Fiona Bruce and the team head to Brighton, where pieces under the experts' eyes include a Trafalgar medal awarded to a boy sailor who witnessed the epic battle.
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This week we're in a seaside town that was loved by royalty and was
a magnet for the aristocracy and high society.
So the Antiques Roadshow team should feel quite at home.
Welcome to Brighton, a Prince's playground.
It was Brighton's lively reputation and seaside that attracted the Prince of Wales here back in 1780.
And where the Prince went, the rest of London's high-society followed.
In 1800 it was described as being, without exception, one of the most fashionable towns in the kingdom.
It was a Prince Regent, later King George IV, who was
largely responsible for Brighton's air of elegance and decadence.
He came here in the 1780s hoping the sea water would ease his gout,
but the attractions of racing, gambling and the theatre proved even more alluring.
The Prince decided that Brighton, just 50 miles from London, was a perfect place for a country
house, and instructed his aides to look for a modest seaside residence.
We don't know whether sea water did improve the Prince's gout,
but certainly he's not alone in thinking that being by the sea is good for your health.
And although a charming little beach hut is good enough for peasants like
us, the future king could afford to be a bit more flamboyant.
And this is the seaside pad he ended up with.
Brighton Pavilion, in all its eccentric glory, was
designed by John Nash and completed in the early 1820s when the Prince Regent was crowned King George IV.
And what had started out as a respectable farmhouse was transformed into a fabulously
over-the-top Indian and oriental fantasy.
And inside, the sumptuous furnishings designed from floor to ceiling for maximum dramatic effect
created a magnificent setting for the new monarch.
One of the King's passions was food, and the most elaborate banquets were
held here in the banqueting room, where the French chef
Marie-Antoine Careme created menus with as many as 60 dishes.
However, Queen Victoria was not so amused by this Oriental exuberance,
and in 1845 the pavilion was put up for sale.
Among the prospective buyers were the founders of a new school, Brighton College.
But they couldn't afford it, so they designed this, their own school, just down the road.
But its pupils haven't entirely escaped the Pavilion's oriental influence.
Mandarin Chinese is compulsory for all students.
We don't know whether local or far-flung items will turn up
here today, but our specialists are all set for the unexpected.
-Is this a Brighton boy?
-No, he's a Londoner, north London.
So who is he?
He's Frank Wollaston, and he's my grandfather.
-This is your grandfather?
This is your grandfather as Icarus?
As Icarus, yes.
Who got too close to the sun and got burned?
Absolutely. I'm sure he did at times.
Why do you say that? What sort of man was your grandfather?
He was a very interesting character, very cosmopolitan, he spoke several
languages, they travelled with the act they had, the Montague Brothers.
So your grandfather was an actor?
No, he was actually, he was physical training, this was the act.
Ah, the Montague Brothers. So, what were they?
They look like sort of nude models.
They were sort of painted white to look like statues, and the act
was that somebody played the sculptor
and then they came alive and did all these poses of the typical Greek...
But obviously pretty naked, the original Full Monty.
The original Full Monty!
-As you can see, there's not much there.
-I've never heard about this type of act.
-Did you ever meet your grandfather?
-No, he died, unfortunately, before I was born.
He died in 1939. So quite young.
And this picture, I suppose, is painted, what, about 1900?
Yes, he was 18 then, that sounds right, I think.
So we can assume that the artist, we can see it's signed in the bottom
left-hand corner of this picture, Albert Herter, may have seen them, been impressed by these figures,
and decided to incorporate it into the picture in the form of
your grandfather as Icarus?
Mm. Absolutely, yes.
Do you happen to know, did your grandfather go to America?
-Yes, he did, actually, yes.
Yes, he went to New York, but I don't think that's how... I know the artist was American, I believe.
Albert Herter was an American painter.
He painted murals, interiors, portraits, landscapes.
A bit of everything, really. He's also quite collected as well.
The only problem with this picture is, rather like Icarus, it seems to have got too close to the sun.
I don't know what's happened to it,
but there's a sort of craquelure that's become overly accentuated.
In really good condition, this painting would be worth £12,000.
-But in this state, it's worth, I should think, £3,000 to £5,000.
Right, OK. Thank you.
-But what a portrait of a grandfather!
Now, anybody gazing at this vase would be forgiven for thinking that it was a piece of
Japanese Satsuma pottery, because it's got all the credentials, the colour and the decoration.
But we both know that it's actually a piece of glassware.
And what I'm intrigued to know is how a piece of glassware of this type found its way to Brighton.
It came from my Aunt Betty, a cousin of my mother's.
She either gave it to me when we helped her move house, or
unfortunately she passed away just before Christmas so it could've been with her belongings then.
-But it was in a big black sack in the garage.
-Like a plastic bin liner?
-Afraid so, yes.
-Until this morning.
-Until this morning?
Yes. It's been sitting there, and it was only because we were coming along
today, I thought, I saw it poking out and I bought it with me.
Was there anything else poking out of the sack, or just this one at the moment?
Er, a game of Scrabble!
No? OK. Well, you've made the right decision, you brought the vase.
First of all, have you noticed how it tones?
It goes from this sort of rich, almost coral colour,
and it's sort of slightly paler around this bulbous base.
But what I find lovely
is this decoration, because this is quality enamelling.
And whenever you see a piece like this, the first thing you do, you want to turn it upside down.
You want to have a look to see if there's any mark whatsoever.
But there isn't, but what you have got, look, you've got these multi-layers, if you will.
So you've got almost three layers of glass.
Good sign, that's called overlay.
But the decoration is pure Japanese.
These are chrysanthemums, if my knowledge of botany is right,
and that, of course, is the flower of Japan.
But if this could talk to you, it would talk to you in a quasi
French Black Country accent,
because this was actually enamelled by the great Jules Barbe,
a Frenchman who came to work for Thomas Webb.
Thomas Webb and Sons in Stourbridge,
the greatest makers of Victorian glassware.
It isn't marked, but, to be frank with you,
you don't need a signature, because this is the signature, the quality of the decoration.
So, Jules Barbe, craftsman.
I'm looking at you now, are you liking this a bit more as I've been talking about it?
I think it's hideous, but the more you talk about it, the more I'm beginning to like it, I think.
If I was to tell you that if I want to go and buy one of these,
I wouldn't get one for less than £1,500.
-Even to people in Brighton, that's a lot of money, isn't it?
-Yes, 1500 pounds.
-I like it better.
-I do like it better!
-Can I make a suggestion?
When you go home, go back to that black plastic bin liner and look
very careful, because these would almost certainly have come in pairs.
-I'm looking tonight.
So look at these opals breaking up the sunlight.
They're refracting the light, they're actually making a spectrum
of it, and it's a miracle of natural science.
Did you feel that way about it when you first saw them?
Yes, when I first opened the case, I went, ah!
-That's fabulous. It's like a butterfly's wing, in a way, isn't it?
I'm very interested to know where you first saw these. How did that happen?
They belonged to a friend who passed on, and we were able to buy them from her estate.
I can't remember what we paid for them,
but it was in the early 70s, it wouldn't have been an awful lot
because we didn't have an awful lot of money at that time.
Well, in a sense opals are not particularly valuable stones, particularly when they're small
like this, but it doesn't diminish their amazing appeal.
And, in a sense, the stones of which these objects are made
are not central to their importance,
because the people that made them weren't interested in intrinsic value, in fact they scorned it.
What they really were interested in was craftsmanship, and these are two
superb jewels from the arts and crafts movement.
Tell me, what did you think about the lid satin when you saw that?
The inscription is to a Mr and Mrs Gaston?
I thought that was probably that Mr had had them made for Mrs.
In a way, he probably did make them for her, but they're a very, very famous married couple of arts
and crafts jewellers of the highest possible calibre, and they had some very high calibre friends, too.
They were Quakers, and they were friends of the Cadbury family, who had all the means to have
jewellery made, but, rather like the Gaskins, they scorned intrinsic
value for its own sake and everything had to be made by hand.
-It's very evident from this, this is exactly what happened.
And they learned all of that from an even more distinguished source.
They were a friend of William Morris, and so were
right at the absolute pinnacle of English arts and crafts jewellery.
A high point, but a later point, really.
They date from anywhere between 1900 and 1920,
and so they're a late expression of what William Morris wanted to achieve,
and so these are very, very good things. Do you enjoy wearing them?
Yes, I do. I don't wear them every day, obviously, because they look a bit fragile.
They are a bit fragile. Probably less fragile than you think,
but they would've wanted you to wear them.
They wanted, actually, a beauty to pervade everything
in the tradition of William Morris, so having said all of that people want these things really badly.
I must say, I think they're absolutely perfect.
They're in perfect condition, in their original boxes, they're signed, extraordinarily attractive.
So, without mincing words, £3,500 for that one.
-And £2,000 for that one.
Well, that is a surprise. Really.
Carved ivories like this are a real passion of mine. Is this from your collection?
Yes, it is, and it was passed to me from my father,
who brought it at an antique shop in London.
And, as my mother says, he paid far too much money,
and, at that time, it was in the hundreds.
-Wow. And when was that?
-That was about 30 years ago.
And do you know much about its history, or where it's from?
Not really, only that my father had put a little note on the back, so
that's all I know about it, which is why I bought it here today.
The note says it's Flemish, which isn't entirely wrong.
There were centres for carving ivory like this
in Dieppe in France, Germany, you know, Flemish.
-But this one, I think, is German.
And it would date from the early part
of the 18th century, 1700, 1720, and it's carved in such high relief.
The scene is almost like a bacchanalian wine party.
This one here falling in this unfortunate position,
you wouldn't want to be him.
Today, it's not so much it's not acceptable,
but it's just a little bit odd, but then it was the norm.
The condition of it is fantastic.
The carving, which is done with wheels, all this is done by hand,
Carved with foot-pedalled drills, and it is exceptional quality.
And it's even got the little initials here of the workman.
Looks like a GV, or a CV.
That again would add to it. It's in the lovely frame, which I don't think is as early as the ivory.
It's a later frame, this is more of a late 19th century frame.
But I'd have thought, well, what did he pay?
In the hundreds. I don't know exactly, but it was about maximum £200.
Which was a reasonable amount.
-These have, sort of always on the up.
Condition is the key.
This one, I'd have thought, a couple of thousand.
-Not bad, is it?
So he had better taste than he was given credit for.
And I'll tell my mother that.
-She'll be happy about that.
-Good. Well, thank you for bringing it in.
Thank you very much indeed.
You've probably gathered from the dragon and the bamboo
all over this mug, where it comes from.
It's what's known as Chinese export silver.
It is, indeed, made in China but it was made for Europeans to buy and bring home to wherever they lived.
Most often you get engraving of ownership from sea captains or from the commercial fleet
that were doing so much business with China in the 19th Century.
They treated themselves to a mug or large tankards and coffee pots and things. They came home with them.
Where did you get it from?
This was a gift from my uncle who was in the Merchant Navy.
-Yes, he was, indeed.
That link doesn't surprise me at all in that sense.
That's extraordinary that he should be a sea captain and you've got a direct connection back to China.
-Presumably he bought it in China?
-I would guess so, yes.
I would imagine they did stop off at some point and pick one of these up.
-This is made in around Hong Kong or Kowloon in about
1900, 1910 by a man called Wang Hing who was a very prolific Chinese silver maker.
This silver now is going up and up in popularity
because it's being exported back to China.
It's come full circle. Now it's going back into the hands of Chinese
-people, the descendants of those who made it in the first place.
Erm... It's a little bit rubbed, the faces on the side of the mug are just losing their detail a little bit.
However, it's a very nice object and I would suggest that in order
to go and buy that you're going to have to pay the thick end of £1,000.
That's quite sensational, yeah. Wow!
That was spectacular!
Tell me how it started?
Well, I've always been interested in the theatre and I spent most of my life in Hong Kong
and I used to get fed up with the dinner parties and talking about the supermarket and all the rest of it.
So, I said, "Let's go upstairs because I've got a small, little theatre and I'll perform on it."
They all thoroughly enjoyed it. When I retired I wanted a bigger theatre and I found this in an antique shop.
-I paid £60 for it. I got this and two other theatres as well.
Fantastic. When was that, when did you start performing this one?
This was about 27 or 30 years ago.
How splendid! So this is your seascape.
Tell me, how many others have you got?
Quite a few! I've got a full Round The World In 80 days which lasts for
an hour and a half but you don't want something to last that long.
-I mean, I've got the Cinderella, I've got Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs.
-So you can keep children happy for hours on end.
The thing is each one is planned so when I pass over I can give it
to my children and they can bring it out and completely resurrect
-what's all been done before.
But what a lovely, lovely thing and you've also these wonderful sound effects.
You invented them.
Well, I put them together, let's put it like that.
THUNDER SOUND EFFECT
Yes, well I really covet this.
But it's such a delight to see you using it because you don't see people like that any more.
If you do they're using modern things.
This is such a lovely one because it dates right back to Benjamin Pollock
when he was the famous printer of toy theatres
in probably the mid-19th Century and it went
-right on and he was so well known that even Charlie Chaplin...
-And Robert Louis Stevenson...
-Winston Churchill had one.
-And Winston Churchill, so it was the most fantastic time of entertainment instead of a television.
So this probably dates from 1880, it could be 1870.
Of course, the back drops are a bit later. You've added...
The back drops are German.
They're reasonably modern, not Pollock's.
No. But if you've got all those other drops, and stories,
and this wonderful antique
facade, it must be in the thousands, possibly 1,000-1,500.
-The price doesn't matter to me.
-I would never, ever sell it.
Well, the name Tiffany is a name probably we all know.
This is a little, silver cigarette case quite boring,
got the date on it, 1963.
it's quite a resonant object, isn't it?
Tell me about how it came into your hands?
Well in 1963 President Kennedy came to Ireland
to visit his ancestral home in Wexford.
He spent three further days there in Dublin, Cork and Galway and
on his Cork visit he was received by the Lord Mayor of Cork,
Sean Casey who was my dad.
He gave this as a present to my mam and dad.
And were you there on that day when he visited Cork?
I was only eight years of age but it's a memory I'll always have.
-And this is a photograph that records that particular event.
There's JFK in the centre here, and your father, presumably, he's the mayor with his
-chain of office.
And it's engraved, "To his worship, the Mayor Of Cork,"
your dad, "From President John F Kennedy"
-and the date, June 1963.
-He was with you in Cork in June and the 22 November 1963...
-The whole world was shocked.
As a result, this is a box which already had a great sort of aura with it, the fact that it had been
given to your dad by President Kennedy, but also
it must have been an object almost of remembrance then, later on that year.
Yes, and very much so, because my dad died four years later.
So, it's a memory of them both, really.
It's not really something that one should be thinking about value
but I'm going to talk about value because the two values I'm going to give are so completely different.
On the one hand you have a
basically pretty, modern, unexciting, very unfashionable object, ie a silver cigarette case.
And, as such, the weight of it,
I would have said value around £120-£125. But...
You have this kind of fairy dust sprinkled over an object like this.
I could easily see that, in auction, probably in the States,
fetching well into four figures.
So £1,000 plus.
It is a piece of American history, it's a piece of Irish history
and it's a piece of your own family history.
Very much so.
Well, it wouldn't be a day at the seaside without a seagull
and I have to say this has to be the most stylish seagull I've ever seen.
But tell me, where did he come from?
Well, I used to live in London.
Many years ago it was bought at Heal's in Tottenham Court Road
by my late sister and then she gave it to me.
So what year would your sister have bought this for you, do you remember?
I would think it must be about 1940 something or the other.
I can't be really sure.
I think it might be a little bit earlier.
I have a vision of you girls tripping down the Tottenham Court Road
-maybe in the 1930s.
-Could well be.
Especially with it having that feel, it's in the height of the Art Deco movement.
I mean to have gone into Heal's or a similar store and buy something like this for me is such a statement.
You're saying a lot about you as a person, the things
that you want in your home and the things that you like around you.
-Because this is Art Deco at its absolute pinnacle.
It's designed by Adnet. Now there are two Adnets, Jean and Jacques.
Brothers who were leading forces in the field of modernism.
They really created some of the best Art Deco of the period from 1925
at the big Paris Exhibition, right through.
They had a vision of everything being clean and pure.
They would take a form like this and pare it down to the finest and most simple line.
I think if you look at this you can see there's nothing left but what is completely essential.
-So where does it live at home?
-On my television.
Why would a seagull not live on top of your television, quite frankly.
-It's the perfect place.
-It is a nice place for it.
Well, he's a wonderful thing and they are popular because they are
-so stylish and they fit with modern design and modern homes today.
And, to go and find another one, well, even taking into
-consideration there's a little bit of damage to him.
-Yes, there is.
Even taking that into consideration, you're going to have to go out with £300-£350 to go and buy him again.
-But I'd certainly be happy to pay that for him and if anyone can
distract you for a few moments, I'd like to see if I can whisk him away.
I'd think you'd be lucky to do that.
You're going to come after me?
You've brought along today, I don't know how many objects
which I've selected just a few.
Where did they all come from?
My grandfather was the Austrian ambassador to China after the war
and these are some of the things that were
passed down amongst an awful lot of other stuff as well.
-Right, do you like them?
-You do. OK, well I'm gonna go through these.
This is a snuff bottle.
Snuff-taking in China was a major activity
in the 18th and 19th centuries.
They are now very collectible.
This one is enamelled with insects, butterflies, there's a cricket down here.
It's terrific fun.
This has got a Jiajing reign mark on it, which is a late 18th and early 19th century reign mark,
and reign marks, of course, on Chinese objects,
you never trust them.
Once in a while, it's right, and I think this is right.
I think it's of the period.
And, as such, I think it would make £700 to £1,000.
Oh, my goodness.
-So, that's quite nice.
This is a seal.
If you were a Chinese calligrapher, or if you painted paintings,
you used a chop, as we are pleased to call them - a seal.
Here we've got one which is in soap stone. It's a very soft stone.
That was ideal for carving intricate characters.
It's in the form of a Buddhist lion
and two pups.
They've used the stone cleverly so the faces are reddish
and an inscription in here as well.
Date, difficult. I think that's early-19th, possibly 18th-century.
It could be 1750 and a jolly nice one.
-£1,000 to £1,500.
-The other two are Japanese.
This one is of a potter, decorator, we see a lot of.
A man called Sobei Kinkozan.
This little box made for the West, it's not an object that the Japanese or the Chinese would use at all.
What it is is an incense burner.
So you'd burn a little bit of incense in there and it would all smoke out through those holes. Date?
That's about 1900.
In stonkingly good condition.
£2,000 to £3,000 on that.
-That's my favourite.
-That's cos it's the most expensive!
This is a really unusual piece of Japanese cloisonne work.
It's on a silver body which is always a good sign.
Usually they are on a brass body and they may have
a silver top and bottom but I think this is silver all the way through.
A mark. And very rarely do you get a mark of one of the top makers.
This is Kyoto Namikawa.
And Namikawa is the tops.
Glorious little object.
That would make in the region of £2,500 to £3,500.
Oh my... That might be my favourite now.
Now, that's the least. I'll have that one, then.
-Thank you very much, indeed.
Well, "bottoms up" is the phrase that comes to mind with all these cocktail shakers here.
-You've got a large collection of these.
-Indeed. Absolutely, something in excess of 120.
-Have you used them all?
I have, with one exception, tried all of them.
-I like your style. You're obviously keen on a cocktail.
-Which is the oldest?
-The oldest one is this one. That's about 1900-1905.
Why did you start collecting cocktail shakers?
I've had an interest in cocktails for a number of years,
initially with a drama group that we ran in central London and cocktails
were fairly high on the agenda.
-Higher than rehearsals?
On the subject of cocktails, I have actually developed one for you.
It's called Bruce's Blue.
This is my very own cocktail, created in my honour?
-Indeed it is.
-Do you know, that's why I love working on this programme.
It will become obvious why it's called Bruce's Blue.
Actually, it reflects your punk era.
-Oh, when I had blue hair.
-Blue hair, absolutely. Absolutely.
That was a long time ago.
So Bruce's Blue.
-Be truthful about this.
Ooh, that's lovely.
Sorry, folks, definitely not for you!
-What's in it?
blue curacao and lime juice.
-It's nothing complex.
Bottoms up. Mmm...
Ten or 15 years ago you'd have been looking at this in a skip,
quite possibly, or in a charity shop.
Did you get that from there?
No, I actually found it at the back of my father's garage.
It was just covered in cobwebs.
Aw, I'm almost feeling sorry for it but you saved it.
Yeah, my brother threatened to put it out into the skip
which was just outside my dad's house and I couldn't have that,
so I took it home.
I think you did the right thing.
1950s, probably late 1950s, and it's obviously a cocktail/drinks cabinet.
You would have your glasses displayed inside here
and maybe some bottles of nice things to drink underneath there.
What really interests me about this is you're looking
at a fantastic piece that shouts the 1950s.
Starting at the bottom, you've got these splayed legs.
Very typical of the 1950s into the 1960s.
Moving up this nice curved front
and then this wonderful patterning on this yellow here.
The colour itself is quite important.
This was a new colour, a new furniture for a new generation
and new style, post-war. Things were moving forward.
The key to that is the 1951 Festival Of Britain.
This was all about the world of tomorrow, today.
Science, nuclear, atomic patterns.
That's reflected in the patterns on here.
If you look down here, this little star motif,
as well as being like a star in the sky,
it's almost like an atomic structure, too.
These look almost like little cells, whizzing around under a microscope.
The great thing about this is the superb condition.
It's not worn, it's got its original panels of glass underneath.
Even its original handles, super. That's going to make it appealing.
Any piece that shouts the style of the day really has to be collectible in the future.
If you looked at it in a shop, perhaps even here in Brighton, or in a good retro shop
in the centre of town, you'd be maybe £150, £200. Perhaps a bit more depending on the shop.
You seem a little disappointed.
That's what I thought it would be, maybe 200.
-You're absolutely spot on but the most important thing is enjoy it.
Thank you very much.
Is that the school tie of Brighton College?
Is he a Brighton College schoolboy?
-He is, yes.
-All right, and who is he?
-That was my father.
-How old is he in that?
I guess about 12 or 13, starting at the school.
-Just at the outset.
-Which I think was about 1919.
I see, and it's by...?
By Harry Mileham, my grandfather. So he painted his son.
And this, this amazing painting.
-And that, yes.
-This huge, amazing painting.
First of all, I love the shape, don't you?
It's a kind of letterbox shape, really.
-But it's very good for lots of figures.
Very like a last supper. The composition is probably based on a famous last supper.
Yes, I've heard that.
I see from the label on the back that it's called The Pardoner's Prologue.
-So this is the beginning of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Is that right?
Yes, I think it was a stop half way.
-A stop half way.
-It was the first, yes.
I see, so these are all the people who were going to tell their tales
and that must be the wife of Bath in the middle, surely.
It is, with her cherry stone saying "amour".
-Yes, which is love, of course.
Tell me a bit more about it?
Well, this is the Pardoner...
-The fellow here.
-This chap here.
-He looks unpleasant.
-He was an unpleasant person.
It was his trade to sell pardons, religious pardons,
-to people who'd sinned but he'd sell them to them, was that right?
I think he went on about money being the root of all evil
-which is exactly what he was.
-Who's this fellow?
-I thought it might be. That's the man himself.
And on his right is the knight.
-From the Knight's Tale.
-This is my uncle, this little boy here.
-Your father's brother?
-His brother, who also went to Brighton College.
-And I think that's him again.
Well, it's an extraordinary mixture of colours. Very bright.
It's like a piece of stained glass.
We've got a signature and a date of 1924.
It's an interesting time in British art generally because it's just after the first war
and a lot of artists were going completely modern -
goodbye to all that, reject all the Victorian values.
This one stayed firmly in British history for his subject, didn't he?
-Yes, he did.
-I have a feeling he might be one of those artists
who's been slightly passed by, by fashion that dictates these things.
I absolutely agree.
It's painted meticulously. He must have been a hard worker.
-Did you know him, did you ever watch him paint?
-No, no... I saw him...
He was an old man when I was young.
I think I was about eight when he died.
I remember him working in his studio which was at the bottom of the garden.
In those days he was just doing stained glass.
-He made stained glass? How interesting.
-There's quite a bit in local churches.
But it remains a marvellously decorative thing, I think.
And it's rather a long time since I read my Chaucer.
I can't exactly remember all the stories.
But I would have fun remembering them through this picture.
They're all there, actually, if you do.
I think it's worth about £8,000 to £12,000 now.
Right ... Well, thank you very much.
He's lovely, isn't he? The nicest lion that I've seen.
I bought him two years ago at an antique shop near Guildford and it cost me £5.
Excellent. What do you know about it?
I just liked its face and I thought it looked old
and kind of hope that it is old. I'm not sure if it's a reproduction.
Sure, they do reproduce these.
He isn't a reproduction. I think the face is beautifully done.
It's hard to say where it's from. I think it's Scandinavian.
The lion features heavily in Scandinavian iconography.
-I think it's 17th, if not 16th century.
And, actually, it looks to me - and it's hard to say -
but it's actually a mount or a foot of a piece of furniture.
It's made of bronze. So, you say £5...
-Bought in an antique shop two years ago?
I don't think I would've paid £5 for it.
I would have had to pay £1,500 for it.
-Slightly better than...
That is... Wow, that's amazing.
-Pretty good, eh?
-It's the nicest thing I've seen today.
Well, I've not seen a table cabinet on the Antiques Roadshow
for five or six years and now I have two.
They're both totally different in construction and decoration.
This one, probably south German, could be Scandinavian.
Not quite sure, difficult to determine,
but painted biblical scenes,
architectural columns and, without doubt, 17th century.
1670 to the end of the century.
And this one, totally different.
But we know precisely where it came from.
This is Spanish and this could be any time between 1710-1720 and 1750.
I'm relying on you now to tell me a bit more about it.
Yes, it came from my ex-partner's family estate in northern Spain.
And I inherited it when he died.
Right. And it was a Spanish family?
Yes, an old Spanish family.
Right. This, at first glance, is a table cabinet.
On the other hand, the feet are not original.
It looks very much like the centre part of the interior
of a Bargueno, which is a drop-down writing cabinet.
This could be the part that slotted in.
Particularly with this architectural cabinet here.
This traditionally was where the great man would keep
his secrets to show his new cabinet friends, as they were called.
Let's have a look at the construction.
Basically, this is an early use of tortoiseshell or turtle shell
as it should be called and brass inlay with walnut around it.
This was a natural tortoiseshell which is given the colour
by a background of red which shines through.
It was a sort of equivalent, if you like,
of brass and tortoiseshell veneers, and marquetry,
which was boullework, which was going on at round about the same time.
Does it have pride of place indoors?
Not really. I have a fairly modern house with modern paintings and stuff in it. It's in my bedroom.
It's quite dramatic though, if you have one dramatic item on its own,
rather than a cluttered look of antiquity.
So, Spanish, difficult to say which part of Spain it came from.
Today's value, probably in the region of between £3,500-£4,500.
Just a fascinating thing and thank you.
Thank you very much.
At every Roadshow, I long for someone
to bring in something related to the most famous sea battle of all time,
the Battle of Trafalgar.
And you've brought in this naval general service medal, with a Trafalgar clasp.
Now where did it come from?
My great-great-great-grandfather was Admiral Spencer Smythe
who's shown in the picture there and he was a midshipman.
He joined the Navy when he was 11.
At the Battle of Trafalgar, he was 13 years old.
-He didn't serve on Victory?
-No, he didn't. On HMS Defiance.
On the edge of the medal
is impressed his name, Spencer Smythe, midshipman.
These are very rare medals.
But I can't believe that you've actually got a picture
of the person who was the midshipman at the Battle of Trafalgar,
while all the wood splinters were smashing around you
and the cannonballs were coming through the side of the ship.
A horrendous scene of carnage and blood.
But this portrait here, when do you think that this was taken?
Well, we're not certain.
Obviously they're all very elderly gentleman and there's only a few of them left.
They're all wearing their medals.
I would imagine when he was in his 70s.
So this is that medal there, is it?
-That he's wearing on his breast?
The very medal that I'm holding in my hand.
Do you know, I think the last time that I saw one of these naval general service medals
with a Trafalgar clasp has got to be at least two or three years ago.
They're so rare with the Trafalgar clasp.
You've also brought this watercolour in.
Tell me about the watercolour.
It was painted by my great-great- great grandfather after the battle,
some years after the battle,
I would imagine just from memory. We've got two of them.
-You've got a pair?
-Yes, a pair.
this clasp alone with this medal
fetches quite a considerable sum.
It's pushing on to £5,000.
I think with the print here,
with the pair of watercolours which are beautifully executed,
I think we would be talking about
an auction value...
of between £8,000 and £10,000.
Goodness me. Thank you very much.
So how did this splash of colour come into your life?
When I bought a house 25 years ago, it was left in the house.
-This was left in the house?
Right, well, that was quite something to leave in a house.
Have you reflected on what it might be that was left in the house?
I've no idea what it is, actually. I know...
Because it's by Henry Miller...
Because it's signed in the bottom right-hand corner.
We've looked it up on the computer and there are similar paintings of his.
That's as much as I know about it.
This watercolour, with washes, heightened with body colour,
is signed and dated in the bottom right-hand corner, Henry Miller.
You haven't just got an interesting picture here.
You've got a painting by a celebrated writer -
one of the great celebrated writers of the 20th century.
Henry Miller was also a bit of a shocker.
He wrote a book called Tropic Of Cancer, which was the equivalent
of Lady Chatterley's Lover, which was banned because of its sexual heat.
And later on he was feted - George Orwell and others called him
one of the greatest writers of our times.
But then he turned into a painter as well.
This man had no end of talents.
What you've got here, in a complex, colourful way,
is a writer expressing himself in another medium.
-I mean, if all writers could paint like this there'd be an awful lot of interesting pictures.
Have you thought what it might be worth?
Absolutely no idea.
It was a very generous little house-warming present.
It's worth £2,000.
I never expected that.
Well done. Thank you very much.
In this series, I'm asking our experts which items did they see
most often, what's brought the most often on to the Roadshow?
And which item would they most like to see, that they really fantasise about finding?
John Bligh, you're our longest standing
I'm assuming that you would most like to see some kind of furniture?
Well, yes. And I was trying to think and I
think honestly it has to be the bow-front chest of drawers.
Clearly we don't have one here. I guess it's rather difficult to cart it along!
It's a different story with furniture. Not as easy to bring.
Basically, they bring photographs, like this.
That actually is the most popular, the commonest.
Now we have to remember that this is the standard form.
Too short, three long drawers. Fairly deep, commodious indeed.
They were made in huge numbers throughout the 19th century.
Believe it, these things, although they're 150 years old,
probably £100, £150, and it's a fine, it's a good antique.
Drat! I knew you were going to say that
because I've got one like this and I paid more than that!
-And they're terribly commonplace?
-I'm afraid so, but the market goes up and down.
-So this is the kind of thing you see most often?
I will have four or five photographs of chest of drawers like that.
Either straight front or bow-front in every programme.
What would you most like to see? Presumably something French, ornate, a bit of Chippendale perhaps?
Well, it's always nice to find something one can
have an attribution for, either a maker or a particular house or area.
And here, of course, probably one of my favourite places in England,
is Brighton's showpiece, which is the Royal Pavilion.
And there, the Prince's architect and designer and interior decorator, was Henry Holland,
who liked French furniture, modern French, Greco-Roman and Chinese,
or Oriental, and it's the Chinese that gets me.
I just find it fascinating that they were importing flat-pack tables and chairs.
Flat-pack furniture? I assumed that was a modern mass-produced phenomenon that we have these days?
No, it was that, really, that caught the imagination of Henry Holland,
and it was 1802, 1804,
that the Prince started to redecorate the inside,
and it took probably the next 20 years.
Sadly, after which, he only visited twice.
The great hedonistic days of the pavilion were when he was Prince Regent.
He spent all that money on it and only visited twice?
Oh, God, yes. After 1822.
Up to then, he nearly lived here.
Is it then because it's so delicate
that there's so little of this furniture left?
Up to a point, but also, when he died in 1830,
the place was closed up and Queen Victoria, particularly,
-was slightly embarrassed at what had gone on here.
-It was all a bit hedonistic for her?
-It was too much.
And it was closed, and they took a lot of the things out
and put them into the royal palaces.
And that's when a lot of things disappeared,
and that's why we always think there's a possibility, and actually
that's the excitement, of finding something that can be traced
to one of Crace's drawings like this.
I was in New York recently
and there was a pair to that table in New York.
If I'd got any money I'd buy it. It's actually 85,000, which is not
a huge amount of money, but it's a lot for a table that collapses.
If we could say it came out of Brighton Pavilion, anywhere
-with a definite attribution, you can treble that or quadruple it.
Oh, yes. That's the great turn-on. It's so exciting.
Any of you can oblige?
Yes, well, it hasn't walked in so far.
No, there's the rest of the day.
Yes, there's the rest of the day, as you say.
And, if you have any of this furniture that would quicken the pulse of John Bligh here,
do please bring it in or contact us, and you can find us at our website.
Some people are going to look at the screen and say,
"Oh, no, here he comes again,
"Will Farmer with yet another piece of Clarice Cliff."
But, in my defence, there is Clarice Cliff
and then there is Clarice Cliff.
Shall we say the best and then the rest?
And, for me, what we're looking at is by far the best.
I'm glad to hear that.
Tell me a little bit about it from your side.
About 50 years ago I was at an auction.
I bought a big box of stuff, china, etc. That was in the box.
I paid the equivalent of about 20p.
-Took it home, kept it in my apartment for a couple
of years until I went to America, and my mother said, I love your vase.
I said, Ma, you can have it. Gave it to my mother.
Came back 20 years later and she went to the Brighton Museum and she saw
Clarice Cliff in Brighton Museum, thought it might be worth something.
She had it valued about 15 years ago,
and I think it was about 1,200, 1,500,
which I thought was a little high.
But she said she didn't want to sell it.
Let's see what more I can tell you about it.
It sounds like mum's a bit of a detective, to have gone to Brighton
and seen Clarice Cliff in Brighton
she will have gone to the first ever exhibition of Clarice Cliff's wares.
-It might have been.
-But what we are looking at is a pattern that's called sliced circle.
The design was created in 1929.
It sometimes does overlap into 1930.
-And today it really does tick all the boxes.
-Oh, good, I'm glad.
So you paid, just remind me?
It was three and six
in those days, just under 20p.
-For the whole box of other stuff as well.
-And we'd like to see a profit.
-Something was muted around 1,200 a few years ago?
-Well, I'll happily give you the 1,200. Is that all right?
-No, OK. You're quite right,
cos if I gave you £1,200 I would be quite seriously short-changing you.
-Let's be dead straight and cut to the chase and say that you
would struggle to replace this vase for much less than £5,000 to £6,000.
Really? Very nice. My mother's going to be really happy to hear that. Excellent.
Do you know this is a bit of a clonky old candlestick,
isn't it? What's happened to it?
It's all bent. It's got cracks
in the top and it's very worn out.
Why's it so worn out?
My granddad dug it up in the back garden of my dad's holiday house.
He dug it up in the back garden?
It's quite old you know. Look at it, look at the way it's made.
Did you ever notice it's got a line down the side there?
-Well this candlestick is made in two halves
and the two halves are then fitted together.
Now that tells me something about it.
Also on the bottom, which is quite unusual for this type of candlestick, there's some initials.
Now, I don't have any idea what those initials stand for.
But one thing I will say to you
is that this candlestick is 250 years old.
Can you believe that?
-No. Not really.
-250 years old.
When your granddad was digging in the garden, he dug up one of a pair of Georgian candlesticks.
So this was made around in about 1765 to 1770.
Now, what do you think would make this more valuable?
Er, maybe a bit of polish.
Maybe bit of polish, yes. But how about the other candlestick?
-Do you fancy going to dig up the other one?
-A pair of Georgian candlesticks like this would probably be worth around about £300 at auction.
But one on it own is worth a little bit less than half than that, given that it has some damage.
-Anyway, it's fabulous and it's very old, and maybe you should give it a little polish, eh?
Now, you have brought along this beautiful car mascot.
But what happened to the beautiful car that she once sat on?
Well, it wasn't sitting on a car when we bought it.
We acquired it like that.
But we had a collection of vintage and veteran and sports racing cars,
including a Silver Ghost Rolls, and my husband thought that she was
so similar to the lady on the Silver Ghost Rolls that she might have been a prototype of an earlier mascot.
Obviously, you and he had great eye, because you're absolutely right,
this mascot is made by the same sculptor, Charles Sykes.
He made the famous Flying Lady.
But what is little known he also made this lady, and she's actually called Mystery.
Now, Rolls-Royce were thinking about producing a car and going to call it
Mystery, and this was going to be the mascot that sat on top of that particular radiator cap.
However, that project got scrapped and also the design of this didn't really work.
Because as you were going along and it rained,
the rain must have actually got caught in her drapes there.
So they produced a prototype, and I have to say,
in all my years of looking at mascots and classic cars,
this is only the second one I've ever seen.
So extraordinarily rare.
My husband always intended to try and find out more about it, perhaps when he retired.
Unfortunately, he didn't live long enough to do that.
But did you have the same interest in cars as he?
Well, yes, because my brother and my father were both interested in cars and motorbikes,
and my brother advertised the vintage Bentley that he had bought and decided to sell and buy another one.
And my husband was 21, and it was advertised in Motor Sport,
so we met through an advert in Motor Sport - my husband came and bought it.
So buying the Bentley, he met you.
-He met me.
-Fell in love.
Well... My brother always...
-Or did he fall in love with the Bentley?
-My brother always said he had to marry me to get the spares!
So I had to endure that when I was young, you know what brothers are like.
Well, I'm envious of all your cars and I'm very envious of this mascot,
because she is not only a beautiful mascot, but extraordinarily rare.
And as I said, only two are known.
One turned up in America and it made in excess of 20,000.
But that was a signed one, Charles Sykes. This isn't signed.
So I think here in the UK, if she was sold, it would be more like £5,000 to £7,000. But...
Lovely. We're going to keep it.
I'm delighted. All you need now is a car to put it back on.
Well, true. I've got a Bentley still.
-Do you have any French connections in your family?
-No, none at all.
So can I inquire how you actually came by this, which is a very French clock?
It was a gift to my father from his employer.
-I would say 35 to 40 years ago.
-And it's just sat around in the hall.
Just sat indoors on a little table.
Well, it's called an annular clock or a circle tournant,
because of the two horizontal chapterings
which actually turn on a horizontal basis.
So it is a turning circle, or an annular because of the circular chaptering.
And it's a particularly good one.
It does have a name, which is going to be extremely difficult to see, because it's buried.
But I managed to have a quick look.
It is signed by a maker called Lechopie a Paris,
which is engraved in rather fine script along the bottom.
And there were three or Lechopies.
One particular one called Adam, who was Adam Lechopie, was working
until 1789, and I reckon that absolutely pins the clock to him.
It's the third quarter of the 18th century.
And it is absolutely a staggering piece of work.
Because the quality of chasing, the bronze the gilding which is
in very fine condition, clearly it's never been cleaned since you had it.
And the inlaying of the marble into the panels of the side doors is exceptional.
One interesting point I would like to show you is,
-if you look at the case, can you see a thin line running down there?
And down there. The same line is repeated on the back.
So to make the case, they basically cast two halves, two pieces, identical and then they soldered
them, or welded them, in the fashion of day, soldered them together, and after which, the "sizzler",
the chaser, would have gone over and covered every detail and put all this in.
This would have been cast in sand, so it's a rough piece of work at the time.
The reason you can see those lines is because, in the soldering process,
they used to use arsenic, and it just bled through.
If the clock was cleaned, it would disappear again.
If we look at what effectively is the front of the clock, because here is where the hours are read,
we've got a door that opens, and that's how you get in to wind the movement.
Basically, it is a standard clock movement, made to fit in here
by using a right-angled bevel gear.
They shoot the power up to the top, and there's a couple of wheels in here that turn this.
So you've actually managed to drive from the vertical movement
to a horizontal plate, and it's easy to see. Striking on the hour.
It is a stunning piece. I have been thinking about the value. Have you ever had it sort of valued?
No, a few years ago, a gentleman offered my dad...he just said 4,000.
That's not a bad bid, was it?
It was a long time ago. But I don't know what it is now.
Well, I have been struggling between the two and I'm going to go in the middle of what I thought.
-I reckon we're probably looking at 12,500.
It's a good thing he didn't accept it.
-Very nice piece. Thank you.
-Thank you, thank you very much.
We have been bathed in glorious sunshine all day here at Brighton College,
and lots of old boys from the college have turned up,
and one of greatest old boys of all has turned up -
our Antiques Roadshow old schoolboy Michael Aspel!
-How nice to see you!
-Well, thank you. And you. Isn't this glorious?
Were you just paying a social call or did you bring something along?
Both, really. I just wandered past and heard people enjoying themselves and I thought I'd pop in.
But I did bring an object, which was given to me
on a very special birthday about 30 years ago,
and I asked... They said, what would you like? And I said a telescope.
Because I wanted to study the heavens, and they had these great things on tripods, and I got this.
Which is very nice.
But not quite what you were expecting?
No, but I consulted an expert, and it's just what I thought - sort of 1820, worth 150 quid.
Belonged to a midshipman. Story of my life. I see no ships!
I can't believe you've waited this long to bring
something along when you worked on the programme for such a long time.
Well, I felt shy about it, really.
I didn't want to embarrass them.
-Now that I'm not working on it, I can do what I like!
-Well, on that note, from Brighton College and the Antiques Roadshow, until next time, bye-bye.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Fiona Bruce and the team head to Brighton, where large crowds have unearthed their family treasures for valuation. Amongst the pieces under the experts' eyes are a Trafalgar medal awarded to a boy sailor who witnessed the epic battle in 1805 at the tender age of thirteen; one of the largest, rarest and most valuable pieces of Clarice Cliff pottery ever seen on the programme; plus a small silver box given by President John F Kennedy to a family shortly before his tragic death.