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I ask you - what is it about this programme and tall buildings?
So far, I've been up to the top of the Blackpool Tower,
I've been sent up to the pinnacle of Beverley Minster,
and to a very windy gantry at the top of the Forth Rail Bridge.
Now they're saying, "You'll get the best view of Birmingham from there"
It's 300 feet tall!
Well, here goes - anything for the Roadshow.
Do you know what?
They were right. The view is stupendous!
We're back for a second visit to Birmingham,
once known as the city of a thousand trades,
and from the university clock tower,
the whole of the city is laid out before you.
The list of industries synonymous with the city
and beyond is impressive. But, of course, the West Midlands
is best known as the home of the motor car.
In 1906, Herbert Austin is said to have cycled around Birmingham
looking for a factory where he could start his business,
and the building he found was an old tin-printing works at Longbridge,
and the rest, as they say, is history.
And if you look just through here, you can see his car factory.
At its peak, Austin employed 22,000 local people at Longbridge,
making it the largest car factory in the world.
For his services to industry,
Herbert Austin was made Baron Austin of Longbridge.
Incidentally, this is Old Joe,
the nickname for the university's clock tower,
and it's called that because Joseph Chamberlain,
father of the Prime Minister Neville was the first chancellor here back in 1909.
Generations of students have feverishly sat their finals
in the Great Hall. Thankfully today it's only our experts' knowledge
that's being tested, as we launch another Antiques Roadshow.
Well, this oil painting, this portrait of a lady,
is a rather wonderful fashion statement.
When did you two meet?
About a year, year and a half ago.
And what pulled you two together?
I just fell in love with her, just loved her so much.
Where did you find her?
Local auction house.
How was it catalogued?
Um, oil painting, possibly Russian aristocrat,
but that was it, really.
OK, well, I've done a little bit of my own detective work.
There's a little inscription on the back of the picture,
but also top left, there's a monogram
and a date "92" so that would be 1892.
The monogram is by an artist
-J Champion Bradshaw from the Isle of Man.
He lived in the Isle of Man, 1891, and then moved to Manchester in the mid 1890s.
It's an incredible fashion statement. Were you pulled to this picture
because she was luxuriously dressed?
I think so, and the jewellery as well.
I'm interested in jewellery, but I just think she's so lovely.
I've spoken to one of our other experts about the jewellery,
and the jewellery dates to the same date, 1890.
Pearls and gold.
Again, these would have been quite luxurious items.
-The dress is made in Italian silk.
-So I suspect this was a commissioned portrait,
possibly by her husband.
What strikes me, though, is here she is beautifully dressed,
handmade, wonderful silk dress,
great jewellery, very expensive jewellery,
but perhaps not the greatest artist in the world.
-Not a great society portrait painter.
So it looks to me like hubby
only went halfway in terms of his commissioned portrait.
-It would make about £2,000 to £3,000 at auction.
That's good, that's good.
I don't think we'd let her go, you know,
because we just love her so much.
-So how long have you been living with this cat?
25 years, and can I ask, where does it reside in your home?
On a board right by my bed, looking at me,
so every morning, every evening, I see him or her.
It's the first face you see when you open your eyes.
It is indeed.
And doesn't it scare the life out of you,
because, I mean, that is one very ferocious-looking animal.
Well, not necessarily because, to me, I look at it with different eyes.
As a bronze, I find this incredibly powerful.
From a sculptural point of view, the man responsible for this
really understands the anatomy of this particular beast.
Now, when it comes to species, to me it has all the looks
of a lioness, but the man responsible is down here, isn't he?
-Yes, that's right.
He was born in Naples about 1860
but certainly he's showing it in Naples at the Art Institute
and then he moves to France.
No surprise there, bearing in mind your accent, I think,
-is from the other side of the Channel.
And he's working in Paris
and he's recognised for being a great sculptor,
and just looking at the beast, I'm fascinated by the way that
he manages to get this beast actually gripping onto this
very naturalistic rock. I mean, it is rock.
I mean that is just, you know, solid.
How does it end up with you?
It used to be at one of my auntie's, in Paris,
and when she died, my mother offered it to me,
so I brought it back to England and it has been with me ever since.
Merculiano is not the sort of artist
that turns up in any great, you know, sort of quantity
-in this part of the world.
But I would suggest that if I wanted to go out
and buy this rather ferocious-looking beast,
I would probably have to pay somewhere in the region of
between £2,000 to possibly £3,000.
Oh, good, very interesting.
I never thought of the price, but it's good to know.
Thank you very much.
I had the privilege of going to the Princess Margaret sale
with my sons
and I found her a fascinating woman,
and I wanted maybe a little bit of the royal collection.
Fantastic, a little bit in love with her in a way.
Oh, yes, I'm fascinated by her.
Well, the point about royal jewels from the past,
and indeed any age but our own, is establishing what is the provenance,
because the provenance is really an enormous part of the value.
In this case, it's absolutely incontestable
-because it's in the sale room catalogue here, isn't it?
And they are photographed not only in their own right here,
but also with the Princess in wear,
-and so I think one really can't ask for any better proof than that.
I mean, the colour and the drama of the hat and this, that and the other.
-And Margaret looking at her best.
-Yeah, no, absolutely.
In my view she always looked wonderful actually, but I think
that was an extraordinary phenomenon in that she was
not only born to high rank, but also an extraordinarily beautiful woman.
-And here we see...
-A bit naughty because there's smoke in the air.
Oh, smoke in the air.
Smoke in the air and she's smoking a cigarette,
but lovely with the hair a little bit unkempt.
Yes, I mean a sort of puckish look, I mean,
I think there was something about her that was unconventional
and very charming and a very easy smile actually,
-as far as I remember.
-So do I.
Yeah, brilliant, isn't that wonderful? And there is the brooch
to the centre, incontestable provenance,
-it was there at that moment and it's here with us now.
Utter magic, wonderful.
Those earrings, particularly, I was attracted to
because of the fabulous picture with her wearing them.
-Well, they do look rather like hats in a funny way, don't they?
Of course, coral is a very daring colour, actually.
I mean, it's a good colour but it's strong and shows
an independent spirit which she certainly had. And they are...
-they're sort of Sputniks, they're exploding stars of coral.
Heightened with brilliant diamonds in gold.
And I like this one too very much, John Donald,
and he is a most important 20th-century jeweller
and these are baroque pearls, they're misshapen pearls,
it's almost a reminder of the fact that these are organic materials.
-That they're not those terrible ball bearing pearls
-that you see all the time.
-Yes, not perfection.
Not perfection, but in a way, more than that, they're just
a reminder that they are natural, and just to draw the eye
into their lustre, their orient, this strange sleepy silky texture
that pearls have, they've put some diamonds in there too.
Just a little flash and then it takes your eye immediately to the jewel.
Might be quite tricky in this instance
because she'd be wearing it, and one would be concentrating on her,
so have to be strong statements for royal jewellery.
Really, really marvellous stuff and stuff with a royal touch,
the magic royal touch.
And you went to the sale, and you chose the ones you wanted.
And you got your bidding form and the tension's mounting
-and what happened?
-My heart was beating when the hammer went down
and we bought, I think, the first lot we bought were the coral earrings.
And to just have, you know, something that belonged to
a member of the royal family, particularly Princess Margaret, was...
Well, exactly. Can you remember how much they were?
Yes, the coral earrings were £8,000
-and the John Donald brooch was £11,000.
Well, in a funny way, I don't know how one can tell you that
that's a good price, or a bad price,
quite simply because it is the only price.
-This was your only chance to buy these things.
-And you got them, and they are at a premium,
definitely the price paid, but the premium is that they are
incontestable souvenirs of a great lady, now gone.
Marvellous, thank you.
Something rather interesting has happened.
These two vases have been brought along today for David Battie to see.
What he doesn't realise is that he did see them about 20, 25 years ago.
And he valued them at £10,000.
They've been brought along again today
and we'll see if he realises that he did actually see them before,
and see what he values them for today.
You know what?
These make the most fantastic ashtrays!
Because you could smoke as much as you like, put it in that
and you never need to empty them.
And I once went on a visit to a Maharajah in India
and somebody had done exactly that.
It was full up to here with dog ends!
I think there's a few old comics in there from when I was a child.
Yes, there are.
Really? You didn't go in after them?
No, there's probably some collectors items in there as well.
These are Chinese, as I am sure you knew.
Made in Jingdezhen, which is the main porcelain centre.
Brought down in the white that is undecorated but glazed,
and then painted in Canton.
And we call this class Canton porcelain.
The subject matter is more or less
what you would expect to find
on these vases.
We've got panels of audience subjects
and more on here.
We've got battle scenes over there.
Do you know what this is?
I've no idea.
-It's a musical stone.
If you take a boulder of Jade
and slice it,
drill a hole in it and hang it up,
-and hit it with a hammer, you get a musical note.
And they became so skilled, the Chinese,
that they could tune them,
and they had what was effectively a xylophone but in stone, in jade.
It is also one of the eight Buddhistic emblems.
Round the bottom we've got dragons
and this gilt so-called flaming pearl,
which is, again, a Buddhistic emblem.
Pearl of wisdom.
How do we date them?
Well, up here on the neck we've got flat dragon handles.
And if you see flat dragon handles,
you're probably looking prior to 1850.
And I would put these probably 1840, 1850, some time around there.
-The one thing I haven't mentioned is, of course, their size.
-Where do you keep them?
-They're kept either side of my mother's fireplace,
which, they've been there for a long, long time.
It's not for me to say
but that chip is not an expensive thing to do.
-It may cost you 300 or £400 but it would be worth it...
-..and it would look so much better, I think.
-I think so, too.
I mean, apart from that they're in stonkingly good condition.
So, we come to the price.
I would be pretty confident that if these came up in a sale,
-they would make somewhere around £15,000 to £20,000.
And if they went higher than that, I would not be surprised.
-Well, you may be surprised now.
-Quite a surprise.
-Oh, my goodness!
-David, you might be wondering what I'm doing here.
I was listening and it was absolutely fascinating.
Did anything about these appear in any way familiar?
Well, only in the sense that they're big Canton vases.
-They've not come from my home, have they?
-We've played a very little trick on you...
-Oh, no! I hate tricks!
-..because these were brought along...
-I shan't sleep!
-..by Andrew's father, by Eileen's husband about 20 years ago.
You valued them then! What do you think you valued them for? Any idea?
-Just to make things even harder!
-I might have said 5,000 to 8,000?
-8,000 to 10,000.
-You said 8,000 to 10,000.
And so we just decided we'd see if you recognise...
-You see so much stuff, but we thought we'd have a go.
We do see too much and often they just sort of clock up in your mind
and your mind doesn't access it, and it didn't in these cases.
-The good thing...
-I would've thought I'd have remembered the chip.
Given you valued them 20 years ago,
-thank goodness you valued them for more!
So this really looks as though it's had a good working life, this box.
It's in a very sort of humble condition, isn't it?
-By humble do you mean "well used"?
-Sort of, yes!
-Sort of well used.
It belonged to my mother.
She would've been 100 or over by now, had she lived.
I'm not sure whether she bought it or whether it belonged to HER mother.
As far as I know, it was a sewing box.
Someone else suggested that it might have been a tea canister
with little locks to either side
to keep the tea under lock and key?
-Well, I think your first guess is right.
It's a workbox and would've been used to keep silks and threads in.
The locks are there, yes, and that's sometimes associated with tea
but a tea canister or a tea caddy of this date would be much smaller.
In fact, it dates from around 1790.
It's made out of pine and then has been veneered in various timbers.
This section at the top here is yew wood
and most of what you see is sycamore.
Just looking inside, the state on the inside,
it is pretty much similar to that on the outside and it would've had
this lovely sort of sugar pink coloured paper lining it.
And over the years, that's simply rubbed away.
But what I love about this box is that it doesn't look as though
it's ever been restored, hardly polished,
-if you don't mind me saying that!
And it's really nice to think that something of that age
has actually had a good working life,
and it's been used and enjoyed and appreciated.
-Did your mother use it to keep her silks in it?
-She did, she did.
And what I use it for is pens,
crayons, pencils, charcoal.
It's absolutely crammed full. I emptied it yesterday
and the contents cover a huge tray, so it really has worked hard.
So, really, it's something that's been inherited
-and been used ever since you've known it...
..and if it was to appear at auction now it would fetch...£600.
Would it, indeed? Yes, well, it'll never go to auction.
Tell me, why have you brought this along?
I brought the table along initially to have it valued
but also because the dogs really took to this table
and chewed the table.
-The dogs? How many dogs do you have?
-I've got four dogs.
The eldest two are eight years of age
and when they came together as a couple of puppies
they chewed the table. And then Ben, he was four-and-a-half,
he also chewed the table and my puppy at home chewed the table as well!
You don't tell them off?
I do but it's more often than not when I'm out that they did it,
so it's hard to tell a dog off
-when you're not there to see what they did at the time...
..cos they don't understand. But I have moved this out of the way
so the dogs don't have access to it, with a view to getting it repaired.
-So now you've upset the dogs?
Do you know what this table is?
-I don't, actually, no.
-It's called a breakfast table.
It's made of rosewood and it's late Regency.
It's about 1830 in date
and it's veneered in rosewood,
so it's quite a good piece of furniture.
I'm going to tip it down like this.
The top is in lovely condition
cos these type of tables, often they split.
Central heating or being placed in front of a window,
things like that. But as it happens, this is in very good order.
It's just down here where the dogs have been nibbling it.
It can be restored. It would cost quite a lot to do.
It would cost, I think, as much as the table's worth -
And the other thing I'd recommend is this...
Give your doggies one of these!
So, with that terrific cloche hat, it's got to be 1920s, do you think?
Yes. My aunt was a student at Glasgow School of Art in the '20s.
-And the hat wasn't hers.
-Oh, wasn't it?
-No. Hunter came in and she was sitting
and he said, "Just sit there, I'm going to paint you.
"Borrow her hat."
-I see, obeying commands.
And she was obviously terrifically good fun, look at her.
-Oh, yes, she was.
-She's all teeth and smiles and fun
and what a lovely dress she's wearing as well,
with that multicoloured patchwork.
-So, George Leslie Hunter.
-he's quite a good artist, isn't he?
-One of the Scottish colourists.
He spent most of his early life in California. Did you know that?
I had read that somewhere, yes.
And he didn't really take up oils,
because he was working there as an illustrator, until a lot later,
after he came back to Europe, went to Paris. Do you like it?
Yes, I do, it's very much my aunt.
She lived until she was over 90,
but she stayed young. I can remember going up one time
and there was a new Gauguin print over the mantelpiece,
and I said, "Oh, that's nice". She said, "Yes, I've got a set of them,
"but there was a nude so I've put that in the bathroom".
How many of my 70-year-old aunts would have done that?
-I thought that was terrific.
-She sounds like great fun
and I can see why Hunter would pick her out from a crowd
and say "Right, stay there, I'm going to paint you."
And there's something really quick about this picture, isn't there?
-His other paintings are quite studied and careful, perhaps,
but this is almost an oil sketch
and it's got these very bold black lines separating the shapes up
and then in the middle, this patchwork of pretty colours
done with a flat brush,
and then this wonderful wide smiley face.
It's full of joy, this picture,
and I think it's just great fun.
So you've no idea - you've never shown it to anyone or anything?
No, no. It's Auntie Nancy.
-My daughter tells me she's having it when I finish with it.
Would you want to insure it?
I don't know, I didn't think of it being that valuable.
-Well, it might cost you a bit.
-Might it? Right.
Well, you'd have to pay premiums on £30,000, I think.
-It's a bit different, isn't it?
-It is, isn't it? Yes.
Our team of specialists never know what's going to turn up on a Roadshow day,
but I can tell you that they're all hoping today will be the moment
when their dream find comes in.
But for our ceramics specialist John Sandon,
that did happen some years ago in this Great Hall in Birmingham.
A little pottery bust. I wonder who he's meant to be.
-Sort of, he's wearing...
well, I suppose that's a turban of some sort
with a jewel on his head,
so a Turk of some kind.
Well, my aunt had it on her mantelpiece all her life,
she lived in the same house from the 1920s
until she died at the age of 94 about four years ago.
Right, so that's been sitting on the mantelpiece
-and now come down to you.
-That's right, yes.
What we've got here is a piece of pottery,
which is clearly shown by his nose being missing.
And I can see inside the colour of the clay
-and it chips very easily.
We've got a material called Delft.
To look like Chinese porcelain, they took a pottery clay
and covered it in a thick white glaze
and it looks like a nice white china body.
It started perhaps in Italy.
It's best known in Holland, where the name Delft applied,
and you also get it made in France, and in England.
And placing where it's made
-is going to be a very crucial thing to this little object.
Because we go back to quite an early age for Delft.
Looking at his face there,
he's wearing, I guess, a moustache and a little goatee beard
which sort of comes to mind images of Charles I, or indeed Charles II,
and that's really the period we're looking at.
We've got a piece here from the 17th century,
-goes back to, I suppose, the 1670s.
Anything from that age, we're talking quite a rare piece.
-Even though it's so battered?
-I like to see battering on these.
That's telling me more, that it's got some age.
If Delft has got no chips at all, then it's normally modern.
It's a very rare survivor.
I've never seen one like it, I've never seen this model,
I'm sure it's totally unrecorded.
Cautiously, one is thinking...
And it could, I say, some have made over £100,000...
-..for pieces of such importance.
-It's a major discovery.
-Is it really?
-It's so exciting, I'm just...
I'm shaking, holding it here, but I'll put it down carefully.
-Because it is a wonderful thing, wonderful condition.
What a piece!
Well, John, I have to say
that was a remarkably restrained reaction from that lady there.
Was she stunned into silence?
I think sometimes that sort of news is rather difficult to take in.
How can something that looks so simple
be worth such a huge amount of money?
It was a heck of a valuation. Do you know what happened to it?
Well, first of all, we had to get the piece checked out
because I felt sure it was rare and early English
but there wasn't another one known,
so we showed it to museum experts, specialists in Delft
who'd dug up on the site of the London Delft potteries.
Happily, they all agreed with me
but they all thought it was English, no doubt about it,
-and the only one known.
And so what did the lady do with it? Has she still got it?
It's always a dilemma. In this case,
much as her family loved the piece, it's always been on the mantelpiece
but at that kind of money, it was really just a worry too much
so they decided to sell it, through the auspices of a London dealer.
It was sold to an American private collector of pottery
and he paid a price just over what I had valued it at
so it's always a relief to be assured
-that it really was that special.
So it's been on quite a journey then, from Birmingham,
all the way over to the States.
Here we are in the Great Hall again, so no pressure, John.
But who knows? Maybe something equally extraordinary will turn up.
I'll let you get back to your table.
Well, let's hope I'll find the pair to it now.
You see, I started my jewellery career in Hatton Garden
and when I was told I was going to come to Birmingham for the Roadshow,
I was so excited as I've never been here before.
I arrived yesterday and rushed to the jewellery quarter.
It's a fabulous place!
And then today,
you've brought these most amazing jewellery designs.
Where have these come from?
Well, about 20 years ago,
in one of my rash moments, I decided to build a Victorian steam launch
but I needed a steam engine,
so I went and saw a machinery dealer I knew, who had a steam engine.
-And he knew we were fashion designers.
-So he turned round and said, "I've got something you might like"
and he said, "I think there's about 1,000 paintings here".
And in fact, we counted them and there's over 5,000.
-So you saw them and you fell in love with them.
-We had to have them.
You had to have them. Who owned these?
Where did they come from originally?
They came from a company called Bloxwich,
and that was in Holland Road here in Birmingham.
The company started in 1918 - very small company,
and they finished... I think they closed in 1972
and then the auction was in 1979.
Right. So, I mean, these were all drawings
for their costume, they made costume jewellery, did they?
It was costume jewellery, yes.
We talk about jewellery-making being a skill.
Well, to actually paint like this
-is a skill in itself.
-And getting all the repeats, you know,
-doing the same shape there and there.
And without a computer.
-Exactly, these are all hand done, hand-painted, hand-drawn.
-This is following history.
In costume jewellery, it is following history and it is amazing.
For instance, you've got over there Egyptian style,
and of course Tutankhamen's tomb was discovered in 1922
and so then, that gave a lot of people the idea...
-That that's what they'd like to wear.
And this one, the detail - oh,
I mean everything is just so, so wonderful. Now...
..what's happened here?
I think that was when they were allowed to smoke while they worked.
-Oh, my goodness.
-These are the actual working drawings.
These coloured ones I think are the ideas.
These are the working drawings they took to the workshop.
-These are all signed.
-This one too.
-You liked this one, didn't you?
-Yes, I do.
I'll tell you why I like this.
It's because it's got here...
other than it being, again, beautifully painted,
but the detail - in that you could actually take it to a goldsmith
-and say, "I want it like that".
-And that's how it would be made.
Because he's got the side elevation drawn as well, so you instantly know
that this is not flat.
These pieces have got movement to it, they've got the curve to it.
You know, there's been goldsmiths and silversmiths here in Birmingham
for over 200 years. It's an incredibly important centre for jewellery
and it has its own assay office here as well -
and these pieces, the drawings here,
which have come from 1918 to 1972.
-I mean, a fantastic wealth
of all the different historical events that have gone on.
I would say, because these drawings are so wonderful,
and they encapsulate such an important part of jewellery history,
I would say at least, you know, £2 each,
and you have over 5,000 drawings.
-I mean, £10,000?
-I think it's fabulous.
I think your friend here is suffering from
what has more recently been known as a wardrobe malfunction.
-She seems to be revealing quite a lot.
-Sort of decolletage.
Yes, and she's certainly a very sort of sensuous lady, isn't she?
She has a lovely smooth touch.
Lovely, lovely finish, it's like really polished marble, isn't it?
-Do you know what this wonderful thing is made from?
Absolutely no idea.
I'm afraid we've just known her for a very long time
but we've no idea where she comes from, what's she's made of
or who she really is.
Well, have you ever noticed the mark impressed on the back?
-It says "Copeland".
-Copeland were makers of Parian porcelain.
It's a wonderful type of porcelain
-that was invented to simulate polished marble.
-Oh, OK, right.
She's not real marble,
she's a 19th-century thing designed to look glamorous and sensuous.
She looks a kind of lady with personality.
Well, as a family, we always call her Alice
but my father was always convinced she was actually the Empress Livia.
-But Alice is what she's been all my life and my father's life.
-Well, she can stay as Alice, but she's actually Clyte.
And she is copied from a Greco-Roman sculpture, marble,
-in the British Museum.
And she's a really famous image, an iconic figure in British art,
-so this would have been a very well-known image in the 19th century.
And this particular copy is modelled by a man called Delpech
in about 1855, although the bust is probably a little bit later.
The Parian market is not strong at the moment
but I don't think that matters.
I think she is an extremely beautiful and charming thing
which many people would like to own.
So, I think a reasonable, sensible,
cautious estimate would be of
between £800 and £1,200.
Really? Oh, that's good.
Not that we'd get rid of her, she's very much passed down the line.
We're already sorting out who'll have her in the fourth generation.
Well, I guess you've worked out this is a pretty nice thing,
so why have you brought it along?
Well, it's been in the glass cabinet at home
since it's been passed down through the family
so I thought I'd bring it along today
and see if it was... If you can tell me anything about it, really.
Well, I can. One of the things... I mean, I know it, to start with.
-I mean you brought it out and I knew exactly what it was.
But it's one of these things that it is exactly what it says on the tin
-because it's all written here.
And had you noticed that?
I'd noticed the "Orrefors", yes.
So, basically, you have "Orrefors, Lindstrand,"
-then a digit, and then a couple of letters.
And Orrefors is the great...
-the greatest glassworks of the 20th century in Sweden.
Based in a village called Orrefors.
-Amazing, I don't know where they got the name.
Vicke Lindstrand is the best designer of the 1930s for Orrefors
-and this is Vicke Lindstrand because it's got his name on it.
And it's 1939, it's just before the outbreak of war,
-which Sweden was a non-combatant in.
-A neutral country.
-And it just works, doesn't it?
-It does, yes.
-Don't you think?
-The baby blowing the bubbles, and the optics of glass
allow that to make appear that the baby's blowing the bubbles
-out of the pipe...
-And the bubbles have spread.
-All over. And it's just a really good use.
-It itself is a bubble.
-Is it a vase or...?
-It's an object.
It's an object. I mean, if you stuck a daff in there, you'd be daft.
-That's not what you do with it.
What you do is, you look at that, you put it in the light,
-get it out of the cabinet and put it out.
-In the light.
-In the light.
Because that's a nice thing, worth 500 quid.
£500. Yes, brilliant.
I'm glad I brought it along, yes. Thank you.
They say an owner looks like his pet. Sir...
Thanks very much indeed.
What are we to make of this?
Well, he's supposed to be a Staffordshire Bull, OK,
he was a real live dog about 150 years ago
and he's been in my family ever since, sort of thing.
He's supposed to be a Staffordshire Bull Terrier? He's minuscule.
Well, he was. I think he's just a throwback of some description.
-Has he got a name?
Growing up in Scotland,
I always wanted a Norah Wellings Highland doll.
I mean, made by Chad Valley and Norah Wellings had her own factory
and she's really regarded as the greatest maker of felt dolls
-that Britain has ever produced.
You've got a wonderful display here. Where did you get them?
Well, they're from Chad Valley in Wellington
and when it closed down, my father's friend's wife, who worked there,
he bought them off her
and they've just sat in tissue paper for the last 40 years, I'm afraid,
although when I was a girl, they sat on a shelf, my pride and joy.
And so you were 10 years old...
Yes, 10 or 11, about that, yes.
And you opened up all these dolls?
Like winning the lottery all in one then, it really was.
-It's sad to think of them in tissue paper, I have to say.
-It is, yes.
But because they've been in tissue paper,
-they're in fantastic condition.
I see a lot of Norah Wellings dolls that are not in very good condition
and of course condition is something that collectors really, really want.
-And of course, they're all quite different.
This is probably the most common one.
-Interestingly, 70% of her dolls were exported.
-And a lot of them went onto cruise liners and were sold as gifts.
There's a very big collecting market in the States for these dolls.
These ones here
are much more unusual,
and in actual fact, they did make
-quite a lot of the Scotsman...
..because it was very, very popular,
again being exported to Canada and America.
What I love about them,
and what I've always loved about them,
-is how on earth did she do those ears?
I mean, they were obviously done separately,
and they're so distinctive,
-they're Norah Wellings' ears.
Most of them would be,
I would say, about £100 each,
but of course, some of the rarer ones
could easily be £200 each,
so I think we're looking at a collection
of certainly in excess of £1,000. Probably £1,500.
Oh, wonderful, thank you. That's lovely.
Life on the Roadshow is about all sorts of things,
but certainly what it brings home to us,
talking to people like you,
is the enduring interest in wartime activities.
I'm very interested in wartime history,
I'm just too young to have been part of it, but my parents were -
like so many of us - and what fascinates me is
there's still aspects of that story
that have never been told, and I think you've brought me one here.
What is the Snapshots From Home League?
Well, it was a scheme introduced by the YMCA
during the First World War.
This album relates to the Second World War.
The scheme was introduced in the First World War
but it was part of their welfare work with troops
to try and maintain contact between
-soldiers and their families.
This scheme operated by the YMCA
distributing forms for the soldiers to complete,
to request photographs of their loved ones,
their pets, or whatever.
They returned the forms to the YMCA's headquarters,
and these were then distributed to amateur photographers
that the YMCA had recruited.
The photographers then went out
-and made photographs of the families, usually in the family home.
And then the photographers
posted on the photographs to the individual men.
So the soldier serving in the Air Force in India - or whatever it might be -
he could say, "Oh, I haven't seen my mum for three years.
-"Can you go and photograph her?"
So, Miss J Cook - who was she?
Jean Cook was a teacher, living in Sussex,
and she was recruited as one of these tens of thousands of photographers.
So she was just an ordinary person...
-Who could take pictures.
-just instantly at the pictures, they're pictures anybody could have taken.
-They're not smart photographs.
Hence the snapshot title.
I think... let's see if we can tell a story.
Yes, here's one.
I mean, this is picked at random.
So this is the form that Driver Knight filled in.
So, he sent that back and he gave the home address
-and then the photographs came and they were sent by Miss Cook.
So she had the contact with the soldier.
This is one, quite a good one I think,
so it's from...
Mr Roselle, 1942.
He's on the Revenge or something like that
or he's at a base called Revenge.
"Dear Miss Cook, I have just received a letter from home
"and enclosed in it were some delightful snaps of my family.
"I am writing to thank you from the bottom of my heart
"for these grand keepsakes
"and I must say, my family all looked well."
-So his whole life is improved by it, isn't it?
-Yes, it is.
So Jean Cook just went round
day after day, taking photographs of ordinary people?
Yes. I understand she used a bicycle and got on her bike after school
and visited families to take these photographs.
-And she was one of thousands.
-Yes, tens of thousands, yes.
In different parts of Britain. I think this is a wonderful record
-of how things were.
We know about all the front line stuff, it's all documented,
but when you think of this vast support system this represents,
-it's almost like that sort of mass observation thing, isn't it?
Where we're recording ordinary people in their lives.
And you can imagine Jean Cook knocking on the door saying,
-"Can I just take a picture?"
-"What, now? All right."
-"Just sit there", you know, and off she goes.
And I just have this image of these women, mostly, I imagine,
cycling all over Britain, taking photographs.
And all these troops who were, sort of, reassured by that contact home.
Of course now it's quite different, I mean, it's easy, isn't it?
It is, but I can really appreciate this,
-the resonance of this. My daughter's in the army.
So I can understand very much how important it is, to keep in touch.
I mean it's very hard to think of things like this in terms of value.
I mean, personally, I'd love to pay £100, £200 for it,
simply because I'd like to feel that I'm part of that story.
But I think it's actually irrelevant.
It's really about the contact between these people,
what it meant to all of them.
I thought I knew a lot about the war but, you know,
you've taught me something new
and I'm delighted to be able to open
-a new chapter of memory and experience. Thank you.
This is a splendid loving cup.
They call these loving cups, with two handles,
and made to commemorate the Worcester Corporation Sports Day
of 100 years ago.
That was Edward VII's coronation,
-wasn't it, really? Good, wasn't it?
How did you get hold of it?
It was left to me by my mother when she died,
because she knew that I liked pots
and it was won by my great uncle in 1911,
as far as we know, for the sports.
-And this is him in here, is it?
-This is him, yes.
-Which one is he? He's the cyclist there.
Not necessarily for a cycle race,
this could be for any sort of sports day, couldn't it?
But wonderful, with the city coat of arms and motto,
and everything, and wonderful blue ground. Royal Worcester, of course,
but the glory of it, to me,
-is this side and this wonderful painting.
It's signed by the great fruit painter of all time.
-Really? I didn't know that.
-This is Richard Sebright - R Sebright.
It's superb painting of fruit
and the gilding around it is magnificent.
It is beautiful, yes, it is.
A lovely, lovely cup. It's going to be worth a fair bit of money.
I suppose you're looking at a pot, with this marvellous painting here,
-So look after it.
-Yes, I'll look after it. We treasure it.
Last time we came to Birmingham,
we had a fantastic valuation of about £50,000 on one item.
And rumour's going round the experts,
that this could be another big-ticket item,
so, I'm just going to sit down here
and have a little listen to what they're going to say.
You could tell from the far side of a football pitch
that a box of this quality
has got to have something wonderful in it.
Just look at the beautiful engraved brass inlay
of these coat of arms.
They look vaguely familiar to me.
Do you know whose they are?
Yes, I do, they're Spencer Churchill's crest.
The two shields, crossed shields
and I bought it because of Lady Diana -
then Princess Diana -
and I fell in love with it.
I'm not surprised.
You're talking of two of the most famous families
in the British Isles -
-the Spencers and the Churchills.
And I've got a feeling
-that something good is going to be inside.
-Oh, yes, oh, yes.
Let's have a look in closer detail.
A beautiful box, made in silver gilt
and silver, lovely combination,
just makes it a bit more exciting than either completely gilding it.
-More work involved, so, you know.
Absolutely stunning quality,
beautifully engraved in the centre here with the same armorials,
but the condition looks quite amazing.
Travelling sets like this
first started appearing in the early 19th century,
and as the Grand Tour
became fashionable throughout the 19th century,
these boxes got more and more elaborate,
and well known companies, like Asprey and Garrard,
won gold medals at great exhibitions and international exhibitions,
for producing these amazing sets.
But this one, I mean, just look at the scent bottles -
beautifully painted in gold on the glass here.
Even the stopper
is a work of art,
it's absolutely stunning.
I've got to ask you where you got it.
Well, I bought it from a London auction house
and when I saw it the first time,
I said, "This has to be bought."
-I don't blame you.
-I had to fight for it, but I got it.
Can you remember what you paid for it?
OK, let's look a bit further,
because if we lift this out,
we've got another
wonderful row of manicure items.
Fairly standard to find a manicure set,
but not fairly standard to find one
-with a lapis-handled letter knife.
You've got beautiful cut steel scissors,
mother-of-pearl-handled manicure items,
absolutely glorious things.
If we look at one of the boxes...
-..we see it's got the maker's mark, RG...
-..for Robert Garrard.
He was the royal goldsmith to Queen Victoria
and one of the best makers...
..in the 19th century.
Some say, perhaps the best maker after Paul Storr,
-who's generally regarded as the finest maker.
It's got a date letter for 1844 here,
so, early Victorian.
Garrard's quite proudly...
..put on the front here,
another little brass plaque saying,
"R & S Garrard & Co, Crown Goldsmiths and Jewellers,
So, they were very proud of this, quite obviously.
-It doesn't end there though, does it?
-We've got another drawer...
-More to come.
..at the bottom,
where we've got an ivory brush set,
but the things that I really like are these.
Because they're actually the candlestick branches,
-and I think they screw into here, don't they?
-They do, yeah.
And so, if you're travelling around Europe
in the 1840s,
-this is pretty much everything you could ever want.
This really is the ultimate travelling set
by a great maker.
how do you put a value on something like this?
I think you paid a very reasonable price.
-That was 1998.
Well, I've seen some pretty staggering sets in my time,
but this ranks as one of the prettiest and the best quality.
It's got a great history,
one of the most noble families in England,
and if I was valuing this for insurance,
I would put at least £100,000 - maybe more.
-Is that all right with you?
That's very all right, thank you.
Well, that has to go back into the vaults again tomorrow, I'm afraid,
that sort of money.
Well, I'm not surprised.
to see something so wonderful as this,
and in fabulous condition.
That travelling set - £100,000!
And wasn't it exquisite?
What a great way to end our programme!
A wonderful time here at Birmingham University in the Great Hall.
Until next time, from the whole Antiques Roadshow team,
Subtitles by Ericsson