Fiona Bruce and the team return for a second visit to the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool.
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The inspiration for Britain's most famous seaside landmark
came from the Great Paris Exhibition of 1889 when the Mayor of Blackpool
decided that Mr Eiffel had had really rather a good idea.
So welcome to a second helping of the Roadshow from Blackpool Tower.
of steel, five million bricks and a cost in today's money
of £21 million.
That's what it took to build the Blackpool Tower, back in 1894.
It was considered to be the greatest single piece of British engineering of the time.
And just in case of disaster, the Manchester architects
of Tuke and Maxwell designed it to topple into the Irish Sea.
It does get windy!
The plan was to build towers as tourist attractions
up and down the country. It failed in places like Morecambe and the Isle of Man,
making Blackpool Tower all the more desirable.
When the public were first admitted to this Victorian entertainment complex, the riff-raff
were kept at bay by a small
but significant charge of sixpence for the privilege.
And what was on offer beside a trip up the tower?
Tea dances to tunes from the mighty Wurlitzer organ, but there were rules.
"Gentlemen may not dance unless with a lady." "Disorderly conduct means immediate expulsion."
and "On Sundays, please remain seated, as no dancing allowed."
Our palatial venue for the day hosted many a fine tea dance and artiste,
so today we're hoping for a few more neat steps and performances from our specialists.
Let's see what they have to offer.
-Have you said your prayers?
-Have you said your prayers?
Why, what do you mean?
-Because you've brought a prayer machine.
-I have? Oh, right, OK.
-This is for saying prayers.
-It's an incense burner, and you'll find that throughout the world, all religious communities
at some stage burn incense and the incense goes up to heaven, and that's the idea of this thing.
-It's called a koro, which is the Japanese term for an incense burner, so that clarifies
where it's from, but how did it get from Japan to here?
My nan had a friend that worked out in Malaysia, was a banker out there,
and he gave her this piece as a present and I think it was probably about the 1950s.
When I was growing up she used to keep it in the hall with the dusters in it.
Were they Buddhists?
-No, no, I don't think so.
-So it's never been used...
-I don't think so.
-..in your time.
No, not as far as I know, no.
Well, you take the lid off... And it's a pretty chunky old lid.
Let's just move that off. My goodness, it's heavy!
..and you put the incense inside here and it's an offering,
but by putting this on, the incense has to escape
through the vent holes here.
The vent is cast
with this extraordinary frieze. Now, to Western eyes they look like swastikas, well they are swastikas,
they're Buddhistic swastikas.
The swastika in Oriental art means "the heart of Buddha"
so, by allowing your prayers to waft through this symbol, you're getting into the heart of Buddha.
And on top, he's called the karashishi and he is a guardian,
Buddhistic guardian, dog and you can see he's looking quite friendly.
He's playing with this lovely brocade ball which spins around.
But it's a wonderful piece of workmanship and it would be easy
to overlook something that is really quite subtle.
This bronze, smooth bronze, actually contains this beautiful design,
and then in the centre here, do you know what that is?
No idea, no.
Well, it's a badge, we would call it a crest,
it's armorial, it is actually the crest
of the Tokugawa clan, so the ruling clan of the 19th century.
This piece was made probably at about the same time as this ballroom.
Japanese works of art were finding their way into Europe
in huge quantities at that time. There was an enormous interest in Europe in things Japanese.
If you look up at the ceiling, you'll see one Japanese character. I spotted him before,
he's come straight out of The Mikado, but there was this interest in Japanese works of art
which brought these things to Europe. I guess this was made
almost certainly in Kyoto where I've seen them, even to this day,
-they do this inlay work.
-By hand, tapping in, so it's a jolly nice object.
So back to saying prayers, how much do you think it might fetch?
-I've got no idea, no idea.
-It's very difficult to say actually
because this market goes up and down, up and down
and with financial uncertainty and Japan being in quite a bad state,
I reckon that today this is probably worth somewhere in the region
-of let's say between £3,000 and £4,000.
Oh, I'll get that holiday booked!
So get out the joss sticks.
That's fantastic, thank you very much.
I can't tell you a lot about them. They actually belonged to my mother-in-law.
When I first looked at them, I didn't even realise they were mosaics.
So it was only because somebody had a magnifying glass that we realised
they were the mosaics that she kept referring to.
One or two are quite pretty but I have to say
-that this one in particular...
-You hate it?
-..I really don't like it at all.
-You would never wear it?
-No, absolutely not.
-No, what exactly do you dislike about it?
-It's so glittery.
-It is glittery, isn't it?
-And shiny and sparkly
-and I don't really like sparkly.
-No. It is very sparkly.
It's sparkly because there are little copper filings
imprisoned in a glass background.
They've come a long way to your mother-in-law, in the main from Italy.
They're the grandest tourist objects you could think of - they're souvenirs.
If you came to Blackpool
you might take away a paste brooch with a tower on it,
-if you went to Rome or Florence, you'd come back with a micro mosaic.
Everywhere you went, you'd be shown miraculous mosaics in the ceilings of Santa Maria Maggiore
in Rome or perhaps in Pompeii, and you wanted a little bit to bring back to smoky, smoggy old London.
As a souvenir, a very grand souvenir, mounted often in gold.
The miracle of these is that they're not made of stone,
but of glass, and glass is an extraordinary material, you can...
when it's viscous you can stretch it and stretch it, rather like toffee and then snap it,
and make tiny little tesserae,
which are a reference to hard stone mosaics but actually in this case, they're made of glass.
It may have helped to achieve this dazzling effect
because they could choose the colours, get the grading of the size
correct for the subject matter,
but they could also heat the tiny tesserae
in a furnace and to sort of... viscosity I think is the right word. Good word, isn't it,
viscosity? And then they fuse together. When they cool,
they grip one another with an atomic bond within the glass.
And so they're pretty durable. Here are some sort of bucolic scenes, aren't there?
There's a goat herd who's stopped,
perhaps sleeping out under the moon or something like that,
with his dog, and every nuance of his jacket is represented
with a different colour of tiny, tiny glass tesserae.
Those are the doves of Pliny from Hadrian's villa,
probably sold to somebody who had just seen them...
a Roman mosaic in a wall in a town covered with dust from Vesuvius
and then revived again. Terribly exciting stuff,
still is actually...
And some are of gold and very sophisticated at the back.
But anyway, ballpark figures, goodness, doves of Pliny...
maybe £200, £300, £400. Perhaps a more fully-blown one £600 to £800,
and an enormous one of gold with granulation making a reference to ancient techniques...?
Well, if somebody wants it...
and that's really the essence of it, isn't it? Do they these days?
I think so because of their quality, perhaps not to wear,
but for collectability, maybe £1,200.
Without a mount maybe again only £400 to £600. But I love them.
I think they're a great statement of the past.
-Thanks for bringing them.
Do you know I'm sure, initially as soon as people see this
on screen, they'll think, "Oh, that's a nice telescope."
And, of course, it's not a telescope, is it?
No, I've always had a passing interest in cameras and, of course,
being a Blackpool boy, I'm interested in anything that's made in Blackpool and a camera dealer approached me
about 15 years ago and said he'd found a camera made in Blackpool and was I interested?
-And this is that camera.
It's a wonderful little item, everything we need to know
about it is essentially written on a front plate.
It's made by the British Ferrotype Company.
-Now I know that it was made between around about 1905 and up to about 1915.
-We've got a number
of over 2,000 on here but I'm not sure exactly how many were made.
-I have to say, they don't turn up very, very often.
What we've got is something that takes a magazine of what we call ferrotype plates.
-You know what a ferrotype plate is, I'm sure.
-It's a small metal disc with light-sensitive emulsion on it.
That is inserted via the back section here, into a spring-loaded magazine.
We can then start to operate the camera.
We can have our subject in front here, we can essentially line them up through a very simple gun sight
on top there that you just look through and the person goes in front here and that's it.
Once you've lined them up, we use a vacuum-operated shutter,
which you haven't got here, a bulb shutter.
We take the photograph and as soon as it's taken, we basically push this.
-Which has jammed.
-Which has jammed, unfortunately.
The ferrotype plate drops down into the developing reservoirs
-in the bottom here, and within a minute, within a minute, we have a finished product.
Amazing, absolutely amazing.
Now, here's a finished product.
This is a tiny little ferrotype plate,
portrait of a young boy that may even have been taken on Blackpool sea front.
Now, of course, you paid for the little ferrotype plates
and, I suspect, given your little advertising case here,
you've got to pick the style of the little frame
that you can put it in, because I see that we've got a selection there
with some painted enamelled flags.
-And different gilt borders.
Around the time of the First World War, the young man
would have had his photograph taken and his wife or his girlfriend
would put it in a brooch and she would wear it with pride whilst he was away at the war.
What a lovely story...
In essence, that is a sweetheart brooch.
-A form of sweetheart brooch, and very poignant.
These don't come up for sale often, they're not something that turns up that frequently,
so putting a value on it is difficult, but I think the current auction value is going to be
around about £700 to £1,000.
Well, yes, I paid about two hundred quid for it.
Well, I think you did all right, 15 years ago, didn't you?
It's a wonderful object and again, it epitomises Blackpool in many ways.
-When I first saw this, I thought it looked Dutch.
So I was a bit surprised when, on the top of the drawers here I found
"Lancaster", absolutely local, and then on this side
-it says "Gillows".
So it's a very, very locally made piece.
It is, yes.
So this is something that you have bought, or inherited?
Yes, yes. I bought it, 40 or 50 years ago.
And where did you get it from?
Antique fair in Harrogate.
Right, and so why did you buy it?
Because I liked it.
That's a good answer. Well, what was it you liked about it?
It was Gillow, and Gillow to me was one of the best northern furniture makers
we had, without any doubt, he and his brother.
And the name of Gillows, these days, will really add value
-to a piece of furniture.
This is very handsome, it's a demi-lune shape,
wonderful mahogany, a good colour
and very smart with these box wood stringing.
-Yes, stringing, yes.
-And I would say this dates to around 1800, about that sort of time.
And Gillows only started to stamp their furniture right at the end of the century so this...
-perhaps relatively early piece of stamped Gillows furniture.
I do have to wonder about these handles which don't seem to me
-absolutely characteristic of Gillows.
-Perhaps you can... What do you think about the handles?
-Yes, I think the same.
-You think the same?
But there's also something on the inside which I'm not quite sure about, do you know what
-happened there or...?
-No, I don't.
-No? It's curious, I wonder if perhaps there was a...
-Maybe something spilt.
-Something spilt probably, a little bit of repair in there.
But I think it's interesting to see the inside
because it's two very simple shelves.
-The top shelf lovely polished mahogany.
The bottom shelf really quite crude.
And a smart piece of furniture which is in fact a bedside piece.
-And I like to think of this as the sort of en suite bathroom of the day.
So that at night, when you couldn't go into the bathroom
-or you had to trot down the corridor...
-..in the freezing cold,
-you had your potty in the bottom there.
-It's a potty cupboard, really, isn't it?
-It's a potty cupboard, it's a lavatory.
And I think a very, very handsome lavatory and a Gillows lavatory makes it even more worthwhile.
Now I dread to think what you paid for it 40 years ago.
-Well, I think about £600.
-So it was quite a lot of money then?
-Yes, it was, yes.
I think if you were to sell it now, you would be looking at around £2,000 to £2,500,
so it's gone up since you bought it,
but if one looks at inflation and all that kind of thing, it may not have gone up hugely.
-Yes, yes, no it hasn't, no, no.
-But I hope...
-do you have this by your bedside?
-Yes, by my bedside.
-Dare I ask?
-Do you have a...?
-No. No I haven't.
I love seeing pictures by artists I've never come across before.
-I see this is signed Bannerman down the bottom here.
-Do you know who he is?
Yes, I do. He is now dead but I knew him about 30 years ago, and we bought this in the 19...
in the mid 1970s. He lived in Cromarty in Scotland.
What I do know, I have one listing for him, living in Aberdeen in 1933 and exhibiting one picture,
and I also know that he studied in Paris and I think that's what a lot of the artists did in the,
you know, 20th century, went to Paris because of the Impressionists
and all the studios where they could study and come back.
-Do you know where this was painted?
-Yes, I believe it was painted
in about 1950 in the wardrobe of Sadlers Wells Theatre in London,
because Mr Bannerman, Charles Bannerman, lived in Islington at that time.
It looks '50's and there are little things in here like the light,
and they've put material over the top to direct light down here
so they're not going to strain their eyes sewing on all the sequins. It's a wonderful scene.
But what I find interesting
is that I've never come across his work, which makes me think
he was a teacher, or an illustrator, or did commercial work.
Do you know how he did make his living full time?
Well, I believe he was a graphic artist and I believe he designed the original for Rice Krispies.
What, "Snap, Crackle and Pop"?
Yes, so I believe.
Well that's fantastic. Well, we have to put a value on this
and I think you know really, looking at it... I said he's an artist
that's really never come up for sale before, but that doesn't matter
and that's what I love about this business, because you look at it, so what, the quality's there
and I think it's good enough to make somewhere in the region of £800 to £1,000.
My Scottish geography probably isn't brilliant, but Kilmarnock I think
-is sort of southwest of Glasgow, is that right?
-It is indeed, yes.
-Sounds like you're from that part of the world.
-I am originally from there.
So does that mean you've known this clock a long time?
I have known it all my life, I have, because it was my father's wedding present to my mother in 1939
and I was born in 1941 and grew up with this clock.
My father was very musical.
He had a lovely, lovely singing voice and he was very keen that I should learn to play the piano,
and he insisted I practise half an hour every night
from six o'clock till half past, and I used to practise the piano
with one eye on the clock and one eye on the music, practising...
As soon as it was at half past six, the lid went down on the piano and I said, "That's it!"
-This thing literally watched over you the whole time.
-Yeah, it did. It did.
And does it bring any other memories back, other than those of it watching over you?
Well, my mother was... she had hidey holes all over the house
for money and one of her hidey holes was inside the clock.
-Down in here?
-Have a look.
I'll tell you something, I bet there's a good few people out there
-who'd rather have had their money in the bottom of this than in offshore banking!
-I would think so.
So let's talk briefly about the Scottish clock-making industry.
I actually prefer the items from the east coast -
from Aberdeen, Montrose, Arbroath down to Edinburgh and Leith.
They tend to be very elegant clocks, long slender trunk doors to make them look really very handsome.
We come over to the west coast and they're a little big chunkier and this is...
-although you've got this lovely tapered case, it's quite a chunky clock, isn't it?
-It is. Yes, it is.
-What sort of date? Had you, had you thought about a date for it?
-Well, my father bought it in 1939
-but I think it's a little bit older than that.
-Oh, it is indeed, I think we could say 1850 give or take
-a few years in all honesty.
Quite austere, the plain, circular white-painted dial in this drum-head case.
As I say, the tapering's good, but we've got very heavy mouldings
-and a fairly heavy plinth, so very, very different from the east coast clocks.
Clocks lower down the range, mid range and lower,
has actually not done terribly well over the last year and a bit.
I hope you're not going to be too disappointed when I tell that if it went to auction, it wouldn't more
-than about £2,500.
-No, I'm very pleasantly surprised.
I really didn't think it would be as much as that.
The main thing is, you've got all those memories.
-And it still works.
-Just keep living with it and loving it.
Yes, I do. I love it, I do.
-Thank you very much.
You know I've never come across a miniature illuminated manuscript before.
And this is what this is.
It is absolutely fantastic.
It's late 17th, early 18th century,
and it's red leather
and it's got little acorns here in the corner
and these wonderful little flowers and garlands, too.
It is absolutely delightful.
And inside, inter folia fructus est, there is the most wonderful
illuminated with a coat of arms.
Now do you know anything about this coat of arms?
Well, I found out that the motto at the bottom -
"Foy Pour Debvoir"
-is apparently the motto of the Duke of Somerset.
And, also, I believe it may be related to the Seymour family, part of the coat of arms appears to be...
-This is Jane Seymour?
-Part of it, I believe.
Yes, it's lovely. And look at this wonderful... It's all...
-it's all on vellum.
-Which is a skin of course, and it looks
And if I turn the page, it changes again,
but what this page, I think,
shows better than possibly the page in gilt
is - "Heavenly Father Immortall God" -
-how tiny the handwriting is.
-It is very, very tiny.
-It's absolutely amazing.
And there are a whole 70 pages of this.
It is just absolutely incredible.
Now tell me about it, where did it come from?
-Well, it's been in the family for a few years now.
-It belonged to an elderly relation of my wife's
who died about eight or nine years ago, and her father
was one Canon Mackintosh, who was for some time vicar of Oldham
-we believe in the 1920s and 1930s.
We can only assume that somehow he had it in his possession...
-And here he is.
-..and it came down through the family.
-Yes. I wonder where he got it from?
-I wish I knew,
-Because it's much older than he is, obviously.
-Oh, yes, it is indeed.
-But I mean it really is quite incredible.
-Now what about value?
-Yeah, well, I wouldn't have a clue.
And you're going to say to me, "How would you know how much
-"its value is as you've never seen one before."
-That's a good point.
-I'm going to guess, that's what I'll do.
I wouldn't be surprised, if I went to a book fair or something like that,
I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't marked £2,500.
Shazzam! Kapow! Those are the words that you normally associate with Batman, and here he is.
Now I have to ask you, is he yours?
-It's my husband's.
-Right, OK, and was your husband a Batman fan?
I don't think he was. I think that's why he's in such decent condition.
You're absolutely right, he really can't have been a great Batman fan.
He is in just such superb condition. He's made out of lithographed tin plate, as you probably know.
Um, with a celluloid plastic head, but even his cape,
on the back, which normally gets really very badly damaged over time,
-is normally worn, so no, clearly not a Batman fan.
-No, probably not.
-He was made by a company called Nomura...
-..in Japan. They released him in 1966 to coincide with the fantastic TV series...
..which I think is one of the campest things to air on TV. I used to love watching those repeated.
-Um, he's battery powered and he walks and, as you probably know, his head lights up.
You have the box as well which is a really desirable feature. Box and model in mint condition like this...
He's a little bit worn at the top there, from probably sitting in his box but his condition is fantastic.
-Mm, yeah, mm.
-Prices vary widely.
1997 one sold at auction for £300.
-In America, they go up and down and fluctuate but they've sold for as much as 5,000.
-Oh, gosh, right.
I'm going to be a little bit more cautious than that, and say I think he's worth about £1,500 to £2,000.
Golly gosh! I'm absolutely stunned, that was his 7th birthday present.
This looks exactly the type of box that I would expect to find a nice bit of antique silver in.
You can imagine my surprise when I opened it and found a farmyard scene.
Er, do you use this?
Not recently. We have used it.
-And what do you use it for?
-It's salt, pepper and mustard.
And any particular occasion you might get it out for?
Not done that yet, but that's a good idea, we might do that one.
I was trying to work out what kind of birds they were. These are,
-I've seen before, the little chicks, I think are hens, normal farmyard hens.
Your mustard pot, on the other hand, appears to me to be
a quail or perhaps a partridge.
I'm no ornithologist but I... It's certainly not a hen
-and it looks like it might be quite good to eat.
You obviously know that that's a mustard pot, inside there you've got a little spoon,
a glass liner - which holds the mustard - which is probably the one that's been with it all its life.
-That is the original.
-That's the original one?
And inside the whole of the body it's been gilded,
-so that if any mustard should get stuck down the side, it won't do the silver harm.
It won't corrode the silver, because mustard's ferociously evil with silver, it eats it away.
This is all made by the same man.
is in fact marked on the base for London 1897,
and the maker's Sampson Mordan.
-He was probably the best of what we call the novelty silver makers...
..making animal forms in little snuff boxes and vesta cases,
though I've never seen this mustard pot before.
It's a very scarce model.
The pepper pots and salt shakers in the form of chicks are not uncommon, this is very uncommon.
I suspect that this was a set that was put together with which to eat quails' eggs.
The interesting thing about this that you might want to know is that because it's so unusual
and because there are collectors for mustard pots who would give their right arm for this quail,
if we can call it a quail, I think the whole set together
if you went into a retail shop and tried to buy it, would cost you somewhere in the order of £4,500.
Wow! That's a lot of money.
Er, yes, mm. That is astonishing.
Paul, you've been busy looking at other people's items today and giving valuations.
It's very unusual, you've brought along something of your own.
-Tell me about it.
-I grew up in the 1950s with "Watch With Mother"
-and of course this is Teddy from "Andy Pandy".
-This is Teddy from "Andy Pandy"!
I used to watch "Andy Pandy".
-So how did you come to own Ted?
-How do I come to have Teddy?
My mother was a puppeteer who worked for the BBC in the 1950s for the "Watch With Mother" series.
She did "Andy Pandy", she did "Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men", "Wooden Tops". That was her life.
It was also of course my early life, because it started in 1950
when I was five and there's always been this story that I was the model for Andy Pandy.
Was there? You've brought some photographs here. Let's have a look. So this...?
That's the group. I mean that's the famous characters.
-So, Andy Pandy, Bill and Ben.
Weed, Looby Loo.
-Loo and of course Teddy.
-And here he is.
-There was more than one of each puppet for all sorts of purposes.
-So Teddy had stunt doubles, did he?
Or maybe he is the stunt double. The point is all the others
from that sequence are in museums, this is the only one that ever escaped,
but it was given to my mother,
when the programme ended, by the producer.
-And this is your mother here?
-This is my mother here operating.
Now, in fact she always operated Andy Pandy.
Her friend, who isn't in the picture,
Molly Gibson, operated Teddy...
I think it was a spare Teddy or a Teddy that wasn't going anywhere else that came to her.
It must have been so exciting for you at five.
It was very exciting because it was television which was so new,
and sometimes I went to Alexandra Palace with her.
It was filmed live in those days, so it was happening in front of you,
and it was just part of my life, you know the way these things are.
And can you...? Can you work him?
I'm not the world's greatest puppeteer, I have to say, but, you know, he-he-he he does walk.
Oh, he's so sweet. He had a very special way of saying goodbye at the end of the programme didn't he?
You must forgive my terrible voice, but the programme ended with...
-# Andy is saying goodbye #
and they all sat there and waved.
ORIGINAL RECORDING: # Andy is waving goodbye
# Goodbye. #
For me, a painted portrait is not just about conveying information - a photograph can do that -
but it's about memorialising a time in life, and I find myself deeply drawn to this.
I mean I suppose we need to start with who is he?
Yes, actually me uncle called Michael Snowdon who sadly died six weeks ago. We think it was,
well, we know it was painted by a friend of his what lived in Stallingborough.
It's signed in the bottom corner.
Yes, er, and we think he just did it as a... you know, because they knew each other.
So this, in a sense, is a remnant
of a life, a life that was obviously quite close to you.
Oh, yes, yeah, yeah. Me and Steph are cousins, and he knew us both as our uncle.
And he actually, when he died he was 67.
We don't know how long ago this painting was painted
but we think it'd probably be about 50 years ago.
I mean rather like Elizabethan portraiture, I always think
one of the great tests of a very good image is how you can read extra dimensions in it,
and, of course, in this instance, it's a gift, is it not,
-because we have behind him all of this porcelain? And we have it here as well.
I'm no ceramic expert, but I've spoken to colleagues on the show
and this is jasperware, jasperware, Wedgwood,
which dates from the 1950s and '60s
-so pretty well about when this picture was painted.
It's not hugely valuable but it is, none the less, a wonderful accompaniment to the image.
So, I mean it's trying to tell you something, isn't it?
I mean for me, looking at this, here is a man who, or a young man,
who's a bit of a connoisseur, who has taste.
Who has interests beyond the normal, and then I find myself deeply drawn to his hand -
incidentally his beautifully painted hand -
and on it a ring, which is rather unusual because this is a portrait of what? The 1960s?
And he is wearing a ring in that sort of rather unusually flamboyant way.
It's full of rather sort of curious tricks this painting, isn't it?
He was a very artistic man, he was actually a flower arranger,
he had a shop in Howarth and he also was a musician.
He went to the Royal Academy of Music in London where he was a pianist. So he was very artistic, if you like.
And what I think is so clever about this painting is yes, sure, it says in a literal way with the ring
and the odd tricks around, that this is what this man's about,
but it's the expression as well. There's a feeling of...
a sensitivity, introspection, fragility.
We need to value this intriguing object, and...
Jackson, Ken Jackson, although dead, was a considerable force in portrait painting in the area...
-..and it needs to be taken seriously.
He's not that prominent, perhaps one day will become so, but I would comfortably value this picture
at £800, £900, possibly even £1,000.
-But of course its value is this memorial, is it not?
-Oh, it'll never be sold. I'd never sell it, no, no.
These lovely vintage clothes that a lot of people end up taking to a charity shop.
-Why did you keep them?
Well, I think it was mother who kept them and then, because I do tend to hoard things,
I just kept them in the box where they've been all this time.
Right. And this lovely early one here, lovely chiffon and lace.
Well, this one was bought
for her when she was 21 and it was to go to a Founders Day at a school
in Highgate in London,
and that's the group of older girls at the Founders Day.
-That's a very, very high stylish dress.
So this is 19...?
Absolutely perfect for that period. And then this dress here?
-That's 1934, that was a wedding dress...
..for a double wedding. At the time, it had a train and it had a big veil.
And beautiful simple silk, very highly stylish for the 1930s,
that wonderful colour which was so 1930s to be married in, and she was a very tiny lady.
She was. Well, I could never fit into it.
-My sister could never fit into it and I think I got dressed up in it when I was about ten.
And that was when it fitted.
-Now this is a fascinating one.
Well, this one was a copy
of the Duchess of Windsor's wedding dress in 1937,
which had this distinctive high neck, which this has got, and the little buttons.
What's fascinating to me about this is, when you think about it,
-Wallis Simpson was so reviled in some ways, wasn't she?
-I mean, you know she...
Because for the King to abdicate in those days...
I mean it was a tremendous thing and Wallis Simpson was really regarded very badly.
-I know, not popular.
-Not pop... except that women secretly really loved her style.
-Her fashion, you know, and also, in some ways it was like a dream, she managed to get the King.
-You know, she managed it and he gave up everything for love.
So there was something in that, that people felt...
-And also she said, "Two things in life - you had to be rich and thin".
-And this dress here, obviously 1940s.
-Yes, well it was about 1943.
Yes. Obviously they weren't using silk now because we're talking
about parachutes and everything else and the thing is,
-And that was...that was terribly fashionable at the time.
-And do you ever think about values of these?
-Not at all. I haven't any idea, no.
In a specialist vintage auction, you know you're certainly talking this one
-This one, again this beautiful silk,
the Wallis Simpson connection, I think again £200.
You know, in a special sale possibly a bit more.
And this one, although not the beautiful silk but very much rayon, the 1940s style
is very "in" at the moment, young people really love the 1940s,
and I could see somebody paying at least £200 for this. So you have a lovely collection here.
-And with all the photographs too, marvellous.
-Thank you very much.
The English excelled in the manufacture of duelling pistols and after about...
1770, when gentlemen stopped wearing swords, they then didn't have the means to settle their differences.
This is a long time before they got lawyers involved to settle things expensively, but less bloodily.
And so they went for pistols.
And then you start to see, from about the sort of 1770s onwards,
this development of these very, very high quality
flintlock pistols that are completely identical as a pair,
and they have one purpose and one purpose only.
I always call that "judicially sanctioned murder" because that's what it is.
It's amazing that in a country where the common law recognises
that if you kill somebody with intent, you are guilty of murder -
and in those days of course it was a capital offence -
that it allowed this practice.
Where did you get these from?
They're very, very interesting because they're very rare.
Well, I can remember them at home from being a child.
In fact I shouldn't say it but me and my brother used to play with them when we were about ten year old.
-Playing pirates I suppose?
Before that it was me father's and I think it was handed down to him from his father.
They do go back quite, quite a way I believe, yeah, but I've no proof of that though.
They date from about 1775 to 1780.
If you were going to buy a pair of duelling pistols to make sure
that you had the means to settle your differences
then if you had the money you'd get a Wogdon because he just built the very, very best,
and he was so famous that there was actually a poem written about him
and it started off with "Hail Wogdon,
"patron of that leaden death."
I can't think of any other gun maker who's actually been immortalised in verse.
And we can see his name on the top of the barrel there.
Simply writes "Wogdon, London" -
you needed no other advert for it.
They have this lovely ergonomically shaped hockey stick style butt
that just sits in the hand.
Yeah, it fits, yeah.
You really would have difficulty at 30 or so paces, missing with those.
And yet the statistics show that very few people were ever killed duelling.
Two, obviously one for each party, they're exactly the same,
and I think one of the greatest things about this set is the box, which is absolutely original.
Now it needs a bit of TLC I'm afraid - it's obviously had a hard life - but there's nothing
that a really good furniture restorer couldn't do to put that right.
-Have you thought about what they might be worth?
with the way you're talking about them, you seem quite pleased about them,
I'm thinking it might be a bit more than I thought.
probably, possibly £1,000.
Well, I think we need to do a bit of multiplication.
If these came on the market, in this state, they would make somewhere between £10,000 to £15,000.
They are an absolutely fantastically pair of pistols
by the greatest British maker, and they're just wonderful.
Well, this jewel-like iridescence to me is as good as a signature.
As we look at a fabulous example of a Royal Lancastrian vase by Pilkingtons.
How do you get to be such a wonderful, fortunate owner?
-Well, it's not actually mine.
Sadly. It belongs to my Godmother,
who inherited it from her mother, who worked
at the Royal Lancastrian pottery together with her husband.
And in 1925, or thereabouts,
the vase was given to her because, sadly, he died
just before the end of the war, literally days.
So this is a portrait of him?
-This is my Godmother's father.
What a wonderful piece and of course done at the factory itself.
Done at the factory, apparently during lunch break
and it was sketched, just from, you know, a scrap of paper and then somebody...
one of the tilers, or one of the painters decided
to turn it into a tile and fire it, and presented it to them.
How wonderful to have these two pieces that are so joined together,
and the face of a worker who was actually at the factory.
-And of course the factory was originally created for the manufacture of tiles.
It was pure chance. They were actually excavating and digging around the ground in Manchester
looking for coal seams when they stumbled upon a bed of clay, and from that arose the factory.
-Very quickly the company developed.
Now in 1906 the firm launched their art wares, their lustre art wares,
to huge acclaim and there were very, very significant artists there at that time from Gordon Forsyth...
-..Richard Joyce and of course the artist responsible for this.
If we look underneath, very clearly.
William Salter Mycock.
William Salter Mycock.
And it's a beautiful signature.
The signature is as artistically flourishing as the vase itself.
Yes, they're fascinating, aren't they? I don't know what it's supposed to look like but they're...
Well, it's just a very ornate and wonderful monogram.
Now in terms of lustre wares, this is just so typically Mycock's style.
He was known for flourishing birds and flowers
-and more scroll work.
-Each artist was basically allowed
to develop their own style, there were no tight restrictions, but what they did do
was produce just quality.
Now if this were to come up for sale today, I think you'd cause quite a stir.
You have maybe the tile that goes with it as well, maybe it's two separate lots,
but the history is all interlinked, but I think for just the vase alone,
I don't think you'd see much change at an auction room out of maybe £800 or £1,000.
Oh, she'll be very happy to hear that.
-Well, I can only hope that maybe you are the favoured Goddaughter.
-I'm the only one.
I'm always excited when a group of inanimate objects like this tells a story not only of your relations,
your grandfather in this case, but this takes us right back into
-the earliest years of motoring history.
-When was he born, your grandfather?
-In the 1860s in Northampton.
His father was a labourer but he managed to get
an apprenticeship, a poor boys apprenticeship.
They were a manufacturer of gas engines and he stayed there
until he joined Daimler cars in 1896.
1896, that's a very important date.
What you've got here is his original indenture.
-And it says, "here witnesses Alfred Bush at the age of 14, or thereabouts,
"a poor boy of the Parish"
blah, blah, blah and he's "apprenticed to Henry"...
looks like Hobbs or Mobbs, "in the town of Northampton, iron foundry".
As far as I know, he went to the machine shops and fitting shops
and learned the full craft, as they did in those days.
In 1896 he then moved to the newly formed motoring company, the first motoring company in the UK.
Yes, correct, yes.
-It was called Daimler but previously called "The Horseless Carriage"?
-The Horseless Carriage Company
which evolved into Daimlers.
He then got his motoring licence and you've still managed to retain that.
-And here's "the motor car act of 1903"
before 1905 you didn't need a licence, did you?
No, you just got into a car and that was it.
-And here is it dated 1st January, 1905, 1906 and 1907 so he had it for three years.
Why it's in a tatty condition is you had to take it with you the whole time.
You couldn't get into a motor car, or it was illegal, without your licence.
-And then moving on a few more years, he's now got his licence, 1905, so he can drive the Daimler.
And in that same year, the, I think it was the Prince of Wales bought his first car
in 1905 and it was a Daimler.
Yeah, and, well, actually my grandfather
had something to do with that. He did remember, recalled to my mother
that the Prince had a ride in the car, and when he got out of it, he said,
"The days of the horse are limited."
Now how he could imagine that
from one of those things, I do not know, but he was obviously a very far-sighted man.
It's a wonderful story of your granddad's motoring life
because he was obviously a marvellous driver because we have two trophies he won here.
-This one is for the... I think the Box Hill.
-Bexhill, I beg your pardon.
-Bexhill Trophy of, um, yes, 1905
and it was presented by Earl de la Warr.
And he also went to Brighton
and when they got down to Brighton they had trials along the front
and that was one of the races there.
Lots of history again.
lots of things to get early motoring enthusiasts over-excited.
Um, what you must do is write down the story and put it with it.
The whole archive should never be split up, it should be kept together.
If something like this ever did go to sale,
I think it could easily make between £12,000 and £15,000.
Good Lord! I wouldn't have thought that much, because I wouldn't have thought.
Well, no, I would have thought a bit more than the scrap value but...
A lot more than scrap value, you're talking...
the history of the motor car here.
Now I'm sure my two sons would not mind me saying
that when they were small and came to Blackpool, they went to the Pleasure Beach
and they were convinced that was the place you went to when you died.
I'm mentioning this more as a way of an introduction,
because you are a director of that wonderful institution which I'm glad to say is alive and well, yes?
-Absolutely, Eric. I the finest form, thank you.
Now you have brought along a few items today from your archive.
The archive goes back 113 years since the Pleasure Beach first started at South Shore in Blackpool.
But these are from our Ice Show of 1938, Dashing Blades. It was the second show in the ice drome.
The first was called Marina, but during that run
our managing director then, saw the show Checkmate in the West End, Sadlers Wells.
He met the designer of the set and the costumes and was so inspired
by his work that he asked him to come to the Pleasure Beach
and do our costumes, our sets, and indeed our programme for 1938
and these are examples of that design work.
And that designer's name was?
Edward McKnight Kelfman... Kauffer.
Exactly, Edward McKnight Kauffer.
It's interesting because he's a big name.
He is a big name in poster design, certainly in that period,
-because he was designing for Shell.
let's have a look at his work because we'll start off
with this design, because we've actually got here the end result.
And these girls, you know, the chorus line if you will.
I'm full of admiration for these girls, because
-not only could they dance, but they could dance on ice as well.
Um, so that's, that's one that I particularly like, but I do...
I do also like this. The fascinating thing,
there's all sort of influences there and I mean Picasso is one,
and on top of that, you know, there's sort of elements of sort of Russian constructivism.
But without making this too much of an art lesson, the overall effect is quite, quite dramatic.
But he's happy in that idiom,
but he's also doing this sort of thing as well.
So he can turn his hands to sort of classical costume.
-So how many...? How many in the archive? That's what I'd like to know.
-We have 18 of these,
-but the archive of course is enormous.
-Well, I mean these things,
they just do not turn up, you know, on the art scene.
They don't turn up at auction to the best of my knowledge anyway,
-so it's a bit of a stab in the dark...
..when it comes to putting a value on what you've got there but I wouldn't hesitate to say between
-£6,000 maybe £7,000.
you know, to be honest with you, the proof of the pudding
would only be in the selling, but that is a situation
-that's never going to occur.
-I don't think so.
-Thank you, Eric, very much indeed.
-So, really a very unusual subject - the Crucifixion on the back of a watch.
-Are you a very religious man, or not?
-Not particularly, no.
-So what is it
that appeals to you about this watch?
It's been in the family for a number of years.
It belongs to my son.
His grandfather left it to him, who...
it was given to him by his father,
-so it's been in the family for quite a few generations.
Well, as I say, it's a very, very unusual scene on a watch
and just looking at it, I see we've got
a very intriguing inscription all around the band here,
in Latin, and I notice you've got a little translation there.
-What exactly does it say?
"Stay awake because you do not know
"the day or the hour".
-Well, very intriguing, eh?
And this is even more intriguing.
Open the back and of course it's a silver watch, we've got the cuvette signed by a maker called Ratel -
R-A-T-E-L - with an address
in Paris and underneath it says "horloger" to the Pope.
Well, I don't know this man and I have never ever
-seen a watch before signed watchmaker to the Pope.
The watch itself is...
Well, there it is...
It is a keyless winding Swiss movement,
-fairly late, the latter part of the 19th century.
As I say, very intriguing inscription,
a very intriguing back and... wow, look at that dial!
I've never seen anything like that before on a watch.
I believe all the numerals are the Stations of the Cross.
-The hand is the spear,
I think there's a sponge and nails on the other hand.
There is. There's a hammer, the nails,
where Christ was nailed to the Cross.
It is absolutely incredible.
The enamel is mint, it's perfect.
I see we've got two different things. We've got
sort of things in red around there and then there's an arrow
in that six o'clock position that drops us down to the outer ring,
-which you say are the Stations of the Cross.
-It's all enamelled
obviously in French, and then we've got the maker's name Ratel
within that basically Crown of Thorns in the centre.
Just suffice to say
it's very, very scarce and a very difficult one to price up.
I'm going to have a little guess.
It's so unusual. Those inscriptions on the dial
-and the hands particularly are just superb quality.
So I'm going to suggest something between £3,000 and £4,000.
-Oh, very nice.
-Are you happy with that?
-I am indeed very happy.
It's a nice thing to be handed down. I think it's great
-and I'm sure you'll continue to do so.
Well, we've had a lot of things on the Antiques Roadshow and I think we even once had John Lennon's toilet,
but what made you think of bringing this toilet seat in today?
Because it came from
the old Conservative Club on Victoria Street,
and it's part of Blackpool's history,
and that was in the Conservative Club
when the Conservative Party Conferences were here.
When the conference ended it was like a herd of wildebeests getting to the club first, all the MPs running.
-To get on this?
-To get on that. The Prime Minister had the edge on them.
-Was he a faster runner?
-He would have to have been.
But the thing is, the nice thing is, it's even got its date here - 1899.
Now this was a nice early thing, that the Blackpool Conservative Club
were absolutely right at the forefront...
-..because flush toilets were quite new, so this was quite...
That's probably why they ran as well, because to see it,
you know, it was a very nice thing.
-And the whole thing about this is the lovely piece of,
-as you say, social history.
And you really do wonder, not to put too fine a point on it, who sat here?
I wonder. I think they should have had a visitor's book
-and signed it.
-Now, you know, do we think Winston sat on this with his cigar?
-I think so.
-I think so, too.
Debating whether to put income tax up perhaps.
Well, it's fantastic and I love it.
-So when this was knocked down they took...?
-They took it to another club
and it was pushed in the cellar and they didn't sort of value its worth
and one day the Chairman knocked his ankle on it
and he said, "Get rid of that so-and-so thing!" I said, "Can I have it?"
And he said, "Well, yeah, if you want it."
And I didn't even have a bag, I walked through the streets carrying it home.
-So you're quite attached to this seat?
-Oh, yes. Oh, yes. Yes, I am.
What's it worth? Do you have any idea what it's worth?
Monetary value I would think, nothing.
But novelty, entertainment, certainly historical
I think it's, I think it's fabulous.
Isn't it marvellous? I mean, here we are, this wonderful setting
of the Blackpool Tower, and here we've got the Blackpool Tower.
So what's your actual connection with this amazing object?
I'm lucky enough to be the General Manager of the tower.
I've been here for six years now
and we're custodians of the model and of the building,
-hopefully for many years to come.
This inscription down here,
"This was presented to John Bickerstaffe" now who was he?
John Bickerstaffe was the Mayor of Blackpool in the 1800s
and he went to Paris and saw the Eiffel Tower and said, "We want one of those for Blackpool."
In actual fact they built a tower that is 518 feet 9 inches
to the top of the tower, but at the bottom,
being very clever Victorians, decided to build an entertainment complex.
-To make a bit of money.
-To make a bit of money.
-And so 1898 is actually when the tower was opened?
It was... We were opened in 1894
-but this was actually presented to Mr Bickerstaffe in 1898.
That's interesting, because the hallmarks there
are for Sheffield and it's the firm
of John Round, a very famous Sheffield firm,
and they're actually 1897,
so we're that year earlier with the inscription.
What I think's lovely though, when we look at the fantastic detail
of this, right down to what was actually happening
in each section. "Billiards, cafe, restaurant"
then we've got "the circus, pavilion concerts, dancing,
and "variety shows". Now there's what appears to be
tarnish over here. What's actually happened, at some stage, perhaps 20, 30 years ago,
this was all lacquered and I can perfectly understand, I mean this is a cleaning nightmare,
-this is the cleaning job from hell.
-I realise that.
And clearly they decided it was a very good idea
to have the whole thing, basically a nail varnish type lacquer.
But after 10, 15 years it begins to deteriorate
and that's what's happened there. Getting to the stage where it really needs
looking at again. The detail coming up here though
is absolutely fantastic, all the mouldings and so on.
And I love the fact that we've actually got
lifts going up and down. It looks as though those must have worked at some stage.
I believe they did.
-We wouldn't like to try them now.
-Wouldn't do it any good.
And then up to this very famous top.
It's interesting as well because with this we can actually see how it's constructed
and we've got all these nuts and bolts underneath
and all the pins and so on. It's a bit of a Meccano set when you...
That was my thoughts entirely, yes.
So, have you ever had it valued?
It has been appraised by Arthur Negus, believe it or not,
on Antiques Roadshow many years ago but he didn't put a valuation on it.
-Oh, he chickened out.
-I wonder whether you're a little braver?
I'm going to be brave.
Now is it known at all what it cost originally?
-It actually cost £120.
-Do we know what it weighs?
700 ounces of silver.
700 ounces today, just the raw material's going to cost £7,000...
that's before you've started doing any work on it at all.
I would be very surprised, if you asked for it to be made again,
if you were asked anything less than £100,000 to have it made.
I mean it is such an amazing thing and one thing you can be certain of, you know,
You know, coming along to the Roadshow, for some people it can be a life-changing event.
Dorothy, it's fair to say it was a life-changing event for you,
because you were on the Roadshow five years ago in Manchester.
-It was, at Longsight Baths.
-Where I met Ian Pickford.
-Ian Pickford, our expert.
-Who valued one of your items.
-He told you it was worth about £2,000 or something.
And what did you do with it?
Well, Ian asked what I was going to do with the item and I said "I'm going to sell it
"and I'm going to donate the money to the St James' University Hospital in Leeds, known as Jimmy's,
"to the liver transplant unit where I had a transplant."
-You had a transplant there yourself, didn't you?
-And ever since then...
That just came into your head at that moment and since then you've been fund raising for the hospital.
I have. With good friends behind me, yes.
Very good to see, lovely to see you on the programme.
-Lovely to see you too.
-And very nice of you to come back.
Thank you, not just to Dorothy, but to all the people who've come from Blackpool.
We've had a wonderful day, I hope you've enjoyed it. Until next time, bye-bye.
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