Fiona Bruce and the team return to Blair Castle in Scotland. Their discoveries include a Mickey Mouse toy with a poignant history and a collection of miniatures.
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We've reached the most northerly point on our journey with the Roadshow,
and our venue today even has its own railway station.
And what a spot for it!
Welcome to the Antiques Roadshow
from Perthshire in the Scottish Highlands.
In 1844, the Duke of Atholl objected
to a proposal for a railway to run through his land,
the Blair Atholl Estate, near Pitlochry.
These paintings were done to convince the Duke
how trains would enhance the look of the landscape.
It took until 1863 for the line to finally arrive.
On the eve of the opening, the Duke
took a trip around his estate, enjoying the novel experience
of travelling more than 50mph!
A stone's throw away from the station is our venue.
Known as the gateway to the Highlands of Scotland,
Blair Castle sits in the centre of an estate
which covers a staggering 145,000 acres.
Thank goodness the Duke of Atholl changed his mind
and allowed the railway to be built through his land,
because the train brought one of our experts to Blair Castle
only this morning. You came on the sleeper. I had a wonderful time.
I bet I had a better journey than you. You probably did.
Thank heavens the station's still open. Over to you now to kick off proceedings.
Thank you. Here we go.
Well, from the Highlands of Scotland
to a part of London I know very well, Finsbury Circus.
I used to live down the road. Oh.
But not Finsbury Circus as I knew it.
What's going on? This is Finsbury Circus
as painted as a circus during the war
when my mother-in-law, who's in the centre here,
was in charge of all the next-of-kin Red Cross parcels
that came into London to be sent on out to the prisoners-of-war.
They had to open them, check all the contents,
make sure that nothing was disallowed,
repack them, and then sent them to Geneva
so they could be sent to the prisoners-of-war. So this was a vital place
and are these cartoons of all the people working with her? They are.
This was painted by one of the team,
a lady called Mary McNeil. Right.
I think it's a wonderful image, evocative of a very essential
but often forgotten wartime service.
The Red Cross parcel was absolutely crucial
for the thousands of people in prisoner-of-war camps.
Because it went through the Red Cross, it was allowed.
If you read any biography or story about escapes,
Colditz or wherever, the day the parcels arrived was always a wonderful moment.
Yes. They were sent out every three months.
Yes, we also know, indirectly of course,
they used things like the tins of milk
from the parcels for escape attempts.
They made air vent tunnels, all sorts of things.
They weren't allowed files or knives. No, and I love the way you say they were checked,
because of course families would think, I'll put in a knife, I'll put in a file.
And had those gone through and been found by the Germans - and the same happened in reverse -
the whole thing would have fallen into abuse and the Red Cross would have been stopped doing it.
This is one insight into that. It's a lovely cartoon.
She's not a great artist, not a professional, it doesn't matter,
it brings to life the sort of spirit of the time,
and you can see the characters of certain people,
the poodle, the bird, they're obviously reflective of how they actually were.
The poodle was a Cockney who was in charge of cash
and at one time the person was found to be pinching the money. Ah.
So she was sacked and another Cockney came in who was very efficient.
A poodle on its best behaviour. That's it.
It's a great item, it's history rather than a painting.
What's it worth? Gosh. I think because of what it shows,
and the insight into a very difficult period in British history,
it's an insight that to me is worth ?300 to ?500, certainly. Mm-hm.
Just the family history. That's nice.
Thank you very much. And now back to the wilds of Scotland.
I hope you enjoy it. I shall.
You're really getting value for money here.
You've brought in not one vase, but at least 30.
There's a lot on it, isn't there? Fantastic detail. Yeah.
Lovely, I love it. When did it come to you?
We had it given to us about 30 years ago,
but it's been in the family for as long as I can remember,
and I've always loved it. There are a pair.
You've only brought one of the pair,
which is just as well, otherwise we could spend all day looking at these. Well.
How closely have you looked?
Well, every time I take them down off the cabinet to dust them,
which isn't very often,
I see something different and think, ooh, lovely.
And I was just looking today,
I noticed this lovely pot of fruit or flowers up here.
You can keep seeing things,
but you need to stand very closely
and this vase here is just so beautifully painted.
This arrangement of vases, of teapots, of fruits,
generically in China is known as "a thousand scholar's objects"
and when you see it on a vase like this,
it's really re-affirming the scholarship of the owner.
These are all, or many of them,
are the things you'd expect to see on a scholar's table. Yes.
As decoration, but also referring to all sorts of things,
much deeper, in Chinese culture.
And let's just have a look, shall we?
You've got a fabulous flower pot here,
and the painter's actually painted the scene
you would see on a celadon flower pot.
There's a little figure... Gorgeous. ..crossing a bridge on a stream.
These extraordinary fruits are known as "Buddha's hand citron".
Then you've got this table with scholar's objects.
No scholar's table would be complete without a screen,
and on this one you've got a dragon pursuing a pearl. Right.
And there you've got an ancient Chinese bronze.
It's known as a chui. A chui.
And dates all the way back to the Zhou and the Shang dynasties.
So I mean, we could go on and on with this.
Each one of these vases is credible in its own right
and then the painter has done a fantastic job of converting
these beautiful patterns which you're used to seeing on much bigger pieces,
onto these tiny miniatures.
Do you think one person painted the whole thing, or would it have been done by different artists?
I think one person painted the whole thing.
If you compare it with painters in the City of Jingdezhen in China today,
you would expect the painting of this piece
to have taken approximately 20 or 30 days.
Right. And you've got two of them. Yes, isn't that wonderful?
It dates to the mid 19th century so it's 160-odd years old.
OK, it's a family thing.
We're going to have to tell you what it would be worth.
I think it's somewhere between... We're talking about a pair? Yes.
Somewhere between ?3,000 and ?5,000.
But I won't be selling them, I love them.
Well, I think this is a really special little piece of glass.
I presume you've known it for years. Well, my grandmother was fostered,
and when she was 13,
her father came to North Wales and wanted her to keep house for him in Shropshire.
Her friends were really upset that she was leaving,
and that was given to her as a leaving present.
So about 1910 she was given that and I've had it since she died in '97.
And what do you reckon of it?
I don't know much about it, other than that she was given it.
I really don't know. Do you peer into it and examine it?
As a child, I loved it and that's why I asked for it
when Nana died, because of the little animal figures in it.
There's a veritable zoo living in here, isn't there? You wouldn't think...
To the casual glance,
you could just pass over this as another piece of life's fluff,
but if you zoom in on here, there's a whole world living inside here. What have we got?
Monkeys, goats, donkeys
and all sorts of other things going on in there.
Most interestingly there's some letters in there, aren't there?
Yes, that's what I wondered about, because I wondered if it was made
in that year, in 1848, or what.
There's also, there's a date and a letter, isn't there? There's a B.
Yeah. And an 1848. Yes. So I've no idea.
And the B pretty good
because it is La Cristallerie de Baccarat,
Baccarat. Right. Ie, one of the world's greatest paperweight makers.
Oh, right. Not just French, but "hot French"! Oh, right.
And the detail in here, the packed, compact,
action-packed centre of this,
is the result of an amazing amount of very hard work. Mmm.
It's a bit bashed, so the bad news comes with the good. Mm-hm.
That's called a wallop in anybody's language. Right. That's another one.
Uh-huh. Which leaves it worth only...
?700 or ?800. Oh, right.
That's lovely. And I'm pleased to know that it's a good one. It is.
Judging by the finial on this lovely silver jug
and a splendid badge on your jacket,
do you have a connection with this piece?
Yes, I do. This was presented to the curling clubs in Atholl
by the Duke of Atholl in 1853,
and Eve and I are both members of Dunkeld Curling Club,
and the Duke of Atholl was also a member.
That's the connection. Right.
Now, we have with us
Eve Muirhead, who is the triple junior world champion, is that right?
Yeah, yeah. I'm the first person to win three years in a row, which was great.
I'm fortunate enough to travel around the world.
My first medal was won in USA, second one in Sweden
It's fantastic we've got all this history here,
Was curling actually played here at the castle?
Yes, it was played
in the grounds of the Hercules Garden
and this is a picture of the Hercules Garden and curlers taking part.
Do you know when this might have been taken? About the 1900s.
Right. So you had to be assured
that the water froze over every year in order to play.
Yes, we didn't play every year, unfortunately, but most years, yes.
Right. Well, let me talk about the silver jug at the moment. It's got
beautiful engraving on the front, here, of a curling scene
and you've very kindly brought along a book here which seems to have
an almost identical engraving by Sir George Harvey.
What I particularly like is the chap throwing himself on the ground
in despair at having lost a game. Does that still happen?
Yes, it can happen.
This piece was actually made in England
and it's got a good set of hallmarks here, made by the Barnard Brothers.
Oh, right. And made in London in 1841. Oh, we didn't know that.
So it was made quite a bit earlier than when it was first presented.
So I suspect that the Duke of Atholl had this hot-water jug
in the house somewhere, didn't have any use for it and thought,
"I'll give that as a curling trophy."
Yes, we're very pleased he did.
Because there's quite a few years between when it was made
and when it was first presented. Yes.
Now, I need to sort of put a value on it,
which is pretty nearly impossible because, you know,
there's so much local history in this,
and how do you value local history?
If the jug didn't have any engraving on it whatsoever,
we'd be saying it was sort of ?1,000-?1,200.
If it was sold somewhere miles away from here,
I think it might make ?3,000. Oh.
But it could make any price, because there'd be
a lot of people around here who'd love to get their hands on it,
because it's a very handsome piece of silver.
There are a lot of clubs around here. That's correct, yes.
But that symbolises, really, what it's all about,
so thank you so much for coming along.
No problem. Thank you for speaking to us.
This is a clan heirloom with a rather unusual story, isn't it?
And when I say, "clan", it's MacPherson Clan. Correct.
There are MacPhersons in... I feel embarrassed to say clan,
but Bruce, Sutherland and MacPherson are where my family comes from.
You couldn't come from better stock, if I may say so.
So, tell me about this spoon, then.
It was the property of a very colourful gentleman
called Captain John MacPherson, who lived at the end of the 18th century
in a farm called Ballachroan about 40 miles north of here.
He was a very successful person on two counts.
One was in farming, a very advanced farmer,
he introduced rotation of crops, turnips for winter feeding,
both of which were unusual at that time. Neeps?
Yes, very much neeps. And, secondly, he was a recruiter for the army.
Remember we were fighting the French, there was a dire need of young men to join the infantry.
He adopted slightly underhand methods when recruiting for the army.
He was reputed to go and make a young man rather drunk,
put a shilling in his pocket and say,
"Ha-ha! You've taken the King's shilling, come and join with me."
Similarly in... because of his success,
his neighbours suspected he was in league with the devil.
His success recruiting for the army? Yes, and also as a successful farmer.
They were envious, obviously. They spread rumours that he was
in league with the devil, that the devil would give him success in this world
but things would catch up with him at the end of the day.
So, where does the spoon come in?
The spoon comes in, in so far that before his recruits were marched off,
he used to feed them with broth, probably from his own produce,
and this was the spoon that was used to spoon it out. Oh, I see.
So he'd be stirring his neeps and tatties and what have you. Yes.
You're worried this bit will drop off, I'll be very careful...
and then he would pass it to the, sort of, hapless recruit.
That's right. Yes. You're mine now.
However, Nemesis caught up, because on the last few days of 1799,
he and four companions went up into the Cairngorms,
into a very remote place called Gaick, for a hunting expedition.
They did not return. A party went out to look for them,
they discovered there'd been an avalanche.
The bothy where they'd been staying had been swept away
and all five men died. So, the devil caught him at the end of the day.
So the devil won out. But the spoon remains.
Thank goodness he didn't take it with him!
Great story. Thanks very much.
Thank you very much, Fiona.
Well, in April 1919, this is a lost luggage label, and, do you know,
I'm rather pleased that this object was retrieved from lost luggage.
It's a sensational piece of 18th-century engineering.
But there's a wonderful story with it.
It was a machine owned by Queen Charlotte, wife of George III,
and she had a lady-in-waiting, Mrs Delaney,
who was a very famous lady and very famous for her embroidery.
And Queen Charlotte and the King had a party at Windsor
and presented this machine to Mrs Delaney
in thanks for all that she'd done for the Queen and the Royal Family.
She has been well documented, and nobody has anything
but lovely things to say about Mrs Delaney
and she became a companion for the Queen, for Queen Charlotte,
and they were rough contemporaries, but her work is renowned.
There has just been, for instance, an exhibition in New York
featuring Mrs Delaney's work.
Her work appears in the British Museum, in Windsor Castle,
in all the royal collections, and she is this super-star
in embroidery terms. People worship Mrs Delaney's needlework.
And, in fact, there is a tiny scrap of her work here,
which shows what she is perhaps best known for,
which was working in bright colours on black.
I do love this little section in the letter.
She describes the machine here,
"a weaving machine for making fringes of a new and most delicate structure,
"yet it is of such simplicity as to be very useful.
"You will imagine my grateful feeling when the Queen presented it to me."
So, indisputable provenance and a lovely object,
made of mahogany which of course was the new great material of the day.
You've got this to hold the strings, which are knotted onto here
and then you would have woven these incredibly delicate fringes,
here we go, which were the height of fashion at the time.
And alongside that you've got another great mechanical device.
It's a spool winder. On goes the spool.
And you turn the handle
and the thread is put on evenly, backwards and forwards.
It's got a lovely feel to it, I love 18th century design. It's wonderful.
It's as smooth as smooth. It is, it is, it's got a great feeling to it.
It's a lovely piece of cabinet maker's art.
There's a button here, for instance.
You push that, and there is the secret drawer.
And value... With the royal connection, I have no hesitation
in thinking that this would fetch
upwards of ?10,000.
No, I shall never be tempted.
I say I shan't be tempted.
So, we've got Minnie and we've got Mickey.
You have inherited or played with these?
Yes, no, they were never allowed to be played with,
they've been in a pillow case since 1936
when their owner, who was my uncle, died. Oh. He had rheumatic fever
and he was very poorly. Whenever he got too ill, he was taken to hospital
and they were his friends in hospital.
He died on his 11th birthday.
11! And they were with him when he died
and the pillow case that he was lying on when he died,
was what they used to wrap them up and he's been in that pillow case...
Well, how many years is that? Quite a few decades, anyway.
Yes, absolutely. This is the first time they've spent any time out.
that got my eye when you brought them in.
Mainly because Mickey is more common, he's by, probably, Dean's,
which is an English company and they made lots of them.
Minnie is in such good condition, this is what is so extraordinary,
so he obviously talked to them, but he didn't handle them very much
because she's completely untouched in terms of...
I'm going to pick her up, do you mind? Go for it.
I just love these little shoes,
heels, I mean absolutely enchanting.
Now, you probably know, because you've read that.
That is the Steiff label, Steiff being the German teddy bear maker,
if you like. Well known for teddy bears but they made all sorts
of other animals and toys and this is the first Minnie
I've actually seen, in this condition, by Steiff.
Really? Yes, and she would have had, and I can see it,
And I've actually been to Germany
and seen how they put these buttons in, they're metal
and they clamp them in and they're very difficult to take out,
but obviously your uncle, your uncle's mother... Yes.
..must have thought, "I'm not going to let my poor child,
"who's poorly anyway, start eating a metal button."
Which was probably lead.
Will you hand them down, will you?
That's up to my mother because it was her brother that died
and she has six children, so she has to decide which of us...
I'm the eldest so hopefully she'll choose me. But she has five others.
I really loathe to tell you what I think she's worth.
I think he's probably worth...
probably about ?200 to ?300.
But this one in this condition,
and it's Minnie which is rarer than Mickey...
I would not hesitate putting
?3,000-?4,000 on her.
She's quite pricey, isn't she?
I just think she's heaven. Great.
Have you ever looked really closely at this face?
It's a wonderful serene expression, beautifully modelled.
She is, she's great. Do you know, this dates from 1680?
I didn't realise it was nearly as old as that. How did you get it?
My husband inherited it from his mother and he just remembers it
on her dressing table in Ireland but doesn't know anything
about the background of it. So, she might have been a collector?
She was definitely a collector. All round the house were things
that she had collected at auctions and also on her travels.
It's a beautiful figure,
it's Chinese, it's Chinese Blanc de Chine porcelain, white of China.
It's a figure of the Bodhisattva, Kuan Yin,
she's the goddess of mercy. Yes.
And usually she's seated on a lotus throne
but here she's got two attendants either side,
and it's a really beautiful piece of sculpture.
The robes, they hang loosely, they flow, terrific thing.
Blanc de Chine was made in the Dehua area and the Fujian Province
towards the end of the Ming Dynasty
and right up to the present day. You can get really quite brand-new
white figures, which are really nasty.
So how can you tell that it is that age?
The way it's been sculpted, this lovely creamy colour of the glaze
and it's very strongly moulded. The way the base is finished... Yes.
..is quite right for the end of the 17th century. Yes.
It's a really lovely figure and it's a really nice thing to see.
It's got a value, of course.
At the moment it's filthy, but once it's been cleaned up,
it's in lovely condition.
If you went down the end of Bond Street,
into Clifford Street, somewhere like that you'd expect to pay
?5,000-?5,500 for this.
My goodness, worth cleaning then? Absolutely. Carefully, carefully.
Will do. Thank you. Thanks for bringing it. Thanks for your help.
Now, he's a boy isn't he, not a girl.
Absolutely right, yes, in fact he is my great-great-great-grandfather.
Crikey. What date would that be, roughly?
We're looking at 1760s.
And he went on to be a soldier? He's playing with toy soldiers there.
He did, even though he was dressed in a little smock,
which they tended to be in that period,
he went on to join the Enniskillen Dragoon Guards. Right.
And became Lieutenant Colonel. So a very high ranking officer. Yes.
And who painted it?
We think it's Masquerier and that's why I brought it today
because I'm absolutely fascinated.
And Masquerier is a really interesting character, isn't he?
They thought he might have been a Napoleonic spy... Yes.
..during the Napoleonic Wars,
which is great fun, but he proved he was actually born in Chelsea,
so that was all right.
So he managed to get off the hook on that one. I didn't know that.
But it's a sweet little portrait but there are little things about it
that make me worry it might be rather more studio than the master.
Mmm-hmm. Slight weaknesses in the hand, for example,
And I think, actually, I might feel the need to downgrade it.
Shall we say that it's a little more studio than master?
Fine. I think we have to. Yes.
But at any rate, even there, it's still worth, I would say,
between ?4,000 and ?6,000. Thank you.
So, staying with your great-great-great-grandfather. Yes.
This is a miniature of the Masquerier painting. That's right. Isn't it?
And you've got these miniatures, any one of which we could take.
Problem is we haven't the time.
So, I'm just going to pick out three which just scream quality to me.
And I think you know the ones I mean. I think I do.
They're by John Smart the Elder.
This one, and this one and that one. That's right.
They are wonderful. Thank you.
I would have considered that perhaps the earliest John Smart
that I'd ever seen, it's dated 1765.
Really? When he was still very young. Yes, yes.
And it has that restraint, and that very blue palette
and that very simple background that he became famous for innovating,
and particularly, particularly good at.
And he's wonderful, there's such insightful character in his face,
and it's such a fine portrait.
And he was very famous for delineating every eyelash
and the general character of the man just shines out,
although tiny, in a very, very powerful way.
This one's later, this is 1770 when he started painting them
a little larger, and the palette changed, as you can see,
from 1765 to this richer, warmer palette.
They're just, they're just... just wonderful.
I'm not going to try and value the rest of your miniatures now.
Let's take the 1765 one first.
Being early is not necessarily good for John Smart.
But this early I think I'd better be safe and put
?10,000 to ?15,000 on that, but that's conservative.
You ought to insure it for a lot more. Really?
Yes, I would say ?20,000. Really? Yes.
And then this one, which is very pretty. I mean, it is later, 1770,
but it's larger and it has that warmer palette and, of course,
it's a female sitter again, and rather a pretty one, I think.
That one, I think we'd better put
?20,000-?30,000 on, for sure.
But we ought to be a little safe
and perhaps put ?40,000 on it for insurance.
And then we come to this and what a cracker he is.
I think we're going to have to put ?20,000-?30,000 on him,
but insure it for ?50,000. 50. Yes.
Heavens. But they are wonderful,
really, really good. Fascinating. Well, thank you very much indeed.
So have you known this long, madam?
Yes, I have. How long have you known it? 46 years.
And do you smoke it?
No. So where does it come into your family?
Oh, it came through my husband.
So does he smoke it?
No, I'm a non-smoker.
So where did you get it from?
From my mother.
Did she smoke out of it?
No, she collected it.
Ah, she collected antique, wacky stuff?
Red glass, Bristol glass. Bristol.
Well, don't get me going on Bristol glass,
because it's about as Bristolian as I am from Hong Kong.
There's no way. This was made in about 1880, thereabouts. Right.
And I can tell you, as a statistical fact,
there were no glassworks in Bristol at that date. Oh.
This was probably made in Yorkshire, I would think.
But what a wacky item.
I don't think it was ever intended to be used really.
It's purely a silly thing which is naturally the reason I like it so much.
The values of these have fallen, they're not what they were.
Nonetheless, I mean, what a completely preposterous idea,
to have a glass pipe, but I just love the idea of you knowing
it for so long and neither of you thinking of using it.
Value today is not a great deal, about a couple of hundred quid.
But I can't imagine a wackier pair to own it.
Thank you very much.
You're most welcome.
We'll have some whisky in it. You won't! You cheeky girl.
Looking at these figures,
they could date from no other era than the 1950s.
They absolutely shriek the decade.
They're by the Briglin Pottery in London
and designed by the Parkinsons from Kent, and what a stellar cast.
We've got Paul Robeson, Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud, Margot Fonteyn
and Vivien Leigh.
How did these stars come into your life?
Well, it comes into my life through my late aunt who lived in London
and very much supported the theatre in London.
She and her late husband supported also the potters.
Her home was a shrine to the '60s and didn't move.
Even up to her death in 1990 it was still very much a home of the '60s.
So a temple. It was a temple.
It sounds just the sort of place I would love to go into. Yes.
Did she know the people behind the Briglin factory?
She did. Yes, she did.
Was it Brigitte Goldsmith?
It was Brigitte Goldsmith through my late uncle.
Well, it's fascinating because it was Brigitte Goldsmith
whose husband was Herbert Lom, no less.
Another stellar figure from the film world particularly.
There was this great tradition in Britain of making
so they turned to Richard and Susan Parkinson who had a pottery in Kent. Yes.
And Richard... Susan designed them,
and Richard made them and these are very typical,
this sort of greeny colour, this use of this decoration here, this almost scruffy look to it.
Here on the bottom we've got perfect mark "designed and made
"for Briglin by Susan Parkinson" and it's numbered number six.
Now these were quite expensive figures to make, they were
in the Design Centre in London and they were four guineas apiece.
Paul Robeson is the rarest figure, maybe no more than six were made.
There are two missing. Oh.
Maria Callas is missing and Alec Guinness is missing.
So it's not the full set.
But they are so rare on so many levels and I don't know
if you know, but when these were on sale, Charlton Heston bought a set.
Yes, he did.
And the Duke of Edinburgh bought a set. What a stellar cast.
Apart from... Myself! Apart from these people here.
And the difficulty for me, pricing them,
is pricing something which is so rare.
But we know what Briglin pottery makes,
we know what the Parkinsons' work makes,
so I've been doing a little bit of calculation
and I think, bearing in mind that Paul Robeson is the rarest figure
and bearing in mind that it's not the full set.
These figures, to the right collector,
could make anything between ?8,000 and ?10,000.
Oh, my goodness me.
So I hope you've got a lot of bubble wrap and cotton wool
and you're not going back on a rackety train home.
Absolutely not. My goodness.
What a wonderful tribute to your aunt who had immaculate taste.
She had wonderful taste.
And I'd have loved to have met her, she sounds fabulous.
She was a lovely lady, I miss her very much.
Thank you for bringing them, it's made my day.
These are the nicest things I've filmed this year, I love them.
Just before the Roadshow started this morning
I was really hoping and dreaming I would see some really good
Scottish art from the 20th century and you've brought along
a fabulous picture of Edinburgh by a very rare painter, William Crozier.
Yeah, all we know is the painting's called Edinburgh By Moonlight,
And they both exhibited together quite a bit and they formed,
And they tried to move away from sort of the traditions
of 19th century art and moving more towards modern art.
Do you know a great deal about Crozier?
Not really, no. Don't know an awful lot about him.
Well, it sounds to me
like this was a gift from Crozier to your grandfather.
But Crozier had, slightly tragic,
because he's recognised as one of great Scottish modern artists.
But he was a haemophiliac.
He was born in 1893 and died in 1930
so he had a very short life.
Crozier is well known for his cubist pictures.
He went to France and studied under Andre Lhote,
so there's a cubist element to his pictures which are very favourable.
And there are four pictures I think, in the National Gallery of Modern Art,
and there was a great show in 1995.
So he's very well sought after.
But because of his short lifespan
there aren't a great deal of pictures out there.
You can almost imagine being here, an evening in Edinburgh
on the streets, and the little gentleman on the left is lighting
probably a pipe or a cigarette
which creates this great glow.
I would date this to about 1920
and it gets slightly away from his cubist subjects and more towards
the traditionalist subjects that you'd see
by artists such as Anne Redpath.
This is a very rare and sought after painting.
And I could certainly see it making ?2,000 to ?3,000 on the present market.
Wow. That's a shock.
It's a very simple question, do you like this?
Well, it's a nice shape, it's quite tactile and I don't know, I just
liked it, just bought it and thought I'd just keep that in the shed.
So it lives in a shed? It's been in the shed a long time.
Not in the house? You can't like it that much.
OK, well it's my turn now. I don't like it very much at all.
I think it's quite a crude pot, I think it's fairly lumpy,
this sort of Japanese-style tea glaze is very, very mottled.
I just think I've seen better pots. OK.
But I'm sorry to disagree with you. It's a matter of taste.
That's OK. I still like it, no matter.
Good, but the point is, it isn't actually whether you and I like it or not. No.
This is a pot that was made by one of the greatest
studio potters working in Britain.
OK. Does that surprise you?
Well, it does really yes, because I just bought it as it was a pot.
Have you heard of, have you heard the name Bernard Leach?
Yes, I have heard of him. OK, that's fine, we're not going there. OK.
Bernard Leach came back from Japan,
I think at the end of the First World War and he came back
and started his pottery in St Ives in the very early '20s,
and he brought back with him a Japanese friend,
Shoji Hamada, and they worked together
to set up the whole sort of studio pottery movement in Britain.
Right. And this pot dates from that early period.
So this was made in 1923-1924. Gosh, really?
And it was made by Hamada.
There's the evidence.
That's the standard
St Ives Leach pottery mark, which all the pieces had. OK.
That is Hamada's monogram.
Oh, my goodness.
Now Hamada only marked pieces in the first few years of his life
because he said after a while,
"I shouldn't really have to mark things, the pot is my signature.
"If people can't tell it from the pot, they shouldn't know me." Gosh.
And so pieces with his signature on, or his monogram,
only occur in the first two to three years of production.
So you like it very much, I don't like it at all,
but it is Hamada, it is early, it is an important piece, I acknowledge that.
Therefore, we've got to talk about value.
So how would you feel if I said to you ?1,000?
I'd say that would be very nice.
But I'm not going to give it to you, because I wouldn't pay ?1,000
to save my life to have that pot, but that's what it's worth.
Oh, my goodness, that is fabulous.
I think it only cost me a pound, or 50p.
Well, you did very, very well.
I'd like to think I might have bought it for a pound or 50p, but I fear I might not have done.
There are lots of treats involved with working on the Antiques Roadshow
and I have to say, one of them
is very occasionally
to come across something that is
the best of its kind,
and this is one of those moments.
Now your job here is...?
I'm the archivist,
so I look after all the papers
and documents mainly
and also have a curatorial role
for the display
and the things in the castle.
But there is rather a lot of them.
There's six rooms of documents
so there are few things I don't know.
You're forgiven for not knowing
about something quite as esoteric as this.
It is a train set, obviously,
and for me it is,
perhaps the expression,
one of the best expressions
of the master tin-maker's art.
This is all hand-made out of tin,
with occasional little pieces of brass,
a few tiny exceptions,
the little whistle here
is turned wood,
the lamps here are turned wood,
the carved figures are wood covered
in a sort of gesso and then painted,
but otherwise it is exquisite
metal working at its very best.
Do you know who the original owner would have been,
The child that it was bought for?
No, I'd like a date from you first.
I've got a couple of options here,
so if you can give me some sort
of indication of when it was made.
All right. I'm going to have to come to that,
because that's the sort of end of the story.
We need to establish first of all
who it was made by. Right.
And on the bottom of several
of these little pieces
there is the name Buchner.
Now Buchner is, sounds German, is German.
He was based in Nuremberg and we know that he was there in the 1870s.
Oh, right, that's nice, yes. So that is one clue.
However, in 1835 the Bayerische Ludwigsbahn,
the Bavarian State Railway,
ordered the first commercial locomotive for Germany.
A train that was christened "der Adler", the Eagle.
That train ran in 1835.
Now while it would be wonderful to think that this was
from that period, I think it's a tad later.
No, but that would fit pretty well, I quite like that. Ooh, go on then.
Because in 1840, this man was born.
He later went on to become the 7th Duke of Atholl,
so I'm wondering if five years on, this would have been
perhaps the height of fashion for some duke to buy for their son.
Would that fit well with the period? That would fit really well.
Because I think around 1845-1850 is exactly where I would put this.
That would be perfect.
I'm quite glad about that, yes. That's really exciting.
There would be somebody here at that age
that would really be thinking a train is a good present.
What I'd like to do is to just enjoy the object,
because the more you look at it, the more fabulous it is.
The boiler here is faceted,
just as the original would have been,
you've got the tender here
and then coming back,
you've got the three classes of coach.
First class, closed in. Right.
Second class, just with a roof and third class,
well, you take your risks.
You hope it's a day like this.
As it always is, in Scotland!
But look, just look, look,
I'm sure you've done this, Jane,
but I'm going to do it too. Yes.
In there, all these fabulous little people.
It looks like a sort of outing from Jane Austen,
a little bit later in date,
but you know, there they all are off on their picnic or whatever.
It's interesting as well,
because they were having proposals
for the railway to come here
in the 1840s and the then duke
was a bit doubtful about it, and later became quite enthusiastic,
and it was this son that finally saw
the railway come through here.
So it really ties in very well.
Isn't that extraordinary?
It's the right sort of date for it all happening.
So the bringing of a model train, a toy train,
into the household could have triggered all that?
Obviously the son got very enthusiastic about the railway,
he was a director and he was here when it went through. Yes.
And the night before the railway opened,
they gave him a special ride
from the top of his lands at Drumochter,
and he went at the unprecedented speed
of 50mph for the first time ever.
Isn't that great? It's a good story.
It's a fabulous story and I'm not going to doubt it.
I think you're absolutely right on that, it's too good to miss.
Let's talk about value.
This is an incredibly esoteric thing,
it is not mainstream. Right.
There are probably half a dozen people in the whole world
who would want this,
but they have deep pockets
and I would be confident in saying
that this would fetch
?25,000 and ?35,000 at auction
and for insurance, certainly ?50,000.
It's still going back in the case
and back in there I'm afraid!
And you've got the key? That's it.
Thank you so much for bringing it
out of its glass case
and for linking it in with the history of railways at Blair.
We've had rather a locomotive theme on the show today.
We started with the railway and we've ended with a rather smaller version.
We're all rather chuffed.
From the whole Antiques Roadshow team from Blair Castle
and the Scottish Highlands, until next time, bye-bye.
Subtitles by Ericsson
Fiona Bruce and the team of specialists return to Blair Castle in Perthshire, Scotland. Their discoveries include a Mickey Mouse toy with a poignant history, a breathtaking collection of valuable miniatures and a humble wooden spoon with a remarkable story attached.