Fiona Bruce and the team visit Audley End near Saffron Walden in Essex. One of the items uncovered is the sword that ended the War of Independence in America.
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Our venue today has had a varied past.
There was an Abbey here in the 12th century,
and then by the early 1600s,
it had been transformed into one of the finest Jacobean houses
in the land.
But then, as successive generations ran out of money,
it was gradually made three times smaller.
But, still, today it is magnificent.
Classically elegant on the outside,
and a hotchpotch of styles on the inside.
Welcome to the Antiques Roadshow from Audley End,
near Saffron Walden in Essex.
As country houses up and down the land were updated over the years,
particular rooms with particular functions were lost forever.
But here at Audley End, there's a very rare survivor.
It's a great big coal store up on the top floor,
quite possibly unique for a stately abode like this.
It was used by staff to provide coal for the fireplaces in the bedrooms,
which were mostly on this floor,
and to provide heat for their hip baths and foot baths.
And the coal was brought up by the bucket-load through the window.
Now, that's some kind of carbon footprint.
Some of the staff started work at four in the morning
to get the fires going.
They were long, hard days.
The Neville family, who owned Audley End, had up to 30 staff.
Here in the kitchen, the cook, Avis Croakham,
along with the kitchen maids, would prepare the meal.
The scullery maids washed the vegetables and plucked the birds,
the dairy maids had the task of churning the butter.
The laundry maids would clean and iron the clothes.
And they would do this for hours.
In the 1760s and '70s,
the ground staff were kept hard at work by famed landscaper
Capability Brown, as they reshaped the Audley estate
according to his plans.
But he was never allowed to finish the job, because,
according to the marvellously-named Sir John Griffin Griffin,
who commissioned Capability Brown,
the bend in the river went the wrong way.
The dispute over money went on for years,
and the bend in the river...
stayed the same.
English Heritage now own and care for
this well-shaped landscape and house.
They've kindly invited the Antiques Roadshow onto their lawns,
where we find our specialists hard at work.
When you first saw this elephant here, what did you think?
I've always loved this elephant.
When I was a very small girl,
we would go and have lunch with my great-grandparents,
and if we behaved very well at lunch,
then we were allowed to go upstairs and see the elephant. Yes.
And it was given to my great-great-grandfather
as a child, as a Christmas present full of chocolates.
Ah! Well, let's have a look at him.
Because, he's enormous. I thought,
"Goodness, how did you bring that in? He must be so heavy!"
But he's not.
And he has...
It's not elephant skin,
but it's, you know, it's calf suede.
And you couldn't sit on him as a child. Well, I hope you didn't!
No, we were never allowed to sit on him.
The good news is that his tusks are not ivory... No.
..they're porcelain. You mentioned the chocolates, so...
a hell of a lot of chocolates can go in there.
Well, it's actually quite a small, little...
It's just a small part of it. Yes.
I think he's somewhere around 1890.
I don't think he's as early as maybe your great-great-grandfather,
but he's just heaven,
and I would imagine he was made in Germany and exported, because...
he has a voice.
Shall I pull it? Yes, you can pull it.
That does sound like an elephant!
That's interesting you see because when we were allowed to pull it,
we were told to be very careful, so it sounds like this...
It sounds like a sheep!
It sounds like a sheep. DEEP GROANING
You're the first person who's pulled it strongly
and then, I agree, it sounds like an elephant.
Can I do it again? Yes, you can do it again! Thank you.
He is wonderful.
Unfortunately, my great-grandparents' family
lent it to some other children, another family, for a few years...
Oh, no. ..and they broke its trunk,
cos its trunk used to come up at the same time when you pulled the...
Oh, I see, that would've been so realistic! So exciting.
Oh, I'm sure that can be rectified.
I'm sure of it.
But he's very old and he's very wise,
and he's still screaming, which is amazing,
cos usually they lose their voice. Yeah.
In that condition,
I think we've got to be talking about around ?1,500 to ?2,000.
Well, we'd never sell him.
At least now we know he doesn't sound like a sheep!
You can't get more eccentrically British
than what's known as a Fair Hebe Jug.
There's so much going on, isn't there?
There is. You've got, on one side there's the young lad,
and he's happily having, enjoying a drink,
inscribed there, "a bumper, a bumper."
That's a happy toast, he's merrily getting drunk.
And then on the back we've got his lass and his love,
though she seems more interested in somebody else.
And there's her name, Fair Hebe.
Do you know the story, or anything about the history?
I don't know anything about Fair Hebe, no.
It comes from a song that was popular back in the 1700s,
and I think it was something that you would drink in pubs and taverns
to the tale of the rivalry between the different characters,
but mainly it's about getting drunk and enjoying the drink
that came out of the jug.
Is there... Have you found a signature on it?
I did, I took it down off the shelf yesterday,
and I thought I'd better clean it a bit cos it was dusty,
and it says...
and it's actually dated 1788.
I didn't even see the date.
Hard to see, but that takes it back a nice long time, doesn't it?
That's Jean Voyez.
Josiah Wedgwood discovered him in London
and brought him to Staffordshire
to make models for the Wedgwood factory.
But Voyez repaid Wedgwood's friendship
in a rather disastrous way -
he stole moulds and clay from Wedgwood
and ended up sentenced to seven years in prison.
And it was probably in prison when he modelled this jug!
So it makes it even more interesting.
We don't see Voyez's name on many of his pieces.
Mostly, he signed them with Wedgwood's name
and tried to pass them off. He was a faker, really. Really?
So Jean Voyez's masterpiece, the wonderful running glazes,
this is an early Staffordshire pottery through and through.
This was my mother's, which is why I brought it.
Before that, it was my great-auntie, Sarah.
Now, they were from the Midlands, does that tie in with Staffordshire?
The Potteries around Stoke is where so much pottery was made,
that's where this jug was made.
And, so, Auntie Sarah's jug never travelled terribly far in its life.
There's a few little cracks there,
we've got a little bit of damage on the spout there,
but I think we can forgive it that, don't you?
Oh, yes. I forgive it everything!
Because of that... It's probably worth, as a handsome jug,
MURMURING IN BACKGROUND
I had a vague idea it might be like that, yes.
Thank you very much.
A piece of furniture like this
is stretching my expertise to the very limit.
It's one of the wonderful things about the Antiques Roadshow,
you see more and more difficult pieces.
This is a very early piece of furniture, potentially,
and it really makes me have to think very hard.
So, you help me -
what can you tell me about it, where did you get it from?
Right, it was actually a very special birthday present
for a very special birthday last year.
It was given to me by my husband to make it less painful, basically.
He knows that I'm very passionate about early English history,
and last year, when he asked me,
"Where do you want to go for your birthday?"
I turned down Paris, Brussels,
I said I wanted to go to Leicestershire.
Leicestershire. Leicestershire, yes, the Battle of Bosworth,
because it happened to have been on the day of my birthday,
and therefore there was no better place than the Battle of Bosworth.
So, the Battle of Bosworth, 1485?
August the 22nd, 1485.
And I'm hoping that you will be able to confirm
that there is a possibility
that this piece was made around that time.
Well, pieces like this fall into two, or possibly three categories.
Right. One, that it's totally original... Yeah.
..two, that it's a fake, a made-up fake... Yeah.
..three, that it's a 19th century revered copy.
I look at things like this,
this sort of almost looks like artificial distressing, and I think,
"Surely this can't be a period piece?"
I then had a peep earlier at the inside of the door.
That's wonderful, it's a typical early frame saw,
when they stood in a pit and had a big, wobbly saw...
To tighten up the blade, a string would tighten up the blade,
you'd cut like that,
and if you were underneath you'd get all the sawdust on you.
That is how this sort of piece of furniture would be made,
that's a very good sign. And these wonderful...
We've all seen this before, every cathedral,
Reims Cathedral, any big cathedral you go to,
you've got this wonderful ogee trellis here with this carving.
This is delightful carving.
It's really inspired,
hand-carved by an artist who knew and loved his work.
The hinges on the locks to me are all very, very good signs.
So, you know, looking at it...
..I'm perfectly happy about it.
Let's just for a minute think, do you know what it was used for?
I'm not quite sure whether you would call it a dressoir,
or possibly ambry, one of the questions I actually have for you.
Well, it's French, and it would be a dressoir. Right.
The wonderful thing about these, the original ones... Yeah.
..are made to go in the main room of a house.
Yeah. And dressoir means you would dress it.
You would probably have white linen,
you would have pewter on top and below,
or silver, or something of this quality,
probably even gold plate,
cos that was your duty as a host,
to bring people into the house to show them how wealthy you were.
Yeah. You didn't hide it, you showed your status,
so you'd dress your dressoir. Yeah.
So that's the correct word.
So you asked me if it was
the same date as the Battle of Bosworth, 1485.
It's around that date.
Nobody can be that accurate but certainly within 50 years, yes,
if it's what I think it really is.
If we can prove my theory and it is right, a period piece,
insure it for...
And hopefully it's going to be the one and only object
in our family that's worthy of being passed on
generation after generation, and possibly another 500 years.
SHE LAUGHS Thank you. Thank you very much.
I've had quite a few deja vu moments here at the Antiques Roadshow.
When you got that out,
I was having yet another one,
because things like this, back in the 1970s, were my stock in trade.
Is it something that you or your family use?
It's not, I don't really know too much about it.
My father worked in the casino business
in the late '60s and early '70s.
I can only surmise that he acquired it.
About three or four years ago,
I had a friend who worked in Hatton Garden,
and I took some old jewellery up to scrap it,
and Dad gave me this and said,
"Can you take this up and scrap it?" No!
It was on the scales...
No! ..and I couldn't bring myself to do it.
Thank God for that. Well, obviously, it's here.
I can't believe... I came back and I said to Dad,
"Look, it's a beautiful thing, I can't do it."
He obviously wanted the money, so we came to an arrangement.
I gave him the scrap value of it...
And how much was that?
I gave him ?2,500 for it. That's quite a lot. Yeah, but...
You rescued it, in other words. Yeah.
Well, obviously, you know what it is, it's a Dunhill.
I believe so. Nine carat gold... Yeah. ..cigarette lighter.
Can I open it? Of course, yeah.
Which way does it open? Ah, there. There's a cigarette lighter,
And here is a compact, with a lipstick in there,
and the lipstick goes in there... That's got a mirror...
..and the powder goes there and the mirror's there.
But the best part about it is,
we press the side piece here and the watch shoots out.
This was called a vanity compendium.
I looked at the hallmark... Right. ..and this is 1933.
One in 1932... Right.
..won the gold prize at Goldsmiths Hall,
and it was said to be an ingenious assemblage of engineering,
which you can see it is.
It's so fine, it's finely reeded.
And here, at this end,
there's a little thumb piece where you put your fingernail,
and lift the flap, and pull it, and you've got a gold pencil.
I mean, that is extraordinary.
The downside is smoke has become less popular.
Yeah. The upside is, compacts are very collectable,
and the other upside is that Dunhill is very collectable.
So, they're made in Switzerland.
Right. I mean, obviously the watch is a Swiss watch.
But in the '70s, I used to sell one like this for about ?900. Right.
But you paid 2,000, didn't you? 2,500. 2,500.
..now, that 2,500,
I don't know if you'll get your money back, and probably...
triple it, actually... Right. ..and it's between 7,500 to 10,000.
It may be even as much as ?12,000 for this.
So you were right to rescue it.
Now that you know it's worth about three times
the price that you paid to rescue it,
what do you think you're going to do with it?
Keep it. My father died a couple of months ago.
I'm sorry. So, every time I get it out and look at it,
it's a reminder of my dad. So...
I'd do just the same, I think.
Yeah. No, I won't be selling it.
So, this fabulous poster of "Bostock and Wombwell's
"World Renowned Menagerie, the oldest,
"largest and best travelling exhibition ever organised."
What's your connection with it?
My connection is that George Wombwell
was my great-great-great uncle.
He started it because he loved animals,
and he happened to go into the London docks one day
and he saw a pair of boa constrictors, which he bought,
and that was the start of it.
So, this was established in 1805, this particular zoo,
and of course continued throughout the 19th century...
About 120 years.
And what I think we've got to realise and remember,
most people didn't leave the village or town they were born in
and suddenly this menagerie would arrive with zebras and elephants,
never seen before.
So I think we've got to remember how exciting... Oh, yes.
..that was for people in the 19th century. Yes.
They were commanded to go to Windsor Castle
on several occasions by Queen Victoria,
and she wrote about them in her diaries.
Again, because it was such a fascinating thing.
And you've got Staffordshire figures,
with lions and tigers and elephants.
I mean, incredibly exotic. Mm.
You've got this little book here of all the money they took,
Banbury were very interested, cos they've paid ?44,
they took ?44 at Banbury.
But all these other, Broadway, they travelled all over the countryside.
Yes. And all over the world.
New Zealand, Australia, India...
Incredible. ..China and Japan.
And this is, who's this gentleman here?
This is James Bostock, this is my great-grandfather,
Edward Henry Bostock's father.
So, a fascinating piece of history.
I remember growing up in the Scottish Borders,
being excited when the circus came, or when the fair came once a year.
But take me, you know, back to the 19th century,
it was even more exciting. Mm.
And obviously, if we're looking at valuation,
it's not going to be terribly high, so we're talking a few hundred,
but it's the personal connection... It's the connection.
..that's so important. Yes, it is.
Hello. Hi there, what have you got in this briefcase?
Important papers? Well...
you might be surprised.
Are these...? Are these...?
They are what you think they are, yes.
..toilet chain pulls? That's correct, yes.
Well, I used to watch this show back in the '80s.
I felt I needed to collect something,
and it needed to be something I could afford,
it needed to be something small,
and I found that one...
in Brighton, and I understand it to be Royal Doulton.
So how many have you got of these things?
So it must mean you're FLUSH, then?
Oh, very good! Never heard that one before(!)
Now, I think everybody would know we're looking at a smoker's cabinet,
a very common piece of furniture in the Victorian and Edwardian periods.
It's quite pretty, but I have to say to you,
it's not very special, is it?
Well, it's not really special until you come up to this part here...
Right. ..where it's been presented to Dr Hugh Ferguson Watson,
who was the first doctor to force-feed the suffragettes
in Perth Prison.
Now, the suffragette movement was very powerful in Scotland.
I think the focus is always on London and the South, as usual.
What did Scottish suffragettes do?
Well, they did all the usual things -
they broke windows, they demonstrated,
there was a huge march in Edinburgh in 1909,
and of course force-feeding, which becomes a major issue, not so early,
normally from 1911, 1912 onwards, was important in Scotland.
And obviously, this chap, Hugh Ferguson Watson,
was the doctor that did it.
Do you know anything about him?
Only what I read or found out about him.
He was the doctor of Perth Prison, he was the doctor of Perth Hospital,
and he was the first one that actually started force-feeding
the four suffragettes that were there at the time.
I think we have to think briefly about that.
I mean, it was a very intrusive, aggressive process,
humiliating, dangerous and utterly unpleasant.
It was done, as it sounds, force-feeding,
often the tubes went into your lung rather than your stomach,
it gave you pneumonia,
it gave you permanent physical and psychological damage,
and it was administered by doctors.
And you think, "Well, hang on a minute, doctors are supposed to...
"cure, not maim."
And this was the big debate at the time.
So I think this is a classic case,
where an interesting but frankly fairly ordinary object,
reveals a really, really sort of dark piece of our history,
which we must not forget.
This was a great fight for freedom.
Women did not get the full voting rights
that you and I have until 1928.
It was a long, long battle.
What's it worth as a cabinet?
?40 or ?50. Yeah. But that's not it.
That makes it a really important piece of social history.
That's what it is, the history of it, I think it's brilliant.
Yes. Just to find that out about it.
Well, you did very well rescuing it.
Thank you very much. Thank you. Pleasure, thank you.
Well, here's how they landed the catch in the early 19th century -
you wait for the tide to go down, and you beach your fishing boat,
and then the family of the fishermen come and take the fish off the boat.
It's an extraordinary capture of early 19th-century life, isn't it?
Absolutely. And it's by Edward William Cooke.
Yes. Signed and dated 1839.
Yes. And why are you interested in Cooke, if you are?
Well, he's my great-great-grandfather,
and we've always had a great interest,
although he's not a very famous painter.
Well, he is in my world.
In his day,
he was one of the most successful British landscape painters,
well, marine painters, really,
and you've got to remember, of course,
that, in those days, Britain was very much king of the seas.
Yes. And we relied on the sea for everything, commerce, militarily,
diplomatically, in every way we were masters of the sea,
and people would've understood sea pictures in the Royal Academy
in those days in a way that they don't now.
It's quite fun to deconstruct one now, isn't it,
and look at it with older eyes?
Yes. The wide variety,
and the sheer size of the fish that they've caught,
and landed it straight on the shore
and shipped it straight to Billingsgate to be sold fresh.
It's a very different food chain, isn't it, looking back? Absolutely.
And much more real, somehow. Yes, healthy. Mm.
I rather like the boy. He's probably the skipper's son, isn't he?
Cos the clothes look too big for him.
Now, usually, with EW Cooke,
you can tell exactly the topography,
and if I knew the south coast better,
then I'd be able to say exactly where it was, but I don't.
I know that he liked to go to the Isle of Wight a lot... Yes.
..and it could be there.
So, it's obviously oil on canvas,
it's really got everything you should want, except that,
if you don't mind me saying,
it has been quite heavily cleaned... Yes.
..and it's lost some of the glazes in the rocks
and the sky has gone down a bit as a result.
His skies are so luminous.
You can just see that this one is too,
but less so perhaps than one in very fresh condition. Mm.
Um, you know, there was a time not so long ago
when this picture would've been worth about ?20,000. Yes.
Now, I fear that the market may have slipped a little since then,
I'm afraid. Yep.
And, actually, I want to leave it at 20,
but I worry that we wouldn't quite get there these days.
Yeah. But it's still a wonderful picture.
Thank you very much.
So, most people come along to the Antiques Roadshow,
on the ceramics tables,
and they bring cups and saucers and plates and vases
and figurines of shepherdesses,
you come along with Nelson's Column,
which is quite incredible!
Now, the first thing that strikes me
is where do you keep such an extraordinary object?
Well, it is a bit of a problem,
but at the moment,
Nelson is in our spare bedroom, on the side, in the corner...
So, this all comes apart, doesn't it? It all comes apart
and the four lions are on the piano.
It's very funny, isn't it? Well, in actual fact,
I think this was designed as a table centrepiece.
And you can imagine,
you'd need quite a grand dining table to accommodate such a thing.
And here we are, standing in front of Audley End House,
behind us, just there, and it's just the kind of grand residence
that something of this nature perhaps would have been made for.
So, what do you know about where it's from or what it's made from?
Well, I know it belonged to my father and his first wife.
And then he married my mother
and I think she rather tolerated it, a black...
It used to be in her small sitting room, on a table in the corner.
And I think she tried to brighten it up a little bit
cos you can see the watermarks in there,
and she would put some flowers in there occasionally,
if we had visitors, to try and make it a bit more attractive.
But, yeah... Well, it's actually made from
a kind of stoneware called Black Basalt.
And Black Basalt is most associated with Wedgwood.
And indeed, when we pick up this lion here,
cos the lions are all loose, we can see...
..that there's an impressed Wedgwood mark.
These are extraordinarily rare
and, you know, in 30 years of looking at pottery and porcelain,
I've never seen this. Oh, right.
There is one in the National Maritime Museum,
made in 1917,
but apart from that, I know of no other.
What is so interesting about it is the quality of the moulding.
You can just see here, these delicate little acanthus leaves,
and the real care in which
the flutes of the column have been created.
So, it's a luxury, grand object...
..and probably, therefore, its life in a back bedroom and on a piano
is not what it was intended for,
but it doesn't matter.
So, there must be a lot of collectors out there
who would really love this.
So, based on what they pay for things of equal rarity,
I'm going to put a figure of ?3,000 to ?5,000 on it.
Wow! That's fantastic!
It's time for our regular guessing game,
set by our experts, The Enigma.
And this week's Enigma comes here from Audley End,
this beautiful silver object,
brought along by our silver specialist, Alastair Dickenson.
This looks fiendishly difficult, Alastair.
I haven't got a clue what that is and I know you've got three options.
Certainly have. So, what are they?
Well, the first possibility is that this is a stone holder.
Why would anyone want a stone holder?
Ah, well, it's not just any stone holder.
We're not talking a pebble from a beach, here? We're not.
Right, OK. We're talking of something more like a gall stone.
Yuck! Like a fatty concretion from the gut of an animal,
specifically from the goat.
And it's called a bezoar stone holder.
And the word "bezoar" is Persian
and it means antidote or cure.
And the bezoar was meant to guard or cure poison.
They were highly prized,
and they made these lovely containers to put the bezoar in.
When abouts are we talking? We're talking of the late 17th century.
They must have been massive, for the goat,
if they went into something that size, is what occurs to me.
Well, I've not been on the inside of a goat recently,
so I can't tell you what the average size...
It must have made that goat's eyes water!
So, that's one option.
I have heard of bezoar, so it's not quite as preposterous as it seems.
So, what else?
The second possibility is that this is a miniature globe holder.
In the 19th century,
when explorers were going all around Africa
and other different parts of the world,
the normal case for a globe would be made of chagrin or leather.
Of course, they all fell apart in the tropics.
So they made, initially, metal cases
for these smaller, more portable globes.
And special silver ones, like this, were made
as gifts to visiting emissaries and dignitaries.
We've had some beautiful miniature globes on the Roadshow in the past.
I've never seen one in a case or ever heard anyone mentioning a case,
I have to admit. They... As I say,
they were usually given to foreign dignitaries.
Well, that's handy, isn't it? That's why we haven't seen one! Exactly.
If this is a tall tale,
you're going into an extraordinary amount of detail,
which makes me think maybe it has the ring of truth about it.
What's your third option?
The third option is that this is
an 18th-century story sphere.
And what is that?
Well, story spheres originated in south-west France,
way back in the 14th century.
And the first ones were wooden
and carved, on the outside, with folklore and fables and tales
about things that they loved talking about.
And you may wonder why...
..Christmas trees have balls hanging from them.
Or baubles, as I prefer to call them! All right,
but they originate from the story sphere.
What do you think?
I'm quite confused, I must say.
So, what have we got? The innards of a goat...
What was the second one?!
LAUGHING: Miniature globes. The miniature globes.
Or the bauble on a Christmas tree.
So, what do we think? Any ideas?
Goat, has to be... Where's the globe?
And if the globe's not there any more...
Where is the globe, if it's a globe case?!
That's a very good point!
Actually, for that reason alone - thank you, madam - I am going for...
I think let's go for the goat, the bezoar holder.
You sure? LAUGHTER
No, but that's what we're going for!
Well, I hate to tell you, Fiona...
Yes! CHEERING AND LAUGHTER
Well done, that lady who told me about that!
The bezoar was a massively valuable thing.
In the Renaissance period,
a bezoar was worth ten times the value of gold.
They were phenomenally expensive and valuable,
and that's why you had these wonderful cases.
Alastair, thank you for setting us this week's Enigma
and telling us some preposterously tall tales about it.
Story of my life!
So, do you remember these from your childhood?
No, not from when I was very young.
We weren't allowed to sort of play with anything like this,
it was sort of kept away from us.
I was a bit destructive as a child.
Well, you know, you and me both, really.
But clearly it was a good thing they were kept away from you
if you were destructive,
because what we've got here are two absolutely lovely
second-half-of-the-19th-century children's books.
Dean's New Magic Peep Show Picture Book.
It's not a sort of peepshow like the end of the pier,
with what-the-butler-saw kind of peeps,
this is rather more for children.
And the first two peeps of this are just fantastic.
They're the wonders of the age.
We can see in a second why it was a good thing
you weren't really allowed to play with them as a child,
because here we have a wonderful peep
and, as you look down into it,
you see all the way along
the grand central aisle
of the Crystal Palace.
So, it is a pretty amazing thing, actually. Unbelievable.
And then the next one is also another wonder of the age,
rather less well known today,
and this is the Thames Tunnel.
The Thames Tunnel was built
slightly before the Crystal Palace,
and the intention was that it was going to be for wheeled transport.
But it cost so much money to make,
and it was a bit of a white elephant at the time,
so it became a pedestrian tourist attraction. Right.
And about two million people a year went to see it.
Two million?! Yeah. And, of course,
this is educating children at a time when children
were no longer being sent up chimneys, by and large,
and they were having to go to school.
And then this other one
is absolutely charming, as well,
which is Dean's Pantomime Toy Books.
And this is all to do with
going to the theatre and everything
and it's just so dazzling!
It is printed with chromolithography,
which was a relatively new technique,
which allowed cheap mass production in colour printing.
And it's not just a little bit of text and a picture in the middle.
It's got folding pages and the whole story of a Aladdin told in pictures.
So these are very collectable today,
and I think you've got some quite valuable things here.
The Peep Show book, at auction, would make somewhere...
?600 to ?800.
And the Pantomime Aladdin,
charming as it is, is not as valuable,
and is worth perhaps ?200 to ?300.
Blimey! I didn't think it was anything like that.
I just liked them. So it is the best part of ?1,000 there.
Fantastic. Thank you.
You've brought me this sword,
but this is a sword with a really special story.
Absolutely. This sword...
..ended the War of Independence in America,
because my husband's great-great-great-great-grandfather,
four greats, I think I got them right, Lord Cornwallis,
surrendered with this sword at Yorktown
and that was the beginning of the end of the War of Independence
and we lost all our American colonies,
which was a very dismal result.
It was. And wasn't Cornwallis's fault.
They'd been besieged by the French, they were hung up,
they couldn't get out, there was nobody coming for them.
No. He had no option other than...
And he had to surrender.
And Cornwallis was diplomatically ill and wouldn't attend.
That, I didn't know. Poor man. Oh, dear. How very sad.
You can understand why Cornwallis realised that that was
the end of English possession... Absolutely.
..in the American colonies.
Absolutely, it was the beginning of the end.
And this is the actual sword?
And this is the actual sword with which he had to surrender.
And then, because it was the etiquette of the day,
they gave the sword back. Yes.
So we've had it pretty well ever since, I think.
But it's just an ordinary sword, really, isn't it?
Yes, it's just a work... a workmanlike sword. Mm.
But historically, absolutely fascinating.
Um... A value?
I would have thought - a low estimate -
?10,000 to ?12,000?
Goodness me, that is amazing.
It's such a fascinating thing for the American market.
It is, isn't it? It represents the start of modern America.
I think they would love it,
but I think we'll probably have to keep it. Splendid.
That's what I like to hear.
Any time I see any type of box,
I wonder if there's a secret inside.
Tell me about this work box.
It was my grandmother's engagement present,
and we think she got it about 1900s.
It is a sewing table,
but my grandmother loved writing stories, even as a little girl,
she was always writing stories.
She wanted to be a journalist, but wasn't allowed to.
But, as she grew older,
she wrote stories for broadcast on Listen With Mother at lunchtimes,
which people probably remember.
And she always used to keep the scripts for those
and other things that she wrote in this work table.
This was your grandmother.
That's my grandmother, yes.
Janet Gemmill. Janet Gemmill, yeah.
And, so, she kept her scripts in here?
Yes, all of them, the ones that were accepted
and the ones that were rejected. Right.
They were always in there.
And why didn't she become a journalist?
She wasn't allowed to,
I mean, woman's work and all that sort of thing.
Oh, gosh, yes. You know, her grandmother just didn't let her.
..these are her...her stories.
Let's just put this back down again.
And one is tempted to say,
"Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin."
LAUGHTER And here it is.
"The little green gnomes had lived in the forest
"for years and years and years.
"They had come to look upon it as their very own,
"although they knew that it was part of the country ruled over by a king,
"the father of their beloved Princess Coralie."
Well, she might not have been allowed to be a journalist,
but it has been read out!
So that was very good.
So, we're saying that she got this as an engagement present in...?
We think 1900s.
Of course, it was not new then.
No. No. I mean, this is very typical
of the walnut furniture made around the middle of the 19th century.
And she obviously found this very special use for it. Mm.
Unfortunately, this sort of furniture is sort of out of fashion
and it's got quite a bit of damage to it.
And, in terms of the value of this,
it's probably only ?300 to ?400.
That's what we expected. But the thing is,
the value of what's inside, to you as a family, is very much more.
Mm. Lovely. Yes.
MUSIC: Listen With Mother theme tune
'Are you sitting comfortably?
'Then we'll begin.'
"Liberte, paix and solidarite."
Liberty, peace and solidarity.
What a lovely thing.
Interesting people designed them.
Very interesting people, I can see that.
How did you come by all these scarves?
Well, my husband and I,
we belonged to a choir called the London Youth Choir.
And this was when? This was in the early '50s, 1950s.
And our aim was really a sort of, hopefully, singing for peace.
You know, world peace sort of idea.
So, where did you go with this choir,
what kind of countries did you visit?
We went to the East European countries quite often.
They had youth festivals.
So, Poland and Bucharest and Prague and so on.
All the communist countries, all part of the Soviet Republic? Yes.
And then where did the scarves come in?
They were given to us.
Most of them were made specially for each festival. How fascinating.
I don't think anyone has ever brought along anything like this,
certainly since I've been on the Roadshow.
I think you and your idealistic scarves should be seen by Ronnie -
he's our specialist in scarves and he'll be thrilled to see them.
That's interesting. Thank you.
The relationships that we have with our jewellery is so important
and it's very unique to us.
We wear jewellery because it makes us happy,
it makes us think about past generations.
And what I think is wonderful about this,
is that two very, very different styles are in the same family.
So, first of all,
we'll start with the older style,
which is these wonderful pearls.
Tell me about how you got these.
They belong to my daughter,
they were given to her, when she was born, by my mother-in-law,
to whom they were given when my husband was born.
So, they're an heirloom? They're an heirloom.
And have you had the honour of wearing them yet?
I've never actually worn them, but Mum wore them on my wedding day,
so actually quite a special piece of jewellery to all of us.
They are a beautiful example of natural pearls.
And there has been such a renaissance with natural pearls
because they are so rare today.
And I love the fact that you've got this wonderful diamond clasp.
Quite 1950s, the clasp, actually,
so I would think the pearls have come from an earlier source
and then have been later strung
or married together with the '50s clasp.
But then suddenly, we have something completely different over here.
So, what was going through your mind when you saw this
and when did you see this?
I bought it in 1972,
with money from an insurance claim that...
I'd had a diamond brooch stolen,
which was given to me by my mother-in-law.
OK, so it was from the same collection.
It was from the same, yes.
So, I bought that in Collingwood's of Conduit Street,
a jeweller no longer with us, I think.
And I have no idea by whom it was made.
Collingwood's are quite a traditional jewellers,
so, for them, in the '70s, to be selling an item like this
was sort of quite out of the box. And for you...
I'm very interested in what gravitated you
to this style and this type of ring.
Well, I absolutely love 1970s jewellery.
I did then, and I still do now.
What do you love about it?
It's bold, it's slightly wacky,
and I just love the bark effect.
I can't stop holding it. You've seen me...
I am so in love with this, so in love with this ring!
The '70s was about big stones and dramatic pieces,
and diamonds were just there just to highlight a design.
And this stone is a tourmaline, which is a natural stone.
And this would have come from Brazil.
There were some wonderful workshops
that were making these types of jewels
and they're highly collected now, today.
The '70s period is really quite in.
And the only thing is, there is no signature.
I know. There is no signature of this wonderful craftsman,
and I would love to know who the craftsman is.
Maybe, he might be watching.
Wouldn't that be wonderful?! Wouldn't that be wonderful?
Yes, it really would. It really would.
We'll let you know if we hear. Thank you. We'll let you know.
But, because of the '70s jewellery being in vogue,
there's a lot of competitive bidding going on at the moment, out there,
as there are with pearls, too,
so you're not being left out, here.
You've definitely, definitely got a wonderful heirloom.
And, you know, the natural pearls, as I said,
you don't find these in the oceans any more.
These are saltwater pearls.
And, at auction,
you are going to be looking in the region of around about...
Wow! Slightly more than you thought!
Now, as for this one, do you remember how much you paid for it?
No idea. Well...
I just think it is absolutely fabulous
and I think, at auction, you'd be looking in the region
of around about
?5,000 to ?7,000.
Heavens! SHE CHUCKLES
And if the person phones us up and tells us who made it,
it'll be worth more!
That would be a really good end to the story, thank you.
When you came to the table and I saw these coming out of your bag,
you brought them out, I couldn't believe my eyes!
And then... I know that you had
a conversation with Fiona about how you acquired them
and wasn't it through going to world peace festivals?
That's right, yes, it was. And when was that?
In the early '50s,
and into the '60s, but mainly in the '50s.
So you went to Communist countries
in the days when they were shut off to most people?
It was the only way to get in!
Well, these scarves are fabulous.
And I'd like to focus on my favourite,
and it's these up here.
You must know that one like this...
What does that say? "Liberte, solidarite."
And that's designed by
one of the most famous artists of the 20th century. Really?
Fernand Leger. I knew the name, but I didn't know he was so famous.
He was a cubist and a modernist... My goodness.
..and his work is really sought after.
And this chap here, who did this one, needs no introduction at all.
No. We all know who Picasso is.
And this one is what is known as...
These are propaganda scarves to collectors. Yes.
And artists that were interested in politics at the time
made images that got printed up to be used at congresses
and festivals like you went to.
And that was... de rigueur in the '50s...
Absolutely, yes, it was.
..for forward-thinking, enlightened people.
People really love these things.
I remember seeing one of these, in the '70s, in a gallery
and thought, I... I've always wanted one of those
and I've never actually found one
and you've got two of the greatest scarves
from this type of collecting that I know of. Golly.
And this Fernand Leger, as I said, is a huge name.
Unfortunately, it's a bit smudged, but it's not too bad.
I think it could be improved and this one,
if it was in really good condition, is probably worth about...
Maybe this one's worth about 800 or 900 as it is.
This one is in really good condition
and one of these made $2,500
in a New York sale a few years ago.
So, in all,
the others are worth about ?500, plus about ?1,700 worth,
plus about ?1,000,
so that comes to something like ?3,000, I think,
for the lot. Wow!
Now, you've brought along some medals,
but also a box of draughts. What have you brought that in for?
We were clearing my parents' house
after my father went into residential care
and I found a draughts box, which I thought contained draughts.
I was just about to throw it into a box for the charity shop
and it rattled, so I looked in and I found the medals.
That's amazing. And these medals relate to the First World War,
but there's one medal in particular
that I want to talk about and that's this one here.
This is the Distinguished Service Medal.
What do you know about it?
My grandfather won the Distinguished Service Medal
at the Battle of Jutland.
He was a chief petty officer stoker.
He changed over oil tank, after the oil tank was hit,
to the other oil tank, under full steam
and was awarded the DSM.
So he was quite a brave man? Yes.
The Battle of Jutland took place
in 1916, on 31st May and 1st June.
And it's an incredibly famous battle -
it was the largest naval battle in the First World War.
Many sailors were killed, many ships were sunk.
This is a very, very important medal
and important group of medals.
These medals do have a value.
And you were about to, not throw them out,
but you were about to give them to a charity shop, weren't you? Yes.
The Distinguished Service Medal is the important medal in the group,
but you have got several other medals here, too -
you've got a Long Service And Good Conduct,
you've got a British War Medal,
you've got a 1914-15 Star.
The value of the group is going to be somewhere in the region of...
?2,500 to ?3,500.
I never imagined it would be that amount.
But they stay with the family, as far as I'm concerned.
So, what a pile of old bones
and bits of smashed-up crockery and shells you've brought to me
and I'm supposed to be the jewellery man.
But tell me all about it.
Well, we found them at the Thames,
cos we went on a little search
for all little pieces like this.
Yes, and who took you there first, was it a friend?
Yeah, and her family.
Yes. They call it mudlarking, don't they? Yeah.
And I'm a mudlarker,
I'm absolutely thrilled to do this
and once I get away from my jewellery table,
what I really want to do
is go down to the great, green, greasy Thames
and try to find these things
and you've found them perfectly, haven't you?
Which is your favourite?
It's probably...the jaw.
And tell us why that is.
Because I like that there's still teeth inside.
And this is a jawbone of a sheep and we can only guess how old that is.
But the Thames was a sort of rubbish dump
and people hurled all kinds of trash into it, simply to get rid of it.
But of all the things you've shown me,
I think the most magical is this,
and have you any idea why I like that one so much?
Is it because it's very old?
It is very, very old and it's not only very old,
but it was made on the other side of the world.
It was made in China and a little potter, 400 years ago,
made a vast bowl and decorated it with all manner of good things
including what is left of a peony here,
in a dynasty known as the Kangxi Period, which is 400 years ago,
and we can only guess at the sort of people that were eating from it.
They were in the 17th century, they'd be wearing wigs,
they'd be very strange to us, living in the centre of London,
very prosperous, could afford all kinds of things
and then, dang it, the servant breaks the plate.
There's no point keeping that, fling it in the river
and then you come along 400 years later and find it and show it to me.
Well, if that isn't magic, what is? It's wonderful!
These are not valuable objects in the conventional sense of the word,
but they're enormously valuable to you
and they're enormously valuable to me.
I mean, I think they've got wonderful context
and maybe, one day, you can make a career from it.
What would you like to be when you come to work?
LAUGHING: Of course you would! I know!
I always wish I had been an archaeologist
but my break went in another direction,
I've been enormously lucky.
Thank you very much for bringing them.
It was really good, wasn't it? Yeah.
In the 1920s and 1930s, there was a lot of interest in fairies.
You may remember there were some photographs produced
and people were convinced
there were fairies at the bottom of people's gardens.
Yeah, there are!
Well, you're a good one to talk to me
because you've got fairies on your sideboard from what I can see.
Have you been living with these fairies for quite some time?
About 12 years.
12 years. Yes. And before then?
Before then, they lived in Ireland,
from about 1962 until 2004. Oh, right. Right.
Do you want to go further back? If you can go further back.
They were owned by a cousin of my aunt, who lived in Johannesburg.
Goodness me, these are well-travelled vases! They are.
So they've been fairies in South Africa,
they've been leprechauns by the time they got to Ireland...
That's it, yes.
..and now they are fairies again in Saffron Walden.
That's it. Right.
They are very special, because they remind me of my aunt.
Ahh. That is what it's about, at the end of the day, isn't it?
Let's have a look at the pieces
because I know you've done a little bit of research,
because, talking to the daughter who's behind you,
with the next inheritor in her arms... That's it, absolutely.
The big name here, it's one we've heard before on the Roadshow,
is Daisy Makeig-Jones, as the designer. Yeah.
She did come up with these amazing designs and produced by Wedgwood,
in Etruria in Stoke-on-Trent,
and...under the banner of Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre.
Oh, right. So, you've got three very nice prime pieces.
The thing about the Wedgwood Fairyland in general
is that it is very, very dependent on condition.
Right, yeah. A little bit of wear.
And so the first thing I do when I see a bowl like this is this...
Oh, sounds good. That sounds all right.
That's a good sound, that is a good sound.
The decoration is called Castle On The Road,
but the interior, for some reason,
is called Boxers. I am looking at these fairies...
Or Boxing, rather.
I can't see any boxing fairies but, anyway, that's what it's called.
That's what it's called.
So, it's making the right sound.
Because if it had made a bit of a snare... Yeah?
..that would have been worth...?1,000?
It's worth a bit more than 1,000 now.
So I think we will start with that one...
at around the 3,000 mark.
Holy smoke! Really?! Maybe a little bit more.
So, leaning over, let's have a look at this one.
This one is called Pillar,
cos you've got these columns. Yeah.
OK, you have got these columns and...
Yeah, that's making a nice noise.
So, with a piece like that...
..the chances are, you're going to be...
Six?! What, for this ONE?!
So... I should be sitting down! No, no, no.
Or laying down, Mum?
So we now move on to this big thing,
which could even work as an umbrella stand, couldn't it?
I think that's what they used it for -
they just dumped umbrellas in it.
Did they really? Yeah.
Let's have a look. It's called Bubbles, for obvious reasons,
and you've got this wonderful arrangement
of what appear to be like water babies, little winged sprites.
Have you noticed the sleeping dragon?
Have you looked at the bottom there? Yeah. Yeah.
Good. Now, I've to come round to this one
because I don't want to lift it. That's got a...
Lovely. Did you like that?
I did, yeah. Do it again! Are you sure?
VASE RINGS OK.
The thing is, that I'm looking in there
and I'm wondering if I can see a crack.
Because if that is a crack...
Let's say it's one of my hairs!
Well, no. The long and short of it is, if it's a crack...
Do you mind if I look at it? No, that's fine.
Because if it's a crack, it's ?2,000, you understand that?
Ooh! OK. Yeah.
That's still loads more than we expected. Still loads of money.
Yeah, it is. It is a crack?
No. I don't...
Hang on, let's have a look. No.
OK. No crack.
No, no crack. Excellent.
So, I suppose,
forget the 2,000,
I think we've got to now say...
CROWD GASPS LOUDLY Oh, my word! OK, that woke the baby!
You are joking?! My goodness.
Where money's concerned, I never joke, I never joke.
I'd better insure it.
Well, you know, I mean, it's nice...
It's nice to think that there's a profit to be had
by having fairies in anybody's house,
but in your house, it's come good. Yes, absolutely!
Excellent. Amazing. Amazing.
I think that family will be telling the story of that valuation
and their day at the Antiques Roadshow for years to come,
and it will certainly give that baby
something to remember when it grows up.
From all of us here at Audley End and the whole Roadshow team,
until next time, bye-bye.
I told you, I don't need any help. And I told you, you've got it.
Leopard changed its spots, has it?
Come on, then!
Grant, what you doing?!
Fiona Bruce and the team visit Audley End near Saffron Walden in Essex. Scouring through the family treasures brought in by visitors, the experts discover a varied set of items. These include the sword that ended the War of Independence in America, a large collection of toilet chains, a beautiful silver container that once contained the gall stone of a goat and three vases decorated with fairies.