Fiona Bruce and the team are at Dumfries House in Scotland. Objects valued include an early toy train and a glass vase, and HRH the Prince of Wales is interviewed.
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How far will you go to woo your beloved?
In 1762, the 5th Earl of Dumfries created one of the finest
love nests you'll ever see, only to be rejected by his intended.
Welcome to the Roadshow from Dumfries House in Ayrshire.
The 5th Earl of Dumfries was a military man,
proud Scot and a huntin' shootin' fishin' enthusiast.
His passion for Lady Mary Douglas,
the daughter of a friend, led him to this...
a surprisingly feminine and highly fashionable house for the time.
The Earl's efforts to win his bride left a unique legacy -
it resulted in the most important collection
of Chippendale and Scottish furniture from the mid 18th Century.
The 5th Earl didn't have the taste for all of this,
he relied on architect Robert Adam, who was part of
a great Scottish rebuilding programme, making and creating contemporary Palladian mansions.
Dumfries House became a hot bed of cutting edge design, from Thomas Chippendale's Director Catalogue.
This is the best collection of that style you'll ever see.
With his ever-quickening pulse,
the Earl visited Chippendale and took quite a fancy
to his sinuous S-shaped feminine designs
with their coquettish curves and come hither flaring.
This table and chairs cost £85 and were placed here for after dinner card parties 250 years ago.
And they haven't been moved since.
The Earl was so intoxicated with his designer house
that he also employed the best of Scottish furniture designers
who produced a rather more masculine look than Chippendale.
The Earl of Dumfries built his home for love of a woman and then she rejected him.
Well, he was 40 years older than her,
and then the old Earl's exuberance took another knock -
In 1762 when the house was completed,
Chippendale's elaborate decoration furniture
immediately fell out of fashion.
But it's not all bad news -
the Earl did find a young wife for his home
and what remains is a picture of
a style of living and furniture design from the mid 18th century
now worth millions.
What makes it so special is that nothing has changed,
until last year when disaster almost struck.
In 2007, the contents of Dumfries House
were very close to going under the auctioneer's hammer.
Everything was catalogued, tagged and ready for sale
when a charitable trust, headed by Prince Charles,
stepped in and saved it for the nation and now everyone can see it
and I'm delighted to say that Prince Charles will be joining us to tell us more.
But now, despite the grey skies, the people of Ayrshire are keen
to meet our experts for this week's Roadshow.
Well, this is a charming little cabinet.
Do you know anything about it all?
-Not a thing, not a thing.
OK, so is it a family piece?
No, no, no, I bought it at a house sale 15 years ago.
-Right. How much was it then?
Well, that was a good buy.
I've always thought so because I love it.
Well, that's good, it is a little Italian cabinet.
Oh, it is?
Cabinets themselves came in the early Tudor period,
really, into England but they really developed
in Western Europe and the name actually lent itself to its purpose
and essentially it was a little architecturally motivated thing...
piece of furniture... sometimes huge, sometimes even smaller than this,
and this is where a gentleman would have hidden his latest...
ah... his latest purchase, his latest object of art.
-Inside here you see it's quite plain.
Originally, there was a complete compartment which went inside there
which would have little mirrors and probably a little inlaid floor,
-rather like an inner hall, OK?
And that was the cabinet and in that cabinet,
he would place his latest objet de virtue or object of art,
a little jewel. That was his cabinet piece and he would show it
to his cabinet friends, only his closest associates.
-And that's where we get the word Cabinet in government from.
-Closest associates, right.
Anyway it is, I think, er...
round the sort of 1700, 1720 - that sort of period
and it uses ebony and ivory in this amazingly delicate pattern.
You see these shapes, right?
-They're figures in black, right?
There will be another little cabinet like this with a simple door
with those reversed so the figures will be in ivory
and the background will be in ebony,
just as we can see here, and there it is.
So you have the ebony and then you have the ivory figures,
all of which are delineated and etched
and then they rubbed lamp black into them and that made them
-stand out in black and white, like that, OK?
Fabulous little thing, but even without its centre part,
I think you did very well with your £300.
-You think so?
I should think you've probably earned round about £2,500 on it.
That's amazing! Ooh, that's amazing!
I'll come shopping with you next time!
I went to buy, I went to buy a lawn mower
-at this house sale.
No, I bought this instead.
Your husband sent you to buy a lawn mower.
Well, he had the... seeing as I was going to this house sale...
-he said, our lawn mower's had it.
-We need a lawn mower, yes.
-And so you came back with that.
-He must have been really thrilled.
-Oh, thrilled, he was absolutely amazed!
-I'm sure he was amazed.
If you'd bought the lawn mower, that would have been worth a fiver today,
so this was the better buy.
-Of course it was.
-Thank you very much indeed, wonderful.
You've brought along a selection today of objects very Scottish but
local in so far as that collectively they get known as Mauchline ware.
-And a village no more than...
How far from here?
About eight miles from here
and in the 19th century,
a pair of very brilliant brothers who worked in a quarry,
on the river, developed the idea of producing boxes,
but the interesting thing is, all this work here is referred to
as Mauchline ware, but in fact the town of Cumnock really pioneered it,
and that tends to be forgotten
and here we are on the edge of Cumnock
with this great house saved for the nation,
and some of this work here is a real example of the creativity of Cumnock
in the early 19th century.
Well, I'd like to add probably two more names,
Victoria and Albert,
because, of course, they popularized anything Scottish.
What is more normal for me is to find this type of object,
which, as you can see, is in a pale wood and in sycamore
and in this case, it's actually been printed with a design,
and on one side, you've got Floors Castle
and the other side you've got Kelso,
um, and these are things which even today, it's fair to say,
are relatively affordable,
because I know that I could go and buy something like that for,
for maybe £50 to £80.
But that is going to appeal not just to a tartan ware collector,
but obviously to a, to a visiting card collector, let's have a look,
that, I would have thought, is going to be in the sort of...
around the £100 to £150 mark.
Now, the collection itself was put together by yourself?
Well, my father, being an Ayrshireman, couldn't resist
collecting Mauchline ware and he collected from before the war,
right through to about 1970.
If there's one box on here that is special to you
and your father, which one would it be?
I think this box is very interesting
which is a Cumnock made box.
Let me put it there.
The scene it depicts is a very famous covenanting scene.
In 1685, Highlanders who absolutely terrified the Lowlands,
came down to Mauchline,
they dragged three covenanters out into the town and shot them.
-And this is the scene depicted on this lid.
So when it comes to, to price,
-do you know how much your father paid for them?
-No, I don't.
He's quite mean...
I would have thought it was between sort of £60 to £100, he would never
admit to anything more than that. In the '60s, it was a lot of money.
Yes, of course it was. Something like this today, um, I mean it's...
Yes, but its importance has been spelt out.
I would suspect that that has got to be at least £500 plus
to a collector.
Fantastic. Thank you very much.
There's a label on this box which says Clyde Model Dockyard.
Now, I know it as a maker of all kinds of engineered models,
whether they were yachts or trains or whatever.
-Now, did you know the shop, Clyde Model Dockyard?
When we were kids, we used to go and get all our toys there.
And we used to... model aeroplanes...
balsa wood you need to stick them all up together.
It was a great place.
Good quality shop, it's a good quality box, let's see
if we've got something good quality inside it.
Off comes the lid, out comes the first bit of rail.
Well, now first of all, looking at the bit of rail,
it's a gauge 1 rail which is one and three quarter inches
between the tracks here, so that's a good sign.
Out comes the tender,
nice looking tender,
I'm going to ask you to pop that on the track.
I love, I love your talent up here for, you know, under-description...
"Quite nice", he says.
Please put it on the track.
And I'm going to move the box away
so that we can see it in all its glory.
And what else? In the box here, there are a few more bits of track,
some bits of paper.
So, this train, I can date pretty much to...
1906 to 1912.
You can see the letters G-B-N
in this sort of radiating, um, lozenge here and that's a mark
that this particular company used from about 1906 to about 1912
and the name of the company,
the GBN stands for Gebruder Bing of Nuremberg.
-So interestingly, although it's in a Clyde Model Dockyard box,
they were just being the retailers rather than the manufacturers.
He obviously never played with it.
Oh, he did, he used to run it in the garden.
-Run it in the garden?
-Yes, the track was laid out in the garden,
-and he could run it.
-But it's perfect, there isn't one...
He must have looked after it very well.
-It's never been repainted.
Well, we can see that it's spirit fired
so it's a live steam train fired by spirit
and here are all the accoutrements to fill the spirit burner.
We've got the measuring jug, the little funnel,
the oil can here,
and so the burner was put underneath the train
and it would operate by live steam.
It's a huge excitement for me to see a train like this.
I suppose in over 30 years in the antiques business,
I have never seen a better one.
It is in fabulous condition.
Absolutely everything is there.
It's one of the rarest trains I've ever seen,
not because of its outline but because of its condition.
My first reaction is to say...
Well, you know, is it going to be worth £5,000?
The answer is certainly it's going to be worth £5,000.
Gosh, that's amazing,
But I think in the right auction with the right buyers there,
you could see it going for between £7,000 and £10,000.
Gosh, can't believe that.
I really can't.
All the ingredients of a Roadshow classic... a delighted owner,
an excited expert, and what a remarkable object.
I reckon that may be even more cherished from now on.
One of the great bonuses for me on the Roadshow
is getting privileged access to some remarkable venues
and Dumfries House is a bit of a jewel.
Earlier on, in the introduction,
I told you about the rescue mission to save this house.
Well, the support of one man in particular was invaluable.
'Prince Charles spearheaded that rescue mission.
'Recently I joined him at Dumfries House to find out why he felt he had to get involved.'
Your Royal Highness, why was it so important to save Dumfries House?
Well, the most important thing, of course,
was the fact that it was an intact and unique collection
which is very rare -
to have a house that still has all its original furniture
and everything made for the house, in this case by Chippendale
and those three great Edinburgh furniture makers -
Mathie, Brodie and Peter.
I remember hearing about this house and I knew there was going to be
a problem coming up because Lord Bute wanted to, to sell it,
and all sorts of people who knew about it said it was absolutely magical,
and I don't know, I'm one of those people who feels that
it's so important not to lose something that is totally unique
so I'm afraid I felt we had to do something in this case
but you can imagine it was quite a challenge.
And it must have been pretty nerve-racking
because it was a last-minute reprieve in the end?
Oh, awful, yes. You see, I'd heard about it four years before
but I did try a little bit to see if I could find somebody
to help - £45 million,
a hell of a lot to find.
Anyway, nobody was really interested and as you know,
the National Trust for Scotland
sadly didn't get anywhere so again, I thought, well,
nothing ventured, nothing gained, so I asked to see Lord Bute and then...
Anyway, we gradually managed to put something together but it was absolutely last minute
because I don't know whether you knew that the pantechnicons with all this furniture in
had got halfway down the motorway and at one o'clock in the morning,
they got the telephone call and turned round in a motorway service station in Cumbria or somewhere
and drove all the way back, and it was as close as that.
Now, we've had the privilege of filming in many of the rooms here at Dumfries House.
Do you have a favourite room here?
Yes, I do. It's the, um, the dining room
which I think is incredibly special.
I don't know what it is, it has a really wonderful atmosphere
and the light when it comes in,
is very special, but also the, the plasterwork is of such high quality
and that Bassano painting which is set in this rather beautiful frame.
The whole thing, I think,
has again a unique atmosphere, so that's my favourite room.
So, um, I think there were quite a lot of rather
frustrated people who had their eye on all these bits of furniture!
Can you imagine what would have happened to this house?
It would have been totally denuded of everything...
and all the pelmets, everything.
And we would have been back to the same situation
that happens so often with country houses,
where it would have become derelict is my guess,
because they would never have found another use for it, and you know,
we would have been left with a crumbling ruin.
And we'll hear the vision for the future of Dumfries House
from the Prince of Wales at the end of the programme.
Meanwhile, back to the experts hard at work in the gardens.
Well, David, you're the...
I would say...
you're the curator?
No, I'm the caretaker of the house, look after the house.
Well, having had a tour with you last night, I would have thought
you're more the custodian - you've been here some years.
Me and my wife have looked after the collection for 11 years
and we've looked after it just as if it was our own
and we really appreciate everything that's in the house,
we would hate to see anything get damaged or anything like that,
we just love all the contents that's in the house.
Well, it's a rare privilege to be with you, and also
to be able to touch, without white gloves on just for a second,
a piece of furniture which we know
came from the workshops of Thomas Chippendale
and you've seen the original documentation for this piece.
Yes, I've seen the original receipts for the furniture.
Do we know how much this cost?
It cost six pounds, eight shillings.
Six pound... When was that?
What, what struck me too was... we were talking last night about
that piece of timber and the other leaf the other side,
quite thin, but straight, it's never warped.
Now it's never warped because the house has been allowed to breathe. And that's what you've done.
Yes, you must open the house up and let the air through it,
especially in the summer, not so much in the winter, but in the summer,
the house must be kept at a certain temperature
and I think that's how the leafs on haven't warped because...
Nothing's moved, nothing's moved.
The chap before me, Dick Freeman,
-told me when the house should be open and when it should be closed.
-And you picked it up from there?
Picked it up from there.
This particular table, it's quite severe, it's not what people think of
as typical Thomas Chippendale, and yet it is from his drawing book,
it was quite severe and restrained
but the proportions have that little edge to any other of the period.
Now, it was called...
is it a breakfast table or a supper table or a tea table?
On the original receipt, it was called a breakfast table.
Right, breakfast table it is then. After all, they should know. And...
I think I mentioned to you that sitting on my grandmother's knee,
she would impart all sorts of bits of knowledge, some of which were
pearls of wisdom, some were not.
One of the things she told me was that
tables of this sort with an open, but enclosed compartment below, this case
with chicken wire, sometimes with Chinese fencing type fretwork,
was to store the silver for breakfast or fine porcelain.
Now, you've got a better story than that.
Well, the story I was told about it was...
-all these houses had dogs in them.
And they put the breakfast in there, and the dogs couldn't get in to eat the breakfast.
Grandma, I think you've got a lesson to come there.
Well, who could possibly dispute such a practical story?
Whether or not it's true doesn't really matter, it happened in this house. It's of a Pembroke type.
You see them in most good stately homes.
Of course, prices...
because there isn't another one like it, this is so fully documented.
What's interesting is that with Chippendale, we think of lots of scrolls and raffle leaves,
here you've got pure Gothic design in blind fretting, what a joy,
and fancy living with this lot for 11 years.
I have a pretty good job but I'm envious, I really am.
And I think you've done a wonderful job, and continue to do so, and, and I hope to come and see you again.
-Thank you very much.
Now, this is what I would call a "love it or hate it" object.
-What do you think of it?
-Well, I love it, I mean
I bought it 30 years ago and it hangs in our home and we love it.
I'm glad you said that because I absolutely love it.
It's the most fantastic pietra dura picture I've seen in years.
Do you have any idea what it's sort of made of?
Well, I thought it was marble,
inlaid marble but I really don't know.
I mean pietra dura literally translated means "hard stone".
This is like a souvenir piece from Italy, it sort of follows
in the tradition of the Grand Tour
which you'd have taken in the late 18th, early 19th century.
I mean, this is a later pietra dura picture which
I'd sort of date at sort of 1880, the late 19th century, basically.
Um, but the quality of it is just mind blowing.
It's a fascinating process, I mean, each piece of marble
is individually cut and chosen for its shading purposes.
The wine bottle - that little piece of shading,
that's an individually cut piece of white marble which is put in,
purely to give the illusion of a reflection. Where did you get it?
Well, I bought it over 30 years ago from a business of a former employee
which was being wound up, and I've had it ever since.
-And how much did you pay for it?
-I paid £110 for it.
Wow, which 30 years ago would be £800 or so, is that?
Yes, yes, that was quite a lot of money.
-It is a lot of money.
But I mean your investment has paid off. I mean, if you think,
well, let's say that's £800, if you times that by...
four, I mean I'd say in the region of sort of £5,000 or so for, for...
It's just such a stunning piece.
It needs an international market, it's such a good piece.
Well, we love it and we've got two daughters so we certainly
won't be selling it, it'll be staying in the family.
We're all sheltering out of the rain in here. Hello, this looks interesting. What's in here?
-A ram's head.
-A ram's head?
Yeah. Yeah it's snuff mole.
-It's a what?
-A snuff mole.
A snuff mole, can I have a look?
Oh, my word!
-Can I lift it out?
-I feel funny about touching it, actually.
So what in heaven's name is this, then?
It's a ram's head but what does it...
-You use it for taking snuff.
You open this up and you keep the snuff in there,
and, let's say you're having...
-Where its brains would be?
-Yeah, basically where its brains would be.
And let's say you're having a dinner party,
at the end of the dinner party usually, one would take this
and wheel it around on these, on these wheels.
Oh, my goodness!
And then you would take turns having some snuff
and it was a tradition in the Victorian age
that this was instead of smoking.
It is truly hideous, isn't it?
-Do you want to try some?
OK, how do I do that?
-Get this spoon.
-And the you just put it sort of in there.
Yeah, and you sniff it up.
Is that too much.
-No, that's fine.
-You'll be fine. You might sneeze.
And then you have to sniff it up.
-I dare you.
OK. Oh, God, I can't believe I'm doing this.
Aagh! God, eurgh!
That is revolting!
Very wet out there.
So we've got... we're lucky, we've come inside.
and wonderful object.
-Do you like it?
I've loved it since I was a small girl and I used to
visit this old lady at home called Mrs Robertson and I come from
the Isle of Jura so we always used to call it the Japanese box.
So were you, as a child, allowed to play with it?
-Were you really?
Not a good idea.
Children and works of art...
But you were very good. as far as we can see, we've only got one chip
but apart from that, it's in really good condition. Where do you keep it?
Well, right now I keep it in a cabinet but I have to say
when I was at university, it was my jewellery box.
-Oh, my God!
-And I know, and I had it in a rucksack... yes.
Oh, no, no, no, I don't want to hear that!
-Do you know what it is?
-No, haven't a clue.
Haven't a clue, no, right.
Well, this is Japanese,
and it's a small chest called a kodansu.
And it's made out of wood and then lacquered.
Various mounts we've got, the handle, the hinges, the catch,
are all in silver which has been engraved
and the body is in different tones of gold lacquer
and silver and these were used for keeping small objects in.
But I think this one,
which is actually, of its kind, relatively late, say 1870, 1880,
was probably made for the Western market.
And if you look at this, we've got irises on here
and we've got swirling water.
When these arrived in Europe,
they influenced the artists and the manufacturers in Europe
and what came out of boxes and prints
-and works of art like this, but the Art Nouveau Movement.
-This is Art Nouveau.
And it started really in Japan.
If we open it,...
we have this fantastic...
..variety of lacquers, tiny little specks of pure gold on this drawer,
abalone shell let into, um, black lacquer here which gives
the most fantastic iridescent effect and then silver dots on here.
It all works absolutely brilliantly.
Um, I think it's a nice thing...
The market for Japanese things is a bit soggy at the moment
but I think, you know, that if this came up for auction today,
we would be looking around £1,500, £2,500.
-Yes, but I wouldn't sell it,
I've had it for so long now and I've loved it.
-I've got to put my chequebook away have I?
-No, thank you very much.
Slipware dishes like this were only ever sold locally close to
the potteries where they're made so family history is vital
in pinning them down. What's the history?
Well, it came into our family about 1850 through my great grandfather.
He had a joinery business down in Langholm in Dumfriesshire,
and apparently did some work for a gentleman
in a small hamlet called Gilnockie and couldn't pay for the work and
gave him the plate in exchange for the work that was done.
Well, 150 years ago, or so, the dish itself goes back even more,
I suppose we're looking here at the beginning of the 18th century,
so 1720, 1750...
They're not easy to date, but what a wonderful thing to have got.
I mean, the dish itself is a great piece of slipware.
You can feel the potter making it, can't you?
I mean just dribbling the clay, different colour clay,
just mixed out of the ground and mixed with water into a rather
sticky sludge but just trailed and dribbled on to form a pattern.
The design is very much a sort of Middle Eastern design of...
tulips and roses copied by the Dutch potters in Holland,
copied by English Delftware potters and then by
a Scottish slipware potter producing a splendid dish just to use, just to
decorate your home and then coming down in the family to you today.
For slipware, it's not bad condition.
It's got a few cracks but I suppose originally, it was used,
it was around in the home but then, I suppose... Is it treasured now?
-Yes, very much so.
-Where do you keep it?
-In the cupboard.
What's it doing in a cupboard?
It needs to be kept safe but a design like this,
you want to really show it and display the wonderful spirit
because that's what slipware is all about,
it's a spirit in pottery which is mixed of age,
it has a great charm and nowadays, great value.
I mean 150 years ago, it was worth the price of a job.
Today, that dish is going to be...
Slipware is what all the great plate collectors...
-dare I say it doesn't look too much at first sight, does it?
-Been through the wars a bit on the frame, hasn't it?
At least it's behind glass so it's protected.
-Now, what is it, do you think?
-Well, it's a painting of
William Nicholson, he painted it, he's the artist.
He was living up in my mother-in-law's house,
my grandparents' estate,
while he was ill one summer and he painted it when he was here.
-So he was recuperating.
-He'd been recuperating yes, from an illness.
He didn't sign it?
We always looked for a signature but we couldn't see anything.
But it's indisputably his work.
-It's, um, it's a picture of three calves in a meadow,
in a sunlit meadow with a great backdrop of
tall trees of different varieties
and sky beyond, it's lovely.
There's a multitude of different greens and yellows...
I don't normally like those colours together and you suddenly realise
what a complicated picture this is, when you start to really look at it.
-Do you know about William Nicholson?
Well, he's one of the sort of...
If you could think of three of the most important Edwardian portraitists, he'd be one of them.
-Encouraged to paint by Whistler.
Augustus John and Orpen would be the other two, perhaps, but he's one of the greats.
-There's no question,
and he painted in this very slick way, er, with very solid colours
and very clean lines and then later, because this is, we think...
-..an early one.
-When was he at...
I'm not sure. I think it was before the war.
-Before the Second War?
-So in the '30s?
That would make sense because I think it's a relatively late one,
he died in 1949 and actually, he seems to sort of...
slip away from that very high finish, that very Edwardian way of painting,
into a much more, you know, much looser more relaxed form of painting.
What he also became famous for was all those amazing still lives of lusterware jugs, very silvery jugs
with maybe a bone-handled knife
and a single piece of fruit on a plate on a table,
and they're very clean and they're very beautiful.
So this is completely different then?
Very experimental indeed, but I think it's a really interesting picture.
It took me a while to come to see it, to be honest,
when I was looking into it, and then I noticed
how he got this wonderful transparency in the trees
and the confidence of some of these brush marks here,
these are brush marks, I think, going across the top of the meadow.
Something like that, not what people expect by Sir William Nicholson,
but nonetheless, I think it's going to be worth something
in the region of £30,000.
Oh, and I haven't cared when these little bits fell off.
I wouldn't worry about the housework.
And if, in fact it had to be bought retail then, then probably £50,000
or £60,000 might be closer to the mark.
Not surprising we've seen so many golf clubs today as we're surrounded
by some of the most famous golf clubs in the world,
Royal Troon, Prestwick and Turnberry. Do you play golf?
Yes, yes, I do play golf, yes.
-At a local?
-Yes, yes, I play in Troon.
The majority of collectors who collect golf clubs
are male and, um, you're the first female golf collector I've ever met.
-What interests you in it?
-I just like the history of golf clubs,
fascinating, I find the woods they used
and the metals that they used very interesting and I just... I just...
There's such a variety, it's fascinating, just really enjoy it.
Well, you brought a lot along today.
I'm going to select three that I particularly like.
The first is what's commonly termed maybe a blacksmith's type.
-It's one of the earliest type of irons,
completely smooth-faced and, they often have this rather crude fitting
between the stem and the actual iron.
This is an extraordinary one.
Yes, I didn't think it was an actual golf club when I got it.
Well, it looks like a segment of an orange doesn't it?
-Um, but it's a driving iron, I understand?
And this would have been used on the fairway or from a tee?
It would be used on the fairway and it's quite handy
if there were hoof marks on the course or rabbit scrapes.
-So, this was to get you out of trouble?
Well, this probably dates from around about the 1880s, 1890s
but probably my favourite piece out of the whole collection is
not really a golf club at all, is it?
But it's a walking stick.
-And I understand - and you may tell me I'm totally wrong -
that this was called a Sunday stick?
That's right yes, a Sabbath stick, yes.
Back in the end of the 19th century,
-you were not allowed to play golf on a Sunday.
-That's right, yes.
-But you could go for a walk.
And when the minister wasn't looking,
you could turn it around and have a quick practice.
And can I ask how much you paid for it?
Yes, I paid £250 for it.
-Which was not an insubstantial sum.
But I think this is a real gem. It's in perfect condition,
it's got the Troon maker on it
and it's in absolute pristine condition...
I think today at auction, you'd have to pay £450, £500
-so I think that's a real beauty.
-Thank you very much.
-Well, thank you very much and good golfing.
-Thank you, thank you.
Where has this rather unpretentious vase been lurking
before you brought it along today?
It's been in up our loft, we cleared out our loft,
and we came across this and we were going to bin it...
We thought it was just a heap of junk. We were going to bin it
and then we thought, we'll hold on to it because we heard the Antique Roadshow was coming here.
-But I actually bought it at a car boot.
And it had like a plant inside it, a kind of purple plant.
We bought it, for the plant because it was quite nice in the bowl.
Yeah, so you're not emotionally attached to this, are you?
-I can tell.
-Well, do you know, do you know who made it?
-I don't know anything about it.
-Can I tell you?
-If you look very carefully, there's actually a name on it
and the name is sort of lurking behind here... we'll turn it round...
and that name is Lalique.
-And so... Have you heard of Lalique?
OK, well you're on a rapid learning curve today, aren't you?
Well, let me tell you about Rene Lalique.
He started off life as a jeweller and he became France's premier
jeweller during the sort of 1890s, 1900 period in the grand days of
the Art Nouveau style and then he turns his attention, in around about
1990, 1910, to glass making and he became probably the number one
commercial glass maker of the entire 20th century, so he's got quite
a good pedigree and there's lots of different types of Lalique glass.
Yours is that little bit different.
Now and then, you get something called a cire perdue
or a lost wax process and this is a candidate,
um, because this originally would have been made in wax.
The idea being that once you'd modelled it in wax, you would then
encase it using a liquid sort of fire clay slip which would then set hard
around it, so hard in actual fact that what would happen is...
once it had set solid, you would bore a hole into it,
straight through to the wax and then you would put it, and
heat it in an oven, and all the wax would drip out leaving a void inside
into which you would then pour molten glass which would then fill the void.
Now once you've done that, the only way you're going to get it out
is to break the mould, so that means
that a cire perdue piece, or a lost wax process is, is a unique piece.
So there's only one of these whereas you might get several hundred...
and in certain cases thousands of his other designs.
So that makes it that little bit more special.
Date wise, I suppose you could be anywhere around about
1920 to maybe 1935 so car boot...
-For plant. How much were they asking for the plant?
I only paid a pound, well a pound, the vase and the plant, uh-huh.
You paid £1 right, OK. The questions I get asked about this programme...
The first question people ask me -
they say, "Have you ever broken anything on the Antiques Roadshow?"
That's the most familiar question I get.
The other question is, "What's the most expensive thing you've ever had on the Antiques Roadshow?"
I remember it was probably in Grimsby about 15 years ago
and it was a great big huge French jardiniere, that was Grimsby then,
but I've got to tell you know that as of today, I think it might be this.
-Because this is worth...
Well, it's worth a mere £25,000.
Oh, my God!
Now, we've had a lot of clouds over here today. You know that, don't you?
And they do say that every cloud has a silver lining.
I can honestly say that we've only had one cloud with a silver lining
and it's your vase.
Now, tell me about your loft.
No, I don't think I will.
Quite a moment for Eric.
He tells me he's been waiting a mere 27 years for such a moment
and I think there'll be a bit of a celebration in one Ayrshire home tonight.
Before we close, just time to hear about something of a new beginning.
The rescue of this house by the Heritage Trust
that was set up to look after Dumfries House doesn't end here.
The Trust is keen to ensure it continues to play an important role
in revitalising the economy of this region,
it's an enterprise close to the heart of the Prince of Wales.
I felt that here's an opportunity
to see if we can begin the regeneration process
for an area which has... which suffers from great disadvantage in East Ayrshire,
a former mining community,
all the mines have closed and it just seemed to me here was
a real chance to do something worthwhile
and to link the local community with the house.
It all hinges on this enabling development
on the edge of Cumnock, which is the local town and I want to try and see
if we can do a version of what we've already been doing
with the Duchy of Cornwall on the edge of Dorchester at Poundbury
and you know, mix used development
to try and bring in, you know, extra employment
and new people and to improve the environment and to link that
extension to Cumnock and Auchinleck with, you know, the grounds here
so that you actually create something really worthwhile.
That's the aim, if it can be done well.
And if we can keep it going,
and not have to sell the furniture eventually
because we haven't got any money, that will be a success.
Your Royal Highness, thank you very much.
It's been quite a visit to Dumfries House, with special guests and some unexpected finds.
Thanks to all those who joined us.
From Ayrshire, until next time, bye-bye.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Fiona Bruce and the team visit Dumfries House near Ayr in Scotland.
Objects intriguing the experts include an early toy train in remarkable condition, an outstanding example of Chippendale furniture, and a glass vase bought at a boot sale, which hides a stunning valuation.
There is also a special interview with HRH the Prince of Wales about his involvement in the rescue mission to save the unique collection at Dumfries House from being broken up.