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We've been scouring the country in search of more treasure
and wanted to start in grand surroundings.
So how about this magnificent setting?
It's Manchester's town hall.
Thankfully, these stairs were designed to allow Victorian ladies
to ascend without ever having to look down.
A gracious welcome indeed to a new series of the Antiques Roadshow.
It's been a long time since we last visited Manchester Town Hall
and, dare I say it, some of you might even remember it.
The one common characteristic of the halls to which we take
the Antiques Roadshow is size.
We really do need somewhere that's big enough to accommodate
up to 5,000 people in a single day.
And here in Manchester, it was the great Victorian town hall
that seemed to fit that bill superbly well.
Good to see Hugh Scully doing crowd control 20 years ago.
I'm glad to say we're still pretty popular.
What have you got here, sir? Is that a Bruce tartan?
I don't think so. I think it's Royal Stewart.
I think it might be.
Our expert Judith Miller, she'll have a look at that. Thank you.
Before we throw the doors open for business,
just time for a quick look round.
As town halls go, this is one of the finest in the country,
with some of Manchester's most famous sons watching over the proceedings.
No expense was spared when it was built in 1877.
Industrial Manchester was hugely wealthy.
This building was a statement.
Manchester had arrived.
Just look at this.
The jewel in the crown has to be the Great Hall.
All around the walls are murals by one of the top artists of the day,
depicting the city's colourful past.
The 12 murals by Pre-Raphaelite artist Ford Madox Brown
took 15 years to complete -
far longer than anyone had expected.
When Ford Madox Brown came to do this last one,
he'd had a stroke and lost the use of his right hand,
but the great men of Manchester Town Hall insisted he finish the job,
so he had to paint it with his left hand,
which is why it's a lot coarser and cruder than the others.
But actually, given it's his left hand, it's still not half bad.
As if by magic, the experts are already seated,
the room is buzzing with excitement.
I declare this new series well and truly open.
Now one of the ultimate toys for boys
has to be a large-scale racing car,
and if it's got an exotic name like Alfa Romeo,
all the better. And being red couldn't be better.
So how come you've brought it along?
This was my father's and I...
He was given it as a child and played with it.
He was very, very careful with his toys.
And then I played with it when I was a small child
and actually broke it.
I still feel guilty now about what I did.
Did you get into trouble? I did get into trouble
and I feel guilty now, still, to this day, about what I did to that car.
Which was what?
Well, I broke the steering. It sort of doesn't steer very well.
And I really still feel quite bad about that.
But toys are meant to be played with. They are, yes.
And when sometimes we see a toy that's in absolutely pristine
mint condition, I feel slightly sad because whoever got given it
didn't play with it. That's it.
So why have a toy you don't play with?
And the story about the bear?
The bear is the same story really. That was my father's as well.
They were always together, so I presume they're from the same era,
but I really know nothing about them. Absolutely.
They're both from the 1920s
and the Alfa Romeo was produced by a French company called CIJ.
And they produced them in various different colours,
greens and blues and reds.
This has seen a bit of wear. Yes.
Your dad obviously played with it.
It would have had leather straps
but often these petrol filler caps are missing.
So although, you know, it's got a bit of wear there,
it's not in too bad condition.
And the bear being felt,
his uniform has got a bit grubby, hasn't it?
That can be cleaned a bit.
And he's a mechanical bear. Have you got the key?
I haven't got the key. I couldn't find the key.
Well, you can find a key, that's not too difficult to find. The motor's still there
and you'd have wound him up, and he would have shuffled along.
Made this time by a German manufacturer, Schuco.
And I think he has great charm and if he can sit down,
you almost want to put him in there to drive the car.
That's just how I felt with it, I love him.
They're family pieces, I'm sure they're never going to be sold. No.
But one, a red one like this, recently changed hands, slightly better condition,
So a little bit less for yours, don't get too excited.
And you did damage it. I did damage it, yes.
Takes a bit more away,
And the bear. Get him cleaned up a bit and he'll be worth
?800 to ?1,200.
You amaze me, you absolutely amaze me!
I wish my father could hear that really.
I'm sure he's looking down from above... I'm sure.
..and forgiving your misdemeanours when you were that high.
So I understand that Arthur Negus saw this chair back in 1969.
Yes. That's true. I think my mum and her mum and dad actually came up here
and got this actually signed by them
and signed it to my mum, 5th February 1969, so...
I know that he thought it was very interesting
and I think he said it's possibly from Austria.
So where did it originally come from? How did it come into your family?
Well, it actually came from Trafford Park,
which is where the world's first industrial park was actually created,
but the hall that was knocked down had an auction in around 1930.
And so they auctioned everything off
and my great-grandfather came home with this amongst other things.
It's certainly interesting. It's a chair with a difference because it's a musical chair.
I know, it sounds like something from a fairy tale.
It's a piece of furniture that really comes to life, doesn't it?
There's the musical cylinder enclosed inside.
Of course, the idea is that when you sit on it,
the spring goes down and the music starts to play.
Fantastic sort of fantasy carving, really, these scrolling branches,
and there's a red deer inlaid to the back panel,
and then on the seat inlaid in wood there are two chamois,
or Alpine goats, inset into the centre of the seat.
Well, Arthur Negus said Austrian. I beg to differ,
a very brave thing to do. I think it's Swiss,
almost certainly from a town called Brienz,
and Brienz has a history of centuries of wood carving. Right.
And in the mid 19th century there were a lot of German
and British tourists who came to visit Brienz
and this really was a souvenir that probably quite a grand visitor
would have picked up.
So as far as its value goes,
in fact, it's very against the current taste
for slightly streamlined furniture. It's a little bit fussy and ornate.
However, the chair that your great-grandfather bought
is really in a league of its own,
and if this was to appear on the market now,
I'm pretty certain it would fetch in the region of ?2,000.
Really?! I would genuinely never have thought it.
I don't know whether they'd have thought about selling it,
but, my God, that's amazing.
And as a child at heart, do you mind if I have a go? Go on.
Now many people might wonder why a clock and watch man is discussing
a leather and silver belt.
Is this a thing you've ever worn, or not?
Yes, I used to wear it in the '60s and '70s
but then I was a lot slimmer
and I could read the time.
So now we're talking about reading the time,
and this is the time that I shall pick it up
and reveal, by pressing the button down here, what happens.
And that drops forward and the wearer...
..can read the time. That's it.
But what a bit of fun. It's great. It's signed Cyma.
and it's got a full set of various Swiss marks
including a little dog with "Trusty" written underneath. A great thing.
What sort of date do you reckon it might be?
I would say late 1920s or early 1930s.
Spot-on, absolutely right.
Movado did a watch called the hermetic watch
which ladies used to use in a bag,
closed in and out, and this is another form of hermetic watch.
So it's more of a novelty item than a high-value item, to be honest.
And if you were to put it to auction,
bearing in mind it's had a bit of a hard life and it's a bit rubbed,
I think you'd probably be looking at, sensibly, around the sort of
600 mark. On a good day, it might even make up towards 1,000
but it's a lot of fun, I like it.
Oh, yes, thank you.
This series, we're setting you at home, and our visitors
here at Manchester Town Hall, a bit of a challenge.
There's no prize but hopefully
you'll learn some surprising facts about your treasures at home.
This is how it works.
I'll show you with these three strings of pearls.
Now one of these is a very basic model
worth about ?25.
Another, bit more medium range,
And one of them is the creme de la creme
But the thing is - to me, at any rate - they all look the same.
So John Benjamin, our jewellery expert, who set this test,
is going to reveal all shortly.
But first of all, I'm going to find out if our visitors here can help me out.
"Der Ring Des Nibelungen". The Ring Of The Nibelung. Yes.
And down here it tells us that it's also "Die Walkure".
Yes. The Valkyrie.
So am I right in thinking that you've brought...
I mean, this is a score for an opera by Richard Wagner.
Yes, it is.
When I think of Wagner, I don't think of Manchester, I must say. No.
I think of Rhinemaidens swimming around, I think of goblins,
I think of gremlins, I think of magical rings... Absolutely.
..the Valkyrie themselves.
If there's one piece of classical music that somebody
who knows nothing about classical music might know,
it's The Ride Of The Valkyries. Absolutely.
I've brought it along
and it's part of the Halle's archives here in Manchester.
This is the Halle Orchestra?
It is indeed, yeah, Manchester's very own.
And it's only very recently come into our possession.
There is actually a very strong connection with Wagner in Manchester
in the form of one of our previous conductors,
Dr Hans Richter, who conducted the Halle from 1899 until 1911.
And direct descendants of his,
his great-granddaughters, contacted us some months ago
to say that they had his personal archive and collection
in their possession, and they wanted to discuss with us
us giving it a permanent home.
So this is the great man himself?
That is him, yes. When he came to Manchester,
he was probably the most significant conductor of his age.
He came to Manchester from the Vienna Philharmonic and...
well, that says quite a lot. So you're telling me that this volume in itself,
this opera score was designed to be used by a conductor performing? Yes.
This was actually in the possession of the conductor Hans Richter? Yes.
Who was your conductor. He was our conductor,
but more than that, he was very much
a protege of the composer Richard Wagner,
and this score was presented to Richter by the composer
when Richter got married in 1875.
If you look at the front, there's actually a personal dedication
from Wagner to Richter,
so it has actually been in Wagner's hands as well as in Richter's.
There are some books that are interesting
and some books that are quite important,
and then there are some books that you open up and they're just immeasurably exciting.
When I turn over the page, I see a whole series of lines
written by Richard Wagner, who's got to be one of the great,
great composers of the 19th century.
Yeah, and we suspect that this was not the score
that he conducted from, because family tradition has it,
and indeed anecdotes that we have from players who remembered him,
he conducted everything from memory. He had a photographic memory
and he never used a score, which is fairly phenomenal.
It is absolutely unbelievable.
Well, it's a book that's not going anywhere. No.
In a way, it's found its spiritual home. Absolutely.
But of course, everybody's going to want to know
how much something like this is worth. Mm-hmm.
I could see this really flying at auction.
In a special sale devoted to music, this is the kind of thing
that could really capture the Wagner nuts' attention.
Of whom there are many. What would it make?
It could make ?10,000.
It could make ?20,000. And it could even do better than that.
I'll try not to think about that!
MUSIC: Ride Of The Valkyries by Wagner
I think that one's the expensive one.
Right, because you're looking at the clasps, aren't you, rather cunningly?
And that, I think they look older than those.
I'm going to go for that.
I think that's best, that's basic and that's better.
Made your mind up? Yeah.
We'll see if you're right later on. OK.
In 1787, the wonderful horse painter George Stubbs exhibited
a painting called Horses Fighting in the Royal Academy,
together with a pair to it,
Bulls Fighting, that we're not talking about here.
And that painting disappeared thereafter,
and was never seen again.
The only reason we know of its existence at all
was a print made of it.
So help me here a little with the background to your painting.
It was a present to me from my mother-in-law,
and she in turn had been given it
by her uncle and godfather, who came from South Wales.
He was an estate agent called, I think,
Harry Lambert, but he also dabbled in antiques
and went to a number of country house sales.
That's all I know.
So it's been in your family for quite a long time, that's for sure.
Certainly since the 1940s.
Yes, yes. Well, we're rather thrown, in a sense,
because we don't have a size for that panel.
Except that we do know it was a panel, and not on canvas,
and this is on canvas. Yes.
So that's the first thing.
The second thing is that the print itself
is not far off the size of this, it's a little bit smaller. Right.
So it could have provided a template
for a copyist to make another version of Stubbs's painting.
But as I said before,
we're really thrown back at looking at the painting very carefully now
to see whether it actually is a Stubbs.
So I want you to do that with me,
if that's OK, and we'll look at the quality of it.
Now, do you know horses? Yes, very well.
You're just exactly the right person to talk to, then,
because...I mean, is that well observed, would you say?
Not terribly, and this foreleg here has always worried me.
It's a little truncated, isn't it? Yes, it is.
And I was looking at the hair of the tail here as well. Yes.
It looks as if it's been done in a bit of a hurry. Yes, exactly.
These things add up, don't they? Then look at the shadows
underneath the horses. They look rather perfunctory, don't you think?
Yes, almost as though
they've been put in as an afterthought. It's interesting
because when you stand back from it,
it really does work as a late-18th-century painting,
and then when you really start to look into it and question it
as we rightly must, then it begins to fall apart,
doesn't it, slightly? Yes, I'd agree with you there.
I mean, I don't really mind,
because I really like the painting. Not everybody does,
because it's a very aggressive painting.
Yeah. But...I would say, having had a look at other Stubbs,
because I've been to both the Stubbs exhibitions,
I would definitely say that it's not as finely executed.
Not of the quality. No.
Well, I have to agree with you. And I think with that in mind,
you can imagine that were it a Stubbs
and were it that long-lost Stubbs,
then we'd be talking about tens of millions of pounds.
That's a pity. Yeah, I'm afraid we are not talking about tens of millions of pounds,
we are talking about ?2,000 as a good copy.
Right. Well, to be frank, I'm really rather glad it isn't a genuine Stubbs
because I'd wonder what the heck
I would have to do with it if it were.
But as it is, I can take it home,
put it back on my wall and enjoy it. Good.
So thank you very much indeed. Pleasure.
Do you know, I wanted to show this flat on this base,
because do you find if you wear it,
that it lies very flat against the skin? Yeah, definitely.
Do you like that aspect of it? Yeah.
Because with jewellery, sometimes we find jewellers make things
and they kind of stand proud
and you feel a little uncomfortable wearing them. Yeah.
Not with this? No.
Now, is it a family piece or where did it come from?
It was a present for my mother-in-law, off her husband
for a birthday.
Do you know when?
About 20 years ago. A-ha. Do you know,
I mean, has she told you where it was bought from?
It was bought at an antiques fair, ?200.
Oh, really? Yeah.
Looking at the piece itself
and actually when you pick it up,
you really see the potential of the piece.
It's very sinuous, isn't it? It flows beautifully.
Yeah. Now, the first thing. Those little drops,
they look like classical vases.
Yeah. And that's a giveaway, because it was made during a time
when what we call Classical Revival jewellery was very popular.
Around about, I suppose, 1865, 1870.
Wow. OK. Did you have a look at this clasp?
There, do you see what it is?
It's fashioned as a miniature gold scarab beetle.
Right, OK. So, what does that suggest to you?
Maybe kind of Egyptian? It's trying to be
something that reminds us of the time of Cleopatra.
Right. And it performs the function extremely well.
Now, if I turn it over, it's quite a simple piece, really.
If I turn it over and put it back down on the table again,
did you happen to spot
that interspaced around the necklace
are a series of little tiny maker's marks for Robert Phillips? Right.
Now, Robert Phillips was a great man. OK. He was a goldsmith.
He was working in London. OK.
And he produced this kind of jewellery.
Right. And need I tell you that it is highly collectable?
Oh, very nice.
So a price was paid, some years ago.
I would like to think that possibly
the person who sold it didn't quite recognise the potential.
Mmm. Do you know what it's worth?
Oh, I don't like to say.
Well, one of the most infamous periods of events
during the Second World War
took place in Singapore
and Thailand, and that of course was the building
of the Thai-Burma railway.
But just before that,
when the Japanese captured the Allies,
they forced them to sign a document
to say that they weren't going to escape as prisoners of war.
Now, not many people know that the Japanese, at one period,
squeezed 16,000 prisoners of war
into a square in Singapore and kept them there
for days on end under the blazing hot sun in order to force them
to sign this non-escape document.
Now, here we have a drawing - I've never seen one before -
showing that incident, and it's called The Selerang Square Squeeze
in Singapore in September 1942, an infamous event.
But the extraordinary thing is the quality of the drawing.
Now, I'm amazed, always amazed,
that there were so many great artists
who were captured by the Japanese
during the Second World War, and we see many, many drawings.
For example, Ronald Searle, the famous cartoonist
who invented St Trinian's,
he was captured by the Japanese. Who was the artist?
The artist was John Mennie.
He was a prisoner of war.
This is me daughter-in-law's grandfather,
who was captured whilst in Singapore,
and he was in the prisoner-of-war camp with John Mennie.
This gentleman here was a journalist,
so we presume John Mennie asked him
to take these out of the camp when liberation came.
However, my daughter-in-law
had no idea of these till the middle 1990s,
when her grandfather had died. They were actually found in a shoebox.
So these drawings, as far as you knew, didn't exist? Yeah.
What about these portraits?
We've got some really wonderfully drawn little portraits here.
These are all the people
who were in the prisoner-of-war camp who Mennie drew.
Well, many artists risked their lives
by drawing and painting
in the prisoners-of-war camp.
They could have been put into solitary confinement.
They could have had food restricted from them, and they would have died
as a result of this, because of course, many of these drawings
were used after the war for war-crime trials as evidence.
Every single one of these men depicted in these drawings
would have worked on the Thai-Burma railway,
the "death railway", as it's known, immortalised in the film
The Bridge Over The River Kwai, of course.
And of those men that worked on it, 60,000 Allied prisoners,
16,000 died as a result of working on that railway.
It took a year to build, solely to supply the Japanese war effort.
So tell me about this. Have you done any research into the artist?
Have you used the internet, for example? My daughter-in-law has.
She actually found an internet site where John Mennie's family
have actually set up a site
showing pictures and sketches. And he was born in Scotland,
and some of his drawings are actually in the Imperial War Museum.
So his family have put a website together? Yes.
Do they know about these drawings? I don't think so.
You know, they would want to know that you've got these.
They'd be desperate to see copies of them, I would think.
It's very important for family documentation and family history.
I'm sure my daughter-in-law will do that.
Well, you know, it is a very, very important archive
and from a value point of view, they are valuable.
There are many people
who collect them. I think if these came up for auction today,
these that we've seen and the others you have
would be worth somewhere in the region of ?800 to ?1,200.
Right. It's a great archive. Yeah.
John Benjamin set us this challenge earlier on
to work out which of these three strings of pearls
is the basic model, the better model and the absolute best model.
Well, I've arranged them in the order I and our visitors
think it is. So - basic, better
and best. Right, John...
Now, the thing is, they all look the same to me,
so how should I be able to tell?
There's three traditional types of pearl that I'm likely to see.
Natural, saltwater pearls, which are incredibly rare and valuable,
and I wonder how many viewers
have got a straightforward cultured-pearl necklace,
and simulated pearls, which are also very, very common.
What's the difference between the three?
All right, well, let's start at the natural pearls.
First of all, before we talk about that,
let me just say how they get started.
A pearl is a strange mutation of nature.
You're a seashell lying on the seabed...
Oyster, or any seashell?
Oyster, can be different shells like clams.
Oyster shell, let's say.
A little grain of sand or grit works its way into the shell,
and you know when you get a pebble in your shoe and it's, you know,
you have to get rid of it? The seashell can't do that.
What it does, though, is it builds layer upon layer
of a kind of a comforting material around the grain of sand.
That's called conchiolin.
And that layer upon layer builds up for a period of time
to form the pearl.
Of course, the valuable ones
are those pearls that are perfectly round. And then a cultured pearl?
Cultured pearl is more straightforward.
Man himself has put a mother- of-pearl bead into the oyster,
and then it builds layer upon layer around that little bead nucleus.
Then you have a cultured pearl. And a simulated pearl -
well, it's a hollow glass bead
covered with a material that's made usually of fish scales.
Right. I'm already worried about my choices.
Just looking at them, I couldn't tell the difference.
Are there some tests you can do to try and work it out? Yes.
I mean, I have to say
that natural pearls are indescribably rare,
so most people will not have a natural pearl necklace.
Cultured pearls, quite heavy.
When you look at the surface using the trusty lens,
and the lens is all-important here,
you often find that the surface isn't very regular,
it's covered with little lumps and bumps.
Simulated pearls, the fake pearls, if you will,
under a lens, they're very smooth.
And have you heard this old test that you can do?
You get hold of the pearls,
rubbing them across your teeth.
It's a very good guide
because the simulated pearls are very, very smooth,
but the cultured pearls are very, very gritty,
and indeed so are the natural pearls.
So... Come on, then.
Here's my test. So you have suggested that these are...
These are the cheapest, they're the plastic ones. The ?25 one.
Yes. I'm already dreading this, actually.
And these are the cultured ones, and these are the natural ones.
Well, Fiona, I have to tell you
that you could not be more wrong if you tried.
I knew it! I knew it! I'm so sorry.
I feel almost embarrassed to tell you this. You couldn't have got it more wrong.
Oh, no! These are the cultured pearls, these ones here.
So they're worth around ?250.
You see, they were so big, I thought they must be fake.
Your ?25,000 necklace that you'd have cheerfully paid
for that string there, they're worth ?25.
No! Oh, no.
So these? And your creme de la creme,
the best of the best, are these ones here.
That's the natural saltwater-pearl necklace, and I have to say
you failed dramatically, Fiona.
Failed on every count. Mind you, I think these look rather nice.
You won't mind if I put these on, will you?
If you'd read the news in the 1950s, I guarantee you'd have worn
a pearl necklace. It would have looked fabulous. Maybe I should try it.
When I was young, I used to have a little model village,
but it wasn't nearly as smart
as this Edwardian one.
What's the story about this? Well, as you can see,
it was a present for my father, but I found it just a few weeks ago
on the top of a wardrobe
in our family home, and it was wrapped up in brown paper.
I didn't know what on earth it was, opened it up
and thought it looked as if it had never been played with. So this box
has remained unopened since your father put it away...
As far as I know, yes, yes.
..in the Edwardian period?
Probably. So your father was Ernest, and we have it here, and this was given at Christmas,
probably early 1900s? He was born in 1902.
See the very formal way that that was addressed to your child.
I know, incredible.
Well, this box is probably the best-condition box
I've ever seen from that period. I mean, it's immaculate.
It was obviously made in Bavaria and then retailed in London.
Right. And this was a very grand model village. This is a big box.
Yes. So you found it on top of the wardrobe, you took it down,
got it out of its brown paper.
Yes. And did you put it together? No. You didn't?
Terrified to touch it.
You didn't put it together?
No, I just looked to see what the pieces were
and thought I'd better leave it alone.
I hope you don't mind,
but I couldn't resist putting it together.
So I think I'm going to get some of the chaps to bring it in.
Oh, right. Oh, so it's not in the box?
It's not in the box, no. It's no longer in the box.
Oh, it's lovely, isn't it?
Beautiful. Yes. Thank you.
Isn't it lovely? Yes. So what do you think?
I think it's beautiful, yes, very nice indeed.
It's amazing. Yes. The condition of this is staggering.
I don't know if your father was just an incredibly well-behaved,
good little Edwardian boy!
Well, he did look after things, I know,
but this really looks as if it hasn't been played with, doesn't it?
Well, I think possibly at that period, he would be told
to look after it very well
and he was probably only allowed to put it together very carefully.
Right. But look at the detail of it,
these wonderful houses,
the animals, the people.
Lovely. And look at the train. I know.
Well, spectacular condition. And valuation?
I think this would easily sell to a collector
for ?800, ?1,000.
It's fabulous. Yes.
So you're obviously a fan of Clarice Cliff.
Yes. I mean, there's no question, it's marked Clarice Cliff.
It is, yes.
It's marked Clarice Cliff. It's fairly obvious.
So where did you find them?
That one on a car-boot, and this one at an antique fair.
What did you pay for that one at the antique fair?
That one was ?50. And this one, at the car-boot sale? 12.
I've kind of got some good and some bad news.
What would you like first, the good or the bad news?
Oh, dear. I'll have the bad news first.
Right. It's this one.
Yeah? It might say "Bizarre by Clarice Cliff" on the bottom.
Yeah. It does say "hand painted", and it is hand painted.
Yeah. But it was never anywhere near Clarice Cliff. It's a fake.
Oh. That's not so good then, is it?
There is a version of the Antiques Roadshow in China. Yeah.
And if a fake comes on the Antiques Roadshow, they get a hammer, and they smash the fake live on air.
Do they? Has anybody got a hammer?
No, you're not going to do that, are you?
This is the BBC, we'd never do that. But sadly, it's a fake.
The reason I wanted to show it is because it's important
that people see what's wrong with them. The colouring is wrong.
Yeah. The painting's wrong. And the mark,
the mark is too...
you see how the mark really sort of sits hard on the surface.
And also as I kind of catch the light there,
it's very harsh-looking.
In fact, if you look at this piece, which is a genuine piece,
you can see...you know, even if you compare those two marks,
they're very different. Yeah, they are, aren't they?
So this is a fake, sadly,
and if we were in China, it would now be in broken bits on the floor.
I'm glad we're not in China.
This isn't a fake. This is a real piece of Clarice Cliff.
It dates to the period
just before the Second World War. Late 1930s. '38, '39.
It's called Mr Fish, and he's a fish wall pocket.
You paid ?50 for him. Yeah. You've made ?100 profit. Oh, very good.
Very good, anyway. Minus the money you paid for that, of course.
That's a shame.
OK, thanks a lot.
Sometimes for me, doing the Antiques Roadshow
is a sort of form of exquisite torture, in ways,
because I see things that I've always wanted
and I know that within the next couple of minutes,
they're going to be whisked away from me again,
and I won't see them again.
And this set of posters, produced during the war, is exactly that.
It's fabulous to see them.
I know why I love them, but I want to know why you love them.
Well, I was first attracted to them...in fact, I didn't see them
because they weren't on display in the bookseller's in Colchester that I got them from
in the early 1980s, but the bookseller and I knew each other
reasonably well by then, and we'd often chatted about his days
in youth when he used to talk to HG Wells and George Bernard Shaw and that sort of thing.
And he must have decided
that I was the sort of person who deserved to own them,
and he sold them to me for the princely sum of ?20.
They're something I feel really attached to,
because they speak of a time when this country was in great danger,
possibly the only country in the world.
I think you've hit upon exactly the most important factor.
It is that feeling of great danger, "careless talk costs lives".
This is propaganda to warn everybody. It's quite a serious point when you think about it.
Don't talk about things, because you never know who's listening to you.
"The walls have ears".
The wallpaper here literally does have ears.
As you can see, there are tiny Hitlers hidden there,
and that is the great link between them all.
You have Hitler and Goering appearing in the most unlikely places
and the most absurd places.
It's seriousness tinged with that sort of great British absurdity
or feeling for the absurd.
And on the top here we have the name of the artist, Fougasse.
Now, that's not his real name, that's a pseudonym.
His real name was Kenneth Cyril Bird.
A fougasse was a particular type of French mine,
and it was an unpredictable mine
that could explode at any given point
and got quite a bad reputation for that.
There's a little bit of absurdity there as well,
because he was the least unpredictable man.
By all accounts, he was quite a sober, sort of sombre,
quiet and calm man,
so completely different from an explosive land mine.
So that side of the absurdity for me really counts as well,
but it's the look.
As well as that humour, it's the look that really attracts me.
They're very much in that Art Deco modernist style,
this use of orange running along here,
the colours, the very simple lines,
the white space,
and this font, it's quite minimal, it's quite modern
and incredibly eye-catching.
And after all, a poster has to be eye-catching
because it's got to be read and noticed.
I think he did a fantastic job designing them. Yes.
There is one with a little bit of additional graffiti, I suppose. Yes.
Someone here has added in some white shading
to the windows and on the shoes here. That needs to be taken away professionally.
Right. That shouldn't be there. It doesn't detract from them.
It doesn't look dreadful and it's not sort of scrawl, which is good.
If that gets done,
because these are in such nice condition,
I could see the set...
Your ?20 turns into somewhere in the region
of ?1,000 to ?1,500 for the set.
Oh, really? As much as that?
Absolutely. Iconic posters.
Generally speaking, if I'm honest,
when somebody comes onto the Roadshow with a cigarette case
that's dented and worn and well used and damaged like this,
what's going through my head is "How can I work out what the scrap value of it is so that I can be polite
"and not suggest that the best thing to do
"is put it into the melting pot?"
But as you well know, your cigarette case
has got some very interesting names around the outside...
Yes. ..which elevates it ever so slightly
above its scrap value.
You can see on the front, it's been presented
to Lieutenant Glover, so is that a relation?
It's Andrea's grandfather.
Your grandfather. Yes. Do you remember him?
No, unfortunately not.
He has been thanked by various people
for looking after them while they were under his care in Malta.
That's right, they were the members
of the Russian aristocracy who were refugees on Malta at the time that he was there.
He must have been very nice to them,
because they've given him not only a cigarette case, but this very handsome
presumably autograph book
or artist's notebook,
which I noticed just a moment ago
had a...five-rouble note tucked into the pages, just to make the point.
But on the book here,
as well as on the box, I can see
that you've got the names of some pretty interesting Russian types.
There's a Tolstoy,
there's a Pushkin, various princes and princesses of White Russian descent
and members of the Romanov family.
Now, you've also brought along a certificate, or rather a scroll...
A scroll, yes.
..which is even more exciting.
As we open it up, there's a rather sentimental view of Moscow,
presumably painted by memory from one of the aristocrats
who has presented it "to Lieutenant Glover
"in kind remembrance of the Russian refugees of St George's",
which of course is in Malta. September 1919.
And on this scroll, we've got the names of all sorts of interesting
and eminent White Russians. We've got a general,
a lieutenant general, we've got princes,
countesses, princesses, all sorts of Russian luminaries' names,
and I noticed a name down here - Oblensky,
Prince and Princess Oblensky, who also crop up on your cigarette case,
who I discovered had a son who went on to play
rugby football for England. Right!
Now, I don't know how much you know
about the circumstances of the White Russians
who ended up in Malta under the kind care of your grandfather.
Just simply that they were part of the Russian Revolution.
They were in danger
and the British ships went to evacuate them
and evacuated them to Malta,
and therefore they were refugees there.
Yes, and a lot of White Russian nobles,
obviously generals in the army, chiefs of staff and politicians
and others that were in danger under the Bolsheviks
who had their card marked and their names on a very dangerous blacklist,
made their way gradually south during 1918 and 1919
until they got down as far as Crimea,
down to Yalta, where they were collected by the navy,
before getting to Malta.
And now the interest from descendants of White Russians
and from Russians in general
in this period of Russian history is enormous.
It is a stunning historical record that has fallen into your hands
through your grandfather's care,
and I'm sure it was very well deserved.
I'm staggered by it,
and slightly at a loss to know how to value something like this. Treated as a group,
I would suggest
that it ought to make, in a sale, somewhere between,
say, ?8,000 and ?10,000.
Oh, my goodness!
But, you know, with the amount of money
sloshing around with the descendants of White Russians, the sky's the limit.
It could even make somewhat more than that.
Wow. That's amazing, we had no idea.
No. It's been in a wardrobe for the last...
well, 50, 60 years, a lot of years, yes, yes.
A lot of years. Goodness.
Got a great piece of local history here.
This is a handkerchief or a scarf,
and it's about the Suffragette movement. Emmeline Pankhurst was a local lass.
This was printed in 1918,
and it's looking forward to what it hopes women will have achieved
in 1981, so women's rights in 1981. What's fantastic
is quite how many of these things have come to pass. So, look here.
Army captain. Rank and file.
And then a woman barrister, which of course we have now.
And then my particular favourite.
"Minding baby." Now, I reckon we've still got a bit of a way to go on that one,
eh, ladies? Anyway, from Manchester Town Hall, until next time, bye-bye.
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