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Today, we are revisiting Hanbury Hall
near Droitwich in Worcestershire.
For more than 300 years,
home to successive generations of the Vernon family.
Today, it's looked after by the National Trust.
It's an elegant country house in the style of William and Mary,
surrounded by perfectly symmetrical, formal gardens,
but not everything is it seems, both outside and within.
Completed in 1708,
the house was built for Thomas Vernon,
who made his considerable fortune as a lawyer.
And he spared no expense when it came to designers and craftsmen.
Perhaps the most striking feature of the hall is this series of
wall paintings all up the grand staircase and on the ceiling.
It really is art on an epic scale.
Thomas Vernon had amassed a fabulous fortune and then,
as so often with these grand old houses,
successive generations did a very good job of spending it all.
By 1920, Sir George Vernon had to sell off pretty much the
entire contents of the house, and pockets of the land as well,
to settle hefty bills and pay rising taxes.
And this is just one of many of the sale catalogues.
So, what you see today are not the original furnishings and fittings,
but an interpretation of how the house would have looked.
This wallpaper was bought as recently as the 1980s.
These gardens aren't what they seem either.
One of Thomas Vernon's descendants, Emma, along with her new husband,
decided they were terribly out of date,
so they were unceremoniously dug up and replaced with what was then much
more fashionable, natural landscaping
in the style of Capability Brown.
So what you see today is, again,
a recreation of what the original gardens looked like,
based on 18th-century plans.
The gardens were finally restored as late as the 1990s.
Let's hope our experts get to see the real thing today
as they welcome our visitors.
This is a lovely object. Tell me what it is.
I haven't the faintest idea what that is!
-Not a clue.
-Not a clue.
We don't have a clue.
It currently sits on a shelf next to a lava lamp, if that's any help.
OK, well, it's not a lava lamp, so that limits the ideas.
I'm going to ask you,
obviously...you live up here now in the, sort of, Birmingham area.
Where did you live when you got that?
-That's jolly interesting because what you have,
it's got a title to it, which is a Sussex something.
Now, obviously Kent borders Sussex
and some of these were made in Tunbridge Wells.
Shall I tell you what it is?
-Did you live in Tunbridge Wells?
No, no, no. I worked in Sussex for a long time.
-No, we lived in Sevenoaks.
This is a Sussex spice tower.
A Sussex spice tower?!
But... And I can see why you don't know what it is, because the clues,
which were all on these little labels here, have worn off.
It would have said, cloves, mace, cinnamon, whatever.
And, look, when you undo each of these...
..it's a fabulous, sort of, almost like a construction toy.
It's a beautiful piece of woodcraft.
Often these were made of Sycamore, and this one,
probably dating from the early part of the 19th century, so 1820, 1830.
-It's getting better and better.
It is getting better and better. Amazing.
How much is the lava lamp worth?
Well, I think we bought the lava lamp for 9.99.
Is that £9.99?
-OK, so, it's worth a bit more than a lava lamp.
In this condition - which is missing its titles,
slightly knocked about inside,
but it's obviously been used, which is fab -
I would put it at around 200 to £300.
-Oh, my goodness.
That's just amazing.
I wonder, do you think it actually even still smells of spice?
It might do.
-It smells of something.
-Oh, it does smell of spice.
-You're right, yes.
-There's something there.
So, there we go.
We've learned something today -
if you don't know what it is, take the lid off and smell it.
And that'll give you a clue.
So, what have we got here, then?
It's a travelling decanter case
that I inherited from my godfather this year.
The only thing that I know about it is
-this piece of paper was inside it.
This says that on the 17th of October, 1992 -
which is what, 23 years ago? -
this tantalus, which it isn't,
was estimated at dating between 1850 and 1860
-and a valuation of 1,400 quid.
So, let's examine that.
It's not a tantalus. A tantalus is a lockable device.
It comes from Tantalus,
who was punished by being thrown into a river,
and he was crazed with thirst,
and every time he went to drink the water, the waters pulled back.
So water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.
And the tantalus was a locking thing
-to keep the servants' thieving mitts off your booze.
So, this is a decanter case. You've correctly described it.
And the date? 1850, I'm sure that's about right.
If you went to the Great Exhibition in 1851 and you went to one of the
French stands there, of which there were many,
this is the sort of thing precisely you would have seen
at the Great Exhibition in 1851.
It's really good quality.
And I'm going to focus on the metal, funnily enough.
If you look at the casting of that, it is absolutely gorgeous.
I mean, crisp...
Er, the gilding on the decanters is super.
It's completely, apart from some ingrained filth...
-..it's in really perfect condition.
There's really nothing wrong with it.
And there lies the problem, you see.
Why is it in such good nick? Because nobody ever used it!
-Nobody used it.
-Cos nobody ever used it.
I'm looking at a valuation of 1,400 quid in 1992...
..and I'm going to ask you guys...
..if this was in your house, ladies and gentlemen, would you use this?
Would you use this at all? What would you do with it?
You just wouldn't... You would use it, would you,
-you cheeky little monkey?
The only one is seven years old, who's going to...
I'm not seven years old! I'm five years old!
I do beg your pardon!
Well done, guv!
So, look, the irony is that this is worth, today,
exactly what it was worth 23 years ago.
It has not moved at all.
It is just static.
Because, whilst some people appreciate the fab quality
that we're seeing here, it just doesn't fit into modern lives.
-That's the issue.
It's a fabulous object that is wanted by very few people,
which is the reason that relative to its quality, it's dirt cheap.
Yeah. Well, it's still beautiful.
We rarely encourage people to bring their whole library
to the Antiques Roadshow, it's just too much to deal with, but...
when it's a library like this, we'll make an exception.
It's so cute.
It's a miniature library.
It looks like a glazed bookcase, but it's tiny.
And we open the door, which I can't resist doing,
and it's full of tiny, miniature books.
-How many have we got?
55, you've counted them.
And what sort of books have we got?
Oh... Well, that's a fairy story, I think, isn't it?
Fairy stories, that one?
-Yes, Cinderella and Other Fairy Tales.
Very nice fairy tale book.
What about this one? The Thumb Confession Book.
I don't know about that one.
I've missed that one out.
But how lovely. Tiny little books that fit in the palm of the hand.
Tiny little books for a 13-year-old girl.
-A 13-year-old girl?
-Who are we talking about?
-We are talking about Beatrice Selfridge,
daughter of Gordon Selfridge of Selfridges,
and she was born in 1901,
and these books were given to her for Christmas in 1914, as it says.
She's signed every one.
So, you knew about them as a much younger girl.
Yes. My grandmother had the...
She bought the... We have the receipt in here.
She bought these in...
And why did she buy them?
What attracted her to this little library?
The Selfridges and my grandparents were great friends.
They had the shops next door to each other in Oxford Street.
My grandparents had Penberthy's,
which was basically gloves by royal appointment, and they were great
friends with the Selfridges,
and obviously Granny saw this in an antiques shop
and thought, "I'd rather like it."
-She couldn't resist?
-She couldn't resist.
-I can completely understand that.
It's wonderful in many, many ways.
There are collectors of miniature books in my world,
the world of the book collecting.
There are people who will want an example of every miniature book
ever printed, and they love the individual books themselves,
-although I would say they're not fantastically rare as books.
These are miniature books that we see occasionally, from time to time,
and if you'd brought me just a few of the books on their own, I'd say,
"Well, that's very nice, but probably not terribly valuable."
But the fact you have a whole collection of them, 55 of them,
and they're in this gorgeous bookcase, and the Selfridges.
I mean, everyone knows the Selfridges all over the world.
-So, if you were a collector of miniature books
in America and you knew that...
-These were all signed by...
-..Selfridge in 1914...
..you'd really want it, wouldn't you?
Yeah, I suppose you probably would.
Well, I think it's lovely.
-It's seen some life, unfortunately, hasn't it?
Are you responsible for that?
Probably! As a child, I probably was.
Yes, exactly. I did use them.
You know, I really enjoyed it.
And, in a way, all of that is as nothing.
It just doesn't matter. What's important here is,
what we're looking at is just a beautiful object
and the fact it has this wonderful provenance
-with the Selfridge family.
I think I would stick my neck out and say probably 1,500 to £2,000.
Good. Thank you very much. I'm not going to sell it.
One of our visitors has brought in an object
that's got our experts rather foxed.
So, here it is.
When I look at these, I think of... the spirit of the 1920s.
-Jazz, energy, Hollywood.
What do you think of?
They are quite theatrical, I think.
What about now?
It has a really great action, look, if we operate it.
It mechanically chugs up and down the string...
and you can vary the speed,
depending on how fast and how hard you pull it.
What about if I added this?
Now what do you think?
They were made in the 1920s, 1930s...
-..by Joseph Lorenzl, but, as a group, worth £2,000.
What if I added this?
Still not sure?
So, I think this one is going to be more or less £2-300.
-Great little things. Thank you.
Maybe the final piece tells you all you need to know?
-Something to do with the church?
Well, the truth is... we don't really know.
I've shown it to almost all of our experts here.
Hilary Kay thought maybe sewing accessories.
Spice is a possibility.
Salt, pepper and nutmeg.
And Eric Knowles said it was a TOP.
A thing of purpose.
A little birdie has told me
that you've actually made quite a journey to get here today.
We left home at 4:30 yesterday morning
from the West Coast of Ireland to come here.
I'm a huge fan of the show.
I've been watching it for donkey's years.
My children do not come near me on Sunday night.
Yeah, so, we've been travelling since yesterday to get here.
And why this year particularly?
Well, it's my 60th birthday this year.
I don't believe you for one moment!
-I've never seen such a young 60-year-old.
She does not look 60.
Thank you. The gift is a 60th birthday gift,
and my son's godfather,
who lives in Jamaica Plain in Boston,
gave me this cos he knows that I like unusual jewellery,
but I don't really know much about it.
Well, the jewels date from around late 19th century,
-so about 1880, 1890.
-Oh, really? I didn't know it was that old. Yeah.
And this is when you had people going off round Europe
-on the grand tour...
-..and they would collect souvenirs,
and this is a wonderful example of a souvenir from a trip like that
and this is what's called Roman mosaic.
-Sometimes you also hear micromosaic,
but it was made in Rome.
This is quite brash. It's quite colourful.
Yeah, particularly the wings of the top insect there.
They're very colourful.
Also, that's really interesting that you point out the bugs,
-because, during this period, the Victorians loved bugs.
-Well, they are like a jewel themselves.
They would wear a lot of beetle wings and... You know,
so the fact that they were depicting insects and beetles in jewellery
was, again, sort of, you know, they were inspired by that.
-It's in silver-gilt, so it's not gold.
This would have been worn as a pendant and, of course,
these wonderful drop earrings.
And in fact, you're going to wear this, I hope?
I intend to, yeah, I do.
Because it is silver-gilt,
it is sort of made for the tourist industry.
It's not, erm...
-it's not something that's going to...
-Fabulously wealthy or...
-But then, that's not what it's about, is it?
-No, it's a gift.
And the fact that this started off life in 1880 in Italy,
-it's found its way over to America...
-And back to Ireland.
..back to Ireland...
And here in Britain!
I think that's just a fabulous journey!
It's wonderful, for my 60th birthday,
to actually hear what it's about, so thank you so much.
Oh, well, at auction, if you were to put this in a sale, you know,
-it might get £3-500, but it's not about that.
It's about the journey of the jewel and its continued journey with you.
You like? You don't like?
-OK, how long have you liked it for?
I've liked it ever since I've known it.
My parents had it for their wedding in 1936
and I've absolutely loved it cos I love the feel of it.
You know, it's just beautiful.
The colour is right and the feel is lovely.
I've no idea what it is, but I love it.
I tell you, I was the first person to take these things seriously
-as an auctioneer in the early
Nobody liked this stuff. It was just dismissed.
But it seemed to me that it was such fantastic quality...
-..and there was so much meaning in what was going on,
and blow me, they were marked on the bottom.
I know, and I don't know what the marks mean at all.
OK, well, let's have a look.
That's the right way up.
We've got on here a Shimazu mon.
That's one of the princely families of Japan.
And in the area was the Satsuma factory.
I did wonder, because of the...
Are they chrysanthemums on there?
-When we turn it up, we'll have a look.
We've got "Dai Ni Hon" - "great Japan".
We've got "Satsuma" -
Satsuma, they've abbreviated the mark.
It's a more complicated character than that.
And then "Niyaki", which is "fired" or "kiln".
We've got white dragons.
-Dragons in... in Europe are bad news.
They come and eat you, we lock the city down.
In Japan, or in China as well, they are good news.
-And they are always associated with water,
so this white dragon is over the water.
-They bring food, they bring harvests...
..because they bring the rains.
-Hence the water.
-Oh, I see. Hence the water.
And they often fly about in the sky and bring the rain down.
We've also got various panels of flowers, as you rightly say,
chrysanthemums, we've got peony,
we've got... There's your chrysanthemums.
And we've got lilies.
A great pot.
-I love it.
-Whether it was made in Satsuma as it says on the bottom,
I don't know. I have my doubts.
I'm beginning to suspect that these Satsuma pieces
were actually made in Kyoto.
I'm trying to prove it, but I'm not getting very far, but we'll see.
I have found dated pieces of this so-called Satsuma.
I think if they're anything, this is probably about 1870.
The interesting thing about these is that in the early '70s,
I would have got...
..3,000 for that pot.
-What's happened to the Japanese market?
Yeah, afraid you're right, afraid you're right.
You could buy that today for £800-1,200.
-It will go up.
When, I can't tell you.
-Hang on to it, because you love it.
-I would anyway. I love it, yes.
-Thank you very much for bringing it in.
Thank you very much. I now know what it is.
-I never did before.
The size is just ridiculous, isn't it?
-They say size is everything, but...
-Where did you get it from?
-Well, he came into my family in 1957.
He belonged, originally, to a German lady
who was a very close friend of my grandmother's.
When she died, my grandfather went up to the house
and her adopted son was just about to throw him on a bonfire.
-Erm, originally, he was one of a pair.
There was a bear that was a similar size and they stood either side
of this lady's front door.
My grandfather managed to rescue the owl but we're pretty sure that the
-bear succumbed to the flames, I'm afraid.
And what about the owl?
Have you found out... Which country would you say?
-My guess is Black Forest.
It's a native softwood to that area, pine or something like that.
That's what we all associate with Black Forest,
that sort of souvenirware, for want of a better word.
I mean, this is great quality.
You have the hall stands and you have one of this size.
-And when you say that would have been one of a pair...
..it's just mind-blowing to think one went on the bonfire.
-The restoration hasn't been great.
You know, there are bits which are dodgy about it. It's got...
er, worm damage.
All of that can be, sort of, sorted out.
I think this dates from 1890s, 1900,
and whether it was an exhibition piece in the beginning,
I think that's possible, or a commissioned piece for...
Literally a house like this, you'd say,
"I want a piece that big because my house is so impressive."
And this is as good as it gets.
The bear, sadly, that went on the bonfire, er...
You know, it's a shame, it does spoil the value.
The damage will spoil the value.
I know it sounds awful, but they burned the right one!
Well, we've had many strange glances and some curious guesses
as to just what this extraordinary contraption is in front of us.
Now, who did this device and the two cases of stuffed fish
originally belong to?
They belonged to a gentleman called John Henry Hirst,
who was a Yorkshireman who actually patented
this, er, rather unusual fishing rod in 1928.
-That's John Henry Hirst.
Now, he's in First World War uniform and I already had a look at the
carp and there's a reference to him having caught these fish in 1915.
He caught them at a place called Ypres,
which was a flash point of the First World War.
Of course, two famous battles.
The first Battle of Ypres
and the second Battle of Ypres,
-which, indeed, was fought during 1915.
But what on earth was this man, enjoying himself fishing
when he should have been at the front with the other lads?
He was actually at the front
and because he was such an obsessive and very skilful angler,
he was excused all other duties, which enabled him...
-It enabled him to catch fish for the men to eat.
Fantastic. A bit of fresh meat, a bit of protein,
which would have raised morale.
-And indeed, he was sat there fishing as missiles,
shells blew over his head, exploding not far away.
I mean, the guts of the man.
I mean, this is true British grit and eccentricity, isn't it?
I think you've hit the nail on the head with "eccentricity"!
But, yes, he was an obsessive and very, very skilful angler.
Of course, he sent the two carp back to London from the Western front
to be actually stuffed.
And, in fact, they're labelled "John Cooper and Sons",
who's one of the most famous historical fish taxidermists
of all time.
The firm was established in the early part of the 19th century
and became famous for its fish,
and to have two provenance carp from the First World War
is a quite exceptional.
After the war,
he obviously took fishing even more seriously and came up with this.
He did indeed.
He was a match angler and he had a theory that he needed to
-be further out from the bank than his competitors...
..so he produced this very long, very sturdy fishing rod
that wouldn't have been available in the materials of the day,
so this was to give him an advantage in match fishing.
1928, he patented this particular rod.
-We have seen photos of him with a similar, but longer, rod.
So, somewhere out there, there may be another.
-Can I have a go?
-You can have a go, by all means.
-OK, have a look.
Yep, here we are.
Now, there's a bit of a screw thread there, presumably for tensioning.
-That tensions the rod, absolutely.
-Here we go.
Gosh, well, immediately, it's just incredibly light.
-It is, isn't it?
And it's made, interestingly, of bamboo and it's painted,
it looks like aluminium, but bamboo, look.
Fantastic, but, er...
I feel kingpin here with this!
Incredible. So, he would cast
and obviously steal a match on his competitors.
There was an attempt by John Hirst to market them,
-but his son tells me it wasn't at all successful.
But what was successful, of course,
was his match fishing exploits with this rod.
He was thought of as almost unbeatable
when he had this rod in his hands.
OK, well, look, the second case of fish
is four dace caught with this rod on the south River Tyne,
and, again, a Cooper case.
The case of carp with the provenance,
it's a £1,500-2,500 case of fish, as long as it stays with the rod.
The dace, probably a little bit less.
But the rod, goodness me.
How do you value something that's never been on the market before?
I think when it comes to it, I'm going to put...
an auction estimate of maybe £3-5,000.
Have you ever been to the railway station at Braintree in Essex?
No, I haven't. Never.
Never? And did you know that this was Braintree?
I didn't, actually, no.
I mean, this is just the most extraordinary, brilliant design.
You really feel the railway station has just been placed
in this very simple, green landscape.
And of course, it's by a real sort of powerhouse, an amazing artist,
Edward Bawden, who was one of the great designers,
illustrators and artists from the 20th century.
Tell me, where did it come from?
It was actually given to my parents as a wedding present in 1961,
which is the same date on the actual label
on the reverse of the painting.
There is a Zwemmer Galleries label on the back, and what's interesting
about that is that Zwemmer Galleries had a great relationship with Bawden
and gave him his first major show in 1934.
So, here we have what seems to be a very simple design but, of course,
it's actually very, very sophisticated,
and he's really focused on the architecture of the railway station.
This is a very modern image from 1961
and, of course, you're looking at a diesel train.
Hardly any human element to this print at all,
apart from the rather humorous driver in the front.
And the diesel train would be replacing steam, of course,
so it would be very much a modern statement from Bawden.
He would have known this railway station
because when he was a student
going down to Liverpool Street train station from Braintree as a student,
he would use the station a great deal.
So, have you done your own research?
Do you know anything about Edward Bawden?
I did actually look it up on the internet,
where I actually found a picture exactly like this.
I took the picture down and had a look on the back
and it actually said number one,
as though the first purchaser,
and that's when I found out it was by Edward Bawden.
So, apart from being a great designer, water-colourist, painter,
he was also a brilliant printer and this is a linocut print
and these sorts of prints have become very, very popular,
and the artists would cut out the design with a sharp implement,
and on the surfaces that haven't been carved out,
ink would be applied and then the paper would be pressed against that,
and in some instances, artists would use several pieces of linoleum
to make this design.
Of course, you're only really looking at three or four colours.
We come to value.
Now, value's quite complicated with this print
because a print like this should be signed.
Now, we're not going to take this print out of its frame,
purely because the paper is touching the glass,
-so there's a further journey with this picture.
Without a signature, it's certainly worth £2-3,000.
Now, if a conservator can put that right
and not damage the surface of the print and take it out easily,
and, on the lower right-hand corner or lower left,
there is a signature by Bawden,
then it's worth three or four times that.
It's worth £6-8,000, possibly even £7-10,000.
You know, you've got the Zwemmer Galleries provenance,
you've got a fantastic image by a great British design
from the 20th century.
I hope that we can prove that there's a signature under there -
there should be - and that it's not trimmed,
and then it can be conserved, and then it will be a perfect story.
That's nice to know. Thank you very much.
Now, I imagine that this is going to tell us something.
-Can you tell us who these people are?
It's my dad's family.
The baby with the wondrous bonnet is my dad,
erm, with his sister, mother and father.
That was 1905, because my dad was born early 1905.
The belt has come, I think, from her via mum and dad.
It's very small, so I think it had probably belonged to her,
his mother, Harriet.
And this is Harriet in the photograph with the hat on?
-And does she had any connection with China,
-where this belt comes from?
-Not that I'm aware of.
Where it originated or how she came by it, I have got no idea.
You've already tried, no doubt, to buckle this belt up.
I'm not a fat man, but this is not going to be anywhere close.
I think if we put it on the average hole on this belt,
you've got a waist of about, I don't know, 18 inches, maybe 20.
Which is why I thought of her, because an Edwardian lady
wouldn't be outside the door without a corset.
No, she must have pulled her corset pretty tight, I think.
That's incredibly small.
This has been made in China in about... Hmm, around about 1900.
-It's not something that you can wear these days, clearly.
-So it's more of a collector's item than a fashion item.
-But its Chinese silver, which is always interesting.
It's got a dragon over the front,
so I think if you went into a shop to go and buy one of those again,
it's going to cost you about somewhere between £2-250.
Good gracious! Good heavens above!
I'm looking at a mini Austin, an Austin J40 pedal car
and we're within about ten miles of the Longbridge factory
where the full-size Austins were made.
I think you worked there, didn't you?
-Yes, I did.
-But you bought it for your son because of that connection?
I also bought it because when I was very young, about seven, eight,
they were introduced and I liked it very much,
and my parents wouldn't buy it me
because I was a little bit too big for it
and I was very upset about that, so when I found one nearby for sale,
I bought it for my son to make up for me not having one.
I bet you were the envy of all your mates.
I was, yeah, and I think my mates had something to do
with the condition it's in now, unfortunately!
It had a bit of a rough ride, did it?
I think it did, yeah, I think it certainly did, yeah.
Well, let's talk about the car for a moment because it was this
extraordinary visionary, the chairman of Austin, Leonard Lord,
who knew of the plight of the miners in Southern Wales,
who had... A lot of them had a terrible lung disease
from working in the mines,
and they were looking for alternative employment for them,
and he set up this company in South Wales to make the J40,
the Junior 40, which was loosely based on the Austin A40,
the Devon, wasn't it?
And that factory in Wales started producing the J40 in 1949
and had a 22-year-run and went right the way through until 1971,
so it was second hand, this, then, when you got it?
-OK. But look under the bonnet.
I mean, this is just great, isn't it?
There's the space there for the battery,
which would have powered the Lucas headlights and the little horn.
And then I love this sort of child's version of what they thought an
engine might look like with the spark plugs.
It's missing its little Austin motif off the top.
Coming round to the cockpit here, with the steering wheel,
you've got all your instruments in the panel,
the pedals and the handbrake.
And then, coming down to the boot here, you've actually...
Oh, a nice bit of carpet in there. That's good.
But you've actually got the serial number,
which you probably have seen, which is 31923.
And that will date it precisely.
I think just over 30,000 were made in that 22-year-run,
so there are a lot around, but there's still a huge demand.
I would put the value at around £2,000 for a car.
Erm... Because it does need a little bit of work to it.
I want to know if it still works.
OK, Oscar, give it a go.
One, two, three, in you get.
-Now, Dad, are you going to give it a push?
-I'll give it a push.
Who are you going to aim for?
Cool, kitsch and colourful cats.
-I take it you're a cat lover?
I am, yes.
He's papier mache and he's china.
You've spotted the main difference and I'll come to that in a moment.
Well, I came into the tea tent for a cup of tea and I've immediately been
distracted because what do I find? I find this fantastic tin-plate toy,
and I suppose I'm going to have to ask you, does it still work?
Yes, and I can demonstrate it
cos I've been running it for the last 24 hours
-to make sure it's working!
They're by a lady called Joan de Bethel,
who, with her husband, David,
set up a company in Rye in Sussex in 1960 to produce papier mache cats.
Now, they might look, sort of, slightly gaudy,
but, actually, they took up to a day to paint and decorate.
-OK, so give me a demonstration, then.
That is brilliant. I love the way he gets on and off.
These are really quite sought-after, particularly in papier mache.
They were only produced for a limited period,
they were quite expensive and they're quite sought-after.
There's a good collectors' market for these.
You're probably looking at around...
-I suppose around £80-120, maybe, for the ceramic one...
-..and probably £250-ish for the papier mache one.
I think if you were going to put that into a good toy sale,
you would get £4-500 for that.
-You're joking. No.
-You're not going to though, are you?
Oh, no! No, no, absolutely not, no!
Even my son hasn't played with this!
-I won't let him!
I know what those things are.
What I don't know is, why are they cut to different lengths
and, to be absolutely honest, what is it?
They are German cartridges, as far as I know,
which were made by a German soldier in the trenches
in the First World War.
When we made one of our pushes to push them out of their trenches,
he left them behind.
My grandfather jumped in the trench, saw them there -
I presume they were hanging on a piece of string along the wall -
cut them down, put them in his kitbag,
and bought them home for his son and two daughters. And here they are.
Do you know what those things are? You say they're shells.
-No, that's why I'm here.
-OK, those are, technical fact,
37 millimetre quick firer.
Fires a one-pound projectile.
Germans used them. We used a similar thing, a pom-pom.
But I still want to know why they've been cut to different lengths,
cos that doesn't seem to make any sense.
Well, it's entertainment value. He was bored.
He was sometimes in the trenches for weeks, I'm told,
and you can play a tune on them.
You can play a tune on them?
-I can play a tune on them.
-Go on, then.
I don't believe a word of this, but go on, play a tune for me.
HE PLAYS DO-RE-MI
It's a great thing and I love the story.
One little interesting thing - those are all German shells,
but it's held together there and at the other end,
those two projectiles are British 303 ones.
Looking at it, I'm desperately racking my mind,
trying to put a value on it.
For a musical instrument, it's about 30p.
I would think something like that, because it's First World War,
it's trench art, it's got a fantastic story to it.
It's not a vast amount, I would have thought, perhaps, £200,
but it's brilliant and your musical skills are just phenomenal.
-Well, it's made as a baking dish for cooking on...
..and it clearly has had a lot of use!
-How do you use it at home?
I just have it on the coffee table full of cones or goods.
I've been looking at it and trying to work out what way up is it?
Has it got a top or bottom?
I don't know. It's like a child's painting, isn't it?
It's awfully childlike, isn't it?
And that's what slipware was all about,
a type of very basic pottery,
made all over the country, all over Britain.
Probably, this wasn't made that far away.
It could be a Midlands piece.
It could have been made in Worcestershire or in Staffordshire.
And the design just done by dribbling on
one colour clay onto another.
Sometimes, these dishes,
when they have little, fingered shapes like that,
are said to be related to glovers or gloving.
Sometimes you get... It's meant to be a little hand or a glove.
That seems to be a design you sometimes find on these dishes.
That would fit with Worcester.
It's a big area for glove-making, isn't it?
So maybe it was always used there.
But, but you're local. Has this always been in the family?
Yes, I inherited it when my grandmother died.
She would be about 100 now, if she was still alive, so.
Dating these is terribly difficult because they are such basic objects,
but looking at the appearance, we've got to be several hundred years old.
I think we're going back to perhaps the middle of the 18th century,
1750 or something like that.
-It's got a bit bashed and worn around the edges,
but it's still, inherently, a great object.
I love it, yeah.
And slipware is always expensive,
so even rubbed, even bashed and knocked around, erm,
it's still going to be £2,000.
Oh, my goodness!
Oh, wow. Gosh.
Whenever I see a little Morocco case like this,
I know there's going to be something pretty exquisite inside it,
but I can also see that this is annotated.
There's a name on the front, there.
I can't quite read it and it's dated 1906.
What does the name say?
That's the name of my great-great grandfather, Ioannis Peridis.
Right, OK, we'll come back to that in a second,
but let's open the case up,
and what we have inside is a really, absolutely exquisite-looking medal.
Now, I know that that medal pertains to the date on the front of it and
this is actually a 1906 silver Olympic medal,
so I'm assuming that your great-great grandfather
won this medal at the 1906 Greek Olympics?
-He did, yeah.
-He did? That's absolutely amazing.
How fabulous is that?
What event did he win this silver medal for?
-It was single trap shooting.
-Single trap shooting.
OK. One of the problems with the Greek Olympic Games in 1906
is that was what was called an Intercalated Games.
It was kind of inserted and wasn't strictly official in that sense.
It then subsequently became unrecognised
as an official Olympics.
So, basically, the International Olympics Committee
doesn't recognise the medals from this Games.
-What did you know about him?
-Not a lot, really.
I mean, it's been in the family for over 100 years,
sitting in a cupboard, really,
and I just thought, since it's passed down to me,
I really want to, you know, bring it back to this proud state
that it should be in and I'm very, very proud of him,
that he did get to compete, let alone win a silver medal.
Yes, well, I'm glad you feel like that about it
because it is something to be proud of,
you know, one of your ancestors obviously competed in one of the
-greatest Games in history.
I have to say, I would be really chuffed to own something like this.
You know, in many ways, it's kind of almost... I don't know,
I don't really want to talk about value in some ways
cos you can't attach a value to that,
that kind of sentiment,
but - I will be honest with you -
these are very, very sought-after and very, very collectable.
If this were to come up in a good sporting sale at auction,
this could make as much as £3,000.
It's a nice thing. It's a really lovely thing and quite rightly,
you should be very proud of it.
I mean, I am. I mean, that's...
I couldn't put a price on it myself and I was never really thinking
of selling it at all.
This is very much, in my mind, priceless to me.
So, a tusk with a tail.
-It is indeed.
-This extraordinarily long tusk.
How on earth did it get to the Roadshow,
let alone into your possession?
Well, it came in my old Saab, literally!
-It belonged to a customer of my husband's...
..who became very ill, retired,
and he used to go and see him until he died.
And then his sister gave that to Duncan
as a thank-you for going to see him.
So, the gentleman who gifted it,
was he out in the Arctic waters
where this tusk would once have belonged
to a great whale called the narwhal?
Yes, I was told he was an Arctic explorer in his youth,
then he became a builder and decorator or whatever.
So the original explorer would have been out there,
perhaps in 1910?
I should think so.
-Probably around them.
-But now I understand it belongs to you.
-It certainly does.
-So you have a passion for natural history?
I've always loved natural history.
My stepfather came home one day with this and said,
"I bet you don't know what that is."
And I said, "Well, it's in a narwhal tusk", and he was so staggered.
That's why she's got it now!
So he's left it to me.
Well, you lucky thing, because it's a magnificent narwhal tusk.
I'll be honest, it's the longest narwhal tusk
I have ever come across.
And this, indeed, erupted
from the lips of male narwhals
and they can grow, really, up to about ten feet long.
This is nearly ten feet long.
-And because it's covered in enamel, it's just a huge tooth...
..it acquires this lovely patina and, of course, the tusk spirals.
Indeed, back in the 16th century,
-they thought these were the horns of unicorns...
..and that had come from centuries before.
-Looks just like it, doesn't it?
-Well, it does, yeah.
Now, there are laws governing the sale of narwhal tusks
because it is a near-threatened whale,
so it would need a Cites license.
To prove, basically, that it's before 1975,
because it's such a good large one,
I think at auction you could expect between £15-25,000.
-Good lord! That much?!
So look after your tusk!
-Absolutely, we shall.
-Clean it regularly.
Two small girls in this photograph.
Who are they?
This one on the right is Violette Szabo as a child.
This one on the left is a lady that was a good friend of mine,
who was Vera Maidment - that was her maiden name -
and she... In turn, they were lifelong friends.
And we know Violette
because Violette is one of our heroines of this country,
SOE operative, went to France, fought behind enemy lines...
..was killed at the very end of World War II
in one of the infamous concentration camps
and she won the highest award that, er...not even as a civilian,
-but a non-combatant can win, the George Cross.
But this little lady had another job in Violette's life,
When Violette went off to do her missions,
she looked after Violette's little daughter, Tania.
And she... Violette asked her if, in the event of her death,
she would become guardian to Tania.
You see, that's just a dreadful thing to have to do, isn't it?
To actually set off on a mission and actually know
-that you're not going to come home.
But she had the foresight to leave her most treasured possession,
her little girl, to her best friend.
And then we have this wonderful photograph
of the beautiful Violette, signed to Vera
and dated January 1944.
One year before she was killed in the concentration camp.
I would think that...
..you would have to say, for the two photographs, £500.
-Thank you very much.
-It's a pleasure. Wonderful.
-Thank you. Lovely.
-And what a gorgeous-looking lady.
-Wasn't she beautiful?
So how many years has this lady been lodging with your family?
Er, I can't give you a precise number of years,
-but it used to belong to my grandparents...
..maybe my great-grandparents.
So they would have purchased it back in the what?
The 1930s, maybe?
-Yes, I would think so.
We are looking at a woman who represents an age,
-and that age is the interwar years.
And we're looking at the emancipated woman.
She's holding a bow and it may well be that she is a friend
of Diana the Huntress.
She has got that Amazonian look to her.
She's stood with a very assertive posture,
so this is a woman that,
not only does she go out doing her own archery,
she probably, you know, is driving her own car.
She may be even flying a Tiger Moth.
And she's built for speed.
She's got this wonderful athletic body and this was the age of...
"Stay young and beautiful if you want to be loved."
They were the sort of things that you wouldn't actually buy
in an art gallery, as such.
You'd buy them at jewellers' shops or if you were playing golf
at Gleneagles, you might have bought one in the shop there.
They were seen as art objects.
So, what's the family view on this?
I mean, is this something that's revered
or is it something that's just there in the corner?
Well, both, I suppose. Erm...
I mean, I've had it for the last 15 years.
It does take pride of place, actually, in the sitting room.
-She is liked.
-It's by a bay window.
Well, she is nigh on near as good as the day she was made.
I'll tell you just a couple of things that are missing.
and that is that the cheeks would normally be slightly rouged
and the eyes would be painted in and sometimes you get the girls
with dangly earrings as well,
and it's a bit like a Petrushka-type character.
You know, you think they're going to talk to you any minute.
Erm... What about the maker?
What's the name you've come up with?
-Preiss is the name that I've seen...
-..at different antique fairs...
..and I thought she might be similar.
Well, I know she is definitely Ferdinand Preiss
because I've seen the signature on her.
That was, erm, through your monocle?
You don't know she's signed at all?
-Oh, right, so you've been living with her for all these years...
OK, well, if... I'm going to turn her around very quickly
because we will see on this plinth, the name F Preiss.
-I've never seen that before.
..into the black Belgian slate.
So, Ferdinand Preiss,
he's in partnership with a man called Kassler
and sometimes you get the PK monogram
on the back of a piece for the foundry mark.
They're based in Berlin and they produce
a whole range of subject matter.
A lot of the figures are quite athletic -
tennis players, skiers, skaters.
The thing I like about her is the fact
that she's on this lovely stepped plinth.
-It's an architectural plinth. It just raises the game.
-I think with the way the market is today...
..bearing in mind she's in such lovely condition, because, you know,
-just look at the enamelling on her.
-Despite a lack of make-up?
Despite the lack of rouge, erm,
if I told you she was worth...
£7,000, would you be pleased?
Yes, I would, yes, of course. Yes.
So, I know that she's worth £10,000, so would you be delighted?
I would be delighted, but I didn't come here with those expectations!
Let me ask you, sir, where did they come from?
My wife found them in some buttons in a box of sewing things
that she picked up at a local auction.
All right, when did this take place?
Friday night. About eight o'clock.
-So, we're talking about a day and a half ago, you bought these.
What was special about the box that made your wife buy these?
The ribbons, the cotton reels and the price, I think.
£2 plus commission.
-So £2 plus the auction house's premium on top.
So, in other words, £2.26.
-Yes, that's correct.
-That's not very much, is it?
-Not a lot, no.
I assume that they didn't even really know
that this was in this box, did they?
First of all, what are they?
-They are four little buttons.
Each of the buttons is pretty, it's very well matched.
You can see it is a set.
And the surface of each of the disks is covered with enamel decoration.
-And if I just pick up one of these and turn it over,
we see that, typically,
the back of it is mounted in a rose-coloured metal.
Now, the first thing to say is that this isn't base metal,
this is gold.
This is 14-carat rose gold.
So, right away, we are moving up from your £2.26...
..to a value which is far, far more dramatic than that,
maybe in the region of 40 or £50,
just because of the fact that they're, you know, gold.
The little loop, which you can see at the back there,
do you see that there is a little impression
of what looks like a mark?
On that mark, I see a stamp of the number 56.
Big, important feature, that, because if it's stamp 56,
-it suggests, to me, that it's Russian.
Gold, and it's Russian.
Now, on the back as well, there is a little engraved date,
which is the 5th of December, 1904,
which means we're talking about something which was Russian,
made at the start of the 20th century.
-Are you following me along here?
The little mark on the back, the little pair of letters...
..is the mark of a goldsmith by the name of August Hollming.
This man, Hollming, is quite an important man
because he used to be one of the principal workmasters
for Peter Carl Faberge.
In other words, what you bought for your £2.26...
-Oh, my Lord!
-My wife bought.
-Your wife bought.
Don't know if you'd have bought it, but your wife bought it.
..was a set of Faberge gold cufflinks.
I say cufflinks because you could make them into cufflinks...
-..although they are ostensibly four little buttons.
Each of the buttons matching up,
guilloche, which means the engraving underneath the colour
gives a reflection of almost like a secular sunburst or whirling effect,
-which is a delicious feature of Faberge.
One of them is damaged.
In other words, yes, they are inconsequential.
If they were not by Peter Carl Faberge or this man, Hollming,
they would be worth considerably more than you paid,
-but probably no more than £50.
But they're not worth £50, are they?
-I hope not.
They're going to be worth £1,000-1,500, aren't they?
-They've been in the family for 40 hours.
At £1,500, that's more than 600 times what they paid for them.
Now, one last surprise for Roadshow veteran, David Battie.
David, I wonder if we could interrupt you just for a second
because Christopher Payne's got something
that he wanted to show you and get your expert opinion on.
Can you possibly identify the sitter?
No, I can't help you with that.
No, I'm sorry.
I've no idea why you brought me that.
Everyone, who do you think this looks like?
LAUGHTER AND MURMURING
Thanks a bunch(!)
From the Antiques Roadshow, until next time, bye-bye.