Bridlington Antiques Roadshow


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Bridlington

Fiona Bruce and the team head to the seaside resort of Bridlington. Objects examined include a valuable ceramic bathing beauty and a rare Nativity painting.


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We've packed our bucket and spade this week for one of our great British seaside resorts.

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Welcome to the Roadshow from Bridlington.

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Apart from our desire to explore all corners of the country,

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we've been drawn to this part of the Yorkshire coast for a special reason.

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Each week we hear our experts wax lyrical about beautiful objects

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brought along to the show,

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so today, alongside the normal Roadshow, we're asking our experts

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to choose which era they believe produced the finest, most beautifully crafted objects -

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when was the ultimate age of elegance?

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So where could we stage such a show?

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How about a highly fashionable resort of the Edwardian era?

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The Bridlington Spa and Gardens was a clever idea, recognising

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that rain was as likely as sunshine during a typical British summer.

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It combined exterior and interior space for 5,000 people,

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right on the edge of the beach.

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From the very start, the riff-raff were strictly excluded -

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people deemed as objectionable were banned from admission.

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So all came to the spa in the best and most fashionable outfits.

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Tragically, two fires ravaged the original buildings in the early 20th century

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and in the 1930s a new centre was erected on the site,

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the Spa Royal Hall,

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and the resort saw something of a revival in the Art Deco era.

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It was a great venue in the days of the tea dance.

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One band leader described it as certainly the finest dance and concert hall on the coast.

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It's taken some knocks since then,

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so for the last two years it's been closed for a complete face-lift.

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And here she is today, looking a million dollars.

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What a perfect backdrop for this special edition of the Roadshow,

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celebrating the very best of elegant design.

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Let's see what beautiful lines catch our experts' eyes,

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as they start uncovering treasures brought along by our visitors.

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This is a beautiful Royal Worcester figure.

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She's known as the Bather Surprised

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but I'm always puzzled at the title. She doesn't look surprised at all!

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I think she's been expecting it to happen all along!

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She's a gorgeous girl,

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modelled by Sir Thomas Brock who was a great Victorian modeller.

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He actually designed the great central Queen Victoria Monument

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outside Buckingham Palace, so he was an important chap.

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-He made this model for Royal Worcester.

-Right.

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-The colours are very 1920s.

-Right.

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Earlier on they were stained ivory, darker in colour,

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-but she's a very boisterous modern girl of the time.

-Yes, yes.

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And she's done in three different sizes. A large one,

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this is the medium size, and a little baby.

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But I think she's gorgeous. How did you come by it?

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It belonged to my grandma and I inherited it when she passed away.

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My grandparents were travellers with the fairground

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and I always remember that she said that it travelled in the wagon with them.

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They used to have to lay it on the bed when they moved from fairground to fairground,

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-and wrapped it in bedding to keep it safe.

-She took it to fairs with her?

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Yes, because she loved it so much.

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-Golly.

-But always as a child I used to see it in her bedroom

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and admired it and always hoped it would be mine one day, which it was.

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Because fairground people love porcelain.

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-They love especially Royal Worcester.

-Yes.

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-Did they use to have any fruit plates?

-Yes.

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I've got two fruit plates on my wall as well.

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-They loved fruit plates.

-They're gorgeous.

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They came to the Worcester factory when I was there and asked me to let them have pieces from the museum.

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"Well, I'll buy that, Governor. I'll give you any money you like." Of course I couldn't sell them.

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She always had some lovely pieces did my grandma.

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-She seemed to have a good taste for nice things.

-Wonderful.

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Wonderful to think this travelled round the country with the fair.

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Especially here at Bridlington of course

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-with all the marvellous fairground things here.

-Yes.

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-Fascinating life, really.

-It is lovely.

-Going to all these places.

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I'm very proud of my, you know, family history.

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I'm sure, quite right to be, too.

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But she's a beautiful girl.

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She has one little bit of damage, I see. The thumb has come off.

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Yeah, that's been there as long as I've known, right from a child.

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-Don't worry too much about that.

-All right.

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It's not too noticeable. But she's a gorgeous girl.

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I suppose in this condition one would expect for this size of figure

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-to be something like about £1,250.

-Right.

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-So she's jolly, jolly nice.

-She is.

-So look after her.

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-Oh, I do. I do.

-But she's beautiful.

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She is lovely.

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Do you know, this is the most remarkable collection,

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this double album here of cricketers, footballers.

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They're all little caricatures and they're all signed.

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-Where did they come from?

-My father started collecting and did all the drawings when he was about 20.

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And he sent off for the signatures?

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Yes, he would send a letter and then hopefully get a reply with an autograph.

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I think it's quite amazing.

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Here we've got Jack Buchanan and Fred Astaire,

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-but they're both signed photographs, aren't they?

-Oh, yes.

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Which is rather nice. I don't know how he managed to get hold of those.

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-If we go further on into the albums, we get things like Amy Johnson.

-Yes.

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-And of course...

-Of course.

-She's a Bridlingtonian, isn't she?

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Hull and then... Yes, she's from Hull, yes.

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-Yes, and the first person to fly to Australia.

-Yes, that's right.

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First woman to fly to Australia, first person to fly to Australia single-handed.

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And here is a picture of her craft.

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Desert Cloud.

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And we go on even further.

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Just finally here, this one caught my eye,

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which is of "Yours sincerely John Tenniel."

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-He was the man who...

-Oh, the illustrator?

-The Alice man.

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He did all those.

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There is a nice photograph of him.

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So he must have got him very early. I mean, I don't think he...

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He was basically a 19th century figure, wasn't he?

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-Well, he probably had some given by some other people.

-Do you reckon?

-I don't remember.

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-Swapsies or something like that?

-Possibly something of the sort.

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So, it's a ridiculous thing to say, but did your father,

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did your father-in-law, actually love this collection?

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Oh, yes, he adored it!

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We were bombed out during the war and we all survived,

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but I think my father would grab

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the autograph books before wife and children!

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You've got hundreds and hundreds of these. 200, 250... I mean, just by looking through

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and having enthusiasm for some and possibly not so much for others,

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but they're all remarkable.

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It is remarkable to get a collection together like this,

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so comprehensive,

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-and such fun to look at.

-Yes.

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I would put a price of about £1,500 to £2,000.

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-Really?

-Yes.

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There you are. That's another unexploded bomb to take home!

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THEY CHUCKLE

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-Thanks for bringing them in.

-Thank you.

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CROWDS DROWN SPEECH

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As you saw at the top of the programme,

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there's a good reason why we chose the Spa Bridlington for our venue,

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with its echoes of Art-Deco elegance, it's the perfect place

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to talk to some of our experts about which era they would choose as the ultimate age of elegance.

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Hilary Kay, you've got opening honours today.

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The kind of stuff you've brought is the stuff that reminds me of my parents' era.

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OK. Did you keep it?

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Should I have done?

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Well, wait and see.

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I think what I have to say

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is that the era that I've chosen, the 1950s, I've chosen because

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it's so full of optimism, it's so full of brand-new stuff.

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After the war almost anything goes,

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and the few things we've got here

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are a reflection of that.

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I suppose I also know 1950s things from my parents and from my grandparents,

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and it strikes a chord in me. There's a sort of resonance there.

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And looking at these things,

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they're not all icons but some of them certainly are.

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Let's look. This is so distinctive a fabric, these kind of patterns.

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This is perhaps the most influential piece of fabric design

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that you and I will see. It's called Calyx.

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It's designed by Lucienne Day.

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It was described as, "If you can't afford

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"a piece of abstract art, at least you can have them on your curtains."

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And that's what it is. Inspired by Calder and by Miro,

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this was designed for the zenith of design of the period,

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-ie the Festival Of Britain.

-When you look at this,

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can this claim to be part of the British ultimate age of elegance?

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-Because Scandinavia had a big influence.

-You're absolutely right.

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I think that the whole use of Scandinavian light materials,

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new fabrics, new types of manufacture, created a whole different look.

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I think that if one looks at this light and airy furniture,

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the stick-like legs, the uses of different woods,

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different shapes,

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the sparseness of the decoration,

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it speaks volumes to me.

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And the fact that we are now all returning to this look

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is a testament of its longevity and its influence.

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But not to the fashions of course, we're not returning to the fashions particularly.

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They really were remarkable back then in the '50s.

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They were. Again if one goes back to that sort of rebellion against all those restrictions of war time

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and with somebody like Dior, for instance, when he created the New Look,

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suddenly in came the hour-glass figure, femininity,

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luxury, wastefulness.

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All these things that were absolutely forbidden for the previous five, ten years.

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And it also meant subliminally that women were to be looked at in a different way.

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At the end of the war, the soldiers came back,

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the girls had to give up their jobs to give jobs for soldiers.

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They became housewives.

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What could be more applicable to this new housewife generation

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than the Dior dresses?

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-This is a very sort of classic boxing training pose.

-Yes.

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-Who is he?

-That is my grandfather who was born Cyril Hills

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out of Manchester, who boxed under the name of Darkie Ellis,

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became a Bridlington man and married a Bridlington lady.

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OK, I'm going to ask the obvious question.

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What happened to the genes?

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SHE LAUGHS

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Lightened along the years, I think.

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I would never have believed he was your grandfather. Did you know him?

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Unfortunately not. I wish I had.

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-His stories would have been wonderful.

-Yes. What about your grandmother?

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My grandmother passed away last year at the age of 92.

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So you had lots from her?

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Yes, lots. She was quite reticent about the past.

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It was, "What's in the past is in the past. It doesn't matter."

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-Were there secrets?

-There possibly are. That's for me to find out as I go along, I think.

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-Why did he change his name?

-No idea, total mystery to us.

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I'm told that his mother and his sisters actually had a business on Bridlington Beach

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as fortune tellers and made a very comfortable living.

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So he was a sort of showman?

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Definitely. He actually, I believe, boxed in the fairground boxing booths as well.

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Right, so we're going into a very sort of basic level of boxing at that point.

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This is dated 1933.

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He's there with... Is that his manager?

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I don't think it's his manager.

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-I think it's probably one of his trainers.

-Right.

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He's a stylish, elegant man.

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-I think he definitely was for the era that he came from.

-Yes.

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They look a classic lot, don't they?

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-They definitely are!

-Real sort of heavies of that sort of sport.

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-There he is.

-That's right.

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Now let's think about his name.

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I mean, today nobody would call themselves that.

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And yet he was called Cyril, but he chose to be called Darkie.

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I suppose that was accepting his popular name.

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He must have chosen to call himself that, so I imagine that was his nickname anyway.

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I would imagine so. If you speak to people around Bridlington

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-who can remember that era, they always knew Darkie Ellis.

-Yeah.

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-So we've got here a lovely scrapbook.

-That's right.

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-These are his bouts, aren't they?

-They are his bouts.

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"England's best middleweights, Darkie Ellis and Donald Keys."

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What was his status in this sport?

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Was he just a local boxer? Did he make good?

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I think he made quite good.

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At one time he was classed middleweight champion of England, of Northern England...

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-Yes, it was regional at that point.

-That's right, it was regional.

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Now that's interesting. Is that your grandmother?

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That is my grandmother, yes.

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They're a stylish couple.

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It's like gangster's moll.

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-Exactly!

-The Untouchables sort of era.

-It's straight out of Al Capone.

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It is, it's fantastic. I love it.

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My grandmother went on to become a very well known local landlady

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in Bridlington and she ran the Crown Hotel in Bridlington

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for a very long time later on in life.

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Yeah. I think it's a great story.

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-We haven't talked about the poster. What a great image.

-It's fantastic.

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Now what we're looking at here is an international.

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Belgium versus England,

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Four Belgian boxers, four British boxers, including...

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There he is. And he's obviously the great hero of the time.

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He's the most important person, the feature on the poster.

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It brings to life not just him, but that whole sort of sense

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of what boxing was as a popular sport.

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This is quite a valuable item.

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One, it's a sporting poster.

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Move yourself away from your family connections.

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It's a great image, it's also about black history.

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Now black history is something that

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we are becoming increasingly, quite rightly, aware of.

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It's so much a part of our culture in Britain.

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It doesn't start in 1948-49, it goes back much longer.

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And images like this underline the fact that

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we have a very, very strong black cultural history going back to the 18th century.

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Therefore today that would be a very desirable object

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because it focuses very much on that.

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There he is, as I say, no colour differentiation.

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He's one of a team fighting for England against Belgium.

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You've got a poster here which is worth several hundred pounds.

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But that's in a sense incidental.

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You need to know that.

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What you've got to do, and it's not for me to tell you,

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but it's such a fantastic story, you've got to find out more!

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lots and lots of questions, and to go back to the beginning,

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-what happened to the genes?

-Exactly, Pandora's box I always associate...

-Well, it may be tricky,

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-but you've got to open it. Thank you.

-Thank you.

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Now, I've travelled all over Yorkshire

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and I have yet to come across a Yorkshire tea plantation.

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so I can't fathom out how come you've got Yorkshire Tea.

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But one thing's for certain, you like your teapots big!

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I mean, this is the biggest county in England...

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Hang on, hang on, Eric. Yours may be big, but mine is bigger.

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-Oh ho!

-What do you make of that?

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-Hey, I have to concede defeat that is a whopper.

-It is.

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It is a whopper but unfortunately my spout is not quite as big as yours.

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You have upstaged me here.

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-But do you realise? Look at your arm, Eric.

-I'm doing it!

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You've gone into teapot mode.

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Short and stout. Yes, exactly.

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But the problem with our teapot is

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that somebody did obviously try to pour tea out of this. Was it you?

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-No.

-You haven't tried pouring out of this?

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Because the burden of tea in there would be ridiculous.

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And so our handle, I'm afraid, has taken a turn for the worse.

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Was yours seriously for tea?

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This? This is the sort of thing they'd use for Sunday schools

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because this is a late Victorian one.

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I just love it because it's like brand-new.

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But that started off life definitely east of Whitby, didn't it?

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Yes, this is from Japan, around the year 1900. Yours is...?

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Well, this is maybe 1890-1900. So they're of a similar vintage.

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Both enamelled.

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Beautifully done. Yours obviously in the right style.

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And mine... Well, what's yours worth? Because does size matter?

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I'm afraid it does, Eric. Ha-ha!

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This is spectacular.

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Beautiful enamelling, damaged though it may be,

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-it's probably worth somewhere in the region of £2,000.

-Gosh!

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Well, at this end,

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-we're nearer £200.

-Right.

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But given the choice,

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I'd rather take this one home with me. No disrespect over there.

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-This is a working teapot.

-It is.

-Yes.

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And has that done a few charities?

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-It has, it has indeed.

-And it's been in the family?

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Yes, many years. It belonged to my great aunt

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who had three of these giant teapots which she used.

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So, as they say in this part of the world,

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"You can sup some stuff out of that."

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There's a good few cups in that.

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-50 cups.

-Ooh!

-50 cups.

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-Only in Yorkshire.

-SHE LAUGHS

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Of course, I'm just looking at his bird.

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LAUGHTER

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But isn't he magnificent, that bird?

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-It's a lovely bird.

-Is it a falcon?

0:18:330:18:36

It's a falcon and I've always been told it's a peregrine falcon.

0:18:360:18:40

-Peregrine falcons have royal connotations.

-Yes, they're royal birds.

0:18:400:18:44

That's very interesting

0:18:440:18:46

-They've got wonderful mottled plumage on their underbellies.

-Yes.

0:18:460:18:50

-They have longer wings, longer than a hawk anyway.

-That's right.

0:18:500:18:54

And actually looking back from his wonderful plumage,

0:18:540:18:57

what about his owner's?

0:18:570:18:59

Well...

0:18:590:19:00

This is one of my forebears. It's my father's family.

0:19:000:19:06

We don't know an awful lot about him but it's always been in the family

0:19:060:19:10

and probably most of the time in Yorkshire.

0:19:100:19:12

What I like is this wonderful silk doublet that he's wearing

0:19:120:19:17

with slashed silk revealing this lovely colour underneath.

0:19:170:19:21

And I suppose these might be pearls or some kind of braiding,

0:19:210:19:25

or maybe silver. Certainly he's got rather a smart belt

0:19:250:19:28

with gold fittings and obviously a gold dagger handle there.

0:19:280:19:33

All this means that he's a man of rank, I think.

0:19:330:19:37

Well, this is what's interesting.

0:19:370:19:39

The peregrine falcon and the royal connection,

0:19:390:19:42

so the story in our family is that he was actually a falconer to the king,

0:19:420:19:46

the king being James I.

0:19:460:19:48

-Yes.

-Now there's no documentary evidence for that as far as I know,

0:19:480:19:53

but that's the story that's come down to us.

0:19:530:19:56

And then round his tunic here you've got this silken rope,

0:19:560:20:01

it seems to be silk. Then I think that's a lure, isn't it?

0:20:010:20:04

I suppose it could be. Which goes round like that.

0:20:040:20:06

Yes, swing it around his head to attract the bird's attention,

0:20:060:20:10

after he's loosed it, to get it back again.

0:20:100:20:13

So all the detail is there.

0:20:130:20:14

Whoever's painted this

0:20:140:20:16

-has understood the falconry side of things very well, hasn't he?

-Yes.

0:20:160:20:20

It's painted in oils on this very large panel,

0:20:200:20:24

which is actually several pieces of wood joined together,

0:20:240:20:27

so I think from the costume that it's about 1620.

0:20:270:20:30

-Right.

-Which is incidentally about 15 years after Guy Fawkes.

0:20:300:20:35

-Yes.

-Just to place it, you know, in the reign of James I.

0:20:350:20:38

In terms of authorship,

0:20:380:20:39

we're beginning to be able to put names to pictures

0:20:390:20:43

of this vintage rather more accurately than we had been able to.

0:20:430:20:47

And in this case, it's just possible...

0:20:470:20:50

There was an artist called John Souch

0:20:500:20:52

working in Chester at around this time,

0:20:520:20:56

who covered much of the north of England.

0:20:560:20:58

It's possible that it's got his dabs on it, as it were.

0:20:580:21:02

Um, you asked me about condition.

0:21:020:21:04

-SHE LAUGHS Not good.

-It's not brilliant, no.

0:21:040:21:08

-I think there's a lot of original paint under here.

-Yes.

0:21:080:21:11

This area, which is water-damaged,

0:21:110:21:12

-is as much in the varnish as it is in the paint.

-Right.

0:21:120:21:16

-Which is good news.

-Yes.

-I think there's some original paint under there.

0:21:160:21:19

You don't really know until you start stripping it back.

0:21:190:21:23

There is quite a lot of work to do to put it right,

0:21:230:21:25

-to get it looking absolutely spiffing.

-Yeah.

0:21:250:21:28

But maybe £2,000 or £3,000 worth of work, as much as that.

0:21:280:21:32

But then you've got to look at what value the painting is.

0:21:320:21:35

-Falconry's very popular in the Middle East, from whence it came of course.

-Yes.

0:21:350:21:40

Any picture with a falcon in,

0:21:400:21:41

the Arab market is going to get very excited about.

0:21:410:21:44

-I'd be very surprised if it didn't make £20,000 or £30,000.

-Right, yes.

0:21:440:21:49

-Insure it for 30,000.

-Right.

0:21:490:21:50

OK, yes.

0:21:510:21:53

-I know, it's a responsibility, isn't it?

-It is, rather.

0:21:530:21:56

But that's stewardship, isn't it?

0:21:560:21:58

That's the thing about handing on family things,

0:21:580:22:01

-you need to look after them.

-I think that's exactly right.

0:22:010:22:04

I'm having a nanny moment.

0:22:060:22:08

-Are you having a nanny moment?

-Oh, very much so, yes.

0:22:080:22:11

Now, look.

0:22:110:22:12

We've got five prams here.

0:22:120:22:14

-I happen to know that this isn't the lot.

-No, unfortunately.

0:22:160:22:20

Now I think... Am I allowed to call you a bit of a prammy?

0:22:200:22:24

You can call me a prammy. I'm proud to be a prammy.

0:22:240:22:26

-How many have you got at home?

-Another ten at home

0:22:260:22:29

and another one on the way!

0:22:290:22:31

THEY LAUGH

0:22:310:22:33

And where are they all?

0:22:330:22:35

We live in a large house so they've taken over the front living room

0:22:350:22:39

and in the hallway and upstairs.

0:22:390:22:41

They live indoors, the perfect climate for a pram.

0:22:410:22:43

Absolutely. And do they get an outing ever?

0:22:430:22:46

They get an outing most days unless it's raining.

0:22:460:22:48

-We don't do rain in prams.

-No, quite.

0:22:480:22:51

But looking around...

0:22:510:22:54

That's a pram dating from the latter part of the 19th century,

0:22:540:22:58

slightly sort of Mary Poppins-esque.

0:22:580:23:01

What I love about it

0:23:010:23:03

is this fabulous barley twist brass handle at the front there.

0:23:030:23:09

Huge wheels and the forerunner of everything else we see here today.

0:23:090:23:14

So the prams that we're looking at around and about here

0:23:140:23:17

are mostly 1950s and '60s.

0:23:170:23:19

Yes, yeah.

0:23:190:23:21

You've concentrated on that particular period, haven't you? Why?

0:23:210:23:26

I think it's deep bodies and big wheels for me.

0:23:260:23:29

I just love the shape of the pram.

0:23:290:23:31

I just think they're absolute beauties of craftsmanship.

0:23:310:23:35

In the 1950s, there were certain companies

0:23:350:23:37

which were top of the range, weren't there?

0:23:370:23:40

-Yes.

-And I would have thought... Was LBC one of them?

0:23:400:23:43

-LBC was one of them, Marmet.

-This being a Marmet.

0:23:430:23:47

Particularly in the Queen. The Queen is the actual model name.

0:23:470:23:50

-Right.

-And they followed with a Lady and a Marmet Princess.

-Oh, right.

0:23:500:23:55

And so it goes on and on.

0:23:550:23:56

What I think is very telling is that in fact it was often a make of pram

0:23:560:24:02

that sold the job to the nanny.

0:24:020:24:06

Oh, yes, that's very true.

0:24:060:24:08

I think a house, a mum, would advertise saying,

0:24:080:24:12

"Nanny required. We have a Marmet pram."

0:24:120:24:14

Or a London Baby Coach, whatever.

0:24:140:24:17

That usually filled the vacancy.

0:24:170:24:20

I was trying earlier to work out what the collective name

0:24:200:24:24

for a group of prams is.

0:24:240:24:25

I've come up with the name a push of prams.

0:24:250:24:27

-Oh, very good!

-It's definitely a push of prams.

0:24:270:24:30

-Yes.

-And as far as value's concerned.

0:24:300:24:33

What do you put on something?

0:24:330:24:37

A classic pram from the 1960s in really tip-top, restored condition?

0:24:370:24:43

Well, I think like any collector it depends on the make and model.

0:24:430:24:47

If it's a pram that you want, you will pay like any collector would.

0:24:470:24:51

The most I paid for my prams was the Queen.

0:24:510:24:53

She was the model I always wanted and I absolutely adore her.

0:24:530:24:56

She'll never be sold. To me she's priceless and I paid £700 for her.

0:24:560:25:01

-And in this...?

-In restored condition.

-Very good.

0:25:010:25:04

If she wasn't in that condition, especially if the wheels need rechroming,

0:25:040:25:09

I would only maybe pay £250, £350.

0:25:090:25:12

Well, I hope you've got lots of grandchildren to put in these.

0:25:120:25:16

Hopefully in a couple of years.

0:25:160:25:18

-Daughter's just wed but hopefully yes.

-She's working on it.

-Yes.

0:25:180:25:22

-Fantastic. Thank you for bringing in your push of prams.

-Thank you.

0:25:220:25:26

I've interrupted your busy day because I'm sure you have some strong views

0:25:280:25:32

on the ultimate age of elegance.

0:25:320:25:34

-What would you choose?

-Well, mine would be the days of Charles II.

0:25:340:25:39

Wonderful, wonderful flamboyant ways and wigs and hats with plumes.

0:25:390:25:44

All gone. But of course the days before it,

0:25:440:25:48

in the City of Worcester where I come from, were very different.

0:25:480:25:51

Before Charles II came to the throne we had Oliver Cromwell

0:25:510:25:54

and pots like this, you know, with poems on, and a chamber pot

0:25:540:26:00

-to do your necessary.

-Do your business.

-Yes.

0:26:000:26:03

And the poem says, "Fast and pray and pity the poor.

0:26:030:26:10

"Amend thy life and sin no more."

0:26:100:26:14

So you had to be pious even while you were answering a call of nature!

0:26:140:26:17

But the only fun in life was sort of tipping it out of the window on top of a Roundhead's head!

0:26:170:26:22

And then you get sent to prison.

0:26:220:26:24

And of course it all changed so dramatically with Charles II.

0:26:240:26:28

Oh, yes. Charles II came back and the Restoration.

0:26:280:26:31

Everything is peacockish and wonderful, exciting.

0:26:310:26:34

-And you get slipware like this made. I mean this is...

-Seen this before!

0:26:340:26:38

Well, this is a copy, a copy of the original Ozzie the owl.

0:26:380:26:42

But you drink out of this and it's all full of fun. Gorgeous.

0:26:420:26:46

And ornamentation, of course, and design and beauty.

0:26:460:26:50

But life was like that. It grew exciting and wonderful.

0:26:500:26:53

What do you think you'd have been doing?

0:26:530:26:55

Well, I would have been a Cavalier.

0:26:550:26:57

I hope, you know, because I helped Charles II escape

0:26:570:27:00

after the Battle of Worcester...

0:27:000:27:02

-Oh, you did, did you?

-Oh, I did.

-Right, OK!

0:27:020:27:05

So I would have become a Cavalier.

0:27:050:27:08

This little piece is just a fragment of a pot

0:27:080:27:11

that I found in a well in Worcester.

0:27:110:27:13

Now that's me, dressed up in a Cavalier's costume.

0:27:130:27:16

-That's how I would have looked.

-So you'd have liked the clothes?

0:27:160:27:20

Oh, I would have loved it, with a waistcoat and a wig

0:27:200:27:23

and a plumed hat and everything.

0:27:230:27:26

You know, carrying a cane as you walk around the town

0:27:260:27:30

and lovely gaiters and things.

0:27:300:27:33

I can just picture myself dressed like that.

0:27:330:27:35

BAROQUE MUSIC PLAYS

0:27:350:27:38

It's tiny, it's a tig as big as a thimble.

0:27:560:28:00

And is it yours?

0:28:010:28:03

It's my wife's actually.

0:28:030:28:06

It is ridiculously small for a tig.

0:28:060:28:08

You know that a tig, or a loving cup as it's also known...

0:28:080:28:11

-I thought it were a loving cup.

-It is.

0:28:110:28:13

The idea is you pass it down the bench.

0:28:130:28:16

Three handles, so one handle to the next neighbour.

0:28:160:28:19

They then turn it to the next and so it rotates as it goes down the line.

0:28:190:28:23

-But that is ridiculously small for a tig, so it's a miniature.

-Yeah.

0:28:230:28:28

And do you know who it's by?

0:28:280:28:30

Well, I think it's by Mackintosh, in't it? Is it Moorcroft Mackintosh?

0:28:300:28:36

-Macintyre.

-Macintyre, is it?

0:28:360:28:38

Macintyre. It says Macintyre there.

0:28:380:28:41

William Moorcroft was famously employed by them,

0:28:410:28:43

that's where he made his name

0:28:430:28:45

before going on to set up his own Moorcroft factory.

0:28:450:28:48

Pretty little thing. Decorated with what? Cyclamen? I'm not a botanist.

0:28:480:28:53

Beautiful thing, but it is very, very small.

0:28:530:28:56

The real article...

0:28:560:28:59

-Has it got to be bigger?

-I'm afraid, the real article...

0:28:590:29:02

A real tig should be this size.

0:29:020:29:04

And if it were this size it would be worth getting on for £1,500.

0:29:040:29:10

So we go from £1,500 down to...

0:29:100:29:15

..£1,500.

0:29:170:29:19

Mmm...

0:29:190:29:20

That's £1,500?

0:29:200:29:23

Because they say smaller the better.

0:29:230:29:25

HE CHUCKLES

0:29:250:29:26

So that's £1,500?

0:29:260:29:28

It's small and exquisitely formed.

0:29:280:29:31

Well, you've brought along today this most astonishing sword.

0:29:360:29:40

Now it's made by Wilkinson and I happen to know quite a lot about it.

0:29:400:29:44

But I'd like to hear the story from you.

0:29:440:29:46

I acquired this in the late 1960s, about 1968.

0:29:460:29:51

I'm a collector of edge weapons,

0:29:510:29:54

and a dealer contact in Southend-on-Sea had this.

0:29:540:29:57

I was quite astonished to be given the chance to obtain it,

0:29:590:30:02

because I had bought a small German knife

0:30:020:30:05

which he was fascinated with and we did a straight swap.

0:30:050:30:08

I had a funny feeling I'd got the best of the deal.

0:30:080:30:10

I just knew that at the time because I had a bit of information about the sword.

0:30:100:30:15

What they told me was this was the pattern piece

0:30:150:30:18

that had been used as a model for the swords made for the personal bodyguard

0:30:180:30:22

of Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, in about 1928-1929.

0:30:220:30:27

It's been in Wilkinson Sword's pattern room all that time.

0:30:270:30:31

Now at about that time,

0:30:310:30:33

Wilkinson went into private ownership

0:30:330:30:36

and they cleared out a lot of their old stock.

0:30:360:30:38

I was well delighted to get hold of it.

0:30:380:30:40

I thought whatever the story, this has got to be a piece worth having.

0:30:400:30:45

That's an astonishing story of how you actually obtained it.

0:30:450:30:49

Haile Selassie of course, the Lion Of Judah,

0:30:490:30:53

came to the throne I think in about 1930.

0:30:530:30:57

He was Regent until about that time.

0:30:570:31:00

These swords were made by Wilkinson, as you say, for his personal bodyguard.

0:31:000:31:06

Now, the interesting thing about this is

0:31:060:31:09

that Wilkinson's pattern piece, which this is,

0:31:090:31:14

was the only one that was made with a hilt and a cross piece.

0:31:140:31:20

All the others that were sent across to Ethiopia

0:31:200:31:23

were sent without furnishings, as it's called.

0:31:230:31:26

They were sent naked, if you like.

0:31:260:31:27

There weren't very many others manufactured.

0:31:270:31:30

There were 20 manufactured for Haile Selassie's bodyguard.

0:31:300:31:34

Of course he was deposed in...what? 1973, 1974, something like that.

0:31:340:31:38

So we don't know what's happened to the others. They may not exist any longer,

0:31:380:31:42

they may be sitting rusting in some Ethiopian shed somewhere. Who knows?

0:31:420:31:48

So this could be unique.

0:31:480:31:50

It's the most beautifully-made sword, typically by Wilkinsons,

0:31:500:31:54

who made lots and lots of decorative and commemorative swords.

0:31:540:31:58

This has a wavy blade, this beautiful wavy blade,

0:31:580:32:04

which is made of steel, of course.

0:32:040:32:06

And it has this gorgeous, gorgeous gold and red flame effect

0:32:060:32:11

running right the way down the blade.

0:32:110:32:14

But the unique thing about this of course is the pattern.

0:32:140:32:18

It's the pattern from which the others were judged.

0:32:180:32:20

So there is not another one of these

0:32:200:32:23

and that's what makes it interesting to me.

0:32:230:32:26

So in the late '60s you swapped this for a knife.

0:32:260:32:29

-Yes.

-Worth £30?

-£14 was the value of the knife.

-£14! OK.

0:32:290:32:35

I think today this sword is so unique,

0:32:350:32:39

it's worth between £2,000 and £2,500.

0:32:390:32:43

Not a bad investment.

0:32:430:32:45

I'm surprised.

0:32:460:32:47

My father was a vicar in Slaithwaite in Yorkshire

0:32:490:32:53

and then it was in the vicarage

0:32:530:32:55

and then it was moved to Cleckheaton.

0:32:550:32:57

I really remember it from the Cleckheaton vicarage.

0:32:570:33:00

I would be about nine years old then.

0:33:000:33:02

I don't know where it came from, only that it was actually a gift from somebody to my father

0:33:020:33:08

and it remained in the hallway in the vicarage as a centrepiece.

0:33:080:33:15

My father absolutely adored it

0:33:150:33:18

and, when he retired, he moved into a dormer bungalow

0:33:180:33:24

and he even had it put on the staircase in the dormer bungalow

0:33:240:33:27

going up the stairs so that he could see it every day.

0:33:270:33:30

-So he loved the picture.

-Absolutely adored it.

0:33:300:33:33

And did he do any research on the painting at all?

0:33:330:33:36

I don't think he did. I've done more of the research.

0:33:360:33:39

I've tried to find things out but come to a dead end every time.

0:33:390:33:43

-Well, I can help you there.

-Ah, wonderful, fabulous.

0:33:430:33:46

The picture is a copy after a Dutch artist who was working in Rome

0:33:460:33:51

-in 1620, an artist called Gerrit van Honthorst.

-Oh.

0:33:510:33:56

And it is The Nativity.

0:33:560:33:58

This is a 19th century copy of that picture.

0:33:580:34:01

The real giveaway with this painting

0:34:010:34:03

is the 19th century Florentine frame.

0:34:030:34:05

-Right.

-We call them sort of Palazzo Pitti frames.

-Right.

0:34:050:34:09

They're hand-carved Florentine frames of the 19th century

0:34:090:34:13

and students and artists would copy the great masters

0:34:130:34:16

that were hanging in the Uffizi and the Pitti Palazzo.

0:34:160:34:20

In 1993, there was a car bomb that went off just outside the Uffizi

0:34:200:34:27

and unfortunately The Nativity by Honthorst was destroyed.

0:34:270:34:31

Two other major pictures by Manfredi were destroyed

0:34:310:34:34

and also 30 great masters were damaged.

0:34:340:34:37

So the original painting, a totally priceless painting,

0:34:370:34:41

is no longer with us.

0:34:410:34:43

And sadly also on that particular day

0:34:430:34:45

when these great old masters were destroyed,

0:34:450:34:49

26 people were wounded and six people died.

0:34:490:34:52

There are only eight copies listed,

0:34:520:34:55

-but undoubtedly there's more around the world.

-Yes.

0:34:550:34:58

The original painting that was destroyed

0:34:580:35:01

was three times the size of your picture.

0:35:010:35:04

Good gracious me! I thought mine was...big enough!

0:35:040:35:08

And of course this oil on canvas,

0:35:080:35:11

Honthorst would have been really influenced by Caravaggio,

0:35:110:35:15

the great master of light.

0:35:150:35:16

This was probably painted by... The original was painted by candlelight.

0:35:160:35:20

You get a real sort of radiant light coming from baby Jesus,

0:35:200:35:24

right through all the figures, right to the top. A kind of ray of hope.

0:35:240:35:29

The light of the world.

0:35:290:35:31

So in terms of value...

0:35:310:35:33

The original oil painting by Honthorst, literally priceless,

0:35:330:35:37

of course is no longer with us.

0:35:370:35:39

But a copy, a 19th century copy after the picture

0:35:390:35:42

is worth approximately £4,000 to £6,000.

0:35:420:35:45

Very good. Lovely. Thank you very much indeed.

0:35:450:35:48

Thank you very much.

0:35:480:35:50

-So it's not a set of golf clubs, then?

-No.

0:35:520:35:54

It's something the ladies aren't allowed to see, I'm afraid.

0:35:540:35:57

OK, hide your eyes, girls. Hide your eyes.

0:35:570:36:01

Oh! It's very naughty!

0:36:010:36:04

Have you seen one of these before?

0:36:040:36:06

Can you see what it is yet?

0:36:060:36:08

It's a lady on a potty.

0:36:100:36:11

THEY CHUCKLE

0:36:110:36:13

-It's more than that, isn't it?

-Yes.

0:36:130:36:15

Because it's a lady with a purpose.

0:36:150:36:17

Now what does she do? Fly up this way? There we go. Whee!

0:36:170:36:21

She does all sorts of things and on her bottom here she's got a blade

0:36:210:36:26

and what she is, actually, is a cigar cutter.

0:36:260:36:30

A novelty cigar cutter.

0:36:300:36:32

OK, so how come you have got it?

0:36:320:36:36

Because it's not a kind of girlie thing to have, is it, really?

0:36:360:36:39

It's been passed down through the family. My great-great-grandad.

0:36:390:36:44

That's about all I know about it.

0:36:440:36:46

But I do know that the ladies in the family were never allowed to see it.

0:36:460:36:50

It was always on his watch chain in his waistcoat pocket.

0:36:500:36:55

And when asked, "No, you can't look at it."

0:36:550:36:58

-It was his secret.

-His secret.

-His secret passion!

0:36:580:37:01

Then when my mother inherited it, I was allowed to look at it.

0:37:010:37:06

And told, you know, "It's the naughty lady."

0:37:060:37:08

SHE GIGGLES

0:37:080:37:09

I think she's great.

0:37:090:37:11

Just the sort of thing that a grandfather should have

0:37:110:37:14

on the end of a watch chain, actually.

0:37:140:37:16

Something naughty and rather rascally.

0:37:160:37:19

She's dating from around 1900, 1910.

0:37:190:37:22

Made of brass. And in fact I would have said she's...

0:37:220:37:25

Because she's such a cheeky little thing,

0:37:250:37:28

I think she's going to have a reasonable value.

0:37:280:37:31

I'd put her at about...

0:37:310:37:33

Oh, £100, £120. I think she's terrific.

0:37:330:37:36

Yes, I think she's gorgeous.

0:37:360:37:38

In this splendid Art Deco building,

0:37:410:37:43

we're asking some of our experts to choose their ultimate age of elegance.

0:37:430:37:47

Eric Knowles, with the era you've chosen you should feel at home.

0:37:470:37:50

I do. I mean this is Bridlington's Art-Deco temple. It really is.

0:37:500:37:54

Yes, I mean, those inter-war years really do it for me

0:37:540:37:57

because it was the age of Thoroughly Modern Millie,

0:37:570:38:01

when it was stylish to raise your skirts and bob your hair.

0:38:010:38:04

People just wanted to have a party.

0:38:040:38:06

They'd had the horrors of the First World War

0:38:060:38:08

and there's this new generation, this new emancipated woman,

0:38:080:38:12

and they were able to get out and follow their heroes and heroines on the silver screen.

0:38:120:38:17

Because Hollywood introduced glamour to the working classes in general.

0:38:170:38:22

I mean, this figure is...

0:38:220:38:24

This is Josef Lorenzl.

0:38:240:38:26

I affectionately always refer to him as Legs Lorenzl.

0:38:260:38:31

Here's this woman.

0:38:310:38:32

I mean, she is the epitome of perfect health and form.

0:38:320:38:36

Again this was an age where people took, you know,

0:38:370:38:41

a great interest in their own health.

0:38:410:38:45

Certainly the lines of this are beautiful.

0:38:450:38:47

As indeed this cocktail shaker.

0:38:470:38:49

Well, can I do it?

0:38:490:38:50

You know, I've always fancied working at The Savoy behind the bar.

0:38:500:38:55

SHE LAUGHS

0:38:550:38:56

-You're wasted, Eric!

-I love a good Manhattan.

0:38:560:38:59

I know the perfect place in Manhattan that does it.

0:38:590:39:02

Again, you look at something like that,

0:39:020:39:04

we're moving through this Art Deco period into Modernism.

0:39:040:39:09

Again, just to show you, I mean that could have come off a motor vehicle.

0:39:090:39:14

Such a strange-looking thing.

0:39:140:39:15

When it is a cocktail shaker, of course.

0:39:150:39:18

After the First World War, we're talking about the 1920s,

0:39:180:39:21

and people were coming out of such a desperately tragic time,

0:39:210:39:25

and drabness and sadness. They wanted glamour and exoticism.

0:39:250:39:28

They did. I mean the women, they got Rudolph Valentino.

0:39:280:39:32

So that was the exotic side of it.

0:39:320:39:35

When it comes to speed and streamline,

0:39:350:39:39

everybody is moving forward.

0:39:390:39:42

Think of Brooklands and Bugattis and Bentleys.

0:39:420:39:45

And, "Anyone for tennis?"

0:39:450:39:47

People became, you know, far more,

0:39:470:39:50

for want of a better word, worldly.

0:39:500:39:53

As far as elegance goes... Bugattis and that kind of thing,

0:39:530:39:56

that was the ultimate elegance, but for the women it was the clothing.

0:39:560:39:59

Especially the sort of shimmy dresses.

0:39:590:40:02

Now bear in mind in their mothers' day,

0:40:020:40:05

a glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking.

0:40:050:40:08

Wow! all of a sudden legs are on the scene.

0:40:080:40:11

And those dresses, they were designed to move

0:40:110:40:15

because people would go out dancing in a way that they'd never done before.

0:40:150:40:20

The dresses, you know, they were very, very streamlined.

0:40:200:40:25

I mean, I look sometimes at the dresses and I see skyscrapers.

0:40:250:40:28

JAZZ MUSIC PLAYS

0:40:280:40:31

This is a work table, but there's a little story behind this.

0:40:460:40:50

There is, yes. It's always ever been known as Granny's sewing table.

0:40:500:40:54

It was left to me by my granny about 15 years ago.

0:40:540:40:57

I can remember it from childhood, being in her bedroom

0:40:570:41:02

with all her needles and threads and buttons.

0:41:020:41:05

She never threw anything away, so she cut buttons off things and kept them in tins.

0:41:050:41:09

There was always a piece of thread that would nearly match. If not quite perfectly, it would do.

0:41:090:41:14

I always admired it and always played with it.

0:41:140:41:18

When she died it was left to me.

0:41:180:41:20

I think if it had been a work table it might have had a bag underneath

0:41:200:41:25

but I can't ever remember there being a bag.

0:41:250:41:27

This is how it's always been including the sort of bowed top.

0:41:270:41:31

-Right, yes, warts and all.

-Warts and all.

0:41:310:41:34

What this is, actually, it's a Regency piece of furniture

0:41:340:41:37

and the word is rosewood.

0:41:370:41:41

When rosewood was first introduced it was known as princeswood.

0:41:410:41:44

Because we had kingwood, or the French had kingwood,

0:41:440:41:48

they found this wood and it was known as princeswood.

0:41:480:41:52

So it's a highly sophisticated piece of furniture.

0:41:520:41:55

-Really?

-To me it's just beautifully drawn.

0:41:550:41:59

It's made of rosewood veneer and satinwood.

0:41:590:42:02

We have the top, which is crossbanded in satinwood,

0:42:020:42:05

and down the legs it's simulated in bamboo in this lovely yellow colour

0:42:050:42:13

which is again solid satinwood.

0:42:130:42:15

Then it finishes in an elegant rosewood,

0:42:150:42:18

rosewood legs inlaid with boxwood.

0:42:180:42:22

Now what's so nice with this,

0:42:220:42:23

you can imagine this in the early 19th century, round about 1810,

0:42:230:42:27

that the Regency, or the late Georgian, household,

0:42:270:42:30

they'd be sitting there.

0:42:300:42:33

-Yes, you're right, it did have a long bag.

-Right.

0:42:330:42:36

-That would have been holding the wools and silks and things.

-Yes.

0:42:360:42:40

And then the lady of the house would have been sitting there

0:42:400:42:43

elegantly doing her sewing.

0:42:430:42:45

This is a really good piece of furniture.

0:42:450:42:48

I would put a valuation on this around £5,000 or £6,000.

0:42:480:42:53

Never!

0:42:530:42:55

My word!

0:42:560:42:58

Granny would be so thrilled.

0:42:580:43:00

She would be absolutely thrilled to pieces, she really would.

0:43:000:43:04

It's...it's just Granny.

0:43:040:43:09

In among all the objects brought along by our visitors today,

0:43:110:43:14

we've had a bit of fun with our experts choosing their ultimate age of elegance.

0:43:140:43:18

I wonder which one you'd choose.

0:43:180:43:20

I thought I'd join in the fun,

0:43:200:43:22

so based on the criterion of fashion alone,

0:43:220:43:24

I've plumped for the 1970s, and this vintage dress

0:43:240:43:28

by that master of elegance, none other than Christian Dior.

0:43:280:43:32

So from the very elegant Spa of Bridlington, bye-bye.

0:43:320:43:36

Fiona Bruce and the team head to the seaside resort of Bridlington for a special edition from the splendid art deco jewel of the Spa Royal Hall. Such gracious surroundings make the perfect backdrop to ask the experts to nominate their ideal age of elegance. Was it the flamboyant days of the flapper, the fop or the 1950s?

Their choices make for some surprising and revealing answers about what makes the team tick. Amidst the excitement there is still plenty of time for some surprising finds from the people in the East Riding of Yorkshire, including a valuable ceramic bathing beauty who once lived in a fairground caravan and a rare Nativity painting. The team also meets a woman with an obsession for collecting vintage prams.