A return visit for Fiona Bruce and the experts to Pembroke Castle in West Wales. Objects featured include a rare sapphire ring and Pope Pius XII's papal hat.
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For this week's Antiques Roadshow,
we make a return visit to Pembroke Castle in Wales,
a medieval treasure in south Pembrokeshire.
Since its beginnings in 1093,
Pembroke Castle was an impregnable fortress, never conquered.
Until 600 years later and the Civil War,
when a two-month siege
by Oliver Cromwell and his troops took its toll.
The castle was devastated.
Before long, the castle fell into rapid decline.
The townspeople plundered its stone for their homes and farmsteads
and the walls became completely overgrown.
Eventually, the castle attracted the attention
of some of Britain's leading Romantic painters,
including Richard Wilson, Paul Sandby and Turner.
They found beauty in its decay.
But what the castle really needed was someone to save it.
That man came along in 1928.
General Sir Ivor Phillips had served in the Indian Army
and had fought in the First World War.
A man who relished a challenge,
he decided to buy the castle and save it.
And this is the original receipt.
So, how much for a castle?
In today's money that's about £160,000,
which I think is a pretty good buy!
Though the repair bill I, imagine, would have been horrendous.
Under Sir Ivor's direction,
the walls and towers of the castle were rebuilt.
The overgrowth was removed from its walls.
It took ten years.
The Second World War stopped work on the castle in 1939
and, sadly, Sir Ivor died a year later
and never saw the completion of his project.
But his family carried on his work,
and created a private trust that still looks after the castle today.
Pembroke Castle attracts tens of thousands of visitors.
Let's see how many have gathered down in the outer ward
for this week's Antiques Roadshow.
I can't help thinking that this is not always intended
to be covered like this.
It's a slightly unusual presentation. What's going on?
Well, granddaughter Agatha,
when we used to have Christmas dinner in the dining room,
was rather upset by having a naked lady sharing the meal with us,
so I had to crochet a shawl to cover her up.
-And you crocheted the shawl?
Well, that's absolutely brilliant.
But I think we need to unveil, don't you?
-Are you ready for this?
-Ready for this, OK.
Well, here we are. And it's the most fantastic Virgin and Child,
very reminiscent of the work of a man called Eric Gill,
who I'll come on to in a minute.
But tell me, who is it by?
As far as we know, it's by a man called Walter Ritchie,
who was a pupil of Eric Gill.
And she was owned by my mother-in-law,
and I'm not sure how she came across it,
but mother-in-law also liked Eric Gill drawings.
-And there are several that look vaguely like this.
OK. Well, Eric Gill, particularly for the BBC,
is very well known, because on the front of Broadcasting House
is a carved-stone figure of Ariel, and it's this kind of stone.
And I don't know for sure what this stone is,
but it'll be a Hopton stone, I expect, from the Midlands.
And although Gill did work in Wales in the '20s,
he went back to Warwickshire.
And Ritchie lived in Warwickshire,
and they worked together for a period of time.
And Ritchie's a most extraordinary man,
because he doesn't appear to have actually ever really had exhibitions
until right at the end of his life.
And he worked in a completely different style to this,
which is what's so interesting about this.
This is clearly influenced by his master.
He normally worked in brickwork.
He did... He laid bricks which he then carved,
and there's a wonderful piece,
Len Hutton, at the Oval, for instance, by him.
But this is a much more deep piece, I think.
And, of course, it's a ubiquitous subject,
the virgin mother and child.
It covers all periods and all faiths, really.
So, it doesn't specifically have to be a Christian thing.
-Although it probably is.
She didn't come out of a church, then?
No, she's never been in a church.
I think this particular virgin may well not have been in a church.
No, I think definitely not!
And particularly if you go round behind,
it's, you know, naked virgins...
-She's got a very nice bum!
So, having covered all the subjects, erm...
Ritchie dies in 1997 and has absolutely no form at auction.
So, as a piece of domestic sculpture like this, it's a really rare thing.
And I think it's a very beautiful thing.
I also think it's probably worth quite a bit of money.
Probably would make somewhere between 2,000-3,000 at auction,
and possibly even as much as 4,000.
Yes, I'm sure Agatha wouldn't part with her.
-With or without the shawl!
With or without the shawl! Yes.
Thank you very much indeed.
Well, what a fantastic parquetry box.
It's almost like a patchwork quilt in box form.
-What's its history to you?
Well, the history to us, my wife and I,
is that we bought it on our 40th wedding anniversary.
We were out for the day
and found it in a dealer's shop,
and just fell in love with it.
We think it's very beautiful, but also it has a Welsh history.
Did you buy it as an anniversary gift?
-That's quite interesting,
because undoubtedly it's actually a marriage box.
You see, we have the little hearts on the lid and on the sides of it,
and we have a date on the front.
And of course, you know, the Welsh have a tradition
of making gifts for weddings and anniversaries,
you think of sort of the tradition of lovespoons and so on.
-That sort of folk tradition.
And this is, I think, very much in the same spirit, really.
And it's a fabulous example of vernacular furniture.
The top is all inlaid with all different types of woods,
I think this is oak which has been stained.
We have this lighter colour here, is almost definitely sycamore,
and then these are various different fruit woods.
But what's really interesting, obviously,
-is you've got all this little sort of peg decoration.
I think he didn't trust his glue!
It could be that!
But it's almost like dominoes on the top of the box.
-And I have to admit, I've never seen anything quite like it.
Well, we love it.
You love it, and you obviously still love it now.
Yes, indeed. Yes, we have a number of boxes, but this is special.
It's part of our married life.
Yes, yeah. Well, I think it's gorgeous.
I just would like to have a quick look at the inside as well,
because what's really nice
is it's got this original Victorian hand-blocked wallpaper...
-Yes, it is lovely, yes.
-..which is almost sort of Puginesque in style.
-It is, yeah.
And it's nice that it still has that original lining to it as well.
Can I ask what you paid for it at the time?
If it's not being too impolite!
It was rather expensive.
We didn't have a lot of money, so we had to write one cheque each.
So we gave it to each other.
Oh, right, I see!
-Well, that's a nice way of doing it.
-It was £1,300.
Right, OK, which 20 years ago was...
-It was a lot of money, yes.
-It was a lot of money, yes.
-But we just felt it was special.
-Well, now, 20 years later,
I would think you're probably looking somewhere in the region
of maybe 2,000 - 2,500, simply because it is rather a unique piece.
So, you two ladies have both brought me a chicken!
Or a cockerel, in fact.
And, forgive the pun, but I'm wondering
if you'd thought which came first -
your chicken or your chicken?
-I don't know.
I think this one came first.
You think that one's the earliest?
OK. Well, I think you're right.
Cos this one, this one is the later one.
And this is Llanelly Pottery, but I think you knew that, didn't you?
-Yes. Do you know anything else about it?
I believe all the outer border work was done by children.
-At the pottery.
-And there was a well-known artist
who used to be called Auntie Sal.
That's right. Aunt Sal.
Her proper name was Sarah Jane Roberts.
But what this is
is an absolutely classic piece of Llanelly Pottery
from the later period.
So it dates from about 1910, that kind of date.
And if you had to imagine a piece of Llanelly, this is it.
So this is local pottery.
Could this be a Welsh chicken, or a Welsh cockerel?
Well, I've got to be perfectly honest, I know very little about it.
-All I know is that it belonged to my husband's grandfather
and has been handed down through the family.
My husband and I went to the Victoria and Albert Museum
a good few years ago
and we actually saw one similar to this.
So it's because of that that we've brought it today.
You brought it here today. Well, you're absolutely right,
cos this is the chicken that came first.
And this chicken came first in about 1800 or 1810,
about 100 years before the Llanelly chicken.
And rather than being Welsh, it's probably a Yorkshire chicken.
And the colours here, these colours which we call Pratt colours,
they're associated with the Yorkshire potteries.
It's a wonderful thing. I mean, it's not just the colouring,
I noticed here in the sunlight
how the feathers are delicately incised on the surface of the beast.
So there's a big contrast between these two.
Although this looks naive, it's actually quite sophisticated.
How beautifully the feathers are done.
And this is simply naive, isn't it?
And the next question is, out of these two chickens,
which one do you think is the most valuable one?
-I think that one.
-You think this one is worth more?
-Well, I thought that.
-You think that one's worth more!
OK! You're right.
-Yes, you are.
-Because the lovely Pratt chicken
is going to get people really excited.
It's quite rare. The Llanelly plate, as I said, it's a standard example.
So, this is worth £200.
And this is worth £800 to £1,000.
And I'm holding it.
It's not safe!
That's one pricey bird, isn't it?
It certainly is.
Now, I can see we're here
right at the very beginning of popular travel.
Thomas Cook, that great name.
Back to the 1840s.
The world's first-ever excursion tour,
a temperance group,
I think from Leicester to Loughborough,
or something like that.
That was the launch of this great international company.
Where do you fit in?
Well, it's the story of Donald White.
He was my uncle by marriage, he was born in 1876,
left school at 14,
trained as a chef.
While he was waiting for a job,
he got a short-term commission with Thomas Cook
to show one of their guests around London.
and he loved it so much he stayed with them - for 69 years.
Gosh. So a pure-chance connection?
-And he became a great figure in that history?
He did indeed, he became their chief uniformed representative,
based at Victoria Station.
And, of course, it was there
that he met everybody who came through Victoria Station.
What does that job really entail?
Well, he was the fixer, if you like.
They expected Thomas Cook representatives
to organise everything for them when they were in London.
And he would do that,
he would organise theatre tickets for them,
taxis wherever they wanted to go.
And I suppose some who were regular visitors became friends?
Oh, absolutely, yes, he knew them very well.
I think we've got to go back slightly
to a period in our history which is now long-forgotten.
A, everyone travelled by train.
-And B, train travel was very smart.
And, of course, visiting royalty and visiting film stars, sports people,
always arrived in London, from Europe, into Victoria Station.
-So he was there?
He was there. And I remember him well because, as a boy,
I went and stayed with him
and he would take me to Victoria Station.
And for a boy of seven eight, nine years old, it was absolute magic,
because I could go on to the platform to see the Golden Arrow
and the boat train -
it was wonderful.
And he was there on duty?
-Looking, as one can see, magnificent.
-Did he talk about the famous people?
Yes, he did. He met most royalty from Europe.
One of his favourite people that he dealt with
was Sir Winston Churchill,
and he always said his favourite lady was Lillie Langtry,
who he met many times.
Gosh. I think what we forget is how important these people were.
You know, they were not just the face of Thomas Cook,
it was about the whole ritual of travel and smart travel.
I mean, we have a medal here
awarded to him by the King of Tunisia in 1922.
Presumably for services to Tunisian -
or rather French, as it was then - French travel to North Africa.
-We have even him as a cigarette card.
Now, what greater fame can there be than that,
to be an image in a set of cigarette cards?
What was the set called?
In Town Tonight.
Well, there you are. So he was a great figure in London.
When it comes to valuations, it's primarily a family story.
But, of course, there is value - the poster, 1930s,
is an original Cook poster.
A rare survival. Not the most exciting,
but it's still going to be a couple of hundred pounds.
The medal, very important part of his life, £500 to £700.
You know, so you're looking at £1,000 or so for the collection.
Today, we travel all over the place,
we don't really care who we travel with.
This was the day when it did matter.
You went to Thomas Cook's
and, if you were important, you got Donald White.
I love vernacular furniture,
and it's a real joy to be able to film a chair like this.
And what's more of a joy is the fact that it's a Welsh chair.
-Here it is, at home,
in Pembroke Castle.
Tell me something about it.
It was in my mother and father's house.
-I always remember it being at the bottom of the stairs.
-No-one really sat on it, because it's always at a bit of an angle.
-But it came from my father's house in Milford Haven.
Right. But you think it's been generationally handed down?
Well, that's nice to know.
I don't know how much you know about this type of furniture.
It's made, essentially, of elm and ash.
In fact, I mean, look at it.
It's very basic, isn't it?
It looks like a child could have made it.
And, in fact, actually, that's really part of its attraction,
because what this is is kind of forest-made furniture.
Greenwood, wood-turner's furniture, made with the most basic of tools,
out of the most basic
of bits of wood that were available, in essence.
Have you ever wondered about this hole here?
I did, and then someone told me it was a three-legged chair.
You're absolutely right.
It has four legs now,
but originally it started off with three legs.
Do you know why pieces of furniture had three legs?
I did, yeah, it's uneven ground.
Absolutely. They stand up far better on uneven ground
than four-legged chairs do.
I think this chair dates from the early 19th century.
We can see that it's got some damage, obviously,
and we've got this bentwood back
which has broken and become disconnected.
Quite an unusual design, that.
Again very, very basic.
-Do you like it?
-Yeah, it's sort of quirky.
It is quirky, isn't it?
It's in the window of the house, the bay window,
it's usually got a couple of cushions sitting on it.
I love it.
Given it's got a little bit of damage
and it needs a little bit of work on it,
let's think about a value.
If this were to come up for sale at a really good vernacular auction,
this would sell for £2,000.
Well, no, I didn't expect that.
A bit of a cliche, but I didn't!
It's a really glorious little item.
It really is.
At the Antiques Roadshow we like to put a value on things,
but there are many people who would look at this
and think that was just a sacrilege.
And you've come along today
with what you say is the zucchetto or skullcap.
-Zucchetto, worn by a Pope?
Yeah, Pope Pius XII.
Who was a Pope during the Second World War?
During the Second World War.
Now, how do you come to have such a thing?
Well, my wife's aunt's husband
became a Roman Catholic.
And he worked for
the Guild of Our Lady of Ransom in London.
And what was his name?
And the Master of the Guild was Monsignor Filmer,
and they started the Million Pound Club for poor parishes.
And this was raising money for poor parishes?
Raising money for poor parishes.
And for all that he'd done,
he was made a Knight of St Gregory.
-This is your Uncle John?
-My Uncle John.
And, in due course, the Monsignor went to Rome,
and, while there, he was in the refectory with the Mother Superior,
and in walked Pope Pius XII.
So, this was at the Vatican?
Yes, at the Vatican itself, yes.
And he came in, and spoke to the Mother Superior,
and asked, "Have you got my zucchetto ready?"
and she said, "Yes."
And he took that one off,
was given a new one, and out he went,
and the Monsignor looked at it,
and picked it up, and the Mother Superior said, "Do you like it?"
And he said, "Can I have it?"
"Yes," she said, "take it."
And then, at a dinner in London, because of Uncle John,
all the work he'd done,
and was being made a Knight of Saint Gregory,
he presented it to him.
And, sadly, in due course,
he died, and this was left to my wife and I.
Sadly, my wife has died, I've got it now.
And you've got a note here, which is written by the Monsignor.
Saying "this zucchetto was worn by his Holiness Pope Pius XII,
"and given to him by the Reverend Mother General."
-Are you a Catholic yourself, Frank?
-Yes, I am, yes, yeah.
So, what does this mean to you?
Well, you know, I felt honoured to have it,
but if anything happened to me, I would give it to the church.
I have to say, in all the time I've been on the Roadshow,
which is not that long, nine years,
compared to the enormous time we've been on air, I don't think...
I can't think of another time when we've had something from a Pope.
Thank you, Frank, thanks for bringing it in.
You're very welcome.
Do you know what this is?
As far as I know, it's Satsuma,
and I thought it was some sort of incense burner.
And how did you work it, if it was incense?
Well, thinking about it, it's glazed inside, so it probably isn't.
Yeah, you're right, it's an incense burner.
-It's a koro, in Japanese - because it is Japanese.
Satsuma, yeah, it would have been called Satsuma.
And we've got...
a maker's mark in gilding,
which is Kinzan,
which means gold mountain.
That's the man's name.
In the early 20th century, you have Taisho.
One of the characteristics of his reign
is the obsession with dots.
If you can put a dot somewhere, why not do it?
And you can see it particularly on these roundels.
-Yeah, he went a bit crazy!
So I would put this around Taisho, the beginning of the 20th century.
This was made for export.
This was not made for domestic use.
This is western taste.
The westerners are impressed by meticulous little detailing.
-But the thing that grabbed my attention on this one,
not something I've ever seen before,
are three figures...
who are taller than the rest.
-And they have beards.
-Do Japanese have beards?
And their hats are a different shape.
These are a throwback.
I don't know why they're here,
but Dutchmen have been depicted on Japanese works of art
since they arrived in Japan in the 17th century.
And when they arrived, the Japanese thought they were hallucinating.
What were these immensely tall figures
with their ginger beards and this weird clothing?
What were they? Some sort of god?
I've never seen them done on a bit of Satsuma before.
And I don't know, it just makes it stand out
above the usual run-of-the-mill koro.
Well, if it didn't have those plus features...
..with a market which is slightly down a bit now,
I would think probably 400 to 600.
-But because it's got a raft of specials,
as my cats call the little biscuits,
I would think you're probably looking more like 1,000 to 1,500.
-Thank you very much.
Well, this is a turn up for the books -
it's not often you see works by Austin Osman Spare.
And, forgive me, you're of a mature age,
and most of the people I know that like Spare are young,
and sometimes a bit weird.
perhaps I'm quite the opposite.
It's not a very well-loved painting.
For a long time, the last 20 years or so,
it's just been in the wardrobe.
How did you get it, then?
Well, it was my father, in 1937,
he read an article in what was then the Herald Daily newspaper.
My father thought, well, he'll have one of those,
and we went to his studios in Elephant and Castle.
Oh, yes. Is that the catalogue to it?
-Indeed it is.
Can I have a look?
You've got, is the picture in here, isn't it?
Yeah, there it is.
Self Janus Combined, that's its title.
-Yes, yes, that's right.
-And you paid the princely sum
of three guineas for it.
That's right, well, my father did.
And took it home,
and my mother wasn't very...
No, she said, I like the artist, but...
She was rather a lady of Victorian ideas, and unclothed bodies...
..wasn't quite her style.
OK. Because you know what's happening here, don't you?
-Austin Osman Spare often drew himself,
and there's always a spirit dimension to his pictures.
He's not of the mainstream.
He believed in the occult,
-he was a friend of the warlock Aleister Crowley...
-..who was a very nasty piece of work, I think.
Yeah, and not for long, I might add.
But this drawing underneath, which is connected by the frame,
by the artist, he did that...
-He did, indeed.
-..is the Janus, the two-faced god.
-You can see the two faces of Janus here.
What he's doing is he's getting in touch with the spirit world,
in his mind, and a direct conduit is established,
and he produces this, which he called an automatic drawing.
-So it's all a bit weird.
And this relates to him, it's almost what's going on inside his body.
You see the way the frame is constructed?
-This is his psychic reality.
-And this is his physical reality.
That's the point of it.
-And this is actually what he looked like.
It's done very quickly in pastel,
and he's got a really immediate effect,
with the hair just "voom" like that.
It's a very good likeness.
Yes, except he was going slightly to seed by now, I think,
drinking too much beer, yeah.
When he was young, he was very, very good-looking,
and quite lionised by society.
George Bernard Shaw thought he was a child prodigy, a genius.
-The greatest hope of British art.
And indeed he is a great draughtsman,
but the problem was with all this, frankly, slightly kooky stuff,
he loses out in the market these days.
Although there is a devoted group of followers,
of which I would number myself.
-And this means money!
It's worth £4,000 to £6,000.
Oh, really? Oh, well, that's very nice, yes.
Well, that's appreciated somewhat.
So does that mean you're going to sell it?
It tends to be rather unloved,
but I'm beginning to love it now.
OK, so we're going to start with a bit of a quiz question.
What is one of the main things that helps a cheetah to run so fast?
OK, I'm going to give you a minute
to think about it.
So, we see all sorts of amazing things on the Roadshow,
and then something like this comes in,
quite an ordinary sort of pair of running shoes.
Tell me what you've got here.
They are my running spikes that were made for me by my uncle,
and his claim to fame is that he made the running spikes
that Sir Roger Bannister wore
when he first ran under the four-minute mile.
-That's where it becomes so cool.
The great thing with something like this, you've got all the proof,
we've got the name on the running shoes,
and the photograph of your uncle -
-and his name was?
-He was George Thomas Law.
George Thomas Law. And what a claim to fame to have that,
to have made the running shoes,
not just A pair of running shoes,
but the shoes that he was wearing when he broke the four-minute mile
at Iffley Road in Oxford,
and by a second, or something ridiculous like that.
Yes, yes indeed.
Tell me you've got a second pair
that he made for Roger Bannister at home?
I wish, I only wish.
My uncle believed that they had been lost.
And then I read last year
that Sir Roger had put them up for sale.
OK, so put them up for sale, and do you know how much they made?
Well, the auction taxes and everything,
I think it was around about a quarter of a million.
Exactly, 260-odd-thousand pounds.
-OK, so, all that being said,
you've got a pair of running shoes from roughly the same period,
which were yours, made, no argument there, by the same firm.
-You've got the photograph.
-Yes. Him as a young man.
So, potentially, are you thinking
you've got one of the highest valuations on the Roadshow?
I wouldn't think that, I just think they're...
I'm so glad I've kept them.
I'm so glad you kept them, because, to me,
it's just lovely to have that connection.
They're sort of £100 or so, just because of their coolness.
But thank you. Oh, and - the answer?
A cheetah will run with its claws out.
-Oh, of course!
-Which is where running spikes are developed from.
I think that's good!
-But, like, what animal is it?
It's not a cat, is it?
It's not a Welsh cat, no.
It's a bit too big even for a Welsh cat, I would say.
But where did you find this?
Well, I went home from school,
I used to go to Monkton School, over there,
and I saw this bit, because I saw that tooth there,
so I had a dig around, and there it was.
What I love about this is the Scrimshaw work.
Right in the very centre, we have an elk.
It's 17th-, 18th-century, so it goes back some years.
-So you did save this one for the Welsh nation
by excavating it at the time!
Value-wise, very little, very little, I mean less than £100.
But a charming piece.
Well, here we are, sunshine, blue skies
and, in front of us,
some wonderful blue glass.
Mdina glass, made in the island of Malta,
which we do get on the Roadshow, a lot, single pieces.
But here we've got a bit of a cavalcade.
-These are yours.
-You're a collector?
-My mother-in-law was, yes.
OK, do you like them yourself?
Yes, I do like them, they are on show.
I mean, the first thing I think you really notice with Mdina glass
is this wonderful, vivid, blue-green colour, this turquoise,
which is there to evoke the blue of the Mediterranean Sea.
To look at this, we've got to go back
to London and the Swinging '60s.
This is where this glass originates, in essence.
Michael Harris founded the Mdina Glassworks.
He studies at the Royal College of Art in 1967,
when glass-making is being introduced as a subject,
which is revolutionary.
His teacher is a man called Sam Herman, who really is the creator,
the father of modern studio glass.
He's an American, he's spearheading what we call the hot-glass movement.
This is taking glass out of those very controlled, cut, polished,
very sleek Scandinavian forms that have been glass for so long,
and taking it into something that's pure art, really expressive.
This is what glass can do when it's in its hot state.
It folds, it moulds, it's like wine gums,
it's not controlled, it's its own thing.
He's really exploring these things.
This is the era of Sgt. Pepper, and that's Sgt. Pepper in glass form.
Michael Harris opens the Mdina Glassworks in Malta in 1968,
stays there till 1972, but after he leaves,
they keep his designs in production.
These are actually 1980s designs, but still as he designed them
ten-plus years before.
Well, let's take a look, a close look, at one of these.
Now, this is the one that I'm immediately drawn to,
a big piece here,
this is known by a lot of people as the axe-head vase.
-The what, sorry?
-The axe-head vase,
so it's a bit like the end of an axe,
and you chop it. They're wrong.
It's not the axe-head vase,
it's the angelfish vase.
-Can you see?
-There you are.
So, what are we talking, value-wise?
Had you given much thought to value?
No idea at all. This one I bought at a local antique auction,
oh, many years ago, for about £5.
About £5, OK.
That's going to be £30, £40 at auction,
so a good return on your £5.
This one here is a sort of take on,
a similar take on the angelfish vase,
and that's going to be about £120, £140.
This one, my favourite - and I have to do this,
because I like doing this -
the angelfish vase, that's going to be £150 to about £180 at auction.
So, a nice collection.
Nice collection. Thank you very much.
-It brings us thoughts of sunnier climes.
-It does, yes!
Tell me about these.
Well, I don't know a huge amount
but, when my mother died,
she left them to me, with a couple of other ones.
And I do know that when Dad was in India and Sri Lanka
he bought the sapphire and the diamonds,
and he brought them home to England,
and they were set, back in this country, as far as I know,
And then my mother used to wear them.
They were made for her.
And when she died she left them to me,
and I have to admit that I have never worn them.
I'm too frightened to wear them, really, and they look so nice,
but I should do.
Well, I have been in gemological heaven.
What do you think this is?
I think it's a citrine.
-Mum told me it was a citrine.
It seemed awfully heavy to wear that.
Well, I have some good news for you,
and that is it is a sapphire.
Is it? Good Lord!
I'm so excited!
I'm so excited - it's a sapphire!
-Yes! Isn't that exciting?
Yes, it is!
And how I know is because it's got this wonderful,
like a fingerprint inclusion, just underneath the surface.
-And that is telling me
that it is a sapphire.
It's not the best colour at all of a yellow sapphire.
Yellow sapphires, to command high prices,
have to be sort of really quite a vibrant yellow.
But nevertheless, it's nearly 100 carats.
-Now, I'm just... While I was cleaning it,
I was cleaning this one as well.
-It's a beautiful colour, sort of blue, isn't it?
-It's really lovely.
-Sort of this really wonderful, vibrant blue.
But this was in artificial light,
and this went purple.
It is a colour-change sapphire.
Never heard of that!
Well, I've certainly never seen one on the Antiques Roadshow,
and I can't tell you, I was so excited!
People have been saying to me, "Have you had a good day?"
I've had the best day!
I'm having quite a good one, too!
But it is just extraordinary.
Now, it is something that does happen with sapphires.
I mean, sapphires, we think of them as blue - they can be all colours.
Except, of course, when they turn red,
and then that's when they're a ruby,
because rubies and sapphires are the same, it's corundum.
Aluminium oxide is the chemical composition of a sapphire,
but it is the trace elements that make the colours different.
Now, there's more iron in the aluminium oxide,
which makes a sapphire more yellow.
With this, it's chromium.
Chromium is making the absorption bands change
in different light sources.
They are both stones from Sri Lanka, or Ceylon.
These would have come from an area called Ratnapura,
and I've been to Ratnapura,
and I've been down those sapphire mines,
and they're still done by artisan mining now, by hand,
they're still cut by hand.
These have been native-cut, or they've been cut without machines,
it's all been hand done,
and these are a wonderful indication
of what you find in that country.
I mean, if a yellow sapphire, if it was brighter,
because it's all about the colour,
this hasn't got the vibrancy of that colour, but still, I would say,
at auction, you would be looking in the region
of around about £5,000 to £7,000.
Well, that's jolly good, isn't it?
And this one here, it's quite deep, the stone,
but I love the fact that it's a colour-change sapphire.
It's about 11 carats,
and that's going to be in the region of about £4,000 to £6,000.
Oh, lovely, thank you very much.
They're not going anywhere.
Well, thank you so much for bringing them.
-A great pleasure, thank you for your help.
We've got three dogs here.
-And they couldn't be more different in style,
and substance, and value, as well.
Are you a dog collector?
I'm not, personally, but my aunt was,
and, in fact, all of these three dogs came from her house.
OK. Well, as I said, they're all very different.
This one, to all intents and purposes, it looks like bronze,
it's patinated to look that way, but it's actually cast resin.
And if you feel it, it feels very warm to the touch.
If it were bronze, it would be a lot colder.
And also it's got almost like a soapy sort of texture to it.
-And it's meant to look old, but actually it's not terribly old,
-it's probably maybe 30 or 40 years old.
This one, again it looks like bronze, it's actually brass,
probably from the very early 20th century,
probably of French manufacture, on a little marble base.
And then this one,
which is my favourite one,
this one is Austrian coal-painted bronze,
dating probably from the 1870s, 1880s.
-The big name, of course,
in Austrian coal-painted bronzes from this period is Franz Bergman,
but his pieces are always generally signed.
Sometimes they're actually signed backwards,
but this has nothing on it,
so there's no indication of who actually made it.
You couldn't attribute it to him?
It's not really attributable to him.
So, three different prices.
-So, let's start with this one.
Resin, not terribly old, probably £30 or £40.
-The French brass one, nice enough,
but maybe sort of £80 to £100 or so, on that one.
-So you know where this is going, don't you?
This one, completely different kettle of fish, very desirable,
probably somewhere in the region of £500 to £700.
Wow! Thank you very much indeed.
We've all heard of the Royal Yacht Britannia, haven't we?
But, to be honest with you, this is a different royal yacht
to the one that we're used to talking about.
-And this is a royal yacht that was built in 1893
for the then Prince Albert, who was a bit of a playboy.
Now, we've got various items on the table here,
but one thing we've got is a photograph,
and I want you to tell me what your association is with the yacht,
and who the people are in this photograph.
My great-aunt's husband crewed for King George V, who's there.
That's George V there, yeah.
And that's my great-aunt's husband.
-What was his name?
James Cousins. Was he a naval man,
were they naval men that were employed on the royal yacht?
Yes, he was in the Royal Navy.
-And just like on the later yacht, Britannia,
they were chosen from the Royal Navy
to crew in the races.
OK, right. Well, this particular royal yacht
was something pretty special.
It was what was called a gaff-rigged cutter,
and we've got a picture of it here on a postcard.
There's an incredible sail volume there, isn't there?
-Built in 1893 by DW Henderson,
and, to be honest with you, yacht-racing at this point
really was the sport of kings, wasn't it?
-Enormously expensive, carried an awful lot of prestige,
as well, and I think if you were a crew member on that yacht,
-that must have also carried a great deal of prestige.
Do you know what sort of period he served on the yacht?
Right through to the 1920s.
He died in 1933, so...
Right, well, it was a legendary yacht,
in that in its first year it made 43 starts and won 33 of those races.
And we're up against other really, really good yachts.
I believe that George V
used to race his cousin, the Kaiser.
-And there was a great deal of competition involved there,
and huge amounts of money spent.
I see we've got some objects here on the trunks,
and I presume that these are items
that are actually related to the yacht?
-Can you tell me about those?
Well, this beautiful Irish linen damask tablecloth
came from the yacht,
and it's woven with all the emblems,
the anchor, the royal crown,
the thistle, oak leaves,
and these are items of cutlery.
Obviously, I can see the anchor insignia
on the cutlery there as well.
As a kind of strange epitaph to this story,
we've got to talk about actually what happened to the yacht,
because people are probably wondering what did happen to it.
-It's very sad.
-You know, where is HMY Britannia?
The fact is that it's at the bottom of the ocean, isn't it?
-Just off the Isle of Wight.
-And why is it there?
It's there because George V decreed, after he died,
-that he wanted it scuttled.
And isn't that a strange thing?
-So I suppose, really,
we need to talk about the value of some of these objects.
Quite a difficult one to do, really,
because there's nothing enormously tangible
and individually valuable here.
What am I going to say?
I suppose, if a little package came up for sale like this,
with some original photographs,
some cutlery and this beautiful damask tablecloth,
I think it would probably make
around about £300 or £400 at auction,
but the value to me is very much in that history and in that story.
Yes. Thank you.
Wendy, we saw you in Aberglasney,
and you brought along an armorial plate.
-I did, yes.
-And John Axford had a look at it.
It was quite an exciting moment for us at the Roadshow,
-and for you too, I would imagine.
We finally had to ditch the rain outside
and come in to this cloister,
but anyway, what a dish, fantastic.
I'm glad you like it.
This was made in China, in a city called Xinxiang.
There's usually nothing on the back of them.
It's unmarked, roughly finished,
which is ever so typical.
But what's really interesting...
..is all of this. We've got, what have we got there?
We've got a monogram, and it's FR.
That's for Fredericus Rex,
that's Frederick II
-Not many bits of this come onto the market.
It is fairly unusual, but there was a soup plate
which sold last year for £31,000.
This has got to be, what, £80,000, £100,000?
-I don't believe it!
Are you sure?
How amazing, my son will be simply thrilled.
-Have you got any more?
-His children will be...
No, I haven't got any more,
and I certainly won't be putting it on that rickety stand any more.
John Axford valued it at £80,000,
which was tremendously exciting for us,
because we had never seen a ceramic item on the Roadshow,
in what was then 30 years, as valuable as that.
It had a Prussian connection, didn't it?
Yep, it was part of the Hohenzollern dinner service,
and it was made for the King...
King Frederick of Prussia.
So we're talking about, what, mid-1700s, I suppose.
What happened to it afterwards?
Well, it was sold, not quite for the £80,000,
but I think it was round about 65,000,
which was still an amazing price for what is just a dish, basically.
I mean, a special dish, but...
A very special dish! And do you know who bought it?
I don't know exactly who bought it,
but I know it went to a foreign royal family.
-Ooh, which one?
-I don't know.
-It's a mystery.
-Well, one we'd like to solve.
But thank you for solving part of the mystery,
at least what happened to the plate and what it eventually sold for.
-Wendy, thank you so much.
-Thank you very much, Fiona.
I think it looks like Charles Montagu Doughty.
-Charles Montagu Doughty was a poet and a traveller
in the late 19th century.
-But...the thing about Doughty...
..was that he was a very successful man.
This chap looks as miserable as sin!
He does, yes!
I know what you're going to say,
it actually came from a tobacconist shop, aren't you?
-Have you smelt him?
Well, it's such a breezy day, I can't...
I can't smell anything!
But he does need touching up very carefully,
but it's very finely modelled.
Value. What do you think?
I haven't the faintest idea.
Well, if it's Doughty,
which we doubt,
I think it's worth a lot of money.
But if it isn't...
That's more like it, yes.
That's more like it! It must be worth at least £500.
Good gracious! Thank you very much indeed for your pearls of wisdom.
So, portrait miniatures really are,
I think, one of the most intimate forms of portrait painting.
Unlike big oil paintings,
which were sort of intended for public display,
or for display in a dining room or on your wall at home,
miniatures were far more personal, and actually far more intimate.
Let me just turn over this top one here -
and look at this, this is intricately wound, plaited hair,
and this really is what miniatures are about,
this adds that extra personal dimension to them
that you just don't have in other forms of painted portraits.
I mean, these would have been tucked away under a jacket pocket, perhaps,
or they would have been handled. There was this idea that
you sort of catch a glimpse of them throughout the day
as a sort of reminder of your loved one away.
I mean, they're the precursor
to the screensaver on your smartphone, really, I think.
So, who are these people here?
Who's the chap at the top, for example?
That's John Adams, in my mother's family.
There were 19 generations altogether,
my mother being the 19th down here.
He's actually about the 13th,
so they started way back in the 1300s.
And do you know anything about this man in particular?
Well, what I can tell you about him is, yeah,
he lived at a house called Holyland House on the edge of Pembroke
and, sadly, he was drowned at the age of 29
off Linney Head.
Fortunately, he had married, and had a son, another John Adams,
who kept the line going.
Well, this is actually by an artist called Philip Jean,
and Philip Jean was born in Jersey
and he joined the Navy,
and he then soon left the Navy,
and turned to portrait-miniature painting,
which is a bit of a change in career.
Now, his work's very, very distinctive,
and this is a really nice example by him.
So, what is the relation between these two subjects to the man above?
I think the answer to that is they would have been in-laws,
because John Adams' son married Anne Gibbons,
who was their daughter.
So, the artist is William Wood,
and he was a very, very, very well-known,
celebrated and successful painter.
For me, these look like typical of his work in the mid to late 1790s,
when he was at his most confident.
-This work, I think, slightly earlier.
The way in which they're painted is actually very different.
If you look at William Wood, for example,
his strokes are far broader than Jean,
who is a much finer painter.
I mean, with Wood, for example,
you can sort of almost, up close under magnification,
looks like an oil painting, with the brisk, thick brushstrokes.
I mean, he was a very bold painter.
Now, Philip Jean isn't as quite in-demand as William Wood is.
This work, I think, if this were to come up at auction,
you would expect to see it sell for somewhere in the region
of £2,000 to £3,000.
The William Wood pair, however, I think are much nicer, and I think,
if they were to come up, you should expect to see them sell
for somewhere between £6,000 and £8,000.
-Thank you for bringing them in.
I'm really impressed with your taste.
You've brought in a couple of really nice things that show a good eye.
So, where are you finding these bits?
I've been, kind of been watching you for a number of years,
I've been inspired, learning and listening to what you've been doing,
and so I just started going out to a few boot sales
to see what I could find, and this is the result.
OK. So what are you looking for, when you go out?
Where's your track?
Generally, my passion has been 20th-century glass.
I love the colours, I love the names,
OK, so let's examine what you've got.
Well, what we have here is a very scruffy lamp base.
This is Italian, it's 1950s,
it's what's called sommerso technique,
where the glass-blower picks up successive layers of glass.
So, what it's done is that you pick up the first gather of glass,
then you roll it on a table, on a marver, to cool the surface,
and then you dip it in again, pick up some more.
And what's interesting in yours
is how you can see the lines
of how the successive layers have been picked up.
You can really see that.
This weighs a tonne.
You will know that I love holding stuff - but I try and hold this,
it's going to bust my arm off!
The guy who developed this was a guy called Flavio Poli, in Murano,
Venice, in the late '40s.
He never signed anything,
so it's very difficult to attribute to Flavio Poli.
Now, how much did you pay for this?
So, that I found locally for £20.
£20, right, well, it's a bargain.
First of all, it's a bargain.
Let's talk about the downside.
You've got a bit of damage, it's very scruffy.
Restored, this is worth some money,
and the way I do it, as a tip to you,
is I get airgun pellets, which you can drop in, one by one,
put some washing up liquid in,
stir it up a bit, and then tip it up and empty it,
that's just a pro tip for you.
The other thing that you brought in is these...which...
Well, it doesn't take a genius to work out who made them,
who designed them, because the words R Lalique France are on them,
which suggests that they might well be Rene Lalique designs,
which they jolly well are.
1930, 1935, and what they are is menu stands.
You'll see, there's a cut, down here,
where you put your place setting or your menu stands.
-How many of these have you got?
-I've got a set of 12.
£15, I paid for them.
-15 for 12 of these.
Well, I reckon that,
chippy as they are, they are 20 quid.
So you paid 15. 20 times 12 is 240.
This is pretty good going.
This lamp here, Flavio Poli,
it has a little bit of work to do -
I would spend 20, 30, 40 quid on having this restored,
get the scratches out, they're the worst.
But that, retail, is 400 quid!
400 quid! And you, how much did you pay?
Well, I've learned from the master.
Hey, put it there, baby, you're doing well!
That's fantastic, you're doing great.
Thank you very much indeed.
What most audiences at the Roadshow don't know
is that, at the end of the day, you, our steward,
have been working incredibly hard marshalling the crowds and so on.
But, at the end of the day when your work's over,
you can bring stuff to us to value,
and that's what you've done with these.
And they look fantastic.
They're Anglo-Indian, aren't they?
They are, yes, indeed.
And they're very early, aren't they?
Yes, they're about 1780.
They belong, actually, to my wife's family,
and one of her ancestors was a Major in the Indian Army,
and, in Bengal,
and he was commissioned
to do a survey of India.
-A modest job!
-A modest job, absolutely!
So, anyway, he got going with it and, whilst he was doing it,
he was doing the ornithological survey of it, as well,
and he commissioned local artists
to do these paintings as he was going round.
As a matter of record?
-Just to record the species of flora and fauna as they went.
-Where have they been since they were done in 1780-whatever?
Well, they've been with the family ever since,
and they were out in India for about 200 years.
And then my wife's grandfather came back from India,
and he came down to this part of the world,
and he brought the collection with him.
And there's a very large collection,
and they were in the attic in his house, down near here.
-He didn't even hang them?
-No, but they were here in Wales,
and they weren't really displayed at all.
And then my mother-in-law, when she was young,
she discovered them in the attic,
and so she took some of them out and decorated the Scout hut with them.
And so it was obviously appreciated by the local...
-..boys, yes, and she was Akela or something...
But they survived that ordeal to here.
Yes, in the Scout hut, which was a wooden hut,
and then got discovered again, and here they are.
Well, I think they're the most extraordinary fusion
of sort of Western ideas of what they wanted,
and Indian ways of painting.
I mean, this, I suppose it's either a heron or a stork,
I'm not really an aficionado,
but the detail on it is quite astonishing.
Of course, in the West, we want to have volume, and perspective,
and all these new-fangled ideas about art,
but the Indians want to flatten it in that ancient Mughal way,
and so they're really quite silhouetted,
and it's the same with these wonderful plants,
done in a very restricted colourway.
But, when you look really carefully,
you can see that whoever this artist was, and they're often anonymous,
you can feel confident that he's got everything, you know,
that he's recorded them perfectly, in an almost scientific way.
And then when you come to this extraordinary bird,
with its feathers individually painted with the finest of brushes,
and the most extraordinary detail
of colour and variation of tone,
I think that's an astonishing achievement, I really do.
They're wonderful things.
Ah, now, they've been sort of languishing
in attics and Scout huts and things,
and we've got to value them.
-I think that India,
which, of course, is going through its own renaissance at the moment,
you might say, discovering its own culture,
there are quite a lot of Indian collectors who are very interested
in the synthesis between British ideas
and Indian ways of painting, and culture, generally.
And these, I think, represent that synthesis
in the purest form.
So, I think that these, they work wonderfully as three,
but they might be sold separately, £8,000 to £12,000 each.
-£8,000 and £12,000, each of them.
-It's worth that, yes, absolutely.
Yep. They are astonishingly beautiful.
I think anybody would see that.
Right, right, yes, right.
-The bird is fantastic!
I mean, admittedly, there's a bit of a sort of condition issue,
but it's not serious.
The colours are as good as the day it was painted.
It's astonishingly beautiful.
I think that's worth between £15,000 and £18,000.
Oh, Lord, we've got more of them at home!
Oh, I wish you'd brought them!
Oh, Rupert, thank you very much indeed!
That is absolutely...
No, that is astonishing.
Our lovely steward, who had been working hard for us all day,
and what a great way for him to end it.
And I think that collection will be coming out of the attic pretty soon.
Now, all our venues for our next series, our 40th anniversary series,
are on our website, so have a look,
see if you can join us for our ruby anniversary.
From Pembroke Castle, and the whole Antiques Roadshow team, bye-bye.
A return visit for Fiona Bruce and the experts to the beautiful setting of Pembroke Castle in West Wales. Objects featured include a beguilingly rare sapphire ring that changes colour in different light, Pope Pius XII's papal hat, and a collection of remarkable Anglo-Indian paintings from 1780 which were once used to decorate a village scout hut.