The team visit Pembroke Castle in west Wales, where photographs revealing the last days of the Russian royal family are brought along for valuation.
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'For this week's Antiques Roadshow we've come to deepest south-west Wales,
'to the small town of Pembroke, dominated by an ancient castle,
'best known as the birthplace of Henry VII.'
'So I've got on my bike - a special Roadshow one, no less -
'to tell everyone to get their treasures out,
'because we are coming to town.'
The town of Pembroke in South Pembrokeshire has a distinctive
English and Welsh identity,
and when you begin to look into its past, it's clear why.
When the Normans invaded Pembroke almost 1,000 years ago,
what's known now as the Mill Pond was then open to the sea.
And boats from the seafaring nations of Europe could sail right up into
the town to sell their goods or to invade.
'The Normans liked the town's location,
'so close to Ireland and to trade links.
'Unsurprisingly, they also wanted to control the people of Pembrokeshire,
'and keep hold of this strategically important outpost
'for their English throne.
'The Welsh language became almost extinct.
'It's easy to see why it became known as
'Little England Beyond Wales.'
These days, there is a strong Welsh identity here, even a local dialect,
so let's hope our experts don't get in a caffle or talk any cabswabble
when they hear it.
Let's see what treasures our visitors have brought us here today
for the Antiques Roadshow at Pembroke Castle.
This is awe-inspiring,
to be sitting at the walls of this fabulous castle
and Henry VII was born just there.
And you have brought me the most wonderful, wonderful leather box,
with this royal crown on the top.
And then, open it to reveal this fabulous stick pin.
Tell me the story.
Well, I believe that the cipher is Franz Ferdinand, and the crown.
It originally was owned
by marriage to an ancestor of mine.
And he worked for George V.
-So I assume...
-Really? What did he do for George V?
Well, something quite lowly, but I think he must have worked very hard,
because he was Page of the Backstairs.
Page of the Backstairs?
That is a brilliant title!
He was given this?
Yes. I don't know if it's true but I'm told that when visiting dignitaries
came along and they did errands for the visitor, whoever he was...
..very often they'd give them a little present at the end
-if they were nice.
-My goodness me.
That is... That's fabulous!
That is fabulous. And, of course, he got assassinated in 1914,
with his wife, and this was the start of World War I.
And it has his crown and his cipher, the two Fs
in this beautiful enamel.
It is in a box by F Holder.
They were jewellers in Vienna.
And in fact, the Archduke would go there quite often to get stick pins
made by this jewellers
to obviously give as presents to people he admired and loved.
And this date that this was made is around about 1910,
that sort of period.
-These are lovely little diamonds here, too.
I just think the Page of the Backstairs was given
a most incredible jewel.
The value, of course, is...
It is in the story, it's what it represents.
And, you know,
the price would be, at auction, in the region of around £800.
Really? Good heavens.
It's only small.
Thank you very much.
It's so lovely to see such a big bit of furniture on the Roadshow,
and you could be forgiven, like within this setting of the castle,
for imagining the Knights of the Round Table,
with King Arthur at one end...
And this feast going on.
But it looks like it's had that kind of a life.
What do you know about it?
I know that my great-great-grandfather,
or possibly my great-great-great-grandfather, brought it back from India.
And that is pretty much all I know about it.
It's been in the family for ever.
Your great-great-grandfather brought it back, do you know what he did?
I think he might have been...
He was a Macintosh, they were involved in the rubber industry,
in India, in the Far East.
I was hoping you were going to say that he was something to do with
the sea, because with this base here,
-what's lovely is you've got these beautiful stylised sea beasts.
You could go to one of these manufacturers or makers and say,
I want this table with the sample wood top, I'm a merchant
of some sort, I'm bringing back rubber - maybe that's the thing -
can I have sea beasts? Can I have dolphins?
Can I have a single column?
There's a million ways in which you can interpret it.
That's what I love about it.
Those beasts on the front are beautifully carved.
-You must love it.
-Love it, absolutely love it.
My parents used it as a kitchen table.
I use it as a writing desk.
It's had a lot of use.
We've never kept it in pristine state.
Because the thing is, it doesn't look like it's been polished in years.
It hasn't been polished in many years but my mother used to use
an electric floor polisher that she brought up and rotated round
-on the surface...
-One of the...?
With those old felt pads.
I'm building up an image of your mother, her hair tied up,
-standing on top of the table...
-I'm not sure about the hair.
She didn't stand on the table, she heaved it up.
It was a huge big machine.
It polished... It's probably done the most appalling damage.
No, actually not. I tease you a little bit because
this is how we all love to see furniture like this. Yes,
it's had a hard life. All of this is doable.
And you've got beautiful black calamander, which would have been
jet black when it was new, with a blonde streak in it.
You've got a mahogany in there.
You've got this beautiful, almost like a fiddle-back satinwood,
which again, would have been bright blonde.
We can't imagine how bright this table would have shone when it was new.
This is what was unbelievably fashionable in about 1860,
and that is what you ordered.
There were terrible craftsmen, medium and unbelievable.
Where do you think this falls?
Well, it's very neat at the middle,
so I would imagine it's quite a good craftsmen.
I think this is, of its type, pretty much unbelievable.
The downside is the condition.
It does need quite a bit of work.
I generally never value things in their restored state but in this
instance, because I know you love it so much, I'm going to say, yes,
-it is worth putting £1,000 or so into it.
And when you do, at auction,
I think this table would be easily £8,000 to £12,000.
Wow. That's amazing. I'm so pleased, thank you.
In the 30 years that I've been recording on the Antiques Roadshow,
I have never ever seen a gun as long as this.
Do you know what it's for, and where did you find it, more to the point?
As far as I'm aware, it's called a musket loading punt gun.
That's only what I've been told by my colleagues.
We keep it in the hotel in Pembroke.
It's mounted on the wall.
-As you can see, it's not easy to keep.
And I've brought it on behalf of my boss today.
You're largely right, although it is a muzzle-loader.
Musket is a name for a military small-bore arm,
so it is a muzzle-loader.
It is not a punt gun,
it is what we call in the collecting fraternity a bank gun
because the way you used it, you found a nice convenient bank
upon which to rest it, where there were waterfowl over the other side,
then sneaked up,
rested it on the bank, waited until you'd lined it up and then
you would be able to shoot ducks or geese with it.
When you think that there were huge flocks of wildfowl just there
for the taking, you could shoot enough to feed your family but also
any spare, send them to market, get hard ready cash,
with which you could buy other provisions.
The nice thing about it is that this barrel has never ever been shortened.
-You can see there is still a little flare at the end,
there is the original foresight on that.
The thing you lined up...
You would load it, not with a single ball,
but with a big charge of pellets,
so that you might get two or three with a shot, if you were really lucky.
And I think it was probably made by a local gunsmith,
who probably had the barrel made in Birmingham because it's a very
complicated thing to make - a thing as big as that.
It's got old musket furniture on it
-so he was obviously recycling things.
He had a root around in his workshop and there was perhaps
an old musket, an old scrapper, and they thought, "I won't have to make
"those bits", or "I won't have to buy them in from Birmingham,
"I will just pick them out of the box and they will look absolutely perfect".
You can tell they are old musket parts, because...
..this piece here, known as the side plate, that is very distinctive,
from muskets from about the 1760s,
and this lock is an old musket lock, as well.
The thing that fires it.
It's got a flintlock.
It has Tower on the back, which means Tower of London,
which was a big Royal armoury.
And really the nice thing here is a crown and GR underneath it,
the GR is Georgius Rex or George III.
I'm guessing that this gun is...
..about 1770, 1780.
-Something like that.
It's just fantastic
that it's in its original state.
That nobody's got at it.
Have you thought what it might be worth?
I wouldn't like to make a guess myself, to be honest.
Thinking about how few of these that are complete I've ever seen,
I think you'd have to pay about £3,000 for it.
It really is nice.
Thanks for bringing it, great fun.
If I had a time machine,
my first stop would probably be a London hotel in the 1930s,
so I could hear one of those great British dance bands.
And here we are, with Carroll Gibbons.
So tell me about Carroll Gibbons.
Well, Carroll Gibbons was an American-born pianist,
and he came to England and he decided to stay in England.
And he married my husband's sister, who was Joan Alexis.
He was mostly known for his band at the Savoy -
the Savoy Orpheans Orchestra.
-Did you ever know him?
-Unfortunately, I didn't.
I think he was born in 1903, in America. In London in the 1920s.
Goes to the Royal Academy of Music.
All that sort of thing. I think he launches himself as a band leader in
And of course in those days, there were very close connections between
hotels and particular bands, and great rivalry.
-Each hotel had to have a better band than the one down the road.
We've got images of him here. There is an image of the band.
It was so elegant, so stylish.
-Must have been wonderful.
The dinner dances at the Savoy,
especially, they were really so elegant.
You know, even during the war years,
when London was being blitzed,
they would move the actual dinner dance room to various areas of the hotel
and sometimes, even some of the ceilings would be scaffolded up
because of bomb damage, and Carroll would still play and the dancers
would still dance.
The war was a very important chapter,
because morale was all about keeping normal life going.
And of course, dancing - it's the perfect escape.
-These are, I don't know what you call them.
I think they're folders that have been on the bandstands,
actually at the Savoy.
This is the one that says conductor. We open with "Goodnight Sweetheart",
which is actually a Ray Noble one, but never mind, it is still...
It is one of the classic tunes of the period.
# Goodnight sweetheart... #
You can sing it, I'm not going to(!)
And then the Twelfth Street Rag.
We've also got a ring and I'm going to be very naughty,
I want to wear...
..Carroll Gibbons' ring.
Do you? OK.
But the sad thing is...
-Oh, it doesn't fit.
-..he must have had very small hands.
He must have done. All that exercise on the keyboards.
Yes, because he was a great pianist.
There it is, I've touched it.
And here is a piece of sheet music...
-..written by him, for...
This was a classic - Garden In The Rain.
-If the band is known for anything, it's known for that.
-It is, yes.
Valuation is quite tricky because we're dealing with memory
and what's the value of memory?
There are concrete things - the salver is £800 to £1,000.
A piece of manuscript, sheet music for his best tune,
-must be a couple of hundred pounds.
The ring is not particularly important in value terms
except that it's his.
-Therefore, a £100 ring becomes a £500 ring...
..because of its connections. We are looking at what I can see here,
and of course the band sheets, likewise.
-£2,000, £3,000, probably.
Because it is him. But of course what we should really go out to
is a classic piece of Carroll Gibbons and the Savoy Orpheans.
MUSIC: A Garden In The Rain by Carroll Gibbons Orchestra
# 'Twas just a garden in the rain
# Close to a little leafy lane
# A touch of colour 'neath skies of grey
# The raindrops kissed the flower beds... #
Well, coming to Wales,
the one thing I'd really hoped for was that we would see anything by
the most quintessential of Welsh painters, in this case,
Sir Kyffin Williams,
and here is a very typical one, done with his very broad palette knife,
spreading it like butter, as he said, of a Welsh farmhouse.
In these very, very muted colours.
You've got the Welsh slate, this particular sort of dun green
-and frankly, overcast skies.
Rather like today.
Much like today.
Here's a less typical one, isn't it?
This portrait which I find very telling, it must be early.
The sitter was Gwilym Owen and it came from his family,
and from what I understand,
it won Kyffin the portrait prize competition in his last year at the Slade.
-In the '40s, yes.
It's got that amazing sort of '40s colouring.
The same colouring almost that he takes over into his Welsh landscapes
later. These browns and these greens are very typical of that sort of
Slade School look at the time.
I like him but why are you so interested in him?
I think it all started when we saw a picture of a horse that he'd done in
an antiques magazine and I said, who is this artist?
I really liked this free-flowing movement that he'd got,
and of course the more you see him, the more you get him,
the greater the love for his work.
Exactly. You come to this drawing and you see exactly why
he is adored in Wales.
This one was actually rescued from a bonfire,
because we bought it from the daughter of Kyffin Williams'
gardener and apparently she said that her father and Sir Kyffin
used to put all of the pieces of art that he decided weren't fit for sale
or that he didn't like and burned them. And this was a piece
that apparently he asked if he could buy, and he rescued it.
What really interested me was when you brought this one
was what's on the back of it.
Tell me about that.
Well, I presume it's a self-portrait of the artist himself.
I can only assume he didn't like it,
turned it over and painted something else fittingly on the canvas
-rather than wasting it.
-That's got to be the answer.
When you're broke, you know, and starting out as an artist,
you might paint yourself as a model because you couldn't afford one,
And then, having done so,
you might want to paint another picture on the other side of it
cos you couldn't afford to buy a new canvas.
-Although that, I suppose is the valuable side...
-It's worth about £20,000.
Because, of course, it's what he known for.
It seems to me that the better picture, without a doubt, is that side.
It's difficult to know which way to display it, I have to be honest.
Exactly. This portrait, it's worth less than that,
I personally think, because it's very specific.
I would have thought that is probably about £3,000 or £4,000, even so.
-And this, being so emblematic of the artist, £2,000 to £3,000.
Good job that was rescued from the bonfire.
-Brilliant, thank you very much.
-Not at all.
Well, what a lovely little clockwork Mickey Mouse you've brought in.
What do you know about it?
Aye, it was a gift about five years ago from friends of the family.
-Didn't like it.
-They didn't like it?
No, no, no, no, so they gave it to me.
And I've loved it, I think it's amazing.
It's German, and it's probably by a company called Schuco,
and they specialised in making felt-covered toys,
and they made some animals and little figures and things.
Date-wise, he'd be late '20s, about 1930, thereabouts.
And we know he's quite an early one because he's got this very pointed
nose. I think the early Mickeys had a pointed nose.
But what is really nice about him is that he still works.
We've got a key. It's not the original key, but it's a key that does work.
So let's give him a little wind-up.
-Let's just see what he does.
-He goes a lot.
-There we go.
There he goes.
Yeah, he knows no bounds.
He knows... Isn't that lovely?
I absolutely love him and you obviously love him, too,
which is fantastic.
-Price-wise, would be around £100, £120, something like that.
My goodness. Well, I am shocked.
I really am shocked by that.
I never thought he'd be anywhere near that sort of price.
-I love him.
-I'm not going to sell him, by the way.
We went to Balmoral last year,
and I must say I don't remember a hole in the carpet.
How on earth have you got a bit of carpet from Balmoral?
Well, by the shape of it I think it must have come from a fireplace,
when they were laying new carpets,
cos my great aunt was the superintendent in the dairy at Balmoral.
She was appointed there when she was 25.
So do you know what her role was, or...?
Yes, she was a butter maker and she used to sculpt butter into Prince of
Wales feathers, swans, squirrels, holding little messages,
and she used to make 180 pats of butter for breakfast,
when they had royal visitors.
-So what was her name?
-Her name was Mary Mae Griffiths and she was born
in Penally Court, near Tenby.
-That's quite local to here.
-Yes, yes, just a few miles away.
So how do you think she came to be working at Balmoral?
I think her fame had spread,
because of what she'd done at that age and the fact that her butter
had gone all over the country.
So the butter from Penally was sold everywhere?
-She was clearly a well-educated woman and was published as well.
I mean, we're talking sort of 1890s here.
-It's really, really quite avant-garde.
Yes, I think she may have been one of the first women to get
an agriculture degree.
She went to Reading University.
Gosh. So when she goes to Balmoral,
what do you think her social position was?
Well, she had her own house next to the dairy and she had a maid
and she had staff in the dairy.
So she wouldn't have been considered...
..as a below stairs kind of person?
I don't think so, because she had quite a lot of royal visitors
to the dairy, including the Queen.
-Queen Victoria, I think, went to the dairy 11 times.
Wow. And did the Queen like her butter?
-Actually, looking at the pictures,
-she probably did like her butter.
-I think she ate quite a lot of it,
-Do you know whether there is exactly this carpet still down?
-There are very similar carpets - I've looked.
-I don't know,
I'm hanging onto it in case the Queen wants a patch at any time.
Well, what's it worth?
I think that the piece of carpet that you've got is probably the most
valuable piece amongst it and it's going to be worth a few hundred pounds.
But you've got a nice photo of Queen Victoria,
you've got this wonderful connection here,
so as a package, I wouldn't be at all surprised if it didn't make sort
-of £1,500 to £2,000, that sort of level.
-Good heavens, yes, yes.
Not that it's going to be sold.
It's family history.
It's certainly that.
It's time for this week's Enigma and, as ever, our experts have been
scouring the local museums to see what they can find.
Eric, it's your turn this week.
-And I would have thought you would bring along something ceramic,
but you've brought along a glass contraption that wouldn't look
out of place in a '60s sci-fi film.
So what was it used for?
Well, it was used for the distillation of Welsh whisky.
-Have you ever come across Welsh whisky before?
-No, OK, well some of these good people around here will know.
-Yes, yes, and they will know that Welsh whisky
is that little bit different,
because it contains molasses and rosehip syrup.
Is that right, everybody?
Oh, just say yes. Thank you.
-This is looking doubtful already.
-But it's got no holes in to hold liquid.
Don't ask me the actual process, I'm not a technician,
but it's all to do with evaporation and there may have been other bits
that were attached to that.
Right, so this was used in some weird and wonderful way for
-distilling Welsh whisky.
-Let's settle for that.
OK, do better with the second one.
Um, the second one is all about ceremonial,
specific to this part of the world.
Because we're talking about weddings.
We're talking about Welsh weddings,
we're talking about this being passed around at the wedding feast, OK?
You would then be in a situation where you could actually
suck the liquid out. The reason being, you can see here...
..that this vessel has now been actually covered.
Initially this was open and it was only after the wedding feast
that that was then taken to the glass-maker,
who then put the stopper on the top of it,
so you know that it's been used at a Welsh wedding.
Mm. Does this ring a bell with any of you?
See, if you're going to play the Welsh card, Eric,
we've got a Welsh audience here, it makes it a little bit easier.
But what you don't know, Fiona,
is that I've bussed most of these people in from Burnley today.
THEY LAUGH OK.
OK. Your fan club.
-OK, so ceremonial at a traditional Welsh wedding.
-And what's our last option?
Oh, it's pretty obvious, isn't it?
It's a barometer, because you've got the liquid filled and the changing
atmospheric pressure pushes the actual liquid up and down
that almost graduated slender spout.
Gosh, I don't know.
I mean, what do any of you think?
Hang on, you just said wedding.
Oh, Eric. The only thing, Eric is a very good poker player,
so the fact that explanation was a little shaky could be deliberate.
It's obviously made to be like that...
..and not to stand upright,
so I can't see how that could work as a barometer.
For that reason I'm going for wedding.
I'm going with the majority view...
-..which is wedding.
-I'm not convinced about any of them, actually.
No, no, neither am I. OK.
-Don't say it's whisky.
Looking very smug now.
-So it would be, what, propped up or something?
Well, it would be... In some respects you could just put a cord
around that and you could suspend it.
But it is a very basic form of barometer.
How old is it?
I am informed by the Narberth Museum, who very generously lent us
this today, that it is Victorian.
So anywhere between, let's say, 1837 and 1901.
And have you come across one like this before?
I've only ever had one ever had one ever and that's in 40-something years.
Wow. Well, it's a beautiful thing, that's for sure.
Even if it is a barometer.
I've always been a keen Francophile. I love all things French,
but this little jug here is a piece of anti-French propaganda.
-It's charming, absolutely charming.
-It's English Regency pottery...
..made of pearlware, and it's commemorating, as you can see,
the Marquis Wellington,
who later became the Duke of Wellington's, battle at Salamanca
in the Peninsular War. Where did you get it?
We lived in Devon and all the country houses were being sold up,
and my mum used to go to these sales and just...
I've got jugs and plates and things everywhere.
And this was just one she brought home from somewhere.
-I don't know where.
-So you inherited this from your mum?
It has been sitting on my table for about 20 years.
Well, it's... It really is a lovely piece,
and it's such a wonderful piece of British history.
As I said, it's commemorating the Battle of Salamanca, which was in...
I think it was around 1812.
And if we turn it round...
..it's got the greatest general of the age, and then it lists
the battles, all the battles from the Peninsular War,
and then it goes on to say, "He drove the French out of Portugal
"and successful in rescuing Spain
"out of the usurpers' hands."
So it was all about commemorating the war,
but also about British jingoism.
And what age would that be, about?
Well, he's a Marquis there and he was made a Marquis after the Battle
of Salamanca in 1812,
and he became the Duke of Wellington after Waterloo in 1815,
so it's going to be 1813...
Probably in the year after the Battle of Salamanca.
-It's a lovely thing.
Thank you, sir. I'll take it home and put it on my table again.
Well... And you should want to know what it's worth.
-Oh, yes, I suppose so.
-I think today at auction this is in the region of
I will dust it, look after it.
It's quite refreshing for me, perhaps,
not to be talking about a piece of jewellery.
I mean, it's nice to look at diamonds glinting in the sun,
but here we've got two pieces that are decidedly not jewellery and very
much for the gentleman, I would have thought, yes.
So, it's a box and it's a long pedestal-shaped piece.
Give me a little bit of information about where it came from.
When my mother died, we found she had a safe deposit box up in
London, went up and opened it and these were in there.
It's a deposit box that was passed on to my mother by my grandfather,
and before that we lose the trail, really.
So it's been in the family for at least three generations.
Right, OK. So...
..it is a blank canvas, as far as you're concerned.
A blank canvas, I know nothing.
The box, first of all, the important thing is to say what it is.
-It is a Vesta box.
-This is a gentleman's piece.
You lift up the rather nicely-hinged lid.
-You have an edge, a lip.
There you can read the hallmark.
-It's nine carat gold.
This was made just at the end of the First World War.
And it's made by a firm in London...
And you can imagine... You know all those gentlemen that went
to their clubs in Pall Mall?
-They would go to Vickery's and Vickery's would provide them
with the essential things that you would need as a smoking gentleman.
-At the bottom, the striker.
And don't forget, these were the old-fashioned matches.
So you got your match, you strike it on the bottom...
..and then you would light your cigar, I would suggest,
-rather more than a cigarette.
Who knows? The little monogram on the front...
And here's where your pieces get a little bit interesting,
it's a diamond monogram with a coronet and a letter T.
So your family, sir...
..have got some connections going back to nobility.
-Just to let you know that.
-So now we move on to this odd thing.
I'm going to be careful with it,
because you know the problem with it
and that in the history of this item,
-the bottom has become detached from the pedestal, hasn't it?
So I'm going to put that back and hold it like that.
Now, the first question is what is it?
We thought it was a seal of some sort.
I think it's a seal.
There are seals and there are seals.
This is a seriously important seal.
Now, there she stands, right?
-You-you know that it's very colourful.
So, first question - what's it made of?
High carat gold, firstly.
Second thing - what is the green material at the bottom?
The gold is covered with a series of individual panels,
and they depict what?
The theatre, music, art,
-The finer things of life.
I think this was made for someone who really wanted something to
reflect his life, his quality and the pursuits he followed himself.
Could you tell us where it was made or in what year?
Well, there's no hallmarks that would help me along and,
believe you me, I was looking at it quite carefully to see if there was
-We've looked for hallmarks.
-You know, I almost think
-it was made in this country.
-And when - tricky again -
I don't think it's Georgian but I don't think it's much later
than Georgian, so shall I put a date on it of around about
sort of 1835-45?
-Now we move on to the fun bit, don't we?
-If we do this...
-Isn't that nice?
And you've got all the detail inside as well.
And then inside you have the decorated scrolling within.
So it's a bit difficult to catch,
but you've got the claws that encircle a pedestal within,
with a mother of pearl top.
I really don't think I've seen as good a seal on the Antiques Roadshow
in all the years I've been doing this show.
-I really don't.
I know I'm waxing lyrical, but I have to be honest with you,
I think this is a really seriously important seal.
Now, unlike a piece of jewellery, you can't wear it,
you can only keep it and stick it in a cupboard or whatever it is
that you want to do with it. So it begs the question,
what would a collector like this pay?
OK. The nine carat gold Vesta box with the diamond monogram on it,
I think, is probably worth
-Now we move on to this chap here.
£8,000 to £10,000.
-£8,000 to £10,000.
-Why? Because it is magnificent.
It is a museum collection piece...
-This is a piece de resistance.
-Thank you very much.
When we think of automaton pieces,
we often go back to the Victorian period.
Pirouetting dolls, dancing monkeys, this sort of thing.
But here we have a late 20th-century automaton of a woodworker.
And if I just turn the handle, you'll see him there at his bench,
Now, he was made by Eric Williamson in his studio in mid Wales in 1988,
so it's of no great age, but wonderful quality.
Is that what attracted you to this piece?
Well, immediately I saw it, I thought, "I must have one of those".
£300. I think you could safely double that now.
I think you could safely double it. I think it's £500 to £600 at least.
I think somebody would absolutely adore it.
When I was a little boy, I used to go on holiday in south Wales,
staying just outside Ammanford with my best friend.
And sort of after a day, I don't know, fossil hunting
or beachcombing on Tenby beach,
we'd probably go home and we might pass a local shop
and my parents or my friend's parents would probably say,
"Ooh, look! Look at that piece of pottery in there.
"I'd quite like a piece of that to take home
"and remember our holiday by."
Is that how you came about this collection?
Yeah, sort of. I have a restaurant in Tenby and we have a couple of
regulars, a couple called Boo and Tony,
and they were the pottery in Tenby - the Tenby Pottery.
For Christmas one year, they gave my partner and I this little pot,
and I loved this pot so much I thought,
"I'll just keep my eyes open and see if I find any more bits."
And when they come in and I say, "Oh, I've got a new little something
"that's just been posted," they get really excited,
and I open it up and they can tell me little bits about, "Oh,
"we think that's a particularly early piece" or, "Yes,
"I think that was made in such and such a year."
It's funny you mention that, that sort of personal interaction
as well, because when we were setting this up just before you came
to join us here, this lady was taking very close attention
to some of the pieces here because I'm right in saying
that you decorated some of these pieces?
I've decorated a couple of pieces at the front,
and I started work for them at 14 as a Saturday girl.
You two need to talk when we're done with this.
I feel there's stories to be told here.
-They seem to have used two main techniques.
You've got slipware, or sliplining,
here where it's been sort of trailed on and then combed to give the fins
here, and then there's a resist technique used.
And they've got that sort of very strong, earthy, 1970s retro feel,
-Yeah. And Tony always says...
Cos I feel like now I can spot a piece of Tenby pottery from, like,
20 paces at a car-boot sale,
and he says that that's because of the colour of the pot is really red
compared to some others of the time,
and also that on the bases of a lot of the pots, the glaze doesn't go
all the way to the bottom, and Boo says that's because they used
the wax resist around the bottom and they weren't on stilts,
like many, many studio potteries would have their pots on stilts
and they didn't do that, so I guess that's two sort of
distinguishing marks that I look out for if I spot something.
How does it feel to be THE world expert on Tenby pottery?
Oh, it's quite a responsibility!
Yeah. Just don't ask me too many detailed questions,
cos my knowledge is about that deep.
Well, it's probably that much bigger than most people, I should think.
I mean, it would be nice to share that passion.
Certainly when you're looking at values for pieces like these,
I mean, with resist pieces the vases may be, at the moment,
sold online for sort of £10 to £20 or so,
some of the little dishes literally a couple of pounds.
I mean, looking at the collection as a whole,
it probably just tips over maybe £200 in today's value.
But, you know, we collectors kind of like to know information
and sharing the colour and the life of the pottery and stories
that you might learn after this,
I think that really starts to sort of help the market build.
I mean, could I say, perhaps it might be taking it a bit far,
but could Tenby Pottery be the next big thing in studio pottery?
Maybe. Hopefully not because secretly I quite like the fact
I can pick bits up for 50p, but perhaps that won't happen now.
I think our coffee is due any minute.
This is your coffee table?
It is, yes.
-It was left to me by my grandmother,
because I always admired the patterns on it and the little frogs
all round the side. So...
Do you ever use it as a coffee table?
-We keep our phone on it at the minute.
Do you know what it actually is?
I believe it's a Chinese drum, that's all I really know about it.
I think it's made of bronze, but...
-You're getting on quite well.
-Oh, there we are!
The Chinese is not correct.
-But there is a certain amount of Chinese influence there.
They're reputed to come from Burma, Malaysia, that kind of area.
And they're called rain drums,
-because that's exactly what they are.
The rain comes down and it hits the drum, making a note like...
THE DRUM RINGS
And if you get a whole village full it would be fantastic,
-absolutely fantastic, yeah.
-Amazing sound, yeah.
And although these just look like lines with patterns on,
they're very symbolic.
You've got here a pattern of little, sort of, dots.
-Rice, of course.
We've got birds, I think they're probably ducks.
-They do look like ducks, don't they?
-They do, don't they?
Mandarin ducks in Chinese mythology mate for life,
so they're symbolic of marital fidelity.
-I remember putting these on view at a London saleroom in the '60s.
-And they would sell then for several thousand pounds.
And do you know what? They're about the same today.
-They're about the same today.
This one, which is actually quite late,
we're probably looking at the late 18th-century...
-..would probably make £2,500 to £3,500.
My grandmother... I think she bought it for £1 in a house auction.
-Yes, because nobody else bid on it.
And that was in the... I think in the '60s, so...
-Well done, Granny!
-Thank you very much.
-Thank you. Thank you for your knowledge.
Now, please don't think I'm being rude,
but it's slightly scruffy and clearly hasn't gone for many years.
I don't like clocks, really, so...
Where does that leave me?!
-So why don't you like...?
-I don't like ticking clocks.
-No ticking at all?
No. A few years ago we had somebody to stay with us and that evening,
after I'd given them dinner, I was sitting in the kitchen
and we had a big schoolroom clock on the wall that had never worked
for years, and it was about ten past 11 and it suddenly started ticking.
And so I went to bed, and the next morning he'd been found dead in bed.
And presumably roughly at that time.
That's rather unfortunate, isn't it?
That sort of generated a further hate for clocks.
Why do you have this?
-Is it inherited or...?
It used to be my father-in-law's and I always hated it,
and I used to pray that he wouldn't leave it to us.
-And he did.
-How long ago was that?
-And it's just sat idle for 30 years cos you hate the ticking?
Yeah, and I don't like cleaning brass. No.
Well, I'm going to try and tempt you round, because it's French,
and it's what we call a compendium carriage clock.
Because you've got the ticking clock, that's the timepiece,
cos it doesn't strike.
You've got the aneroid barometer,
you've got the thermometer in between and then you've got
the two viewing windows on the top, one to see the escapement
-of the carriage clock and the other a little compass.
But far more importantly,
the whole thing is in this wonderful blue Champleve enamel.
The date is absolutely typical, sort of 1885, 1890,
towards the end of Victorian era.
Fairly, fairly heavy from the point of view of decoration.
But very commercial.
So do you think it would ever be pretty or will you always hate it?
I don't know. I don't particularly like that sort of Victorian...
-Yeah, it's pretty ornate, isn't it?
So if I sort of tried to gee you up with the price a little,
-might that help?
-It might make it really very attractive.
-Right. Just so you could sell it?
OK. If you put it to auction like this...
..it will fetch £1,500 to £1,800.
And you're nodding, but you still don't love it, do you?
We had a guess this afternoon about two hours ago,
we both came up with 1,400.
Listen, I'm out of a job.
Seeing this banner takes me back to a very interesting time in my life,
and in yours, which was the protest against cruise missiles
at Greenham Common back in the '80s.
And you made this, it says "Say no to nuclear weapons" in Welsh
at the top, in English at the bottom, and it was women like you,
the Welsh women, that kicked it all off?
Yes, we were inspired by the threat to dump nuclear waste in Wales.
And when we won that, most women went home,
but some stayed around and thought "What else can we do?"
Victory was heady.
So Anne Pettitt and a few others found out that cruise missiles
were coming to Greenham, and she organised a march,
125 miles from Cardiff to Greenham.
-And you were on that march?
-I was on that march and my daughter,
15-year-old daughter, yeah.
How long did you end up staying at Greenham Common?
Because the camp there went on for 19 years.
I stayed there fairly regularly,
but I had a job at the University of Aberystwyth,
so I went up there, sat around the fire, listened to the stories.
I thought, "Well, I'm an art teacher, I've done sewing,
"I'm very political, I'm a feminist. I'll do some PR."
And there was no internet then,
so I made banner after banner after banner.
Then I made posters of the banners, then postcards,
and they went all round the world.
And they were all made in that little house there.
-This is your house here?
How remarkable. I remember I went when I was a student,
and we arrived, stayed in a... In an old marquee, slept on a bin bag,
and the next morning we were shown how to resist peacefully
by sitting and locking arms, and then a woman came round and asked
for a show of hands for those who'd be prepared to be arrested.
I remember thinking "I've only just got to university,
"I don't want to get a criminal record!"
So I'm afraid I did not put my hand up.
But... You know,
it was a remarkable time and an extraordinary collection of women
from all different walks of life.
And then you had this statue made.
-You met the artist?
-And this represents peace, does it?
-The Greenham marcher, yes.
-And this lady's got her CND logo here,
-a little child. This is a dove of peace, I assume?
-How do you look back on those days?
-The happiest days of my life.
-Of course there were some difficulties, you know?
-But mostly really happy.
Well, this looks like a little money pouch,
so let's open it up and see what's inside.
Well, there we go. Lo and behold, it's a gold £5 piece.
What can you tell me about the coin?
I can't tell you a lot about it, it was just an uncle gave it to me.
And he had quite a few, and he passed them around the family.
Well, if we turn it around we can see on the back it's dated for us -
And then no surprise, the monarch's head at that time is Queen Victoria.
Any idea what it might be worth?
No idea at all.
Would you be surprised if I told you it was worth £500?
-Well, it's not.
-It's worth £1,500.
-Oh, I'd better take good care of it, then.
This is quite a monochrome-looking cabinet until you open the doors.
Slightly more impressive and colourful.
What's your connection with it?
It was owned by my grandfather Ralph and his second wife Bertha.
So you saw it as a child, presumably, and...
Well, I've seen it over the last 30 or so years, yeah.
When I see a cabinet like this,
I always think of it as a piece of furniture that is really showing off.
The whole point of a cabinet like this is to show off.
You know how people show their holiday snapshots to their friends
and family, well, in the late 17th century when this was made,
somebody would've brought this back and they would've invited
their friends to come and have a look at it and the whole idea
would be that you would be impressed by what you saw
and it is indeed very, very impressive, isn't it?
I love it, yeah.
All of these are just plain rectangular drawers
but the highlight, you're meant to have your very best work of art
from your grand tour travels in here.
Now, that looks like a slightly strange thing to see
when you open it up. It's lined with bone and ebony parquetry
but what's the story with the ballerinas?
The story with the ballerinas is Bertha, in the '30s,
manufactured and made these sort of interior boxes with mirrors
and wax figures inside them.
And she was a completely different character.
Ralph, quite damaged from the First World War, Bertha, full of life,
Communist, whisky drinker.
For example, in her garden she decided to dig a swimming pool
with somebody from the village. It took her almost a year.
She lined it with concrete and chassis of eight cars
and then when they filled it with water it leaked.
I'm getting a picture of quite an eccentric stepgrandmother here.
in the 30 years that you've known this cabinet,
do you have any sort of opinion on it and on its authenticity?
-No, not really.
it's Flemish and it dates from the late 17th century
and it's made of ebony but...
..the paintings - oil on panel -
don't actually fit the drawer fronts.
They sort of predate the cabinet in style...
-..but I think that they have been done at a later date.
-So what you have is a slightly sort of humble
and monochrome-looking cabinet
that's had a little bit of value added to it at some point,
probably in the late 19th century.
As to a value...
..at auction it would fetch between
£3,000 to £4,000.
Well, what you've brought in is a stained-glass panel, effectively.
We have a man where sophistication is suggested holding a violin
and he's drinking from a wine glass, a rummer, which is bonhomie,
"I am a goodtime guy but I also now know how to play the violin."
So that's the kind of chap that's being presented.
So, how does it fit in with you?
It's been on the wall of my parents' house ever since I can remember,
60 plus years.
My father always thought it was worth something
and my mother didn't.
I'd like to know which one was right.
OK. Well, I think that at the moment we're looking at half an object,
you see, because the essence of glass and stained glass
more particularly is the fact that light can pass through it.
And it's the passing of light that gives it dynamism and colour
and as it is, you've got a backing on here that prevents that
from happening and I can't help but think this is going to look
a whole lot better if we improve it by removing the backing,
but to do so, I need your permission.
So, are you OK about that?
I'm fine about that.
So, the tool I need is a scalpel.
-Thank you very much indeed.
So, what we're going to do is we're going to run
around the back here with the knife...
Out with the nails or two.
..is your piece.
And from my way of thinking, the colours have just come alive.
What we have is a painting on glass, stained-glass panel,
that harks back to the past.
As I mentioned, Frans Hals,
it reminds me of the Laughing Cavalier by Frans Hals.
And I think that this is probably Dutch,
made in about 1880 and it's in a style called the Historismus.
And Historismus was harking back to the past.
When it comes to a valuation, we've doubled it from 50 quid to 100,
which 50 quid for ten minutes' work is pretty good going, I reckon.
So, what are you going to do, are you going to keep it like this?
-Of course, yes.
-Find a window now.
And replace that with fishing wire so you can't see,
so it has no visible means of support, bit like me, really!
Well, I can hardly believe this.
What I appear to have in front of me is a private album
of the last of the Romanovs, the Russian royal family,
who were wiped out in 1917 by the Bolsheviks.
-Tell me about it.
-Very interesting story.
My stepdad's uncle, William Linton,
who was known to the family as Uncle Bill, was in Russia,
initially in Yuzovka - now Donetsk -
and then latterly then in Yekaterinburg.
So why was he, why does he get to Yekaterinburg?
He was a chief engineer in Yuzovka in the steelworks
and then became an agent for Bekos,
which was a British company but based in Siberia.
Their office was in Yekaterinburg.
And this is where they were all taken to,
from St Petersburg, from Moscow?
-Originally they went to a town called Tobolsk...
..and they were basically under house arrest
-in the Governor's Palace there...
..and had quite a good lifestyle.
But as the White Russians, Czech Army,
-were pushing forward...
..they got moved to Yekaterinburg into a house called Ipatiev House.
How did he get the photographs?
The photographs were given to him
by one of the Russian royal family maids. Now, I understand
there were only three maids that were allowed to come.
Yes, because they weren't allowed, they weren't allowed very many...
No, in fact the conditions in the last house
-were pretty abysmal for them.
Here's a wonderful picture of the Tsarevich
and his mother, Alexandra, there, and she seems so happy.
But these all came through the maid?
They came from the maid and then the story goes,
and I've no reason to doubt it,
the maid gave these to Uncle Bill for safekeeping
with the words, "Please look after these, because if I'm found
"with them, I'll be shot."
So she was aware that they were all about to be shot and all the
-Certainly and the Czechs were advancing and, you know,
Yekaterinburg, at that time, was a pretty lawless city
and the Bolsheviks were certainly in power there.
We've got wonderful pictures here of them playing in the garden
and one here I think... Is this Nikolai?
That's Alexei, I think...
-..with his dog Joy.
Lovely picture of the Tsarevich on his own there as well.
But what about the letters?
I see you've got a load of letters here as well.
Uncle Bill was a good letter writer
and there's a whole series of letters
back and forward to the UK and to, obviously to his company bosses.
But this letter, this letter here, I have to read this last,
this little bit, this paragraph here.
"For the last two days,
"they have been pumping the water out of the old shaft in the forest."
This is at Yekaterinburg.
"Around which they found traces of the ex-royal family
"and I think there is no doubt that their bodies will be found
"at the bottom weighted down with stones." It's all rather sad.
It's very sad, very sad.
And these are all letters about that?
-About his time at the end of the lives of the Romanov family?
They're very moving, actually, when you get into them and read them.
Well, I just think this is incredible, I mean,
we come to Wales, you don't expect to find this.
I mean, presumably these have never been seen before?
They've never seen the light of day other than in the family,
they've been locked up in a safe for the best part of 100 years.
This is a collection that is fresh to the market and don't forget the
Russian royal family are very highly collected, signed photographs,
even postcards of the Russian royal family are exceedingly valuable
these days. So, I'm going to have to value them -
which is a particularly difficult thing...
I think £65,000...
..would be not unreasonable for the whole of this,
-for the 70 photographs, for the letters...
A publisher would pay that easily for them for a writer to put them
into context, to make a wonderful book about them.
There is a good book in this and many, many articles.
-Thank you for bringing them in.
-Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
What a remarkable family archive.
We're delighted it was brought out of the safe and shared with us
during our visit to Pembroke.
In previous centuries, Pembrokeshire had its own currency
and this banknote dating from 1847 is worth £5.
Or it was then. Imagine what it would buy now.
A king's ransom.
We're nearly finished here at the Antique's Roadshow.
I'm going to take this, nip off into Pembroke, see what I can get.
Fiona Bruce and the team arrive in west Wales at the birthplace of King Henry VII, Pembroke Castle. There is a royal line-up of relics brought in by visitors, which include a stick pin gifted to George V's page of the back stairs in Buckingham Palace.
There are also mementoes from Queen Victoria's champion butter maker from Balmoral, which show the skills of a dairy maid.
But most extraordinary is a collection of photographs that tell the poignant story of the last days of the Russian royal family, the Romanovs, while in captivity in 1917.