A second visit to the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich. The team of experts is kept busy by a huge crowd of visitors eager to learn more about their treasures.
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Welcome back to the Old Royal Naval College,
just a short stroll from the National Maritime Museum
and the Royal Observatory, and we discovered so much plunder here on our last visit,
we're back for more. So, welcome again to the Antiques Roadshow from Greenwich.
In 1696, when Christopher Wren started work
on the Royal Naval Hospital for Retired Seamen,
he designed this grand and perfectly symmetrical array of buildings.
But there was one stipulation - a command from Queen Mary
that he leave a gap down the middle.
It was so that the Royal eyeglasses would have
an unimpeded view to the Thames from their summer holiday home.
But this was no ordinary home.
This is Queen's House and it caused a revolution in British architecture.
It was the first building to incorporate all the qualities acquired from the Classical world,
principles of perfect proportion and mathematical precision.
The genius behind this exquisite home is Inigo Jones, who, after
studying in Italy for three years, built it for Queen Anne in 1616.
The Great Hall is a huge, perfect cube of 40 foot by 40 foot
with a strikingly patterned black and white marble floor,
which accentuates its precise geometrical principles.
But it's not the most impressive feature here.
The spiralling Tulip Stairs was yet another first.
It gives the impression it's floating because the cantilevered staircase
supports itself without the aid of a central column and never before
had such a feat of design and engineering been seen in Britain.
And although it's called the Tulip Staircase,
the flowers on the iron railings are actually fleur-de-lys.
After the royal lease expired on Queen's House, it was given over
to the Royal Naval Hospital
as a home for the orphaned children of seamen.
For nearly 200 years, this whole site was the Royal Naval Hospital,
and now it's the Old Royal Naval College, a charitable trust
allowing everyone to experience the beauty of our venue.
Over to our specialists.
This is an extraordinarily sumptuous box, isn't it?
It's been in the family for a long time and it's been in pride of possession in our corner cabinet
and I just like looking at it,
but I'd like to know more about the background and its history.
My understanding is that it is the Empress Eugenie,
who was married to Napoleon III,
but apart from that I don't know an awful lot about it.
Well, I must say, that's quite a corner cabinet, I mean, to bring
that out, it's a fantastic example of late 19th century goldsmith's work.
And it's in the 18th century taste,
in homage to her predecessor, Marie Antoinette.
And we see the Empress of France
effecting that style in the miniature in the front.
She's actually wearing a pearl parure, a necklace and earrings,
from the French crown jewels,
which is a pointer to what happens next.
When we open it, we can see the inscription on the lid says,
"Given to Countess Cowley by the Empress Eugenie, May 6th 1872."
And I think that that's a critical date,
because it was around and about that time
that Napoleon III and the Empress were exiled from France
and they came to live here in the United Kingdom.
From that moment on, their story is related to the United Kingdom,
rather than France. Extraordinarily brave lady.
She survived an assassination attempt when she went to the opera,
and some of her attendants were blown to smithereens
and she was spattered with blood.
And to show her immense bravery, she continued to go into the opera
and sat there, stained in blood, whilst the opera proceeded.
But the inscription is, I think, critical because
Lady Cowley and her husband were at the Embassy in France.
And it's my guess - and it is only a guess at this time - that this box
was given by the Emperor and the Empress as a thanks
to Lord and Lady Cowley for making it possible for them
to come here and live in the United Kingdom.
So, goodness me, what do we make of a gold box, made of enamel,
of chased gold, in the Louis XVI taste,
but actually made in the 19th century for a 19th century Empress?
It's pretty hot stuff, isn't it?
It's loaded with all kinds of emblems of love and faithfulness.
And when the history's properly painted in,
I have every confidence that someone somewhere will be prepared to give
-in the region of £8,000 to £10,000 for it.
It obviously will never come out of our family,
but to know that it's such a valuable piece. Unbelievable.
These look as if they came out of a fantastic baronial hall.
Where did you get them from?
-They were in my father's cafe.
A cafe. Either side of a counter, built in.
So when it was finished, the cafe,
we retrieved these and kept them. They've been in my loft for years.
-And where was the cafe?
Woolwich?! I wonder how they got there?
I'd love to know myself! I don't know.
Because they certainly didn't start off life in a cafe.
-I've known them for 40 years.
-And lions, right from the earliest time,
from the Egyptians and the Greeks,
they've meant majesty, victory, pride, sex, power.
This was always the story about lions
and so they were very, very popular
in the 19th century when these were made.
Look at these wonderful features, you know, the claws.
Even the teeth and the tongue. Have you seen it?
Fantastic. And they would have come from some major house.
I'd love to know the history, yeah.
Well, these came from some really wonderful, as I said, in a baronial hall.
And they would have had a wonderful marble top on them.
-That's it, yes. Lovely.
And they're the sort of thing that today,
an interior decorator, a designer, would love them.
If you saw these for sale at £2,000, you wouldn't be surprised
because they're great things.
It's great that you kept them.
-I have all these years, yes.
-From the cafe.
We'll never know what house they came from, but they certainly would have had an interesting history.
As somebody born in London, who spent a lot of his childhood in London,
I was very much driven by the Thames.
I loved it, I loved everything to do with it.
And I can remember the Thames
when it was full of ships and busy with tugs all over the place.
Of course, it's all gone now. But these actually take us back into that story, don't they?
They certainly do. I can trace my history back
for 35 years on the tugs, but my father was with the firm 46 years
and my grandfather, 52 years service.
-But the river is in you?
-Oh, most certainly. Oh, yes.
What is this company? What is the W flag?
The W stands for a firm called William Watkins.
They were the first people, first company on the River Thames
that had steam-powered paddle tugs
of which the Monarch was the first one that they had.
They then developed over many years and more tug companies were formed.
The firm that my family were very much involved with
were called W H Alexander's
and they also were steam-powered.
Does the company still exist?
There still are tugs on the Thames.
Various companies have been bought out, takeovers.
We're, in fact, owned by a Danish company now.
Here, we're going right to the beginning of
-the history of Thames tugs, aren't we?
Paddle tugs, 1830s,
but what excites me about this model of a tug called the Monarch
is that, I think everybody knows that great Turner painting,
The Fighting Temeraire.
That huge ship from Trafalgar being towed to the breakers, in a sunset,
with this dirty steam tug hauling it along.
This is that tug, isn't it?
-It certainly is.
-I mean, it makes me quite excited to think
that this is the beginning of that modern age.
That painting's about the change from old Britain to new Britain, which Turner recorded in 1838.
This dirty little tug is what did it.
And if we move on - much bigger, much more modern. What date is that?
-1870, something like that.
-Right. Bigger ship,
but equally important.
What is one of the most famous sights in London?
Cleopatra's needle. How did it get here?
Well, it was towed from Egypt in a special iron casing, by tug boats.
And in 1877, when it came over, in a storm in the Bay of Biscay,
it broke loose and was lost.
And eventually it was found floating
-and it was this tug that brought it home.
So, what we've got here is, in a sense, two crucial moments
in Thames history, represented by boats that people don't think about.
They think about great ships and the Belfast and all that,
but to me, the reality of Thames life is tugs. Is that fair?
Yes, it's so ingrained in so many people's lives.
So these are great maritime models.
Because of the association with Turner, that's a very important model.
I'm going to saying probably about £800 to £1,000 for the top one
and £2,000 to £3,000 for the bottom one.
But the history is sort of written into then, somehow.
It's beyond the value.
-They are lovely things. Thank you.
So why do you think this is Derby?
Because I watch all the programmes and I love flowers.
I know everything about flowers
and I know that that rose is the cabbage rose.
-We're talking about this rose here?
-Yes, the roses.
So I know that Derby. And if you say it isn't, I'll be very upset!
There was one man at Derby very famous for his painting of roses and his name...?
I don't know names. I can't remember names. That's not my age, I never could remember names.
Well, I'm going to tell you. His name is Billingsley.
It is a Derby, isn't it? Isn't it?!
Well, Billingsley did teach people how to paint roses at Derby,
but everybody else in Staffordshire did exactly the same.
So the question is, is this Derby or is it somebody copying Derby?
No, definitely not.
That a Derby. That's Billings, whatever his name is!
-Shall we have a look?
-That is not a Derby base.
What is it? I know it's over 200... You're sure it's not Derby?
It's definitely Derby - it's his rose...
You see, a style of painting doesn't necessarily mean it comes from where the style originated.
It's something very good, I know. It's not rubbish. It's good.
-You like it?
-I do like it.
-So it can't be rubbish?
-It is 200 years old. It's early 1800s.
OK? And the gold is good, but it's not as good as Derby.
Derby was fantastic on the gilding.
-So I'm going to say this is Staffordshire.
Derby was Staffordshire, wasn't it, no?
-No, Derby usually is in Derbyshire.
-Ah, that's not Staffordshire. I'm not very good at places either!
-Anyhow, it's a lovely thing and you like it.
-Yes, I do.
It would be worth more if it were Derby, so I hope you won't be disappointed when I tell you
it's probably only worth somewhere in the region of £200.
Well, I only paid £3 for it, so what about that?!
Thank you! It's not Derby, but it's....
I hope my wife isn't watching this!
-You don't know who done it then?.
No, cos there's something written underneath.
-We'd need a detective to tell you that.
-Oh, I'm not that clever. I only watch you people!
-You watch a lot of television, don't you?
-Oh, I do. When your programme comes, everything goes.
Except for me pussies. They can stay on the chair, I go on another chair.
-How many of those have you got?
-Well, the one we rescued, cos she was ill treated.
-Just the one?
The babies died, she was pregnant again, so we took her on.
I won't say what one it is, I don't want to be up for libel, but...
Well, make sure pussy stays away from this,
-because cats are very dangerous to china.
-I know, I know. Thomas is a little terror.
-Thomas. That's the baby. Cos we rescued....
Thomas wouldn't be able to tell the difference between Derbyshire and Staffordshire anyway...
These paintings belong to my godmother
and I've borrowed them back because I grew up with them.
-This one was my godmother.
-She painted that?
-And that's the naval college.
-100 yards from where we are now.
And how long ago? About 1950, it looks like.
A bit later than that. Sort of 60s, 70s or something.
-And she was a Greenwich artist through and through, sort of thing.
-And her name? A C?
Anne Christopherson. She painted mainly the river in Greenwich
and there are several, I think, in the Maritime Museum.
Very nice sort of cool, glacial greens there, aren't they?
And very much of their time, really, if you are saying that
it's sort of late 50s, early 60s. And this picture?
That is by her late husband, John Christopherson,
who was a self-taught artist
and he painted mainly buildings, quite a lot of Greenwich.
He has much more as sort of modern touch, hasn't he?
A lot of texture in the paint.
-He might even have mixed some sand into that, I think, to get that.
-It is quite textured, isn't it?
It is. And a very flat perspective and bold colours.
-It's quite clear that he is more of a modernist then she was.
-She's much more traditionalist.
But then you don't get more modern than these.
They went on holidays every year to Cornwall, to St Ives.
What was rather fantastic was that my godmother and her husband, John,
knew all the new wave artists of the 50s and 60s in St Ives.
And how did this get to your godmother?
My godmother actually met Wallis when she was a child
and she saw him with a load of paintings outside his house
and asked her father if he'd buy her one
and they were only a shilling or so each.
He said, of course he'll buy her painting but he'll buy her a proper one.
-So she didn't buy it.
-She didn't get it?
She didn't get it, but years later she did get her own way when she bought this one.
I see, she bought it herself later.
-So she never let go of that idea?
And this Alfred Wallis, he is a naive painter.
He was in fact THE naive painter
because he was discovered really by Ben Nicholson and Christopher Wood in St Ives in the late 1920s.
He'd been a fisherman all his life, hadn't he?
I believe he liked to paint with boat paint
because he thought that was proper paint.
-And not on proper materials?
-No. I don't think he could afford it.
Because he was naive and completely self-taught,
all his perspective is completely flattened out.
-Well, it doesn't have any perspective.
And objects in his pictures, they take on a size that's relative to their importance to him
rather than any kind of visual scheme he might impose on it.
You see that here. He's obviously a man who knows ships.
I imagine the rigging is exactly correct.
I like the way the torn-off strip, which is a part of the object...
-It also suggests waves, almost.
But this artist was another native Cornishman. This is Peter Lanyon.
I suppose there's a flatness to that, too, in the same way that this is flat, so is this.
It's this getting back to a fresh primitive eye that was so important with St Ives artists.
What is remarkable about these two is that of the whole, all of the St Ives artists,
these are the only two native Cornishmen amongst the group,
-amongst the entire group.
-I think they are, aren't they?
Because a lot of people disappear down to Cornwall during the war.
So a lot of very sophisticated artists went there to get back to a sort of purer way of seeing.
But these two, they were looking out.
I hadn't realised that. That's really interesting.
Now, your godmother's picture and her husband's, what d'you think?
Probably £500 or £600 I should think.
-Perhaps a bit more. I don't know.
-That's spot on, I'd say.
-Moving on, what about him?
-John's paintings are beginning to get a bit more liked.
That's probably maybe £1,000 now, maybe a bit more? I don't know.
Yes, well, you might know better than me, I hate to admit
because they're very local painters
and Greenwich has that strange sort of...insular feel, hasn't it?
-It's really quite a self-contained environment.
Whereas these two artists have world reputations.
And this Alfred Wallis, for example, is probably worth between £20,000 and £25,000.
He's very collected. And he's very valued.
And so is Peter Lanyon.
This small painting, which has these wonderfully vibrant colours,
and I think works extremely well
is worth between £20,000 and £30,000.
Well, that's very interesting.
If my godmother was here now
I think she'd tilt her head to one side, smile
and say, "Well, isn't that marvellous?"
-And then offer you a cup of tea.
OK, So, a rather an interesting water clock.
-How old do you think it is?
-Well, it came with a court cupboard
and a 16th century monk's bench.
My parents bought it in 1944 in London because they lived in London.
It was just three items of furniture that they started their married life with, I think.
So this oak piece looks rather good alongside the other oak bits of furniture?
Yes, wonderful, actually.
So, had you thought about this date down here,
Mr Dryden of Frome, 1623?
It is a very old date. But I would love it to be from that date
-but I don't know.
-Let's just look at the general principle of it
which is that you put the water in there and there's a float
and you then turn the tap on, let it drip out into a bin down below
and as the float descends, the time is read off, on these twin scales.
Carved in oak.
And it certainly looks the part.
D'you want the bad news?
I think so, yes.
Well be bad news basically is that nothing like this was ever made
of the period we're talking about.
And they are all made 300 years later than that date
-in Birmingham by a firm called Pearson Page.
All made in the 1920s and you can still see copies
of their catalogues with numerous different designs of water clocks.
They are wonderful concoctions but typically early 20th Century bits of fun and games.
-They weren't meant to deceive.
If I was to quote you as a novelty item, between £300 and £400,
-would that be very disappointing?
-No, not at all.
Because it would be a miracle if it had been originally there.
Thank you very much.
Well, you've brought along this rather bizarre and quite small shirt.
-And it says on the front, it's embroidered, "Sister Susie's Shirt".
Now I know a little bit about this, because in the First World War,
in 1914, there was a tongue-twister song, a novelty song, and the chorus went something like this.
# Sister Susie's sewing shirts for soldiers.
# Such skill at sewing shirts our shy young sister shows.
# Some soldiers and epistles say they'd rather sleep with thistles
# Than the saucy soft short shirts for soldiers sister Susie sews. #
-How about that?
-You've done a good job of it.
Ha, ha, ha! But that was a novelty song, written in 1914.
I've seen it online.
And it was sung by such people as Al Jolson, at the time.
But why is this tiny little shirt Sister Susie's shirt?
All I know about it is that my grandmother told me
that my great-grandfather had it in the First World War, which was her father-in-law.
And that they were sent to the Australian soldiers from the schoolgirls.
-How did I guess(?)
My mouth might be giving me away!
-OK, so sent...
-Sent as a care package item,
but also to be used practically, as a wash bag.
So this is actually a wash bag? OK.
The idea was that they could put their socks in it, as a wash bag,
but I believe also they could take the buttons off, if they needed a spare button.
And I believe some were sent
with a normal tape measure and a sewing thread and needle,
so they could repair their items, but that's my rough knowledge.
-Does this have a tape measure in it, as well?
-It has a special tape measure, I believe.
I will just bring it out very gently because it's...is it satin or silk?
Oh, gosh, it's got to be silk, hasn't it?
-I think it's silk and it's painted silk, so I believe that makes it extra special to me, at least.
Isn't that beautiful?
And we've got painted inches here.
Yes. And each of the flags.
Each of the flags of the Allied powers.
My goodness, it goes on forever.
It might go off the table, at this rate!
Let's bring it off this end. What is at the end?
-It has a date.
Which is what I'm most interested in, to find out more about.
-Are we going to reach the end?
-Yes, yes, here we go.
Because it says, "Remember Gallipoli, April, 1915."
Did he serve during the time of the Gallipoli campaign?
I know he didn't serve at Gallipoli. He was at the Somme.
OK, now, this was him?
This was him. Aged 21, I believe, because it says so on the back.
-"Uncle Reg, aged 21 years."
-Wow. And you've brought a letter?
-I've bought one of his letters.
-Dated? What was this?
-"July 3rd, '17."
It says, "We have had news this week that the SS Mongolia has been sunk,
"with the whole of May's mail".
And then, "..on which to me means
"that all my letters from England, and some from you, have gone.
"To say nothing of a parcel, including my diary, which I valued,
"as it had been written from the beginning of the war".
Later on, it goes into the letter to say that three bags of mail
were saved from the ship and, hopefully, he feels that his diary may be in one of those bags.
-Did you never find out whether they were?
-I haven't had a chance
to go through his top room yet, because it hasn't been touched since before he died in 1981.
-That will be my job.
So, are you a historian?
I'm the family archiver.
But I did go to uni and do history, just so I could learn a little bit.
-And this is just the tip of the iceberg?
-Yes. These are my primary documents.
Well, you know, there is a value to all these things.
He was a very brave man. I hate putting values of this sort of thing.
It's priceless to me, so the monetary value won't matter.
This very, actually, quite rare object today, I have to say,
together with the letter, the photograph, the tape measure
and all the other objects, which I'm sure amount to a huge amount,
I would guess that a collector would certainly pay
somewhere in the region of £500-£700 for it.
That's, like, 1,500 Australian dollars!
-That's my ticket home!
-Don't go home too quickly.
-No, no, no.
Over the last 20 years, there's been a big anti-smoking campaign.
So, most cigarette cases are usually not worth much more
than the scrap value of the metal. But there are one or two exceptions.
And you've brought along something
which I think is a little bit special.
By the way, are you warm? Is it hot in here?
-It is quite warm.
-The temperature's going to go up quite a bit,
because you've brought along quite an amazing cigarette case
with the most beautifully painted enamel on it
of a reclining nude. And it's actually signed,
"R. Gilbert" at the bottom. Do you know anything about its history?
Not a lot, no. My husband bought it.
-I think he thought it looked rather like me!
Well, as I said, this is absolutely stunningly painted.
The case was actually probably made in Austria.
It was imported into Chester. And these marks at the top here are import marks for Chester.
Imported by the Demiere Brothers in 1910.
The great thing about enamelled cases is that they have got to be perfect
to be worth anything.
-Has anybody ever given you an idea of what something like this might be worth?
No, they haven't, no.
If it didn't have any enamel on it,
-it would be worth, probably, in the region of £20-£25.
But because not only is the enamel perfect,
but it is a very saleable subject. A case like this
is probably worth between £1200-1500.
Very good. Very good.
-Yes, I shall look after it.
-Well, I think you should.
When I was told there was a young man with some automata,
I must admit, I saw that you were a young man, but I didn't realise
that they were the sort of automata that, actually,
-they're electric toys, aren't they?
-So they don't really work on their own wind-up, but they wind up in terms of electricity?
And I'm absolutely riveted by them and you obviously are, too.
Tell me, tell me, did you buy them all at once? How did you find them?
Well, I was very lucky. In the early 80s I went to America a few times.
In California, I had to meet this chap who was selling the five.
And I saw them in his shop and I just fell in love with them
and I, luckily, had the money, enough, sufficient money,
to buy them at the time and I've brought them back with me.
How was he describing them to you?
He described them as actually what they were - advertising material.
They used to, the company that made these, Barringer Brothers,
would ship them out all over the United States
to jewellery shops, for example, Tiffany's, places like that.
So the Barringer Studios actually were in Pasadena?
-So they were already in California?
-Yes, they were.
So you went out to California and they had all these in one shop.
But I gather that they only made
less than 100, for displays like this,
-advertising in jewellers' shops.
-there are only a certain number of jewellers' shops that would want them.
And be able to afford them too.
Because I would have thought in their day, they would have been expensive to hire out.
And also, if I were Tiffany's, and I think this is what happened,
they'd start with one, and then maybe after a month or two or three months, they'd change it.
They'd ring up and say, "Actually, can I see your catalogue?
"Can we have this one for another three months"?
-So they would swap them over.
-Yes, that makes sense.
And I think they were working in the 1920s right through to the 1950s.
And these are around the late 1930s.
So we start with the car, which, I suppose,
he's just bought her a wedding ring and engagement ring.
It does say diamond, so she's a lucky girl.
And they're off, just married...
I wonder where they're off to.
-I'd like to know!
-And then this one
-I find a little bit...
Maybe they were told, "You are not to marry this man" and they're going off having had the babies.
-The babies look almost as big as their parents.
-They are pretty big.
It's hilarious. I just... I could watch that and I'd
then think, "Oh, what a lovely ring that is over there in that window."
So what a clever idea.
-And what did you pay?
-1,000 in 1986.
-For all of them?
-All of them, yes.
-Well, that was probably almost 2-1 then, wasn't it?
-Yes, it was.
-So, say 500 or 600?
-So £100 each, more or less?
-Yes, more or less.
I would put each one up to 500 each.
-Possibly 1,000 each.
And the enjoyment - you could go round the country giving displays.
If anyone wants me to, yes.
-Thank you very much.
Well, we don't get many Roman marble busts on the Roadshow,
so I'm delighted you brought this fellow along.
-But he's suffered a bit over the years, hasn't he?
-He's got a few bits missing.
-How did he come into your possession?
Well, around two years ago, the Italian bank I was working for
in London closed down and was taken over.
-So they decided to have a blind auction of all their fixtures and fittings, and amongst many things
that I bought - books, paintings, a sofa - was this wonderful piece.
And why did you buy him?
Because he always, he always stood in the middle of the boardroom
and whenever we had Christmas parties or drinks...
-There he was.
-Yes, and at the end of the evening
-I was there with him and my arm around him so...
..So he became my drinking partner.
Terrific! Now, how old do you think he is?
Well, um, my heart would like to tell me it's Roman
but I think my head tells me that it's probably a 1960s replica.
Well, I've had a good look at him.
He's definitely not a replica from the 1960s, you'll be glad to hear, but to me neither is he Roman.
If you look at his face, obviously he's lost his nose,
but the Roman figures of the period that you see, the Emperors and so on,
are immensely strong characters and they're powerfully carved.
This face to me is a little bit weak,
his eyes particularly are not as strong as they should be, and in
general, his appearance is not gutsy enough to be of the Roman period.
-Having said that, as I say, he's not brand new.
So I suspect he was probably made in the mid-18th century.
-For the grand tour, perhaps,
the Englishman travelling abroad wanting to take back a Roman bust in memory
of his trip, and this is the sort of thing he would buy.
So probably middle of the 18th century, that sort of period.
Now, do you know who it is?
When there was the exhibition at Bristol Museum last year
of Emperor Hadrian, I went and saw it, had a look,
and I recognised the face and especially the beard.
I believe it's Emperor Hadrian.
-You could well be right, because the beard certainly is very similar, isn't it?
And you've got the rather sort of mop of hair on the top,
which again you see in some Hadrian's portraits.
I think he's a splendid figure. You have him displayed at home?
Indeed. He's in our dining room, he looks over us when we eat and
at Christmas he wears a party hat.
-Joins in the festivities.
-Oh, yes, so he's part of the family.
-Well, I think he's great.
So you bought him at a private auction.
-Tell me how much you paid for him.
If he was Roman then he'd be worth considerably more but as we've said, he's not modern.
I think he's mid-18th century, and I suspect if this came up at
auction you'd probably be looking at a value of £2,000 to £3,000.
-So you've done pretty well.
Well, hopefully Hadrian will enjoy many Christmas parties yet to come with you and your family.
That's great news. He is going back in that little hole in the dining room where he sits.
-Delighted to hear it. Thanks very much.
Now, you wait for a bus and three come along at once.
-Aren't they wonderful?
-And what do you do with these Routemasters?
Of course, they used to be plying the streets up and down London
and of course we don't see them anymore.
We've rescued them from the scrap heap and we've restored them, and
we put them back on the road because people still love them.
They have gone completely from London streets, have they?
Not completely. There are two heritage routes left,
-still run by Transport for London.
-I used to go to school in one.
I remember hanging on to the pole and judging when the right
-moment was to jump off and keep running!
-Were you good at it?
I never fell over, put it that way.
-I fell over lots of times.
-Well, these are fabulous things.
I have to say, we have an expert on this programme who spent much of his childhood
travelling on Routemasters, he's very fond of them. Paul Atterbury.
-I think he's the man you need to see.
-I'd love to meet him.
This is such an appropriate place to see something like this.
It is a beautiful clinker-built boat,
dating from about 1880, 1890, I think.
On rockers. It is incredibly unusual.
Do you know anything about its make-up?
It was my grandfather.
And it was a very well known boat-building firm
from Brightlingsea in Essex.
Was it built as an apprentice piece?
Well, I think it was similar to an apprentice piece but they were
absolutely normal for boat builders to build them for the family.
So, this was for family use.
The person in the picture is my aunt.
I have a picture of him and my aunt.
He was obviously incredibly proud of it.
She looks about two. She's not looking too happy in there.
Presumably the rocking of the boat!
So, with something like this, it does have a commercial value as well.
I have no hesitation in saying that if it went into the right sale,
I think that a pre-sale estimate of £1,000-£1,500 is probably quite conservative.
To the right person who could appreciate its worth, its beauty, you know?
Over the years on the Roadshow,
I've learnt never to be surprised by anything.
But today, you've broken that rule.
You've brought me Routemasters.
My favourite bus. Why have you done that?
Well, I run a company that runs Routemasters,
and what better for a roadshow than something that runs on the road?
Perfect. Can we go and have a look?
This brings it all back.
I love the Routemaster for two reasons.
One, because I think London Transport in this period and earlier was so great for design.
The way tube stations looked, the posters, signage, lettering.
Everything was designed to perfection for its function.
And of course it was designed by London Transport.
As the perfect London bus.
The second, of course, is my own memories.
I was a child in London when the first Routemasters came in
and I can remember that excitement
in Trafalgar Square or wherever of seeing my first Routemaster.
It was big, it was different, it was wonderful. And very exciting.
I have to say, I am a sufficiently sad person to have gone out on that
last scheduled Routemaster night in London to see my last sight of one in service. It was very memorable.
-What about your memories?
-Similar to yours, really.
I can remember being late home for tea one day because I waited
for the one Routemaster that was new on to the route and got into terrible trouble with my mother.
Obviously you're more serious than I am!
I just think it's a great bus, and it's wonderful to be in one again.
So nice to go in and see these seats, the lighting, that funny yellow ceiling.
It's exactly as I remember it.
Well, we take great pride in restoring them
to the way they were and how people remember them.
And the one in front, in fact, was one of the last to come off.
Now, I suppose we've got to talk about the value of it.
How do you value a bus?
I know that when whatever it was called - Transport for London, whoever - was selling them off,
at the end of Routemaster service,
I know they were £2,000 each because a friend wanted to buy one.
What are they worth now? £10,000? £15,000?
I think it depends upon the condition and of course they are appreciating all the time.
As there are less of them, they become more valuable.
So classic design becomes the antique of the future.
-I think they will become an antique of the future.
Now I'm going to do what I've always wanted to do. Hold on tight, please!
Now, we often come across chargers like this
decorated often by an amateur
depicting an attractive female,
and they're not very interesting.
We never know who they are, we never know who the artist is,
and they're decorative and that's it.
However, I don't think this is the case with this.
-Do you know who it is?
-Yes, I do, it's Ellen Terry.
Ah! Right. A very famous actress of her era.
And how do you know it's Ellen Terry?
Well, in the first instance, I recognised it.
My wife and I were going to see some friends on a Sunday night.
We passed an antique shop and in the back I saw the plate and I recognised Ellen Terry.
And a few weeks later it was my birthday and my kind wife,
Christine, produced it for me, for my birthday, which was marvellous.
At the time, I was working with Sir John Gielgud and we were doing a play.
Just a minute - you were working with Sir John Gielgud? That was kind of convenient!
-It was handy, yes.
-They were related, weren't they?
They were. She was his great aunt.
He was a member of the Terry family, his mother was a Terry.
And I was stage managing a play called Half Life
at the Duke of York, which had transferred,
and Sir John was in the company.
So I took a photograph of the plate,
because I knew it was her but I didn't know the part,
so I showed it to him and I said, "Do you know which part it is?"
And he said, "Oh, yes, it's Ellen in Much Ado About Nothing,
when she played Beatrice to Irving's Benedick".
So that kind of solved the problem, and then later on we found this photograph
which shows her in the same role.
Not quite in the same costume - she's got sort of...
I think whoever's done this painted the lace, gave her more pearls,
but he's neglected to put this rather complicated costume on.
He's kept it very simple.
This was proudly signed "E Williams"
and dated '84, for 1884, which is absolutely typical of this period.
They were all made in the 1870s-1880s.
By the 1890s, they were dying out a bit as a pastime.
So you've transformed a fairly ordinary plate by the fact you
happened to know Sir John Gielgud,
just happened to be working with him,
into something which is really a slice of theatrical history.
And consequently, you've changed it from being worth, you know, £100,
to something which I think a theatrical collector would pay £500, maybe £800 for.
Maybe even a bit more. Thank you for bringing it in.
-It's quite made my day.
-Thank you very much.
I think you've brought along a bit of a cheeky monkey, today, haven't you?
-In more ways than one.
So, the question is, a piece of glass like that,
you went out and bought it, or you saw it at a car boot,
or it's in an antiques shop in Paris, or what?
No, I actually didn't.
When I came to London in 1985 I worked as a chambermaid.
And one of the guests in the hotel actually left it behind.
It went into lost property for six months, as it had to,
and the guest never came back to reclaim it,
so after the six months in lost property, it went to me.
-So here we are.
-Let's have a look at your monkey, shall we?
I'm saying a monkey - I think it might be sort of a gibbon.
Or he might be a lemur.
Because what do you get in Madagascar?
You do get the lemur.
You do, you see.
Because, if we turn this over,
you've got a mark on there which says Lalique, doesn't it? OK.
Now, that has me asking one or two questions, OK?
Because this is not a typical Lalique mount.
Now, the point is that this opalescent glass, because it has
got that nice milky, bluey quality to it, no doubt that is Lalique.
-So, that's definitely Lalique.
-No doubt about it.
But there is a Madagascar connection.
Because originally, he was from a family of lemurs
and all their faces were around the perimeter of a Lalique glass bowl.
And I think what's happened is that somebody has got hold of a bowl,
and they have cut out all the monkey, all the gibbon, or the lemur,
whatever it is, they've cut them out and they've had them mounted.
But I don't believe it was the Lalique factory that did it.
Because I don't think the mount's good enough, and why put "R Lalique" on there?
Because I think this has been done at a later stage.
When it comes to date, this bowl was made round about 1930, 1932.
But again, looking at those mounts,
I think those mounts have been put on in the post-war period.
-I think those mounts are 1960s, possibly even 1970s.
So, they shouldn't have "R Lalique" on there.
Because for anything to have the "R", has to be within his lifetime.
He died in 1945.
Either way, I think it is an object of desire.
-Well, I do.
When it comes to valuation, I've never seen one sold,
but I would not expect that to be offered for less than £500.
Should you ever decide to sell it.
Thank you very much.
My father was a sergeant's lieutenant based in Hong Kong
in the British Navy when of course it was a British base.
And he had a young family. He didn't have a lot of money,
but he collected little bits of jade that, at that time, didn't
cost too much money.
-And this was in the 19...
It's a wonderful display and lesson in all sorts of aspects of jade.
I mean, the different objects, for a start.
We've got here, we've got a hat pin or hair ornament.
These are belt hooks which are carved with dragons and so forth.
You probably know what these are?
No! I don't.
Well, they are called bi-discs.
They're curious objects which were placed upon the bodies in tombs in Neolithic times and they continued
making them in China. And these ones, these two look 19th century.
But interestingly, they have still got these little knobbles
on the surface, which you see on the ones from the Shang dynasty,
thousands and thousands of years ago.
These two here, they are archers rings, so you don't...
when the bowstring whacks your hand. Vases, carvings of animals.
And the other thing it shows us is all the different colours that jade can come in.
And at different times in Chinese history, different stones
have been used and different ones have been more popular.
Commercially at the moment,
white jade is very sought after by the Chinese.
There is a good example.
Very white, much whiter than almost anything else on here.
And what would that be?
-Would that be just like an ornament, or, the rabbit?
-What, this one?
This one is carved, pretending to be a section of bamboo.
It's got bamboo leaves on it and if you cut a piece
of bamboo inside, you see that's the internal structure of the bamboo plant as it grows.
-Yep, got you.
-And of course the Chinese make works of art in lacquer,
in bamboo, there are plenty of good bamboo carvings, in boxwood,
but Jade is one of the most highly prized.
And it's fabulous to see such a lot of it.
Dating it has always been difficult.
Some things you can be fairly categoric about.
You don't tend to see the very bright jadeite,
which is this apple green colour,
until the second half of the 18th century, really.
Unlike pottery and porcelain, where you can look at the material
and say, this was not produced until such a time, jade was all formed tens
of thousands of years ago, so how does one date it?
Well, it comes down to style, really.
This hair ornament stands a good chance that it's 18th-century.
The quality is very, very fine.
Some pieces I think are 20th century.
This little vase here is a relatively crude affair.
But they're terrific. I love the animals as well.
Yes, I like the animals. I think that's what he liked collecting.
Yeah. Are there any you particularly want to ask about?
Possibly the little horse, I like.
This is carved in a much earlier style.
It's a late Ming, 17th-century style.
Can that actually be tested, or is it just...?
No, you can't test it. What you can do is compare it very closely with other
ones that are known to have been in collections at certain times.
But it's fabulous to see so many pieces.
I think you're a very lucky girl.
-Yes, I am!
-They really are quite valuable.
There should be in excess of £15,000 here.
That's very, very nice to know.
-It's super. And there may be single pieces which make 1,000 or 2,000 individually.
You're probably wondering why I want to talk about something
so humble as a child's napkin ring and spoon.
What I love about the Roadshow is that it throws up the odd gem
of an object which may look unspectacular, but you have brought along such a gem.
The clue to it is written in the lid here, Liberty & Co.
Now, this is a christening present. And is it your christening present?
No, it was my husband's auntie's christening present.
And she was born in 1910.
Right, well, that also gives a very good clue
to what I want to talk about.
Because it actually has hallmarks on the side here for 1909,
and it has the Liberty & Co hallmark on the edge here.
But there's one very special reason why a little napkin ring
and spoon like this is so special, and that is the designer.
One of the most famous designers
of the early 20th century was a chap called Archibald Knox.
-And he is a top, top man.
The enamel on the ring and on the spoon is very typical of his work.
He worked as a designer for Liberty exactly at this time.
Not only that, you've got everything in the original case.
So it's a pretty special lot, it's a collector's lot.
We're probably looking at something here worth at least £1,000.
No, I had no idea.
It's that special.
He is one of the most popular names at the moment.
There's a real surge in art-nouveau silver at the moment, particularly by Archibald Knox.
Thank you very much. Thank you.
When I first met you and you showed me the box saying
Vauxhall 30D, somehow I assumed it would be full of Vauxhall cars.
But how wrong was I?
Because they are not Vauxhalls at all, are they?
but there's a Packard,
and a Rolls-Royce.
I think it was my father that bought them for me,
shortly after I was born,
which would have been probably '39, '40.
Not many more were probably bought during the war.
I mean, none were made during the war.
And then afterwards,
I started buying them myself when I was nine or 10,
with a little bit of pocket money.
And went on buying them until I was about 14 or 15.
All of which I have still got. This is just a small selection.
-In total, how many Dinkys do you have?
-I should have counted them before I came out.
Probably about 40.
And, as you can see, I hardly played with them so they are in pretty good condition.
I personally like the tanker here because I am just a few years younger than you
and this one was brought out in the fifties.
In 1952 I think it first came out.
I didn't think I had bought it as long ago as that. Good grief!
But we have to talk about value.
These early ones, pre-war,
probably worth anywhere between £150 and £300 each.
The tanker, again in its original box, worth another £150-180.
You multiply that by the 40 you've got,
and you're not talking about hundreds, but low thousands.
Yes, I think that's true, yes, yes.
As a child, I enjoyed playing with my Dinkys, but I never kept them as nice as you did.
So I admire you, because my Dinkys are now worthless, whilst yours are still worth a fortune.
It is interesting you had some.
-Thank you very much indeed.
-It's a pleasure. Thank you.
It was my father's. He passed away about 10 years ago
and it was part of my inheritance. I chose to take this little box.
-It's been in the family for a long time.
-You chose it, well done you!
-Well, hopefully, yes.
-So, where do you think he got it?
He used to travel, so I'm thinking it may be from China
or somewhere like that because we used to have quite a few pieces from China.
That's the only reason I'm thinking that. Apart from that, I have no idea.
OK. On the surround, this lovely what we call guilloche enamel.
That's the pattern of the enamel, so it's sort of zig-zaggy.
And over that, we have lovely roses, for love.
And then in the middle, you have again enamelling, but
it's all to do with love and harmony so you've got two goddesses and then you've got Cupid,
so you have harmony and love and it must have been a wonderful present
-for someone, a beloved, if you like.
-So I'm glad I've got it then. Yes.
And then underneath,
we have a number.
And it actually says,
it says, Swiss, see?
Now, the Swiss maker
would have been someone called Charles Margerathe.
And this would have been somewhere near Neuchatel, which is called St Croix.
And these would have been made by this firm somewhere between the 1920s and 1930s.
If we can get it going...
Well, what I love about it is they are actually real bird feathers.
-Oh, right, OK.
-And they've still got the lovely colours, too, which a
lot of these birds from such a long time ago, they lose their colours,
they lose their feathers, they moult.
-And... Have you ever thought of its worth?
Well, if it were to go into an auction,
in the right sort of auction, it would probably make £1,500.
-Right, OK. Yes.
-That's a very nice... I think I shall get that insured.
-Yes, thank you very much.
-A delightful piece.
Shall we get it going again?
These wonderful gold medals tell me that the owner was somebody who was
very important in the Peninsular War.
This was Sir Richard Fletcher,
who was my grandfather's great grandfather, I think, and
he built the lines of Torres Vedras which kept Napoleon out of Lisbon during that war.
Now, let's talk a little about the Peninsular War,
because in the early 19th century, the French
-had virtually overcome all of Europe, apart from Britain of course.
And in 1805, at the Battle of Trafalgar,
defeated the Spanish and the French, but Napoleon made a great mistake.
-He then decided to overthrow the Spanish, who were his allies,
-and to take over Spain.
So that gave Britain a chance to get into the Iberian Peninsula.
..Was the most important royal engineer at that time,
and he was appointed to Wellesley, then Wellington's staff.
-So he would have been in day-to-day contact with Wellington.
He would have been literally sitting almost as we are here.
-Opposite that famous commander.
-What a wonderful thing to imagine, actually.
-So what are the medals we've got here?
The top one interests me because this isn't a British medal.
-It looks to me like a Portuguese medal.
And I think I'm right in saying it's the, is it the Order of the Tower and Sword or something like that?
-That's my understanding, yes.
Presented by the King of Portugal, yes.
And then looking at the bottom here, at six o'clock, we've got a
very foreign-looking medal which is the Sultan's Medal.
Which was awarded in 1801 for services against the French in Egypt,
of course, and so Fletcher would have taken part in that campaign as well.
Yes, yes, yes.
But the medals that really interest me are the two either side of...
-I guess this is his portrait, is it?
-I'm sure it is, yes.
Well, this is a wonderful silhouette portrait of Fletcher.
This medal here is the Army Gold Medal.
And what does it say on there?
-And across at three o'clock we have the Army Gold Cross.
Now this medal here usually is inscribed.
Let's have a look on the edges of what's called a cross pate and it
says here, "Lieutenant Colonel" - "L Colonel", so Lieutenant Colonel -
"Sir Richard Fletcher", and this is a terribly important medal.
-In fact, Wellington himself was awarded that medal.
Well, you know, he was a greatly loved man, Fletcher.
-He took great care of the staff under him.
And he was killed at San Sebastian.
By a bullet, and his loss was greatly felt by everybody under his command.
-And I think I'm right in saying that his officers
-subscribed for a memorial in the hills above San Sebastian.
-Where I think he was buried.
Now there is a value to these medals, you know.
-Certainly the top medal and the bottom medal,
I suppose they'd be worth £2,000, £3,000, something like that.
But these two are quite important.
And this medal would be worth, because it's Fletcher,
somewhere in the region of £15,000.
-And this medal, the Cross, is worth £35,000.
So the whole lot together, in my view, could be worth
as much as £50,000 at auction today.
It's a wonderful, wonderful collection.
Are you going to keep it in the family?
-Going to go to the Royal Engineers Museum, I think.
Yes, well, it's set in my will.
Well, I think they are very fortunate
and I know they cared greatly about Fletcher, I know that.
And I think it will find a very warm welcome. Thank you.
Thank you very much indeed. Thank you.
We've had a great day here in Greenwich by the River Thames.
People have brought all sorts of fascinating items for us to look at,
including, of course, these fabulous Routemaster buses.
And things are drawing to a close here now, so I thought,
what better way to depart than on one of these?
So, from the Antiques Roadshow in Greenwich, bye-bye.
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A second visit to the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich. The team of experts is kept busy by a huge crowd of visitors eager to learn more about their treasures.