Browse content similar to Yorkshire Museum 2. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
We're always searching for treasure,
so we've come to an apt location - the Yorkshire Museum and Gardens.
You see, it's a place that already boasts pretty incredible discoveries
that have been literally unearthed from beneath the ground here.
So let's hope we find a few more,
as we return for a second visit to York.
The great minds of the York Philosophical Society
were hard at work in the 1820s,
planning a home for the new discoveries exciting scientific thinkers of the day.
And this was the result -
the museum in the heart of York.
It opened in 1830 and it was something of a pioneer.
Set in its own botanical gardens,
it's one of the first purpose-built museums in the country.
Not that it made much difference to most of the people of York,
because this place was an exclusive club.
When the museum first opened,
I wouldn't have been able to get through those doors quite so easily,
because women were not allowed to be members of the York Philosophical Society.
And when non-members were finally admitted to the museum,
it was for a very steep shilling.
The working classes were only admitted in 1838 -
and even then it was just once a year, at Whitsun.
Fortunately, times have changed.
Some of the rather grand founders of the museum might be shocked
to learn that many of the most talked about recent acquisitions
have not been found by archaeologists
but by...local people using these -
The Yorkshire Museum encourages anyone who's found an antiquity
to bring it here, to their Finds Officer,
and they've had quite a few in recent years.
Like this stash of Viking silver
known as the "Vale of York Hoard".
Look at this - it's another amazing find here in the museum.
It's called the "Middleham Jewel"
and it was discovered near the medieval castle of Middleham
by an amateur detecting enthusiast.
Whoever wore this, almost certainly a woman,
had significant status and wealth because it's solid gold
with this huge sapphire here.
But more importantly than that,
it is a charm, if you like, designed to protect
from the dangers of childbirth.
All this was designed to house the most precious thing of all -
some tiny fragments of soil from a shrine or some kind of holy site.
So whatever 15th-century woman wore this round her neck...
was taking no chances.
We'll see more excavated treasures later in the show.
In the meantime, let's see what our experts are digging up.
You know, everywhere you go in York, you fall over pieces of stone.
Here we are, in the Museum Gardens -
the place is absolutely covered in bits of antiquity
and you bring in these. Where did you get them from?
This one here from a dealer, it was languishing in a garden in Kent.
-I just saw it on the website and the photo didn't do it justice,
and when I saw it, I had to have it.
OK, I think we ought to go back and decide why you wanted
to collect these pieces of stone.
Because quite often they are neglected
-and they end up in people's gardens or used as doorstops.
Various people have told me they're not worth anything
and I don't care, because they're early works of art
and sooner or later, there's not going to be much left.
I think you hit the nail on the head there
when you say they are early works of art.
-This is quite the most stunning one, isn't it?
I don't think it's medieval.
I think it's a bit later than that. 1500-1600, something like that.
-What a piece!
And you can imagine him on the side of a building -
on the side of Hogwarts, perhaps! I don't know, something like that.
The other one - over here - this little lion over here,
if you look at the face on the lion, it's much more a Neo-Classical face.
I think it's more secular
and I would have thought dated from the 18th century,
or possibly even the 17th century.
And then the two down here... tell me about this one here.
This was in a salvage yard in Worcestershire
and the guy said it was Victorian, so I took a punt on it,
because I thought it was older.
-It had been re-used in a 19th-century wall.
-And turned around.
That's why he thought it was Victorian?
I said, "Maybe that's why it's NOT Victorian".
Well, I think you're absolutely right.
I don't think it is Victorian
and obviously they did use, or re-use,
sensible pieces of stone like this for their work.
And again, it's just that spirit, and the ear's in the wrong place
and the hair, and it's kind of that grotesqueness that I liked.
I like you using the word spirit
because these all have spirit, don't they?
-There is something in them that actually comes through.
-This lion, I would put at about 17th or 18th century.
I think about the people that carved them.
Well, I think about them too because they would have ended up very high on buildings, wouldn't they?
And you would look up at them, if you could actually see them at all.
-And this one here, which is very sharp - you know -
I can see why he thought it might have been Victorian.
-But I would have thought it was earlier.
I think the thing about this whole collection is it has spirit.
How much did you pay?
Um, moving round...
-I paid 500 for that.
-I paid 200 for this, delivered. I think this was about 400.
I think this was more because
I'd had a little bit to drink and it was in an auction,
and I paid 1,500 for that but I just thought it was sweet.
Well, I have to say, you've done incredibly well.
I think the prices are really neither here nor there,
as far as these pieces were works of art.
Nothing, I think, medieval here,
but all good sort of 16th, 17th, 18th century here.
My favourite, of course - the one that is strongest, I suppose -
the most secular probably, is this one here
and I would say that that's your - £500, you said -
let's add a nought and say £5,000.
-I can't see that that...
I didn't think that, I really didn't.
I would have been happy with anything around 500, you know?
Prices on the others, you know, the prices you paid are very little.
-Except that one.
-As you say - except that one possibly.
-The wine, I assume, was very good?
-It was, a good day.
-Thank you very much.
Now, they say all the nice girls love a sailor.
Do you love your sailors?
That would be giving the game away, wouldn't it, really?
-I love this one.
-What, just that one there? Not his two mates?
Well, the whole thing.
I love it too. It is... It's just very, very stylish.
So is this something you bought?
No, this actually belongs to my mother,
and it was given to her when she was in her late teens.
It was a gift from a family who lived in the same village as she did,
in Cockthorpe, Norfolk, as they were leaving
to go to... I think it was South Africa.
They were going to go and set up as a farm over there.
-It was a parting gift from them.
-So they were sailing off?
-They were indeed.
-And they left their sailors behind.
-It was made in France, in Paris.
It's by a firm who has a peculiar name,
so I'll spell it and say it - it's R-O-B-J -
which was from the man who founded it, Jean Born, in 1908.
He took the first initials of his name - B-O-R -
reversed them and added the J.
So I suppose in French it would be Robj,
but most collectors call it Rob-J.
It is marked on the bottom and they were a firm that never made anything
but they commissioned the very best designers to make pieces.
Little trinkets and ceramics, little objects de luxe,
and it was really continuing a tradition of Parisian galleries
and shops that only sold the very best pieces.
In the 18th and early 19th century you went to the Palais-Royal
to buy jewellery and little boxes and things
and Jean Born continued that tradition.
He died in 1922 in a car crash
but his business partner continued the tradition and introduced
this line of decanters in 1928 and they were very successful.
And I think you can see why because it just says, late '20s,
early '30s, it screams Art Deco.
The hands are sort of square,
their faces have this slightly diabolic look.
Even the idea of three sailors back to back - there's a certain,
there's a joie de vivre about it.
If we take the hats off,
there is the bit inside,
and I suppose also it's well designed
because each head becomes a pouring part,
so no matter where you pour it from, it won't dribble.
I think it's a very smart piece
and it's something that in, you know,
in a very smart gallery in Paris
would sell for a smart price,
and I think that price would be £2,000.
Several more, if it was in euros.
LAUGHTER Well, I'll pass that on to my mother,
she'll be delighted to hear about that.
Well, I think she'll have to fill it
with a rather expensive bottle of liqueur.
Most people would probably look at it and think,
what an extraordinary looking clock,
because it doesn't fit that sort of grandfather clock look.
That's partly why I like it, because it is different.
So how did it come to you?
Well, actually my late grandfather, in his later years,
turned quite eccentric
and he used to go to the local auctions every week
and the understanding I have -
he used to fall asleep on the front of all the sofas and things
and he used to nod off, and if the auctioneer couldn't sell anything -
he seemed to know my grandfather - and would strike it down to him.
My parents used to dread him coming home!
At one stage in his room he had five grandfather clocks,
all striking at different hours, but he seemed to love it.
And so he didn't pay, I understand,
more than about ten shillings for anything,
-so in Yorkshire terms, it's ten bob.
-Wonderful image of an auction house.
Yes, and my eccentric grandad.
This business of taking bids off the wall and that sort of thing.
In this instance, something wasn't selling
-and he knew your grandfather would have it.
-It was a large farmhouse.
-There he was, slumbering at the front.
Would you like to hear where it comes from?
-Oh, please, there's no markings on it.
-I had a look at it earlier
and I couldn't find any markings on it either
but I do know that the movement is German.
-And the case is almost certainly French.
-Gosh, well, you do surprise me.
-Does it surprise you?
It's very typically French
and it has this lovely organic quality about it.
Yes, lovely, because it's got a dandelion on the face, which I think is rather nice.
And everything else is to do with flowers, leaves,
and it has that lovely organic shape
that starts at the bottom and works up to the branches at the top.
-And it works, and it's very typical of the 1910-1920 period,
that Art Nouveau period.
-So that clock's about 100 years old?
-Round about that.
It is just possible that it's got a bit of German blood in it.
-These grilles here are slightly Germanic.
If you can imagine the grilles on a radio, on a wireless set.
-Do you know what I mean? It has that feel about it.
It's possible that this is French-German border
but I'm almost certain that the case is French and the dial and movement are German.
It's not everyone's cup of tea.
At auction it has to be worth
between £1,000 and £1,500.
Goodness me, I was thinking somewhere about £600-£800.
-Well, I think it's £1,000-£1,500.
-Gosh, that's fabulous!
Well, it's not for sale. I love it. It's going back in my dining room.
Well, you've done a beautiful job of restoration too.
Oh, very kind, thank you very much.
Demand for various antiques changes according to vagaries of fashion
but one of the categories that's really performed well over the years
have been wine bottles.
They really have proved to be very popular amongst collectors
and what they really like is sealed examples.
So you start with a bottle like that and it's nothing special.
But when you add THAT to it, that changes the game.
A sealed example of an early bottle from 1770 is a good thing.
Have you known it from new?
No, no. Maybe about ten years!
And how did it come into yours?
Well, when I left the Army, I got a job moving furniture
and we were down in London, moving a lady up to Yorkshire
and she was going to throw it out.
I asked her if I could have it, and she said yes, so I took it.
Bloomin' great! Well, I think that's really nice.
1770. What are we, 240-250 years ago?
Do you know anything about James Oakes Bury?
-I know something about him
because I think his name
was James Oakes and he lived in Bury St Edmunds.
Not Bury itself?
Not Bury, Lancashire, but Bury St Edmunds,
because I've had a little word with somebody
and I found that he was a wool merchant in Bury St Edmunds,
a prosperous man, and you can trace him.
His diaries are published,
you can actually buy his diaries and follow his life.
-And that makes a difference to value.
-So you start with a bottle like that and it's £100.
You add a seal to it like that, that makes it £700,
and you add the actual individual who owned this
and you can add a few more quid to that,
-which is not bad for something you blagged as a removal man!
-Pretty good, eh?
-Yeah, so what's it worth?
-£800 and some more.
-I was going to say 20 or 30.
-Hold on a minute!
-It belonged to one of my ancestors.
-Rear Admiral John Manley, I believe.
Who was born, I think, at the beginning of the 1700s
and died somewhere in the late 1700s
but I'm not quite sure exactly of the date.
-OK. And so he could well have used this.
Had it in his pocket, maybe to show people where he'd been,
the battles he had partaken in. It does show a lot of wear and tear.
I refer to the date, and it's down there, 1754.
"A new terrestrial globe by Nath" - that's Nathaniel - "Hill",
a very well known
scientific instrument maker. You don't get a better name than that.
-1754. That's before Captain Cook had done his exploratory...
Yes, we had worked that out from the...
-Australia is sort of, obviously, the bit there that's missing.
Look at that, Australia is only partly delineated.
I can just see Van Diemen's Land there.
And look, New Zealand just gets a little...
-sort of dot in the middle of the ocean.
And, furthermore, North West America is actually just described as
"Unknown", so I mean, it's fantastic, isn't it?
-Your ancestor was sailing the seas, very unknown seas.
This really does still hold its colours and its detail,
-and even the little clasps, they're all there.
-Let's have a look at the fella who this belonged to.
-There he is.
It's a real treat to put a personality to an object.
They're so often torn apart and of course...
This is his ship, yes.
But this is the same ship -
-were you aware of that?
-No, I didn't know that, no, no.
-Broadside and sternside.
-Oh, no, no.
So they could show off all the sort of technical detail of the rigging
and the sort of number of guns.
This was probably on board that ship for many a decade.
Something completely different, I fear, hiding in this box.
Those are his buckles, and I know that.
Wow, that's all I can say, absolutely wow!
-These are the best shoe buckles I think I've ever seen.
I just found them in the bottom of a drawer when I was clearing out.
-You lucky thing, you lucky thing.
These are not diamonds, I'm sure you know that...
No, I don't think... They're paste.
-..which is English lead glass.
-It was easy to cut - easier to cut than diamonds -
and one of the great manufacturing skills of the time, making these,
was done, more often than not, by top quality silversmiths.
The best ones were always set in silver.
These have got... I think that's the leftovers of the leather polish from your shoes.
-These would buff... This is probably solid silver.
Yes, I haven't ever cleaned them or anything.
No, they don't need cleaning, really.
And things like this were made... from the sort of 1660s.
Pepys wore them. Out of fashion by the 1790s. These are enormous.
This was the age of dandyism really and the bigger, the better.
So what a potted history!
We've got the man, the ship, we've got the globe
that took him to all the various battles he no doubt partook in.
-I've not seen a better pair.
I think they're worth £1,000 to £1,500.
-In an auction.
The globe. That's a really good one.
If I was putting that in an auction,
my estimate would be £5,000 to £7,000.
It's THAT good, condition is...
Right, thank you.
MUSIC: "Rule, Britannia"
So anyone familiar with that wonderful mug
with the alphabet across it by Eric Ravilious
will recognise the style of this print,
which is of course by Eric Ravilious and it's signed by him -
both printed and in pencil, bottom right.
And it's done in the late 1930s
and it's of Newhaven Harbour in East Sussex, isn't it?
-It's not something you see very often. Why is it yours?
It belonged to my father-in-law and he would have bought it new.
When he was a young man, he kind of set up his bachelor pad with all modern furniture...
Oh, he wanted to be modern?
Oh, very! We've still got some of the modern furniture.
And this was one of the things he obviously bought then
and it's been in the family ever since.
It's also one of the first things Eric Ravilious did
in the way of prints, in colour,
because he'd done woodcuts on a smaller scale and monochrome.
But this, to me, although it's a very sort of muted palette,
is an explosion of colour
and into a much bigger size,
and of course it's a different medium, really, it's a lithograph.
-He also called it his homage to Seurat.
-Right, I can see why.
-Yes, you sort of can, can't you?
-It's got that open light about it, hasn't it?
There's a sort of strange stillness about it,
and even the boats steaming into the harbour
seem sort of frozen in the water
and there's no people milling around at all.
It's extraordinarily still
and even these clouds sort of hang in the sky, statically.
And the light in it is very extraordinary as well,
very strongly lit and highly stylised to suggest that light.
In this way it's extremely modern.
But a very individual
and British take on modernism for the late 1930s.
Anyway, terrific print, and what's going on here?
-Cos I notice the signature's...
-Well, knowing my father-in-law,
he would have trimmed it to go into the clip frame he wanted
but we didn't actually realise until we took it out yesterday that he'd actually left that little bit there.
-Oh, I see, so he's cut a little bit off and then...
-He'd have cut it.
He wouldn't have known that it was important,
it was just a print that he bought as a young man that he really liked.
Do you think it's important?
Well, when I was looking it up on the internet, as one does...
-Yes, of course.
-..it kind of said that this one was elusive,
that was the word they used.
So I thought, mm, perhaps we better bring it in and have a look.
Yes, it is a rare print.
I'll tell you about the missing bit first.
It's probably worth about 2,000 quid.
ONLOOKERS GASP AND LAUGH
Well, I thought the whole picture, if we were lucky, it would be worth 1,000.
No, it's worth about £4,000 as it is.
That's fantastic! Well, it's still going up in the clip.
-No, I think we'll frame it properly when we get home.
It's still going up on the wall.
-Well, quite right.
But it is a really, really wonderful image, I just love it.
Yes, oh, yes.
So here, we're standing in front of the Yorkshire Museum
with a treasure from Yorkshire, aren't we?
And what a joy to see a piece of jewellery gleaming in the sun,
set with sapphires and coloured glass,
and in a way, it's an object of national importance.
Tell me all about it and what your relationship is with it.
Well, I actually was the lucky person who found the ring,
metal detecting, and it's been through all the treasure process
and it's been declared treasure
and it's recently been acquired by the Yorkshire Museum.
And of course everybody's itching to know where and how you found it.
And I'm jealous already.
Well, it was found in fields near York,
with the permission of the landowner,
with a metal detector on a York club outing.
What did it feel like, when you first saw it? What was it, to you?
Well, when I first dug down and saw the glint of gold,
I knew it was special...
Didn't know how old it was at the time
and then, obviously, I showed it to the members of the club
to try and get an opinion
and we thought medieval but then when the British Museum examined it,
they've come back with 10th or 11th century.
10th or 11th century, my goodness me!
I mean, thousands of years in the ground and untouched,
and precious stones are untouched by that, gold is untouched by it.
Glass is touched a little bit, it alters its character a little,
but glass is a perfectly respectable and ancient...material
to use in jewellery.
And I have a feeling that this might be glass simulating garnet work
and I think that might be a key to the age of it, mightn't it?
That's what the British Museum said,
that's why they came up with the later date.
Garnet was used more in the 6th and 7th century,
so there's a little bit of mismatch with the dates at the moment.
We still need to do more research.
What I'd really love to hope is that this is a Viking ring
because York is the great Viking centre, isn't it?
It's the most marvellous connection if one could make that.
-I think without a shadow of doubt, it's a man's ring.
-I think so.
I'd like to think of that as a Viking warrior using that,
an emblem of his status -
that he could afford pure gold, he could afford to have sapphires,
and the sapphire is critical too, isn't it? Tell me about that one.
It is, apparently, it's the second oldest sapphire
that's been found in the country,
which is quite mind-blowing.
-The oldest was a Roman one, 5th century.
Yesterday and today is the first time I've seen it in the flesh for two years...
-And still exciting?
-Still exciting, yeah.
The light is falling on it. You made light fall on it.
It had been in the darkness for possibly a thousand years.
It's not yours any more, is it?
No, it's been acquired by the Yorkshire Museum,
which I'm very proud to be associated with,
because it's in such good company with the artefacts already there.
Yes, exactly. And I suppose everybody wants to know,
it's a lottery win in an emotional sense,
but it's a lottery win in another sense in that, of course,
the museum has bought it from you,
-and that figure is public, isn't it?
-It is, yes, £35,000.
£35,000 for a dream.
Basically, the monetary reward
that the Treasure Valuation Committee put on it
gets shared between the finder and the landowner.
So there'll be a happy farmer in Yorkshire now.
Well, I think a very happy farmer, but content in the concept
that he's actually sold something of really national importance
and it's now safe, and that's critical, isn't it?
It's been marvellous to talk to you about it, thank you very much.
Thank you very much.
Well, they say there's nothing new invented under the sun
but every now and again, a designer comes along
to have a tweak and improve.
And we've been sitting for thousands of years but I love chairs
and I love to see chairs,
and this is a beautiful chair but tell me, where did it come from?
Well, we bought a new house about two years ago,
a 1930s house,
and it was in with the package.
So when we went around the house it was in there,
and then when we moved in, we found it, and it was still in the house.
Wow, so just one of these left behind.
-Yeah, two, left behind.
So we've two of these. We couldn't bring them both down with us today.
So what did you think when you saw them? Did you like them?
Well, we love them, the style of them's absolutely gorgeous
and the low seats are really, really nice, aren't they?
They did have a cover over the top,
so for a while they had pots of paint balanced on while we decorated
and then once we finished that and took the dust cover off,
we realised how nice they were.
So, basically, you've had pots of paint balancing on
what I'm going to say to you is a British design classic.
It was designed in 1946 by a gentleman called Eric Lyons.
Eric Lyons was an architect, first and foremost,
but after the war, he got into product design
and he actually developed a range of furniture called the Tecta -
which is this - for the Packet Furniture Company in Great Yarmouth.
-Now, this chair actually has the most brilliant name,
-it's called the "demountable easy chair".
I'm sure you found it very easy to demount yourself out of it.
-Yes, definitely, yes.
It is comfort but the thing is
that it actually sums up everything about product design,
just after the war. It's bent plywood, this one's covered in oak.
It's all about the new ideas that they were coming up with,
that came out of the war effort.
They were having to think on their feet
and new products and new ways of manufacturing were developed and this is one of these products.
I mean, we've got a fantastic label just underneath - there it is -
the "Tecta", actually there with the "E Kahn & Co",
who were a subsidiary company that worked with Packet Furniture.
But, you know, it's a fantastic piece of furniture.
I have to ask, what do you think of the fabric and all this covering as well?
Well, we're not a big fan. When we took the sheets off it,
we were going to get it reupholstered and change the fabric.
What you've got is the original fabric and not only that,
the fabric is also designed by somebody really important.
-It was actually designed by a lady called Marianne Straub.
-Who in the 1940s to 1960s was probably one of the leading
commercial textile designers of her day.
You've got a chair that is in many museums...
is considered an absolute classic,
and it got left behind in your house.
And we stood on it to paint the ceiling.
Well, why not? You've got to use these things for something.
I'd probably say maybe stop standing on it.
-I'd also say don't re-cover it.
-Live with it.
It's had a life and the life tells a story of what it is, as a chair.
It's a beautiful shape, it's a beautiful form,
it's by a great designer.
You've got two of them
and if you had to go out and replace them,
you'd need about £1,000-£1,500 to buy them again.
That's very surprising!
This was donated to Fairfax House about 15 years ago and it's come with no information whatsoever.
Now, this is the lovely Fairfax House here in York, fantastic townhouse museum.
Yes, we have a fantastic furniture collection
-but this isn't something we specialise in.
-OK, how flattering!
A museum has come to the Roadshow to find out about it.
-What have you found out about it?
We know it came to England in the 1940s with a family that was escaping persecution during the war,
a German Jewish family.
But other than that there's nothing really to give us
any idea about provenance or where it's come from.
OK, but being a rather good museum, I know you'll have done...
you'll have picked up on some of the clues. It says here, "Hubertusburg",
which is indeed the name of this palace,
and also here on the date, in Latin,
the equivalent of 1763.
You've got a little figure here of Victory,
or Fame, blowing her trumpet and peace being declared,
and in fact 1763 was the year in which the Treaty of Paris
marked the end of the Seven Years' War.
This was a complicated war and I won't go into the complexity.
-But part of it was that Prussia was also at war with Austria
and their part of the Treaty was settled at Hubertusburg,
at this very palace.
So this actually commemorates the end of the Seven Years' War,
as far as the Prussians and the Austrians were concerned.
And if we look inside... let's see, here we go,
there is more sort of declaration of peace.
We've got down here it says, "Germania Pacata".
I guess that means, more or less, "Germany at peace".
So everything about this tells us it's peace.
Hubertusburg was actually built by Augustus I -
otherwise known as Augustus the Strong -
the man we constantly refer to when we talk about Meissen porcelain,
-the very first European porcelain factory.
And by the time peace was signed at Hubertusburg, it was his son
Augustus III who was in charge.
Now this is the thing that really -
I think this is where you're going to learn a little bit, I hope.
Here you have a tantalising little paper label.
It's a collector's label and it's sadly ripped off here and there.
But what I can make out here is the German word for...
Well, a silver cabinet...of the prince and it says "Albrechtsb..."
Well, Albrechtsburg is where the Meissen factory was
and, my guess is, possibly where Augustus the Strong
had his cabinet of curiosities.
And then you've got a very neatly written number,
which is a category number.
So I believe this was in the collection of Augustus III
and that it went into his collection at the Albrechtsburg,
back at HQ.
So the question is, how did it get from there to Fairfax House?
And the clue you gave is this family that was fleeing from Germany.
And I do know that some of the porcelains
were actually de-accessioned - that's the polite word -
were sold out of the Albrechtsburg,
I think it was in the late 1890s or the early 20th century.
It's just possible that this is a perfectly bona fide sale.
If that hadn't been the case,
then one would have to think about the possibility of this having been...what's the word?
It's a lovely thing.
And an irony for a piece that went into the Albrechtsburg -
famous for its Meissen porcelain is, contrary to appearances -
it's not made of porcelain.
Is it enamel?
It's enamel, it's enamelled copper.
An amazingly important moment in European history
and so beautifully captured.
It's a lovely, lovely thing.
So lucky old Fairfax House, I'd say.
-And Fairfax House have no intention of knowing its worth.
None whatsoever but if you happen to tell us, we wouldn't mind!
You need to know for insurance.
I guess that if you were selling it on the open market,
you might get somewhere in the region of £4,000 or £5,000 for it,
so maybe insure it for a little bit more than that.
Lovely. That's very helpful, thank you.
I have watched this
wending its way through the queue
for hours and hours and hours.
And finally it got to my desk
and I'm so pleased to see it! I mean, you can sort of...
It does have a certain charm to it.
-OK, so it's a wooden leg.
-How did you get it?
-Because I can see you are not legless.
Hopefully soon. It was just... It was a birthday present off somebody.
That said they thought I would appreciate it.
And I was quite shocked cos when I opened the door,
the person was holding it like a bat and I thought...
I kind of saw my life flash across my eyes and then I thought,
actually, no, that's not a bat, it's a wooden leg!
And actually, yeah, I really do appreciate it, I love it.
It's a great object, you know.
It's a rather strange birthday gift
but, you know, I don't know what happens in York.
If the leg fits.
If a leg fits, wear it, I say.
It is an early one. I would say it's early 19th century,
so it could even be Napoleonic.
I know! When I say "Napoleonic"
I look at you, and you're going "Kerching! Kerching! Kerching!"
Well, it is a bit of a kerching - I would say it is £500-£700.
-No! No way!
-Got it, exactly.
Now you did think that when you came in earlier on today?
-No! I just thought...
-So why did you...?
-I hate it, I really hate it.
I've had to carry it around all day long.
He won't allow it in our tent, we're tenting.
We've come from Merseyside in a tent
and he won't let it in the tent because he's scared of it.
-I like it a lot more now, I have to say.
So you hate it. Why did you bring it? Why did you come along today?
Well, Lily just mentioned the Antiques Roadshow
and I've watched it every week, all my life,
and the fact that like made it to this point and met you -
because I just, I love you.
And I feel like you've brought me up, in a way. I really do!
That's made my day! How fantastic!
-You've made my day.
-It's made ours. £500-£700! Who wants to buy a leg?
This is a stunning piece of furniture, how long have you had it?
I inherited it from my mother
and it's been in my house ever since.
She inherited it from her father
and we have a letter at home,
relating to the transfer from my grandfather back in 1939.
-It's going down the female line.
-Yes, it will go to my daughter.
So that's a trend you'll continue.
As long as there are daughters to pass it on to.
It's beautifully inlaid. Do you know where it's from?
All we know is that... it is known within the family,
and in this original letter, as an Italian travelling desk.
Well, Italian is right. Both pieces of furniture are Italian.
-It is made of rosewood, as is the chair.
Rosewood, ivory inlaid with ebony sort of borders.
-Although these are both 19th century pieces of furniture,
made around 1890 in Italy, they both relate
-to pieces of furniture from different centuries.
The desk itself is of a form known as a bureau Mazarin.
These two pedestals,
each with three drawers, four feet and then a central X stretcher,
-is pure bureau Mazarin form.
One thing that strongly points to this being 19th century,
rather than the 17th century,
is this superstructure here.
You don't normally get these superstructures on bureaux Mazarins.
-But whereas the origins for the desk date back
to the late 17th century,
around 1680s when these desks were first made,
this is sort of different altogether.
-The origins for this are 15th century Italy.
-And it's known as a Savonarola chair.
And Savonarola is here in person.
-This central medallion is the man himself.
-He was a 15th century friar, Dominican friar...
..based in Florence, and he had a chair like this in San Marco,
near Florence, so 15th century origins.
-17th century origins, but both made in the 19th century.
Now, had they been pieces from their original centuries...
-..they would have been obviously very high in value.
-As it stands, if you were to sell a chair
and a desk like this, now,
at auction, you would get something in the region of £3,000.
Thank you very much.
It's a lovely piece of furniture
and it is a part of the family and...yeah.
And is the chair comfortable?
No, it's not. The chair is used in a similar situation as this.
We have it in the hall, put coats on it, that sort of thing. It's lovely.
How much do you know about your panel?
Well, very little, apart from the fact
that it has been inherited through my mother
and it came down through her uncle, who came from quite a large family
that came originally from Liverpool...
..where they founded a company in dyes, originally aniline dyes,
and then this moved over to chemical dyes.
Right, and so that - I think we can say -
was a very successful business, because of course that created
all sorts of different possibilities with textiles.
But what it tells me is that they were successful,
and therefore probably quite well established,
and we can even say wealthy family.
Because something like this would be in the ownership of a family
that had disposable income.
In the 19th century terms, this is what I would call
a Grand Tour souvenir.
Do you know what the technique is here?
I have no idea, no, I haven't.
Well, to all intents and purposes, it's a picture
but it is incredibly cleverly made.
It is called pietra dura
and it's a plaque or panel
that is composed of irregularly cut
and highly polished stone -
marble, semi-precious stone and precious stones, intricately laid -
almost like a jigsaw puzzle -
to form this amazing picture.
And the absolute skill of the creator was that he could see
the intrinsic beauty in the stone,
so he used its natural qualities to put it in the right place,
and you can see this just so clearly
here in the glass and the neck of the wine bottle.
I think this is probably a slice of chalcedony
and that gives it the opaqueness.
You can see the glass is there.
Something else that I love is the actual subject matter.
You've got this lovely figure of a child crouching down
with what would have been a very new fangled object -
which is a mouse trap -
and this lovely cat - sitting there.
She's almost redundant because the mouse trap will take over her work.
And all of this is being overseen by this old lady who's spinning.
So, where do you think it might have been bought from?
Somewhere in Italy, possibly Rome.
Florence, I think. It's Florentine.
Florentine, dating from somewhere around 1890, that sort of thing.
So they would have been established by then, aniline dyes,
we're talking about the middle of the 19th century,
and towards the end of the century they would have made their money.
-So they were able to afford something like this.
I think it's fabulous, really lovely!
It's so vibrant and colourful.
-Well, it has a value.
-And I'm going to give you an auction estimate.
These sort of things do very well at sale
and a pre-sale estimate, I think,
would be somewhere in the region of £4,000-£6,000.
Yes, it's amazing!
I couldn't believe you brought me such a huge piece of Whitby jet.
Where on earth did you find it?
Well, it was my father's.
He had it about 40 years.
In his youth and as a young man,
he used to go round sale rooms quite a lot
and he bought an awful lot of rubbish
but he also bought one or two nice things.
And then that was handed down to me and we've had it about 40 years.
Well, it's an amazing, huge piece of jet.
And, of course, jet is fossilized monkey-puzzle tree.
It's a little bit like coal.
It was carved and it was a little industry in Whitby,
of course made highly popular by Queen Victoria with popular mourning jewellery.
It's signed "John Speedy, Whitby".
-John Speedy actually won a prize for the best jet carving in 1861.
-And that was for a bunch of flowers.
But this, I think, is every bit as good.
-It is the top of the tree of jet carving.
I don't think you could probably find a better piece of jet.
I've shown it to several colleagues.
Nobody's seen a piece this big or this good.
And, as a consequence, it's worth a reasonable amount of money.
Oh, even more interesting!
Well, I think you'd be interested to hear that,
to the right collector, they would pay £2,000 for this.
Oh, excellent, delighted!
Well, I'm delighted you've brought it in, thank you so much,
it's an amazing thing.
-And how great to be here in York, just down the road.
-A bit of Yorkshire.
-Thank you so much.
-Thank you very much.
Now, York and chocolate,
it's like Norwich and mustard,
and of course we should be looking at a tin of cocoa
but it's slightly battered.
What makes it worthy of sitting on a plinth here?
-It's travelled a long way.
-OK, where from?
Antarctica. This was in the tent
with Scott of the Antarctic when he died.
This was one of a couple of tins of cocoa that were left,
as part of his Terra Nova Expedition.
And he took it with him, he ran out of fuel,
he couldn't melt down any more snow to mix with the cocoa to drink,
and he and his fellows died.
And in 1912, eight months after he died,
an expedition went out to rescue him,
and found his body, buried his comrades, and rescued this tin
and his diaries and brought it back and it was given to the company.
Extraordinary, extraordinary story.
I mean, let's talk a little bit about Scott.
This extraordinary hero who was beaten to the South Pole.
The disappointment that Scott felt in January,
when he realised that he'd been beaten to the pole.
He turned round, he set off back towards what he hoped was safety.
29th March, it was the end.
I mean, that was the last entry in his diary.
The last entry read, "For God's sake look after our people".
An object of huge power. It shared those last moments with Scott.
And...I don't want to handle it.
I mean, I know there are white gloves available.
But I feel actually by putting my hand on this object,
I will be shaking hands with Scott,
which is an extraordinary powerful emotion for me, personally.
It came back. It went to the manufacturers, to Rowntree's,
who I think sponsored in some way, the trip.
-Then what happened?
-It was kept in our archive for a very long time.
We know that it was with my predecessor Joe Burr in the 1970s.
I have a photograph of him holding it.
Then, probably about 16 years ago, it went missing.
And then I got the job as archivist quite a few years ago,
and I decided I really want to find this. I'm going to search for it.
And one day, when I was collecting something else from another factory,
I found this anonymous looking tin, in amongst some other tins.
It was getting quite battered
and I recognised the very distinctive rust markings
on the label from that photograph with my other colleague
and thought, "I think that might be the tin".
I didn't believe it for a while, so I didn't tell anyone for a few weeks.
And I eventually said, "I think I've found that tin".
And my colleagues all said, "Oh, well done".
So there was your eureka moment, your find, the find of your career.
I mean, Scott is still regarded by many as the ultimate British hero.
By some, latterly,
his actions have been looked at, re-examined.
Was he culpable for the loss of life of that entire expedition?
What I do know is that there is an extraordinary passion
for anything to do with Scott.
The Scott Polar Research Institute for instance, in Cambridge,
has a wonderful museum with lots of Scott memorabilia there.
It's an object which, in a way, is completely worthless.
It's a tin of cocoa! Probably not much good to drink.
But you look at it in another way and it is utterly priceless.
It's worth a lot to us.
We know that as far as value goes, it's only worth about £800.
We've seen another Scott plate that appeared on the Roadshow
and that was the value but to us it's worth a lot because we,
as a company and as employees,
put so much into that expedition and so this is our remembrance of that.
Well, I think whether we say that it's something
that shouldn't be put a price on...
All I can say is that I think an insurance figure of £800
does not compensate you for an object of this power
and I think that, certainly for an insurance point of view,
you should be putting more like £5,000 on it.
So it's...it's something I don't really want to value
because the idea of it ever being an insurance claim
fills me with dark, dark dread.
But it's an object which, as I say,
sitting here, and if I put my hands round it,
my hands would be in the same place as Scott of the Antarctic
and there aren't many objects you can say that about. Thank you.
A vivid example of how
the most humble of objects can prove extraordinarily moving.
Remember this ring - discovered by a metal detectorist -
that Geoffrey Munn looked at earlier?
Well, here it is now, in pride of place in the Yorkshire Museum
and it's just one of hundreds of fascinating objects
that these days, anyone can see.
Our thanks to our hosts for making us so welcome.
From the Antiques Roadshow team and the Yorkshire Museum, bye-bye.