Fiona Bruce and the team head to Ightham Mote near Sevenoaks in Kent. Items featured include Walter Scott's walking cane and two very early cricket bats.
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Today we're in Kent,
at one of the oldest medieval manor houses in the land.
Knights, sheriffs, courtiers, MPs
have all been past owners of Ightham Mote
over the last 700 years.
And it's against this magical backdrop
that we raise our Antiques Roadshow flag.
Nestled in a valley and encircled by its very own moat,
this manor house evokes a fairy tale picture of England past,
though some of it of the rather GRIMM variety.
Now, every fairy tale worth its salt has a tower.
Though, thankfully, I'm no damsel in distress.
Well, not yet, anyway.
Rather like Jack's beanstalk, this tower grew and grew.
You see, the base and the door frame, that's early 14th century.
Windows on the first floor?
The window on the next floor is Elizabethan, and then the turret,
well, that's from the Victorian era.
And some of Ightham Mote's past owners
could easily fit into a fairy tale of their own.
Like this beautifully dressed lady, Dame Dorothy Selby,
who was renowned for her fine needlework.
But, unlike Sleeping Beauty, when she accidentally pricked herself,
she didn't fall asleep for 100 years.
Her wound became infected, and, rather grimly, she died,
without a handsome prince coming to her rescue.
Others have tales of mixing with royalty.
Such as Sir Richard Clement, who was knighted by Henry VIII.
Sir Richard was at Anne Boleyn's coronation,
and just a few years later, he served on the jury
that condemned her to death for high treason.
But this story does have a fairy tale ending.
The last owner of Ightham Mote,
an American called Charles Henry Robinson,
donated the house to the National Trust back in 1985.
And they have saved its many layers of history
for us and future generations to enjoy.
Now we just need a sprinkling of our own magic,
which we can leave to our specialists
on this week's Antiques Roadshow.
Now, I've been doing the Roadshow for just over ten years now,
and this is the one thing I've always wanted to see.
I know you're going to think I'm weird,
but why have you got them?
Well, my dad bought a box of junk at a boot fair, he paid a few pounds,
and they were in the bottom of the box.
And what have you found out about them?
We know that the... One plate is gold, the springs are gold,
and the pins that hold the teeth in are gold.
Mm-hmm. Now, you were pretty wealthy if you had a set of teeth like this.
Like you say, they are in gold,
and the rare thing about them is they are porcelain teeth.
And the history of anything like this is fascinating,
because with teeth, during the 18th century,
the wealthy obviously had vast amounts of sugar,
and generally their teeth were rotten.
Their breath stank, and they would lose their teeth,
and they needed something to sort that out.
And they tried... I mean, surgeons tried everything,
from implanting teeth into chicken's heads to see if it would take,
and you would pull out your tooth if you were poor
and sell it instantaneously, and they would try and implant it.
None of that really worked.
So, when they came up with a set of teeth like this,
it was the obvious solution.
Now, these are made of porcelain on a gold background,
but the earlier ones from the Napoleonic Wars,
they actually went round, say after the Battle of Waterloo,
picked up the teeth from all the bodies and corpses, pulled them out,
and then sold them to make denture sets like this.
So English people were going around with French teeth in their mouth.
So, when porcelain came in...
This is why I love it. I know it is disgusting and horrible,
but it's a fascinating history.
Because here... I would say they were, sort of, 1845, 1855 in date.
-Did you get a date on them?
-1850 to 1860.
OK, so around that sort of period, mid-19th century.
They're still... The fact that they're porcelain, I love.
They are, I'm not going to say any jokes like "rare as hens' teeth"
or anything like that, but they are incredibly rare.
And the fact that they're gold, the fact that they're porcelain...
£2,000 to £2,500.
-So this is a rare survivor,
which is why I say I've been waiting ten years to see a set.
-Thank you very much.
-No, you're welcome, thank you.
On a grey old day like today,
what a joy it is to see a picture like this.
In fact, I almost want to jump into the sea here.
A lovely summer's day on the coast, and it could be by only one artist,
by the way the children have been painted in this impressionistic way,
which is Dorothea Sharp.
Have you had this a long time?
Well, we started off with an aunt who bought it originally,
and then it was passed to my parents,
and then my parents passed it to me about 25 years ago.
Is it a picture you love?
I thoroughly enjoy it.
It sits facing me in the sitting room,
the light on it, and it's just... The shades and the colour...
A glorious summer's day.
Now, I have here the label from the back,
and I know quite a lot about dear old Dorothea.
She used to paint... Well, she lived in London,
and she came from quite a wealthy family,
and she did a sort of tour in the summer around Chichester, Cornwall,
back to London. She also went abroad.
And this one is painted in Saint-Malo,
and it's the first time I've seen a picture by her in Saint-Malo.
What I can say about Dorothea,
she didn't have any children, she never married.
And I often find this with female painters rather than male painters -
they can actually paint children better than men.
They've got some affinity.
And these young girls, here, and the boys, it's just fantastic,
and it's so sensitively done.
Now, you say your aunt bought it.
Looking at this label, I think she must have bought this in the 1920s.
I know this because I think this is Dorothea Sharp's best period.
You know, I love the picture, it's got everything going...
This little girl dragging the teddy bear through the water.
I mean, it's all about youth.
And it's just beautiful, absolutely beautiful.
-And you love it?
-I thoroughly enjoy it, yes.
Well, I just see on here that we've got the price that was paid for it
at the Royal Institute of Oil Painters - £35.
So what is that today going to be worth?
Well, Dorothea Sharp really is back in fashion,
and people love this sort of picture,
cos it's impressionistic, it's loose, it's got a nice feel to it.
And I think, if this came up for auction,
it would make somewhere in the region...
of £25,000 to £35,000.
That's very nice.
I think the children will love that idea!
Well, I hope they hold on to it!
-I certainly would!
One of the most wonderful things about the Antiques Roadshow
is that you see things that you hope to find, and this is one of them.
It's such an unusual piece.
Tell me, where did you get it from?
I've inherited it from my godmother, about two years ago,
but I've known it for about 40 years.
It's just great. I mean, we know what it does,
but let me just show the front here.
This wonderful embossed leather, sort of Japanese aesthetic style,
that helps me date it, possibly 1880, 1890, something like that,
late 19th century. A little matching stool,
which is incredible to have that with it.
That really is a one-off.
And these wonderful brass rods here, which articulate.
So let's just show everybody,
cos we've cheated and we know what it does.
Open it up...
But look at the inside, it's just fantastic.
We can see now clearly, it's used as an easel,
but it's actually a writing desk.
Do you use it at home?
Yeah, I've just begun to use it, but we have it in the main living room,
and it's normally closed,
and when people come in they often ask about it,
and then I can open it up and reveal the inside.
They want to see inside, OK.
But just look at the inside.
-Firstly, have you identified the view?
Because I've tried to in the few minutes I've had, but I can't.
Is it French, is it German?
Probably not Swiss.
Someone, someone out there can probably identify that view for us,
it would be very interesting. It looks like a print,
but it's very beautifully done, obviously,
I'm sure from a famous painting.
And all this lovely mahogany framework.
So we've got stationery compartments,
a little articulated thing there. This is for pens, I suppose.
-And anything in here?
-And the same the other side.
Oh, in here?
So these are hunting, a saddle, and then this is a dog.
That's rather fortuitous, look.
A horseshoe, and I'm wearing a horseshoe tie.
That's serendipity for you!
What I love to see is... Imagine how it was used originally.
You know, what context was it used in?
Was it used in a home, like you're now using it? As a revered piece?
Was it used...
Somehow, I think a hotel, perhaps?
Can you see it in the reception of a big grand hotel,
-somewhere on the lakes in Switzerland? The Alps?
I don't know. You can see it's been well-used.
This is the original velvet,
and it's been used a lot, for many, many years.
And this is an expensive piece of furniture to make.
We'll probably never find out exactly who made it or how much,
but it would have been expensive, certainly.
I think it's French.
I was hesitating between French and German.
The clock, or timepiece, because it doesn't strike,
is a French-made timepiece.
So let's say French, 1880s, in this wonderful mixture of styles,
aesthetic style, Moorish, very eclectic,
typical of the late 19th century.
The stool is great, just to have that together.
-Have you had it valued?
Not at all? So you're going to have to leave me to do the valuation.
Very, very difficult, cps it's getting on for unique.
Nothing's ever unique, but...
I doubt I'll ever see another one in my career.
In a shop?
Minimum of £4,000.
-That sounds good.
-It's irrelevant, the value, isn't it?
But what a great piece of furniture.
I love it, thank you.
I love the juxtaposition of this.
I love the fact you've got ballroom dancing
going on inside a television.
For me, it just sums up retro and vintage.
Certainly in a shop, they'd ask for £350.
-A very nice thing to be given.
Well, he hasn't given it to me, I've got to take it back to him!
So this was kind of like the Woolies version of Lalique!
So instead up being worth a thousand quid, it's worth 80.
But it's jolly pretty, and if this were lying around,
any of us would be pleased to nick it, wouldn't we?
Well, a wonderful cameo necklace, meticulous craftsmanship.
But tell me about it with you.
Well, originally this came into my wife's possession in the '60s.
I'm not quite sure how she got hold of it.
And I know not a lot about it at all.
-And that's why you've brought it, of course.
Well, we can date it, fairly conveniently.
It's from the very early 19th century, sort of 1820, 1840.
And, the jeweller's work is undoubtedly English,
but the cameos probably come from the Mediterranean countries,
perhaps even from Naples, the great centre for shell cameos.
And people went there to enjoy classical antiquity.
They went to Rome, to Naples,
and then bring it back to the cold and damp England,
as a sort of souvenir.
And the recipient of this would have understood it on many levels.
The first thing about a gift of jewellery
is that it's often a gift of love,
but the message is written plain here.
Every one of them is a reference to love,
and it's sort of covert, in a way,
but a lot of these images are famous ones, for obvious reasons.
This is called The Sale of Cupids, here,
and Venus is offering cupids that have been in a chicken cage.
And, because they're winged, they're being allowed to fly out,
and are offered to these ladies here.
And here we see Mars and Venus,
and Mars, the God of War, is offering Venus -
and she certainly looks the part, as goddess of love -
and he's offering her Cupid, flying through the air.
And even the shell itself is a reference to this,
because Venus was born of the shell,
and so the fact that these are shell cameos
underwrites this covert message.
There's a lot of gods and goddesses here to unscramble.
They're all neoclassical, some are based on Roman frescoes,
some on Roman sculpture.
And so it really is a letter home from Rome,
a letter home from Naples, if you like,
to be unscrambled by this owner.
It's a very, very good thing.
I am thrilled to see it.
And I think it's very wearable, isn't it?
Does your daughter wear it a bit?
She may do after this!
Yeah, I think she will! I wouldn't blame her if she did.
But anyway, it's a very subtle, very fragile, very beautiful,
very poignant object, and a poetic object in every sense of the word.
And of course, a very desirable one,
so you'll be jolly lucky to find it again for...
Thank you very much, that's surprising.
I actually hate hearing the sound of my own voice,
but you've got quite an interesting story relating to that,
and this rather blonde lady.
Yeah, Barbie doll, and she actually talks with my voice.
She talks with your voice.
My 18-year-old voice.
So you are, effectively, Barbie?
Um, I'm the voice of Barbie, she's the doll.
Tell me more, tell me how this came about.
OK, right. So, I'd just finished at drama school, 1968,
agent says to me, "Got something for you,
"go in onto Greek Street Recording Studio."
Recorded, I don't know, about 15 different sentences.
Forget about it until 1969, I was with Mum in Harrods...
Hang on, hang on. Forget about it?
You recorded the voice of Barbie, and you forgot about it?!
Yeah. I didn't know. I thought it was just a doll!
So when I saw her in Harrods, I said, "It can't be,"
but it's a talking doll.
If I hadn't have been in Harrods, I don't know,
I probably would never have even thought about it.
But when I saw it, my goodness me!
I was excited.
So pulling the flower-shaped ring on the back pulls out a cord,
which operates a little spinning disk which is on an elastic band,
and that plays one of six different sayings, doesn't it?
She said, "I have a date tonight," "Let's do some shopping,"
"How shall I wear my hair?" "Let's play some records,"
"What's playing at the cinema?"
'Let's play some records.'
Let's play some records.
I was given a doll in 1970, it was sent to my mother,
and she didn't mean anything to me very much,
and she just got lost in time.
When it was Barbie's 40th birthday,
I thought, "No, I want my doll back!"
And thank goodness that I actually managed to source another doll,
and that she was still talking.
So you bought a doll.
For the 40th anniversary of Barbie,
you bought your doll that you'd had as a child and been the voice of.
And then she really meant something to me, and she still does.
Well, value-wise, she's in great condition,
and that's what collectors are looking for.
Incidentally, did you know that
she was the first Barbie with individual fingers?
Individual fingers, really?
And what's great about her as well is her hair's in great condition.
Collectors really look out for that.
And also, her limbs are intact,
which sounds like an odd thing to say,
but her arms and legs were often prone to falling off.
So she's in great condition, original clothes.
Now, you bought her from a collector,
so I'm guessing you'd have paid a sensible price.
I honestly can't remember, it wouldn't have been a lot of money.
Well, they're worth somewhere between £30 and £70,
unboxed in original condition.
Sometimes they can go a little bit more,
and if you've got the box
and the original packaging in great condition, too,
you're looking at somewhere around maybe up to £300, £350 or so.
-But in that condition, she's your doll.
And, of course, that's what you remember.
She's got to stay in the family, she's got to.
Well, thank you very much.
-It is not often that you get to talk to Barbie!
So, as the Second World War in the Far East came to an end,
those prisoners of the Japanese who had been in the jungle or in camps,
in Hong Kong and other places, suddenly their world changed -
the guards started to disappear.
Something had happened.
Now, these items here belong to...?
My father-in-law, George King.
And he was in one of those camps?
-Yep, he was.
-Which camp was he in?
That, I don't know.
He was stationed out in Hong Kong
and he was captured on Christmas Day,
and he used to hate Christmas Day -
it was a struggle, always, to get through.
And he was held, I believe,
in the hold of a ship for a couple of years, until it was torpedoed,
and he was one of the very few survivors
of that ship being torpedoed.
Then he was moved to a camp where he was living
in the roof of a building, it was used for storage underneath,
where you couldn't stand up.
And these things on the table are the things that he brought home?
Yeah, I think the billycan and the food ones, they...
At the end of the war, as they were repatriated,
they met up with other prisoners of war,
and they formed strong friendships, and they swapped items.
These few possessions that he has,
actually, are an American water bottle,
it's an American mess tin
and it's an American knife, fork and spoon set.
So I don't think he would have necessarily had them in the camp,
but as he was being repatriated and he had nothing,
those American servicemen who were liberating him, suddenly thought,
"Mac, you need this more than I do."
And they gave away their own possessions to him,
and probably all the others that they were picking up,
so that they actually had something to eat with
-and something to keep water in.
I always imagined that there would have been a POW,
sort of in the camp,
sort of scratching and etching these things out.
No, I think what you're looking at
is very personal items of American marines and soldiers.
I mean, the water bottle is a First World War water bottle.
-So that's been carried for a very long time by someone,
and they gave that away to someone much more in need than them,
in just a compassionate moment, I think.
And what is this little bag thing?
Well, at the end of the war,
they would never have known that the war had ended.
And the American aircraft carriers out at sea in Asia
produced these Sea View... Like a newspaper,
which they put in the canvas bags and dropped into the POW camps,
to let the POWs know that the war had ended...
-And this is the original.
-..and what they should do.
-And this is the original...
-That's one of the original papers.
It's dated Monday the 3rd of September 1945.
And I suppose the paragraph
that would have set their hearts trembling
would have been this one here that says,
"The dramatic ceremonies aboard the giant battleship Missouri
"reached a climax when representatives of Emperor Hirohito,
"the Japanese government and Imperial headquarters,
"signed the capitulation document."
The war's over. That's the piece of paper that says,
after all those years, actually, you're going home.
Would have been hard to believe.
Isn't it just?
It's an incredibly fragile piece of paper, still in its airdrop bag.
One of the odd things about this, I suppose, is that, um...
my dad was in Burma in the Royal Air Force, and when the war ended,
he and his crew dropped these bags...
-..into the camps in the jungles.
So when I saw this today, I had to do this one.
-So you knew about it?
-I knew about these ones.
Isn't it fantastic? I've never seen one.
But dear old Dad did tell me about them, and here I am holding one.
What that meant to them, when that landed in the camp,
is much more than any price can ever put on it.
But, I don't know, I suppose if we did see it
on a marketplace...
..humble spoons and a tatty piece of newspaper,
I think we'd have to be looking at somewhere in the region of...
-£800 to £1,000.
-It's such a rare survivor from the Japanese camps,
it's such a rare survivor from that part of the war,
because they had nothing.
George Frampton, Madonna of the Peach Tree bust,
it's absolutely beautiful.
He's one of my favourite sculptors.
Is this something you bought?
Well, my mother died recently, so we've inherited it from her.
-She inherited it from her mother's cousin,
a very wealthy lady who lived in Jersey.
My mother picked it out
as the one item she would really like to bring back,
because she thought it looked like my daughter.
I'm not surprised she picked this out, it's gorgeous.
-She chose well.
-So do you know where it came from before that?
Yes, the lady in Jersey is called Kay Monks-Hooper,
and she was the daughter of a guy called Horatio Nelson Collingwood.
-Who was a descendant of Admiral Collingwood.
Nelson's right-hand man?
Absolutely, yes. We assume that he bought it from George Frampton.
-The dates work.
-That Collingwood bought it from...?
-So you've got the provenance right back to Frampton.
I think this one, the Madonna of the Peach Tree,
is from a story by Maurice Hewlett.
It's about an Italian maiden, who was wrongfully accused of something,
and she escaped from the village...
Having an illegitimate child, or something, yes.
And when she appealed to the shepherds for help,
they thought she was the Virgin Mary, and then...
It's a fantastic story.
I know, yeah. Because they found her so beautiful,
and she is so beautiful.
I'll tell you why Frampton's one of my favourite sculptors.
He's the first sculptor that inspired me to want to sculpt.
When I was seven, I used to walk through Kensington Gardens
and gaze at his Peter Pan.
You must know Peter Pan,
standing on a mound with animals coming out.
-We do indeed.
-Rabbits and hedgehogs,
and all the fauna and flora from the British countryside.
And I used to be amazed by that sculpture.
And I think he studied at the Royal Academy, he went to Paris,
he came back, I think he taught at the Slade.
I think this was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1910.
But it's got this very distinctive monogram here, "GF 1915".
But on the back, it's got "Geo Frampton 1910".
So it's slightly confusing whether this was a 1910 or 1915 edition,
because it's got both on there. I don't know which came first.
Could it have been signed again when Collingwood bought it?
That's possible. It's one or the other.
It's a beautiful thing, and I think this sculpture,
depending on the date...
Now, if it's the 1915 date,
if we can establish that, as a later piece,
it's probably £8,000 to £12,000.
-But if this is the 1910 edition,
I think it's now £15,000 to £20,000.
That would be wonderful!
-I mean, this is a first-class piece of British sculpture.
-It's lovely, isn't it?
-I mean, it is divine.
I mean, you must all love it.
What's not to love?
Many years ago, I went to India for a day.
Crazy! In fact, I was on the way to somewhere else.
And I wanted a day in Delhi because I wanted to see New Delhi
because I'm very keen on architecture of that period.
So I saw it, and I know what I'm looking at here in this drawing.
The great work of Lutyens and Herbert Baker.
Wonderfully diverse architect.
Very good in what you might call imperial architecture.
India House, Bank of England.
-South Africa House.
-And so it goes on.
He and Lutyens were both principal architects
for the Imperial War Graves Commission.
Here is someone who's really shaped the modern world.
I know what I'm looking at. Where do you fit in?
Well, Sir Herbert Baker, the architect,
is my great-great-grandfather-in-law.
Right. So you are the family.
-Yes. Yes, we are.
-This is a wonderful connection.
So tell me what you know about this?
Well, um, this is made as a mock.
It was commissioned by Sir Herbert Baker,
to sell the concepts to the Viceroy and to the Government of India,
to have this built.
-This is one of three debating chambers.
I think this is the Lok Sabha, which is the people's debating chamber.
-Within the parliament?
-Yes. That's right.
I mean, let us think, what is New Delhi?
In 1912, Lutyens and Baker began to work
on the building of what is, in a sense, a new city.
But it was actually a new government structure for the whole of India.
-It was an imperial palace in every sense.
The Viceroy would live there.
It was the Parliament.
This was, in a sense, the commission that launched Lutyens' career
and, to some extent, Herbert Baker's career.
They were both well known but they'd done nothing on this scale.
So what we're looking at is a drawing,
not by Baker, who's down there,
but by Hepworth - quite a well-known architectural draughtsman.
-An architect's drawing is actually quite hard to read.
But this is a wonderful visualisation.
It's free, it's lively, it's a great image.
You can see the Viceroy sitting down, thinking,
-"Oh, yeah, it'll look like that. I see what you mean."
The great thing to me is that Baker was very, very good
at picking up what I would call local style.
-This is very Indian, isn't it?
-Yes. Yes, it is.
-Without being a parody or travesty.
And I think this is... You know, he was very responsive to...
to that local culture.
You obviously never knew him,
-but what did you hear about him in the family?
Well, every year, my father-in-law still organises a Baker Day,
where we go as a whole family
and visit one of the sites where he designed.
So it's wonderful that the family still reveres
the memory of somebody who was a great architect.
-Well, I think it's a fantastic drawing.
It takes us, as I say, wonderfully
into that sense of imperial splendour.
We were a confident nation.
We were building these great documents,
-and statements to our power around the world.
And it's so lively, it's so full of detail.
It looks very good in daylight.
We keep it dark, obviously.
-Because it's a watercolour.
When they brought it out here on the lawn, this sort of electric blue,
-It is extraordinary.
In a sense, this is Baker's vision made real
-by a very clever architectural draughtsman.
So what are we looking at?
We're looking at a great drawing, a great bit of British history.
It has a value, and a significant one, because of all those points.
And so I'm going to say, if this came on the market,
it must be between 3,000 or 5,000,
simply because of its importance and its decorative quality.
This could well go, if it was ever sold,
could actually go back to India and be put into the building.
-But it goes back to your wall.
-Yes, yes, it does.
But what a stunning fan!
-What's the history?
-I don't know the history of it.
I bought it in a market in Birmingham
at seven o'clock in the morning for £8.
The man in front of me put it down.
He looked at it, shook his head, and said, "No," and put it down,
and I picked it up and bought it for £8.
Well, thank goodness he did. Do you know anything about it, then?
Well, I assume it's Chinese.
No, you're absolutely right.
What we've got is a stunning example of Chinese filigree work,
combined with these wonderful enamels.
Each of these panels will represent something.
So we've got all of that marvellous enamel work, gilding.
That might even be a little plate of gold added at that point.
So it's going to be somebody very high in Chinese society.
You so rarely see things of this quality.
-The Chinese market, of course, today, is hot.
And it's hot for this sort of piece.
It has to be very Chinese, and this couldn't be more.
Dating, tricky. Um...
I would have thought probably 18th century.
-You paid £8 for it.
-OK. I think, er, you reasonably could
multiply that by a thousand.
Yes, 6,000 to 8,000.
I am... I'm speechless. Really speechless.
It's time for this week's Enigma Challenge.
This week, it's Hilary Kay's turn to scour a local museum
and bring along a mystery object,
and supply us with three suggestions as to what it was used for.
What's the first suggestion, Hilary?
What you're looking at is a tongue clamp.
Ow! That sounds very painful.
It does. Dating from the latter part of the 19th century,
and used in the diagnosis and the spotting of diphtheria, which is...
Its first signs are a swelling in the neck and throat,
which can then lead to suffocation. So it was very important
to be able to get the tongue right out of the way.
So you could get a clear view right down the back of the throat.
So do that rather than just press the tongue down with something?
-Exactly. Because you don't get a clear view, perhaps.
What do we think of that so far?
-I'll try you with another then. OK.
Number two is it's a skirt-lifter.
LAUGHTER Why would you need a skirt-lifter?
-All right. Picture the scene.
-I'm trying not to, but...
It's raining - you have a long skirt.
There is no little crossing sweeper to come and clear your path.
You don't want to get the hem of your dress dirty.
You clamp that onto it and then you pull it up,
-to keep it out of the way of the mud.
Thirdly... It is part of an end-of-pier amusement machine.
Now, when I was a kid, I used to love something called the crane.
Do you know what I mean by the crane?
OK, so it-it has this arm.
You've got a sort of window full of prizes.
And it comes along and it grabs one of them.
-You've got a sort of joystick.
-Or lets it drop most of the time.
The really expensive ones, the ones you really want, always drop out.
This is a terribly fancy crane.
I presume this is silver.
It's silver-coloured, I think, is the best description.
Do you know, I was assuming that the last definition, if you like,
would be the most plausible cos I haven't bought the first two.
But that's the least plausible of all.
So what do we think, then?
So, the only thing about a tongue clamp, hideous as that sounds,
is surely to be able to see down the throat,
you just need to put something on the tongue
-to flatten the tongue. Don't we think?
-It does sound sensible.
-You think it's a skirt-lifter.
The only thing about the skirt-lifter,
is if you've got a long skirt on, you have to bend all the way down...
..with these little, short handles, to lift it up.
And then, unless you're going to lift it up to your knicks...
You know, you'd have to walk around like that.
It's a dilemma.
And then there's the very fancy amusement arcade crane.
Which you dismissed.
I just think they all sound ludicrous.
OK, show of hands for the first one - the tongue clamp.
Show of hands for the skirt-lifter.
I think that's more.
Show of hands for the amusement arcade thing.
OK, we're forgetting that.
With a heavy heart, cos I don't believe that, the skirt-lifter.
Is it the skirt-lifter, Hilary?
I can now...
It's a skirt-lifter?! CHEERING
-It's a skirt-lifter.
-It seems so impractical.
Look! The thing is, we've been a bit naughty.
Oh? Have you hidden a really crucial part?
It does have a bit of a cord.
It's not the original cord.
Oh, I see!
Ah! Now it makes sense.
So were we too naughty?
So you would lift your skirt up
but then you could hold it up with the cord.
I see - ah, no, that does make sense.
I so wanted you to have a tongue twister.
We could demonstrate it, get deep into it.
No, congratulations! Well done to you.
I've got to tell you, I had no idea.
And that's all thanks to you. So thank you very much.
Hilary, with your skirt-lifter...
Not something I ever thought I'd say in the same sentence. Well done!
So, you were a 12-year-old
with obviously impeccable taste.
Because you chose this sword.
No taste at all.
I just wanted to have a sword and show off to my friends at school.
And then I wasn't allowed to take it to school.
What made you pick this, though?
I liked the shape of it.
It was in an umbrella stand.
We were on holiday in the Norfolk broads.
It was a junk shop.
And in this umbrella stand, with a lot of walking sticks,
was this sword.
What did you pay for it then?
Seven and sixpence.
-How much pocket money was that?
-Seven shillings and sixpence.
Was that the entire week's pocket money?
That was three weeks' pocket money.
-I had half a crown a week.
Right, do you know what it is?
Someone told me it's a shamshir, but you can tell me.
It is a shamshir, but it's a shamshir shekargar,
which means "hunting sword".
Well, I'm not surprised, because there are hunting scenes on it,
with people chasing animals.
And there are lions and panthers, and birds, and deer, and rabbits,
and I don't know what else.
And we've got this fantastic blade.
When I first bought it in this junk shop at Ranworth,
-it was completely black.
And I took it home, and scrubbed it with a scrubbing brush on the lawn,
-and soapy water.
And black waxy stuff came away,
-revealing all these lovely golden animals.
Imagine the excitement!
It must have been fantastic. Because they are, indeed, gold.
-They're not gold, are they?
-Yes. That's inlaid gold.
-I thought they were probably brass.
-Nope. That's gold.
-Engraved on the back, it is a hunting sword.
Bone handle. This incredibly distinctive shape.
It's a cutting sword.
-It's very sharp.
-It's designed solely for a draw cut.
It's Indo-Persian, early 1800s.
It's fantastic. It's a beautiful thing.
As I said, fantastic taste for a 12-year-old.
We've really got to think about what it's worth now, though.
So you paid seven and six, a princely sum.
Yes, equivalent to 37½p now.
Right. It's not...
But it was 70 years ago, and there's been a bit of inflation.
There has been a touch. A little bit. We'll factor that in as well.
I would think I am holding...
£1,200 worth of sword at the moment.
So your seven and sixpence investment from your junk shop
has proved pretty good. And it's just a fabulous sword.
I really, really envy you.
We have a lot of Young Masters on the Antiques Roadshow,
from the 20th century.
It's very refreshing to be bordered by two Old Masters,
at least 400 years old.
Have you had them that long?
Well, they've been in the family since about 1966.
This one, '68.
-How did that come about?
-Well, the Portuguese boy behind you
was probably bought at a saleroom my father frequented.
And this one, from the great sale of Luton Hoo, in the '60s,
via a well-known picture restorer at the time, Michael Leslie.
And he sold it to my father.
Well, let's start with the young man,
because he's an early 17th-century portrait.
I notice there's a label, rather usefully, on it
which says Portuguese School, and a nice enough piece.
I don't think we need discuss that,
as much as this rather more alluring, rather intense,
but also captivatingly poetic woman next to us.
Now, do you know who she is?
Well, she is Princess Mary.
She's aged 12 in this picture.
It's dated just here as 1641.
She's the daughter of Princess Henrietta and Charles I.
She later married Prince William of Orange,
and they succeeded to the throne of England as William and Mary.
What makes you think that?
It's been examined, 50 years ago,
by a number of people.
It was verified by the Rijksmuseum, a Dr Hannema,
who was the director of the Boijmans Institute at the time.
Who also appended the artist's name as well?
Pierre Dubordieu, someone who worked with Rembrandt,
and then started on his own in the 1630s and '40s.
-So, 50 years ago,
-this was christened not only with an identity but a firm artist.
But art history moves on.
This is no aristocrat, in my view.
It doesn't have any of the attributes.
She doesn't actually have the demeanour.
I'm convinced that this is a Dutch, middle-class portrait,
or perhaps upper-middle-class,
if we want to try and elevate it a little bit.
Because certainly the dress suggests someone of taste and advantage.
This is a merchant's image.
I suspect a merchant's wife.
She's got all the attributes of luxury -
she's got gloves, hugely expensive things,
which she's holding in her left hand.
A rather beautiful, exotic fan in her right.
That silver bow.
But, more than anything else, in her expression, in her demeanour,
you can feel the imprint of Rembrandt.
Rembrandt, who managed to increase in a poetic and intense way,
the whole language of communication.
And, although she looks like a woman of her period,
the more you look into that face,
the more you can actually feel depth,
a sense of communication, a subtlety,
which is what Rembrandt brought to art.
It is quite possible that it is by Pierre Dubordieu,
because, certainly, there are characteristics.
But when it comes to a valuation,
I think I'll give you two.
One which will be on the basis of what it is now in front of us,
and the other on that little bit more work that we always need to do
with these portraits to try to nail it.
So starting with the young man on my left...
The condition is not great, the quality is not great.
It's only worth about...
£800 to £1,200.
Our woman is of a different order altogether.
So, on the basis that we don't know who the artist is,
I would say it was worth somewhere between £20,000 and £30,000.
I think there would be people out there who would pay that.
Just because it's an alluring image from that period
with a Rembrandt-esque look, and it's in superb condition.
If we were able to attach with certainty
the name that is written here, Pierre Dubordieu,
then we could be talking about £50,000, £60,000, even £70,000.
We, you, will have your job cut out doing that,
-but at least it's an indication.
As far as carriage clocks go,
this is an absolutely stonking clock.
It must weigh two, three kilograms at least.
It was given to my aunt in the '50s.
As part of two presents, two different clocks
that she got from her employer when she was in service.
One was for long service, and the other one was when she got married.
So she ended up with two beautiful clocks.
She was very close to my father - her brother -
and she offered him one of the clocks.
And, at first, he had this one.
But they used to regularly swap the clocks over.
She was in Ireland, he was in England.
If he went to Ireland, he would take his clock -
whichever one he had at the time - over, swap them over.
My aunt would also put a bottle of poitin in the package
because it was the only way he could get his poitin back to England.
And that's how they swapped them over for getting on for 20 years.
After that, they did make the decision
that my father would keep this one
and then, when he died, I inherited this.
I was very happy to have it.
I've got two children and they're both mad for it.
So I think, when it comes to my passing it on to them,
they'll have to share it, just like their grandfather did.
I think that's a wonderful story,
and I'm so glad that the clock is appreciated and coveted.
Do you know anything about the clock itself?
I know a little, because, um...
it was cleaned and regulated quite a long time ago.
I know that one of the plates in it has got the date 1861 on it.
There was talk about whether it was a French clock or an English clock
because of the way it was inside,
but I don't know much more about it than that, really.
Well, from my point of view, 1861 is probably a good date for this clock.
The question over English or French, there is no question in my mind -
it's English through and through.
This is so over-engineered, it's massive.
There were makers like McCabe, Dent, all producing this style of clock.
And it is one of my favourite sort of clocks.
Carriage clocks are great, English carriage clocks are fabulous.
You've got this wonderful, heavy case,
with this wonderful moulded cast brass.
But then you come up and you've got this beautiful, delicate,
engraved dial mask with this inset dial.
This is all gilded. The whole clock would have been gilded.
When it was new, it would have been really bright
and it would have said, "Look at me! I'm magnificent."
Then you come to the top and you've got this wonderful, detailed handle.
It's really, really a great piece of work.
We can see inside, we have these heavy plates.
These beautiful turned pillars that most people wouldn't really notice,
and this lovely chain fusee movement with the platform on top.
So this is a magnificent clock, and it is well loved.
I can't imagine that you would
ever come to sell it or part with it in any way.
But if it was in an auction, I would say,
it could easily sit with an auction estimate...
of £5,000 to £8,000.
Oh, my days!
I didn't... I really didn't expect that.
I've had it...
..valued once, and it was a long time ago, at 1,000,
and I thought that was amazing then.
Yes, well, it'll get dusted even more often now, I think.
There's something wonderful about a walking stick,
in that you put your hand on it
and you're shaking hands with the previous owner.
Now, tell me who the previous owner was.
Well, the previous owner was Sir Walter Scott,
and this was given to his friend, William Allen, the artist,
the year before his death.
Sir Walter Scott. He was THE perhaps best-known historical novelist
of his day, in the early part of the 19th century.
He wrote novels like Rob Roy, Ivanhoe, Waverley.
These novels that sort of created a heroic Scottish past.
And this is his walking stick.
Well, how did you get it?
My parents and I used to collect walking sticks in the early '90s.
A walking stick dealer we used to buy the occasional stick from
had this and offered it to us. It's a unique slice of history -
it was an opportunity we didn't want to miss.
No. Well, why would you?
I'm going to actually read the little band on here,
which says, "Given by Sir Walter Scott, Bart.,
"to William Allan at Abbotsford, 19th September, 1831."
It looks like a five on first glance
but, looking closely, you can see that that is a three.
Well, Abbotsford was the house that Walter Scott designed and built,
where he in fact died the following year.
And William Allan, president of the Scottish Academy of Artists,
was perhaps... He was certainly a friend,
but he was also responsible for creating
some very memorable portraits of Sir Walter Scott himself.
Is that one? You're grasping a piece of paper.
I'm not sure if that's one of his, but there are a number of paintings
of Scott with the actual stick.
First of all, it's made of malacca and it's in certain...
a number of segments, which you can count on any of the paintings.
It's then got this eyehole where a string would have gone through,
which again you can see in the portraits.
The other thing, of course, is it's a proper stick,
because Sir Walter Scott needed a stick.
This wasn't a dandyism.
I believe he had polio as a child.
That's what I had heard.
This is a strong stick on which a man could have rested his weight,
and I'm rather excited about it, I have to say,
to hold it and to know what a part it played in a great man's life.
Would other people think the same, I wonder? What did you pay for it?
In the early '90s, I believe it was £700.
The profile of Sir Walter Scott waxes and wanes
and there was a time when he was almost as popular as Robbie Burns.
I have to say, that is not the case now.
The big American institutions that were buying Robert Burns
and Sir Walter Scott material
are not so interested in Sir Walter Scott any more.
So, I'm going to be a bit, um...
conservative, I think, with the estimate.
I'm going to put it at between £2,000 and £3,000.
-Oh, right. OK.
-Because of who it belonged to
and because of his profile in the literary world.
-It is a remarkable survivor.
-Yeah. Thank you.
So you're becoming a bit of a familiar sight at the Roadshow.
Yes, indeed. Last year we were down at Walmer
and we brought something along but today I've got something different.
I wondered if you can give us some history, anything about it, really.
We just know nothing about it at all.
Well, you must know where you've got it from.
I inherited it from my granny.
That's really all we know about it.
It's probably been in the family about 100 years or so.
One of the most familiar questions that's asked on the roadshow is,
-how old is it?
A lot of stuff that we get, a lot of objects we get, are reproductions.
The period that we're talking here is 1760, is the sort of date.
The question is, is this one from 1760 or is this a later...
Well, actually, that's really easy with this one.
Now, if you look at that very carefully...
You've heard of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
This is called the Leaning Glass of Ightham,
-because, if you look at it, it's all over the place.
Now, if we come round here, there's some stuff on here.
Yes. I've always wondered what that is. I have tried to rub it off.
-It's called grot.
-Oh, right. OK.
-That's what it's called.
And there's another bit here.
Basically, that is telling you that it's old.
Now, when we look at 18th-century drinking glasses, you think,
"What were they used for?"
Well, they were just a single mouthful.
They don't fit into modern life.
Who drinks wine by the single mouthful before filling it up again?
This one has an amazing asset, doesn't it?
-A huge bowl.
This is, kind of, a third of a glass, isn't it?
-So have you never used it?
No. I'm a bit clumsy. I daren't use it.
I didn't actually wash it before I came here
because I didn't want to break it or anything.
It's just stayed in the cupboard out the way, safe.
Lovely! 270 years old.
It's got an OXO-engraved border.
OXO, OXO, OXO.
-You see how that goes round.
It has a faceted stem.
1760 to 1765 is the date.
It fits into the modern drinking habit of big glasses.
So your nice, little legacy is,
350, 400 quid.
Ah! £350, £400 for that?
Wow! I'd better not drop it now.
Gosh! Thank you ever so much.
I didn't realise it was as much as that. That is amazing.
Well, we're filming in the cricket season,
when you will hear the sound of leather on willow.
And you've come today with the most incredibly
early-looking cricket bat.
-Tell me about it.
-It's a bat that we believe is made by William Pett,
a local bat maker in Sevenoaks.
It's owned by Sevenoaks Vine Cricket Club,
and we can trace history of cricket on the Vine
back to the 6th of September 1734.
Gosh! How fantastic!
So wuite an illustrious cricket club.
Well, a bat of this age makes us speculate
on how old the game of cricket actually is.
It certainly stretches back many centuries
and, like many games, has undergone different changes.
From a distance, you'd think it was a hockey club, or hockey stick,
because... Look at the sweep of it!
We all get used to the modern, more modern, cricket bat shape.
This was just made from one piece of willow from top to bottom.
It's a lovely, curvaceous form.
The name, "Pett", with the initials RT, appear on the top of the handle.
And it's seen some action.
We don't know who the owner was,
but it is signed on the back there in 1745.
So that gives some sort of a dating to it as well.
This is clearly legible.
I mean...Jacobite rebellion and all that.
It really does go back to the reign of George II.
But it's a real, tactile thing.
Now, what about the ball?
The ball is a silver snuff box, used at club dinners.
After dinner, it would be filled with snuff
and then thrown around amongst the members.
Anybody who dropped it had to buy either a round of drinks
-or a bottle of port.
-So it's a bit knocked about.
That's absolutely marvellous.
Let's have a look! Are you aware of how old is?
That dates, we believe, from the early 1800s.
We can trace sort of comment to it back to 1818.
Sadly, there's everything there except the date letter.
We have the duty head mark of George III.
I think it's circa 1800.
That's really quite a scarce piece as well.
Well, having seen your bat,
I just thought this could never be bettered on the Antiques Roadshow.
But, ten minutes later, along comes another cricket bat.
-And here is the offending bat.
This is a family piece, I understand.
This has been in my family for 100... exactly 100 years.
Fantastic. To the year.
-To the year.
Yeah. And it carries the signature
of perhaps one of the best-known cricketers of all time, WG Grace.
-What was his connection with you and your family?
My great-grandfather, Charles Blundell, who lived at Halstead,
was a farmer at Halstead near Sevenoaks.
He became a friend of Grace in his later years.
Grace used to come down from Eltham to play...
-Either to go shooting or hunting with beagles.
That's, um, Grace.
Yes, and wasn't he a big chap?
That's my grandfather there. Well, he was huge.
But my family were absolutely tiny.
-So the contrast is quite extreme.
My aunt said you would expect him to have a voice like thunder,
but actually he had a rather high voice.
We mustn't forget just what a celebrity WG Grace was at the time.
There wasn't a newspaper in the British colonial world
-that didn't have his photograph in on a regular basis.
So quite an honour for your family
to have been associated with the great man.
WG Grace has signed it,
-but do we know whether he actually played with it?
He apparently played with it in 1912.
-Because, after his death, his widow, Agnes Grace,
donated it to a sale in Sevenoaks.
In the letter, she says he played with it in 1912.
Fantastic! You have a letter in the family.
We've got the letter, yes -
with the black border, of course, because she was still in mourning.
What I love is the fact there's impressions
-of where balls have been hit.
-I love that, too.
To think that Grace himself perhaps took a six with this.
So, really, the question is, what are they worth?
Which is the most valuable?
Who thinks the early one is worth the most?
-So, obviously, it leaves all the rest of you with the Grace.
You think that's... OK.
This is an early one.
They do turn up at sales.
In an auction, that would carry...
..an estimate of £3,000 to £5,000.
Turning swiftly to the Wisden bat, with the Grace connections,
this one's worth between £4,000 and £6,000.
But, look, what's dividing the two bats is the toss-your-snuffbox ball.
I might be putting my neck out on the line a little bit...
£3,000 to £5,000.
-Don't want to drop it.
So, not one, not two, but three sporting treasures in one hit.
Before we go, here at Ightham Mote,
I just wanted to show you this bottle of champagne.
It's a 1921 vintage.
It was bought by the parents of a young Alan Lundy in 1943
for his 21st birthday the following year.
He flew with the RAF
and, sadly, he was killed
before he managed to reach that important birthday.
And his family have kept it and treasured it ever since.
I don't know about you, but I find that really moving.
From Ightham Mote and the whole Roadshow team, bye-bye.
Fiona Bruce and the team set up camp at Ightham Mote near Sevenoaks in Kent. Family heirlooms pored over by the experts include a set of gold and porcelain false teeth from the 1850s, which triggers the grim story of denture history, Sir Walter Scott's walking cane and two very early cricket bats dating back to the middle of the 18th century.