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Today, we've brought our team of experts to the heart of rural England,
just down the river from Shakespeare's home town of Stratford-upon-Avon.
This is Charlecote Park,
a perfect backdrop for this Roadshow special,
as the BBC celebrates Shakespeare.
But did England's greatest playwright
ever visit these grounds, with their beautiful deer?
Well, apparently he did - but not by invitation.
Welcome to the Antiques Roadshow from Warwickshire.
Many distinguished visitors have been welcomed
here at Charlecote Park, including Elizabeth I.
But a visit by Shakespeare in the 1580s was rather less auspicious.
The story goes that he was caught red-handed poaching deer
belonging to the local landowner, Sir Thomas Lucy.
Herds of fallow deer still graze on land which has been
the seat of the Lucy family since at least the 12th century.
And while Shakespeare was living down river,
Sir Thomas was building one of the first great Elizabethan houses of the age.
The turrets and gatehouse and heraldic stained glass
all proclaimed his pride in his ancient lineage.
It was in this Great Hall that Sir Thomas was knighted
and where he proudly greeted Queen Elizabeth in 1572
when she visited Charlecote.
11 years later, in this same room,
Shakespeare was brought before Sir Thomas -
then a resident magistrate - to answer for his poaching crime.
Although there's no official record of what happened,
it's likely he was fined, possibly flogged,
and threatened with banishment.
And it wasn't long afterwards that Shakespeare left Warwickshire
and headed for London to seek his fortune.
And the rest is history.
But years later, he took his revenge
by portraying Sir Thomas as the pompous buffoon Justice Shallow
in The Merry Wives Of Windsor.
Shallow says to Falstaff, "Knight, you have beaten my men,
"killed my deer and broke open my lodge,"
just as Shakespeare had been accused of doing.
He pokes fun at Shallow's pride in his ancestors
and in his coat of arms - three pikes,
the same as the arms of the Lucy family.
Despite their shaky start, the Lucy family and Shakespeare
enjoyed a close connection down the years, with descendants of Sir Thomas
happily retelling the story of the poaching incident ever since.
Did it really happen?
You'll have to make your own minds up.
Shortly, some of our experts will reveal their favourite objects
from the era of Elizabethan England.
But let's get our own bit of theatre under way
with the Antiques Roadshow.
This vibrant watercolour
by the great Victorian painter Robert Walker Macbeth
is titled A Fen Flood
and reminds me of all the great floods perhaps two years ago
where people were desperately trying to get out of their lovely village houses,
getting away from all the water.
But, of course, it's painted in about 1880,
so it's over 130 years ago.
Tell me a little bit about the painting, some history.
It belonged to an aunt and I was given it a couple of years ago
and I just always remember it being on her wall,
and over the years the lady that you see here
-I used to find quite sinister, actually, as a child.
And it was only as I got older
that I've kind of really appreciated the picture.
But I used to spend many sort of Sunday tea-times sitting on the sofa
and actually looking up at it,
because it's got so much depth and vibrancy to it,
you see something new every time you look at it.
Well, it's very illustrative
and it's lovely that it's lived with the family for so long,
-and you now have it.
Erm, do you know much about Robert Walker Macbeth?
I know that he was a Royal Academician,
sort of late-19th century, but I don't really know any more.
He was a Scottish watercolourist as well.
That's right, so he was born in Scotland,
but he's not really that well known as a Scottish artist.
He, really, was better known as a London painter,
but one of the great watercolourists of his time.
But also a fabulous oil painter too, and he was really known
as one of the sort of fabulous ruralist painters.
Whereas a lot of artists painted great industrial scenes,
he was out there painting the beautiful countryside
that we still see on a lovely summer's day.
This is very vibrant and crisp in colour
and it's a great example of his work.
And of course you can see the ferry on the left-hand side,
who's about to come and pick them up and I'm sure you can almost sense
he anxiety on their faces, that they want to get away from the floods.
Yes, the two children just there, definitely, clinging onto...
-I assume it's their mother.
Now, he exhibited so many pictures, he was a busy artist,
he exhibited over 120 pictures at the Royal Academy,
became very, very wealthy, he had a house in Carlton Hill in London.
But also in about 1880, 1870-1880, he moves to Lincolnshire,
where this is probably painted.
And paintings were done on a vast scale,
so this is probably a watercolour study for a great oil painting.
-So we come to value.
Like I say, this is an artist I certainly admire - I have a little print at home,
but an original watercolour is very rare to see.
This is certainly going to be worth £3,000 to £5,000.
Excellent. Oh, fantastic.
Yes, we'll have to make sure that it has pride of place now,
and make sure we have a big enough hook on the wall to hang it up, so thank you very much.
It's a great pleasure.
Well, a slightly odd question, but I have to ask you -
have you ever gone picking mushrooms?
No, no, I haven't.
Then I have to ask you, what made you pick this?
Well, it was part of my nan's estate when she passed away,
my mother gave us the option of choosing an item from that estate,
and I chose the vase simply because it's very pretty
and it reminds me of my nan every time I look at it.
Really? So was there any discussions about it at the time, who, what, why, or...
No, nothing whatsoever,
it was just literally a case of looking round the house
and seeing which took our fancy, really.
Well, I think to those looking,
it will come as no great surprise that what we're holding,
or what I'm holding, is a fantastic piece of work
by none other than William Moorcroft,
and it's obviously, through the tube lining
and through the decoration and through the form and everything,
just sings about what he's doing, and what he does so well.
But this is for me slightly more than just that,
it's just that little bit more special,
because it's a combination of factors -
its pattern, its colour, and actually, underneath,
we've got a fantastic mark there which says, "Made for Liberty & Co.
"W. Moorcroft Design."
And what we're looking at really is a combination of all these
that pull together to a really good example of Moorcroft's work.
The pattern is actually called Claremont, but one step
further than that, it's actually celadon Claremont,
which dates from sort of 1915-1920 sort of period,
it's that latter part of that era.
It's a very distinctive colourway
that was manufactured specifically for Liberty.
So all of this adds up to something really quite special.
-And where does it live in the home?
-It sits on a bureau,
in a rather modern-decorated house
and it just goes really well.
And do you know, where did Gran acquire it?
She was passed it by her sister when she passed away,
and, actually, she never actually liked it,
but it was just something that she kept obviously
to remind her of her sister as well.
Well, I don't suppose mushrooms and fungi and all that kind of thing are everybody's cup of tea,
but I tell you what though, it is actually the cup of tea for quite a few people,
and that brings me to the point of this, which is, if we were to go and replace it, where would we be?
Well, you're going to have to go out
with at least the best part of £4,000 in your pocket.
Right. OK, thank you very much. That's very very nice to know.
-Hopefully it will remind you of this day as well, it's been a real treat to see. Thank you.
It almost seems a shame that, looking at this clock
in this magnificent sunlight today,
and the gilt ormolu glinting off the sun, it seems a shame
that it spends most of its life sitting on a mantelpiece
or on a sideboard.
-Or in a cupboard.
-Or in a cupboard?
-That's a disgrace! That's dreadful!
Are you a fan of it?
Because I know an awful lot of people that just simply think it's too brash.
I love it, my wife doesn't,
that's why it gets in the cupboard I think, yes.
-That's dreadful. Are you into flash cars as well?
Do you know, I thought so. What do you know about it?
My parents bought it in the '70s,
paid about £400 for it, so it's a family heirloom.
And do you remember where it sat in the house?
-It used to sit on a chest in the house, prime place.
-Yes, yes it was.
-Pride and joy?
-It was, yes.
You can just imagine their pride and joy. What do you know of him?
-I believe he's Archimedes and that's his bath.
-And this interesting plaque down the bottom?
-I don't know anything about that.
So I can tell you something about it.
-Yes you can, yes, yeah.
-At least, I can say something about it.
Archimedes - mathematician, astronomer,
scientist extraordinaire, and this scene here is,
he's sitting at his desk in Syracuse as the Romans invade
and Cicero has specifically said to the centurions,
"Do not harm Archimedes."
-And one Roman ran in and immediately executed him, sitting at his table.
Or at least that's how the mythology goes.
And with it, one of the greatest minds of all time.
This is a clock that is absolutely typical of the Empire period
from about 1820.
The peak of the French glitz,
and it was highly desirable both in France and in England.
And, stylistically, you have this bold foliate moulding
and bold anthemion feet
and a similar design all the way round the pedestal case
-with a white enamel dial.
And Roman and Arabic numerals,
and the signature in the centre -
"Ledure, Bronzier A' Paris" - this is him, this is the bronzier -
-because the most important part of this clock is the bronze.
And the marble and the effect that it's giving, not the clockmaker.
A French-made clock, obviously,
and the movement is of no particular note.
What we're looking at here
is a wonderful, wonderful piece of sculpture,
magnificent in anyone's drawing room.
Overpowering to most people, I suspect,
and my wife wouldn't have it in the house, I can tell you that,
but I would love to own it myself.
But now we have to talk about its value.
At auction, it's got to be worth between £4,000 and £6,000.
That's great, it's slightly more than I thought,
but, yeah, nice to know the value.
This plain little volume
contains something of Charlecote interest I do believe.
It does, it does. It's a lovely little strip cartoon.
Now, if we open it up, we can have a little look at what we've got here.
We can see that it tells a tale.
And it tells a tale of Shakespeare's exploits here at Charlecote.
If we take this panel in particular, we have the young Shakespeare
with his crossbow shooting the deer on Lord Lucy's land at Charlecote.
Now this is a Shakespeare legend, is it not?
It's one of the very earliest legends relating to Shakespeare's life.
And there is some evidence that it may actually be true
because it comes from several different accounts in the 18th century.
-So it may just be true.
Well, this item - this panorama - was published mid-19th century,
round about the 1850 mark,
so we can go back that far, as far as the legend is concerned.
-Let's have a closer look at it, and try and work out the wording,
-which is sort of Victorian-Elizabethan speak, isn't it?
I'll do my best.
Then it goes on, "Hys apprehension, therefore..."
-But he gets his own back, doesn't he, Shakespeare?
-Before he gets cast off the land,
he writes a little ditty on the gates of Charlecote.
"Hys Disgust thereat, and no less wayward revenge..."
"..of my Lord Lucy an Epistle
"the which is not complimentary."
It's a lovely little strip cartoon, isn't it?
You own this item?
-Yes, this is part of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust's library.
And we bought it about 12 years ago as a complete mystery item.
We didn't know what it was, who made it, when it was made,
but we just loved it because it's such a lovely little item.
Little item. Well it's typical of the period, it's, as I say,
mid-Victorian, mid-19th century, bit of publishing nonsense really.
It's a panorama that goes some four or five feet in length,
-it has no publishing details on it at all.
Not an artist, not a publisher, not a date.
But if we go back to the front cover,
if we can fold it up very carefully...
-That one goes there, if we go back to the front cover.
-You see round the edges, this is fading.
I think that would have had a complete printed label on it,
I think that would have told us everything about the item we need to know.
-But it's, as I say, fairly typical, I've seen this sort of thing before.
-Value's not great, £150-£200 in auction perhaps, something like that.
But it's a real delight to see it today in the place of reference, really.
-Yes. Thank you.
-Thanks for coming along today.
Thank you very much.
Confirmation, then, of some truth to our opening story.
We thought it fitting, on the outskirts of Stratford,
to ask some of our team to select a favourite object from Shakespearean days.
We can always rely on jewellery man Geoffrey Munn to find something.
Well, sometimes on the Antiques Roadshow, I say that I'm raising ghosts
and by bringing this little object today, I think it is a ghost.
And I've chosen something that I think is enormously evocative of Shakespearean England.
It's not only a memento mori, but it's also a pomander,
it's to be loaded with scent.
It's there as a talisman against the plague
and it was normal for people to carry these around
as the only protection they had
from the most terrifying spectacle of death.
William Shakespeare's period was absolutely dogged by plague
and in 1608, there was this simply terrible plague
ripping through London, and people left in fear of their lives.
It's a tiny box,
if you like, you open it up and it reveals four compartments
which are labelled on the other side with initials. We can only guess what those initials mean.
Having bought them from the alchemist,
you put little waxy pellets into there
and it's like a cocktail of magic, really.
Inside here would be a sponge soaked in rose-water
and the scent would come through the front.
When you held it to your nose, like this,
you would not only have a way of covering unpleasant odours
associated with disease,
but you'd have a reminder of the fact that you were alive.
Death is everywhere in his dramas,
there are 15 mentions of skulls
that he uses to bring out the plot
in some of his most famous tragedies.
In a sense, it says everything about the human condition,
it says everything about William Shakespeare too,
who brilliantly articulated where we are in life in The Tempest
when he said that, "We are such stuff as dreams are made on,
"and our little life is rounded with a sleep."
Our very own poet, Geoffrey Munn,
with a spooky reminder from Shakespeare's England.
More Elizabethan remnants later, but back now to the Roadshow.
Well, this is a great moment for me, actually holding an Olympic torch.
How did it come into your possession?
It came into my possession
because my father carried it from Bletchley to Dorking in 1948.
-So, for the London Olympics.
-For the London Olympics. I was five years old at the side of the road.
-Do you remember it?
-Not very well, no.
Just vaguely, but I've seen this all my life in my father's house
and then, eventually, it came to me.
Well, if we look at it, it says,
-"XIV Olympiad 1948, Olympia, with thanks to the bearer."
So he must have been a very good athlete.
He was a very good athlete, he was a Surrey quarter-mile champion.
Here he is, holding the torch just before it was lit
and obviously we treasure this photograph very much indeed.
So you should, and it's wonderful to have this Olympic torch here,
-and you have it on display at home?
-We do have it at home, yes.
Well, it's a wonderful piece of sporting memorabilia.
There would be a number of keen collectors for a piece such as this
and I think if it came up at auction,
it would probably fetch somewhere between £2,000 and £3,000.
I think we'd better take very, very great care of it.
So you should, but hopefully it will stay in the family.
-It definitely will stay in the family.
And we have it, because we have two sons.
-Well, can I just dream for a moment longer?
Thank you very much for bringing it in, wonderful.
There's two things that get me excited
when I see a piece of jewellery - if it has a fitted box,
and the other is when I see the person wearing beautiful jewels,
so you obviously appreciate jewellery.
I love jewellery, yes, yes.
And so can you tell me how you got this?
Well I found it at an antiques fair, a little local one.
It was in amongst a load of, you know, ordinary costume jewellery.
And how much was the ticket on it?
I can't remember exactly, but it wouldn't have been very much,
£2 or £3, less than a fiver.
Less than £5, and when was this?
Within the last year or so, yes.
-Within the last year.
Well, fantastic. So what did you do, then?
Well, I didn't think it was anything very exciting
until one day I put it on the side,
and I saw the sun catching the back.
-And I ...
Yes, like today,
-and I thought it might be something better.
So I took it back to an antiques fair to ask a jeweller,
I told her the story and she said,
"Would you like me to test it for you?
"I've got a machine," so I said, "Oh, yes, please."
-A machine to test what?
-To test the diamonds.
And it went "ping" and then it went "ping" and she was getting...
Is that what happens at these stone testings?
-I must get one.
Musical diamonds, yes.
And everybody, you know, they were all agog
because she said, you know, it was perhaps worth quite a bit.
But I've come to you to tell me what the metal is
and what period it is and all the information about it.
Excellent, right. Well, I mean to tell you all I can.
It is 1905.
It is platinum.
-Ah, ah, now why did you go, "Ah?"
Because they weren't sure what white metal it was.
Right, well, you see, white gold came out a lot later.
Ah, I didn't know that.
And also, what is really indicative of this period
is this millegrain setting, and if you look around -
-and these are diamonds - the musical detector was right.
They are all diamonds and you've got this millegrain setting
around each of the stones, tiny little bobbles.
I'd noticed that, but I didn't know what it was.
-Ah, no, well that's very typical of the Edwardian period.
Because platinum, you were able to pierce it all out and you could just get, you know,
-the diamonds look like they're suspended in lace.
-Yes, that's right.
You know, it's so delicate, because before then it was silver
and it was quite heavy and chunky, and silver tarnished, and it was soft,
whereas platinum is a much harder material
and so they didn't need so much metal around to hold the diamonds.
So that's why it's so light.
That's why it's so light, because also the dresses were light.
-The materials were lighter in the Edwardian period than in the end of the Victorian era.
And if I turn over here,
what is lovely is that you've got these hexagonal settings
and you can see that each one has been pierced out by hand in a hexagonal shape,
and that is a sign of quality as well, and it's absolutely lovely.
I think it's so stunning.
So, I mean value, £2-£3?
Mm, less than a fiver.
Oh, less than a fiver.
Well, I would like to say that you would probably, at auction,
you're looking at around about £2,000.
-I shall be frightened to wear it, won't I?
-I mean, it's absolutely beautiful
and it's so quintessentially Edwardian period and it's lovely.
-Oh that's wonderful.
-So do enjoy it.
-Thank you, thank you very much.
-Thank you for coming.
This has to be the ultimate in trench art.
It's a model of a First World War tank,
one of the very first tanks that served in the Somme in 1916,
but why have you got it?
Well, it was made by our grandfather -
because we're sisters -
and he made it while he was serving in the Royal Tank Corps
in northern France and so that's how we came by it. Yes.
-So it was passed down to you from your grandfather?
And he served in one of these tanks,
in a full-sized version of one of these?
-It's probably one of the best examples I've ever seen.
-So I guess he must have been an engineer.
Yes, he was an engineer, yes, he had to keep the tanks operating,
so he would be there on the front line,
but he made this from bits of metal
that he would have picked up as he was working on the tanks
and he made it as his souvenir of his experience in the war.
Well, he was a fantastic model maker, I can certainly say that.
The real one, of course, is considerably bigger,
it weighs about 28 tons, it's a huge beast,
and do you know what life was like inside these tanks?
I can't imagine. I can imagine it was horrendous.
It was horrible, you know, the carbon monoxide,
all the fumes from the engine,
the poor soldiers would be inhaling them for hours on end
and they'd be sick, they'd be ill, they'd be passing out.
It was the most appalling way to serve your army career.
But, you know, these tanks really helped the British war effort.
They instilled terrifying fear into the Germans
the first time they saw them. And tanks were male and female.
-Did you know that?
The female tank had machine guns
and the male tank had six-pounder naval guns
and this has got two six-pounder naval guns,
so it's known as a male tank.
But as an object of trench art,
it's actually quite desirable.
It does have a value.
People collect trench art
and that really is an extreme version of trench art.
I guess the fact you've got a beautiful object,
you've got a photograph of him, the man who made it,
I should think anyone who collects it
would probably pay certainly £300 to £400 for it.
It's a wonderful, wonderful object.
That's marvellous. It's something that we shall keep,
I mean, it's something that we would like to keep in the family, you know. Very special.
-Yes, very special, yes.
-Thank you so much, it's really a beautiful object.
-Thank you, thank you very much.
You know, it's extraordinary.
As soon as we put this table down on the grass, look at the crowd,
look at the number of people who've come to admire it.
-Isn't that amazing?
And they feel... Obviously, they love it, and how do you feel about it?
Well, I love it, I cherish and polish it every now and again
and we've had dinner parties round it,
but very careful dinner parties.
Well, I don't think you need to be, it's certainly a lovely old top,
I mean, it's an Elizabethan top,
16th-century top, and it extends, right?
Yes, it does, yeah.
They were very, very clever in those days.
There's nothing new in the world, is there?
To think that in the 1550s they had tables they could make bigger
in case extra people came for dinner.
So this is a family piece, presumably?
No. I bought it at an auction.
I was in a long-term relationship
and received an ultimatum that I had to buy a place for us to live in.
-And I duly saved up the deposit for somewhere
but ended up blowing it on the table at an auction.
How did the relationship go?
Well, I ended up being married to the table
rather than the young lady.
But then again, it had better legs.
Well, follow that for a story.
It is, as I say, a marvellous walnut top
which started life as a table top in the Elizabethan period,
there's no question of that, it's a fantastic thing.
Well, I'm just not absolutely confident
about certain bits of the table and whether or not it's all right.
OK, let's start with the legs.
They're wonderful, it's called a cup-and-cover turning,
and it, again, is an Elizabethan pattern. It reflected -
if you look at the table - it reflected the costume of the time.
-The pantaloons, the puff sleeves with slits in.
But the lobes are slightly offset and they're all sort of misshapen.
-Now, imagine when this was new, it cost probably,
the original would have cost in the region of £30,000 or £40,000 in the Elizabethan times.
-A man making that had to be precise.
It had to be immaculate
and that's how old furniture, Elizabethan furniture, should look.
But the Victorians thought, to make it look old, it had to look primitive.
-If it was smart, it would look new.
And this is a frame from the latter part of the 19th century,
and when you start to look at it, it doesn't quite tie together.
Imagine this is oak,
the number of hobnail boots would have to have
scraped on that rail to make it look like that.
-It never happened that way.
I mean there aren't enough feet in history to have done that
to a table rail, OK? And then we come round,
and if we look at the side here,
the chequerboard inlay -
the chevron inlays - they did that in the 16th century,
but it wouldn't have got grubby like that,
because there's no reason for it to have got dirty, so what you've got
is a very expensive reproduction frame for a fabulous top.
Can I ask you, then, how much you paid for it?
Oh, I dread to say now.
My girlfriend will have her revenge, I think, now.
It was 16,000.
If you could find an old one...
There isn't an old one like this really on the market.
There may be one or two,
-but they are in the region of a 100,000.
If they turn up.
The table is worth £16,000 to £20,000 anyway,
so you paid a fair price,
exactly what the table was worth, and it's a good partnership -
the fact that the table is a marriage is nothing to do with it.
Did it have...? May I ask you, did it have a romantic happy ending?
Well, it did eventually, because by virtue of buying this table,
I met my current wife and we've got two beautiful daughters, so...
Oh, wonderful, wonderful.
Well, I wish you many very happy meals on it.
Thank you very much.
'That table top was created in Shakespeare's lifetime.
'Curiously, perhaps, Roadshow veteran John Bly
'rarely sees pieces of such antiquity.'
It is surprising to most people that we don't see
a lot of pure, authentic Elizabethan furniture.
But we don't - it's very scarce, it's very rare.
What we do see on nearly every programme in 34 years
is this type of furniture, which is the 19th-century version.
This is the Victorians' idea of Elizabethan furniture.
This is a family piece, presumably?
'That piece was a perfect example of an old top on a later base.
'That was the Victorians' idea'
of an Elizabethan table.
Now, Elizabethan furniture of that type was so expensive,
it had to look immaculate.
They used seasoned timber
and the most expensive craftsmen to produce it.
No cracks in the timber, and no irregularities in the carving,
it just didn't work.
When you start to look at it, it doesn't quite tie together.
But, of course, people of Shakespeare's class
wouldn't have got anywhere near that quality table.
They would have had fine furniture -
good, elegant but simpler furniture,
functional, and it would have been made of fruit wood,
could have been made of ash or elm, and softer timbers generally,
and so it hasn't lasted as long,
and so because of that rarity, it is now collectors' class,
and equally exciting to me to find anything from that period.
And John tells us he'd love nothing more
than to see a genuine example of a fine or rustic
piece of Elizabethan furniture at a future Roadshow.
We can help you bring large pieces to the show
if you contact us in advance.
These two oil paintings of Venice have the most extraordinary detail.
They date to about 1870.
Now, tell me, I'm just amazed by the quality of these little pictures.
Tell me your history.
Well, my grandma,
when she was 19, was taken to Venice by her parents as a treat
and they evidently bought them for her, as a present,
so that was 1910-ish.
They were an industrialist family, created fine linen,
and they had quite a lot of paintings and things
and they obviously liked these
and thought they would be a memento, I think.
I mean, an extraordinary gift for 1910 -
that was quite a grown-up gift at the time.
I'm amazed by the detail of these pictures -
all the figures, all the architecture and, of course,
Venice is one of my favourite places that I've travelled to.
Have you been there too?
My parents took me when I was... Well, in 1994.
Yes, it's lovely, it is very nice.
It's the most unbelievable place.
Now, certainly the picture at the top is unsigned.
But there is an indistinct signature
lower right on the St Mark's Square picture.
I've never been able to decipher that.
I don't know whether you can do any better.
-Have you heard of a family called the Grubacs Family?
There's two artists, there's an artist -
an Italian artist, of course - Carlo Grubacs and Giovanni Grubacs.
Giovanni was born in 1829 and lived up to about 1919
so that ties in perfectly with your trip you were discussing.
And they're incredibly sought-after.
I mean, little pictures like this -
such incredible detail, lovely original condition -
I mean, a real treat for me to see these, actually.
And highly, highly commercial.
Good. I'm not going to sell them,
they've been in the family a long time
and they would stay in the family.
£10,000 to £15,000.
Well, we value them...
-Yes, that's a lot of money!
-You've done your research?
-I think I have. I hope so.
"Dear Sir, thank you for your letter of June 19th.
"Your vase is a unique piece painted in 1900 by CF Liisberg..."
There is Liisberg's signature right there.
"..one of our best artists, and sent to the world exhibition in Paris
"the same year, where it was sold for 2,000 Danish crowns."
Well, first of all, I have to declare an interest -
it comes from my home city.
-So I'm disposed towards it.
-What about you?
-We are very disposed to it as a family.
The family found a premises in Sheep Street, in Stratford -
and then what does the family do? It goes to the broom cupboard
and believe it or not,
a very, very dirty, beautiful piece of porcelain.
So we scrubbed it up and just couldn't believe our eyes,
and that was 1964.
So it's a real discovery.
-A real discovery.
-The classic broom cupboard.
Now from that letter - which was written to you by the curator
of the Royal Copenhagen Archive - we've established that it was made
-for the Great Paris Exhibition in the year 1900.
I'm going to look at this as a piece of design.
First of all, swans -
well, which other bird would you associate with Scandinavia?
-Other than swans? I mean, Hans Christian Andersen...
-..has the story about the swans,
and the swans represent each of the countries of Scandinavia today.
Here, we've got nine swans crossing what I would say
is a highly recognisable Danish coastline
with all those granite rocks in the foreground
and this rather stormy sky.
But if you just rotate this vase,
you'll see how skilful the design is.
It really does have that wonderful, wonderful movement.
And these fabulous pigments, these underglaze pigments -
in other words, when you rub your hand across the vase,
-you can't actually feel the pigments.
-No, no, you can't.
-This is something that Copenhagen is famous for.
And a designer called Arnold Krog
-was head of the workshops in Copenhagen in the 1870s-1880s.
And at this stage, Japanese design is flooding into Europe
and is having a huge effect on all the artists,
including people like Van Gogh, who start using Japanese motifs.
-And what do we see here?
We see Copenhagen using - at the very bottom -
this wonderful, very, very Japanese wave style.
These great international exhibitions,
which started off, of course, in London
-with the Great Exhibition of 1851...
..and were held regularly thereafter, these were the moments when the world got to know itself.
And it's when the Japanese came along with their pottery
to show Europeans what they were doing, and it's when the Danes
went along with their porcelain to show the rest of the world as well,
and they showed them just what could be done
with all of these underglaze pigments.
But what would you get for it if you sold it?
That's the question. It's an exhibition piece.
I think you would certainly get somewhere between £8,000
and maybe £12,000.
Thank you very much indeed.
But we're not going to - it's in the family.
What else was in the broom cupboard?
This gorgeous rose bowl is an example of silver
that doesn't really exist these days,
or is extremely rare these days,
which is a private commission where somebody goes to the silversmith
and has something made up, absolutely to their order.
The coat of arms on the front - somebody's...
-perhaps somebody related to you?
Your great-uncle who was - by looking at the coat of arms I can tell -
-He was indeed, yes.
And his baron's coronet.
He's gone to see the silversmith,
one Mr Omar Ramsden,
and he's made up a special order
-with various other emblems on it that relate to your ancestor.
It would have been a very expensive piece of silver at the time.
Omar Ramsden has engraved on the bottom "Omar Ramsden me fecit",
which means "Omar Ramsden made me", which he didn't.
Omar Ramsden was a silversmith
but was also a brilliant salesman,
And evidence of his salesmanship, I think, can be seen
-from the paperwork in front of us here.
We've got a photograph of the almost-finished article.
It hasn't got its grille in the top to take the flowers.
And he said on the card that goes with it, "With the compliments
"of Omar Ramsden. The actual work will be finished next week."
Now, I might be wrong, but it's quite possible that the reason
he sent this along was to get a pre-payment, perhaps.
-For the finished work.
This sort of silver doesn't get made in any sort of quantity these days
because it's simply too expensive
and there aren't sufficient silversmiths working
to bring the price down to a reasonable level,
so private commissions are rare.
Omar Ramsden made this in 1935, just four or five years before he died,
and it's the end of an era, really, for private commissions.
Bits of Omar Ramsden silver this size
are quite scarce and there is an enormous collectors' market for it.
Although he's not made the work himself necessarily,
the people working for him were very, very good
and there are some quite famous names in the silversmithing world
who were his apprentices at the time.
As a consequence, it's really quite a valuable piece of silver.
I don't know if you've ever thought about what the value might be.
Never, and it would probably never leave the family
since it's clearly got your family's arms.
But what I can tell you is that with the enthusiasm
for Omar Ramsden silver among collectors,
that if you walked into a shop and tried to buy it,
you would be charged at least £20,000 for it.
I won't sell it.
I'd hang on to it.
It's probably not going to go down in price any time soon.
Looks lovely with little carnations in it, super.
Well, look at all this gold in the sunlight, gleaming away.
Tell me about its history with you.
Well, the history is that these objects came from Somalia -
Somaliland - and it came from our ancestry,
passed through my father and then my father passed away,
and since then I've had them,
but I didn't know where to take them to get the history.
But all I know is they're 22-carat gold, 280 grams,
-the bigger one, and the other one is also a 22-carat gold.
And isn't there some relationship between this shard of pottery here?
Were they found in this pot?
They were found in the pot with a dagger
and a few other silver chains, some rings, quite a few items together.
And sort of buried, literally buried treasure, really, isn't it?
-It is a buried treasure.
This chain here is made from a technique
called loop-in-loop chain work,
which comes from deepest antiquity.
It's exactly the same technique as used by the ancient Greeks
-in the 3rd century BC.
And it continues to be used today.
It's made by making thin gold wires
and then almost working them up like needlework,
and there is a sense that this is rather like a textile, isn't it?
It's very movable. And this is a much more massy and heavy affair,
-really, with all kinds of small gold links soldered together.
And so in a way, these are very valuable status symbols.
The original owner probably had these things to let people know
that he was a highly successful individual
and more accurately that his wife
was a highly successful individual
and that they could accumulate this gold -
not only could they afford it, but they could also protect it.
And it seems to me that protection is part of all of this,
that somewhere along the line, somebody was in trouble
and they buried this gold in the ground,
and wanted to come back for it.
And this is very much the theme of treasure,
that it's hidden away, it's a sort of form of banking and the only key
is try to remember where you buried it, and also to get back to do it.
-And clearly this person who buried those
didn't succeed in getting back, and I can't - I can only imagine
your father's surprise and delight to unearth this gold.
-Gold is absolutely incorruptible - this is nearly pure gold.
And if it had lain in the soil for 20 million years,
it would come up looking the same, and in a way
that's part of the magnetism that these sort of objects have,
that this rich gold alloy has. Well, there's a huge tradition
-for working gold and for mining gold in Africa.
And we see it in great splendour in the Benin civilisation
-and the Ashanti civilisation.
-But my instinct is,
although this is a very ancient technique indeed,
that it's not a particularly ancient object,
and I'd be surprised if it dated
-much before the 18th or 19th century.
And if we're talking only about the gold content -
which is a travesty really,
you wouldn't dream of melting them - but if that had happened,
you could walk away with your treasure, your bullion,
to a value of £10,000, which astounds me actually,
and then add a little bit more -
perhaps not a great deal more for the historical context
because I'm not sure that that's a huge focus here -
but it does tell us the extraordinary relationship
between man and this noble gold, gleaming metal
that's incorruptible, is the same at the beginning of time
as at the end, and you're part of it.
-Excited by it?
I've never got any expert opinion other than first time today.
Well, I hope this is an expert one, but I'm not sure about it.
-But it's an opinion.
-I didn't expect this, but thank you.
It did belong to my husband,
and he was given it through a gentleman that he worked with,
and he had it cleaned and he did wear it a couple of times
because of the history - not that it was German,
but relating to the Battle of Britain.
So your husband, how did he acquire it?
A gentleman at work, one of his colleagues,
he asked him if he would be interested in an old watch,
and my husband did like watches and clocks.
And it was among all the tools. And he'd got it off his father...
-..and it was in the toolbox forever.
-And he hoiked it out and then he...
-He just passed it over to Ricky.
It didn't have hands, and Ricky took it to a jeweller in Grantham
and as soon as the jeweller saw it, he said, "Do you want to sell it?"
and Ricky said no.
-Good for him.
-He wanted it to work,
you see, so he wanted it cleaned and he needed new hands,
-but the chap said he couldn't get the original hands.
And he said, "But I'll get as near as I can."
And what do you know about it?
We tried to look up the name, Glashuette.
-That's who made it, but we can't find anything else
because somebody bombed it.
So the factory's gone kaput, so that's all I could find out.
-Right. Well, let me see if we can shed a bit of light on it.
-It is an aviator's watch.
It's more of a navigator's watch.
It's German - but you knew that -
and it dates from around 1942,
made for the German Luftwaffe,
so absolutely - I mean, it could well have been worn
as those bombers came over this country.
The name on the dial is Glashuette, and Glashuette is a town in Germany.
It was the centre of the watchmaking industry near Dresden.
The company that made it was a company called Uhrenfabrik AG.
Uhren - watch, Fabrik - made, and the company was AG.
I think now's the time to point out
that it's not in the best of condition,
but then it wouldn't be, because it's been worn inside a bomber.
Very briefly, what we have is a black enamel dial
with luminous Arabic numerals, and you have the replaced hands,
but actually they've been so beautifully replaced,
if you hadn't told me that, I'd have believed they were original hands.
They're absolutely spot on. So, great job.
But somebody said that there was three hands, is that right?
-There are meant to be three.
Yes. These two buttons are the chronograph buttons,
and that's the stopwatch.
Press that to start it, press that to stop it and that to return it.
But we haven't got a chronograph hand to show that mechanism,
but I'm sure it would work.
The chronograph mechanism is there to time,
presumably from one navigational spot to the next navigational spot.
Yes, I read that.
So, out of a toolbox, given away really, isn't it?
And let's just imagine, for a minute,
that this was on the wrist of a German navigator,
clad in leather, sheepskin-lined jacket
with this strap over the top of his jacket -
that's why they're so large -
whilst cruising over London, Birmingham, Manchester,
bombing the heck out of us.
And that is - I mean that's in all likelihood,
that's where this watch was last practically used.
It's extraordinary, really, when you think about it.
-It really is spooky.
-That's why I won't sell it.
So how fitting, to be in this beautiful Elizabethan garden
and to see this magnificent Elizabethan portrait.
Now, are you the Earl of Leicester?
-No. So how has this ended up in your possession?
-I'm the master of a thing called the Lord Leicester Hospital.
Which is an establishment which he set up in 1571
as a retirement home for old warriors
disabled in the service of Queen Elizabeth.
How amazing! And it's been in that establishment ever since?
It has, and it's still a home for old warriors,
we're still a retirement home for ex-servicemen
and this has been on the wall for we don't know how long!
This is one of the reasons that I'm hoping you're going to help me.
Ah, well, let's look at it.
I mean, it is a superb portrait of Robert Dudley,
the Earl of Leicester.
And of course he was one of the sons of the Duke of Northumberland,
and that of course brought him very close to the royal family,
and it's said that he grew up with Elizabeth I
and eventually Elizabeth took him into the court
and he became a huge favourite. But I like this, it's very intimate,
and I really think it's of the period.
Oh, I'm very pleased because we weren't sure
whether it was genuine or a copy, or a late...
It's certainly of him, he was painted by the greats.
Great miniature painter Nicholas Hilliard painted him.
-But look at the quality, have you seen his beard?
It's incredible, every hair you can see.
It's a fantastic portrait of an extremely important man.
Do you know who it's by?
It's got a label on it, but I'm deeply sceptical of labels.
Anyone can stick a label on anything.
It's by an Italian painter, I think. I don't know how to pronounce it -
-I don't think it's by Zucchero at all.
In style it's rather like a chap called Sir William Segar,
and I think that it's much more in his style,
but because... He was iconic, there are many many portraits of him.
-Have you ever had it valued?
-No, we haven't.
Well, you know, although there are a number of portraits
of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester,
it is quite rare to find things from the Tudor period,
and assuming this is from the Tudor period,
which I feel from looking at today, it is, I would say
it could make between £10,000 and £15,000 at auction.
-So, not bad.
So the great Robert Dudley is still a benefactor of your establishment.
-Very much so, yes.
Well, I'm pleased, and I think he was a good man,
still to look down on you.
We've been fortunate to see objects from Shakespeare's lifetime
here at Charlecote Park, particularly such a sumptuous painting.
Mark Poltimore has chosen a personal favourite from the era.
In my hand, I have - and that's why I'm wearing these gloves -
this very precious and incredibly beautiful
Portrait Of An Unknown Lady by Nicholas Hilliard.
He was one of the first home-grown English artists,
but here we have quite a late portrait from 1605
of this beautiful young lady. If you look at it in detail,
you will see it is absolutely microscopic
and that the jewellery shines out and is so intricate and so delicate.
He often used a weasel or a stoat's tooth,
mounted on a wooden stick, to burnish, to sort of rub,
to bring it out, so it's incredibly bright and beautiful.
He would use very fine brushes made of squirrel's tails.
They really were treated as jewels.
Value is always difficult, but I would have thought
if it came up onto the market,
it would make at least £50,000 to £70,000.
And as only the wealthy were painted in Tudor England, it's believed that
no portrait was painted of Shakespeare in his lifetime.
But if you know better, bring your picture along to a Roadshow.
So, Imperial Russia comes to Warwickshire.
You have a wonderful Russian porcelain cup and saucer.
-Where did you get it?
-I got it about 35 years ago, I think,
at a little antique shop that had a tearoom as well.
-Up near Billingshurst in Sussex.
Right. Do you know anything about it?
-We knew it was Russian.
And we went to the library and had a look at some of the books,
and we came up with Kuznetsov
-and we thought it was the Dulevo factory.
And the book said that the mark was usually done in blue,
but they did gold for special orders.
-But that's really all we know about it.
-I'm redundant, aren't I?
You've done it all. Let's have a look.
You do have this wonderful painted panel,
you have wonderful jewelling - for that's what we call it,
this raised enamel work round the side -
pierced base, all the signs of luxury
-and indeed of a special order.
So I think you're probably right there.
Let's have a look at the mark,
see whether you're right about Kuznetsov - and you are.
-It is a gold mark.
It's likely to be the sign of a special order,
and it was made in the late 19th century.
This mark is in real gold - people often don't appreciate this,
-this is real gold used to gild this mark.
-It doesn't actually look Russian, does it?
It looks... It could be a piece of Coalport or a piece of Meissen,
it doesn't look actually distinctively Russian,
and that might hold it back a bit.
But even then, I think your cup and saucer, £25 35 years ago,
is going to be in the region of £500 or maybe £600 today.
Wow! Lovely, thank you very much.
-Not at all, it's a pleasure.
Well, I reckon that these decanters are a pair of sisters.
What about you guys?
Well, we are two brothers. And my father
bought them many years ago, and when he died, he passed them on
to us separately, so we've had them separately now for about 25 years.
And what do you know about their past?
Where did he get them from? Do you know anything further about them?
He gave us a book - which we've now lost, unfortunately -
and in there it describes the maker, from Stourbridge,
and we're now trying to find that out.
So we will probably find the book one day,
but in the meantime we've got a pair of beautiful decanters
which just sit in the cabinet.
Well, let's have a closer look at what we've got here.
Now, see, I mean this is where glass comes into play. Look at that.
Add light and - magic! Absolutely fantastic.
What I can tell you about them,
I mean, you know, one of the problems about glass
is it doesn't say, "Made by so-and-so," written on it,
and that is inevitably a problem, but I'm pretty sure
these are the work of Thomas Webb and Sons,
and these date, I would think,
to about the glory period of Thomas Webb, about 1870.
And the work is absolutely fantastic.
They're wheel-engraved, I mean you used to take the basic blank
and then the wheel engraver gets to work.
On the reverse, pretty pedestrian.
Ferns - the archetypal motif of Victorian engraving.
So if you like, this is the chalk, but, boy, that's the cheese.
That is just absolutely fantastic.
These must be a quarter-inch deep, cut into the body,
and if you zoom in and look at the feathers,
straining on the angel's wings,
I mean, they're just really very, very good indeed.
-I mean, close to "as good as you get".
I mean they really are - mwah! - peachy, and I love them.
I think these are really pretty. So, value.
I suppose as a pair they're going to be worth a bit more than as singles,
which is always the trouble about splitting pairs,
but these would be a proud part of a stock of any posh antique dealer.
You would certainly not be able to buy them
for any less than £1,200 to £1,500
because they're just such fabulous quality.
-That sounds very good.
-Very nice, very nice indeed.
Very interesting to hear of the history.
When you brought me this box with "National Health Service"
written on it, I thought you'd brought me your heart pills!
I open it, and I think we'll just get rid of the box -
chuck that away - and revealed is this beautiful cameo.
Tell me, how did you get this?
My aunt left it to my mother, and my mother gave it to me.
-Do you know anything about it?
-Not really, no.
Well, I will tell you something about it.
What I loved - I mean, coming out of that box, that was just amazing,
because immediately, it just screams out quality.
I mean it just screams out like a museum piece,
it's absolutely gorgeous.
It's a hardstone cameo of around about 1800.
Now between 1760 and 1820 there was a real revival of Classicism,
and that was because of the archaeological sites
that were being discovered at the time,
and also Napoleon around that time, he was really, he loved cameos.
And what is important with cameos
is the movement and the fineness of the carving.
What they would have, they would have a drill,
and at the end of the drill,
a little lead head would have been impregnated with diamond dust,
and these are layers in the hardstone,
and they would actually start drilling away
to reveal all the different levels
and it would take months and months and years,
and the skill in this was absolutely revered
as the same as an architect or a painter or a sculptor.
So in fact what is really also interesting is that people would...
This is of Apollo, and men would wear these cameos with pride.
It wasn't sort of female adornment, it was really important,
there was this real sense of place and dignity by wearing one of these.
You have here, just on the side here, "Constantini" -
the signature of the engraver, and the stone is sardonyx,
a hardstone, which means that it has layers of different colours,
all the same... It's all the same stone.
The diamonds round the outside are rose-cut diamonds,
and rose cuts means that it has a flat back
but it has a faceted top to it.
Do you have an idea of the value?
Yes, a little bit, well... I was told something.
-What were you told?
-About £800 to £1,000.
-£800 to £1,000.
I think you should have brought those heart pills.
Because I would say that it would be around about £6,000 to £8,000.
Ooh, well. That is a surprise.
I mean, it's absolutely stunning, it's fantastic, really beautiful,
and so lovely to see the quality of the piece.
What would have happened if I'd let it go to the auction?
You wouldn't be sitting here feeling so happy.
-Well, thank you very much.
-Gosh, right, that's exciting, thank you.
Do you remember I mentioned at the beginning of this programme
that Shakespeare was apparently caught red-handed poaching deer here?
Talking of Shakespeare, when I arrived this morning
and there were only six people waiting to see our experts,
I thought today might be Much Ado About Nothing, but what can I say?
We've had 2,000, 3,000 people turn up - it's been a wonderful day,
and All's Well That Ends Well.
From the Antiques Roadshow in Warwickshire, bye-bye.
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