Caversham 2 Antiques Roadshow


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Caversham 2

Fiona Bruce presents from the grounds of BBC Caversham near Reading. Items featured include a communion book once owned by Wilfred Owen and a vintage Aston Martin.


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Today we're back at this beautiful Victorian mansion

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in Caversham in Berkshire.

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And behind this imposing facade

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are various departments of the BBC,

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including BBC Radio Berkshire

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and the BBC's written archives which contain

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every historical document related to the BBC,

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back as far as its founding in 1922.

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So, we're on home turf for this week's Antiques Roadshow.

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The building as we see it today was rebuilt in 1850

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after the existing one was destroyed by a fire.

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Ironworks manufacturer William Crawshay, known as the Iron King,

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owned the mansion, but he didn't get round to insuring it.

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Not that it mattered -

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he was so wealthy, he could rebuild the whole thing,

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and this time around an iron frame,

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and it was one of the first houses in England to be built in this way.

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Behind me is where we're going to be holding today's show,

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and soon our usual tables and chairs will be put up there.

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Some of this parkland was designed by the great Capability Brown

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in the 1760s.

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He's widely regarded as England's greatest landscape architect.

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He wasn't scared of moving hills and making lakes and flowing rivers,

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and his designs often featured ha-has,

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those hidden boundaries separating the park from garden,

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and keeping deer at bay while providing a seamless landscape.

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This refined setting has attracted some important visitors.

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In 1789, Thomas Jefferson visited

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while he was on a tour of English gardens.

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He was the US ambassador to France at the time,

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before he went on, of course, to become America's third president,

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and he thought Caversham Par, was beautiful,

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and described it as a large lawn,

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separated by a sunk fence and well-disposed with clumps of trees.

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I suspect he'd be impressed to see

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this magnificent Cedar of Lebanon tree today.

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It was part of Capability Brown's design, and 220 years on

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it's providing a wonderful backdrop

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for our team on the Antiques Roadshow.

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It's a really good-looking table, but why the exercise books?

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The exercise books came about

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through the efforts of my grandmother.

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In the '50s, she decided to try and prove that this piece of furniture,

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which had come down from her family,

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had been in her family and my family for generations,

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to prove that it was actually a piece of Chippendale.

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These books represent the efforts she put into research

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in trying to prove that they were Chippendale.

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It's that magic word in furniture, isn't it?

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Chippendale. Everybody hopes that they have

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-a piece of Chippendale furniture.

-Absolutely.

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And so, did she feel, then, that she couldn't get

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-the correct value for this piece of furniture?

-Very much so.

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Dealers would come down from London to look but were offering her

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what she thought was silly prices, and saying...

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Silly prices low?

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Low. "You have no bill of sale, we don't think this is Chippendale,

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"how can you say this is... Where's the bill of sale?"

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So, if Chippendale is a magic word in terms of furniture,

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then provenance is the next sort of magic word that you need,

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-and I see, they wanted provenance, they wanted proof.

-Very much so.

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And she said, "I'm jolly well going to give it to you."

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In the form of these books.

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And that's what she tried to do.

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And so, this was the start of it all, book one,

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when she was trying to give those dealers the proof they required,

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that it was in fact by Chippendale.

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Chippendale, in 1754,

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published a directory of designs for furniture,

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and it's really what... He'd been working before then,

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but it's really what established him

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as being a top-class furniture maker,

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and that's why this word of Chippendale

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is attributed to so many things,

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because workshops all over the country and overseas

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were referring to this directory and working in his style.

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So, looking at the table, well, to start with,

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it really is a weighty piece of furniture, isn't it?

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It's quite elegant looking.

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It's quite surprising when you try to lift it, just how much it weighs.

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It is great quality mahogany.

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In fact, it dates from around 1740,

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so it was made at some point in the reign of George II, around 1740.

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Maybe slightly before that date.

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I very much like these outset corners

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and the way that they're reflected in the frieze.

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And then the cabriole leg that was all the rage

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in this sort of mid-18th-century period.

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So, Chippendale or not, it is brilliant quality.

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In fact, my instinct is that it is NOT Chippendale.

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I'm glad it's you standing here today and not your grandmother,

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-because she was obviously a very determined lady.

-Very, very determined lady.

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I think it was almost certainly made in Ireland.

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-Ah, that's interesting.

-It has that quirky combination of features

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that you don't quite see in this form,

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and I just don't feel it's quite as mainstream as Chippendale

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would have been, even in that sort of period.

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-Right.

-And, as such,

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its value...

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About £4,000.

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-Goodness me. Right.

-CROWD COO

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That's quite a surprise.

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Now, I hear that you're a great fan of the Antiques Roadshow.

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-Is that true?

-Massive, yeah.

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And I also was told that when you were driving down,

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who were you driving with?

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-Who were you driving with?

-These guys.

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-Hello!

-THEY CHUCKLE

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Now, what happened in the car as you were driving here?

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Made us play the theme and sing to it.

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You made them sing the theme?

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-Yeah.

-And you played it?

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-Yeah, yeah, we did, yeah.

-Really?

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-Yeah.

-But also, when you came to my table,

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you had arms sort of laden with jewellery

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and I just thought, my goodness, there's a girl after my own heart,

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and on my same wavelength,

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because when I saw the collection and the variety that you had,

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that really intrigued me.

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So tell me a bit about your collection

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and why you collect and what it means to you.

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I just buy what I like,

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and I always have, from a very young age,

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loved sparkly things and pretty things.

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And I guess I've got a design background

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and I like clean lines and I like fancy stuff.

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-I like it all.

-This one here, which is sort of the Odeon-esque style,

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tell me about this one.

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It was bought almost exactly ten years ago,

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actually, for my engagement.

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And I just got it at a little...

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I went up to my local little antiques junk shop

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and I said to him, "I'm after Art Deco,"

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and then I saw this and I was like, yes!

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You were buying your own engagement ring?

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-Yeah.

-Right, OK.

-I didn't trust him at all.

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LAUGHTER

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So, that's ten years ago.

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-Yep.

-And then we have over here something very different,

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-and where did you buy this?

-The same place.

-The same place?

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-Yeah.

-Very typical '60s with this bark finish.

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And you've got these marquise stones and the round brilliants,

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and, yes, that would have come from an earlier piece of jewellery

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and put into a later mount which they did a lot of that in the '60s.

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But the one piece out of all the jewellery that you showed me today,

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just made me go, "Oh, I love it," was this ring here.

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Now, this is such a bold ring for anybody to buy.

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And of course, you've got these ones here which are quite...

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um, sort of discreet in comparison.

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Yeah.

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So, how... Where did you buy this and how did you buy this one?

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I got it on an internet auction site,

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and I was just kind of searching one day

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and I was, I don't know, looking to treat myself.

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-As you do.

-Yeah.

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And I saw it and I just, I kind of had to have it.

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It is just the detail.

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It's a 1940s, quintessentially of that period.

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And this is just a wonderful amethyst.

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This very rich, velvety purple.

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So, we have this one here,

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and it's 18 carat white gold with synthetic rubies.

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With those wonderful diamonds, sort of cushion shaped diamonds.

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And I would say at auction

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you're looking in the region of about £1,500 for that one.

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And then, this ring here, the '60s with the marquise,

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you would be looking in the region of about £900 for that one.

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How much did you buy this for?

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£450.

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Well, it's a very bold move, but I think you did very well,

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cos in the right auction today,

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I would say that would go for at least £2,500.

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Wow. Yay!

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Excellent.

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Now you will all definitely be singing on the way back, won't you?

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Yeah!

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-Thank you.

-Well, thank you so much, for bringing it in.

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Well, this toy dinner service is mid-Victorian,

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so it dates from the same time as the house here at Caversham.

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And I suppose I can imagine

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fortunate little children playing with this

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in a house like this, learning how to entertain in style.

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Do you have a memory of it being played with?

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No, not that all. Not at all.

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So where did it come from?

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It was in the house

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which my great-grandfather and great-grandmother had,

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and then, when they both passed away, it went to their daughter,

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who was my great aunt, who never married.

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And when she died in the 1980s,

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everything was being cleared,

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and there was a lovely corner wall cupboard that I rather fancied,

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and I was told I could have it, but I would get what was in it as well.

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And this is what was in it.

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-Oh, so this came free with a cabinet, then?

-Yes.

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Oh! A lovely thing to find, I suppose,

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cos it's really everything's there, it's so complete, isn't it?

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When you look around you've got all the shapes

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for serving the different courses of dinner.

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You've got some splendid big tureens,

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a large soup tureen,

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these are vegetable tureens

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and they've got their separate stands,

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and even the little ladle there which would go inside.

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So you'd learn to serve the soup and vegetables

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-on to the right sizes of plates.

-Yeah.

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So you've got dinner plates there, those will be soup plates.

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-Soup plates, yes.

-And then these, well, two different sizes,

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so for other courses, little dessert plates,

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and you've got vegetable dishes,

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gravy boats,

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and lots and lots of platters for serving wonderful food.

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What fun one can have with it.

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In there. And so little, different landscape views.

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They all look like different views.

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I believe so, yes. And some of them are marked on the back

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-as to where they are.

-Right, so let's have a look.

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Oh, I see,

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on the printed mark, there.

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-Yes.

-So that's a view of Tewkesbury church.

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So you would learn about your popular views of England

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as you played with the service.

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And of course, there it tells me what I need to know which is,

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who made it? And there's the stamped mark which is Minton.

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-Minton, yes.

-And little letter BB means "best body".

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-Oh, right.

-That was their trade name for this earthenware.

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And little stamped in code

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is the year stamp to say that was made, well,

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that would be 1870.

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Oh, wonderful.

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And, so...

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Often these little sets were given as a special christening present

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in some way, and played with.

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Normally these child services are in blue and white

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like the sets that you would have had for,

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grown-ups would have had in the same houses.

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Red's an unusual colour,

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but I think it's actually rather attractive.

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-Very subtle, isn't it?

-Yes, it is, yes.

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So, surviving in remarkable unbroken condition.

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So, quite, I suppose, a lucky find inside your cabinet.

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-Absolutely.

-Because I suppose it's going to be worth £700 or £800.

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It's a lot more than I thought.

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Wow, that's some colour, isn't it?

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It is. The colour's, as you're probably aware,

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down to uranium in the glass.

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It is very slightly radioactive,

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but also it's a very nice colour,

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and under ultraviolet light, it does change colour suddenly.

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I've got a small collection of this stuff

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and I'm planning to have a display with a switch,

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to put the ultraviolet light on.

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You won't be the first.

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This is an area that attracts...

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people of a certain persuasion.

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They tend to all be technical.

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-What's your background then?

-I am an engineer.

-Engineer.

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You be had to be, that or a chemist.

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And there's...

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It's true. Uranium oxide is used as the colouring agent.

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This little...what is it, a dish, I suppose, dates from 1891.

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That is provable because it has a design registration number that

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dates it to George Davidson & Co of Gateshead 1891.

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It's called Primrose Pearline,

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Pearline being a series.

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You had blue Pearline and yellow Pearline.

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So, are you going to show us how radioactive it is?

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Because there's the key.

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This is a...

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a fairly basic Geiger counter.

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IRREGULAR RAPID BEEPING

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And that's what happens when you hold it up to the piece.

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I'm getting messages. Hold on.

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They're calling me back!

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LAUGHTER

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So this is uranium glass, which is the generic name for this type.

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It's not harmful to health?

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If you've just got it under a display case, I don't think it is.

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The only way it's dangerous is if it gets broken

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and you breathe in the dust from the breakage.

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And what sort of money are you paying for your...

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I've got a collection of getting on for ten pieces now.

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I've paid between about £10-40 for them.

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That's one of the better ones.

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That was about... I think about £35, I paid for that one.

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It's worth £35, exactly what you paid for it.

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It's certainly worth 35 quid to me

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in terms of how nice it is to have it on the shelf and look at it.

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You brought your little battered case to the table and opened it up.

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Yours was the case that kept on giving

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because all these fabulous

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pieces of scrimshaw kept coming out.

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And sailors passed their time

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by doing all these lovely little designs,

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usually depicting places they'd been and ships they were on.

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These were actually made by my great-grandfather,

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who was a merchant seaman in the 19th century.

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He made these when he was at sea.

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You know exactly who did it and when they were born

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and you have photographs of the family.

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I mean, it's extraordinary.

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And a group of wonderful scrimshaw like this

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would go for between

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£4,500-6,000 in a maritime sale, easily.

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And I can't believe you've brought these here to me today!

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Well, this is a very, very lucky young lady in here.

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My goodness.

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What a beautiful bed.

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Trunk, clothes.

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-She's lovely.

-She is.

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-Tell me about her.

-Well, her name is Winnie.

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She's always been Winnie.

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And she was given to a sort of aunt of my mother's.

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Not a proper aunt but she was more or less was an aunt to my mother...

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..when she was a little girl.

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And then my mother had her when SHE was a little girl.

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-And now I've got her.

-That's marvellous.

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Well, she's a lovely little French doll.

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-French?

-She's French.

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And she's from, you know, she's probably 1880,

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as with this English bed.

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Very, very smart bed.

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And the trunk bought from Cramer and Son in Regent Street, London.

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Now, what we don't understand now is just how rare this was.

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Dolls were very expensive.

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-Really?

-A doll's bed like this was very expensive.

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And a trunk full of clothes, amazing!

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-I know.

-And is this the little girl?

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Yes. That is the little girl who was given the doll.

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Her name was Isabel Salt.

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And she did come from quite a grand family.

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Her father was Sir Titus Salt of Saltaire.

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This is a picture of Isabel Salt...

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..with my mother, and she gave that picture to my mother,

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and I believe she was actually wearing fancy dress in that picture.

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And they did entertain royalty...

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..so, possibly that was some event like that.

0:18:080:18:12

Well, exactly. That is the sort of social area

0:18:120:18:15

we're talking about here.

0:18:150:18:17

-Yeah, I think it was.

-And Winnie has seen all of this.

0:18:170:18:20

Yes, she has!

0:18:200:18:22

I hope she wore her ball gown at the time.

0:18:220:18:24

-And not her nightdress.

-Not her nightie!

0:18:240:18:26

THEY LAUGH

0:18:260:18:27

I think I'm going to lay her down before she gets her ball dress on.

0:18:270:18:30

Yes.

0:18:300:18:32

It is very rare to find such a beautiful array of clothes.

0:18:320:18:36

-She's lovely.

-You must have all looked after these very, very well.

0:18:360:18:40

Well, she's always been terribly special.

0:18:400:18:44

I can remember when I was a child,

0:18:440:18:46

it was a great thrill to go and see Winnie.

0:18:460:18:49

She was always there.

0:18:490:18:51

And when she was in my great aunt's house, she was always in that house,

0:18:510:18:55

and then when Mummy had her, even now,

0:18:550:18:57

every time I went to see my mother,

0:18:570:19:00

you know, I had to go and see Winnie.

0:19:000:19:02

This is an amazing bed.

0:19:020:19:04

This is one of the best beds I've seen for a doll of this period.

0:19:040:19:07

-Is it? Oh!

-It's so special.

0:19:070:19:09

And you can tell that Winnie has been greatly loved.

0:19:090:19:12

-She has.

-And much as we don't want to talk too much about it,

0:19:120:19:17

because she's just so special...

0:19:170:19:18

-Yes.

-But she's also valuable.

0:19:180:19:21

With this little set up,

0:19:210:19:23

with the trunk and with the bed and with Winnie herself...

0:19:230:19:25

Yes.

0:19:250:19:27

..they would easily make £800-£1,200.

0:19:270:19:30

-Really?

-If they were sold.

0:19:300:19:31

Really? Well, they won't be.

0:19:310:19:33

It was found in the south of Holland,

0:19:380:19:41

on the Dutch/Belgian border near Maastricht, by a friend of mine,

0:19:410:19:45

who found it as a heap of rust.

0:19:450:19:48

And when he saw

0:19:480:19:50

this heap of rust, he thought, "There's something in there."

0:19:500:19:53

And he then buried it in his stables in horse manure,

0:19:530:19:58

to get the ammonia to work,

0:19:580:20:00

to get rid of a lot of the rust,

0:20:000:20:01

and he managed to unearth this.

0:20:010:20:05

Wow. Well, I hope he's cleaned it since then.

0:20:050:20:08

-Yes, he has.

-I think the lovely thing about doing this show

0:20:080:20:11

is that from time to time people bring us in something

0:20:110:20:13

that we've never seen before.

0:20:130:20:15

What it is, very simply, is it's a folding key.

0:20:150:20:18

I think it's probably going to be 16th or 17th-century.

0:20:190:20:23

I mean, I suppose being a folding key,

0:20:230:20:25

one's going to assume it was made

0:20:250:20:28

for something that probably travelled.

0:20:280:20:30

That's what we were thinking.

0:20:300:20:32

So maybe a travelling chest or something of that nature.

0:20:320:20:37

You really rather hope that somewhere there is a wonderful chest

0:20:370:20:40

sitting full of treasures, they're waiting for this key to be found.

0:20:400:20:44

-Yeah.

-And you could reunite the two.

0:20:440:20:48

But, look, I think it would carry a presale estimate

0:20:480:20:51

of between £200-300.

0:20:510:20:52

That's huge.

0:20:550:20:56

Now, these very pretty little flower vases or posy holders,

0:20:580:21:02

I would normally associate with Victorian ladies

0:21:020:21:05

in massive crinoline dresses.

0:21:050:21:07

I wouldn't necessarily have you down

0:21:070:21:09

as an owner of them, so...

0:21:090:21:10

So perhaps you could tell me why

0:21:100:21:13

you're particularly interested in these.

0:21:130:21:15

As a result of a break in the family,

0:21:150:21:18

and that my grandfather was killed at the end of the First World War,

0:21:180:21:22

we... The family history was not known

0:21:220:21:25

and has not been passed down through the generations.

0:21:250:21:28

And, I...

0:21:280:21:30

I then researched my grandfather and found that he had...

0:21:300:21:34

There are three generations of silversmiths before him,

0:21:340:21:38

all called William Neal,

0:21:380:21:40

and I have been collecting their silver ever since.

0:21:400:21:43

Amongst that has been these four posy holders

0:21:430:21:46

and I'm very pleased to say

0:21:460:21:48

I have four granddaughters who will use these on their wedding day.

0:21:480:21:55

And walk down the aisle with them with flowers in.

0:21:550:21:58

And then they will stand as they do here on the table

0:21:580:22:01

at the head of the wedding breakfast.

0:22:010:22:03

-Fantastic.

-So, we've got representation

0:22:030:22:05

from one, two, three, four, five generations of your family.

0:22:050:22:08

Indeed. Yes.

0:22:080:22:09

And you've presumably bought these not too long ago?

0:22:090:22:13

Over the course of the last eight or nine years.

0:22:130:22:15

Right. You probably know that the idea was

0:22:150:22:18

that you'd take them to a dance

0:22:180:22:20

and if a gentleman gave you flowers,

0:22:200:22:22

if you pinned your flowers into your posy holder,

0:22:220:22:25

you had accepted his gift.

0:22:250:22:27

They would then either carry them with them and dangle them

0:22:270:22:29

from their dresses or they would put them on their little tripod stands

0:22:290:22:34

so they could be shown off.

0:22:340:22:35

Over the last sort of 20 years, posy holders have boomed

0:22:350:22:39

and then slumped again in their collectability, shall we say.

0:22:390:22:43

I think if you've been buying them for the last eight or nine years,

0:22:430:22:45

that's probably quite a good thing,

0:22:450:22:47

because they've sort of fallen off their great high perch

0:22:470:22:50

which was a little longer ago than that.

0:22:500:22:52

They are all, nonetheless, quite valuable things.

0:22:520:22:56

These two are, as you probably know, a pair.

0:22:560:22:58

This one is absolutely gorgeous with its openwork pierced edge.

0:22:580:23:03

It's just a little bit extra.

0:23:030:23:05

It's just a little bit uncommon.

0:23:050:23:07

And therefore probably worth a little bit more than the rest.

0:23:070:23:10

These are 1870s and this one is 1864, as you know.

0:23:100:23:14

Now, you've bought them recently.

0:23:140:23:17

So I'll tell you what I think they're worth now.

0:23:170:23:19

-Go on, then.

-And hopefully...

0:23:190:23:21

-I won't faint.

-Hopefully you won't faint.

0:23:210:23:24

-But then they're presents for very special relatives.

-Absolutely.

0:23:240:23:28

I'm going to say that if we said that one was worth 850.

0:23:280:23:33

Mm-hmm.

0:23:330:23:34

These two about 750 each.

0:23:340:23:36

And this one about 650.

0:23:360:23:38

-Right.

-Which makes £3,000.

0:23:380:23:41

Right. I think I need to go back to the auction house

0:23:410:23:44

and get a discount.

0:23:440:23:46

Oh, no!

0:23:460:23:47

That's exactly what I didn't want to hear you say!

0:23:500:23:52

-I'm sorry!

-HE LAUGHS

0:23:520:23:55

But still, they're going to very good homes.

0:23:550:23:57

-Yes.

-So it shouldn't really matter.

-No.

0:23:570:24:00

I've always fancied an Aston Martin.

0:24:020:24:03

HE LAUGHS

0:24:030:24:05

And as for a 1934 Aston Martin, it doesn't get much better than this.

0:24:050:24:09

This is your car, you lucky thing.

0:24:090:24:11

It is, yes. It is indeed.

0:24:110:24:12

Now, it was used in the RAF, I gather?

0:24:120:24:15

Yes, that's right. There were two people, in fact,

0:24:150:24:17

who we know owned the car.

0:24:170:24:19

One was a Group Captain, the other was a Sergeant.

0:24:190:24:22

-And this is during the Second World War?

-During the Second World War.

0:24:220:24:25

And obviously, they bought...

0:24:250:24:27

I think one of them bought it pretty well at the beginning of the war

0:24:270:24:31

and it stayed in the RAF right through to about 1948.

0:24:310:24:35

I can just imagine, dashing pilot gets out of his Spitfire,

0:24:350:24:41

climbs into an Aston Martin, roars off the runway.

0:24:410:24:44

Well, you see, that's what I like, the idea, you know,

0:24:440:24:47

the car is sitting there outside the Nissen hut.

0:24:470:24:50

And somebody shouts, "Scramble, scramble!"

0:24:500:24:52

So they all rush to the car like this,

0:24:520:24:55

and drive out to the Spitfire and off they go.

0:24:550:24:58

-Wow.

-And you think, yes, that must be wonderful.

0:24:580:25:00

And then you come back and you pick up your mates

0:25:000:25:02

and you go off to the pub and you have your pint.

0:25:020:25:05

And it becomes part of the team then.

0:25:070:25:09

The RAF team, in a sense.

0:25:090:25:11

And it's such a romantic, glamorous, dashing history, isn't it,

0:25:110:25:15

-for this car?

-Well, it is. It is.

0:25:150:25:16

And now you're driving it round the country lanes.

0:25:160:25:19

Are you feeling glamorous and romantic and dashing?

0:25:190:25:21

Oh, very much so. When I don't feel too tired.

0:25:210:25:23

It's a heavy car to drive.

0:25:230:25:25

-Is it?

-Because you've got this massive steering wheel.

0:25:250:25:28

Because that's the only way you can get the car round a corner.

0:25:280:25:31

I mean, sometimes, you know, if you're at a junction,

0:25:310:25:35

you're trying to change gear,

0:25:350:25:36

because you have to, what they call, double declutch.

0:25:360:25:39

I know that, yeah.

0:25:390:25:40

And you have to remember that you have got the centre accelerator.

0:25:400:25:44

You've got to turn the wheel, you've got to indicate,

0:25:440:25:48

and by the time you've done all that, you're exhausted.

0:25:480:25:51

So you feel worn out at the end of it.

0:25:510:25:54

But otherwise, it's fine.

0:25:540:25:55

-It's a gorgeous, gorgeous thing, I have to say.

-Thank you very much.

0:25:550:25:59

A Royal Air Force observer's flying logbook.

0:26:030:26:05

Who did this belong to?

0:26:060:26:08

This was my father John Mitchell's logbook.

0:26:080:26:11

And he died recently aged 97.

0:26:110:26:14

He was in the war.

0:26:140:26:15

To begin with, he did a bomber tour.

0:26:150:26:18

And then he went to Canada for specialist navigation training.

0:26:180:26:21

And worked on an astro simulator there,

0:26:210:26:23

so became an astro navigation expert.

0:26:230:26:27

On return to England, from 1943-1945,

0:26:270:26:31

he was assigned to Churchill's special crew -

0:26:310:26:35

at the beginning it was the York Ascalon, which is his VIP aircraft -

0:26:350:26:40

and flew Churchill to North Africa,

0:26:400:26:43

to Cairo, to Yalta, and Moscow and Tehran,

0:26:430:26:48

and during that period he found foreign banknotes

0:26:480:26:52

and got some of the VIPs who flew on the aircraft,

0:26:520:26:54

because it wasn't just Churchill,

0:26:540:26:56

it was all the major generals, and DeGaulle...

0:26:560:27:00

Actually he flew the King at one point.

0:27:000:27:03

And he collected these notes

0:27:030:27:06

and got some of the VIPs to sign them.

0:27:060:27:09

We have a banknote here

0:27:090:27:11

which your father has got signed by two reasonably famous people

0:27:110:27:15

from World War II, as far as I can tell.

0:27:150:27:17

And I think most people will know their names.

0:27:170:27:20

We see Bernard Law Montgomery,

0:27:200:27:22

of the Desert Rats.

0:27:220:27:24

-Absolutely.

-And of 21 Army Group who landed in Normandy.

0:27:240:27:28

And then underneath it, Louis Mountbatten.

0:27:280:27:31

-Absolutely.

-Again, another very well-known person.

0:27:310:27:35

So, your father is there, flying these V-V-VIPs

0:27:350:27:38

-around the world.

-Yes.

0:27:380:27:40

He went to the Yalta Conference.

0:27:400:27:43

And if we look inside the logbook here...

0:27:430:27:45

..we can actually see that flight here on 3rd February, 1945.

0:27:460:27:52

Your dad saying, here he is, duty as navigator.

0:27:520:27:54

And as we've said he was the master navigator.

0:27:540:27:56

-And it's from Luqa...

-In Malta.

0:27:560:27:59

In Malta. To Saki which is in the Crimea.

0:27:590:28:02

Which is the closest airfield to Yalta itself.

0:28:020:28:05

-Indeed.

-And list of passengers.

0:28:050:28:07

Right Honourable Winston Churchill.

0:28:070:28:10

Then, on this banknote, the Russian one, there,

0:28:100:28:13

Winston Churchill himself.

0:28:130:28:15

-Yep.

-Do you have any more of these?

0:28:150:28:18

Yes, I've got a number of other notes signed by various people.

0:28:180:28:22

Tedder, Auchinleck, Anthony Eden,

0:28:220:28:26

the Turkish Prime Minister.

0:28:260:28:28

If we were going to have to say a price for them,

0:28:280:28:32

I think you would probably be having to look at somewhere between...

0:28:320:28:35

..well, £700-900,

0:28:370:28:40

for the logbook and your unique notes.

0:28:400:28:43

-Right.

-I've never seen anything like this.

0:28:430:28:46

So thank you very much for bringing them along.

0:28:460:28:48

-Fascinating.

-It's a great pleasure.

0:28:480:28:50

Here in this gentle breeze we've got the most curious gang

0:28:530:28:56

of little people here, nodding away.

0:28:560:28:58

And they just make me smile.

0:28:580:29:00

But tell me, how did you end up with a collection like this?

0:29:000:29:03

Where do they come from?

0:29:030:29:04

Well, I go on holiday to Mevagissey in Cornwall every year.

0:29:040:29:08

And about 20 years ago I stayed in a bed-and-breakfast down there

0:29:080:29:11

and the lady had a little collection of them

0:29:110:29:13

and I just fell in love with them

0:29:130:29:15

because I thought they were so quirky.

0:29:150:29:17

So, she sold me this one, the first one I ever bought,

0:29:170:29:21

and then every year we've been down there, we've been looking for them.

0:29:210:29:24

And this is the little collection I've managed to accumulate.

0:29:240:29:26

So, over how many years has this taken you to put these together?

0:29:260:29:29

About 20 years ago I started,

0:29:290:29:31

but to be honest I haven't seen any for about the last ten years

0:29:310:29:34

-when we've been down there.

-So they're getting a bit hard to find?

0:29:340:29:37

I think they are, yes.

0:29:370:29:38

Well, they are the most wonderful creation of a fantastic mind.

0:29:380:29:42

And they are the work of an artist potter called Bernard Moss.

0:29:420:29:46

-Right.

-And he actually was born in 1923

0:29:460:29:48

but ended up settling down in Mevagissey in around 1949.

0:29:480:29:53

And one of his loves was this sort of mechanical element,

0:29:530:29:57

making things move, making things bounce.

0:29:570:30:00

Hence the nodding figures.

0:30:000:30:02

The one story I love about him

0:30:020:30:04

is the fact that he took one of his nodding figures

0:30:040:30:08

up to Heal's of London,

0:30:080:30:10

took it into the ceramic buyer's office to show him,

0:30:100:30:13

feeling that Heal's would take these on board,

0:30:130:30:16

and he was rejected.

0:30:160:30:17

They said, "No, thank you. Not for us."

0:30:170:30:20

And as he walked out of the store feeling very dejected,

0:30:200:30:23

he bumped into a very well-dressed gentleman who actually said to him,

0:30:230:30:26

"What's the matter? What's the problem?"

0:30:260:30:28

He explained, got the little nodding figure out of his bag.

0:30:280:30:32

And the gentleman said, "You go back to that office and tell him

0:30:320:30:34

"that Mr Worthington says we require one dozen of them.

0:30:340:30:38

"Thank you." He was the director of the store.

0:30:380:30:40

LAUGHTER

0:30:400:30:42

And what came out of that was this lovely relationship.

0:30:420:30:45

And if you look, your three nicest figures for me

0:30:450:30:48

are these at the front.

0:30:480:30:49

-Right.

-Which, as you can see, all have on them, Heal's for fabrics.

0:30:490:30:53

-Right, yeah.

-And from thereon after,

0:30:530:30:56

he had an order each year of between 80-100 figures only

0:30:560:31:00

that would be given to their best customers.

0:31:000:31:03

What were you paying for them?

0:31:030:31:04

The first one I paid £20 for.

0:31:040:31:06

And the most I've paid for on the others is about 70.

0:31:060:31:10

Well, I have to tell you, that's a good buy.

0:31:100:31:12

-Is it?

-Because a standard nodder at the back here

0:31:120:31:16

is £200 now. A double, £250.

0:31:160:31:20

And one like this with the chick, you're looking in excess of £400.

0:31:200:31:24

No! Wow.

0:31:240:31:27

Collectively, on the table,

0:31:270:31:29

you've got somewhere in the region of £1,500-£2,000 worth of figures.

0:31:290:31:34

Oh...

0:31:340:31:35

-It's amazing.

-Well, these have made me smile.

0:31:350:31:38

-I've made you smile.

-Yeah. Absolutely.

0:31:380:31:40

Take them home and continue to smile. They're just fun.

0:31:400:31:43

And I think what better way to finish,

0:31:430:31:45

shall we just let this little Sputnik

0:31:450:31:47

have one last bounce over the planet?

0:31:470:31:50

What a fantastic brass dog collar.

0:31:580:32:00

Can you imagine the size of the dog that is came off?

0:32:000:32:02

-Definitely.

-Probably a mastiff or something like that.

0:32:020:32:05

"Mr G A F Bush is the master I own.

0:32:050:32:09

"I know nothing of you, and so let me alone.

0:32:090:32:13

"Best I foolishly fancy your hand as my bone."

0:32:130:32:17

Well, as you probably know, it's probably a late 18th,

0:32:220:32:24

-maybe early 19th century brass dog collar.

-Right, yes.

0:32:240:32:27

What's really nice, it's got

0:32:270:32:29

a little handmade lock with it, as well.

0:32:290:32:31

And it fully works, as well.

0:32:310:32:33

With its key. Excellent. It's fabulous.

0:32:330:32:35

Where did you get it? Is it something you've bought?

0:32:390:32:41

It was. It was at an auction room and I paid the grand sum of £50.

0:32:410:32:45

Well, you did fantastically well.

0:32:450:32:47

Personally, I think it's probably worth 300-400.

0:32:470:32:50

-Really? Excellent.

-Yeah, it's fabulous.

0:32:500:32:52

-Thank you so much for bringing it.

-You're welcome.

0:32:520:32:54

You know, I've been handling Japanese figures like this

0:32:580:33:01

for over 40 years,

0:33:010:33:04

and I've never seen this particular model.

0:33:040:33:06

Very unusual.

0:33:080:33:09

I've not seen it illustrated anywhere either.

0:33:090:33:12

Where did you get it from?

0:33:120:33:13

It belonged to my aunt, who had a guesthouse in Jersey.

0:33:130:33:16

She bought it from an elderly lady

0:33:160:33:19

who lived on the island of Jersey about 45 years ago.

0:33:190:33:24

And that's all I know about it.

0:33:240:33:25

Well, how interesting.

0:33:250:33:27

And you inherited it? And do you like it?

0:33:270:33:29

Yes, very much.

0:33:290:33:31

And how do you make it stand?

0:33:310:33:33

It's not happy, is it?

0:33:330:33:35

It's not very happy at all.

0:33:350:33:37

You go round it very gently.

0:33:370:33:39

And if you have people in who might be a bit...

0:33:390:33:43

-Clumsy.

-It gets moved.

-I don't even want to try it.

0:33:430:33:47

Interestingly, had you shown me just the stand,

0:33:480:33:54

I would have known who this was by.

0:33:540:33:57

-Really?

-Yeah. That is a classic bit of gilt,

0:33:570:34:02

wood stand by a very well-known maker,

0:34:020:34:06

one of the best, called Miya-o.

0:34:060:34:08

And it's spelt M-I-Y-A, hyphen O.

0:34:100:34:15

And people who don't know read it as "meow."

0:34:160:34:19

LAUGHTER

0:34:190:34:23

Cat bronze man.

0:34:230:34:24

Oh, right.

0:34:240:34:25

He was working in Tokyo in the 1880s.

0:34:270:34:32

And did some absolutely splendid figures.

0:34:340:34:37

Do you know what's going on here?

0:34:370:34:39

Well, I was told that he was probably an overseer

0:34:390:34:44

for people who were working in paddy fields.

0:34:440:34:47

Hence the stilts, so he didn't get his feet wet.

0:34:470:34:50

Or didn't get his clothes wet.

0:34:500:34:52

Yeah. At least you're not saying, oh, he was a stilt walker.

0:34:520:34:56

Was just sort of entertaining people.

0:34:560:34:59

I think he's an absolutely fantastic figure.

0:34:590:35:02

I mean, just look at the quality of that hair engraving.

0:35:020:35:07

It's a knockout.

0:35:070:35:08

-It's lovely, isn't it?

-Absolute knockout.

0:35:080:35:10

So, how much are we going to put on here?

0:35:100:35:13

I think he would probably be 1,800-2,500.

0:35:140:35:18

CROWD GASP

0:35:180:35:20

-Very nice.

-All right?

0:35:200:35:21

Yes. Very nice, thank you very much.

0:35:210:35:23

Well, this is one very attractive lady.

0:35:250:35:28

And I believe your mother shared my opinion.

0:35:280:35:32

She did. It belonged to a friend of hers.

0:35:320:35:34

But every time she visited, she absolutely loved this picture.

0:35:340:35:38

And eventually her friend agreed to sell it to her.

0:35:380:35:41

Did she? Now, don't mind me being a bit cheeky,

0:35:410:35:44

but did your mother tell you how much she paid for her?

0:35:440:35:47

-£150.

-150.

0:35:470:35:49

And this was some years ago?

0:35:490:35:50

Yes, I think probably in the '50s.

0:35:500:35:53

-OK.

-So, a lot of money then.

0:35:530:35:55

A lot of money in the 1950s.

0:35:550:35:56

Was she a big art buyer, your mama?

0:35:560:35:58

Not at all. As far as I know,

0:35:580:36:00

she never had anything else in our house that was any value at all.

0:36:000:36:03

But this, she just fell in love with.

0:36:030:36:06

Well, this is a girl who a lot of people fell in love with.

0:36:060:36:12

We both know, because it says on the back, Countess Sophie Potocka.

0:36:120:36:16

And one person who fell in love with her big time

0:36:160:36:19

was a 19-year-old Frederick Chopin.

0:36:190:36:22

One tends to think of Chopin and George Sand,

0:36:220:36:24

that's the usual lady in his life,

0:36:240:36:27

but she was the first. She was a Polish opera singer.

0:36:270:36:30

-Oh, was she?

-And so they had their love of music together.

0:36:300:36:33

This is a picture on porcelain.

0:36:330:36:36

But not just any old porcelain.

0:36:360:36:38

This is on Viennese porcelain.

0:36:380:36:40

As far as the date's concerned, it's late 19th century.

0:36:400:36:43

The quality just shouts at you, it really does.

0:36:430:36:47

And not just the quality,

0:36:470:36:48

but when you look at the border

0:36:480:36:51

and this wonderful and opulent gilding

0:36:510:36:55

all against this lovely burgundy ground,

0:36:550:36:58

it is a treasure in every sense of the word.

0:36:580:37:03

It's not easy to paint on ceramic

0:37:030:37:06

because quite often some of those colours don't materialise

0:37:060:37:10

until you actually fire the piece.

0:37:100:37:12

So, it is a tour de force.

0:37:120:37:14

It's not only a tour de force from a painting point of view,

0:37:140:37:16

it's a tour de force from a potting point of view.

0:37:160:37:19

Because to actually make a flat circular plaque like that,

0:37:190:37:24

it really takes some doing.

0:37:240:37:26

So, £150 back in the '50s.

0:37:270:37:30

You know, a fair chunk of money today.

0:37:300:37:32

So, what price a pretty face?

0:37:320:37:36

If she turned up at auction...

0:37:360:37:38

..the estimate would be between £3,000-4,000.

0:37:390:37:44

Wow.

0:37:460:37:48

I'm sure if the Countess was with us today,

0:37:480:37:51

she would be delighted to know that everybody still loves her.

0:37:510:37:54

Absolutely.

0:37:570:37:58

When it comes to First World War poets,

0:38:010:38:04

arguably the most famous and the most important is Wilfred Owen.

0:38:040:38:09

Absolutely.

0:38:090:38:11

You've brought something in that actually relates to Owen.

0:38:110:38:13

Can you just give me a bit of background on it?

0:38:130:38:16

When Wilfred Owen came to Dunsden, which is a village close by here,

0:38:160:38:21

he came with very high religious ideals

0:38:210:38:24

that had been pressed on him, really,

0:38:240:38:27

by his mother through their family life,

0:38:270:38:29

and through the person that gave him this small book.

0:38:290:38:33

And then Wilfred Owen himself came down to this area from Birkenhead.

0:38:330:38:38

How long was he in the area here for and what did he do?

0:38:380:38:41

Well, he was here for two years.

0:38:410:38:42

He was the lay assistant to the vicar of All Saints Church Dunsden,

0:38:420:38:47

-the Reverend Wigan.

-So, this book that you've brought in,

0:38:470:38:52

was actually given to Owen.

0:38:520:38:53

Yes, it was given to Owen by the priest of the church

0:38:530:38:56

that he was going to when he was living in Birkenhead.

0:38:560:38:59

-Yes.

-And it was given to him on the day that he was going to be...

0:38:590:39:06

He was going to take his first communion.

0:39:060:39:08

-On his confirmation day?

-Yes, that's what I'm trying to say.

0:39:080:39:11

-Absolutely.

-Yes.

-So that's what it... We have the inscription here

0:39:110:39:14

that is to him and we just read...

0:39:140:39:16

"Wilfred Owen, from his affectionate old pastor WCF,"

0:39:160:39:23

I think it is, "Robson."

0:39:230:39:24

-Yep.

-And then February 6th, 1910.

0:39:240:39:27

"Confirmation day. And the Lord bless thee and keep thee."

0:39:270:39:30

You know, the great irony, of course, of Wilfred Owen's life,

0:39:300:39:34

is that he was killed literally one week before Armistice happened.

0:39:340:39:39

This is something that really is close to my heart in particular,

0:39:390:39:44

that Owen owned this book.

0:39:440:39:46

That he touched this book, that he read this book.

0:39:460:39:48

It has some value because there's so little Owen material out there,

0:39:480:39:55

that we know actually belonged to him or relates directly to him.

0:39:550:39:59

So I think that if this came up for auction

0:40:000:40:03

it would make, to a collector,

0:40:030:40:04

to a museum, even, a First World War museum,

0:40:040:40:06

something like the Imperial War Museum would be interested.

0:40:060:40:09

I can easily see it making somewhere between £3,000-4,000.

0:40:090:40:12

-Really?

-It's just the fact that Owen owned it.

0:40:120:40:15

-Yeah.

-Absolutely. It's a wonderful little thing.

0:40:150:40:18

Well, it says, Her Majesty's Yacht.

0:40:260:40:28

-Yes.

-So how did you come to have a cup off Queen Victoria's yacht?

0:40:280:40:31

Well, it was my mother's great uncle

0:40:310:40:34

and he was an officer on board the Royal yacht.

0:40:340:40:38

And when she went on her last voyage,

0:40:380:40:43

she gave each one something personal of hers.

0:40:430:40:46

He handed it down to his brother who was my mother's grandfather.

0:40:500:40:54

And then to my grandmother.

0:40:560:40:58

And then to my mother. And then to me.

0:40:580:41:00

And down to you.

0:41:000:41:01

So this was made by Copeland for the Royal yacht,

0:41:060:41:10

for Queen Victoria, in around about 1890-1900.

0:41:100:41:14

So it's well over 100 years old.

0:41:140:41:16

-Oh, really?

-It's been touched by a Queen.

0:41:160:41:19

It's your breakfast cup.

0:41:190:41:21

-My breakfast cup.

-And it's worth £150.

0:41:210:41:24

Well, it's very nice that it's £150.

0:41:250:41:28

I think I'll drink some more tea out of it,

0:41:280:41:31

and maybe then sell it.

0:41:310:41:32

There's nothing more exciting for a specialist

0:41:370:41:40

than to be presented with a box

0:41:400:41:42

because you never know what's going to be inside it.

0:41:420:41:47

SHE CHUCKLES

0:41:470:41:49

-Yes.

-An exquisite clock.

0:41:490:41:51

It's a feast for the eyes.

0:41:510:41:53

So, tell me about it.

0:41:530:41:55

It was...

0:41:550:41:57

a wedding present to my grandmother in 1904.

0:41:570:42:02

From either her cousin or her uncle, I'm not sure...

0:42:020:42:06

Those Victorian families were rather like that.

0:42:060:42:09

..who lived in Paris.

0:42:090:42:10

And I know nothing else about him, except that he lived in Paris,

0:42:100:42:14

and he gave her this clock as a wedding present.

0:42:140:42:18

Well, I always thought that there was a protocol with weddings,

0:42:180:42:22

that nobody should outshine the bride.

0:42:220:42:25

LAUGHTER

0:42:250:42:26

I know.

0:42:260:42:28

She was very beautiful, my grandmother, but...

0:42:280:42:30

It's a visual feast.

0:42:300:42:32

-Yes.

-It's fabulous.

0:42:320:42:35

And it's faded over 100 years.

0:42:350:42:38

When this was new, this would have been gilt,

0:42:380:42:42

the paste would have glistened.

0:42:420:42:44

It would have looked magnificent.

0:42:440:42:46

-Yes, yes.

-This is such a typical French clock.

0:42:460:42:50

Really top end.

0:42:500:42:52

-Yes.

-Made in Paris.

0:42:520:42:54

1900. The decoration we're looking at, these really sumptuous colours -

0:42:540:42:59

you've got turquoise, blues, lilacs, reds, everything in there -

0:42:590:43:05

this is all enamel work and it's called champleve enamel,

0:43:050:43:09

which I believe in French is raised field.

0:43:090:43:11

-That's right, yes.

-But what they actually do,

0:43:110:43:14

is they scoop out the metal.,

0:43:140:43:16

so this is all carved out, engraved out...

0:43:160:43:19

-Yes, and then it's filled in...

-..with the enamel,

0:43:190:43:22

and then it's polished back,

0:43:220:43:24

and then it reveals this wonderful colour.

0:43:240:43:26

And then they enhance it with this wonderful engraving,

0:43:260:43:30

so you might not have noticed but there's even engraving there.

0:43:300:43:33

-Yes, yes.

-And then it was fire gilded.

0:43:330:43:36

So that would have been a mercury gilding,

0:43:360:43:38

it would have been a beautiful rich gold colour.

0:43:380:43:42

And the clock itself

0:43:420:43:44

is a miniature cartel clock.

0:43:440:43:46

You can see you've got the bow here.

0:43:460:43:48

That would have been designed

0:43:480:43:50

to hang it on the wall. Not only can you hang it on the wall,

0:43:500:43:53

because I know it's also got a strut on the back.

0:43:530:43:55

-Yes, it has.

-So a lady could have it on her dressing table, as well.

0:43:550:43:59

-Yes, yes.

-Well, it's a wonderful clock.

0:43:590:44:01

Very, very pretty.

0:44:010:44:02

As you can probably tell, I'm rather in love with it.

0:44:020:44:05

If it came up for auction,

0:44:050:44:07

I would imagine it would come with an estimate of between £700-1,000.

0:44:070:44:12

Yes, yes, yes.

0:44:120:44:14

That's very interesting. Very interesting.

0:44:140:44:16

-Thank you.

-That's a pleasure.

0:44:160:44:19

Well, this is something I really didn't expect

0:44:200:44:22

to see here today in Reading.

0:44:220:44:24

A bronze by South Africa's foremost sculptor

0:44:240:44:27

from the early 20th century, Anton van Wouw.

0:44:270:44:30

What can you tell me about it?

0:44:300:44:32

Well, this is a family piece.

0:44:320:44:34

I married into a South African family,

0:44:340:44:36

and it's been in their family for quite some time,

0:44:360:44:38

and now we have it in England.

0:44:380:44:40

Of course, Anton van Wouw is predominantly known for

0:44:400:44:43

his large municipal works,

0:44:430:44:45

for instance, the figure of Kruger which is in Pretoria.

0:44:450:44:49

Born in 1862 in Holland.

0:44:490:44:51

He then moved to South Africa in the early part of the 20th century.

0:44:510:44:56

You know, this is called The Accused. If you look at it,

0:44:560:44:59

you can see that this was actually sculpted from life,

0:44:590:45:02

which is what he preferred to do, he didn't do it from photograph,

0:45:020:45:05

it was all done from life.

0:45:050:45:07

And you can see, gosh, he is the accused, standing in the dock.

0:45:070:45:12

It's beautifully, beautifully executed,

0:45:120:45:14

and beautifully observed, as well.

0:45:140:45:16

I think he's very, very moving.

0:45:160:45:17

-It's very moving, yes.

-I defy anyone to look at him

0:45:170:45:20

-and not feel his sadness.

-Absolutely.

0:45:200:45:23

You know, that is very apparent.

0:45:230:45:25

If we look at...

0:45:250:45:27

We can see the signature there.

0:45:270:45:29

And it's dated 1907.

0:45:310:45:32

Which is basically, he was at his height at that time,

0:45:320:45:34

even though he didn't actually die until 1942.

0:45:340:45:37

These works were mainly, actually, cast in Rome,

0:45:370:45:40

cos that's where a lot of the best foundries were, actually,

0:45:400:45:43

was in Rome at the time,

0:45:430:45:44

and this is one of those such pieces.

0:45:440:45:47

The strongest market for these bronzes is in South Africa

0:45:470:45:50

but the market is quite volatile. It is very up and down, I have to say.

0:45:500:45:55

So, realistically, I would think, certainly in the UK,

0:45:550:45:58

you'd be looking at an estimate somewhere in the region, at auction,

0:45:580:46:01

of 5,000-7,000.

0:46:010:46:03

Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

0:46:030:46:05

We would never sell it. It's a family piece that will stay with us.

0:46:050:46:08

Well, that's nice to know. Yeah.

0:46:080:46:09

My mother-in-law bought it in the Lanes,

0:46:110:46:14

from an antique shop in Brighton in 1973.

0:46:140:46:18

And it was rather grubby but she rather liked it

0:46:180:46:20

cos she liked primitive pictures.

0:46:200:46:22

Now, let's look at it.

0:46:220:46:24

It's an incredibly primitively painted

0:46:240:46:28

oil on canvas.

0:46:280:46:29

And it depicts a scene at the Battle of Waterloo.

0:46:290:46:32

Tell me what it's about.

0:46:340:46:35

It's a British cavalryman, a dragoon,

0:46:350:46:38

fighting two French cuirassiers at the Battle of Waterloo.

0:46:380:46:42

Which actually means you can just about time it

0:46:420:46:45

-to about 2.30 in the afternoon.

-How interesting.

0:46:450:46:48

-Extraordinary.

-He's got what is called a sabretache

0:46:480:46:52

hanging at his side which shows that

0:46:520:46:54

he's a dispatch rider.

0:46:540:46:56

And in fact if we look at the writing on the bottom,

0:46:560:47:00

it says, "Thomas Abbott attacked by two..."

0:47:000:47:04

-What's that word?

-Cuirassiers.

0:47:040:47:05

"..cuirassiers...

0:47:050:47:07

"..while riding dispatch.

0:47:070:47:09

"18th of June, 1815, at Waterloo."

0:47:090:47:13

And here he is, Thomas Abbott,

0:47:130:47:16

and here are the two French cuirassiers.

0:47:160:47:19

He seems to have wounded one but I wonder if he got away?

0:47:190:47:22

He apparently survived the battle and got the Waterloo medal.

0:47:220:47:26

-So he's listed as having the Waterloo medal.

-He is?

-Yes, yes.

0:47:260:47:29

Now the interesting thing is,

0:47:290:47:31

that you'd have expected this to be painted around that time.

0:47:310:47:35

But, in fact, this oil on canvas is a Victorian copy.

0:47:360:47:42

This would have been painted in the 1860s.

0:47:430:47:46

It has the Highlanders here. Which regiment is that?

0:47:460:47:51

42nd of Foot, Black Watch.

0:47:510:47:52

Black Watch. There they are, with their tartan.

0:47:520:47:55

-Yes.

-And then the French over the other side,

0:47:550:47:58

and it also has this poor drummer boy right in the corner.

0:47:580:48:02

And by the drummer boy, a burst cannon.

0:48:020:48:05

And there seems to be a very, very...

0:48:050:48:07

small signature there.

0:48:070:48:10

"J Miller pinxit",

0:48:100:48:12

which means painted it in Latin.

0:48:120:48:15

Well, it's a wonderful picture.

0:48:150:48:17

The picture itself...

0:48:180:48:20

has a value. Not as much as you'd like to hope, I suppose.

0:48:200:48:24

I think, today, it's worth something in the region of £600-800.

0:48:240:48:30

That's fine. I'm not going to get rid of it

0:48:300:48:32

cos it has too nice a story attached to it.

0:48:320:48:34

Harry, you're only 16.

0:48:390:48:40

But you've brought along

0:48:400:48:42

one of the oldest objects we've seen on the Roadshow for a while.

0:48:420:48:46

Certainly of this kind.

0:48:460:48:48

And you know quite a lot about it. What can you tell me?

0:48:480:48:50

Well, it's a late, mid-to-late 17th century stumpwork box.

0:48:500:48:55

Now, tell us about stumpwork.

0:48:550:48:57

It's raised embroidery,

0:48:570:48:59

which sort of died out into the Victorian era.

0:48:590:49:02

We're talking Charles II.

0:49:020:49:03

Charles II. And I'm wondering if that's what it depicts.

0:49:030:49:06

It's anti-Puritan, you know, with butterflies and these little pearls.

0:49:060:49:11

It's sort of celebrating a return to prosperity to Britain, essentially.

0:49:110:49:16

Now, where did you come by this, Harry?

0:49:160:49:18

This isn't something that's just lying around in your bedroom.

0:49:180:49:21

No, this doesn't belong to me, actually.

0:49:210:49:22

I'm the tour guide of a historic house

0:49:220:49:24

called Milton Manor in Oxfordshire.

0:49:240:49:26

-Which is not far from here.

-Not far.

0:49:260:49:28

And this is, I think, is one of the jewels of the collection.

0:49:280:49:31

Well, we're so glad you brought it along.

0:49:310:49:33

It is just exquisite.

0:49:330:49:35

-Oh, I think so.

-And it's such a rare survivor of its kind.

0:49:350:49:38

John Foster's going to be looking at it.

0:49:380:49:40

I've spoken to him already. I know he's hugely excited.

0:49:400:49:43

-So, he's your man.

-Great, thank you.

0:49:430:49:45

A fabulous piece you've brought us in to look at today.

0:49:480:49:50

It looks as if any minute this wonderful eagle on the top

0:49:500:49:53

is going to fly away and take everything with her,

0:49:530:49:56

so before that happens,

0:49:560:49:57

tell me how you came by it.

0:49:570:49:58

My grandfather worked in Colebrooks game department.

0:49:580:50:02

Colebrooks was a huge butchers in the centre of Reading

0:50:020:50:06

and my grandfather was travelling between houses,

0:50:060:50:09

buying and selling game

0:50:090:50:11

and I think that when he was in the big houses,

0:50:110:50:15

he saw things like this and he absolutely loved them.

0:50:150:50:19

They weren't very well off.

0:50:190:50:20

They lived in Liverpool Road in Reading down by the railway line.

0:50:200:50:24

This was broken.

0:50:240:50:26

The bird had come off at the ankles

0:50:260:50:29

and the elephant heads were all very loose,

0:50:290:50:32

so I think that he was able to afford it

0:50:320:50:35

and was intending to mend it but never quite did.

0:50:350:50:38

-Got round to it.

-I took it to a restorer in Woodley.

0:50:380:50:41

He did it all back and he put the bird back on

0:50:410:50:44

and it's now sitting in pride of place

0:50:440:50:47

on top of an equally fabulous Chinese cabinet

0:50:470:50:50

in my front sitting room.

0:50:500:50:52

Wonderful. It's, in fact, Japanese.

0:50:520:50:55

This is called Shibayama,

0:50:550:50:57

and it's a Japanese technique of inlaying and relief decoration

0:50:570:51:00

that they've been using to decorate pieces like this

0:51:000:51:04

since the 18th century.

0:51:040:51:06

You've just got these fabulous panels, of which there are four.

0:51:060:51:11

This piece itself is not in fact 18th century.

0:51:110:51:13

In fact, this dates from the 19th century and it would date within

0:51:130:51:16

the Meiji period, so 1868-1912.

0:51:160:51:20

And what we have here is

0:51:200:51:21

a koro, or sort of covered urn.

0:51:210:51:24

Very much a sort of, you know, Japanese shape.

0:51:240:51:28

We have lacquer.

0:51:280:51:29

It's on silver, so you've got silver here.

0:51:290:51:32

These wonderful elephant heads are silver.

0:51:320:51:34

The eagle on top is silver.

0:51:340:51:36

If I just take off the cover there, we can see inside, again,

0:51:360:51:39

we've got silver both inside and out there.

0:51:390:51:42

The one thing you might not have noticed, or maybe you have,

0:51:420:51:45

but if we turn it all the way over there, we'll see a signature...

0:51:450:51:49

-Ah.

-..on the underside.

0:51:490:51:50

We know that that's by an artist called Kuroki,

0:51:500:51:53

and he was making this type of Shibayama and lacquerware

0:51:530:51:57

in the Meiji period.

0:51:570:51:59

Today, in fact, the Japanese market is becoming stronger and stronger

0:51:590:52:02

and actually these are the pieces they're going for.

0:52:020:52:04

Condition is key and the condition here is very good.

0:52:040:52:08

All of that said, I think if this came up for auction today,

0:52:080:52:11

it would easily fetch between £3,000-£5,000 at auction.

0:52:110:52:14

Yes.

0:52:160:52:17

I just love it.

0:52:170:52:19

So, over the years, we've seen on the Roadshow

0:52:200:52:24

quite a lot of stumpwork

0:52:240:52:26

and needlework, stumpwork being the raised panel sections of this box.

0:52:260:52:31

You can date it quite easily to the reign of Charles II,

0:52:310:52:34

sort of 1675-ish,

0:52:340:52:36

because his image is on top.

0:52:360:52:37

Now, how has something like this...

0:52:370:52:40

Because usually, when we see it, it's faded, torn.

0:52:400:52:43

How has something survived for so long in this condition?

0:52:430:52:47

Well, it came from Milton Manor in Oxfordshire

0:52:470:52:49

which is where I'm the tour guide,

0:52:490:52:51

and the house was unoccupied for about 40 years

0:52:510:52:54

and then when the family decided to move back in,

0:52:540:52:57

a maid discovered this in one of the old sort of servants' bedrooms

0:52:570:53:01

wrapped up in brown paper and a tablecloth.

0:53:010:53:05

So she brought it down and said, "Ta-dah!"

0:53:050:53:08

-The tablecloth is an interesting thing.

-Yes.

-The white gloves...

0:53:080:53:11

Usually I always think people go a bit over the top with white gloves.

0:53:110:53:14

With something like this, absolutely.

0:53:140:53:16

-It's so important.

-Because the salt from your fingers will rot this.

0:53:160:53:19

You know, it should not be touched, basically.

0:53:190:53:21

-No.

-So for a young chap like you, why have you brought this in?

0:53:210:53:26

Look at it, it amazing. I think...

0:53:260:53:28

All the visitors that come to the house are fascinated by it.

0:53:280:53:32

You know, you have to push them away, you really do.

0:53:320:53:35

And it's just beautiful. Every time you look at it,

0:53:350:53:38

you notice a different detail.

0:53:380:53:40

The quality is incredible,

0:53:400:53:41

and that's what's fascinating for everybody that looks at it.

0:53:410:53:45

And what research have you done as to what it was for,

0:53:450:53:48

-who made it?

-Well,

0:53:480:53:50

we can be fairly confident that it was made by a gentry family

0:53:500:53:54

called Calton because it's exactly contemporary

0:53:540:53:58

-with the building of Milton Manor.

-Oh, really?

-So it was...

0:53:580:54:02

The house was in the hands of the Calton family for about 100 years

0:54:020:54:06

and then my employer's family got it 250 years ago.

0:54:060:54:09

-Wow.

-So we think it's stayed with the house its whole life.

0:54:090:54:13

That's interesting in itself because with something like this,

0:54:130:54:17

you're showing where your allegiances lie.

0:54:170:54:19

-Completely.

-You've got the royals on the top there

0:54:190:54:22

and when you think of what was going on politically around that period,

0:54:220:54:26

you had just the end of Oliver Cromwell,

0:54:260:54:28

you had then the return to the monarchy,

0:54:280:54:30

from the Commonwealth, of Charles II,

0:54:300:54:33

this was saying, "I am for the royals."

0:54:330:54:36

And you have the royals there.

0:54:360:54:38

-Yes.

-Who's this?

0:54:380:54:40

Are these the sort of...

0:54:430:54:44

I have no idea. Tell me.

0:54:440:54:45

Well, that's the thing.

0:54:450:54:47

I don't think we'll ever really know,

0:54:470:54:49

but why not be the owners of the house?

0:54:490:54:52

-Wow.

-They're giving themselves status just below the royals.

0:54:520:54:56

But showing they are below the royals.

0:54:560:54:58

-Yes, completely.

-Again, it's like a "We're for you."

0:54:580:55:01

And then when you spin it round,

0:55:010:55:03

it's full of all the symbolism from couples, leopards...

0:55:030:55:07

Rebecca, presumably, at the well.

0:55:090:55:11

And another sort of well-known biblical story of Abraham and Isaac.

0:55:120:55:16

Abraham was about to sacrifice Isaac

0:55:160:55:18

and was stopped at the last moment by God.

0:55:180:55:21

And again, it just sort of shows that allegiance, not only to God,

0:55:210:55:25

but to the royal family of the day.

0:55:250:55:27

You've got a mixture here of woolwork,

0:55:270:55:30

needlework and most stunningly of all, stumpwork.

0:55:300:55:35

Which is basically like the raised panels, stuffed panels.

0:55:350:55:39

Stuffed with straw and all sorts of bits and pieces in there,

0:55:390:55:42

but to give it this 3D image.

0:55:420:55:44

And wooden hands.

0:55:440:55:47

I know, they're amazing.

0:55:470:55:48

-Just...

-Someone with the intricacy to carve...

0:55:480:55:51

-I've never seen it.

-..in such a detailed way.

0:55:510:55:53

Pearl, seed pearl details.

0:55:530:55:55

Yeah.

0:55:550:55:57

Rabbits, butterflies, I mean, you could go on about this endlessly.

0:55:570:56:01

Like I say, it's just stunning to see it like this.

0:56:010:56:05

Obviously, you know what it's for.

0:56:050:56:07

Yes, it's a lady's toilet box.

0:56:070:56:09

Exactly. And then when you open it...

0:56:090:56:11

All lined. And I know you've got the mirror here.

0:56:130:56:16

I've left it out because it was just a little bit delicate in here.

0:56:160:56:20

Little scent bottles.

0:56:200:56:21

-Yes.

-And then drawered section inside.

0:56:210:56:25

And then these, all silver mounted.

0:56:260:56:29

-Amazing.

-It's just... It's staggering to see.

0:56:290:56:32

I mean, this is museum quality at its best.

0:56:320:56:35

Wow.

0:56:350:56:36

OK, so...

0:56:360:56:37

Value.

0:56:410:56:42

At auction, easily £50-70,000.

0:56:420:56:47

-Oh, my God!

-Oh...!

0:56:480:56:50

That... Wow!

0:56:520:56:53

Shame it's not mine.

0:56:530:56:55

LAUGHTER

0:56:550:56:56

Er... It is a shame it's not yours.

0:56:560:56:59

I can't believe it's travelled down in our car

0:56:590:57:01

-and it spent the night in our sitting room.

-No.

0:57:010:57:05

It's...

0:57:050:57:06

I've never seen anything like it

0:57:060:57:08

and I don't think I will in a long, long time. Thank you.

0:57:080:57:10

Thank you.

0:57:100:57:12

Well, that was a great moment, wasn't it? What a reaction.

0:57:140:57:17

And what a survivor, down through the centuries.

0:57:170:57:20

To see something like that here on the Roadshow,

0:57:200:57:22

that is a real thrill for us and for John.

0:57:220:57:25

And talking of the Roadshow,

0:57:250:57:27

this is what it looks like as our day draws to a close.

0:57:270:57:30

We're taking the umbrellas down, people have departed,

0:57:300:57:32

everyone who has come today has been seen and has gone home

0:57:320:57:36

either thrilled, as that chap will, or thinking, well,

0:57:360:57:39

maybe we'll just stick it back in the cupboard.

0:57:390:57:41

Let it gather dust then.

0:57:410:57:42

From the whole team here at Caversham, bye-bye.

0:57:420:57:45

Fiona Bruce and the team are in the grounds of BBC Caversham near Reading.

Items featured include a communion book originally owned by the poet Wilfred Owen, an Aston Martin first driven by an RAF group captain in World War II, and a remarkably well preserved, finely embroidered stumpwork box from the 17th century that brings gasps of delight and surprise when its value is announced.