Bowes Museum Antiques Roadshow


Bowes Museum

Members of the public have their antiques valued by experts. Fiona Bruce and the team are in County Durham for a visit to The Bowes Museum.


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Transcript


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Formidable! We've set off on quite a journey this week

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and travelled hundreds of miles to bring you a flavour of France.

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So it might surprise you to know we're here in County Durham

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at the magnificent Bowes Museum,

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this week's home of the Antiques Roadshow.

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Bowes is no ordinary museum.

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Its most perfectly appointed French windows

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overlook the undulating splendour of Cumbria and North Yorkshire.

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The man who gave his name to this treasure house was John Bowes,

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a wealthy Durham landowner,

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a coal magnate and a Francophile.

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In 1848, he moved to Paris where he bought a theatre

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and met the love of his life, an actress called Josephine Chevalier.

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It was she who decided to return to Teesdale

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and set about building a museum for their collections.

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John and Josephine amassed marvellous objets d'art,

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at a rate of 1,000 a year.

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They often went on shopping sprees across Europe

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and on their most ambitious trip,

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they travelled 1,500 miles in ten weeks,

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stopping at Cologne, Munich, Vienna and Dresden.

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There they spent hundreds of pounds at the Royal Porcelain Factory.

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They also ran up a sizeable bill

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at the London and Paris exhibitions of the 1860s.

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They recreated the artistic salons of France

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with their chic supper parties for up to 150 guests,

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including Charles Chaplin, no less,

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and Pre-Impressionist painters such as Corot and Boudin,

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and a name that's cropped up on the Roadshow -

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Emile Galle's early work was commissioned by Josephine.

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This is his exquisite cabaret set.

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MELODIC RINGING

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Their most expensive and iconic purchase was a musical automaton.

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It's a beautifully crafted silver swan,

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made in 1773 by John Joseph Merlin,

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bought for the Bowes Museum 100 years later for £200.

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Tragically, they never got to see the final result of their passion.

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Josephine died young, in 1874, and John died just ten years later.

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It was a sad end to a magnificent endeavour.

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The museum opened to much fanfare and adulation in 1892.

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We're lucky enough to see for ourselves

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what wonders lie behind those French shutters.

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Over now to our specialists, who are poised to appreciate the treasures

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brought to them by the people of Teesdale.

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I want to know whether this Chinaman's been a resident

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in your home for many a generation.

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Yes, it was in my grandmother's house for...

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as long as I can remember and then passed to my parents,

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and suddenly, when they died, I inherited it,

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and it's been with me ever since, which is about ten years now,

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so, he's been around ever since I was very small.

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So, has he developed a Durham accent? That's what I want to know.

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-He's from Yorkshire.

-Oh, is he?

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-Yes, yes.

-Aha!

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-Date wise, he's around about 1875.

-Right.

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Um, the colours give him away immediately for, erm,

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-being decorated in majolica glazes.

-Ah, right.

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Nice and bright and vibrant.

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The sad thing is, I don't want to disappoint you, but this Chinaman

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-has probably never been further east than maybe Whitby.

-Aw!

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Because he's made in Stoke-on-Trent.

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-Oh, right.

-And if we turn it upside down very briefly,

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I'm not going to linger because you can hardly make it out,

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but there's a mark there that says exactly who made him,

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-and that's Minton.

-Oh.

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Minton, the great, great factory from the 19th century.

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And, of course, the Victorians loved anything novelty,

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and novelty teapots like this were coming out of Stoke-on-Trent,

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-you know, at quite a rapid rate.

-Yes.

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So, I'm not suggesting you should use him,

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-I don't think... I think he's mainly decorative.

-Right.

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Where do you keep him?

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He's just on a dresser with various other sort of ornaments

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that I got from my grandmother

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which probably all come from the same place,

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but I've always thought they came from romantic, far-off places,

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so I shall continue to live with that dream.

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Well, you should! Well, he's on your sideboard,

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but is he on your house contents?

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Um, probably not, but...

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OK, well he's a relatively expensive Chinaman,

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in so far as, if I wanted to find him,

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-auction estimates for these usually vary between £600-800.

-Oh, right.

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Now, I don't want to end on a downer, but that's the good news.

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The bad news is, if we were having this conversation about ten years ago,

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he was worth double that,

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-but the American market has slightly evaporated, so...

-Yes.

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Bit sad, really, to think you're Chinese and you're up one minute

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-and you're down the next, but that's life, isn't it?

-It is, never mind.

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I know it is clear what this is,

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this wonderful jockey-on-a-horse brooch.

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But, as a jeweller looking at it,

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it has so much detail packed into it, it is extraordinary.

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What's your story behind it?

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Well, I was given the lovely brooch by my parents

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and my mother and father had been willed it

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by an Army friend's widow, so we've had it since the middle '70s.

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And you love racing,

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-are you steeped in the world of racing?

-Yes, I love racing,

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especially up here, Wetherby's probably my favourite.

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-You're surrounded by them, aren't you?

-We're very lucky.

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So, do you wear it when you go onto the racecourse?

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-Very often.

-You do?

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-Very often.

-Does it get admired, do people notice it?

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-Yes.

-Mm, I bet they do.

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Cos I think these sort of brooches, these sporting brooches,

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-were very popular in around about 1910.

-Right.

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-I think it may have been made as far back as then.

-Gosh!

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Let me tell you about the brooch itself.

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First of all, the first point to make is that usually when we see these,

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they're damaged.

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They were used robustly

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and the enamel decoration on the jockeys was quite frequently chipped,

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so when you come across one where the colour is absolutely perfect,

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-as this one is, it's really rather rare.

-Hmm.

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Let's look at the body of the horse himself.

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I mean, look at the gallop, look at the poise there,

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the sense of movement that we've got.

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The horse itself is set with diamonds,

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but it's what we call pave set with diamonds.

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Now, when they're pave set, they're set in touching formation

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-and, I'm sure you've noticed this...

-Yes.

-There's a tiny sapphire.

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Sapphire in the eye, yes.

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But it's the movement of the thing

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that's really well-modelled.

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-Yes.

-And I think it's a very commercial piece of jewellery.

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If you were to sell it,

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-I think you would get something in the region of £2,000.

-Right, gosh!

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Sporting jewellery, we see it, this one is a very potent example.

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-That's great.

-Around here, with all the racecourses,

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-what a perfect thing to bring!

-That's great, thank you very much.

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Thank you very much.

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I've seen many of this class of cabinet in the last 40 years

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and they are universally dreadful...

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..but this one is the best I've seen!

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It's Japanese and it was made about 1920.

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How long have you had it?

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-We've had it ten years.

-Oh, only ten years?

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But it's been in the family since probably 1920.

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Right. Do you love it?

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-Well...

-I love it!

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-You love it?

-I think it's gorgeous.

-Right.

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Well, what it is, it's basically a wood construction

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and the whole of the...superstructure is lacquer.

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This would have been made for Western consumption.

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In about 1870, in came teachers from art schools...in Europe

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and they started to teach the Japanese

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how to paint in the Western tradition.

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And the Western tradition was quite different.

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For a start, it had perspective, which they didn't know about at all.

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They painted with a brush which was absolutely flat,

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and here, you've got the result

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of the Japanese painting in Western tradition.

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And it's very naturalistic.

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I'd guess they're probably realistic scenes round,

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I don't know, Yokohama or somewhere

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and if you've got a proper Japanese who could read that sort of script,

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-they could probably identify where the places were.

-I see, yeah.

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It's suffering.

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What you've got here is the varnish breaking up over time.

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-And they are all very, very yellow.

-They are.

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If you were to take these to a picture restorer

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who dealt with oil paintings, this is exactly the same,

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he would have no trouble removing that varnish

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and then put on a slightly tinted modern varnish

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and it would transform it.

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As I say, it's the best of its type I've ever seen.

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And I think it would probably, at auction,

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make somewhere around £700-1,000, which is an awful lot

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considering that the next one down is worth 200.

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-HE LAUGHS

-Right.

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So, well done, enjoy.

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-Right, thank you very much.

-Thank you.

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Delightful little match case there with a very Flemish scene on it,

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but what's it all about? Where did you get it?

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Well, it was my father's.

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-Right.

-And he was in the 47th Royal Dragoon Guards.

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-Right.

-They went over to France on D-Day, landed on Gold Beach,

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-fought their way through France.

-Wow!

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And by Christmas time, they were in the region of Arnhem.

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-Was this Market Garden?

-This was...

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-Gosh!

-Operation Market Garden was to liberate that area.

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Anyway, they did manage to liberate some Dutch towns

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and whenever they went in with the tanks,

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everyone came out from their houses and they were waving and cheering

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and one old lady evidently came forward

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and pressed this item into my father's hand...

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-Gosh.

-..and said, "Thank you so much and happy Christmas."

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I have to say I'm almost overcome by the fact that...

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-I mean, that's wonderful, but what's the picture?

-Well...

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-this is my father in the central square of Lille.

-Right.

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-Erm...

-So, that's actually your father there?

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-Yep.

-That's wonderful...

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-In this Sherman tank.

-Yeah, that's my father.

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He didn't fit the tank very well,

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he was 6' 8" tall, took up rather a lot of room.

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That's...that's tall for getting into a Sherman!

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Very, very tall, very tall,

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though he remained very good friends

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with the rest of the people from the tank after that.

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-Wonderful!

-Yeah.

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-Looking at it, very coldly as a matchbox holder...

-Yeah.

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-..it's worth what, £50 maybe to a collector?

-Yeah, yeah.

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But what you must do is write that history down.

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Oh, right, yes. OK, I will, I'll write it down, fold it up,

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put it in a matchbox and keep it safe.

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So, when you bought these two plaques, did you turn them over?

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No. No, I didn't. I only bought them for the decorative purpose.

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You bought them because you liked them.

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Yes, and I bought them for me brother and his partner

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because they have Cavalier and King Charles spaniel dogs

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and it made a nice Christmas present.

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I am going to insist on your looking at this mark.

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What can you tell me from the mark?

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Well, I have looked at the mark since,

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-and I know they're Royal Worcester.

-OK.

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And I know the dots mean a year, but after that I haven't a clue.

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-OK.

-No idea.

-You're right, this is the classic Royal Worcester mark.

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-Yes.

-Here are the dots you're talking about,

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one, two, three.

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We add three to 1891 and the result is 1894.

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Good grief, I didn't think they would have been that old.

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-Now, let's have a look at the front, shall we?

-Yes.

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Tell me about dogs cos I don't know, this is...

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That is the King Charles spaniel.

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-That's a King Charles.

-Its nose is rather squashed.

-OK.

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-This is the Cavalier King Charles and it has a more pointed nose.

-OK.

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-So, what we have, what we appear to have is two Worcester plaques.

-Mm-hm.

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The marks tell us 1894 and the artist's signature - J Bradley. OK.

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How much did you pay?

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£25 each in a little antique shop in Wolsingham where I come from,

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-which is about half an hour over that way.

-OK.

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These are quite heavy

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and if you rub your fingers along the back,

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-this porcelain feels very hard.

-Right.

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-Hard-paste porcelain.

-Right.

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Royal Worcester didn't make hard-paste porcelain

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-until well into the 20th century.

-Oh!

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Are they forgeries?

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Well, let's take it one step at a time.

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Oh, I'm gutted.

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-This signature, J Bradley...

-Mm-hmm.

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-That is not how people signed in the late 1890s.

-Right.

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Even without that, when I saw these coming across the table,

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I thought, "That's funny, they look Chinese."

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And I think that's what you've got.

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This is getting more and more baffling by the minute!

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So, they are copies, in a sense?

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-Copies would be a nice word.

-Right.

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-But you touched on a nasty word, which is forgeries.

-Forgeries.

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When is something a fake, when is it a forgery?

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-Do you know the difference?

-No.

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A fake is essentially something

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-that has been knocked-up from genuine parts.

-Right.

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Genuine old things knocked together to make them look like something old

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-and comprising old bits.

-Yes.

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When is it a forgery?

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A forgery is an object which has a mark put on it deliberately.

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-Deliberately to fool.

-To make you think it's something it isn't.

-Mm-hm.

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So, the warning sign should have been that they were too cheap.

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-Right.

-That's always a warning sign.

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If you see something at the wrong price, then it may...

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I thought they were quite expensive about 12, 15 years ago.

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It was a lot of money to me then.

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Now, value.

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-You paid £25 each.

-Yes, they were.

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I've been out to China, I've seen these,

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and things like this, being made in China.

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-A fiver!

-SHE LAUGHS

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You beat me to it!

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Really?

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Well, there you go. Oh, dear me, you can have them back, Carol!

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Well, thank you very much, it's been very, very interesting.

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It's been my pleasure.

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Yeah... I bet it has!

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I bet it... Here's us thinking we were sitting on a fortune, Joshua,

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but thank you very much, thank you.

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You might have seen a picture of me a while ago in the Radio Times in vintage clothing,

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and I have to say, I've caught the bug.

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Look at this, beautiful '50s frock

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complete with little petticoat underneath,

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lent to me very kindly by Beverley and Zara here.

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And you are vintage clothing collectors, aficionados, aren't you?

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Look at you both! Talk me through what you're wearing, first of all.

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This is gorgeous.

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This is a '40s-inspired,

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wartime, kind of, just little cute dress.

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And you've got the hair and the lipstick going on,

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Bev, Mum, look at that.

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-The New Look from the 1950s, which is my favourite era.

-Dior.

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Fabulous! Now you've got a big collection,

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this is some of it here.

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What got you into it?

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Just the era, everything about it, the music, the dancing,

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then the clothes come along with it, don't they?

0:17:070:17:10

Fabulous, how much have you got in your collection?

0:17:100:17:12

-Wardrobes full.

-Quite a lot.

-Really?

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Yeah, two roomfuls.

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Is part of the attraction of the clothes...

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I suppose they're of a more glamorous past, aren't they?

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Oh, definitely, yes, everyone dressed for certain times of the day

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-and it's just the whole thing - the gloves, the hats...

-Hats.

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-..that we can put on.

-Shoes.

-And even the jewellery,

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-you're not supposed to wear your pearls before 12 o'clock.

-Oh, really?

0:17:340:17:38

It's little things that you find out

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that you wouldn't have done these days.

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-No, we're more casual these days, aren't we?

-Definitely.

0:17:420:17:45

You look fabulous, I feel fabulous in this dress.

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-Thank you so much for bringing these gorgeous clothes in.

-Thank you.

0:17:470:17:51

This is a lovely mahogany sideboard, what can you tell me about it?

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As a family, we think it was made for the house

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which is very, very old, and it was made for an alcove,

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but we would like to know how old you think it is, for starters,

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and who you thought made it.

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Right, I can answer the question of the date relatively easily,

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but nobody could be precise.

0:18:350:18:37

It's typical of the Hepplewhite period,

0:18:370:18:39

from about the 1770, 1780, 1790 period, so let's say circa 1780.

0:18:390:18:45

-Nobody can tell you exactly what year it was made.

-Right.

0:18:450:18:48

But it's typical of the mahogany of the period,

0:18:480:18:51

and the shape is typical, but very unusual,

0:18:510:18:53

it's got a very north country feel, very deep,

0:18:530:18:57

much deeper than it would expect to be

0:18:570:18:59

in a smaller London house.

0:18:590:19:01

It was made, clearly, for a big house. As far as the maker,

0:19:010:19:04

I'm afraid nobody in the world knows who made it.

0:19:040:19:07

-Right.

-It's absolutely impossible.

0:19:070:19:09

Probably, by the look of it, a local maker.

0:19:090:19:12

We've got all the typical features, we've got the potty cupboard,

0:19:120:19:15

-and I think you've got one at your end as well.

-Yes.

0:19:150:19:18

And probably as important, the cellaret for the wine bottles here.

0:19:180:19:22

-Very important, yes.

-With the divisions, absolutely typical.

0:19:220:19:25

I want to really examine these chairs very carefully.

0:19:250:19:29

-You've got just two of them?

-We've got 12, all identical, all arms.

0:19:290:19:33

-Twelve armchairs, open armchairs.

-Yes.

0:19:330:19:36

And they were made for the family.

0:19:360:19:38

-Do you know who by?

-No, that's what I want you to tell me,

0:19:380:19:41

I want to know who made them and how old do you think they are.

0:19:410:19:44

Well, you've set me a real challenge.

0:19:440:19:46

I can't tell you who made them and I don't think anyone, again, can.

0:19:460:19:50

The problem with furniture, and one of the exciting things,

0:19:500:19:53

is that English furniture was rarely signed.

0:19:530:19:55

However, the design, this shield-shaped back,

0:19:550:19:59

it's typical of George Hepplewhite...the designs.

0:19:590:20:02

-Yes.

-The sideboard less so, it's more confused.

0:20:020:20:05

-Right.

-It's not quite as clear-cut,

0:20:050:20:08

but the shield back with these lovely acanthus-carved splats here,

0:20:080:20:12

and these elegant, open arms is typical of Hepplewhite,

0:20:120:20:16

as also the leg here.

0:20:160:20:17

I love the wood, it's clearly a very good quality mahogany

0:20:170:20:21

and super carving here, mahogany carves so beautifully

0:20:210:20:24

and it shows in the back of these chairs.

0:20:240:20:26

-I think they're 1790.

-Yes.

-You know they've been in the house.

0:20:260:20:29

-Yes...

-Let's check up on them.

0:20:290:20:32

-Well, there have been a few repairs there.

-Yes.

0:20:320:20:36

-These blocks are new.

-Are they?

-You can see there's no attempt...

0:20:360:20:39

Well, "new"... 10-20 years old.

0:20:390:20:42

But this is the original way of making a chair of this type,

0:20:420:20:45

with this open buttress here, typical.

0:20:450:20:47

I think they're north country, locally made chairs,

0:20:470:20:51

of real quality and I really can't remember if I've ever seen,

0:20:510:20:56

in some 40 years of looking at furniture, a set of 12 chairs.

0:20:560:21:01

Very unusual, I think. Are you going to value them for me?

0:21:010:21:04

I was going to try and wriggle out of it because it's quite difficult.

0:21:040:21:08

Well, let's do the sideboard.

0:21:080:21:10

They've been fluctuating recently, but they're coming back.

0:21:100:21:13

It's a bit deep, but say an auction price,

0:21:130:21:16

to be fair, between about £3,000-5,000 at auction.

0:21:160:21:21

-But the chairs... Have you had these valued recently?

-No.

0:21:210:21:25

A set of 12 open armchairs is incredibly rare.

0:21:250:21:30

To add to that, Granny, Great-Granny,

0:21:300:21:32

-is reputed to have given two away as a wedding present.

-Ah!

0:21:320:21:35

So, there were probably 14 originally.

0:21:350:21:37

-That is...

-We can't vouch for that.

0:21:370:21:39

That's fascinating, the normal set would be 14.

0:21:390:21:41

Most Georgian sets were 14. Oh, Granny!

0:21:410:21:44

-Oh, Granny.

-Oh, dear.

0:21:440:21:45

Well, I'll have to value them. A pair of these could be worth up to £5,000,

0:21:470:21:52

so that's six pairs, some £30,000.

0:21:530:21:56

But we obviously have to add more for a set,

0:21:560:21:59

so, I'm going to give an auction price

0:21:590:22:02

of something like £40,000-60,000.

0:22:020:22:04

Insurance price?

0:22:040:22:07

I'm going to say 70,000, minimum.

0:22:070:22:09

Right, thank you very much. We'll put the insurance up, I think.

0:22:110:22:15

Now, what's a man of your calibre doing with a gun like this?

0:22:150:22:18

Well, it was my grandfather's gun and it came with a hotel

0:22:180:22:22

that he bought, so that's how it ended up in the family.

0:22:220:22:25

What about the history before that?

0:22:250:22:27

The history... We know it was cast in 1865 in Birkenhead

0:22:270:22:32

by a company which had strong links with the Confederate Army

0:22:320:22:35

in the American Civil War.

0:22:350:22:37

How do you know it was 1865?

0:22:370:22:38

-It's printed.

-Oh, down here.

-Yes.

0:22:380:22:41

So, what does that say, here?

0:22:410:22:43

Fawcett, Preston and Co.

0:22:430:22:46

186... What's that?

0:22:460:22:49

-I think it's '65.

-1865, Liverpool.

0:22:490:22:52

Well, Fawcett, Preston and Co made what are called Blakely guns.

0:22:520:22:57

Alexander, Captain Alexander Blakely,

0:22:570:22:59

designed this gun to take quite high pressures,

0:22:590:23:02

and you can see this great lump of steel here, this great lump of metal,

0:23:020:23:07

which was going to take a huge pressure

0:23:070:23:10

and then the barrel tapers off as the pressure goes.

0:23:100:23:13

Now, this gun was not that successful

0:23:130:23:18

because it had a tremendous recoil

0:23:180:23:20

and so it fell out of favour with the Confederates

0:23:200:23:23

and wasn't used very much.

0:23:230:23:25

But I wonder how this got into this country, why is it here?

0:23:250:23:29

Why isn't this in America, as most were sent there?

0:23:290:23:32

Because it was built, well, cast, in the last year of the war,

0:23:320:23:35

so, we don't believe it ever made it across.

0:23:350:23:38

-I see, the war ended before it was shipped.

-Yes.

-I understand.

0:23:380:23:41

What's the diameter of the...

0:23:410:23:43

-I think it's 2.5.

-What's this?

0:23:430:23:46

Oh, I think that might have been me as a child.

0:23:460:23:49

The whole thing's stuffed with them!

0:23:490:23:52

You stuffed a load of pine cones down here?

0:23:520:23:54

-Well, yes.

-How funny, and have you ever fired it?

0:23:540:23:57

We tried to, or it was planned, at the Millennium,

0:23:570:24:00

but by about four o'clock, everyone was a bit worse for wear

0:24:000:24:04

-and it didn't happen, so...

-You were all too drunk!

-Yes.

0:24:040:24:07

Oh, that's a brilliant story. It's a great, great gun,

0:24:070:24:11

it really is super, and it's actually got an interesting history behind it.

0:24:110:24:16

What about value? What do you think?

0:24:160:24:18

Well, we have no idea of the value. None at all.

0:24:180:24:21

Well, it's a really, really collectible item.

0:24:210:24:23

If this was sold in Britain, I think we'd get in the region

0:24:230:24:27

of £5,000-6,000 for it.

0:24:270:24:29

In America...

0:24:290:24:30

-I think it could be worth £8,000-10,000.

-Really?

0:24:300:24:36

But think what it would cost to ship this to America.

0:24:360:24:39

It would probably cost a few thousand pounds to do that anyway.

0:24:390:24:42

So it's a dilemma - do you sell it here or do you sell it in America?

0:24:420:24:45

-I guess you'd never sell it.

-No, I think we'll keep hold of it, yeah.

0:24:450:24:49

-And do fire it one day, won't you?

-We will, acorns and all.

-Acorns!

0:24:490:24:55

These two wonderfully vibrant colourful paintings

0:24:570:25:00

depict one of my favourite places, Venice,

0:25:000:25:03

but they're also by an artist who I met in the 1980s

0:25:030:25:07

-and an artist I'm particularly fond of - John Bratby.

-John Bratby, yeah.

0:25:070:25:11

Now, tell me, when did you first come across John Bratby's work?

0:25:110:25:15

Well, it's going back a lot of years now.

0:25:150:25:18

Let's see - 1954,

0:25:180:25:22

-that's when he just came out of the Royal College.

-Yeah.

0:25:220:25:25

He was having his diploma show

0:25:250:25:27

-and, erm, that was when he was painting through the tube.

-Yeah.

0:25:270:25:31

Drawing through, with the paint just from the tube

0:25:310:25:34

without any brushes or palette knife, anything.

0:25:340:25:37

So, with him being a really excellent draughtsman,

0:25:370:25:41

he was able to do that fluently.

0:25:410:25:43

Well, these just sing with colour, don't they?

0:25:430:25:46

Amazing colour, that's what he was well-known for really,

0:25:460:25:49

-I suppose, the '50s and the Kitchen Sink Group.

-Exactly, yeah.

0:25:490:25:52

It was like the Pre-Raphaelites, wasn't it? The Brotherhood,

0:25:520:25:58

-and he was the head man.

-Exactly, and he...

0:25:580:26:01

they would use domestic utensils in the kitchen and paint them.

0:26:010:26:04

Where others might be painting nudes, models or traditional subjects,

0:26:040:26:08

-they were painting lavatories and sinks.

-Yeah.

0:26:080:26:10

-Cornflake packs and beer bottles.

-Exactly,

0:26:100:26:14

-all sorts of different brands.

-Yeah.

0:26:140:26:16

I met him when I first started in this business, the art business,

0:26:160:26:21

-probably about 1989, so three years before he dies.

-Yes.

0:26:210:26:24

-To be fair, he was pretty, pretty depressed.

-Yeah, I think he would be.

0:26:240:26:28

-I met him at his house in Hastings with Patti, his second wife.

-Yeah.

0:26:280:26:32

His whole house was covered with photographs, views of Venice,

0:26:320:26:35

views of Patti, all sorts of pictures that he'd taken,

0:26:350:26:39

so I imagine your two pictures of Venice,

0:26:390:26:41

-may have been painted from photographs.

-Yes.

0:26:410:26:44

Probably, the hotel is the Hotel Europa, which is on the Piazzetta.

0:26:440:26:47

That's right, yeah.

0:26:470:26:48

And I think what's wonderful about his work is,

0:26:480:26:51

that as much as he seemed very depressed at the time I met him,

0:26:510:26:55

we're standing here looking at two wonderfully vibrant,

0:26:550:26:58

colourful paintings which give us all a great deal of joy,

0:26:580:27:04

and I think in terms of the way he should feel,

0:27:040:27:07

if he were seeing us now,

0:27:070:27:08

enjoying these pictures with their wonderful colour.

0:27:080:27:11

The energy is still there, as he painted it.

0:27:110:27:14

-Absolutely, great blusters of energy, absolutely fabulous.

-Yeah.

0:27:140:27:19

These are painted in the 1980s,

0:27:190:27:21

so you decided you wanted to buy two pictures by Bratby.

0:27:210:27:24

-I wanted to buy one, that's all I could afford at the time.

-Right.

0:27:240:27:28

It was just when I retired, '85.

0:27:280:27:30

-OK.

-And I thought, but I like the two

0:27:300:27:33

and I made a proposition to the gallery -

0:27:330:27:38

if I bought the two, did he think they'd accept £2,000?

0:27:380:27:44

So you did a deal.

0:27:440:27:46

-I got two for the price of one.

-Fantastic, a good deal.

0:27:460:27:49

Just after he died there was a resurgence of interest in his work,

0:27:490:27:53

so, you might want to hold onto my hand, I don't know, or my arm,

0:27:530:27:57

because these are worth about £8,000-12,000 each in the present market.

0:27:570:28:03

Are they? Really?

0:28:030:28:05

It's made my day to see them,

0:28:050:28:07

they are two very good and enjoyable paintings.

0:28:070:28:12

Here we are at Bowes Museum, in the middle of the credit crunch,

0:28:120:28:15

when lots of people are losing their jobs,

0:28:150:28:18

and this plate is about a kind of credit crunch from almost 200 years ago.

0:28:180:28:23

We're looking at a thing that was all about the terrible worries people had about steam power

0:28:230:28:28

and steam engines and people losing their jobs,

0:28:280:28:31

so here we have two grave diggers

0:28:310:28:33

who are idling their time playing cards,

0:28:330:28:35

whilst behind them, a steam-powered grave digging machine digs the graves and does their job for them.

0:28:350:28:41

And these were real concerns of people of the Regency period,

0:28:410:28:44

that these terrible steam engines were coming in and replacing people's jobs,

0:28:440:28:49

in the same way as the photocopier got rid of the typing pool, call centres got rid of going to the bank.

0:28:490:28:54

So this is a bit of industrial history on a plate.

0:28:540:28:57

-How did you come to buy it?

-Well, I was collecting children's plates,

0:28:570:29:01

and it seemed to fit vaguely in that area, and then we got it home and looked at it,

0:29:010:29:05

and we decided that grave digging was a fairly maudlin subject for a children's nursery,

0:29:050:29:10

so it's had a separate place on the cabinet ever since.

0:29:100:29:14

-A place apart.

-Yes.

-Kept at a distance from the children.

-The children's plates, yeah.

0:29:140:29:19

It IS what you would call a children's plate.

0:29:190:29:21

It's a piece of propaganda, really.

0:29:210:29:23

People are saying there's a whole different series of these,

0:29:230:29:26

all on the symptoms of steam power,

0:29:260:29:28

but it is really people's genuine concerns about losing their jobs,

0:29:280:29:33

and it's as relevant and it's as real today as it was when this was made,

0:29:330:29:38

almost 200 years ago, in about 1800, 1810.

0:29:380:29:41

And as a little piece of industrial history,

0:29:410:29:44

if it was an ordinary plate it would be worth £20 or £30, but a bit of industrial history like this,

0:29:440:29:49

-with this very relevant, rather quirky, as you say, slightly maudlin subject...

-Yes.

0:29:490:29:53

-..it's worth about £150.

-Ah! That's good.

-A pleasant surprise?

-Good return on £3.

0:29:530:29:57

Maybe put it in with the other ones, it won't do it any harm.

0:29:570:30:01

-Thank you very much.

-It's a pleasure, thank you.

-Thank you.

0:30:010:30:04

I love the pet food aisle in the supermarket

0:30:040:30:06

because you never know which way the person's going to go. Are they a cat person or dog person?

0:30:060:30:11

And it's always fun trying to decide which way they're going to go.

0:30:110:30:15

-Are you a cat person or a dog person?

-I'm probably neither.

0:30:150:30:18

I'm not a cat person, but my grandmother was, and this is where I got this from.

0:30:180:30:23

-Did she have a lot of cats?

-Yes.

0:30:230:30:24

Well, it's a rather intriguing little bronze, it's very stylish.

0:30:240:30:28

I really like it, I was taken with it immediately

0:30:280:30:30

and it is, in fact, a bronze I have seen before, so I immediately knew who it was by.

0:30:300:30:35

But we can get the answer to that quite simply by looking at the signature.

0:30:350:30:38

We can see this name here, Hamo Thorneycroft. It's dated 1884.

0:30:380:30:43

Do you know anything about Thorneycroft at all?

0:30:430:30:46

-Absolutely nothing.

-Well, what you've got, in fact, is a little gem,

0:30:460:30:49

because William Thorneycroft, I think, was one of the most eminent sculptors of the 19th century.

0:30:490:30:55

He was born in 1850 and he's famous for some fabulous work.

0:30:550:31:01

-Do you know the statue of Oliver Cromwell outside the Houses of Parliament?

-Yes, yes.

0:31:010:31:06

-That's one of his.

-Gosh.

0:31:060:31:07

So you can see the stature of the man. He was a very, very skilled sculptor.

0:31:070:31:12

What intrigues me about this little bronze is that there's also an inscription on the bottom.

0:31:120:31:17

-Have you ever noticed this?

-No, I haven't.

0:31:170:31:19

Can you see? In pen, there is written "Hamo Thorneycroft 1909".

0:31:190:31:25

-Right.

-Now that's a date obviously different to the date on the base. What intrigues me about that is,

0:31:250:31:32

-is that perhaps a personal inscription? Did your - sorry, grandmother?

-My grandmother, yes.

0:31:320:31:39

-Was she...

-It is possible.

0:31:390:31:40

I never knew my grandmother. She died before I was born, but that would tie in with the dates, yes.

0:31:400:31:45

Right, OK. I mean, did she move in artistic circles?

0:31:450:31:48

-Yes, she was a concert pianist...

-Ah!

0:31:480:31:50

..and she had a lot of friends who were artists and things, so it is possible that...

0:31:500:31:54

and also she loved cats. There is a connection, yes.

0:31:540:31:57

Right, OK, so there is a... there is a slight possibility that that may have been inscribed.

0:31:570:32:02

-You're not a cat person, but you like it as an object?

-Oh, yes, absolutely.

0:32:020:32:06

The market has been up and down, I have to say.

0:32:060:32:10

Some of his figurative works can make tens of thousands,

0:32:100:32:14

but I'm going to plump for £1,800-2,200 at auction.

0:32:140:32:19

-Oh, right! Well, that's a lot more than... Well, that's lovely.

-It's a good little thing.

0:32:190:32:24

-It is, but it's part of the family, so it's...it sits on my mantelpiece.

-I'll stroke it.

0:32:240:32:29

-THEY LAUGH

-As we do.

0:32:290:32:31

-Thank you.

-Thank you very much, thank you.

0:32:310:32:34

How do you come to know such a young beauty as this?

0:32:360:32:40

Um, visiting an old friend,

0:32:400:32:45

sitting down talking and looked across the room

0:32:450:32:47

-and there was piles of boxes and things, after a good clear out of the house.

-Yes.

0:32:470:32:52

And I just saw half of this face looking out at me and...

0:32:520:32:57

-Beautiful face at that.

-Oh, yes, I know, yeah.

0:32:570:32:59

-And something just fluttered.

-Yeah?

-That was it.

0:32:590:33:03

-Right.

-And I commented, this person said,

0:33:030:33:06

"It's going out of the house, going to be deposited in the tip."

0:33:060:33:12

No! Really?

0:33:120:33:14

Yes, it had a funny sort of reputation with it and I think it was just a case of liking it or...

0:33:140:33:19

-Some people don't like heads in their houses.

-I know. What sort of funny reputation?

0:33:190:33:24

Um, well, this one, apparently from a great-great-grandmother, the head was cursed, it was a death mask.

0:33:240:33:31

-Cursed? Have you any...

-Absolutely. Have you had any problems since you came to own it?

0:33:310:33:36

No, no, this is from a long time ago, nothing happened up to now.

0:33:360:33:41

-So I keep my fingers crossed.

-So it's all poppycock, then.

0:33:410:33:44

-It's made of terracotta. You can see, because some of the paint, which is cold applied, is flaking off.

-Aha.

0:33:440:33:50

It's partly painted, partly gilded, of course.

0:33:500:33:53

We don't know who she is, but I do know that this is based on

0:33:530:33:57

a Renaissance original which would have been done in marble.

0:33:570:34:01

-Yeah.

-I think there's several copies known around the world and they're all in top museums,

0:34:010:34:06

-I believe the Frick Collection in New York have a copy.

-That's a big one, yes.

0:34:060:34:11

-But they're in marble and, of course, marble used to be painted.

-Oh, yes, in those days.

-Yeah.

0:34:110:34:16

So, what happens in the 19th century when there's a lot of wealthy people

0:34:160:34:20

who want to own a Renaissance work of art but haven't quite got the money,

0:34:200:34:24

-the Italians responded and made lovely terracotta busts in the Renaissance taste.

-Yes.

0:34:240:34:29

-And I believe this is exactly what this is.

-Lovely.

0:34:290:34:32

I think she does just need a little bit of work, but the sensitivity of the painting is exquisite, isn't it?

0:34:320:34:39

It's totally beautiful.

0:34:390:34:40

Yeah, very lifelike and the wonderful hairpiece, she has this netted effect.

0:34:400:34:44

Oh, yes, with the coil of hair on the back.

0:34:440:34:47

Yeah. Have you ever been offered anything for it?

0:34:470:34:49

-Um...

-Do you know what it's worth?

-I will show you. I took it... I didn't know at first

0:34:490:34:55

and I took it to see a chap who was dealing in antiques in Richmond,

0:34:550:34:59

and I just said I thought it would have been worth about £280 or something,

0:34:590:35:05

somewhere around there and he said,

0:35:050:35:07

"I'll give you £2.80."

0:35:070:35:09

-£2.80?!

-Yes, £2.80.

0:35:090:35:12

-Good Lord. Well...

-And he laughed, he said, "It's only a mannequin for a shop window, about 1914."

0:35:120:35:18

-No, it was made in the 1890s, it's much earlier. It's not a hat stand.

-No, no, no.

0:35:180:35:23

This is really a proper work of art.

0:35:230:35:25

It wouldn't have a hat on, you know...yeah.

0:35:250:35:27

Well, you can't sell it, because it's cursed.

0:35:270:35:29

Something might happen if you sell it. But I think insure it for about £400.

0:35:290:35:34

-So, considering it was going to go on the skip and going to be smashed up...

-Yeah.

0:35:340:35:38

-I think you've acquired a real beauty.

-Yes, she's gorgeous.

0:35:380:35:41

She is gorgeous.

0:35:410:35:43

Now, there are two types of coins.

0:35:440:35:46

There are collectors' coins - your Roman coins, your groats, your early English and the rest of it -

0:35:460:35:53

and then there are bullion coins, and bullion coins, basically,

0:35:530:35:56

are purely for the value of the pure gold they have in them.

0:35:560:36:00

Sovereigns, half sovereigns, Krugerrands and, notably,

0:36:000:36:04

the American 20 piece,

0:36:040:36:07

of which you have a particularly fine example.

0:36:070:36:09

It's in stunning condition.

0:36:090:36:13

BUT...if I just palm it,

0:36:130:36:17

say the magic word,

0:36:170:36:19

I reckon I can turn it into a serious collectors' coin from a bullion coin.

0:36:190:36:25

Here we go.

0:36:250:36:27

It's a coin watch you've got here. Have you tried that party trick?

0:36:290:36:32

Yes, I have, yes, on a number of occasions, yes.

0:36:320:36:35

I've been waiting to do it.

0:36:350:36:37

I don't have a coin watch, so I've not been able to do it, but I couldn't resist.

0:36:370:36:41

It's actually made out of two coins, of course.

0:36:410:36:44

-Oh.

-Well, when you think about it, you've got an original 1904 American 20 front...

0:36:440:36:51

-Yes.

-..and an original 1924, probably, 20 back.

0:36:510:36:55

But, of course, there's no way you can get a coin apart...

0:36:550:36:58

-No.

-..and get the middle out, without destroying one side or the other.

0:36:580:37:02

The coin itself, I think, is about £500-600, these days.

0:37:020:37:06

That's the... because of the high value of gold.

0:37:060:37:10

Do you have any knowledge of its history?

0:37:100:37:12

Not really. It was my father's, and I remember him bringing it home late '60s, maybe 1970,

0:37:120:37:20

certainly wasn't new at that point, I don't think.

0:37:200:37:23

They have been making these, basically, since the war.

0:37:230:37:26

There are one or two that are earlier,

0:37:260:37:29

but curiously enough, it's signed Cartier on the dial,

0:37:290:37:33

and on the back of the movement, which is probably almost impossible to see,

0:37:330:37:37

-it's actually signed Piaget.

-Oh.

0:37:370:37:39

Now, Cartier now owns...

0:37:390:37:42

Part of the Cartier group owns the Piaget name.

0:37:420:37:46

They're all one group, but in the '70s they weren't. They were associated.

0:37:460:37:52

So what has happened is that Piaget, who made a very flat movement,

0:37:520:37:56

and it is extraordinarily flat when you think about this is a solid gold frame, hollowed out inside.

0:37:560:38:01

-In there is an actual watch movement.

-Yes.

0:38:010:38:03

They made a very flat movement which enabled them to, basically, to produce coin watches.

0:38:030:38:09

Anyway, that just perfectly fits.

0:38:090:38:12

Retailed by Cartier,

0:38:120:38:14

movement by Piaget and a brilliant thing.

0:38:140:38:17

And this one is in mint condition, and condition is everything.

0:38:170:38:21

If the cover's been bent...

0:38:210:38:23

-Yes.

-..or the edge has been damaged

0:38:230:38:25

-or in this case, if you look, you just can't see where the opening is.

-No, you have to look carefully.

0:38:250:38:31

Really carefully. And if any of that's damaged, it cuts the value quite a bit.

0:38:310:38:35

Do you have a clue on the value?

0:38:350:38:36

I suppose it might depend a bit on gold price, as you were saying.

0:38:360:38:40

-Yes. Well, I told you I'd turn it from a bullion coin into a...

-Yes, yes.

0:38:400:38:45

-..um, a couple of thousand pounds, I think.

-Oh, really?

0:38:450:38:49

-Yeah.

-Better get it insured, then.

-Just don't get it mixed up with the others.

-No!

0:38:490:38:53

Good. Thank you very much. Very interesting.

0:38:530:38:55

Ah, it's not often I get the chance to put my feet up on this programme,

0:39:040:39:08

but here I am, sitting in this rather splendid chair.

0:39:080:39:11

But it's not an antique.

0:39:110:39:13

All will be revealed by our very own Christopher Payne.

0:39:130:39:16

Christopher, we're asking our experts in this series

0:39:160:39:19

about the best and the worst bits of their own personal collections.

0:39:190:39:23

This, I'm assuming, is the best bit.

0:39:230:39:25

-Or the worst.

-Well, I don't know, you tell me.

0:39:250:39:27

Well, I'm very proud of it, but I made it.

0:39:270:39:30

-You made it?

-Myself.

-Wow!

0:39:300:39:32

This year in fact, so it's a new, new antique, for the future.

0:39:320:39:37

And what made you decide to embark upon making it?

0:39:370:39:41

I've been a critic and valuer of furniture for almost 40 years now.

0:39:410:39:44

I thought, I've got to put my money where my mouth is.

0:39:440:39:47

I must actually do something and see if I'm even capable of doing it,

0:39:470:39:50

and I love Windsor chairs, and this opportunity came along to make one with a tutor in an old workshop,

0:39:500:39:56

and there we go, I made it. I can't believe it myself, I can tell you.

0:39:560:40:01

Well, I think it's beautiful. How long did it take you?

0:40:010:40:04

Well, we went to the pub quite a few times, but the actual...

0:40:040:40:07

about three o'clock, you get a bit bored

0:40:070:40:10

-and, um, so it took about four days actual work to do it.

-Right.

0:40:100:40:14

And these bits here,

0:40:140:40:17

for example, and here,

0:40:170:40:18

do they come already bent? Do you have to bend them?

0:40:180:40:21

-You have to bend them yourself.

-What, like this?

0:40:210:40:23

Well, they go in a steamer. It's ash, the light wood is called ash, and it goes in a steamer,

0:40:230:40:28

and you say, "OK, boys," and you pull it out, and with somebody else, you pull it like that,

0:40:280:40:33

-or you can just about do it on your own.

-Just with brute strength?

0:40:330:40:36

Brute strength. You have to do it quickly.

0:40:360:40:38

And then somebody else puts a clamp along and you've got it set, hopefully.

0:40:380:40:42

There's quite a lot of work. I was surprised how physical it was,

0:40:420:40:45

and it'll make a huge difference to my admiration of Windsor chairs on the Antiques Roadshow.

0:40:450:40:50

Did you choose it because that's a type of chair you particularly admire?

0:40:500:40:54

-I hoped it was going to be easy to make.

-Just pragmatism.

0:40:540:40:57

They're so comfortable. It fits everybody, the form, it's a natural wood, it cocoons the body.

0:40:570:41:02

A wonderful piece of vernacular furniture. Hopefully this will last a few hundred years.

0:41:020:41:06

-Have you put your maker's mark on it?

-I did, can I show you?

0:41:060:41:09

-Round here.

-Oh, right!

0:41:090:41:12

So, we've got ash here and this is a bit of bog oak,

0:41:120:41:14

2,000-year-old oak, just to make it a bit decorative and there's, proudly, my name, initials and date,

0:41:140:41:21

so nobody in the future, on an Antiques Roadshow in 1,000 years' time, can be wrong about who made it.

0:41:210:41:26

How wonderful! So, have you got it pride of place in your home, then?

0:41:260:41:30

-I didn't have anywhere to put it.

-After all that!

0:41:300:41:33

Eventually it went in the kitchen, and I sit there reading the newspaper. I love it.

0:41:330:41:37

I think it's lovely. So I am going to assume this has pride of place,

0:41:370:41:41

-so what about the worst or the most disappointing part of your collection?

-It's over here.

-Right.

0:41:410:41:45

-Do we have to do this?

-Yes, we do.

0:41:450:41:48

-I always enjoy this bit particularly.

-Thank you very much. Well, here it is.

0:41:480:41:52

-OK, looks all right.

-An Adam fruit bowl. The Georgian period, in best quality mahogany.

0:41:520:41:58

-Or so I thought.

-What went wrong?

0:41:580:42:02

I bought it when I started as a porter in the London salerooms in 1970

0:42:020:42:06

-and I was going down the New Kings Road...

-Hang on a minute, is this you in the picture here?

0:42:060:42:11

Er, yes, not the auctioneer, the porter.

0:42:110:42:13

-Oh, look!

-That's me.

-What do we think? Very handsome, I'd say.

0:42:130:42:17

-Yes, they've got a thumbs up there.

-Same moustache.

-So how old were you here?

0:42:170:42:22

-21.

-21! Gosh, right, OK.

-So...

0:42:220:42:27

anyway, after a few weeks I thought I knew everything about antiques,

0:42:270:42:31

went down the New Kings Road in London and saw this in the window, walked in and said,

0:42:310:42:36

"How much is this?" and they said £12, so I bought it immediately.

0:42:360:42:42

-And was that a lot of money to you, at the time?

-It was a net week's salary.

-Gosh, right.

0:42:420:42:47

So it really hurt to buy it.

0:42:470:42:48

But I knew, I absolutely knew that I'd got a bargain, sale of the century, bargain of the century.

0:42:480:42:54

Well, I got it home and my father just fell out of his chair laughing.

0:42:540:42:58

He was a retired antique dealer and he said, "It's about 1950, I think."

0:42:580:43:02

-Oh.

-So here it is, and I really should have known by the weight of this.

0:43:020:43:06

It's just simply not heavy enough to be old mahogany.

0:43:060:43:09

-No, it's very light, isn't it?

-Yeah.

0:43:090:43:11

-So that alone should have told you it was a fake.

-Yes.

-Oooh!

-Over-confidence of youth.

0:43:110:43:16

And guess what it's worth today.

0:43:160:43:18

What?

0:43:180:43:20

-About £12.

-Oh! No!

0:43:200:43:24

-Christopher, thanks very much.

-Thank you.

0:43:240:43:27

Well, it looks almost good enough to eat, doesn't it?

0:43:270:43:30

But tell me a bit more. How did you come to own this lovely glass pear?

0:43:300:43:34

Well, I was given it when I was...

0:43:340:43:36

about 1959, when I was very young.

0:43:360:43:38

-Very young.

-And I didn't consider it very lovely then, at that age.

0:43:380:43:42

I was very disparaging about it and called it "the bomb".

0:43:420:43:46

It sat in my mum's china cabinet for years. It was a friend of hers who was very artistic,

0:43:460:43:52

she lectured in fine art at Newcastle University and she gave me that, and...

0:43:520:43:56

very far-seeing, I think. It was when I was in my 20s,

0:43:560:43:59

I sort of gradually came to appreciate it.

0:43:590:44:01

So this was a gift in '59

0:44:010:44:03

from a very stylish lady to you as a little girl.

0:44:030:44:07

-Yes, yes.

-I mean, what a gift,

0:44:070:44:09

because, what a gift, I mean, this is a woman who had foresight

0:44:090:44:12

because, if we turn this very unassuming little pear over,

0:44:120:44:16

we have a fantastic name on the bottom, which is Venini.

0:44:160:44:19

Now, Venini are one of the absolute greats of the Italian glass circuit,

0:44:190:44:26

and at this time, we're looking, more than likely, at the work of one of their leading designers,

0:44:260:44:31

Fulvio Bianconi, and of course,

0:44:310:44:33

we've got this lovely cased green body here,

0:44:330:44:37

and then just applied on is this lovely little stem and little leaf,

0:44:370:44:40

that's just been kicked on, in a second. Absolutely superb.

0:44:400:44:44

It just shows the quality and the speed of the Venetian glass-makers on the island of Murano.

0:44:440:44:49

Now, I notice on the label that there is a price there of 32/6.

0:44:490:44:55

32 shillings and sixpence!

0:44:550:44:57

I mean, that was a lot of money for a little gift.

0:44:570:45:01

Well, do you love it?

0:45:010:45:03

I do, I do love it now.

0:45:030:45:05

-But it was "the bomb".

-It was "the bomb", yes.

0:45:050:45:07

Well, all I'll say to you is, thank goodness you never threw it around

0:45:070:45:12

because your little Venini bomb, which is now a beautiful pear,

0:45:120:45:17

is worth the best part of £200-250.

0:45:170:45:21

Good Lord!

0:45:210:45:22

Gosh, I am rather stunned.

0:45:250:45:27

-I thought about 30 to 40.

-Oh, no.

0:45:270:45:30

I think, er, you know, fruit from Italy's quite valuable.

0:45:300:45:34

Wow!

0:45:340:45:35

We're talking about a British institution -

0:45:390:45:42

the wonderfully revered Queen Mother

0:45:420:45:44

and you've brought a collection along here that is apt because she was a patron of the Bowes Museum,

0:45:440:45:50

and obviously her name, Bowes-Lyon. She was very much connected with both the museum

0:45:500:45:55

and I understand your father met her.

0:45:550:45:58

Yes, it was after the war.

0:45:580:46:00

He joined BOAC and was flying on the Britannia Fleet as a radio operator,

0:46:000:46:07

and he was the radio operator for the royal flight to South Africa

0:46:070:46:14

that took the Queen Mother on a royal visit to South Africa in 1957

0:46:140:46:17

and he kept these various mementos of that trip.

0:46:170:46:21

So, the first item is this BOAC corporation...

0:46:210:46:25

it's what it says on the tin - Royal Flight, London to Salisbury, July '57. And...

0:46:250:46:32

..at the back here, we have a complete map of where they went,

0:46:330:46:39

all the way from London to Salisbury and back.

0:46:390:46:42

Yeah. And it was I think on the flight on the way back, they were flying at night,

0:46:420:46:47

and she got a bit sort of bored sitting there, I guess,

0:46:470:46:51

so she sat down with him

0:46:510:46:52

and chatted to him as they were flying back over Africa.

0:46:520:46:56

And I think on the previous page

0:46:560:46:58

-there's actually a layout of the interior of the Britannia.

-Yeah.

0:46:580:47:02

-Or the "VIP interior", as it says here.

-Looks nice, doesn't it?

0:47:020:47:06

Very luxurious. I mean, they've got a dining table,

0:47:060:47:08

dining suite, and I think it says here "HM Queen Mother".

0:47:080:47:13

-A bed at one side and a settee at the other.

-Yes.

0:47:130:47:16

And she would have had a long walk, going all the way down here,

0:47:160:47:20

to presumably where your dad was,

0:47:200:47:22

which is the radio officer's cabin, which looks tiny.

0:47:220:47:24

Yes, he described it as like a little cupboard there

0:47:240:47:28

and she came up and said,

0:47:280:47:30

"Do you mind if I sit and have a chat with you?"

0:47:300:47:32

She asked him what he was doing

0:47:320:47:34

and he showed her the Morse code he was sending out and she said,

0:47:340:47:38

"Well, can you send messages to the people we're flying over?"

0:47:380:47:42

And as they were flying up, back over Africa,

0:47:420:47:45

he said, "Yes, sure. What would you like me to say?"

0:47:450:47:49

And she said, "I'll write it down". And the nearest thing to hand was the menu.

0:47:490:47:53

I can just imagine, if you were Governor of Northern Nigeria,

0:47:530:47:56

suddenly the Morse code started beeping,

0:47:560:47:58

"My goodness, we're getting a message from up above!" THEY LAUGH

0:47:580:48:02

-Oh, there it is.

-Yes.

-So she would have said,

0:48:020:48:05

"Send a signal to the Governor of Malta, my good man, my good chap."

0:48:050:48:09

THEY LAUGH "I send you very many sincere thanks

0:48:090:48:12

"for excellent arrangements which were made for my short visit to Malta,

0:48:120:48:16

-"which I enjoyed so greatly, Elizabeth R."

-Yes.

0:48:160:48:20

-That's extraordinary, isn't it?

-Yes, it's really...

0:48:200:48:22

-I'm so glad he kept it.

-But the final thing is also rather extraordinary as well.

0:48:220:48:27

Here we have a gold propelling pencil.

0:48:270:48:31

At the end of the flight, she said she'd enjoyed chatting to him so much,

0:48:310:48:35

she gave him the little pencil as a memory, and I remember him coming home,

0:48:350:48:40

I was about four or five at the time, and he gave it to me to play with,

0:48:400:48:45

and it was my pencil and I used to play with it

0:48:450:48:48

and then it disappeared and turned up later on when we were looking through things in the house

0:48:480:48:54

and I found the little pencil again. Extraordinary.

0:48:540:48:57

Because again, it's got, er,

0:48:570:48:59

"ER" on it and the royal crest and is in absolutely pristine, unused condition.

0:48:590:49:05

-Straight from the hand, via you, at age four.

-Yes.

-At least you didn't break it or lose it.

0:49:050:49:10

No, it's still got the original lead in it.

0:49:100:49:12

And it must have been an important part of his life as well.

0:49:120:49:16

-Oh, yes, yes. He..

-Yeah, he used to talk about how he spent the night with the Queen Mother

0:49:160:49:22

and it was a big thing. It was a big joke.

0:49:220:49:26

-So, a big family joke - the man who spent the night with the Queen Mother.

-Yes, that's right.

0:49:260:49:31

Well, it's a joyous collection

0:49:310:49:32

and obviously it's something that will be handed down

0:49:320:49:35

to you and your family for many, many generations, but, um,

0:49:350:49:40

I think something like that is so rare, I mean, personal notes,

0:49:400:49:43

-even though of unofficial basis, in the Queen's hand.

-Right.

-You never find them.

0:49:430:49:48

So they are very, very collectible, but not worth a huge amount of money. I mean, you're not going to sell it.

0:49:480:49:54

-No.

-But an archive like this, with the pencil and the other messages,

0:49:540:49:58

we're probably talking about a figure of up to £1,000.

0:49:580:50:01

Oh, right. Lovely.

0:50:010:50:03

But joyous to see and so apt that we're here at the Bowes Museum.

0:50:030:50:07

-Thank you.

-Thank you.

0:50:070:50:08

Do you have a family memento or treasured souvenir from a meeting with royalty?

0:50:080:50:13

My great-great grandmother decided that she was going to crochet

0:50:130:50:16

a huge shawl to present to the Queen and she spent 11 months doing that.

0:50:160:50:22

-She sent it to her in 1903.

-That would be Queen Alexandra.

-Yes.

0:50:220:50:28

So this box is from Queen Alexandra. Exciting moment.

0:50:280:50:33

Perhaps your great-great grandmother

0:50:330:50:35

was lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria.

0:50:350:50:38

Well, unless I'm very much mistaken we have a piece of royal gold

0:50:380:50:41

in front of us. Tell me about it.

0:50:410:50:44

Maybe your links with royalty stretch further back in time.

0:50:440:50:47

-So this album is completely full of Russian royalty.

-Yes.

0:50:470:50:53

If so, then we'd love to hear from you

0:50:530:50:54

because we're recording a special edition of the Antiques Roadshow

0:50:540:50:59

for this summer's Diamond Jubilee.

0:50:590:51:02

If you have a story and an object that helps retell

0:51:020:51:05

that moment in your family history, contact us -

0:51:050:51:08

Isn't he wonderful?

0:51:300:51:32

Well, I've loved him since I was a kid.

0:51:320:51:35

Now, I've got to ask you the all important question.

0:51:350:51:39

Not my age?

0:51:390:51:41

No, not your age.

0:51:410:51:43

Have you tried kissing him?

0:51:430:51:45

No, in fact, no, I haven't. You never know your luck, do you?

0:51:450:51:49

Oh, well, it may turn into a prince.

0:51:490:51:52

You're telling me to do it now?

0:51:520:51:54

-You could try!

-Well, I'm a bit ancient for a prince now.

0:51:560:51:59

Oh, my word. So, where did he come from?

0:51:590:52:02

He was my granny and granddad's.

0:52:020:52:05

Um, my granny had him for a long time, she died when she was 84, and I inherited him.

0:52:050:52:12

-Always wanted him.

-Do you know any more about him?

-Well, I've always been very puzzled,

0:52:120:52:16

-because I've never been able to find whether or not it's silver.

-Right.

0:52:160:52:21

He certainly never seemed to have a wife,

0:52:210:52:24

because he's obviously a pepper pot,

0:52:240:52:26

-and I've never found a salt pot that matched and we never had it.

-Right.

0:52:260:52:30

So I've always been very puzzled about him.

0:52:300:52:33

-No, you're absolutely right. There's the piercing for the pepper.

-Yes.

-BUT...

0:52:330:52:37

there, hidden in the base, are the actual hallmarks.

0:52:370:52:42

Oh, blimey!

0:52:420:52:44

I've never seen those before.

0:52:450:52:46

-There they are, very cunningly disguised.

-Yes.

0:52:460:52:49

-You wouldn't believe I've cleaned it.

-No, and if you look,

0:52:490:52:52

what we've actually got are a set of marks for London in 1881.

0:52:520:52:56

Oh! Right.

0:52:560:52:58

-And the maker's mark is that of James Barclay Hennell.

-Is it?

0:52:580:53:04

Yes, and he made some of the most,

0:53:040:53:07

or his firm made some of the most superb models of animals

0:53:070:53:12

and, I have to say, I've fallen in love with him as well.

0:53:120:53:16

-He's beautiful, isn't he?

-Yes.

0:53:160:53:18

What is this wonderful frog worth?

0:53:180:53:23

I haven't got an earthly, I genuinely haven't.

0:53:230:53:27

I think if he came up in auction,

0:53:270:53:31

you'd be hard pushed to buy him for under £2,000.

0:53:310:53:37

Crikey!

0:53:370:53:40

Crikey! You shouldn't have said that, I've got all the rest of my family to come.

0:53:400:53:45

-"Mum, we'll just take it over".

-He is wonderful.

-Oh, thank you.

-Absolutely wonderful.

0:53:450:53:50

When I'm not filming the Roadshow, I do lots of different things. I spend a lot of my time giving talks.

0:53:520:53:58

I go around the country giving talks to different groups,

0:53:580:54:01

and inevitably, what happens is that someone will come up and say,

0:54:010:54:05

"What would be your ultimate piece that would be brought in?"

0:54:050:54:09

What I really would like to see is an absolutely super diamond ring,

0:54:090:54:15

made in around about, I don't know, 1905-1910,

0:54:150:54:20

maybe studded with little stones around the mount,

0:54:200:54:24

and a pretty stone which might be a slightly unusual shape,

0:54:240:54:28

and you've brought along a marquise diamond ring,

0:54:280:54:34

made in around about the year 1905-1910,

0:54:340:54:41

mounted up in platinum,

0:54:410:54:43

where the entire setting is studded

0:54:430:54:46

with little diamonds going all the way round.

0:54:460:54:49

Tell me a little bit about it.

0:54:510:54:53

Um, well, my parents got married in the Congo,

0:54:530:54:57

and my grandparents were living in Canada,

0:54:570:54:59

and my father brought his young bride home to meet his parents,

0:54:590:55:04

and my grandmother gave that to my mother,

0:55:040:55:07

who was at that time a young bride.

0:55:070:55:09

-She wore it?

-She did.

0:55:090:55:11

-Do you wear it?

-I do.

0:55:110:55:14

In this natural light, do you see the extraordinary lack of colour

0:55:140:55:19

-that the diamond has?

-I do.

0:55:190:55:21

Now, most of the diamonds that people bring in, and we see and we value,

0:55:210:55:25

have got a little bit of colour.

0:55:250:55:28

They grade diamonds on a letter grading where D is colourless.

0:55:280:55:34

By the time you get to colour K, L, M, it's tinted yellow.

0:55:340:55:39

Now, next feature. We look at it with our lens...

0:55:390:55:43

and I can't see very many marks in it either.

0:55:430:55:47

It's got a little tiny black dot, but very, very small,

0:55:470:55:51

but apart from that, it seems to be pure.

0:55:510:55:54

Now, the marquise shape is this fancy boat shape.

0:55:540:55:59

The next question is, what does it weigh?

0:55:590:56:03

Now, the trouble with marquise diamonds

0:56:030:56:05

is that they're very difficult to weigh exactly.

0:56:050:56:08

The only thing you can do is,

0:56:080:56:11

ultimately, to remove the stone from the mount and weigh it.

0:56:110:56:15

I think it weighs three carats.

0:56:150:56:18

Now, the difference in price between a diamond that weighs two carat 90

0:56:180:56:26

and three carat ten is dramatic.

0:56:260:56:29

On the basis it weighs LESS than three carats

0:56:290:56:33

and the colour is not D, but E to F,

0:56:330:56:37

the worst scenario, your diamond ring in that diamond setting

0:56:370:56:43

is worth £15,000-20,000.

0:56:430:56:47

Really? Wow!

0:56:470:56:49

Haven't finished yet.

0:56:510:56:53

On the basis that the diamond is removed, it's weighed,

0:56:570:57:03

it's more than three carats,

0:57:030:57:05

the colour is up to D,

0:57:050:57:07

and it may be, it...

0:57:070:57:08

And the clarity is up there,

0:57:090:57:11

VVS or VS, your diamond ring is worth more in the region of...

0:57:110:57:17

-£25,000-30,000.

-That's not bad.

0:57:170:57:23

So when I make comments such as, "What is it you most want to see brought in on the Antiques Roadshow?"

0:57:250:57:31

it will be a marquise diamond of pure colour and clarity,

0:57:310:57:34

weighing about three carats, in a diamond studded mount.

0:57:340:57:38

In other words, I have died and gone to heaven.

0:57:380:57:42

-Thank you very much. Thank you.

-I do hope that that price hasn't left your too dry-mouthed.

0:57:420:57:48

Take it right back and put it straight in the bank, where it belongs.

0:57:490:57:54

I will. Thank you very much.

0:57:540:57:55

-Thank you very much. You've made my day.

-Good.

0:57:550:57:58

We've had a lovely day here at the Bowes Museum in Teesdale,

0:58:010:58:04

and I've found the perfect spot at the end of the day,

0:58:040:58:07

this lovely Windsor chair that we saw earlier on,

0:58:070:58:10

made by our very own Christopher Payne.

0:58:100:58:12

Christopher, do you fancy making another one? Can I give you a commission?

0:58:120:58:16

Um, let me get rid of the blisters first, OK? Then I'll think about it.

0:58:160:58:20

I'll have to work on him, because I'd like one,

0:58:200:58:23

and then maybe one each for my children and then I'm sure my mum and dad would like one.

0:58:230:58:28

Then there's my in-laws so that's another two.

0:58:280:58:31

I've got some friends who are looking for some new chairs, so, let's say, another six...

0:58:310:58:35

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:58:500:58:53

Long-running series in which members of the public bring along their antiques for examination and valuation by experts.

Fiona Bruce and the team are in County Durham for a visit to The Bowes Museum. Objects under scrutiny include a silver box given in thanks when troops liberated the Netherlands in World War Two, some of the most valuable chairs seen on the show, and a bust reputed to be cursed.


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