppets that were known at the time.
And to have a full-sized Lady Penelope is incredibly rare.
The first thing to say is that she is not a production, she wouldn't have appeared.
There is nothing moving about her, everything is static.
Although she is made obviously by the modellers, the face is absolutely correct, the eyes are correct.
And I would say that she's wearing almost certainly a production number, as far as the costume's concerned.
-Any paper work?
-We have got a letter from the production company that is the deed of gift, if you like...
to HMS Penelope and therefore the Royal Navy.
-A very specific line in there - and quite right - it says, "You must never sell."
-Oh, very good.
-And we would never dream of doing so.
Had she been an actual puppet used on the programme,
the actual puppets change hands at £30,000 plus.
So £3,000 to £5,000 is where I would say where she is, considering everything about her.
She is very desirable, but she's not the ultimate prize.
But I guess as far as the ship is concerned, she was the ultimate prize
-and that, as far as being that comfort on dark and stormy nights, she served her purpose.
Well, you've got here one of the most sumptuous collections
of officer's lance cap plates that I've seen for a long time.
Why are you interested in them?
-Having been in the regiment since the age of 15...
-At the age of 15?
-I wasn't very good at school.
-And some pieces came out of the regiment with me,
-and I've collected ever since.
-A photo when he was 15.
-This is you?
-In the Lancers.
-OK, which regiment?
-The famous one?
Involved in the Battle of Balaclava, of course, the famous death or glory boys.
-Yeah, that's the one.
-Where do you get them from?
Most of the plates on this table we acquired from an attic find,
if you can find such a thing these days. They all came from one family,
erm, whose grandfather and his father collected
and they remained in the same family and I acquired them recently.
Others that I have, I picked up via military contacts that I have,
amongst this collection probably the oldest at about 1830, is that one,
to a regiment that was only around for a couple of years - the 19th.
The 19th, now that's quite rare.
It's rare in that pattern. I believe it's the very first pattern
that was ever produced and there weren't many made.
it, of course, has the fairly standard, slightly taller, ray back.
The first lance caps were actually almost that size.
Yes, they were much taller, so this has the slightly taller...
if you compare that with this one, for example, it's a great deal
taller than the later version and the lion and the unicorn, of course.
That one was bought for my birthday by Natalie.
Really? Wow! What a generous person you are, that's fantastic.
That's a beauty. What about some of the others? Again, any favourites?
Crimean period, 17th Lancers, which was my regiment.
Oh, yes, this is the 17th, Death Or Glory Boys and this is the one,
actually, that is most recognised by people, isn't it?
Because of the skull and word "or glory" there
so that's the one that nearly everybody recognises
-as the 17th Lancers.
Do you have a history in your family then of serving in the army?
-Father was a Guardsman.
-So he didn't really approve of you...
-Riding a horse, no.
OK. What do you pay for them? Give me an example.
They range from a standard other-ranks plate on it's own,
-if it's a good regiment £300 to £500.
In good condition, officers, basic officers, the last particular
-officers of the regiment such as the 17th/21st Lancers...
-..the last pattern probably about £700 to £800.
Then upwards £3,000 or £4,000 depending on how early they are.
With rarities like this, the sky's the limit,
it's what someone's prepared to pay for it.
I guess something like that...
is going to be something in the region of £3,000 - £4,000,
I mean, who knows? Maybe more.
There are 13 lance cap plates for a start, you've got the three caps,
you know, I mean... Gosh! With the rarities, with the early ones,
you've got to be talking about £25,000.
Mm, it's a deposit on an Aston Martin.
I've seen a few brews in my time, but I've never seen one which says,
"Charrington's Princes Brew, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales,"
so this is indeed a precious brew. How did it come into your family?
Ah, well, when Edward VIII was Prince of Wales,
on 15th March 1932 he paid a private visit to Charrington's brewery
and in honour of his visit, a Prince's Brew was brewed.
What's it got to do with your story, your family?
Um, well, I had a great uncle who was a cocktail waiter
-in one of the night clubs that the Prince of Wales frequented.
-This was a gift?
Yes, it seems the Prince of Wales went to that club following that...
visit that day and was handing these bottles out to lots of people.
-Ah, so he would have been...
-So he probably...
he was perhaps a favourite waiter of his and said "Have one of these."
-I notice you're not letting it go, you're...
-No, I say it's mine!
Your hand was gripped around there as mine would be if this were mine.
The Prince would have made a good publican, wouldn't he?
He would indeed, yes, yes.
-Playboy Prince with his own label.
Most miniatures we see on the Roadshow, I have to say, are not particularly exciting
but this one here and the one on the table are without doubt
some of the finest miniatures I've ever seen.
I'm very intrigued. Are they relations?
The lady is, that's on my paternal grandmother's side of the family.
-She married into the...
-She married into this, into this family.
And if we look on the back it says "Colonel James Hamilton, aged 38, from 1784."
Do we know what the Colonel did?
-He was obviously in the army but...
-Yeah, I'll go for that! Exactly.
But how did he cope with the pink hair? I'm quite worried about it.
-I think it was just the fashion of the time.
-It was, wasn't it?
What I love about it is the quality,
I mean, excuse the pun, but it really is head and shoulders above
any other miniature I've ever seen on the Roadshow
and if you look very carefully,
with my magnifying glass, I can just see the initials JS, 1784.
And obviously that's the greatest miniaturist, John Smart.
He is the finest miniaturist from the late 18th and early 19th century,
and anybody who was anybody really wanted to be painted by him,
and I think he looks so modern this man, doesn't he?
-Let's look at this one. This lady is your relation, she married into the...
-Married into the family.
Oh, look, it's absolutely identical almost, isn't it?
-Just... very good, can you pretend you are...
She's the perfect lady from the 18th century, very good.
Can you look slightly towards me?
You see? Perfect.
They've been in your family obviously since the 1780s.
-She is absolutely ravishing, isn't she?
I think these are fantastic.
I just can't tell you how exciting they are. Value wise,
they haven't perhaps changed that much over the years in value,
but I would have thought they were worth
between £10,000 and £15,000 each.
So that'll pay for a few burgers, won't it?
-Thank you so much.
Today I've heard words like amazing and phenomenal issuing from members
of the Antiques Roadshow team, who are usually quite phlegmatic.
The reason is the sheer number of people who have been here today.
By 10am this morning there were nearly 2,000 people on the lawns,
so it's been a perfect Roadshow scene on an almost perfect English summer's day.
Many thanks to Christchurch Borough Council for making it all possible,
and from Highcliffe Castle, once again, goodbye.
Michael Aspel and the team are at Highcliffe Castle in Dorset. There's an impressive cast of items including some letters from Noel Coward and a bust of the 18th-century actress Sarah Siddons.