Highcliffe Castle Antiques Roadshow


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Highcliffe Castle

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,

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so today we've toddled along to Highcliffe on Sea near Christchurch, on the Dorset coast.

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Is it Dorset, or is it Hampshire?

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Well, it was Hampshire and then they moved the goalposts,

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Anyway, you have a stunning view of The Needles and the Isle of Wight,

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which didn't go unnoticed by Lord Stuart de Rothesay when he built Highcliffe Castle

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overlooking Christchurch Bay in 1830.

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Lord Stuart was a distinguished diplomat

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and whilst he was ambassador to Paris, he acquired large quantities of carved medieval stonework.

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Twelve barges were needed to carry the stonework from France,

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it was unloaded at a place that is now known as Steamer Point.

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Most people think it was worth the effort.

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The result was a unique building in the romantic picturesque style.

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Highcliffe Castle remained in the Stuart Wortley family until 1950 but it's had an uneven ride since then.

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When the family left, the contents and the furniture were all sold off,

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you'll find some of it in the Victoria and Albert Museum, but most of it is in store.

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Highcliffe became a children's home for a while and then it was turned into a seminary,

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the Great Hall serving as the college chapel.

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When the Fathers left in the late '60s, two mysterious fires caused terrible damage to the Great Hall,

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the dining room and the bedrooms, leaving the whole place vulnerable to vandals and the elements.

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There were calls for Highcliffe to be pulled down and replaced by a housing development

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but its Grade I heritage status foiled those plans.

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In 1977, Christchurch Borough Council, one of the smallest local authorities in the country,

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compulsorily purchased the castle, the grounds were opened to the public

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just in time to celebrate the Queen's Silver Jubilee.

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What was left of the castle stood behind a high security fence, while argument raged about its future.

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In 1994, major restoration to the fabric of the building was assured

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through a grant of over £2.5 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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Your Lucky Dip may not have been so lucky for you, but it did Highcliffe a lot of good.

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The Winter Garden is earning its keep as a venue for civil weddings.

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No weddings today though - unless there's something the experts haven't told us -

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but I'm sure there will be some lovely things to have and to hold.

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This is a toy Crown Derby tea service.

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Toy Crown Derby, oh, goodness me.

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When you say "toy", do you think it was made as a toy?

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Well, I don't know.

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There was an elderly lady lived at the bottom of our garden,

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in the house there and, when she died,

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-her two equally elderly maids...

-Maids?

-Yes.

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-Lovely.

-Two maids, they were terrified of the telephone

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and didn't know what to do, and my mother made all the arrangements.

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-When would this have been?

-Oh, in the early 1950s, I think.

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-Good Lord.

-Something around about then.

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Wonderful, full of charm. Well, in a way, for me,

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that kind of confirms my thinking about the set like this

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because I picture this set in a lovely Edwardian sitting room of a rather refined lady,

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-perhaps in a Sheraton-style china cabinet, because this wasn't a toy.

-No.

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This was just something that was made to look pretty and sweet.

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-You've got six cups and saucers.

-Yes.

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Stand the cups on the saucers like that.

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-Yes.

-This is so charming, it makes me just want to play.

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Toys for adults.

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-So you've got six cups and saucers.

-And a sugar basin.

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I don't think that's a sugar basin,

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because that is what you put the sugar in, with a lid.

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If we were being a little bit pretentious and French, we'd say that's a sucrier

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-or in English, a sugar bowl. That's actually the slop bowl.

-Oh, the slop bowl, of course!

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You've got a lovely teapot and a milk jug and also, the premier piece...

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Look at that, isn't it beautiful?

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-Yes.

-You said it was Royal Crown Derby.

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Well, let's have a look on the mark.

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-Royal Crown Derby.

-Yes, yes.

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This is the standard Royal Crown Derby mark there.

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-Have you noticed these funny little squiggle marks here?

-Yes.

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There is a table that you can look at, produced by the factory, and you can date them using these marks.

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-Yes.

-And, er, the dates range between 1910 and 1913.

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-Oh, right.

-So our vision of a sort of Edwardian gentility...

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this wonderful Edwardian china cabinet is spot on.

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-Yes.

-We're just out of the Edwardian period, but it is the same thing.

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This pattern has a rather strange name as well, rather impolite really.

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It's called The Old Witches pattern.

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-Oh, goodness!

-But, um...

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they're just luxury objects made for a high class china cabinet to delight and charm.

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You know, a little cup and saucer like that is £80 or £100.

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-No!

-Yes.

-..Good gracious!

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And you've got six of those.

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That's probably about £500 for the cups.

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That's the best bit...going to be a couple of hundred pounds... 700...

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There's £1,000 or more there.

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Oh, I can't believe it!

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-Thank you very much for bringing them in.

-Thank you.

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"Dear Richard and Phillida. This is just to thank you so very much

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"for thinking of me on my first night. All good wishes, Noel."

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-And I assume that's Noel Coward.

-It is.

-It's his signature, so...

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This is rather intriguing...

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"Dear Blondie. Thank you both so very much for your welcome thought of me on my opening night."

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-Who's Blondie?

-Blondie was my dad.

-This is your dad?

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That's right, he was an actor and he sometimes worked for Noel Coward.

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-He doesn't look very blond.

-No, I've never known him blond, but when he was a young RADA student...

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He was obviously terribly fanciable. The master fancied him.

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Anyway, there's that one there,

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and here's another very short one, "I'm so awfully pleased to hear from you."

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But this one, which I think is a rather good letter,

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Noel Coward probably writing in bed because he's using pencil, not ink.

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-In his dressing gown.

-In his dressing gown, yes, and looking absolutely wonderful.

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"Dear Blondie. Yes, I am doing an operetta and you can certainly do an audition for me.

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"You might be very useful, so let's hope you will be."

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It's signed completely "Noel Coward". Noel Coward in full. And underneath,

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a very nice vintage photograph of Noel Coward

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signed on the cuff here "For Dick,

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"(Blondie) Warner, from Noel Coward",

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which is a very nice thing. So what value do you think they've got?

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Not much really, they've just been in a chest for years...

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Well, they're not in bad condition.

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These little ones here, these three little letters,

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I would say are worth no more than about £150 each.

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-Really? That much?

-Yes.

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Amazing.

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But I really like this letter here which just shows him sitting in bed,

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or in his dressing gown or whatever it is,

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scribbling off a note. And it's full of character and signed in full "Noel Coward"

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here at the bottom. I would put that at about £300 to £400.

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-Gosh.

-But the lovely, lovely photograph here,

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which needs a little TLC, but is nevertheless beautiful,

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I would put £500 on that.

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-Great, thanks very much.

-You're very welcome.

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It belonged to my auntie and we've had it at our house for about 25 years now

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and I should think she had it about 1940, I would guess.

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-I believe it comes from France.

-Absolutely right, it's French.

-Oh, good.

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And these are typical French shape in the vaguely Louis XV style,

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with these wonderful gilt bronze mounts, these are mercurial gilded.

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-Right.

-Typical writing desk, do you know what these are called?

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-A bonheur du jour.

-That's it, good time of the day... a good time of the day for writing.

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-Have you ever played with this?

-No.

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No, clearly you haven't!

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Well, I wouldn't know what to clean it with, would I?

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-Sorry about that.

-That's all right.

-It's original though.

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Yes, definitely original.

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-I think we'll put that back.

-Yes.

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Don't come round the rest of my house, will you?

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It's very interesting -

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these tiny little lozenges here are satinay - not satin wood but satinay - a wood used very much in France,

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but the whole shape is very indicative of a particular period.

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-Have you any idea how old it is at all?

-No, not the vaguest idea, no.

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Well, the indication for this is very interesting because, obviously,

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-these are wired for electricity.

-Yes.

-With light bulbs.

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And if you look, the wires are inside,

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they're not sticking outside.

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-Right.

-So that suggests obviously then, the arms are hollow

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so the electricity can be passed through.

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If this were an 18th-century desk,

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the arms would be solid and then you pin the wires on the outside if you want to put the electric light on it.

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-So this has been made for electricity.

-Right.

-Now, electricity came in 1880-1890,

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more commonly around 1900 and that's when I would date this.

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It's not a reproduction of a French 18th-century piece, it's inspired by the French 18th century.

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It is actually a totally innovative French bonheur du jour of circa 1900.

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-Right.

-We do need to worry about the condition of it, it's not in the best of states.

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This is the most obvious one. Look how fresh the wood is underneath.

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-Yes.

-Under this, this is tulip wood veneer

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and you can see it's about a millimetre thick, I guess, here and it's just dropped away.

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-Easy to repair.

-Yes.

-Have you ever had it valued?

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-Well, we had it valued for insurance 20 odd years ago at 5,000.

-£5,000.

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Right. In good condition, retail, in a shop, let's say a London or smart Bournemouth shop or wherever...

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-Sounds more like it.

-..or Glasgow, cleaned up, with a few thousand pounds spent on it,

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-it would certainly be insured for £25,000.

-Right, thank you, yes.

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I also have to think of the value in this condition.

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-I would say as it is, insure for about £12,000 or £13,000.

-Right, thank you.

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-But spend a few thousand pounds on it and you're up in the twenties.

-A big difference.

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Grace Darling was a young lighthouse keeper's daughter

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who saw a ship in distress in Northumberland, rowed out on her own in ferocious seas

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-and rescued these men in the water.

-And wrote herself into the history books.

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Along with Florence Nightingale, she became one of the great heroines of the Victorian age.

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She became a sort of role model for how young ladies were supposed to be super-human people

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and it became an absolute pain to her, the celebrity that she endured -

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portrait painters queuing up to capture her image.

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But more broadly speaking, and what's interesting here, is of course that

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Grace Darling's act led to the foundation of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution

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which is based just down the road in Poole.

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This boat was made by a north eastern glassworks, pressed glassworks,

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to raise money to buy lifeboats.

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It's an incredibly pertinent piece of glass, though not tremendous value.

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It's...a little bit chippy and I suppose this one, with its original registration number,

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which you know is in there, is probably worth about £50 or so,

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but that pales into insignificance against the story that it evokes.

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It's all about kind of things that spin, isn't it?

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Yes, well they're all Victorian or earlier, juggling toys.

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Right, now what got you into this?

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What's your particular interest in spinning and string related toys like this?

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Well, I am a member of the Magic Circle and this is allied to magic.

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These were tricks that were done in the Victorian days

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along with pocket tricks that were performed by magicians and things

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and children used to play with these. This little fellow here is spinning a top.

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Well, this is an interesting figure as well because this is a French spelter figure.

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-Yes.

-This figure dates from around about 1910, something like that.

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Um, is this some kind of lost art form?

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It is, yes. I mean, he's got that spinning on his...his hand. How did he get it on his hand?

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-You can do that, can you?

-I can.

-OK.

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And there is a special way of winding these tops up.

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-Right.

-And to throw them, they have to be upside down,

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because it will land on my hand, hopefully, on that metal piece.

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-Right. OK.

-Right.

-LAUGHTER

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-Stand back.

-Here we go, whoa.

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-Yes, fantastic.

-Very good.

-Very good.

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What a wonderful round of applause.

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-That's excellent.

-And there's several tricks you can do with this.

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-Right.

-Let me try and do another one.

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Right, OK.

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We wrap that round again. As I say, you have to throw it upside down.

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I'm going to make it spin on the table and then make it leap up in the air in this manner...

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I hope this works.

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Whoa, excellent, excellent.

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Well, as well as being obviously an avid collector of these things,

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it's wonderful to actually see them being used in that way.

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What sort of prices do you tend to pay for these things?

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Well, I paid £200 for this.

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Right.

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And then these I've just come across in like boot sales and flea markets.

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-OK.

-I mean these are obviously games, similar to that.

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Yes, little ivory and bone spinners from the 19th century.

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These are probably Indian or something I would think.

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That's right, things like this are of Indian manufacture.

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That's obviously a mass produced toy, about 1910 or something.

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I mean overall my impression of what's on the table here,

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is probably £500, £600, £700 worth perhaps.

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Maybe a little bit more than that.

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I have to say it's been a pleasure to look at these,

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it's been wonderful to see that demonstration. Thank you for bringing them along.

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Well, thanks very much for asking us.

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I don't often see Irish pictures on the Antiques Roadshow

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so it's incredibly exciting to see such a wonderful picture. Do you know who this is by?

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I don't know anything about it.

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-It's been in our family for 50 years.

-50?

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Either on my parents' wall, or our wall and so I grew up with it from being very small.

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Anyway you can see here the initials.

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-This is by someone called Letitia Hamilton.

-Yes.

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On the back, there's a wonderful old label. It's called,

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"Turf Cart in Achill", which is in Ireland.

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I've seen that. It was pointed out to me today but I hadn't noticed it before.

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When you live with something, one takes it for granted.

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-But look at the colouring in this picture.

-It's lovely, isn't it? It draws you into it.

-It draws you in.

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There's a sort of wonderful peaceful feeling about it.

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-It's not a very technical term this, but it's great globby paint on it.

-I think that's a very good term.

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Globby - we'll use it, shall we?

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Yes, stay with that.

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And here we have the sea in the background here, the Atlantic,

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it's just a sort of scene of everyday life.

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Yes, it's lovely, really lovely.

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Now the Irish market has been really in the doldrums for many, many years

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until perhaps the last ten years when we've seen a huge sort of resurgence in the economy in Ireland.

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-Yes, of course, yes.

-And people want to buy things from their home, from their national artists,

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it's as simple as that.

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So something like this is to me just absolutely lovely.

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She had a sister, that she used to paint with, called Eva and they often went to Venice,

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and sometimes it's Venetian scenes that on the face of it would be more expensive in other artists,

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but because it's Irish, the fact she's painting in Ireland,

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and sort of advertising her roots, I think it's absolutely wonderful.

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She was born I think in the 1870s and died in the 1960s so lived to a good old age.

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-So what sort of age would this be?

-Well, that's a good question.

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I guess it would be probably from the 1920s or '30s.

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But it isn't dated as you can see.

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-Yes.

-Now...well, I'm not sure if I'm going to shock you or amaze you,

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-but I think this would be worth £15,000 to £20,000.

-Good heavens!

0:18:530:18:58

Well, I brought it in a black bin liner!

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Allow me to quote the words of a wise man.

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"The success of the Antiques Roadshow is that it's a conversation

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"between two people with several million eavesdroppers."

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The man who wrote that presented the show for nearly 20 years.

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-Hugh Scully, how good to see you.

-Thank you for having me back!

0:19:260:19:31

Now the show is 30 years old, do you notice many changes?

0:19:310:19:35

No changes at all. I mean the odd personnel changes, of course that's going to happen,

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but essentially, the programme has remained exactly the same, and that I think is its magic.

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The format has remained the same for 30 years but every programme is different,

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because the places, the people and the things they bring are different.

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So no two shows are ever the same.

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It's a far cry from those early days

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when nobody thought that a programme about art and antiques could possibly last.

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I remember people telling me, "Don't get too involved in antiques -

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"very arcane, very elitist, won't last very long at all." They were so wrong.

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So for you, 20 happy years, any nasty moments?

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Never a nasty moment, not one, but there were some strange moments.

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I remember I was in Dunfermline in Scotland and the producer said,

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"Why don't you walk down the queue, chat to people and see what they've got in their bags?"

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So I chatted to various people

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and came to this woman in the queue and all I can say is she was extremely suspicious of me.

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Now what would be in there?

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-£5 gold piece of Queen Victoria.

-Oh, really, can I see it?

-Yes, yes.

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-It's very well done up.

-Yes.

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I'm frightened I lose it. I'm a well-to-do woman(!)

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-Shall I try and undo it for you?

-You try and do it.

-Do you mind if I tear the paper?

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You are genuinely with this, you're not just saying you're with this?

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-You're with the company?

-I am with the Antiques Roadshow.

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You took it quite well, Hugh.

0:21:070:21:09

I had to.

0:21:090:21:10

A lot of the most exciting discoveries have come almost by accident.

0:21:100:21:14

Yes, that's again one of the great magic moments of the show we so often see.

0:21:140:21:19

I remember there was a couple in Barnstaple and they weren't going to bother to come to the show,

0:21:190:21:24

but the dog needed a walk and the dog's favourite walk

0:21:240:21:27

was past our front door, so as they came with the dog, they...

0:21:270:21:31

at the last moment, brought this painting from the sitting room which they didn't even like,

0:21:310:21:36

and they had no expectation of it, they didn't think it was worth a bean, and, er they didn't like it.

0:21:360:21:41

They brought it in to Peter Nahum who was the art expert on the day,

0:21:410:21:45

and Peter could not believe what he was looking at.

0:21:450:21:48

This was a painting, it was a known painting, painted in the 1840s by a man called Richard Dadd.

0:21:480:21:54

Now he'd been employed as an artist on an expedition to the Holy Land

0:21:540:21:58

and he painted this picture as one of a series.

0:21:580:22:01

It's called Artist's Halt In The Desert and it was painted by the Red Sea, but it had disappeared.

0:22:010:22:07

A known painting from the 1840s hadn't been seen until it turned up at a Roadshow in Barnstaple!

0:22:070:22:14

It is an extraordinary painting.

0:22:140:22:18

Can you imagine the strange picnic in the 1840s on the banks of the Dead Sea with nothing around?

0:22:180:22:25

I don't know who this painting's by.

0:22:250:22:27

I know it's a wonderful painting. I would hope that...

0:22:270:22:32

I mean, it would be too much to hope really that this was a lost painting by Richard Dadd.

0:22:320:22:38

I don't know, I honestly don't know.

0:22:380:22:41

I do know...

0:22:410:22:43

It's unusual in a Dadd watercolour to get such strong colour, so we won't raise our hopes at all.

0:22:430:22:49

Obviously, I've only had a few minutes to look at this

0:22:490:22:54

and it needs some investigation.

0:22:540:22:56

And that was just the beginning of an amazing story.

0:22:560:22:59

Yes. It was one of those very rare, perhaps unique, occasions when the valuation was not given on the day.

0:22:590:23:05

Peter was still a little hesitant, because his reputation was at stake,

0:23:050:23:10

so he asked them for permission to take the picture to London,

0:23:100:23:14

to have it authenticated by the finest expert on the work of Richard Dadd. She gave it the all clear

0:23:140:23:21

and he went back to Barnstaple...

0:23:210:23:24

It is an international treasure and a lost picture

0:23:240:23:28

and I feel that it could possibly make somewhat over £100,000.

0:23:280:23:33

Oh!

0:23:330:23:34

Oh, my goodness.

0:23:370:23:38

-I hope it's safe.

-It's not going to hang on the wall, I'm afraid.

0:23:380:23:43

Well, what a story. I've seen that in the British Museum and it's a mesmerising thing.

0:23:430:23:49

It was a wonderful story for all concerned because we restored a national treasure to the museum,

0:23:490:23:56

the Roadshow had a great story out of it and the couple concerned had £100,000 to ease their retirement

0:23:560:24:02

and that would be about a quarter of a million in today's money.

0:24:020:24:07

Hugh, it's been very good to see you again, and it's been a privilege as well to step into your size 13s.

0:24:070:24:14

You're very kind.

0:24:140:24:16

-You fit them very well, Michael.

-Thank you.

0:24:160:24:19

I've been watching The Antiques Roadshow since I was knee high to a grasshopper

0:24:210:24:26

and I walked into a charity shop and caught this out of the corner of my eye.

0:24:260:24:30

And just for some instinct, I suddenly thought I should say to my wife, "Can we get this?"

0:24:300:24:38

I don't know why. I'm positive that when you watch the programme over a number of years,

0:24:380:24:44

a lot of things soak into your brain and for some reason it was calling to me.

0:24:440:24:49

So you think that your visual memory has been educated by the Antiques Roadshow and the result is this.

0:24:490:24:57

-Absolutely, Lars, yes.

-And did you like it?

0:24:570:24:59

I did, yes, very much so.

0:24:590:25:01

You have a strange two part pattern.

0:25:010:25:04

You've got these spirals which rotate round the vase,

0:25:040:25:09

and in-between them, you have these glimpses of natural scenes.

0:25:090:25:13

That's a prunus, here you've got bamboo and if we go a little bit further past some of the animals,

0:25:130:25:19

we have the third of what are known as the three friends of winter - the pine tree.

0:25:190:25:25

So nature mixed with textiles forming the basis of this pattern.

0:25:250:25:31

And you saw what I did - I rotated the bottle.

0:25:310:25:35

The design is actually asking you to rotate the bottle.

0:25:350:25:40

-It is covered in a design which makes you want to know what the whole thing looks like.

-Yes.

0:25:400:25:44

It's not a flat object and this is the beauty of things like this

0:25:440:25:48

and this is why of course works of art like this are infinitely superior to paintings.

0:25:480:25:54

Just be careful what I say actually!

0:25:540:25:56

I agree with you.

0:25:560:25:57

Anyhow, so you think it's Japanese?

0:25:570:26:00

-When I looked at it, I thought it was possibly Japanese.

-It is.

0:26:000:26:04

-Oh.

-And that sort of playing with nature, juxtaposed with fabrics is typically Japanese

0:26:040:26:12

and just to make the point absolutely, finally,

0:26:120:26:15

on the neck of this bottle you've got imitation ribbons tied around.

0:26:150:26:20

Of course a bottle in Japan would often be sealed with a cork

0:26:200:26:24

and have a piece of fabric over the top and you would tie ribbons...

0:26:240:26:30

Let's just look at the raw material.

0:26:300:26:32

You've got a wonderful great big mark on the bottom there.

0:26:320:26:37

I noticed on the bottom it had a mark that was,

0:26:370:26:40

from some of the pots I've seen, I've never seen one like that before and I thought it was quite unusual.

0:26:400:26:46

Well, it's a very bold mark and it is the mark of Kutani.

0:26:460:26:50

It's a mark that was used in Japan mainly in the 19th century,

0:26:500:26:55

just occasionally you find older pieces with a Kutani mark on it,

0:26:550:26:59

but if you actually look at the porcelain itself,

0:26:590:27:03

you will see there are lots of little tears in the glaze.

0:27:030:27:06

-Can you see small tears?

-Yeah.

0:27:060:27:09

-And can you see how irregular that foot rim is?

-Yes, it is.

0:27:090:27:13

-Yes, yes.

-It's rather amateurish and sloppy.

0:27:130:27:17

So this is actually slightly incompetent as a piece of potting.

0:27:170:27:21

When we put it down, it doesn't like standing still, it wobbles.

0:27:210:27:26

Is that good or is it bad, that it wobbles?

0:27:260:27:29

Well, it's bad really, I mean who wants a wobbly bottle?

0:27:290:27:33

-You paid how much for it?

-I think we paid about £3.99.

0:27:330:27:36

-That's three pounds ninety nine, not three hundred and...?

-No.

0:27:360:27:41

I would date it to the early 18th century

0:27:410:27:46

and suggest that it's probably worth somewhere between £3,000 and £5,000.

0:27:460:27:51

Wow, that only goes to show that if you watch the Antiques Roadshow...

0:27:530:27:59

You're saying all the right things!

0:27:590:28:01

..instinctively you will pick things out.

0:28:010:28:04

This is crammed full of absolutely amazing jewellery. I, I don't know where to start.

0:28:040:28:12

What made you bring this in?

0:28:120:28:14

Um, I just thought it would be fun to come and so I thought what a good idea it would be to bring it.

0:28:150:28:23

Well, I'm terribly grateful that you did. I really am.

0:28:230:28:27

-Do you know what the blue is?

-I think it's enamel, isn't it?

0:28:270:28:31

It's enamel with a diamond flower in a diamond roundel setting.

0:28:310:28:35

I should think it was probably made what, around about 1890-1900.

0:28:350:28:41

-Yes.

-Very typically for the period, they put a locket back compartment

0:28:410:28:47

for you to put a lock of hair or a photograph.

0:28:470:28:51

Now this matches, doesn't it?

0:28:510:28:55

But I'm a little bit concerned

0:28:550:28:57

because it almost looks like one earring.

0:28:570:29:00

Well, it is one earring.

0:29:000:29:02

-It is, is it?

-There were two.

-Well, what happened to the other then?

0:29:020:29:05

Well, I haven't got a long enough neck to wear earrings like that.

0:29:050:29:08

So I had them made into pendants and I gave one to my daughter

0:29:080:29:14

because I thought it was such a shame to leave that doing nothing,

0:29:140:29:18

-and I couldn't do anything with it unless I made it into a pendant.

-So do you wear it as a pendant now?

-Yes.

0:29:180:29:26

It's exactly the same materials that are in this, are in this.

0:29:260:29:30

Diamonds, blue enamel and silver and gold, probably made at the end of the 19th century.

0:29:300:29:35

I can only imagine that the ladies who wore these were very smart ladies. Were they?

0:29:350:29:41

Well, my grandmother and my mother and my aunt

0:29:410:29:44

were extremely elegant ladies and my aunt, who I inherited these from, played the harp.

0:29:440:29:51

Oh, really? Did she play the harp wearing the earrings?

0:29:510:29:55

-Because at that time they were still the pair of earrings.

-She did, yes, they were really dangly.

0:29:550:30:00

And she had a little Yorkshire terrier which she used to keep up her sleeve

0:30:000:30:05

-and play the harp.

-Really? ..Shall we move on?

-Yes, do.

0:30:050:30:10

What an opal.

0:30:100:30:12

I mean, spectacular opal plaque,

0:30:120:30:16

probably from Queensland, Australia.

0:30:160:30:19

The opal is a huge, great big sheet of colour in a border of brilliant cut diamonds going round the outside.

0:30:190:30:26

Where's this one from? Tell me where it's from.

0:30:260:30:30

I don't know where it originally came from but it was my grandmother's.

0:30:300:30:34

It picks up the colour of whatever you're wearing.

0:30:340:30:38

I bet you when you wear it at night time that it acquires a kind of red flash to the stone.

0:30:380:30:43

Yes, and it has a lot of emerald green in it as well.

0:30:430:30:46

You've got a really large harlequin plaque,

0:30:460:30:50

"harlequin" being the word we use to describe a kind of rainbow effect of colour.

0:30:500:30:56

-I see.

-Now we've got the inconsequential matter of a diamond ring as well.

0:30:560:31:01

Well, that was my mother's.

0:31:010:31:04

And I think it looks as though it was about 1930 era.

0:31:040:31:07

Well, let me just have a look at it with my lens.

0:31:070:31:10

And I would agree with you.

0:31:100:31:13

It's a step cut diamond made in around about the 1930s period

0:31:130:31:16

with baguette diamond shoulders and very much of the sort of typical Deco design -

0:31:160:31:24

geometric, linear, strong, very bold. You've got some pretty nice pieces.

0:31:240:31:30

-Yes, I've been very lucky.

-Have you always loved your jewellery, then?

0:31:300:31:34

Yes, I have, I love jewellery.

0:31:340:31:37

-Right, can I value them for you now?

-Oh, yes, please. Do.

0:31:370:31:41

All right, so round about 1900, blue enamel, diamond flower spray, diamond hoop surround

0:31:410:31:49

-and I should say that one is probably worth about £2,500 today.

-Really? My word!

0:31:490:31:56

As a pendant by itself it's probably worth maybe around £1,500 to £2,000.

0:31:560:32:02

Well, that's a nice little sum.

0:32:020:32:04

But, but as a pair of earrings, they're worth much more, in the region of £4,000 to £5,000 or more.

0:32:040:32:11

Oh, I must tell my daughter and then when I'm gone, she can...

0:32:110:32:16

-Put it together again, very wise, very prudent.

-Yes.

0:32:160:32:21

This is a wonderful opal, in a diamond frame, absolutely classic design,

0:32:210:32:27

probably made in, I suppose something around about...1910.

0:32:270:32:32

I suppose, what am I thinking about here?

0:32:320:32:34

-£6,000 to £8,000 possibly, do you think?

-Ooh.

0:32:340:32:38

And now the minor matter of the diamond ring.

0:32:380:32:43

Looking at the stone, it must weigh three and half, three and three quarter carats,

0:32:450:32:52

-this step cut diamond.

-Really?

0:32:520:32:54

On that size and the fact it's quite a clean stone,

0:32:540:32:59

I mean, I don't know, what are we thinking about here?

0:32:590:33:02

£10,000, do you think possibly?

0:33:020:33:04

Oh, my goodness me.

0:33:040:33:07

So if we do a little calculation here, what are we thinking about?

0:33:070:33:11

-£20,000 to £30,000.

-A lot of money!

-What can I say?

0:33:110:33:15

Well, what can I say?

0:33:150:33:19

I'm gob smacked.

0:33:190:33:21

So we'll leave it on the basis that we're both utterly speechless

0:33:210:33:25

and I can tell you - boy! Great pieces...

0:33:250:33:28

-I'm extremely glad I came, Mr Butcher.

-Benjamin.

-Benjamin.

-John Benjamin.

0:33:280:33:35

-But if you want, you can call me "Butcher", thank you very much indeed.

-I did call you Mr.

-You did.

0:33:350:33:42

I have to ask a question, what is a nice naval commander like you mixing in this kind of company?

0:33:420:33:50

Well, Lady Penelope is one of the slightly more unusual pieces in the Royal Navy Trophy Fund -

0:33:500:33:56

we look after all the Navy's family silver.

0:33:560:33:58

-So how many pieces have you got?

-We've got about 18,000 spread worldwide.

-Yeah.

0:33:580:34:04

From huge pieces of fabulous centrepiece silver

0:34:040:34:08

to a couple of guitars signed by Status Quo given to HMS Ark Royal,

0:34:080:34:12

but we rather thought Lady Penelope here, that was given to the ship HMS Penelope back in 1967

0:34:120:34:18

by the production company that did the Thunderbirds series, was something rather unusual

0:34:180:34:23

and an awful lot of mystique has grown up over the years.

0:34:230:34:26

-Oh, tell me.

-Well, she did about ten years sea time

0:34:260:34:31

and she spent a lot of that time in the Chief Petty Officer's mess on board.

0:34:310:34:35

Occasionally, they come and see us in the trophy centre and they tell us about Lady Penelope,

0:34:350:34:41

and they say they remember coming off watch

0:34:410:34:44

after a particularly unpleasant bit of time at sea and just offloading all their woes on her.

0:34:440:34:50

She was the kind of glamour interest in Thunderbirds.

0:34:500:34:54

Thunderbirds produced by Century 21, Gerry Anderson's company

0:34:540:34:58

creating these very lifelike puppets with synchronised jaw movements,

0:34:580:35:05

and they were much more sophisticated than Bill and Ben

0:35:050:35:09

and the other sort of puppets that were known at the time.

0:35:090:35:13

And to have a full-sized Lady Penelope is incredibly rare.

0:35:130:35:18

The first thing to say is that she is not a production, she wouldn't have appeared.

0:35:180:35:22

There is nothing moving about her, everything is static.

0:35:220:35:26

Although she is made obviously by the modellers, the face is absolutely correct, the eyes are correct.

0:35:260:35:32

And I would say that she's wearing almost certainly a production number, as far as the costume's concerned.

0:35:320:35:39

-Any paper work?

-We have got a letter from the production company that is the deed of gift, if you like...

0:35:390:35:46

to HMS Penelope and therefore the Royal Navy.

0:35:460:35:49

-A very specific line in there - and quite right - it says, "You must never sell."

-Oh, very good.

0:35:510:35:56

-And we would never dream of doing so.

-Right.

0:35:560:35:59

Had she been an actual puppet used on the programme,

0:35:590:36:03

the actual puppets change hands at £30,000 plus.

0:36:030:36:07

So £3,000 to £5,000 is where I would say where she is, considering everything about her.

0:36:070:36:14

She is very desirable, but she's not the ultimate prize.

0:36:140:36:18

But I guess as far as the ship is concerned, she was the ultimate prize

0:36:180:36:23

-and that, as far as being that comfort on dark and stormy nights, she served her purpose.

-Thank you.

0:36:230:36:31

Well, you've got here one of the most sumptuous collections

0:36:310:36:36

of officer's lance cap plates that I've seen for a long time.

0:36:360:36:41

Why are you interested in them?

0:36:410:36:43

-Having been in the regiment since the age of 15...

-15?!

0:36:430:36:49

-At the age of 15?

-I wasn't very good at school.

0:36:490:36:53

-OK.

-And some pieces came out of the regiment with me,

0:36:530:36:57

-and I've collected ever since.

-What's this?

-A photo when he was 15.

0:36:570:37:01

-This is you?

-Yes.

0:37:010:37:04

-In the Lancers.

-Yes.

-OK, which regiment?

0:37:040:37:08

-17th/21st.

-The famous one?

-Yes.

0:37:080:37:11

Involved in the Battle of Balaclava, of course, the famous death or glory boys.

0:37:110:37:16

-Yeah, that's the one.

-Where do you get them from?

0:37:160:37:18

Most of the plates on this table we acquired from an attic find,

0:37:180:37:23

if you can find such a thing these days. They all came from one family,

0:37:230:37:28

erm, whose grandfather and his father collected

0:37:280:37:33

and they remained in the same family and I acquired them recently.

0:37:330:37:37

Others that I have, I picked up via military contacts that I have,

0:37:370:37:43

amongst this collection probably the oldest at about 1830, is that one,

0:37:430:37:47

to a regiment that was only around for a couple of years - the 19th.

0:37:470:37:51

The 19th, now that's quite rare.

0:37:510:37:53

It's rare in that pattern. I believe it's the very first pattern

0:37:530:37:56

that was ever produced and there weren't many made.

0:37:560:37:59

OK, erm...

0:37:590:38:01

it, of course, has the fairly standard, slightly taller, ray back.

0:38:010:38:06

The first lance caps were actually almost that size.

0:38:060:38:09

Yes, they were much taller, so this has the slightly taller...

0:38:090:38:12

if you compare that with this one, for example, it's a great deal

0:38:120:38:16

taller than the later version and the lion and the unicorn, of course.

0:38:160:38:20

That one was bought for my birthday by Natalie.

0:38:200:38:24

Really? Wow! What a generous person you are, that's fantastic.

0:38:240:38:28

That's a beauty. What about some of the others? Again, any favourites?

0:38:280:38:32

Crimean period, 17th Lancers, which was my regiment.

0:38:320:38:37

Oh, yes, this is the 17th, Death Or Glory Boys and this is the one,

0:38:370:38:40

actually, that is most recognised by people, isn't it?

0:38:400:38:44

Because of the skull and word "or glory" there

0:38:440:38:46

so that's the one that nearly everybody recognises

0:38:460:38:49

-as the 17th Lancers.

-Yes.

0:38:490:38:50

Do you have a history in your family then of serving in the army?

0:38:500:38:55

-Father was a Guardsman.

-A Guardsman?

-Yeah.

0:38:550:38:58

-So he didn't really approve of you...

-Riding a horse, no.

0:38:580:39:01

OK. What do you pay for them? Give me an example.

0:39:030:39:06

They range from a standard other-ranks plate on it's own,

0:39:060:39:11

-if it's a good regiment £300 to £500.

-OK, yeah.

0:39:110:39:15

In good condition, officers, basic officers, the last particular

0:39:150:39:19

-officers of the regiment such as the 17th/21st Lancers...

-Yes.

0:39:190:39:23

-..the last pattern probably about £700 to £800.

-Right.

0:39:230:39:28

Then upwards £3,000 or £4,000 depending on how early they are.

0:39:280:39:31

With rarities like this, the sky's the limit,

0:39:310:39:34

it's what someone's prepared to pay for it.

0:39:340:39:36

I guess something like that...

0:39:360:39:40

is going to be something in the region of £3,000 - £4,000,

0:39:400:39:43

I mean, who knows? Maybe more.

0:39:430:39:45

There are 13 lance cap plates for a start, you've got the three caps,

0:39:450:39:51

you know, I mean... Gosh! With the rarities, with the early ones,

0:39:510:39:56

you've got to be talking about £25,000.

0:39:560:40:01

Mm, it's a deposit on an Aston Martin.

0:40:020:40:06

PEOPLE LAUGH

0:40:060:40:08

I've seen a few brews in my time, but I've never seen one which says,

0:40:090:40:14

"Charrington's Princes Brew, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales,"

0:40:140:40:19

so this is indeed a precious brew. How did it come into your family?

0:40:190:40:23

Ah, well, when Edward VIII was Prince of Wales,

0:40:230:40:28

on 15th March 1932 he paid a private visit to Charrington's brewery

0:40:280:40:35

and in honour of his visit, a Prince's Brew was brewed.

0:40:350:40:40

What's it got to do with your story, your family?

0:40:400:40:42

Um, well, I had a great uncle who was a cocktail waiter

0:40:420:40:45

-in one of the night clubs that the Prince of Wales frequented.

-This was a gift?

0:40:450:40:50

Yes, it seems the Prince of Wales went to that club following that...

0:40:500:40:54

visit that day and was handing these bottles out to lots of people.

0:40:540:40:59

-Ah, so he would have been...

-So he probably...

0:40:590:41:01

he was perhaps a favourite waiter of his and said "Have one of these."

0:41:010:41:05

-I notice you're not letting it go, you're...

-No, I say it's mine!

0:41:050:41:09

Your hand was gripped around there as mine would be if this were mine.

0:41:090:41:13

Yes, right.

0:41:130:41:15

The Prince would have made a good publican, wouldn't he?

0:41:150:41:18

He would indeed, yes, yes.

0:41:180:41:20

-"Evening, Squire."

-Yes.

0:41:200:41:22

-Playboy Prince with his own label.

-Yes, yes.

0:41:220:41:26

Most miniatures we see on the Roadshow, I have to say, are not particularly exciting

0:41:260:41:31

but this one here and the one on the table are without doubt

0:41:310:41:35

some of the finest miniatures I've ever seen.

0:41:350:41:39

I'm very intrigued. Are they relations?

0:41:390:41:41

The lady is, that's on my paternal grandmother's side of the family.

0:41:410:41:47

-She married into the...

-She married into this, into this family.

-Yeah.

0:41:470:41:52

And if we look on the back it says "Colonel James Hamilton, aged 38, from 1784."

0:41:520:41:57

Do we know what the Colonel did?

0:41:570:41:59

-He was obviously in the army but...

-Yeah, I'll go for that! Exactly.

0:41:590:42:04

Good one.

0:42:040:42:05

But how did he cope with the pink hair? I'm quite worried about it.

0:42:050:42:08

-I think it was just the fashion of the time.

-It was, wasn't it?

0:42:080:42:12

What I love about it is the quality,

0:42:120:42:14

I mean, excuse the pun, but it really is head and shoulders above

0:42:140:42:17

any other miniature I've ever seen on the Roadshow

0:42:170:42:21

and if you look very carefully,

0:42:210:42:23

with my magnifying glass, I can just see the initials JS, 1784.

0:42:230:42:27

And obviously that's the greatest miniaturist, John Smart.

0:42:270:42:32

-Yeah.

-Absolutely wonderful.

0:42:320:42:34

He is the finest miniaturist from the late 18th and early 19th century,

0:42:340:42:39

and anybody who was anybody really wanted to be painted by him,

0:42:390:42:44

and I think he looks so modern this man, doesn't he?

0:42:440:42:47

Absolutely stunning.

0:42:470:42:49

-Let's look at this one. This lady is your relation, she married into the...

-Married into the family.

0:42:490:42:54

Oh, look, it's absolutely identical almost, isn't it?

0:42:540:42:59

-Absolutely.

-Just... very good, can you pretend you are...

0:42:590:43:03

She's the perfect lady from the 18th century, very good.

0:43:030:43:06

Can you look slightly towards me?

0:43:060:43:08

You see? Perfect.

0:43:080:43:11

They've been in your family obviously since the 1780s.

0:43:110:43:14

-Yes.

-She is absolutely ravishing, isn't she?

0:43:140:43:18

I think these are fantastic.

0:43:180:43:20

I just can't tell you how exciting they are. Value wise,

0:43:200:43:23

they haven't perhaps changed that much over the years in value,

0:43:230:43:28

but I would have thought they were worth

0:43:280:43:32

between £10,000 and £15,000 each.

0:43:320:43:34

-Really, each?

-Yes, each.

0:43:340:43:37

So that'll pay for a few burgers, won't it?

0:43:370:43:42

-Thank you so much.

-Thank you.

0:43:420:43:44

Today I've heard words like amazing and phenomenal issuing from members

0:43:440:43:48

of the Antiques Roadshow team, who are usually quite phlegmatic.

0:43:480:43:52

The reason is the sheer number of people who have been here today.

0:43:520:43:56

By 10am this morning there were nearly 2,000 people on the lawns,

0:43:560:44:00

so it's been a perfect Roadshow scene on an almost perfect English summer's day.

0:44:000:44:04

Many thanks to Christchurch Borough Council for making it all possible,

0:44:040:44:08

and from Highcliffe Castle, once again, goodbye.

0:44:080:44:11

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.