The team travel to the Lake District where Fiona Bruce and the experts meet hundreds of local visitors proudly bringing their family treasures for evaluation.
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Imagine if you could live in one of the finest country houses in the land.
Wouldn't it be great?
Imagine if you had TWO to choose from.
Well, that was the dilemma facing William Cavendish in 1858,
when he inherited Chatsworth House in Derbyshire,
and this glorious place.
Welcome to the Antiques Roadshow
from Holker Hall and Gardens in Cumbria.
'Unlike many grand houses,
'Holker Hall has never been bought or sold.
'For the past 400 years,
'it's changed hands through marriage or inheritance.
'Every generation seems to have fallen in love with it.
'And who can blame them?
That was certainly the case for William Cavendish,
the seventh Duke of Devonshire.
Holker Hall, set between the tidal estuary of Morecambe Bay
and the Lake District which so inspired William Wordsworth,
also appealed to the Duke.
And he decided THIS was the place he wanted to raise his family.
There's some touching mementos of family life, like this screen,
for example, which was made by the children.
And it features scenes from Russia, like the Kremlin, here, for example.
The children had never been,
but it was around the time of the Crimean War, the 1850s.
And then look at this.
It's called a nursery yacht. It's a very rare survivor.
There are very few left in the country.
Can you imagine? What fun for the children,
rocking backwards and forwards on this.
I'm sure our experts would love to see it.
This idyllic family life was nearly brought to an abrupt end
in the early hours of March the 9th, 1871,
when a fire started here in one of the children's bedrooms.
Fortunately, everybody got out safely.
But it wrought terrible destruction.
Valuable books, furniture and paintings were lost for ever,
as the west wing of the house was completely gutted by the flames.
Almost as soon as the embers stopped burning,
the Duke decided to rebuild this part of the house,
and it was going to be more spectacular than ever.
His daughter Louisa took charge, and oversaw much of the grand design.
And work began within weeks.
The reconstruction of this entire wing took three years.
The final touch was this inscription on the fireplace to mark the
completion of the rebuild in 1874.
And the wooden panelling holds a message as well.
The Duke wanted to thank his daughter Louisa
for her efforts and unswerving loyalty,
so each letter of her name is inscribed in the paneling.
Today, Holker is still lived in by members of the Cavendish family,
who are our hosts
as we welcome visitors to today's Antiques Roadshow.
Let's join them in the Deer Park and in the formal gardens.
Here at Holker Hall, I understand there's an annual flower festival.
Now, I think this could be the prize exhibit.
-Where did you get it?
-I inherited it. It belonged to my grandfather.
I remember it hanging on the wall of their house
when I was a small child.
And my grandfather had a sister who lived in Singapore in the 1920s,
and almost certainly bought it in the Far East.
The type of decoration, I don't know if you know,
it's known as mille-fleurs, or a "thousand flower" decoration,
which was developed in China...
Well, this is a Chinese dish.
Developed in China at the beginning of the 18th century
and carried on for some time. But it really is quite rare on this scale.
If we turn it over...
How are we going to do this?
That way up, there we are.
There is a four-character imperial reign mark.
It reads Qianlong, Nanjing.
The Qianlong Emperor reigned from 1736 to 1795.
But the question with this dish is,
is it an 18th century dish from the Qianlong reign
or is it a copy from a later date?
Um... And it makes a huge difference to its value.
It's a question of judging it on the quality of decoration.
Is it of imperial quality?
Is it from an imperial workshop?
The shape of the dish comes into it.
Is this an 18th century shape?
Is this a 19th century shape?
And also, how the mark is painted, the quality of the mark,
and the style of the mark.
Um, I've got absolutely no doubt that this is a 19th century dish,
rather than a Qianlong one.
But what you want to know is the value, don't you?
It has a small chip on the rim, just down here.
And that does make a difference.
I think at auction, even with this little chip here,
we're looking at £2,500 - £3,500.
Had it been a Qianlong piece from the 18th century,
it would have been...
To me at first glance, and I'm sure anyone else looking at this now,
it looks like a typical French 19th century, mid-19th century table.
But we know it's different, don't we?
We do. It's actually Russian.
-Where did you get it from, Russia?
-A shop in Stockport.
But it never got into the shop.
You bought it off the back of a van, or something?
-We bought it off the back of a van.
-Well, a friend did.
-Of course, it's a small lady's writing desk.
Um... We know there's a label under here.
-The label reads in Russian,
this table was from the red room in the Winter Palace,
which is the official residence of the royal family, the czars.
-What do you know about it?
-They were sold off, in the 1920s.
After the revolution, they sold a lot of furniture off.
They had... Yes, I think some big auctions
in I think 1929, revolutionary sales.
-And that's how it came to, presumably, England.
-If only it could talk to us and tell us more.
What's it seen? Who's written at it?
-In Russia in the 1850s.
-I mean, it's fascinating.
I mean, it looks exactly like a French-made 19th century,
what's known as Napoleon III, Napoleon Trois.
It's known as Boulle as well. This is a generic name.
Boulle was a 17th-century cabinet maker, marqueter, inlaid marquetry,
and he specialised in wood marquetry,
also this type of brass and turtle shell.
-Commonly thought to be tortoiseshell.
It's not. It's sea turtle.
The red, and the brass.
This is known as contra partie, so the main body is brass,
and there would be a counterpart to this somewhere in the world,
possibly in Russia, where the main part is the red turtle shell,
and the smaller parts are brass.
I think that these panels are possibly made in Paris
and sent to Russia.
Why? Because you see the joints here? All four centres,
there's no real join. It's sort of...
They hadn't quite finished it.
No Frenchman would do that.
They'll have a little mask in there, a face,
or something just to join it together.
I think somebody's sold the marquetry to the Russian maker.
The other main giveaway,
when we open the drawer here,
we can see it's got this nice, thick lining here...
-..which is very unusual, and certainly not a French style.
But more importantly, the thin lock here with the telltale here,
this single throw lock and a very narrow tongue
that is absolutely typical of... Well, it's...
It's not French. They just never did it like that.
And this shape is Germanic, possibly Russian.
And that just confirms
this extraordinary rare label on the back.
So what... So when did you get it? A long time ago?
It was... I think the late '70s.
I mean, as a French desk of the mid-19th century,
it's worth £2,000-£3,000.
We all know that Russians are potentially big buyers,
and the market is up and down, of course, all the time,
so it's very unpredictable.
But I think, instead of two or £3,000, I'm going to say...
..£12,000 to £18,000.
-And, keep going, because it's from the Winter Palace.
-Thank you very much. Thank you.
Keep your back straight. That's it.
Oh, my goodness me!
What a... A fabulous bit of weightlifting equipment.
And, yeah, thanks on that bone-crushing handshake!
-Look, you look fit as a fiddle.
How long have you been acquainted with this weightlifting...?
Almost 60 years I've had this bar, yes.
And still going today?
-Yes, I've got a pulse!
Do you mind if I ask how old you are?
Well, you're a great inspiration.
I understand this dates really from the early 20th century?
-I'd say 1907, 1908.
-And of course this was a time, late Victorian, Edwardian period,
when people were getting more interested in their health,
what their bodies looked like, there was new,
patent fitness machines coming on.
-Yeah. Oh, yeah.
-And by the 1920s,
when body beautiful was what everybody wanted,
it was high-fashion across many nations.
-The bar itself is made of brass.
And... The bar itself is steel, actually.
Right, so a steel core.
-Steel core, yeah.
-Sort of a shell or a tube of brass over that.
-And of course it has on this end a magnificently thick gauge
collar, with this equally thick gauge hand tightening wheel.
I mean, that's like something...
I know of no other variant
of this Bull and Paton bar that has got these.
-So I think it's unique.
I think it was either a prototype or...
-..built for an exhibition.
-Because it must have been 40 years old when I got it.
Yes. Is this all the weights you've got?
-Oh, no, I've got quite a few at home.
All right. With the Camberwell stamp on them.
I've got... Well, I've got two 50 pounders in the car.
For practical purposes, yeah.
Cos, you know, this is such a rare piece.
And, I mean, there is a market for these.
And I think that you could sell this at auction for around £2,500.
But you've got two more weights in the car.
So why don't we add another 500 and make it 3,000?
Oh! Very nice.
Well, looking at these 19th century dresses,
I can't help but notice the size of this waistline.
I don't think I know anyone who could fit into a dress like this.
Why do you have them?
Oh, I just love them.
I think they're so beautiful,
and they portray an era that we've lost completely.
And they're just ever so nice to have.
-They're just beautiful.
-And how did they all find their way to you?
Well, it's a long story.
But basically, people learned that I was very interested in this type of
thing, and they gave me them.
-Which is incredible.
-So, of the...
Of the ones that you have in the collection, are there more than this?
I have got quite a few more.
Perhaps not as flamboyant and beautiful as these,
but nevertheless, they still portray that era of long-gone elegance.
Don't they just? And I think I am instantly drawn to these two in
-Where did these come from?
Well, these are Ulverston dresses.
These were two Ulverston ladies.
That one was Mary Petty, and she lived in Bardsley and Ulverston,
but unfortunately, as it was in those days,
she died when she was 16.
-This is her sister, Hannah Petty.
And obviously she lived for quite some time afterwards.
She's... She's slightly larger than Mary, but nevertheless,
I know the pedigree, as it were.
It sounds as though you know these dresses sort of through and through.
And the way you refer to these...
Do the other dresses have names, too?
They do, yes.
That one there is Minnie Briggs.
Now, she was married in Ulverston parish church,
and I'm a bell-ringer,
and when I come down from the bell tower,
I often think about Minnie
walking up the aisle of the church in the 1870s.
Possibly in this... In this dress.
In that dress, yes, in that very dress.
You really have got the history that goes with them.
This is so often what's lost.
What about the others?
Well, here we have Sarah Huddleston.
Now, she was a farmer's wife, and she lived at Baycliff just outside Ulverston.
And although you can't tell sitting on the chair,
she is an unusually tall lady for Victorian days.
She must be about five foot ten.
And this is a very sort of humble, 1830s dress.
They're all day dresses, aren't they?
-And all of these materials have been printed.
This is really a stunning little dress, isn't it?
So it dates from the 1830s, I would say.
And actually, I can't help but think
of the young Queen Victoria when I look at something like this.
-The low neckline, the very tight bodice
with a corseted waist,
and then the skirt, pleated and just beginning to be full.
But I love the trimmings.
Oh, yes. Beautiful, yeah!
What do you like about them?
Oh, it's the green fringing and how it tones in with the rest of the colours.
The dressmaker must have taken great pains in finding exactly the right colour.
Dresses through the 19th century would have been made...
Normally, the silk dresses would be made sort of at
the top end of the range.
And then there were dresses made for the middle classes
that were more likely to be printed cottons.
And I think that these two dresses
fit into that sort of middle-class bracket.
You're so enthusiastic about these.
You don't really want to know the value, do you?
Not at all.
None the less, I'm going to tell you, um,
that I think each of these dresses is worth
And, um, the others, around £100 or so,
and then maybe £50 to £100 for the other two.
But these really stand out.
I could never, ever part with them. They're wonderful.
The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne, illustrated by EH Shepard.
A first edition, and it is signed.
It's got a dust wrapper on it, which is almost unheard of.
So you paid top price for it?
About £250 for it.
Well, now it's probably worth £2,000-£2,500.
Well, that is surprising, that really was a good buy, then.
I think it was an incredible buy!
You take it to our jewellery experts.
I think they will find that very interesting.
One of the risks of country houses such as Holker, in the old days of course,
was fire. So many houses were destroyed by fire.
And they had their own firemen, if you like,
because there was no organised fire brigade.
-And what these helmets tell us, which is an amazing collection,
is of course we are dealing with the development of the Fire Service.
-Why did you come to this subject?
I used to be a fireman, and at one stage I was on long-term sick
and I needed something to do
and somebody sent me a helmet, and that was it.
I got the bug. And it's just escalated ever since.
-How many helmets now?
So you have become addicted to the history of the Fire Service?
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah.
-It's your thing?
-Where does it start?
Does it start with military style..?
Basically, yeah, military style.
Which, that's an 1880s French one.
Right. In France wasn't the Fire Service part of the Army, initially?
It was, it was, that's exactly what that one is.
So when you were working as a fireman,
were you interested in the history?
Yeah. I've always had a passion towards the history of it, yeah.
..that's as Chicago Fire helmet from basically the 1900s.
It's called a high eagle pattern,
hence the high eagle and the big badge.
It's basically made out of buffalo hide and very strong.
Why did they move away from the metal?
A lot of them were being made of brass and copper,
and when electricity came into being
firemen were starting to get electrocuted.
So you had to have a material that was not...
OK. So we get leather, we get...
Cork, papier mache.
Papier mache. And various sort of moulded materials.
-So, when you were in service, what were you wearing?
One similar to that one down there with the two red stripes,
what they call a Middlesex pattern, which was made out of cork.
Nowadays everything is much more standardised.
-That's right, yeah.
-We're looking at a period,
late Victorian, early 20th century,
when little local brigades were established, is that right?
That's right, that's right.
And they all had their own badges.
-They had their own helmet style.
And, of course, that's what,
-I suppose, appeals to collectors?
You got very, very small packets of history.
That's right, yes.
When did it all become standardised?
Erm, basically, after the war.
There were five or six specific patterns.
-So it becomes the national Fire Service?
-It did, yeah. Yeah.
There are collectors worldwide.
Oh, yes, yes. I talk to one or two from various countries.
I have a friend in Slovakia
who, I send him police helmets and he sends me fire helmets.
-So the world is your oyster?
-Oh, yeah, absolutely.
-You can go on forever, can't you?
-You're right. Yeah.
What are you going to do when you've got 1,000, or 2,000?
Oh, don't go there, don't go there!
Get into trouble, I would think!
Now, standard helmets fetch £100, up to £250.
Some are much more.
-Which ones here are much more?
This particular pattern, they can go up to over £1,000.
Yeah, so the average price, as I say, is £200, is that fair?
-You've got 100.
-Well, that takes us to £20,000.
I think we should stop there.
-And then there are the exceptional ones, on top of that.
-Yeah, that's right.
So that's creeping up to £25,000, isn't it?
-You can tell the story of the Fire Service
better than anybody else.
You're a great collector and it's wonderful to see them, thank you.
Thank you very much. Thank you.
Rather smart red leather box,
tooling of gold round the edge and within is an enamelled pendant.
So, tell me why you brought it along today to show it to me.
I know it's a reliquary. It's got a relic in the back.
My mother who - it belongs to her -
has always said that she thought it was a Victorian copy.
And I've always thought it was a lot older than that.
You would like me to tell you that this was 16th century Elizabethan.
Because it looks it, doesn't it?
-That's what my husband thinks, actually.
-It's got the colour.
It's got that renaissancey feel about it, hasn't it?
-Doesn't it, doesn't it?
-And look at the colours.
I mean it's very bold,
polychrome colours, greens, whites, blues, reds.
Line of rubies at the bottom here.
-They are rubies?
Is that giving you more cause for hope?
Well, yes. I mean, a copy would be paste wouldn't it?
It would be glass. I just think it's...
And the fact that the enamel is slightly worn on the face...
The enamel is worn on the front, turn it over,
if it is a 16th century piece,
it's got some very visible repairs that have been undertaken.
You see that backplate, did you notice that backplate?
I knew the backplate and I didn't know if it was a repair or what.
Yes. It is a repair, unfortunately.
All right, shall I tell you what it is?
It's a late 19th-century Austro-Hungarian
neo renaissance copy.
-There you go.
-My mum was right.
I fear so. It's worth saying, they were very common,
at the end of the 19th century,
Middle European jewellery
had this obsession with anything to do with the renaissance period
so they made these sort of things.
Why? Because apart from the fact everyone loved Tudor period,
they also wanted to deceive people,
so they've carried out their task with great aplomb, haven't they?
-Let's put it like this,
if it had been a genuine 16th century pendant, I would be standing
here valuing it at at least, what? £10,000, probably £15,000.
But, I'm afraid to tell you, it's only worth about £150.
-Great. Because now I can wear it.
-You can wear it.
-I adore it.
I bought this piece recently from my sister.
These pieces actually belong to
my brother at the moment but I'm custodian of them.
So it's a family connection?
They were collected by my grandfather who collected all sorts of things.
I think your grandfather had great taste because these are both great
examples of their sort.
This is a classic piece of Pilkington's Lancastrian lustre
with two of the best names.
WS Mycock who decorated, Walter Crane who was the designer.
The back is almost as beautiful as the front.
It's a local piece made just down the road.
And then these, these are Doulton Titanian Ware,
which is Doulton from the 1920s but still at the top of their game.
I think what I love about these,
the owls and this quite formalised border,
but this owl has caught three mice and this one has only caught one.
There's a little bit of humour in them.
So you bought this from your sister?
I paid her £500 for that.
OK. What would you do if I told you it was worth more?
I intend to pay her more.
Well, you owe your sister £300,
-it's worth £800.
-Is it really? Right.
-Yeah, I'll make sure she gets it then.
That was witnessed everybody, wasn't it?
And these aren't yours?
They are not, they're my brother's.
-They're worth £600, the pair.
-Are they? Very nice too.
-Thank you very much.
-It's a pleasure, thank you.
I'm looking at a collection relating to the Glam Rock era in the UK,
things relating to Marc Bolan, to Carmen,
to all kinds of other Glam Rock bands.
And I have the real thing,
in you, Paul Fenton, a drummer of wide experience.
Tell me who you were working with at that time?
Yes, I met Jeff Christie back in the '60s and he was very lucky to have
written Yellow River, which went to number one around the world,
in every record buying country in the world, so I got to travel with him.
Living in London of course, in Kensington,
we used to meet some amazing people.
Went down to the Kensington market to a guy, Ivanovic,
who made all these amazing clothes,
and met Carmen, they'd come over from America,
wanted to find a drummer who wore snakeskin and they went to the right place.
We got involved with Tony Visconti who was a famous producer who
was working with McCartney and Bowie and all the rest of it.
I met all those incredible people.
I went to meet Marc and we toured for a while.
I mean, I think, let's try and remember back to 1970,
it's when Marc Bolan, T. Rex, released Ride A White Swan.
When that got to number two in January 1971, bang,
something called T. Rex-stacy was born,
which was a kind of Beatlemania for T. Rex.
Every gig that I went to with Marc,
there were 13 people on stage, session musicians, big band,
and you couldn't hear a thing for, it was mayhem.
They'd be screaming after Marc had left the theatre,
they would still be screaming half an hour after he had left.
That will always stay in my mind.
And there was glitter on the cheekbones, there was,
you were wearing glitter, you were completely outrageous,
it was almost like a pantomime.
I mean, this, you told me, Paul,
that you used to be able to fit that?
I did, yeah. I managed to get into it OK and drum with it and it was amazing.
I'd just never seen anything like it.
There was no-one else had jackets like this.
Everything was so individual.
Exactly. There is a photo here of Paul Alan from Carmen wearing it,
alongside Bowie, actually, and presumably, you all swapped clothes?
We did actually.
So, Helen, you're Paul's partner,
what makes you interested in this particular period?
Well, ever since leaving school when I studied fashion at college,
I have been so interested in this period.
I can see why you're interested from a fashion point of view,
It just sums the whole period up.
Now the suit furthest from me, there is a letter with that down here,
from a guy called Alfie who was Marc's bodyguard....
Minder, chauffeur, everything.
And the letter gives provenance that this was made for,
or certainly worn by Marc, it comes from a shop in Rodeo Drive.
-And it's certainly the right style,
you could imagine Marc wearing that, couldn't you?
-Of course, yeah.
-And there is a wonderful memento from that time too,
which is this book that Marc wrote, it's called The Warlock Of Love,
and there is a fabulous dedication to Paul,
a beautiful friend, love Marc, kissy kissy.
-It's just great.
It was just, that was a show business thing with Marc, he was
very loving, very caring and then he would have that, personally,
he would take us out and be very generous.
And I have to say that T. Rex has gone in and out of value,
their fortunes since Marc died in 1977,
their fortunes have gone up and down.
Now, I think things are slightly settled, let's put it that way.
And I think that what we are looking at here is going to be, you know,
the jacket, perhaps we are talking about £300.
it would be fantastic to have a
picture of Marc actually wearing that suit.
-That would boost it into maybe the low four figures.
But at the moment I'd have to put it at perhaps £400.
This I think is the real treasure.
It may not be visually so exciting but this, to me, is wonderful,
-to have that.
-That was his own copy he gave me.
-It was, yeah.
It's terrific. I would put this at around £500.
I have really enjoyed sharing your memories.
We've enjoyed it immensely also.
MUSIC: Ride a White Swan by T. Rex
We've had a lot of toys on the Antiques Roadshow,
but very seldom have we had such really tiny,
intricate lovely little ones like these.
Tell me the history of them?
Well, my grandfather was a handyman
for a lady in Dalton and as a present,
the lady gave these toys to my grandfather.
Now, the toys originally belonged to this lady's children and when they
grew up, they enlisted in the British Army,
went off to fight in the First World War and unfortunately they were both
killed on the same morning in a First World War battle.
Oh, my goodness. How old were they?
I couldn't tell you, obviously 18 at that time.
Yes, yes. But what a terrible story.
They must have enjoyed them when they were young,
and in those days children played very gently with their toys.
-Because they needed to be very gentle, didn't they?
They are, were known as penny toys
because they really didn't cost very much in the late 19th century.
They are by JP Meier from
Nuremberg, so you're right, they are German.
And they're made of tin.
Known as tin plate toys.
Just to give you an idea of how I know they are by Meier,
first of all I found this, which is
Ges Gesch, the registered trademark.
Just to show that they were registered in Germany.
And then, the only one that's got anything on it to show me that
it is Meier is that little mark there,
which is an M.
They were started in 1894, Meier,
and then they went on right through to 1920.
So these could be somewhere around 1900.
They are quite flimsy, really, very light.
A lot of work in them.
But they are still in such good condition,
considering they are so terribly fragile.
I would put an estimate, at auction, of £500-£800.
Yes. Very good. Excellent. Yes. Yes.
-Yes, it's a bit more than I thought they would be.
-Yes, yes. Very good, excellent.
So, you've brought us in a wonderful piece of local history,
the Ulverston Fire Brigade.
You've got the fire attendance book and the fire report made up by the
fire captain here.
Now, what is the significance?
We've opened this a particular date. October 28 1904.
This is the date that our local theatre burnt down.
Opposite the theatre is where Stan Laurel was born and this is where he
did his first acting at.
Laurel and Hardy, the comedians?
Yes, he was born in Ulverston, in Argyle Street.
-And the theatre that we're looking at now burnt down.
So, look, here we are,
the total cost of having all the fireman there was two pounds seven shillings.
And this is the report from the fire chief.
It was started by a gas burner dropping out on light being applied
which caught, lovely spelling here,
which caught the scenery
and there was no insurance and the damage was not
so large as first thought.
I mean, it's all here, isn't it?
Lovely local history. 50 years of fire.
How can we value that?
And who would ever know that Stan Laurel was behind these pages?
-We have to put a price on it.
I'm going to say £1,000.
I'm just amazed by that.
Well, be careful as you go home.
Yes, yes. Right.
She was a vision of delight when first she gleaned upon my sight,
a lovely apparition sent, to be a moment's ornament.
And I can't help getting so poetic about a beautiful sculpture
made by Lutiger. But tell me, what do you know about it?
It was left to me through my great-grandfather.
His sister was married to the artist.
He was born in Lucerne, Switzerland, in 1871.
And he moved to London and was naturalised in 1912.
Became a British subject.
And married the same year to my great-grandfather's sister.
Well, he popped off to Paris in between
because he studied at the Academie de Marne in Paris.
And though this is a sculpture of a beautiful lady,
he was also an animalier,
a sculptor trained in the tradition of sculpting animals.
Most of his work was with animals.
-This is the only non-animal one that I know about.
He exhibited at many different places.
He was a Royal Academician up until 1931.
And that was quite late because he died, was it 19...
-33 he died.
You can't see from the front but round the back,
she has an apple in her hand.
Symbolic of being Eve.
There is no doubt in my mind he's a skilled, skilled sculptor.
Because he knows how to follow the lines,
even down to the detail of the little lock of hair.
That is beautiful, that is just that little extra touch.
So it's signed,
Lutiger, and it's dated 1923-24 on the base.
Clearly inscribed in the bronze.
It may have been a single piece,
there wouldn't be another one, I don't think.
If you put this into auction, it must carry a valuation
And I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't make a little bit more.
I love her, it's even got me reciting poetry.
Thank you, thank you very much.
For this week's enigma, we have Mark Hill to thank.
Mark, you have been touring around museums of the Lake District and you
have come up with this extraordinary, rather baffling object,
for which you will give us three definitions, if you like,
and only one of them fits the object, our enigma.
Well, it's fit for purpose, but what purpose?
And the Victorians had a sort of machine, or an item,
or an object or a utensil like this for every single purpose.
So the first option is a sugar cane slicer.
So you would put in your sugar cane and slice it, because sweet drinks -
anything sweet - was incredibly popular with Victorians,
so this would have given them that sort of early morning lift at
-breakfast, a sugar rush.
-I'm not allowed to pick it up, am I?
-Best not to.
-So it would be placed up, like this, clamped onto the table,
and then sliced. You wouldn't want to put your finger in there, would you?
-Definitely not, definitely not.
-So, sugar cane. I'm not sure about that.
-OK, we're not liking that one, come on.
The second option is a marmalade maker.
Effectively, you would put oranges inside it, and then operate it,
just like the sugar cane slicing.
-And creating marmalade.
-OK, who here has made marmalade?
No. I mean, I've made jam.
With something like this?
Funnily enough, no!
OK, so stick a bit of orange in there.
-Which you would have had to have quartered,
-in order to get it in there.
-Or crushed, of course,
and then you can just put it inside and squeeze it through,
very much like the cane, you could just feed it through, as well.
It would be quite something to squash an orange like that and push it through.
-It could be a cucumber cutter?
-A cucumber cutter?
You've got your own definition, have you? OK.
A fourth option opens up, my goodness!
My goodness, I think I'm just going to cross my legs at that!
I like your style!
Whatever you say now is not going to be as interesting as that.
No way! The alternative is a rope cutter.
-A rope cutter?
-So you feed the rope through,
we're doing a lot of feeding through this tube here, but is it rope,
oranges or sugar cane?
Right, come on, ladies and gentlemen, because you're definitely going to
have to help me. If we're rejecting the cucumber and vasectomy options...
Yes, please, definitely the latter...
Sugar cane? We didn't like that. You're all changing your minds now.
-Oh, sugar cane's having it.
Let's have a show of hands for sugar cane.
And for rope?
OK, so sugar cane was in...
And is anyone buying the marmalade?
-Oh, yes, you are.
-The nozzle's oblong.
-And where are you from, sir?
I was going to say, so an Aussie's now telling us it was used for making marmalade!
-Popular down under!
And your final answer?
Is going to be sugar cane, because that's what most people are saying.
It is on display in the Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry,
and Paddington Bear would be delighted,
because it is a marmalade maker.
Well done! Congratulations, they were right.
So you're from Australia?
-And how did you know this was going to be a marmalade cutter, then?
Right, get back.
You can't cut rope, which is round,
-with an oblong hole.
-Oh, very good.
Sugar cane's the same. Oblong hole.
So what would you cut with an oblong hole that's something that started
-There speaks an engineer, I feel?
Well done, you!
It's such a lovely change for me to be looking
at a piece of contemporary jewellery,
-rather than the normal antique jewellery that I look at.
And this is obviously a ring that's very special to you.
How did it come into your collection?
Well, it belonged to my mother, and it was bought for her by my father,
I think. She liked this a lot, and she wore it a lot.
It is by a designer called Gerda Flockinger,
and she was an extremely important contemporary jewellery designer
in the '60s and onwards,
but you've actually had correspondence with Gerda,
-And how did that come about?
Well, the ring was involved in a car accident,
and it ended up on the road.
-Not on my mum's finger, I'm happy to say.
But it did get squashed by a car,
so my dad sent it back to Gerda
to get it remade,
and she somehow or other managed to restore it to its shape.
I'm not quite sure how she did that - it seems a magical thing to do,
-because it's so knobbly.
-It is, isn't it?
It's just lovely and textured,
and this was very typical of her style.
But, then, the correspondence that we have
-is quite funny, really, isn't it...
..about her attitude towards hallmarking?
And, of course, at this time,
before 1973, they didn't have to hallmark jewellery.
-And perhaps you could just read what it was that she said about it?
She seems to be slightly disrespectful
of the hallmarking process, actually.
She says, "As to the matter of a hallmark, I detest the idea.
"One never knows what condition the object will be left in."
Well, this is it, isn't it?
Because, of course, it wasn't the maker that hallmarked it,
it went away to be assayed, and I think many of these jewellers,
who were so passionate about their objects, these were,
we have to remember, one-off pieces,
-they didn't do repeat designs.
-Not that they would have ruined it in any way...
..but that was the big thing, wasn't it? It really was.
Well, it is a beautiful piece,
and we have to remember that Gerda was quite ground-breaking in her
jewellery. She's had stand-alone exhibitions
at the Victoria and Albert Museum,
one of the first females - living female artists - to do that.
So in that respect, she is highly collectable.
Now, this is, in some ways, quite a relaxed design of hers,
because her jewellery has got bigger and better
and much more exuberant in design over the time.
So, in an auction environment today,
we'd be looking at it probably reaching in excess of maybe
£4,000 or £5,000, that sort of level.
But there's a market out there, and on the day,
something like this could do exceptionally well.
I just have to remember to wear it more often, don't I?
-I think so.
What room do you have this in?
-It's in the lounge.
I would have been rather worried if you'd had it in the dining room.
Do you remember that movie, when they're all sitting round the table,
and they take the top off a monkey's head and start eating its brains?
-Yes. I do, yes.
-Do you remember that?
-I went to the cinema to see that.
Anyway, this is really... I'm not sure I'd call it sweet,
but do you find it fun?
I don't know if I find it fun, but I live with it.
-That is about as good as it's going to get.
It is a little novelty clock.
Most of these were made in the Black Forest area,
although some of them come out of the United States,
but I think this is a sort of German...
..realistically, about 1920s, 1925.
And, of course, the time is read with the eyes.
Do you have it running at home?
-So you've never actually tried to tell the time with it?
No. I don't know how to.
You don't know how to? OK, well, like all these things,
that knob there is what I would like to call the handset, but,
-in this instance, the eyeset.
OK, so here we go - I'm just going to move him round.
So that's the minute hand equivalent, or the minute eye,
and that's the hours.
So I'll move the minutes around. Can you see them going round there?
There it is, on the clock.
I mean, it's really weird, isn't it?
-Let's be honest.
But there are all sorts of novelty clocks like this - dogs,
all sorts of little animals - and the monkey is really quite scarce.
-You live with him...
..so it's worth knowing what he's worth, isn't it?
It'd be nice to know, definitely.
See if I want to continue living with him!
Well, if I tell you that he is actually worth about £600...
So, decision time?
Live with him, or do something fun?
Oh, I'm happy to live with him now.
Fair enough, fair enough.
So this chap looks as though he's stepped straight off the
croquet lawn of this house, doesn't he?
Yes. This is my great uncle, Bert Wilson,
and he died in '97,
-and he was 99.
-Oh, right. He looks about 18, doesn't he?
-It's signed Adolf Valette,
a French Impressionist painter
who became a teacher at Manchester.
And he painted the most wonderful sort of...
This was an exhibition catalogue.
-Impressionist views of Manchester...
..romanticising it in a very French way.
Yes. My Great Uncle Bert was an artist...
-Was he taught by Valette?
-He was taught by Valette.
-Ah, that's the connection. I see.
He was taught by Valette,
in the same class as Lowry...
..and another family friend, Harry Rutherford,
who painted very similarly, sort of French Impressionist paintings.
-Yes, I've seen his stuff.
So the picture looks to me like it's painted probably just at the end of
the First World War, maybe as late as 1920, and it's oil on canvas.
-But it's never been varnished, and that's why it's got glass on it.
-But it gives this wonderfully sort of matte feeling to it,
that it almost could be very thick body colour, couldn't it,
-rather than an oil?
But he's prepared the canvas this colour,
just before painting anything on it, and then left it
to suggest the work coat that he's wearing.
-And just a few strokes, he's got it, hasn't he?
-It's so confident, it's so...so strong, and so brief.
He's not quite so good at the hands, I think.
-They don't quite make sense, do they?
-I can't read them very well.
But the face - I mean, it's so alive and intelligent.
Valette, the painter, has painted his pupil
as this fresh-faced, enquiring,
energetic young man, wide awake to the world.
-You must have known him in later life.
-What was he like?
-Yeah, I mean, he was a real character.
He was obviously an illustrator,
as you can see by some of the stuff that he's got here
in this scrapbook. You can see Manchester Evening News,
there's a lot of stuff in here.
Here's actually an article actually about himself.
-That's him? That's him?
-That's him, yes.
And this was actually shown in Manchester City Art Gallery
-as part of the Valette...
-In this exhibition?
-Well, I think it's the most wonderful thing, I really do.
It's so alive. I've not seen many portraits by Valette.
As I say, I'm more familiar with his impressionist work...
-..which, by the way, is very interesting.
Everybody knows Lowry for his matchstick men...
-..and matchstick cats and dogs...
-..but not so much for his impressionist work,
which comes directly from Valette, the way he does it.
-You're right, yes.
Here he is, such an influential teacher, obviously on your uncle as well.
-Erm...what do we think it's worth?
I have no idea. I mean, I inherited it from him -
-it's the one thing that he had that I...I always...
-That you really wanted?
..saw in his house, and I just thought,
-"That's the thing that I'd love to have."
-"That's the one?"
That makes it extremely valuable to you...
-Yes, it does.
-..less so, perhaps, to the general market.
Nonetheless, I think it's such a fresh-faced and exciting portrait -
so full of verve, and so lifelike -
that I think it's worth about £6,000.
-It's never going to be sold.
HE TOOTS WHISTLE
-That's got all of your attention!
It's been well-used.
I used it, I'd say, nearly every day.
We're looking at about £50-60.
Right, right. But the sentimental value of that...
A pair of those, that sort of size...
around £100, probably. Something like that.
If Pablo Picasso were to create a pig,
I can only imagine he would look like this.
However, this colourful Cubist creation
is by an altogether different name.
And just round the corner, we've got it there - Louis Wain.
Tell me, how did you come to own him?
Well, erm, my father died at the beginning of this year, aged 102,
and I've been clearing the family home,
which has been in the family for 90 years.
Up in the attic, most of it was absolute junk,
but there was one big cupboard with loads of bedding in which we were
clearing out - right at the bottom was this.
And I must admit, I looked at it and thought, "Mm, not very nice."
Then, a few weeks later,
somebody came around from an auction house to look through other stuff in
the house, so I said, "If you see anything else on the way
"that you think might be of value or interest, please let me know."
And we got up to the attic and she picked this up and said,
"Ooh, Louis Wain - nice!"
So, I said, "Oh, OK."
I said, "Sorry, I don't know who Louis Wain is."
And she said, "Well, you know the man who did the cat pictures?"
And I then remembered having seen some.
He's that creator of those weird and wonderful cats,
and he himself was the most amazing chap. The most bizarre mind,
creating all these fantastic objects.
And he did come up with a collection of over 20 pottery figures and
-..of which this is one.
They were created around 1914 for the first batch,
and then they came back into production in around 1919-1922.
Made over three countries, so there were lots of
different manufacturers, but the one you've got is an early one,
and he's one of the ones that is clearly stamped "Made in England".
-So his name is The Lucky Pig.
-Is he lucky for you?
-I hope so!
Well, in this condition, he's a little bit tired,
a little bit scruffy,
but our colourful cubist pig is worth...
-Very lucky indeed.
Well, not lovely, but, yes, nice result!
We do see a lot of these type of albums on the Roadshow.
But what particularly caught my eye
was just how well it was put together.
What we have here is a First World War album,
compiled with watercolours and poems, etc.
Can you tell me anything about it?
-Er, it was my great uncle's...
..and he, erm, he...
It was passed down the family.
And when my aunt died, it passed on to me.
So there was a lot of memorabilia.
-Well, there we are.
-And this was one that just popped out,
and I thought, "Oh, this is interesting."
OK. And so you brought it along today for us to have a look at?
Yes. The paintings, I find fascinating.
Let's have a look at it, then.
Erm, what we have here is a watercolour dated 1918.
And obviously, we have a wounded soldier, a nurse and a child.
It's very sort of symbolic of, you know, a very difficult time...
-..during the war. Very well executed.
And this album seems to have been compiled by friends and family here,
and it's just a wonderful record of a very difficult period.
I suppose it helped them get through things as well.
Yeah, absolutely. So if we go to this second bookmarked page,
we've got a cartoon here.
Obviously, we don't know the artist because of the initials,
but it's a copy of the famous Bruce Bairnsfather's Old Bill,
the humorous cartoons of trench life.
And the title of it is, "There goes our blinkin' parapet again."
And there we can see the troops hiding here,
with the shell going over, exploding,
and shrapnel going everywhere.
Quite...poignant, really, isn't it?
Yes. And I think it's particularly linked to the reference on here -
White Lund, Morecambe.
And NFF, which was the National Filling Factory...
-..where they filled shells.
And there was one across the bay at Morecambe.
So, obviously, this sort of ties in nicely.
The artist has made a little reference there,
and it's dated September 1917.
Well, it's an absolutely fascinating album.
What I liked at the end of the album
is, somebody has sketched in,
"By hook or by crook, I'll be the last in this book."
-And there he is on the gallows.
-It's not quite the end, is it?
-Because I haven't valued it.
Erm, obviously, it's a difficult one to value - it's a unique record -
but, erm, I would have thought we're likely to get somewhere
-at auction in the region of £150-£200 for it.
-That's interesting. It's irrelevant...
..because it's family history, and I wouldn't part with it, so...
-Thanks very much for that.
-That's a pleasure.
Helen's mother's family comes from Skye,
and Helen's always wanted a Jacobite glass since pretty well as long as
I've known her. And...
I did a bit of internet research, and I bought her that.
Question is - is it in fact a Jacobite glass?
Well, tell me what a Jacobite glass is.
Well, so far as I know, it's...
after the Jacobite rebellions,
tends to be carved with flowers,
and are, basically, Georgian glass.
Next question - was it carved when it was made, or was it done...
-five years ago?
So the Jacobite cause was Bonnie Prince Charlie,
Charles Edward Stuart...
-..who got as far south as Derby in 1745
in an invasion of England
until he was beaten back up to Culloden,
where his revolt was completely wiped out.
And Bonnie Price Charlie then...
-Escapes, helped by Flora MacDonald.
Never to be seen again in the British Isles.
-So his goose was well and truly cooked.
So, here we go.
So this glass...
..is totally right.
It IS right. I mean, there is a question mark. Now, the glass,
it does date from that period.
It's got nice contaminants in it,
it's sufficiently badly made to be period.
However, your point is very cogent here about whether this was applied
last week. And there is a school of opinion
that old glasses are being embellished.
It has certainly happened in the past,
and it is extremely difficult to determine one from the other,
because the means of wheel-engraving them, which is what this is,
exists today in very much the form that they were 250 years ago.
Nonetheless, this is a right 'un,
as far as I know.
Question is - what did you pay for it?
Well...I paid £800 for it,
but if it's worth half that, it doesn't matter.
Well, it isn't worth half that.
It's worth £1,100.
-And isn't that nice?
-Isn't it very nice indeed?!
-Now, do you use it?
Oh, you're kidding - you're not going to drink a wee dram
-out of this tonight?
-Tonight, we will.
-That would be fab - take a picture and send it to me.
I'd love to see it.
Well, we could not come to the Lake District without Beatrix Potter.
It's 150 years since she was born,
and you've brought in a whole pile of Beatrix Potter,
and I have selected just these three.
So how did these come down to you?
They were given by Beatrix to my great-grandfather,
who was a solicitor in Lincoln's Inn in London.
-And my grandfather also worked there as a solicitor.
And the books were given to him, who in turn gave them to his daughter,
my mother, and then they were read to me as a child, and we, in turn,
have read them to our children.
Now, all these three here - it's quite extraordinary -
are all signed presentation copies.
And we start off with Mr Tod, first edition.
But unfortunately, it lacks the spine.
Yes. And my favourite, and the one that was read to me continually,
that I... Cos I requested it.
So that's why it's so thumbed.
It does have the lovely inscription -
"For Mr Edwards, with kind regards, October 24th, 1912,
"from Beatrix Potter."
She doesn't sign Beatrix Heelis, because she's not married at that stage.
And here is the title page and the frontispiece.
But lacking the spine.
-But fabulous, nevertheless.
My favourite, the one I used to read to my children,
which in many ways I can say in my sleep -
"In somebody's cupboard, there's everything nice - cake, cheese, jam,
"biscuits, all charming for mice.
"Appley Dapply has little sharp eyes,
"and Appley Dapply is so fond of pies."
I'm sure you've heard it all before.
Anyway, the lovely thing about this Appley Dapply is,
you DIDN'T like it!
And the spine is on!
-Which is tremendous, I love that.
And that is a beautiful copy of the first edition.
And again, as we turn it over, here we are - "Mr Edwards,
with kind regards..." - and she puts her name in inverted commas -
"..Beatrix Potter". November 24th, 1917.
Well, she had married by then.
But, er, that was quite late.
Now, the final one, The Pie And The Patty-Pan,
is a wonderful little story about a generous cat
that goes around cooking
and doing all sorts of good deeds for people,
which is not in good condition.
The spine, again, is rather tatty.
First edition. I think it's probably the most important,
because I think of the inscription here.
Here we are - "To Mr Edwards, with kind regards from Beatrix Potter.
"November 16th 1905."
Now, this is right at the beginning of Beatrix Potter's career
in the Lake District. The frontispiece is Hill Top Farm.
Now, Hill Top Farm was the first place that she bought when she was
up here. And Mr Edwards presumably did all the conveyancing
-and all the rest of it.
-I would assume so, yes.
"The frontispiece is Hill Top Farm,
"and the pictures are all in Sawrey and Hawkshead."
And here is the frontispiece - Hill Top Farm here.
That, as far as a Beatrix Potter collector is concerned,
has to be the cream of the crop.
It is absolutely superb.
I'm going to put these back on their stands and ask you about value,
because we have to come to value.
I haven't the foggiest idea.
Erm, without the spine, but with the inscription...
AUDIENCE GASP AND WHISTLE
My favourite, Appley Dapply...
I'm going to put...
-£8,000 on that one.
This one, which I think has to be the best,
I'm going to put £12,000 on that.
Right, OK. Mm-hmm.
A collective value of £25,000.
-You've made my day.
What a lovely way to end our visit to the Lake District -
to see the work of one of its most famous residents.
From all of us here at Holker Hall in Cumbria, bye-bye.
The team travel to the Lake District where Fiona Bruce and the experts meet hundreds of local visitors proudly bringing their family treasures for evaluation.
There's an eclectic mix of objects featured ranging from a writing desk from the Tsar's Palace bought after the Russian Revolution, over 100 vintage fire helmets owned by a former firefighter, Edwardian weightlifting equipment still in use today by a 75 year old owner, and a collection of glam rock stage costumes. But closing honours goes to a rare collection of signed first editions by Beatrix Potter still owned by descendants of the writer's solicitor.