Fiona Bruce and the team of experts visit Aberystwyth Arts Centre in Wales.
Browse content similar to Aberystwyth University 1. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
This week, the Roadshow comes from a town on the edge of Cardigan Bay.
It was known in the 1920s as the "Biarritz of Wales".
Welcome to the Antiques Roadshow from Aberystwyth.
Bringing the Antiques Roadshow team here to Aberystwyth has been
a pretty long journey for all those involved and, in fact,
Aberystwyth's remoteness was often a problem in the past, particularly
for the Victorians who liked to come here and dip their toes in the sea.
And, in fact, promenades like this were constructed so they could
show off their fashionable clothes, and take the air.
'But, if the town was to become a top holiday destination,
'it needed one thing in particular - a good public transport system.'
In 1861, the Aberystwyth and Welsh Coast Railway Company was formed,
and awarded the contract of forging a rail link to Aberystwyth.
Well, it was quite an event,
the day the town celebrated the official opening of its new railway line.
On 22nd July 1864, there was a large procession through the town
and then a train with 35 coaches, carrying nearly 2,000 passengers,
pulled up to Aberystwyth station.
Now, before I go, there's one thing I've got to do, which is...
..kick the bar.
Because I'm reliably informed that, for years, visitors have ended their walk along the promenade
by coming here and kicking the bar.
I don't know why. It seems a funny thing to do.
But I've seen people do it and, apparently, it brings good luck.
Let's hope that luck is with us today,
as we join our experts at Aberystwyth Arts Centre at the university campus.
When I was coming up on the train yesterday, with my colleague,
I said to her, "The one thing I would really like to see tomorrow is a spoon rack."
When you came into reception, she came running over and she said,
-"I've got somebody you must meet." And here you are!
-Yeah. Here I am.
How far back can you remember them in your family?
Well, I remember my father talking about his grandfather using them,
so that would be my great-great-great grandfather.
So that takes us almost back to the beginning of the 1800s.
-Where was that?
-That was in a little village called Llanfihangel ar Arth.
I'm glad you said that and not me!
In the north of Carmarthenshire, really, still in Carmarthenshire.
-And were they in a farmhouse?
What they used to call a longhouse.
One main room, one bedroom, with a bedroom door leading into the cowshed.
-And these would have hung on the wall?
-On the kitchen wall.
And tell me how they were used?
They were used for what, in the Welsh was called cawl, which is broth.
Put a big pan on the fire, open fire.
Potatoes, meat, onions, carrots, parsnips, swedes
and last, before serving it, the leeks.
I bet it was one of those dishes that, when you had it the second day, it tasted even better.
Oh, much, much nicer, much nicer.
But what I love about this is that it is a design, a shape, that has never changed.
It could have been made in 1780,
it would have been looking just the same in the 1880s.
Very simply made from local wood,
the actual rack is pine with a bit of staining, but it's got this
sort of lovely blackness over it, which must have been from the smoke.
-Smoke, most probably.
-And all the spoons are, you know, wiggly waggly
and they would have just been simply carved, wouldn't they?
-Whittled away in the evening.
-Front of the fire.
Front of the fire. This piece speaks family - family life,
children round a table, they just are a dream.
-You can picture it, can't you?
-So how long ago were they last used?
I think they were last used in 1986.
-I think Health and Safety might have something to say about it now.
I can't tell you how thrilled I am to see them, and so many spoons.
So, now to value.
I mean, to me, they are as rare as hen's teeth these days.
-Families have kept them, they were passed down...
-They will be passed down.
..generation to generation. So how often do they come to market?
Why would anybody want to sell them?
But I have to put a price on because that's what we're about,
and I would say somewhere in the region of
-£400 or £500...
-..is a gentle price.
Surprised, really surprised.
-A group of tiny toys.
Now, whose are they?
They belong to me now. They were my father's.
He had them from a very early age.
I presume they came from his father.
I really don't know and they'd just been wrapped up in tissue paper
in a little case for ages.
Well, that's lovely that they're family things.
I hope you can understand what I'm saying, I've got a terrible voice - I'm losing it.
-Anyway, do you know what they're called?
-Haven't got a clue.
-They're called penny toys.
They were called penny toys because they tended to be sold
-by street vendors, with a tray out, for a penny a go.
And these street vendors were buying them for about eight shillings,
that's 96 old pennies,
for a gross, which is 144 items.
-So, you know, it was a good little money earner.
And they had no overheads other than their tray.
So penny toys are perhaps the toys that
a lot of children would have seen
as their first introduction to tin plate toys.
They were made in Germany
and there is nothing on these to indicate where they were made.
No, you wouldn't know.
A couple of them have got the clue, which is "Ges Gesch",
which means that that particular design
has been registered in Germany, so if you
knew that, you'd be able to put two and two together and make it work.
But the other thing is that they were very clever
about making things for particular markets, and so the little bus
here - for instance - is a London bus with London destinations on it.
And the ambulance, similarly - you know -
this is a London ambulance, and so the German manufacturing
-companies were making things to appeal to particular markets.
Well, there were three big makers.
One was a company called Distler,
one was a company called Fischer and the other one was Meier.
All three companies are represented here, I'm sure.
The absolute heyday for producing
and selling these penny toys was between about 1895 and 1914,
-so that fits in well with your father's father.
And I have to say, that even though they're tiny,
an awful lot of work went into these.
Some of them are clockwork - none of these are -
-but they do have movement, don't they?
-They do, yes, yes.
This here, has got a little flywheel underneath it,
there it is,
and if you spin that axle,
the wheels then rub against the turning axle and move it forward.
I mean, it's so simple.
I wonder if your father's father - your grandfather -
-actually bought them from one of those street vendors for a penny a go.
-Possible, very possible.
When was he born?
Oh, I really don't know. Late 1800s.
-Well, then it could easily be, couldn't it?
-Yes, yes, could be.
What a great idea, that this has come straight from that street vendor.
-Well, I have to say that these are sought after today.
They jolly well are, and I think that what you've got here -
I mean some are worth £100 or so...
-..and some are worth considerably more.
No! No, you're - no, really?
No, see I knew you were telling me fibs!
They're little things - they're not going to be worth much.
-Oh, they're so fragile and...
-And they're in rubbish condition.
-Yes, they are!
-I would say what you've got here is going to be worth
-getting on for £2,000.
-What! Oh, get me a seat.
-So do I say that they're "pennies from heaven"?
They certainly are! I hope my dad's watching today.
Do you know, when people bring these pictures into me,
especially shipping portraits like this,
I'm very tempted to ask you, "Is someone in your family
"or has someone in your past, been captain of this boat?"
Well, yes they have.
My grandfather's brother was the captain of this ship.
-And so was your grandfather's brother David Jones?
-Yes, he was.
Well, I think is a really interesting picture, and it's
so nice to have the continuity that it was a relation of yours
that was the captain of this boat, and it's still in the family.
Now, when we look at this,
we've got the name of the Brig - the Mary Ann Newett -
and then David Jones, 1861, so that's when he was being captain.
So you're captain of the boat and David Jones sails down
to the Bay of Naples, and that's the ideal place
to get your boat painted because there were a lot of artists there
and we can see it's signed Raffaele Corsini who is a very well-known
Italian painter of boats in the mid 19th century, doing it for captains.
And he painted them in gouache,
which is a form of watercolour, thick watercolour.
And this picture is in quite good condition.
Quite often I see these, they have brown marks down them, which I call
water staining as captains had them in their cabins, and sometimes water's seeped in
the back through the pine backing.
But it's just fantastic because it's so original.
I feel that, you know, the ship is so serene, and then you've got
this angry sea under the ship. It's marvellous, actually.
What is a picture like that worth with that provenance?
Well, he is collected. And this - even in this condition -
in a marine auction, it would make at least £2,000 to £3,000.
Mmh, quite surprised. Very surprised, actually.
This very elaborate carved wood cover with tiny, tiny lettering
saying "my travels" must hide a photograph album, I'm guessing.
Yes, it's the album of my great-grandfather,
and when he retired from the Indian Army - he was a Major General in the Indian Army.
When he retired, he went up into the hills with his big box camera
and he went on a long, long trek up into the Himalayas
and he never returned to Britain,
-so he lived out there his whole life actually, and died out there.
-Really? Let's have a look inside.
Here we have an ownership inscription. "WE Marshall, Major General, September 1887".
-Now we start with a route map.
So that explains all, and we've got some fillings in here,
which I guess was done by your relative.
Yes, he says he filled it in on the journey. I don't know quite how,
but maybe he didn't know where he was going to go.
He started off here and then to Simla - the hill station here,
then he went all through Ledakh all the way up here to Lei which is just in Southern Tibet.
This is him here, William Eliot Marshall
and a photograph of him, taken by himself just after his return.
Aged 48 years.
Yeah, one year older than me, and he looks a lot worse!
I think they must have been some travels.
Well, that is a nice start. Let's have a little look further through.
He's captioned all the photographs and most of them are by him.
Isn't that a wonderful group shot?
Very artistic in its composition, I do believe,
but very historical as well.
Now if we move on.
In these days, photographs would have required a team to carry
the equipment. I know that Vaughn and Sheppard developed their photographs
on the spot, took photographs, developed on the spot and decided
what they were going to do with them, so this is not just a one-man expedition.
Did he publish at the end of all this?
He did write a book later on about his life with a Southern Indian tribe.
-Right, right, so this was sort of preliminary work.
-Yes. What I like about this,
and what I find interesting is, for somebody in the army,
-he seemed to have a real respect for the local people.
-I think that shows
through the compositions. Lots of studies of local people
and really nicely taken. Look at those children.
The whole album is like this throughout,
captioned from beginning to end,
which is a really key factor in value.
Without the captions, we wouldn't know half as much as we do know about it.
So many albums like this have been split up and destroyed.
The integrity of this album
-I think stands for at least half of its value.
-Oh right, right.
So, what are you going to do with it? Will you keep it, sell it?
I'm going to keep it - if you tell me it's worth a fortune, maybe not.
But I'm hoping it isn't.
Well, this is - this sort of thing is very desirable.
It's in a fine binding, very intricate,
and I just love the whole package.
So I'm going to suggest an auction value of between £5,000 and £7,000.
-Excellent, lovely. We'll still keep it!
If it wasn't for this, we'd probably all be speaking French now.
This is the Brown Bess Musket,
probably the most iconic weapon the British Army's ever had.
Brown Bess - do you know why it's called the Brown Bess?
I'm sorry, I don't.
That's really disappointing because I was hoping you'd tell me,
because nobody really knows.
This one marked "Tower GR",
which is the military stamp.
We've got something interesting on the stock.
Now, that's R Cracroft. Now, that's quite unusual
on a military weapon, because if Private Cracroft
had carved this into his stock,
Private Cracroft would still be doing guard duty in 2011.
So I think this is a militia one.
Wow! That's amazing.
Of course, the most iconic battle this was fought with was Waterloo.
-Do you think it would be in Waterloo?
-This one unfortunately wouldn't have been.
This is a militia one, but exact similar weapons,
that's what the army were issued with, and that was Waterloo.
It throws about a three-quarter-inch lead ball,
which you really don't want to collect on the other end of it.
Flintlock, as we can see here, operates like that.
Full cock - we don't fire it because we tend to break the cock -
if we did, this comes forward, strikes a spark,
ignites the powder in the pan, burns through into the touch hole.
Everything loads from the muzzle end.
A good man can get three shots off in a minute with one of these.
The Brown Bess served for a long time,
but this one is probably about 1800.
Where did you obtain it from?
It's always been on the mantel in my house - my mum's house.
My mum thinks that she - her father got it in a flea market
in Nottinghamshire in the 1950s somewhere.
Excellent buy. I'm glad it's on display - they should be.
Markings are all crisp.
I would think if you had to go and buy it now,
you wouldn't get it at your flea market.
You'd have to get it at a reasonably good dealer
-and that's going to cost you £1,000.
It's very nice and I hope it goes back on the mantelpiece.
It belongs to my one-year-old son, so it's his heirloom.
What a very lucky little lad.
I wish somebody had given me a Brown Bess when I was one.
-Thanks for bringing it in, it's great.
-Thank you very much.
It doesn't look like your most prized possession.
-It hasn't had a lot of care and attention.
No, it's been in the garage for the past 20 years.
Do you know where it comes from? Any ideas at all?
Not really. I knew it used to belong to my grandparents
and that's all the history I know actually.
Well, I'm pleased to tell you
-that it's a Welsh chair.
-No, I correct myself.
-It's half a Welsh chair.
-Half a Welsh chair?
Because somebody - your grandfather, your great grandfather,
yourself as a child - has cut one, two, three, four, five,
six of the six splats off.
It would have stood up like that with a nice combed back on the top.
-So you could lean back and relax.
That's gone. So you might have devalued it a bit, I think.
-It wasn't you?
-Not me, no.
I just want to point out one thing, You can see the way this is made,
this wonderful "C" shape,
-it is actually in three pieces, that's typical of Wales.
There's something fascinating, and I have to get this over,
-because it is only half a chair and it's filthy dirty.
You see how high the arms are? Yes.
That is typical of the Celtic tradition.
-Scotland, Wales and even the West Country, Cornwall.
-All the Celtic-speaking areas.
Had these... Seemed to have these high arm chairs.
Now, if you imagine you're sitting
in an old, dusty little cottage by the fire,
why do you need the arms high?
Probably to keep them out of the soot.
Well you're reading your Bible, or your book, or you're eating
and you've got very little light at night,
and that helps you see what you're doing or reading.
-Oh, right, oh.
-So I'm sure that's why.
I could actually talk for a long time about this,
but I won't because I think it's fascinating.
-But what I'd like to do is have your permission to do something.
-It's not worth a lot like this, but can I polish?
-Yes, yes, please do.
-Because I just happen to have some with me.
Whoops. So here we go.
You realise you're going to have to finish this now?
In July 1981, like millions of others, I was watching
the Royal Wedding of Charles and Diana on television.
But you have a very different experience.
Clearly you were part of it.
I missed the wedding because we were in Gibraltar
waiting for them to arrive on board the Royal Yacht
and take them on their honeymoon. When they arrived on board,
we didn't know where we were going to go on honeymoon.
As soon as Prince Charles said left or right
coming out of Gibraltar, that's when we knew where we were going.
So you were serving on board the Royal Yacht Britannia?
And here you are with Charles and Diana,
their honeymoon. It was actually
a very private affair in many ways, where they could escape almost.
Well, that's what the yacht was about.
It gave the Royal Family some privacy.
They could get away
from the media and paparazzi
and they could relax. It was nice to see them
on board in normal clothing like ourselves, you know.
Just a sloppy jumper and a pair of jeans.
I mean, relaxed is clearly what comes across
in this incredible collection of photographs.
You were responsible for what on board?
I was, as they used to call in the navy, the club swinger,
I was a PTI, the physical training instructor.
So I was basically keeping everybody fit.
I arranged all the sports and activities,
some of the entertainment and a little bit of security.
I can see a head of Diana
and a head of Charles watching a show over here.
-Are you in that?
-Yeah, I'm the Scotsman with the braces on
It was a tug of war scene.
There's a wonderful photograph here. I think you're serving drinks.
Yes, I had the honour, yes.
And Diana's clearly sort of...
You're asking her what she wants to drink. What did she drink?
Well, actually she had a shandy.
A great '80s girl!
Yes, she was, and Charles had his boring orange.
-But he wasn't boring on board?
-No, no. Far from it,
He was always involved in activities. He was a bit of a sportsman.
We used to call him "Crazy Horse"
because he was like a bull in a china shop.
If he was playing hockey, you got out the way.
Oh. And they went swimming?
Yes. We stopped in the Med.
Ourselves and the Royal party all plunged in,
enjoyed ourselves in the Mediterranean,
and she was also one of those in the water.
You didn't take these photographs,
but they're obviously very personal, intimate photographs.
How did you get them?
The Royal Yacht has its own photographer
and he takes all photographs
of any events, you know, on board
-and then you're allowed to purchase some of them.
I think it's a very personal touching series of images
which comes across here and the idea of seeing them
in a very natural way, puts a different perspective
on the way we look back at that marriage now.
-In terms of value,
perhaps as a collection they would be worth
£700 or £800 as an album.
But I didn't get them to sell them anyway,
so we'll be keeping them.
You got them to have the best honeymoon ever.
Well, we did indeed.
See how well this is coming up. This lovely red paint underneath.
I can't resist having a go at these little rings,
which are simulated to bamboo. This helps me date it,
but it's not bamboo. It's difficult to tell,
-but almost certainly the seat will be elm.
And underneath the arms I suspect it's oak,
which would be more typical of a Welsh chair.
But it's been made by quite a sophisticated person. He's a man who's access to a lathe
to turn these spindles
and these front ones with the bamboo and legs.
He's a farmer, a cabinet maker,
he might have been the local coffin maker,
making for somebody within probably very near to Aberystwyth.
We just don't know, we don't know who it was.
When was he making this?
-I would have thought the end of the 18th century?
Slightly older than I thought.
So your chair, your half chair from Aberystwyth, is 1780,
something like that. 230 0r 240 years old.
What's it worth?
That is the question.
Very little, I'm afraid. I'd probably pay you £200 for it anyway.
Oh right, it's interesting knowing the age and the value.
If you'd clean it up. Finish the job.
One of the exciting things about a Roadshow is when an object is brought along
and it looks pretty ordinary, similar to countless others we see every week,
but there's something special about it that sets it apart
and makes it significant and valuable.
The thing is, how do you tell?
As you know, in this series our experts are setting us
a bit of a challenge - basic, better, best.
This week is the turn of our arms and militaria expert, Graham Lay.
So we have here a set of medals. One is a basic set worth about £80,
the other is a rather better set worth £500 to £600
and then there's the best, worth £4,000 to £5,000.
I have to say, medals are not my speciality
but Graham is going to reveal all later on.
First it's time for our visitors and you to see if you can work out which is which.
-Have you any idea what you're looking for?
This is a trick question. The smallest one will be most valuable.
-What about the age?
What do you think? Basic, better, best.
Here would be basic that one would be better, that would be the best.
-That one and that one look very similar, don't they?
OK, I'm going say better and best.
Crosses there, and crosses generally say more important.
-That could be the best.
-Why do you think that?
-There's two crosses.
These ones are the most important ones.
Basic, better, best.
Hold on, switch those around.
Basic, better, best.
-Sure as I can be.
Now this is a striking bit of human anatomy.
How did it come into your life?
Well, it's quite a story.
I visited an old friend of mine
that does house clearances
and from time to time he gets a painting,
he gets in touch with me and he says, "Are you interested in buying?"
And this is my hobby, so he brings it down to me
and it was in a terrible state. I saw the ticket on the back,
Francis Bacon and recognised the signature and we did a deal.
I gave him a few hundred pounds
and when I had a look at it, I thought, well you know, this isn't for me really,
but the name is.
Of course the central question is "Is this by Francis Bacon?"
Francis Bacon, the major towering figure in British art
in the last 20-30 years, died fairly recently.
If it's by him, of course, it's a picture of extreme value,
art historical importance, worth many millions of pounds,
so it's really worth getting this one right.
From the front,
well it's the sort of composition we normally associate
with Francis Bacon, in as much that you've got that rather sort of bruised and angry flesh,
almost like a corpse, and you've got that bleary out-of-focus face,
all the sort of stuff that you associate with Francis Bacon.
But I think before we go any further on the front,
as we're trying to establish if this is the real thing or not,
-Let's have a look at the back, shall we?
OK, now it's always been my view,
that whenever you're looking at a picture that could potentially
be a great treasure or, indeed, a fake, that the back of it
will tell you more than the front.
The title of the picture it seems, Ophelia, with a sort of inscription
we find from time to time on 20th century pictures and earlier,
"A gift to my sister."
Now this gets more interesting, we have a label
at the top here that says "Francis Bacon B29".
Now I have to say the writing looks quite modern,
but what do you think the B29 refers to?
Well, I was thinking
perhaps it's the Hanover Gallery Exhibition number of 1952.
Well, you've really done your homework,
because the Hanover Gallery was the first gallery
to discover Francis Bacon,
and if it a label from that exhibition,
that is immediately exciting.
It proves that it was at a place
and at a time which is extremely significant
in the life of Francis Bacon. You could say we're warming up.
But then, does that look really old?
Or does it look like a photocopy of a label?
And is this B29? Is the paper just a little bit fresh?
I'm not sure. But let's just ask those questions.
What do you feel?
I think it's an old label and the reason I think that is because
it's bowed slightly with the damp,
within an attic for years and years
and the ink is coming off in places
where it would do, with damp.
But the signature looks to me to be genuine because it's spontaneous.
And I'm going to just go back to the front.
Someone has gone to inordinate trouble to get it right.
And they haven't just tried to paint a picture
that Francis Bacon might have done.
And it looks fairly plausible. I have to say
I don't think I'd be taken in
and I don't think a lot of 20th century scholars, or dealers,
or auctioneers would be taken in.
But the combination of that and the back
has meant that someone out there...
Someone around us, who knows?
-Has actually decided to create not just a fake,
but a fake history,
a fake exhibition history, a fake owner probably,
-and has done it quite well.
And don't worry, you are not alone.
I have to say,
I've even been taken in myself.
-So join the crowd.
Yes. It's all part of learning, isn't it?
Forgive me for saying, but that's an extremely striking design, it really is.
Beautiful, isn't it? I have a brooch in here for you to have a look at.
-Let's have a look.
-Wondering if you could tell me anything about it.
I like the contrast between the studded skull
and the rather sweet demure little chick here. Would you not agree?
I would, yes.
-A good contrast.
-I thought they'd go well together.
-What's the story behind it?
-Well, it was my great aunt's
and she gave it to my mother
and she said it was chipped diamond,
-and that's about all we know about it.
-Well, they are chipped diamonds.
In fact, it's what we call rose diamonds.
So rose-cut diamonds were typically used
in little novelty brooches like this.
Would you not agree it is novelty through and through?
These were popular in around about 1900
and you'd have little farmyard chicks
and little cats and dogs and whatever it may be.
But what makes this rather sweet is that the chick
is very nicely modelled and there's the egg and the shell.
It's broken, the top of it's off and there's the chick. Isn't it sweet?
-I've always loved it.
High carat gold, diamonds. Now the only thing,
looking through my lens, that I suppose I ought to point out
is that originally I think there might have been a little ruby
-or a sapphire in the eye.
-And that's dropped out.
But it wouldn't cost a fortune, in my opinion to get it replaced,
so my advice would be to go to a competent jeweller,
-put a little stone in, just give it that bit of colour contrast.
-Worth doing, it really is.
I don't. My mother used to and it will be handed down to me and then I will wear it.
OK, OK. Value. Well, substantial?
What do you think?
About £100, I thought?
No, don't think so. Very popular,
-Yeah, I think so.
Mum will be thrilled.
The joy of working on the Roadshow is when someone
brings an object that you've never seen before.
This is one of those objects. When I looked at it,
I thought, "What is it?" It soon becomes apparent.
It's a coin sorting device. A sovereign weighing machine.
We'll go into the intricacies of it in a just a moment,
but I want you to tell me how you come to have such a unique-looking object.
Well, my father used to work in the Bank of England in London
and every now and again, he seemed to bring home things
that they were presumably getting rid of and this was one of the things.
And my brother and sisters had sort of nice copper brass scales, you know, and I got this.
That's interesting in itself, because what you've told me
is that this was an obsolete item.
And when did it become obsolete, when did he bring it home?
Late '60s, '70s sometime. Can't remember exactly.
That kind of makes sense.
Certainly what is very obvious about it is the maker's plaque
on the front here. We can see it says, "D. Napier & Sons,
"Engineers, Lambeth, London" and it was started,
I think around about 1820, the company,
and they specialised in making machines
for manufacturing armaments, things like the Woolwich Arsenal.
Very precision coin sorting,
and banknote production machines.
This is the category that this falls into.
Now, this has got an electro-magnet in it, which I think puts it
into the mid-1870s. What it does is it allows you to weigh sovereigns
and half sovereigns, and the reason for that
is that some of them didn't quite come up to the right weight,
because they may have been clipped perhaps, or shaved.
This machine determines whether they weigh the right amount,
and that electro-magnet, if they don't weight the right amount,
then shoots them off into the reject tray.
-So we've put 1ps in it
because they're very close to the half sovereign size.
So if we send it this way, it's going to pick up
all of the one pences. Here it comes,
it's being automatically weighed.
At this point, it's being weighed,
There it goes. It's picked up again, off the scale, at which point
the scale and the electro-magnet determine if it's the right weight
and it's going to go one way or the other.
As it's a one pence,
-let's say that it didn't weigh the right amount.
-It's come out of the reject.
It does a very simple job. But look at it,
-it's a masterpiece, isn't it?
-I think this was made for the Royal Mint.
-Well, that's possible.
My father did do some work for the Royal Mint.
He sort of got seconded to the Royal Mint or something.
Let's think about trying to put a price on this. It's a difficult one.
You brought in at the same time what I call a standard sovereign balance.
This is the kind of thing that anyone
would have taken around in their pocket to weigh sovereigns
and half sovereigns, to see again whether they were clipped or not.
-Here's the Rolls Royce of sovereign balances.
What have we got here? £29 or £30 worth.
What have we got here? I think £700 to £1,000 worth.
Didn't realise that at all. I just brought it along.
I just find it interesting, you know.
That's what it is. It's a fabulous and interesting piece of machinery
and a scarce piece of machinery.
-I saw your lions this morning.
Then I went for my lunch, and half way through my lunch I was interrupted
because your lions arrived.
Did they breed lions in Wales?
Well, mine decided to go walkies today
so they walked 15 miles down here and I don't think
-they've been away from home for the last hundred years.
-This is their first time out?
-And what about your lions?
-Oh about the same, yes.
So bred in Wales, but were they born in Wales? That's the question.
-I think mine are English.
-What about yours?
Well, I'd like to think they're Celtic lions.
Well... Mm... well I think you are absolutely right about yours.
They are English lions.
Difficult to say where they were made. Could have been any
of the country potteries, probably in Staffordshire.
They'd have lovely, curly tails
which have gone missing. Someone's tried to pull them
or grab them by the tail. Dangerous thing to do with a lion!
They've broken off, but they're still rather magnificent.
Yours are interesting and magnificent in a different way,
-and they are Welsh.
-But that's only happened very recently.
Had you asked me a year ago, I would have told you these were made
by the Pill Pottery on the River Avon near Bristol,
but somebody's researched them and it's not Pill on the Avon,
-it's actually Pill, which is a suburb of Newport.
Now I've been trying to study the name of it,
but I'm going to ask you to read it,
because I can't pronounce Welsh at all.
In English it would be Pillgwenelly,
but how would you pronounce that in Welsh?
THEY SPEAK WELSH
So that's where the Pill comes from,
so these are the Pill Pottery from Newport in Wales.
So yours are Welsh, yours are English.
They're both mid-19th century.
These are probably 1830-1840.
These perhaps slightly later.
And they're both worth a similar amount of money
for different reasons.
Our more elegant English lions, they're decorative,
somebody who collected oak or country furniture
would have them prized on a table.
-And these, really...
Cottage, cottage lions shall we say?
But you know, just as interesting.
The value is because they're Welsh.
Welsh people are very proud people, they want to collect Welsh things.
They're both worth £1,200.
Heavens! You serious?
Absolutely serious. I bet you're glad you let them out today.
So it's the Welshness that counts?
It's the Welshness that counts.
Graham, it was interesting talking about these -
they excite a lot of interest
and it seems invidious to talk about a value for these things,
when just the fact that you've fought in a war
and gained a medal should be enough.
None of us really were quite sure what we were looking for.
Well, you know, medals are a testament
to the heroism of the recipients
and I always feel uncomfortable
about talking about values of medals,
but people are interested in them.
During the First and Second World Wars,
millions and millions of people served their country
and almost everybody was entitled to a medal.
During the First World War, for example, the British War Medal,
this silver medal -
6.5 million of these issued during the First World War,
so they were issued in huge numbers.
And the great thing about First World War medals
is that they were always named.
Gosh, so every single one of those millions were individually...?
Yes. There are lots of websites out there
that can point you in the right direction for doing the research.
So campaign medals, therefore, I assume are not that valuable.
Well, they are.
They can be, depending on what the campaigns were
and depending on what the recipient did.
And that's when we come to the Basic, Better, Best point of view.
Right. Well, I'll tell you what I suggested.
I was thinking, "Campaign medals,
"everyone will have got one, so presumably not that valuable,"
so I put Basic here.
I didn't know what to make of these.
I looked at these and interestingly, cos I read out on the news,
-time and again, about in Afghanistan or Iraq.
And maybe about someone who's winning a Victoria Cross
or a medal for bravery, and so I looked at these and thought...
I realised I'd never seen one,
but I'm assuming one of these must be a cross for valour, for bravery,
and therefore I've put these in the Best category.
Well, you're absolutely right.
Well, good, cos it doesn't happen very often!
But looking at these - let's look at them first.
This is the Basic group of three First World War medals.
These are worth somewhere in the region of £60 to £80.
Better is this group.
Now, this is also a group that shows heroism of some sort
because he's got the Military Medal
and also this means "mentioned in dispatches".
-This oak leaf,
so he must have performed many acts of bravery.
But also he served in the Second World War,
because this is the Defence Medal,
so he would have probably been too old
to serve in the Second World War,
so he took part in some way, perhaps he was a Special Constable.
And that's going to be worth somewhere in the region of £800.
-I had a vague idea, I thought, "They're crosses."
-But go on, cos I didn't really know.
-Well, this is the important medal.
This is the Military Cross, but it's even more important than that,
because do you see this bar here?
It means he was awarded it twice.
so not only did he perform some act of gallantry
to be awarded the Military Cross,
but he performed ANOTHER act of heroism,
-and so he was put up for it again.
You can't be awarded the same medal twice, of course,
so he was awarded the bar to go with it.
I think we should name him, if he was that courageous.
"Captain John Williams, 15th Battalion Welsh Regiment."
A very brave man.
And I happen to know that he was mainly responsible
for the capture of Thiepval Ridge
and Pozieres village in 1918, during the First World War,
and the capture of many German guns and over 1,000 prisoners.
And you found this out by researching his background?
-He was a very, very brave and courageous man.
And this group is going to be worth somewhere in the region of...
£4,000 or £5,000.
Gosh. Well, as I say,
it does seem slightly invidious, really, talking about the value,
when clearly to have fought with medals like this,
you have shown bravery by being on the field.
I hope it's given you some insight, if you have medals at home,
of relatives, now you have an idea of what to look for, and what value they may have,
or if you want to bring them along to a Roadshow,
have a look at our website...
You can see the locations we're coming to
and maybe you could pay us a visit.
This is a first for me -
an artist's lay figure.
-And a horse.
I have never ever seen an articulated horse before.
-I must admit, nor have we, ever.
-So tell me your story.
I've known it all my life, it was at my aunt's house.
She had it on a bench in the hallway,
and she died intestate.
I was asked by my other aunt to go in -
"Take what you need, what you like,"
and along with my husband, we took a few things
and this was one of them,
cos I love it, and I've been riding all my life.
I really can't blame you.
I think it is absolutely fantastic.
It's got a plaque here that says,
"J Mayer & A. Fessler, Wien".
Vienna, so was anybody in your family an artist?
My aunt, who owned the horse, her father was an artist.
-Right, well, there you have it.
I would think this dates from about the turn of the century,
about 1900, solid walnut, a jointed lay figure,
an articulated horse,
to show a student of art perspective, how an arm moves.
I just love it.
And, I mean, even his ears move. I mean, it's just fantastic.
It goes into two categories.
Obviously, we've spoken about the artistic use of it,
but these days, to me, it's a sculpture,
and you know, it would be fantastically popular
if it was ever to come up for sale.
Well, I don't think, quite honestly, it will be up for sale.
It's worth a lot of money.
I'm going to be quite cautious in my valuation.
For the moment, I'm going to put £2,000 on it.
Somewhat more than we thought, quite honestly.
But I can see it, in a retail shop, with a much bigger price than that.
Wonderful day like today, that, filled,
would have been wonderful, wouldn't it?
-Well, it would have been, but I didn't happen to think about it.
I would have done so.
-Yeah, you do get thirsty doing this.
What you've brought in here is one of the finest tankards
I've seen in a long while.
-Is that so?
-It is superb.
There are so many wonderful features to it.
If you look for, example, at the thumb piece,
just that simple scroll and the chunkiness of it -
It's not the standard thumb piece.
The way the hinge is arranged is pretty standard
but the way the handle is designed - wonderful.
That extra little kick at the bottom,
not just a straight forward "S", but the scroll there
and then another scroll starting up
and this lovely faceting on the handle.
-It all shrieks quality.
Of course, when we look at the maker's mark,
-we've got the mark of one of my favourite goldsmiths.
So one of the greatest of all time, a certain Mr David Willaume.
And interesting, tankards by Huguenot goldsmiths -
of course, the recently-arrived French refugees -
tankards are things that they rarely made.
-Is that so?
-But boy, when they made a tankard, did they make a tankard.
Oh, I'm so pleased about that.
Wonderful. And the engraving.
The engraving is OK?
Absolutely super, and that cipher is just right for the date.
-But, of course, what is the date?
1723 with that "H",
and, again, a sign of the quality,
that David Willaume has made this out of Britannia Standard Silver,
the 958 standard rather than the 925 standard.
So it's better than sterling silver?
It is indeed, it's the higher standard,
which, at the time this was made, he didn't have to use,
but because he was so good, he did.
My word, I'm pleased to hear that.
Now, is it a family piece?
No, no, no. I bought it about two years ago.
So what did you pay for it?
Well, so long as my wife isn't listening...
-Well, I have to say, I think you did very well.
Oh, I'm pleased to hear that!
A tankard of this quality, by such an important maker,
£3,000, £4,000, I think, quite easily.
My word. Why, that's delightful to hear.
-Thank you so much.
How does a lady wearing a jacket as fantastic as that,
come to own a piece like this?
My father bought it for my mother about 40 years ago.
My mother's died now, so my daughter's inherited it,
so I brought it up for her tonight.
So why did he buy it for her? Was she particularly attracted to birds?
-It was the sort of thing she really liked, yes.
I don't know where he bought it.
It's been in the family about 30 or 40 years now, I should imagine.
OK, you don't have any idea what he paid for it?
-Or where he might have bought it?
-No, no, I don't.
OK. Well, actually, if you don't know that,
you can add a little bit of revenue out of it, too.
-And he starts moving his head and singing.
He's a quiet one, he's quite silent.
-It's gone quiet.
-It's late in the day.
My mum used to put the penny in and he used to make more noise.
So he loved your mother?
Yeah, he did love my mum, I think.
-He was happy when she was around.
-Yes, I think so. Yeah.
He needs restoring again,
-as I'm sure he'll love your daughter as well.
These are real feathers, but obviously the bird
is covered inside, and I think he'll come up wonderfully bright.
And quite snazzy, actually, when he's had a good bit of a clean.
-And his bellows, too.
You'll hear him, he'll sing sweetly again.
What's interesting is that these were made
for parlours in the 19th century
-and they were effectively a rich person's toy.
They were for entertainment, you'd have them in a corner.
-Like a cylinder music box.
Wind it up, play a tune, and ha ha, everybody had a lovely time.
They were made in France, often with Swiss movements.
This was made probably in the late 19th century,
-so probably the 1880s.
-This wonderful decorative panel.
-He's quite magnificent.
-They're very sought-after pieces.
-Ah! There we are, then.
-He's quite large.
-In need of a bit of repair.
And I still think you're looking at around £2,000.
Gosh, that's great.
So make sure that when he's spick-and-span again,
and ready to go, he takes pride of place in the living room
-and he can sing once again with joy.
BIRD WHISTLES FAINTLY
Here's a picture that really does tell a story.
I look at this, I see barrage balloons.
The lovely old boy here with his fork and spade, holding a pipe,
and people digging in the background.
It's done in watercolour and it makes me think,
Second World War and digging for victory.
Does it have a title?
-Yes, yes, it is called Dig For Victory, yes.
-And how did you get it?
-My grandfather bought four paintings
from the artist in Birmingham,
two oil paintings, two watercolours.
I have an oil painting as well and my brother has an oil and a watercolour.
And it's signed down here, A C Shorthouse,
which is Arthur Charles Shorthouse.
I've hardly ever seen any work by him.
-No, no, yes.
-He was born in Birmingham in 1870
and he lived up to the 1950s.
-And he exhibited a few times at the Royal Academy
and also in Birmingham.
-So he was a member of the Society of Birmingham Artists,
but I don't care that I don't really know this artist.
-Because it's such fantastic quality.
I look at his face and I think -
well here's a man who's probably gone through the First World War
and is facing the Second World War,
and you know, it's almost as though it was done for a poster.
Because there have been posters for digging for victory.
-Yes, of course.
-Because in the Second World War
people had to dig up their gardens and grow things because of shortage.
-But he's got such character,
and I love the blueness in his eyes,
with age, people go like that, and it's just - you know -
it sort of tells a story.
And the blues in the background are
so well defined, but then we see flecks around here
and are they - I wonder whether these are brushes off his...
They look like, yes, hairs off his brushes.
-Hairs off his paintbrushes, that's right.
Well, I think he's an artist that is not hugely valuable.
-But I look at this and I think the subject matter makes it valuable.
And to me, if I was collecting -
you know - Second World War pictures, I'd really want this in my collection
and I think this would probably make - in auction - £1,000 to £1,500.
Oh right, yes. Lovely, yes, thank you very much.
I suppose what I expected least to see in West Wales is this
wonderful array of Native North American beadwork.
I am actually overcome by the sort of diversity, the richness of it.
Tell me the background, why have you got it?
I inherited it from my nana,
it was my nana's Uncle Tommy who went over to British Columbia
in the early 1900s and he went there to work - he was a missionary.
-He went over to work in a school over there.
-And she inherited it down then to her,
and then obviously I inherited it then.
So working as a missionary,
-he was in contact obviously with various tribes.
-And so these are things he brought back.
-To show how it had been.
-Yes, they gifted these items to him,
and also you can see some of them have been worn as well, by him.
Often we see things like this, but it's very rare
-that you can actually precisely time the event.
-What have you got there?
-Well, what I've got here is...
-Is that a picture?
-Yeah, that's Uncle Tommy.
So here we have this intrepid man in his fur coat.
-In the snow.
-Over there, yes, at the time.
-Do you know much about him?
Not an awful lot, no. Unfortunately, my nana's passed away, so I don't... I obviously never met him.
-So I don't know an awful lot about him as a person, no.
-And this is what?
This is a letter then, the date there, August 20th.
OK, well this is, yes, August 20th 1909,
now this is crucial.
-I mean obviously writing letters home.
-I won't read it all
-but I'm sure it's full of interesting facts.
-But the point to establish is,
he was miles away from everywhere, and therefore leading a very, very remote life.
Now the first thing I'm going to tell you
is obviously, by and large, these are things of that period.
And a lot of this material can go back to much earlier dates.
-The only thing that may well be earlier here are the gauntlets.
-Those could go back into the 19th century.
-Oh gosh, right, OK.
We've got typical beadwork styles.
What we've also got to acknowledge is - by now, while these are tribal pieces,
a lot of them were being made for people like him.
-We've got - in a sense - the tourist element, the visitor element.
So the famous pieces like the slippers, the gloves
and so on, the purses, the bags,
were very much tourist minded by the makers.
-And so on that basis,
it's not that surprising that they did move out from Canada
into places like Wales.
We've got pipes - traditional cut from stone type pipes.
But the things that excite me most of all are these.
-Now why do you think those are different?
-They're incredible pieces of...
-I'm glad you say that.
They're made from a material called argillite which is a stone
that only occurs in a certain region of Western Canada.
-And they are totally the product of one tribe, the Haida tribe.
-Oh right, OK.
-The Haidas actually sit on the world's resources of argillite.
It's slightly related to slate and when it comes out of the ground,
it's quite soft and it can be carved,
and then it becomes harder and harder and harder,
and it was used from the early 19th century
for carving things like miniature totem poles and figures that relate
to all the creatures and animals
that are significant to the tribe.
-So a piece like this is a wonderful piece of story-telling.
-All the figures are symbolic and it is this smooth stone-like material.
There's nothing like it in the world anywhere else.
This is excellent, but fairly typical,
this is just completely exceptional.
-Oh right, OK.
-So to see that is just sort of blowing my mind out.
You're sitting on, here, a remarkable collection,
-and I have to say, quite a valuable collection.
A pair of gauntlets like that is probably £500, £600, £700.
The slippers are £200 to £400.
All the smaller pieces are £100 to £200 and sometimes more,
so you've got probably £2,000 or £3,000 worth in the beadwork.
-Come on to the argillite.
-That's going to be £1,500 - £2,000.
-Oh, my gosh.
This is going to be - it's such a fantastic piece -
it's going to be...
oh, between £2,000 and £3,000 - or even £4,000.
Oh, my gosh, I never...
So put it all together, you're getting towards £8,000 or £10,000.
-Wow, how incredible.
-So, he did you proud.
Yes, he did. And my nana, yes, for keeping all the stuff.
I've dreamed for years
to have a really great piece of argillite on the Roadshow.
-You've done it for me.
-OK, oh, thank you.
-So thank you very much.
-Oh, no problem.
What a great end to the day for Paul. Our experts never know
whether they're going to see collections from halfway around the globe or just around the corner.
It's been wonderful here at Aberystwyth Arts Centre.
From all of the Roadshow team, until next time, bye-bye.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]