Oxford 2 Antiques Roadshow


Oxford 2

Fiona Bruce and the team return with a second helping from a recent visit to Hertford College, Oxford.


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We've visited some stunning locations over the last 18 months,

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but one that stood out particularly for me was Hertford College, Oxford,

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a place where I spent four very happy years as a student.

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We found enough wonderful finds there to have plenty for two shows,

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so tonight I bring you Hertford College take two.

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Oxford's home to the Morris Minor, the four-minute mile and the oldest

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English-speaking university in the world,

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and for me, it's a trip down memory lane.

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For four years I studied languages at Hertford College,

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which appeared as a hall of residence in the 13th century,

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along with Oxford's oldest colleges.

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Now there are 39, with 20,000 students,

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who have more libraries at their page-turning

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fingertips than any other city in the UK, over a hundred.

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The most famous is the Bodleian,

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which stores around eight million books on 120 miles of shelving.

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Who could be in Oxford without

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spending some time on the river? I used to love it.

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This was the scene that inspired Lewis Carroll's

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Alice Through The Looking Glass.

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With views like this, small wonder that Oxford sparked the imagination

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of many of its former students.

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They've written about the adventures of hobbits, Chronicles Of Narnia.

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They in turn spawned a movie and TV industry

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from The Golden Compass and Harry Potter to James Bond and Brideshead Revisited,

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which was filmed at my old home, Hertford College, where I was a student

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during the '80s and this quad and the rooms around it were the setting

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and inspiration for the author, Hertford old boy Evelyn Waugh.

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Today the people of Oxford have made their way to here by

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all sorts of cars, bikes,

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possibly boats, to join our slow and snaking trains to the experts.

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We welcome them all to the Antiques Roadshow.

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There's something worryingly odd about these dishes,

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and while I try and work out what it is, tell me where you got them from.

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These were bought recently at a car boot sale in Northumbria,

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and they were £5 each.

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Well, what do you think you bought? Have you any idea?

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I'm not sure. They stood out because of their size and because of the colours in them,

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but I don't know much about them at all.

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What we have here are Delft dishes, and Delft dishes shouldn't look like this.

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It's the rims that are so extraordinary, and looking round,

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feeling the edge of this dish, there's barely a blemish on it.

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-It's not chipped and broken.

-No.

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Delft is a very soft pottery, made to look like the Chinese porcelain, but

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copied in Holland, copied in England with a thick tin glaze.

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And that chips off and breaks very easily and so this should have chips

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all the way round there, but it actually looks

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-remarkably clean and new.

-Yes.

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And so when you see these things at car boot sales,

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-the tendency is to assume they can't be that old.

-No.

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But it's fine, there's nothing wrong with it, it's just survived in remarkably good condition.

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This dish was made in London. It was made in about...1780s.

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-Right, gosh.

-So back in the 18th century.

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And it looks brand-new, doesn't it? It looks extraordinary.

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A pretend Chinaman, he's not really a Chinaman, he's a Lambeth Chinaman.

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That's where he was made, and he's sitting in a Chinese-style

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landscape but painted in the bold colours of London Delft.

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This very bright red. And the use of the blue with these little scratched-in lines,

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such a typical feature, especially of the Lambeth Delft ware.

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-Yes.

-So not just one for £5 but another one, also £5.

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-Yes, also £5.

-And another...

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-Well, this is a little bit more convincing I suppose, because you've got one chip there.

-Yes.

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-That's not bad, is it?

-No, I think they're beautiful.

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I don't mind the chips at all, I think it adds a bit to them.

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It shows their age a little bit more.

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That's a nice design, there's a bird flying there.

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A rather comical bird.

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The influence here is Chinese

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porcelain from the early 18th century,

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and that's what this was imitating.

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This one, I say this one I don't think is a Lambeth one,

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-I think this looks more Bristol.

-Bristol, right.

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Delft was made in many places, and it's hard to say just where

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but this is even older.

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-Oh, right.

-This one is from 1740.

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-Oh, my gosh.

-So.

-I didn't realise at all.

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And you've got some lovely dishes for £5 each.

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I must find out where this boot sale is!

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I mean, they're worth more than that.

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That one is worth £300...£400.

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Right, gosh, that's a good return, yes.

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And this one, older, even more, say £500, £600.

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Oh, that's brilliant.

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I'm really pleased.

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So keep hunting for more.

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Oh, I will do. Thank you.

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It strikes me that you could well be a collector of Art Deco bronzes.

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-Would I be right?

-No, I'm afraid not, no. They came from my nan.

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She used to keep them in a cabinet and then when she died,

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my aunt had all the china and my mum just had these three figurines.

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-Did she? That could have been quite a wise move.

-Oh, really?

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But from...from the point of view of sculptor, let me just say

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that from a hundred yards I recognise these as being by a man called Josef Lorenzl,

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-and he was quite prolific.

-Yes.

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And he did bronzes of all sizes. These are relatively small for Josef.

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I always refer to him as Legs Lorenzl because his girls have got such

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fabulous long legs, but looking at them, they're pure sort of 1925.

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When I say Art Deco, these

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girls belong to that, an age of keeping fit above anything else.

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If you think about the Edwardian age, quite stuffy, and then the 1920s

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arrived and everybody wants to keep young and beautiful, and

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what I find endearing about Lorenzl, he's a good starter sculptor.

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In other words, he's not overly expensive, because Art Deco figurines

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-can fetch quite often huge amounts.

-Yes.

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So, just looking at, say, this little figurine with a girl in the centre,

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there is a signature, but it's very, very small, and all it actually says

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is L-O-R, because there wasn't enough room to put the rest on there.

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To be honest with you, you

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really don't need a signature because his style is so distinctive.

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Value? OK, your small little figurine,

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she's going to be worth in the region of around about £300 to £400.

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Maybe a little bit more on a good day.

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This lady over here, who's a little bit larger,

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is going to be worth £400 to £600.

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Oh, goodness, yes.

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And this girl over here who's obviously not shy, with her arms

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raised in gay abandon, you might say, she's going to be worth in the region

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-of £500 to £700.

-Oh, goodness me.

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Now I think it's safe to say, your mother almost certainly came off best

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by leaving the crockery and taking these three ladies in Oxford.

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She did. Thank you.

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So what is this Oxfam walk business?

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Well, I was 16 years old.

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-Yeah.

-A mere 40 years ago.

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You mustn't tell everybody.

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And went on the first charity walk

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for Oxfam, and at the same time my father was

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filming at Pinewood Studios, a film called Anne Of A Thousand Days.

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My father was director of photography on the film, Arthur Ibbotson.

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And he took my sponsor form in and he asked the technicians to fill

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it in, and then lo and behold he came home with

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Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor having filled it in.

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There it is, Richard Burton.

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And then further down, he also managed to persuade Richard Harris.

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Oh, is that Richard Harris? Good heavens!

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So he sponsored me as well, and then

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after the walk I had to go and collect this sponsor money and...

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-Burton and Liz owe Julie £28.

-In the local Watford Observer.

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That was an awful lot of money really, wasn't it?

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It was. The total was about £140 in the end, a lot of money in those days.

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-Good heavens.

-And then, yes, I went and got my money

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from Mr Burton, who very kindly posed for a photograph and signed,

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"To Julie with best wishes, despite your blisters, Richard Burton."

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Which were significant.

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I reckon that would sell for about between £150 and £200.

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But I also found, in your collection, this, of the Beatles, signed.

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Now, how did you get that?

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Well, my father's cameraman at the time was working on the Beatles film.

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-Yes.

-I think it was A Hard Day's Night.

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We went to watch him filming at one of the London theatres, the Beatles actually performing,

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so we met them, my sister and I, and they very kindly signed a postcard.

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But I was much younger then, I was only about 12 or 13 then,

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and yes, we came away with...

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So you actually saw them sign it?

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Yes, and it was signed, "To Julie, love from the Beatles",

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so I feel very honoured that it's actually personalised.

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I think that's splendid,

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and it's got to be somewhere in the region of £2,000.

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-Gosh.

-That's better.

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Well, it's in our family so it's a bit of heritage from my dad.

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Twenty years ago, I worked for Minton in Stoke on Trent and at that point

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I did a lot of work around their history, and therefore I know this

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is a Minton figure, and although I've never seen that particular

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model, I saw it in a pattern book and didn't actually know it existed.

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It was modelled by a chap called Richard Bradbury,

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probably in the 1930s,

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but clearly all this seems to relate to it.

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-Yes.

-Help me, help me get there.

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My grandmother and grandfather worked for Minton.

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My grandfather used to do a lot of work for the bosses at Minton

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and they knew he'd got a little girl of about three or four, and they needed a model.

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-Right.

-And they asked if she would model for it, which she did,

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and she was given this suit and also the figure, for doing the modelling.

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-So this is your mother?

-That's my mother, yes.

-Good heavens. It's a wonderful story

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because one sees the finished product often, I'm familiar with things like this,

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and it never occurs to you that there was a human start.

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I just think the modeller sits there, works away, does what he does.

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But to actually say, "Well, I need a four-year-old child, who's got one?

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"That'll do, come here, get these clothes on, stand still and off I go,"

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I think that's wonderful. Has it been worn since?

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It's been worn by myself and also my three children.

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-Now do we have any evidence of that?

-Yes.

-There's a picture

-of me, unfortunately.

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Unfortunately? You look wonderful.

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I was probably... A little bit older than her there.

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-So this is Butlins?

-Yes.

-So you were in the dressing-up competition?

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-Yes.

-Did you win?

-I can't remember.

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-You probably had the best costume of anybody there.

-Well, probably.

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-The only professionally-made costume. You were that jester.

-Yes.

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Right, I think it's a lovely story because it really fills out the background to how figures were made.

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A figure like that by Bradbury is still going to be £250-£300.

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What's the costume worth? It's priceless - it's the whole story.

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-Yes, yes.

-It just brings your family to life in a wonderful way.

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-Yes.

-Thank you.

-Thank you very much.

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So tell me, is this a family member?

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No, no,

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I saw it at an antiques

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centre about three years ago and I just fell in love with him.

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He had such a lovely face.

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Your eyes met across a crowded room.

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Yes, yes. His sort of friendly, laughing eyes.

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When you took him home, was he framed like this?

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No. When we bought it, it did have a very narrow stainless-steel surround.

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It was about an inch wide, but it just didn't do justice

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to the painting at all so we had it reframed and then we noticed

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that on the back there was a compliment slip.

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From Fort Dunlop,

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so I did a bit of investigation work on the internet and came up and

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found that it was actually John Dunlop, who invented the tyres.

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-I was quite pleased really.

-Absolutely.

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To find that there was, you know, he was somebody, not just a Victorian

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old gentleman, as it had on the ticket in the antique centre.

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Well, of course, John Dunlop invented, as you say, the pneumatic

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tyre, which was patented in 1888, and is really, I suppose, one of

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the most important people in the automotive industry.

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And he was obviously a very nice chap.

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-Yes.

-And it's lovely to have a picture like this,

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and in retirement he went to Ireland.

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We know from a date point of view

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that this was painted there, because by 1907 he was in Northern Ireland.

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But the artist's name is a chap called Lafayette.

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Lafayette is actually the pseudonym

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of an Irish artist called John Scott Lauder.

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So it is an Irish picture painted in Northern Ireland in his retirement

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as a wealthy old man.

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I would imagine that a picture like this at auction,

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without being able to think of a great institution or

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a big automotive company to sell it to, would make just

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you know mid to high hundreds, so still a jolly good turn on your £80.

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-Yes, yes.

-But I think if one could find an automotive institution that

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would like a portrait of somebody as great as he was, I think you might

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find it would make even more.

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Yes, well, we shan't be parting with him, I don't think.

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-I think he's quite happy with us.

-Yeah, I'm sure he is.

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So you've been on the bottle, I see.

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-Mm, looks like it.

-They're a little older than that.

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-A little older than me.

-Tell me how you got hold of them.

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They were given to me as a gift. I did some work for an antique dealer.

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I was a collector of bottles early in the days, and I bought from him

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and he was very pleased with all the work.

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He said "Here's a very special present for you, look after them.

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"I think you'll find them quite valuable at the end of the day."

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And I managed to get them out of the attic last night after 25 years.

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The wine bottle is a particular collecting area.

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It evokes wine history and the people who

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collect them tend to be wine lovers, and these date from a similar period.

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You can date wine bottles quite easily through the progression of their shape.

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This cylinder shape came in in about 1780.

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It was one of the great breakthroughs in packaging history.

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You know, the Tetra Brik that we get our milk from.

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I mean that's an important breakthrough in packaging history.

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but this bottle has effectively remained the same.

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It's been stretched a little and it's the modern Bordeaux bottle.

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Go into any wine merchant and you'll

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find bottles of this shape. What's amazing about it,

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that differentiated it from its predecessors

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is that you could lay it down.

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-Right.

-Every bottle before that,

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-you'd have to tilt it or stand it upright.

-Right.

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Because it's a cylinder shape, you could lay down your wine,

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and that still remains with us today.

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-Yes.

-So in a way, this is the perfect bottle. It's never

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been bettered, and most of these date from the late 18th century.

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-There's one that's different.

-Right.

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All of these are made in a dip mould.

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You dipped the glass into a mould, you blew

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into a baked bean tin, a glorified baked bean tin,

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and you pulled it out and you've got your shape.

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At the top of this bottle, there is a slight ridge around there,

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-which is the top of the mould.

-Yes.

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You can see it, it's plainly there.

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The one that's different here is this one.

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Now that has some lettering on it and it says "patent".

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Oh, really? Yes. I noticed that.

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And it says "Ricketts patent" and in 1821 Ricketts of Bristol,

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bottle works in Bristol, invented a machine

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which got rid of the hand-made element of bottle making.

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-Yes.

-That was the next breakthrough. So we had the most important bottle

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in glass making - in wine history, really, here,

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bettered by this breakthrough here.

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The seals are interesting in that they link to owners.

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I've been told that some of these are Oxford college bottles.

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I can definitely say to you, they definitely are Oxford University,

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but I don't know which college.

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This boosts their value. You'd need an Oxford historian to tell you what they are.

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We're talking probably £100 each for them. The one that is actually

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worth a bit more is the Ricketts one, because it is quite unusual to have

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the full patent on the shoulder and beneath it, and so we're

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-talking about £200 for that one.

-Isn't it interesting?

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But what you've got here is a little time capsule in bottle-making history

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-and as a bottle collector, you're on the button, it's great.

-Well done, that's really nice.

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So this is the catalogue description of it. So the estimate was £400 to £500. Which price did you pay?

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Seven fifty. Was that too much?

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Well, we'll see.

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Now we know clearly what it is, anyway. A Dieppe ivory mirror.

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Dieppe is a natural harbour on the north coast of France,

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not that far from Le Havre on the entrance to the Seine.

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So you've got all the ships coming from the French East Indies and the West Indies,

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all coming back towards Paris, bringing their wares in,

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and this school of carving started in Dieppe.

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It is a fantastic part of social history of France,

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started carving in the 17th century.

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This very definitely is ivory.

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Is it? I thought some of it might be bone.

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Well, you do see bone, and

0:18:440:18:47

rather unfortunately, historically, they did use human bone sometimes.

0:18:470:18:51

Oh, did they? Oh, right, yes.

0:18:510:18:53

But the Dieppe School still

0:18:530:18:55

flourishes, and in the 19th century, I think this is when this was made.

0:18:550:18:59

-So have you got the missing lion from here?

-No, I've never had it.

0:18:590:19:03

-Does he come out?

-He does come out, usually.

0:19:030:19:06

Stuck in, oh, right.

0:19:060:19:08

Well, I think that if I was keeping this, which you

0:19:080:19:12

clearly are, and treasuring it, I would get that remade.

0:19:120:19:15

I don't think it would be difficult to get done in Dieppe.

0:19:150:19:18

-In Dieppe? Oh, right.

-As far as I'm aware, it's still going,

0:19:180:19:21

the school of carving there, for 300 years or more,

0:19:210:19:24

and I'm pretty sure you can either send it, or why not take a boat trip?

0:19:240:19:28

-Why not? Yes, I'll do that.

-And have a little holiday in Dieppe and see if you can get someone to do it.

0:19:280:19:33

So you bought it in the '70s for that ringed price of £750?

0:19:330:19:37

Yes.

0:19:370:19:39

What would you pay for it today?

0:19:390:19:41

Well, I doubt I'd buy it today.

0:19:410:19:43

-That's an interesting point. You don't like it?

-Yes, I do like it, but it's just...

0:19:430:19:47

It wouldn't be on my list of priorities.

0:19:470:19:49

It wouldn't... OK. Well, if you sold it today,

0:19:490:19:53

I think you would expect to sell it, at auction,

0:19:530:19:57

for between about £2,000 and £2,500, something like that.

0:19:570:20:01

-Yes, yes, that's very nice, isn't it?

-With or without your lion.

0:20:010:20:04

Yes, so I'll have the lion made just to complete the picture.

0:20:040:20:07

-I think so, yeah.

-Thank you very much.

0:20:070:20:09

-It's a wacky piece of furniture...

-Wacky, yes, yes, it's wacky.

0:20:090:20:13

I've been given two items made by a rather interesting designer,

0:20:150:20:18

so I'm off to see our ceramic experts, to see what they make of them.

0:20:180:20:22

-Hello, you two.

-Hello.

0:20:220:20:23

-I've got two things for you to look at.

-Oh, yes.

0:20:230:20:26

Now what do you make of these?

0:20:260:20:28

Ooh, well, er, I like blue and white for a start-off.

0:20:300:20:34

They're not very old.

0:20:340:20:36

-I don't know what, what you know.

-OK.

0:20:360:20:39

-Oh, that.

-That is.

-Well, it's not.

-Well, the shape is.

0:20:390:20:42

The shape is, it's 17th century

0:20:420:20:44

-blanc de Chine from China.

-Right, but what do you think about the...

0:20:440:20:47

-The decoration is modern, he's imitating transfer printing.

-Yeah.

0:20:470:20:54

-By hand painting.

-But that shape...

0:20:540:20:56

Strange thing to do, bought-in blank.

0:20:560:20:58

That shape is actually...

0:20:580:21:00

I know that shape is in the Ashmolean, round the corner from here and it's...

0:21:000:21:04

-because Worcester used it.

-Yeah.

0:21:040:21:06

Worcester used it ...You're almost on the right track...

0:21:060:21:09

these are in fact done by an esteemed colleague of yours.

0:21:090:21:13

-Ah, yes.

-Really?

-We don't have any esteemed colleagues.

0:21:130:21:17

Ah, now you're talking about yourself!

0:21:170:21:19

I'm going to go and talk to him to find out a little bit more about them.

0:21:190:21:22

Gentlemen, thank you very much.

0:21:220:21:23

OK, thank you.

0:21:230:21:26

It must be pretty daunting living with a hundred or so faces of

0:21:260:21:31

eminent Victorians looking down upon you every day.

0:21:310:21:34

Um, I've got used to it.

0:21:340:21:37

-My mother couldn't stand it.

-Could she not?

-No, no.

-So was it your mother's?

0:21:370:21:41

No, it belonged to my grandfather, her father actually.

0:21:410:21:44

How did he come by it?

0:21:440:21:45

He bought it for two and six when they were clearing out the Jockey Club, pre-war.

0:21:450:21:49

Did he buy it because he liked it?

0:21:490:21:51

No, he actually bought it for the glass to make a cold frame with.

0:21:510:21:53

He bought it for the glass, so where's the glass now?

0:21:530:21:56

-I broke it on the way here, put my knee through it.

-Nice timing.

0:21:560:22:00

Let's talk about the image though, because it represents all the eminent members of the Jockey Club

0:22:000:22:06

and the date is written at the bottom, 1878.

0:22:060:22:09

But it's not just faces of the members.

0:22:090:22:12

Around this roundel in the middle

0:22:120:22:15

are what look like genuine watercolours of scenes of racing...

0:22:150:22:20

-Have you had a good look at those?

-Yes, yes.

0:22:200:22:22

They're done in watercolour and gouache.

0:22:220:22:24

Watercolour being transparent, gouache being the rather more obvious whitey, flaky bits on top

0:22:240:22:29

and they're signed by John Sturges

0:22:290:22:31

who was a reasonably eminent horse painter, often illustrated

0:22:310:22:36

in the magazines of the day.

0:22:360:22:37

So you've got an amalgam here of art and photography.

0:22:370:22:42

About this time photography was taking over, so in a sense it's

0:22:420:22:45

a rather poignant reminder of just where art was going, it's being pushed out on the edges.

0:22:450:22:51

But the interesting thing is that, although photography could capture

0:22:510:22:55

people and could photograph horses, art had yet to realise that horses

0:22:550:23:01

don't look like rocking horses when they ride like that,

0:23:010:23:06

and it's an interesting sort of transitional point.

0:23:060:23:10

Imagine how difficult it would have been for this photographer to have gone round,

0:23:100:23:14

photographed all of these, worked out the head shots, worked out who to have in profile,

0:23:140:23:18

worked out who are the key guys in the middle...

0:23:180:23:20

it was really quite a piece of craft, so, although photography

0:23:200:23:24

in some senses is seen as a lesser art form, this is a real virtuoso

0:23:240:23:28

example of the medium.

0:23:280:23:31

So, he bought it for two and six.

0:23:310:23:33

12½p.

0:23:330:23:36

So what do you think it's worth now?

0:23:360:23:38

No idea whatsoever.

0:23:380:23:40

Well, I would be comfortable valuing it around about £3,000.

0:23:400:23:46

-More than 12½ p, isn't it? That's a good investment.

-Good investment.

0:23:460:23:51

Well, I take one look at this and there's only one continent you can possibly think of,

0:23:520:23:57

and that's Africa and here we are just getting ready to, you know, do the recording,

0:23:570:24:01

and I have to confess I've no idea what it's called, and then who should appear

0:24:010:24:05

-but this gentleman here.

-Who I have no idea who he is,

0:24:050:24:08

-but he's come to see this.

-Roadshows can be a bit like that.

0:24:080:24:12

Because he tells me...

0:24:120:24:13

you've seen it in Rhodesia.

0:24:130:24:15

I was born and bred

0:24:150:24:17

in Rhodesia which is now Zimbabwe and that is the African mbira, M-B-I-R-A,

0:24:190:24:26

which is played with thumbs.

0:24:260:24:28

-Aha.

-To make music.

-To make music.

0:24:280:24:30

To make the sound, yes, the buttons are meant

0:24:300:24:33

to amplify the sound of the thumbs.

0:24:330:24:36

And these, all these sections here are made out of flattened nails, aren't they?

0:24:360:24:41

That's right and the length of them is actually to give specific sounds.

0:24:410:24:47

Do you want me to...o sound it?

0:24:470:24:49

Yeah, yeah, why not?

0:24:490:24:51

This is how it was played.

0:24:510:24:52

Fantastic, thank you so much.

0:25:070:25:10

You've informed,

0:25:100:25:12

given me information because this was brought back 120 years ago.

0:25:120:25:15

But so what exactly was the story? What's your connection with Africa?

0:25:150:25:21

Er, my father-in-law, because he,

0:25:210:25:23

he prospected for gold there at the same time as Cecil Rhodes.

0:25:230:25:27

And did their paths cross in any way?

0:25:270:25:29

Yes, yes, they walked together, camped, and my father-in-law

0:25:290:25:35

always carried a Bible,

0:25:350:25:37

because nobody would ever read the Bible and he cut a hole in the Bible

0:25:370:25:41

and so his precious things were kept in there, inside.

0:25:410:25:44

-So he wasn't necessarily a religious man?

-No, no, no, no, no and he also kept his toothbrush in there,

0:25:440:25:50

which was only a piece of stick that he'd shredded the ends of,

0:25:500:25:53

and on the campfire he used to put the stick, he said, round the soot

0:25:530:25:58

and clean his teeth, and his teeth were perfect white, beautiful teeth.

0:25:580:26:02

And how does the bronze monkey fit into the picture then?

0:26:020:26:05

Well, he carried this on his back, now it doesn't look very big

0:26:050:26:10

and we thought it was bronze, but we're still not sure because it

0:26:100:26:13

weighs nearly a stone in weight, it really is very, very heavy.

0:26:130:26:16

And it's my door stop to keep my kitchen door open.

0:26:160:26:19

But it's a horrible looking thing, frightened my kids to death when they crawled, but, um,

0:26:190:26:24

we want to know what it's made of because it's so heavy.

0:26:240:26:27

Well, I think what you normally associated with bronzes is

0:26:270:26:31

the European bronzes that you see, many of which are actually hollowed

0:26:310:26:34

out and so they're not as heavy as a solid lump of bronze like this would be.

0:26:340:26:39

Do you have any idea what this meant to him? Why did he carry it with him?

0:26:390:26:43

Well, he said it came from King Solomon's Mines but he must have

0:26:430:26:46

thought a lot of it to carry it on his back, it's so heavy.

0:26:460:26:49

This would be like having several bricks in your back pack.

0:26:490:26:52

-Oh, definitely.

-As you walk the length of the African continent.

0:26:520:26:56

It must have had some huge significance for him.

0:26:560:27:00

But I'm afraid to say that you know, its value is, is almost nothing,

0:27:000:27:05

I mean it's worth probably, you know, maybe £100 but it's not...

0:27:050:27:10

it's not finely made, it's not beautiful to look at.

0:27:100:27:12

Oh, no, no, no, it's a hideous- looking brute but anyway it's...

0:27:120:27:16

We were hoping you were going to say it was gold, that's why I brought it, just in case,

0:27:160:27:21

but if not, well, it'll still go on being my door stop in the kitchen.

0:27:210:27:25

Yes, yes, well it's just completely baffling, isn't it?

0:27:250:27:29

And then I suppose the mbira, what would the commercial value?

0:27:290:27:34

If you to buy something like this, and I don't suppose they're ever for sale

0:27:340:27:38

because the idea is you make them yourself?

0:27:380:27:40

It's very difficult to put a price to it,

0:27:400:27:45

because they were made traditionally

0:27:450:27:49

for entertainment. You never get these on the market.

0:27:490:27:53

-No, I've never seen any.

-This is very unusual here.

0:27:530:27:55

And they stay within a family?

0:27:550:27:57

They stay within a family and there are people who are specialised in playing the mbira.

0:27:570:28:02

Absolutely revealing on every count.

0:28:020:28:05

-Exactly.

-Thank you for bringing it in, and thank you for adding your tremendous knowledge

0:28:050:28:10

-to everything we've said. Thank you. Thank you.

-Thank you.

0:28:100:28:13

I can now reveal that the designer behind these pieces is none other than John Sandon.

0:28:150:28:19

So, John, this is a bit of a surprise, how long have you been doing this?

0:28:190:28:23

All my life I think I've had an interest in porcelain,

0:28:230:28:26

really inherited from my dad.

0:28:260:28:28

When I was a schoolboy, Dad was the curator of the Royal Worcester Porcelain factory,

0:28:280:28:32

and so I spent more time with him on the porcelain works than I did at school,

0:28:320:28:36

learning how porcelain was made.

0:28:360:28:38

I know for Henry, his big thing is Worcester

0:28:380:28:40

and you swang away from Worcester primarily into other interests as well?

0:28:400:28:44

Yes, I left school at 16 to go into the world of fine art auctions

0:28:440:28:47

and so I've learnt a bit more than just Worcester, I discovered

0:28:470:28:51

there's wonderful porcelain made at Meissen and the Chinese and Italian and everywhere.

0:28:510:28:56

Tell me about these, your influences and what brought you to this?

0:28:560:28:59

Well, these started me off when I was 12 years old.

0:28:590:29:02

Dad found a little cupboard in the factory at Worcester containing

0:29:020:29:06

old moulds from the 1920s, and so I had a go at casting from those moulds.

0:29:060:29:10

The potters at Worcester let me watch them work

0:29:100:29:12

and taught me about all the skills of porcelain potting, throwing, painting.

0:29:120:29:17

That was an amazing education.

0:29:170:29:19

It was great because they were such skilled men and women too,

0:29:190:29:22

I would watch them work for hours, and they made it look so easy.

0:29:220:29:25

When I tried it...I tried to cast this horse and he kept going wrong,

0:29:250:29:28

I had ten attempts and they all split or fell apart in my hands,

0:29:280:29:32

but then I got one right, just

0:29:320:29:33

the right thickness and it's now beautifully cast, I glazed it and

0:29:330:29:37

-I fired it and so to me, as a little boy, when it came out of the kiln...

-Oh, must have been very exciting.

0:29:370:29:42

-Yes, it got me hooked on porcelain.

-What about these? These aren't things that you've done?

0:29:420:29:47

-No.

-No, well they taught me interest in blue and white, because Dad loved

0:29:470:29:51

archaeology and he did excavations on the site of the old porcelain works

0:29:510:29:56

at Worcester in the 18th century, and I found these, I was 14 then,

0:29:560:29:59

when I dug these two saucers up from the ground, and these are ones that

0:29:590:30:03

were made in 1770 at Worcester in that blue and white.

0:30:030:30:07

This one is painted in blue with cobalt oxide, which is actually a

0:30:070:30:11

-black colour, painted straight onto the unglazed porcelain.

-Beautiful.

0:30:110:30:13

-You dug it up in this condition?

-It went wrong in the making, got a chip on the rim,

0:30:130:30:18

and so they threw it away in the grounds of the old factory.

0:30:190:30:22

If it hadn't had that chip they'd have covered it in glaze, it would

0:30:220:30:25

have then been fired and would have come out like this one, which turns blue,

0:30:250:30:29

the cobalt changes colour in the glaze,

0:30:290:30:31

so finding these taught me how porcelain in blue and white was made.

0:30:310:30:34

So this is what you've done, so tell me about...

0:30:340:30:37

David Battie was very impressed with this one... He thought this was a beautiful freehand here.

0:30:370:30:43

So your inspirations for this?

0:30:430:30:45

That's based on a pattern that was done at Worcester,

0:30:450:30:47

who themselves were copying Chinese.

0:30:470:30:50

I don't like to directly copy the Chinese or Worcester patterns...

0:30:500:30:53

I like to do my own slight variations, but on porcelain shapes made at Worcester,

0:30:530:30:58

fired in the factory kilns to a very high temperature.

0:30:580:31:01

So my part is doing the painting in blue, and it's sealed there for all time.

0:31:010:31:05

And this lovely...

0:31:050:31:06

nasturtiums are they? What are they?

0:31:060:31:08

-They're lotus.

-Lotus, ah.

-They were growing in the park in Hong Kong.

0:31:080:31:11

I always like, whenever I'm travelling, I take a sketch book

0:31:110:31:14

and I do little sketches and then I work them out into porcelain designs afterwards.

0:31:140:31:19

They're beautifully drawn. What do you do then? You keep them? Are going to sell them?

0:31:190:31:23

This is really a hobby at the moment.

0:31:230:31:25

One day I think I'd like to have my own kiln and make porcelain

0:31:250:31:28

but at the moment I just enjoy doing it, and again,

0:31:280:31:30

continuing to learn from it, how difficult it is to make porcelain.

0:31:300:31:34

-It's always fascinating to find out what our experts do in their spare time, thank you.

-Not at all.

0:31:340:31:39

These are called comports.

0:31:460:31:48

I don't know how much you know about these but they are strictly speaking, table decoration.

0:31:480:31:52

-Yes, they're not epergnes then?

-They're not epergnes.

0:31:520:31:54

Epergnes tend to have lots of baskets hanging off them.

0:31:540:31:58

-Oh, I see.

-That goes on top of here, as you probably know.

0:31:580:32:01

And then they're spread across the table.

0:32:010:32:03

-You need a pretty impressive dining table...

-That's right, yes.

0:32:040:32:06

..to display all these. And I gather they were your grandfather's?

0:32:060:32:09

My great-grandfather, after he'd been Mayor of Reading for two years,

0:32:090:32:13

-this was presented by his grateful fellow councillors.

-He must have been a good mayor.

0:32:130:32:18

Um, that's also... what you've got in your hand there...

0:32:180:32:21

I had a quick peek at earlier...

0:32:210:32:22

is very rare to see... this is the original photograph from the manufacturers.

0:32:220:32:26

-Yes.

-And there's a mark down here.

0:32:260:32:28

-Oh, yes.

-Which is the mark, a silver mark for Barnard Brothers.

0:32:280:32:32

-Yes, that's right.

-Which appears on your comport.

-Yes.

0:32:320:32:34

So this must have been taken in the factory, as they left the factory,

0:32:340:32:37

so in actual fact you have...

0:32:370:32:38

the story of these manufactured till now, you've kept them in the family all this time.

0:32:380:32:43

-That's right, yes.

-They're fantastic, they...

0:32:430:32:45

you've probably seen all the scenes, they're sort of

0:32:450:32:47

-pastoral scenes.

-Pastoral scenes, yes.

0:32:470:32:49

To make people feel more connected with the rural countryside,

0:32:490:32:53

which they weren't, when these were made in 1870 and made people

0:32:530:32:56

feel a bit more at home if they could see... we've got a sheep...

0:32:560:32:59

-Yes.

-..a little boy tending a sheep here, we've got another boy over

0:32:590:33:01

here who's looking after his turkey, a young goatherd girl.

0:33:010:33:06

Yes, with her grapes.

0:33:060:33:08

I gather that there is another one.

0:33:080:33:11

There...yes, there is.

0:33:110:33:12

Four together

0:33:140:33:15

-make an awful lot of difference, it's more, much more valuable than two pairs.

-Yes.

0:33:150:33:21

If you were to walk into a shop in the West End, which is the only place

0:33:210:33:25

you would be able to buy such grand-looking things,

0:33:250:33:27

you would have to pay for the whole set of four,

0:33:270:33:29

today about £35,000.

0:33:290:33:34

Mm, of course they'll stay in the family.

0:33:340:33:36

I couldn't give them away.

0:33:360:33:38

Well, we're looking at perhaps one of the most iconic cartoon images of

0:33:420:33:46

the 20th century, Snow White.

0:33:460:33:47

Where did you get her?

0:33:470:33:49

Well, my great-uncle, Arthur Crooks Ripley.

0:33:490:33:52

-What a name!

-I know, it's a good name, pretty memorable.

0:33:520:33:55

He bought it from the Leicester Galleries, in Leicester Square, London, at the time, in 1937.

0:33:550:34:00

-Yes.

-And it was the celluloid used in the actual filming of Snow White.

0:34:000:34:04

Right, because the film was actually released in America and in the

0:34:040:34:07

UK I believe, in that year.

0:34:070:34:09

-Exactly.

-'37-'38.

-I'm sure it had a big profile as a sale

0:34:090:34:12

because it was the first time Walt Disney wanted to sell any of the art work from any of his films.

0:34:120:34:17

And you can see that it is celluloid, and the colours

0:34:170:34:21

are put on, obviously on the back.

0:34:210:34:23

This, of course, isn't actually by Walt Disney.

0:34:230:34:27

He did the original design and he had a studio with hundreds

0:34:270:34:31

of people who would then do the celluloid and hand colour them all,

0:34:310:34:36

and, of course, they must have needed tens of thousands of images

0:34:360:34:40

-to make a long cartoon. Now it's laid onto a natural wood veneer.

-Yes.

0:34:400:34:45

And obviously all these sort of scoring, circle, frame, the title,

0:34:450:34:49

have all been done as part of the sort of presentation of the piece.

0:34:490:34:54

Unusual thing to buy in the 1930s.

0:34:540:34:57

I should imagine so, he was a writer and a very keen amateur painter,

0:34:570:35:01

and he had friends that were artists and I know that he collected a lot of art

0:35:010:35:05

and I would imagine he'd like going up to London and obviously the exhibition caught his eye

0:35:050:35:10

-and he thought it was something quite special.

-Yes, yes.

0:35:100:35:13

It's one of the few celluloids that are just Snow White on her own,

0:35:130:35:16

we've got the original sale documents so you can see...

0:35:160:35:19

Let's have a look, let's have a look.

0:35:190:35:21

I believe it's number 43.

0:35:210:35:23

Number 43, let's have a look...

0:35:230:35:25

-Oh, yes, oh, there's quite a lot you could buy.

-Yes.

0:35:250:35:29

There we are, 43, Snow White...

0:35:290:35:32

the grand price of two guineas.

0:35:320:35:34

-Quite something.

-Animals pulling Snow White

0:35:340:35:37

sixteen guineas, so that was an awful lot of money, isn't it?

0:35:370:35:41

Well, what's it worth?

0:35:410:35:43

There's a huge market in America for this sort of thing.

0:35:430:35:47

If I was putting this in a sale,

0:35:470:35:49

it would go in with an estimate of between three and five thousand pounds.

0:35:490:35:53

-We'd easily achieve that.

-Gosh, amazing.

0:35:530:35:55

It's a very rare original item with the original purchase document...

0:35:550:36:00

you've got the lot.

0:36:000:36:01

-Just before, before 1912...

-Yes.

0:36:040:36:06

But I don't know exactly when, my in-laws set up home in Pangbourne and

0:36:060:36:13

they went to a house sale in Reading and they purchased the table

0:36:130:36:17

and four chairs that went with it, and sideboard and a sort of flat-top desk,

0:36:170:36:24

and I always understood that they paid £12 for it.

0:36:240:36:29

For the whole lot?

0:36:290:36:31

Yes, I've no doubt that that was all they had as well.

0:36:310:36:34

And where are the chairs now?

0:36:340:36:35

Well, the desk and the sideboard went to a nephew of mine, the chairs were

0:36:350:36:41

perhaps a bit rickety and I burned them because they were...

0:36:410:36:44

You burned the chairs?

0:36:440:36:47

They were the kitchen chairs and they were a bit rickety and...

0:36:470:36:52

What did you have to say about this?

0:36:520:36:55

That happened in those days, didn't it, really?

0:36:550:36:58

It's a good job you didn't burn the table.

0:36:590:37:02

Yes, well, we had a use for the table.

0:37:020:37:04

You had a use for the table. But no use for the chairs.

0:37:040:37:08

And where does this table reside now?

0:37:080:37:09

Well, when my mother-in-law died in 1968, it came into my possession and

0:37:090:37:15

we've used it as the table ever since. They used it every day.

0:37:150:37:20

-My mother-in-law cooked on it.

-She cooked on the table.

0:37:200:37:24

-She cooked on it.

-Prepared on it.

-And with a blanket on it, she did the ironing on it. We don't iron on it.

0:37:240:37:30

-We don't iron on it?

-No, no, I don't prepare vegetables on it,

0:37:300:37:34

but we use it obviously as our dining room table, it's used for mealtimes.

0:37:340:37:39

This is quite pretty, this border, this is satin wood.

0:37:390:37:44

Do you know what the main wood is?

0:37:440:37:46

-Any idea?

-No.

-The main wood is rosewood.

-Oh, yes.

0:37:460:37:49

Even though you use it for your suppers and things like that,

0:37:490:37:53

-it's really a breakfast table.

-Oh, really? That's interesting.

0:37:530:37:57

So this would have been in a breakfast room of a grand house.

0:37:570:38:00

Around the edge, I like this ...like beadwork.

0:38:000:38:03

-Yes.

-And then it's repeated again on the central shaft.

0:38:030:38:08

Now this is a good quality table because the central shaft is

0:38:080:38:11

actually solid rosewood, this is rose wood veneer, and then when we

0:38:110:38:15

get down to the base, that's again veneered, and then you've got these

0:38:150:38:20

highly decorative brass feet.

0:38:200:38:22

Very, very pretty, very, very pretty.

0:38:220:38:25

This table's made around about 1825, it's Regency. It's a tilt top

0:38:250:38:31

and so when the table wasn't being used,

0:38:310:38:34

it would have been tilted up and then pushed to the side of the room

0:38:340:38:37

and so you can use the room for dancing and things like that.

0:38:370:38:42

If, if you were going to buy this in a retail shop,

0:38:420:38:45

all fully restored, you wouldn't get much change out of £15,000.

0:38:450:38:48

How much?

0:38:480:38:51

This is a very nice table.

0:38:510:38:54

So I'd love to have seen those chairs because they would have

0:38:540:38:58

been valuable as well.

0:38:580:39:00

-They were chairs and...

-Good job you didn't burn the table, wasn't it?

-It was, wasn't it.

0:39:000:39:06

We've got this lovely little card

0:39:090:39:11

and a beautiful pendant here and on the card it says, "With all my love to my dear wife,

0:39:110:39:16

"God bless her and make her happy always, Vincko".

0:39:160:39:19

And then on the reverse it says, "With kind regards, Mr Vincent A Weeks"... Who was he?

0:39:190:39:26

He was my husband's grandfather and he married my husband's grandmother

0:39:260:39:30

in 1913 and I think that was a gift when they got married.

0:39:300:39:34

What a lovely gift, but how bizarre that he's also put on there "with kind regards",

0:39:340:39:38

when it is a romantic gift and giving this beautiful necklace.

0:39:380:39:41

-Yes, yes.

-It's from the Art Nouveau period

0:39:410:39:44

which dates from 1890 to 1910.

0:39:440:39:47

It's set with moonstones and made of gold, solid gold.

0:39:470:39:52

Beautiful piece showing all the right qualities of an Art Nouveau piece of jewellery,

0:39:520:39:57

it's extremely well made,

0:39:570:39:58

its got lovely sinuous lines to it,

0:39:580:40:01

beautiful natural elements as well in the floral motifs.

0:40:010:40:04

-The moonstones I think are the most romantic stones because they have a lovely shimmer to them.

-Mm, yes.

0:40:040:40:09

Now when you look very closely at the piece, you can see that it

0:40:090:40:13

did have some enamel on it, and it's not signed, which is a real shame.

0:40:130:40:17

This, because of having the enamel on as well, could have well been by

0:40:170:40:21

an extremely good maker, but without a signature and without

0:40:210:40:24

having more information, it's difficult to know.

0:40:240:40:27

So, do you wear it?

0:40:270:40:29

My daughter has it now and she wears it occasionally.

0:40:290:40:32

Excellent. Well, if it came up to auction, despite the fact that it is

0:40:320:40:36

-missing the enamel work, it would fetch somewhere between £1,500 and £2,000.

-Really?

0:40:360:40:42

-Well, that's very nice to know that.

-Good, yes.

-Thank you very much.

0:40:420:40:46

It was a gift from a very old friend who I've known for many, many years

0:40:510:40:54

-and when I retired he gave it me as a present.

-Oh, very nice.

0:40:540:40:59

What it is, is Chinese provincial,

0:40:590:41:02

and it was painted in underglazed blue

0:41:020:41:07

with this phoenix or ho-ho bird amongst rocks and foliage.

0:41:070:41:14

The glaze is very thick and in places has run into globules over it

0:41:140:41:20

and that's made the whole thing slightly fuzzy and undefined and

0:41:200:41:24

actually rather romantic.

0:41:240:41:27

And I love the way they just concentrated in the middle here

0:41:270:41:34

and left all this blank.

0:41:340:41:37

That's quite unusual

0:41:370:41:40

to see that and I think it works extremely well.

0:41:400:41:45

The back we have got is covered in grit...

0:41:450:41:50

This is to stop it

0:41:500:41:52

sticking to the floor of the kiln, you dust the bottom of the kiln with

0:41:520:41:56

this, and put the dish on it, and what's happening is the heat has

0:41:560:42:00

actually blown it upwards and it's got stuck there.

0:42:000:42:04

Unusual here we've got

0:42:040:42:07

these ribs, I've never seen that before as far as I can remember.

0:42:070:42:11

Did you think it was very old?

0:42:130:42:16

I suspected it was old from the markings on the back because

0:42:160:42:19

it just looks an old item.

0:42:190:42:22

You can't go on that.

0:42:220:42:24

-You can't?

-No, big trap that one.

0:42:240:42:29

-So it's not old then?

-Yes, it is.

0:42:290:42:31

Oh, right.

0:42:310:42:32

It's just that you can't rely on it looking old.

0:42:320:42:35

-OK.

-Actually it's dating, I think, to the Jiajing period.

0:42:350:42:40

-He reigned from, 1522 to 1566, so it's 450 years old.

-Gracious.

0:42:400:42:49

-We've got a crack here.

-Yeah, I have seen that.

0:42:490:42:54

Which will affect the value,

0:42:540:42:56

but it's a rarity, I mean it's a rarity and a lot of people would...

0:42:560:43:01

like you...love to have it, I think, and I think they would be happy to

0:43:010:43:05

pay somewhere between £1,500 and £2,500 for it.

0:43:050:43:10

-Lovely.

-So it was a very nice gift.

-It certainly was.

0:43:100:43:14

-This is a message form dated 11th November 1918.

-Yeah.

0:43:180:43:26

And it says, "Following from 5th Army begins.

0:43:260:43:31

"Hostilities will cease at 11 o'clock today, November 11th".

0:43:310:43:37

What an incredible message to have received!

0:43:370:43:41

Tell me all about it.

0:43:410:43:43

It was taken down by my great-uncle, Sapper Leopold Jacobs, who was on the

0:43:430:43:48

Western Front and he'd been there for most of the First World War.

0:43:480:43:51

-He was a signaller.

-He wrote this down?

0:43:510:43:54

He wrote this down, yes.

0:43:540:43:56

I wonder what his reaction was.

0:43:560:43:58

I've been thinking about that...

0:43:580:44:00

I suspect it was not quite what we think it was,

0:44:000:44:04

because for a month the German army had known the game was up,

0:44:040:44:08

and the German army had been retreating, the British army had been

0:44:080:44:12

advancing, and I suspect that they knew that it was going to happen,

0:44:120:44:17

and after all he'd been through in four years, I suspect his reaction

0:44:170:44:21

was, "OK, good, that just confirms what we all know anyway".

0:44:210:44:26

Well, that's quite incredible because you know something,

0:44:260:44:29

I think if I'd written this down after all of the horrific carnage

0:44:290:44:33

that I'd seen of things that had happened over the previous three or

0:44:330:44:38

four years of the First World War, I think I would have gone, "Yes, it's

0:44:380:44:42

over, it's over finally!" but you don't think that's what happened?

0:44:420:44:46

-No, I think that's what we would think today.

-Yes.

0:44:460:44:49

And what we know about it,

0:44:490:44:51

but what he knew was this was just the conclusion of what...

0:44:510:44:55

as I say... I think they knew anyway.

0:44:550:44:57

Well, clearly he thought a lot of this bit of paper, this little brown

0:44:570:45:01

piece of paper, because it's framed, he framed this, I guess.

0:45:010:45:05

Well, it was either he, or my father

0:45:050:45:06

who framed it, but it's been in the family ever since.

0:45:060:45:10

Well, of course, it isn't a unique item even though your great-uncle

0:45:100:45:15

actually wrote this himself, that makes it unique to you, but there are other examples known.

0:45:150:45:20

The Imperial War Museum has got a number of these, but if you bought this in a militaria

0:45:200:45:26

dealer's shop then I guess you'd be paying something like £300, £400 or

0:45:260:45:30

-maybe even £500, because it is an historic document.

-Good gracious.

0:45:300:45:35

Oh, I hadn't expected that.

0:45:350:45:37

Tom, you're six, aren't you?

0:45:400:45:42

-Yeah.

-And you like watching the Antiques Roadshow.

-Yes.

0:45:420:45:45

-So do you watch it every Sunday night?

-Yes.

0:45:450:45:47

In your pyjamas after your bath? And what do you like about it?

0:45:470:45:50

That you can make things and...

0:45:500:45:53

-..and...

-Make things you've seen on the programme?

0:45:530:45:56

-Yeah.

-Oh, like what?

-Like boxes and brooches.

0:45:560:46:00

Once when I was about three, I made a brooch out of a glue top and

0:46:000:46:06

some silver foil.

0:46:060:46:08

-Because you'd seen something like it on the Antiques Roadshow?

-Yeah.

0:46:080:46:12

Tell me about these candlesticks, you've brought these.

0:46:120:46:15

-Yeah.

-What do you know about them?

-I know that my great-great-great- grandfather

0:46:150:46:21

found them in Clearwell Castle and then my great-great-great-great...

0:46:210:46:28

no, no, one great, took them to bed.

0:46:280:46:32

-He used them.

-Oh, used to walk along like this?

-Mm.

-With the candlesticks.

0:46:320:46:36

-And do you ever do that at home?

-Er, no.

0:46:360:46:38

-No, might be a bit dangerous, mightn't it? They're beautiful, aren't they?

-Mm.

0:46:380:46:42

So you want to find out more about them?

0:46:420:46:44

-Mm.

-Well, let's find someone who can tell you.

0:46:440:46:47

Whilst we do have a bit of sunshine I think

0:46:470:46:49

really we could do with just a little bit more to show this

0:46:490:46:53

to its absolute best.

0:46:530:46:55

I've only come across a couple of these in my time

0:46:550:46:58

and I've always debated where they're from and who made

0:46:580:47:01

them but I'm hoping you can shed a little bit of light on it for me,

0:47:010:47:04

tell me, how did you come to own it?

0:47:040:47:07

Well, it came to me from my grandfather. I've always known

0:47:070:47:11

it because ever since I was tiny, it was in my grandfather's house.

0:47:110:47:16

He came to own it because he did some private work as an accountant and one

0:47:160:47:21

of his clients was not able to pay and he took this in lieu of payment.

0:47:210:47:27

I think what may not be immediately apparent to the viewer is quite how

0:47:280:47:33

this is made, because whilst we have what I can best describe as

0:47:330:47:37

a simulated rosewood frame, the interior of this is made up

0:47:370:47:41

of glass beads,

0:47:410:47:44

and not just a few glass beads.

0:47:440:47:46

-Just before I came I did some quick maths.

-Yeah.

0:47:460:47:49

I've done the surface area, then I've done a small square,

0:47:490:47:53

beads per square and I reckon we're looking somewhere between 180,000 and 200,000 glass beads

0:47:530:48:01

just within this panelled screen.

0:48:010:48:04

And I mean even now as the sun's coming out, it just sings.

0:48:040:48:08

That's why I used to love it, because it sparkled.

0:48:080:48:11

It does sparkle, it's the little girl in you, that's what it is.

0:48:110:48:16

This is classic sort of post-Edwardian, 1920s, round that early part of the 20th century.

0:48:160:48:23

As far as we... my father can remember...

0:48:230:48:25

-it was at the end of the 1920s, early 1930s.

-Oh, it's all adding up.

0:48:250:48:29

I think this is a piece that would

0:48:290:48:31

attract interest all over the world, I think it's an international piece,

0:48:310:48:36

quite how you would then ship it all over the world is slightly worrying.

0:48:360:48:41

But I think when you find that right client, I actually have no

0:48:410:48:44

hesitation in saying that on a good day in the right sale,

0:48:440:48:48

with other glass, with other

0:48:480:48:49

similar like items of this quality, I'd be very happy to put an auction

0:48:490:48:54

estimate of £3,000 to £5,000, £4,000 to £6,000...

0:48:540:48:59

-No problem.

-Thank you very much.

0:48:590:49:01

Aren't these delightful?

0:49:030:49:05

-They're superb.

-Couple of frogs.

-They're not frogs, they're toads.

-Why are they toads?

0:49:050:49:11

-Because toads have got toes, frogs haven't.

-Oh, right.

0:49:110:49:16

Oh, well, I will stand corrected on that one, but what's their pedigree?

0:49:160:49:20

Well, my grandfather bought them at an auction sale

0:49:200:49:24

when I was a little girl and gave them to me as a present, so they've

0:49:240:49:28

been with me all my life. I can't remember how old, but very young.

0:49:280:49:32

The actual age of them, you can see hallmarked there. A lot of muck in there.

0:49:320:49:37

It's a job to clean them with one arm.

0:49:370:49:39

Well, I'll forgive you with your arm the way it is, but let's just have a look.

0:49:390:49:43

Maker's mark we can just see there, that's Alexander Crichton,

0:49:430:49:47

very good London maker, and date letter the "e" there, that's for 1880.

0:49:470:49:54

Wow!

0:49:540:49:56

So a bit of age to them.

0:49:560:49:58

And there of course is where the pepper will come out.

0:49:580:50:02

Have you ever had them valued?

0:50:020:50:03

Well, about 20 odd years ago, somebody offered me £25 for them,

0:50:030:50:09

but I refused because they were worth more to me as sentimental value.

0:50:090:50:13

-Right, right, I think that was probably a wise decision.

-Wow.

0:50:130:50:18

I think we're looking at about £2,000.

0:50:180:50:21

What!

0:50:210:50:23

They're rare anyway but a pair is amazing. Don't croak.

0:50:230:50:26

Wow, I would never ever have believed that, thank you very much.

0:50:260:50:32

So what's this?

0:50:340:50:36

Um, I'm told it's a theatre ticket.

0:50:360:50:39

-Ah.

-Yeah, it was a gift from a friend whose father collected coins,

0:50:390:50:43

that was among the collection, I was finishing drama school

0:50:430:50:46

so appropriate gift,

0:50:460:50:48

and I'm told it's an 18th-century theatre ticket.

0:50:480:50:51

I don't know whether that's true.

0:50:510:50:53

Well, I don't know, I'm no expert in theatre tickets but I think the 18th-century date's right.

0:50:530:50:58

-OK.

-This lettering, the actual letter forms

0:50:580:51:02

are perfectly right for that period.

0:51:020:51:04

Actually this shape

0:51:040:51:06

you'll find on

0:51:060:51:08

-Bullock, George Bullock's furniture of the early-19th century.

-Right.

0:51:080:51:13

So again I think that suggests that we're looking at a date

0:51:130:51:16

somewhere between perhaps 1795-1810 something like that.

0:51:160:51:20

But I'm not sure that in the late-18th century we were calling

0:51:210:51:28

that bit of the theatre the "pit", it was the stalls.

0:51:280:51:31

It would have been stalls by then, right.

0:51:310:51:34

So we have to think

0:51:340:51:35

what other kind of pit might you have needed a ticket for, right?

0:51:350:51:41

-OK.

-Cock fighting.

0:51:410:51:44

Right.

0:51:440:51:45

And dog fighting.

0:51:450:51:48

And I think that's what this is for...

0:51:480:51:51

it's a cock fighting, or a dog fighting, ticket.

0:51:510:51:56

-So I'm afraid that your theatrical school was wasted.

-But I could start a dog-fighting business.

0:51:560:52:01

You could start a dog-fighting business.

0:52:010:52:03

-Brilliant.

-And I would use this to come and see you with it.

-Fantastic.

0:52:030:52:06

Thank you very much.

0:52:060:52:08

-Thank you.

-Oh, I suppose we ought to put a price on it.

0:52:080:52:11

-How much does one pay to get into a cock fight?

-A cock fight. Oh, Lord knows.

0:52:110:52:16

I think somebody, a collector, would probably give you, um

0:52:160:52:19

£100 to £200 for that.

0:52:190:52:21

Good Lord, well, thank you very much.

0:52:210:52:24

This is a typical Victorian...

0:52:260:52:28

sometimes called a horse's-hoof box because it has that appearance.

0:52:280:52:32

19th century, covered in this wonderful aquamarine blue velvet,

0:52:320:52:35

slightly worn off the surface now, isn't it?

0:52:350:52:38

So whenever I see a box like this, the first thing I think is what is going to be within?

0:52:380:52:43

What is the content? And one would never be disappointed

0:52:430:52:46

when you open up a box lid like this, and there within you reveal...

0:52:460:52:51

that.

0:52:510:52:53

Let me know as much as you can tell me.

0:52:530:52:56

Well, it's come down in my husband's family, his great-great...

0:52:560:53:00

no, his great-grandfather was a man called Peter Vriler who was given it

0:53:000:53:04

by Empress Elizabeth of Austria.

0:53:040:53:06

He was... Peter Vriler was a Greek living on Corfu and he had a lovely old house which she wanted to buy.

0:53:060:53:13

After being pressurised to sell to her, he finally gave her the house

0:53:130:53:18

and the land, and after it was all completed, she sent this for his

0:53:180:53:23

wife, and to go down to the wife of the eldest son. My husband was the...

0:53:230:53:27

-Just like that.

-Yes.

0:53:270:53:30

It's a very complex piece of jewellery in many ways,

0:53:300:53:35

because the main body of the piece is this centre, oval centre,

0:53:350:53:42

but here we have the Empress's own diamond crown motif and then there's

0:53:420:53:49

a very complicated monogram underneath it studded with

0:53:490:53:53

diamond chips, but the main fabric of the piece, the main core of this,

0:53:530:53:58

is this wonderful arrangement of big fat diamonds around the outside...

0:53:580:54:05

-Yes.

-..each diamond weighing in the region of three quarters of a carat,

0:54:050:54:10

each stone.

0:54:100:54:13

-Yes, yes.

-And then, as if to reinforce the fact that this is

0:54:130:54:17

a serious piece of jewellery, it's mounted on a mesh of gold

0:54:170:54:24

that is so sinuous in its articulation

0:54:240:54:27

and the condition is impeccable.

0:54:270:54:31

Now what do we know about the Empress herself, known as Sissi

0:54:310:54:36

in her lifetime? A very interesting woman, wasn't she?

0:54:360:54:40

Yes, she was, um, she was a young, very young princess when she was

0:54:400:54:44

married off to Franz Joseph of Austria.

0:54:440:54:48

I think it was... her elder sister was intended for his bride but he was taken by this young

0:54:480:54:53

girl who was quite wild, where he was much more conventional.

0:54:530:54:56

Her high spirits could have even become a bit unbalanced

0:54:560:54:59

in later years and she took to sort of roaming round the Mediterranean to escape from the court life.

0:54:590:55:04

This nomad of going round, so doing things that an Empress

0:55:040:55:08

simply didn't do.

0:55:080:55:09

Going to visit Greece, going to Corfu, building a palace in the

0:55:090:55:13

middle of Corfu. An unhappy woman.

0:55:130:55:15

Very unhappy.

0:55:150:55:17

-Lonely, isolated.

-Yes. Very beautiful.

0:55:170:55:20

But her end was awful.

0:55:200:55:23

She was walking along the promenade at the side of Lake Geneva

0:55:230:55:28

and a young man approached her and apparently took out a file

0:55:280:55:34

and shoved it

0:55:340:55:36

into her.

0:55:360:55:38

And... because she was dressed in so many wonderful clothes, she didn't

0:55:380:55:43

actually realise at the time that she'd been stabbed, and calls out

0:55:430:55:48

"What is happening to me?"

0:55:480:55:52

and collapses and dies.

0:55:520:55:56

So I think it's one of the most

0:55:560:55:58

tragic stories of European royalty in the 19th century.

0:55:580:56:03

All right, now coming back to the piece here, stylistically I think that the piece was probably

0:56:030:56:10

made in around about 1865-1870.

0:56:100:56:14

And in typical fashion in the 19th century, you could also find

0:56:140:56:20

individual little fittings that would be housed, locked away,

0:56:200:56:25

under a velvet cover within the box itself,

0:56:250:56:30

so we have the feature that you can detach the centrepiece by means of

0:56:300:56:35

these little grips at the side, and

0:56:350:56:37

convert it to be worn as a brooch. Have you worn it as a brooch?

0:56:370:56:41

No, I've only worn it as a pendant but never as a brooch.

0:56:410:56:45

Well, look, there's the original pins, and there's the centrepiece,

0:56:450:56:48

so typical practicality.

0:56:480:56:50

-Yes.

-You can break it up and make it into something else. Value...

0:56:500:56:55

Have you shown it someone at all?

0:56:550:56:57

I did have it valued for insurance by an auctioneers about

0:56:570:57:00

twelve years ago, I think...

0:57:000:57:02

about £5,000 they said, for insurance purposes.

0:57:020:57:05

Not enough, not enough. £15,000 to £20,000.

0:57:050:57:11

-Right.

-Got to be...

0:57:110:57:13

it's a great story, fabulous piece of jewellery.

0:57:130:57:16

-Thank you.

-Fabulous, thank you.

0:57:160:57:19

It's been wonderful being back here at my old Oxford college...

0:57:190:57:23

though it never looked like this in my day. It's been a real treat for me personally,

0:57:230:57:28

but also for what has to be one of our youngest viewers, Tom, you're six.

0:57:280:57:31

You brought along your candlesticks, our experts looked at them, so what were they worth in the end?

0:57:310:57:37

-They were £80.

-£80 well that's not bad for a bit of pocket money.

0:57:370:57:40

-So did you have a good day?

-Yeah.

0:57:400:57:42

Yeah, we all had a good day here, so from Hertford College in Oxford,

0:57:420:57:46

-bye, bye.

-Bye, bye.

0:57:460:57:48

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