Fiona Bruce is at Tewkesbury Abbey in Gloucestershire for the first episode of a new series, which sees one of the most exciting finds in Roadshow history.
Browse content similar to Tewkesbury Abbey 1. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Welcome to a new series of the Antiques Roadshow.
We've got some spectacular locations for you this season,
including moated manor houses, an Art Deco landmark,
and a World Heritage site that's a bit of a secret.
Oh, and some very excited visitors, too.
60 to ?80,000.
?20,000. CROWD GASP
Oh, my word. OK, that woke the baby.
For our first programme in the series,
we've come to this glorious building.
Are you thinking it's one of our great cathedrals?
No, it's a humble parish church,
though admittedly one of the largest in the country.
Welcome to Tewkesbury Abbey in Gloucestershire.
This church was once a Benedictine monastery, founded in 1087.
During the following centuries,
some of the richest medieval families became its patrons.
Being powerful movers and shakers in the royal court,
they had plenty of money to lavish on the building,
and they did just that.
They created beautiful chapels where prayers could be said for their loved ones.
A spectacular vaulted ceiling.
And this 14th century window, which features some of their ancestors.
Despite these powerful patrons,
nothing could save the abbey from Henry VIII.
In 1540, it was one of hundreds of religious communities that were
threatened by the King's desire to seize power from Rome
and become head of the Church of England.
Tewkesbury Abbey was disbanded that same year.
Its valuables, silver vessels and plate,
were seized and placed in royal coffers.
Although it was too late to save the monastery, the people of Tewkesbury,
driven no doubt by a huge sense of injustice at it all,
decided they would not lose their abbey as well.
So they rallied together and petitioned the Crown to be able to buy the building.
The value was the metal in the bells and the lead on the roof.
In the 16th century, that came to ?483.
Within two years, the full amount had been raised and the people had saved the church.
That commitment by the townspeople is still evident today,
as the abbey hosts the Antiques Roadshow on the adjacent Pageant Meadow.
The abbey's volunteers are here, along with the Mothers' Union and the WI,
who are staffing the tea tent and making the whole day run smoothly.
Local students are helping out, too.
It's a real team effort.
Our visitors are already gathering at our rather magnificent new reception.
I wonder which of the thousands of people who have come along today
will have that special object.
Someone, I guarantee,
will be in for a big surprise in our new series of the Antiques Roadshow.
Two utterly gorgeous bangles on this beautiful sunny day,
two lovely ladies. You're related?
Yes, we're sisters. We're sisters. Fabulous, who's the elder? I'm the eldest. You're the eldest.
You should never ask that, you should never ask that.
But I'm the eldest. Do you get on?
Yes. Oh good. That's brilliant.
Hopefully still will at the end.
Hopefully so, although we might have some jealousy.
And how did you come to get these bangles?
Basically, we inherited it through our great-great-grandparents.
I actually got given my bangle on my 21st birthday from my grandparents.
And you? Yeah, similar.
So, I inherited my bangle from my grandparents.
Lovely. If we start with the pearl and diamond one first.
Date-wise, we're looking at the end of the 19th century.
So 1880, 1890s.
1890s probably more to the level.
We've got a whole range of beautiful diamonds
forming the cluster in the centre,
and then beautiful little half pearls down the shoulders.
They're natural half pearls from this period.
We're not looking at cultured pearls during this time.
And what I think is absolutely gorgeous is the fact
that you've got the engraving,
and the detailing round and down the side of the bangle.
You can just see that. It's absolutely adorable.
This is one thing that the Victorians loved to do,
the attention to detail was extraordinary amongst their pieces of jewellery.
We have two sets of stones, diamonds and pearls,
which are of course associated with eternal love.
All in all, a perfectly romantic bangle.
Glorious. Now we turn to this one here, the sapphire and diamond bangle.
Again, in many ways, a similar date.
From, of course, the fact that we've got this openwork framework to the bangle itself.
But the way that the sapphires and the diamonds have been set
is slightly different.
They've got silver mounts around the diamonds,
and they've got, of course, the claws, which are collet,
which is a full circle around the stone, and claw set as well.
So this setting, in comparison to the other, is slightly earlier,
probably about 20 years earlier.
So potentially, we might have a piece of jewellery that never started off
as a bangle. It wouldn't surprise me if that had come from
perhaps a necklace or something like that,
and been broken down to make it more wearable, bring it up-to-date,
fashion-wise. We're all obsessed with being in fashion all the time,
aren't we? Yeah. I think that that is quite potentially what has happened.
What we don't want to cause is, well,
battle of the bangles or sister envy.
But naturally, we're possibly on that line at the moment.
The diamond and pearl one, exquisite, it's beautiful,
it's simplistic in design.
It just ticks all the right boxes, doesn't it?
At auction, somebody is going to pay in the region of ?1,500 to ?2,000 for it. Nice.
Very nice, I'm quite surprised.
Wonderful. Sapphire and diamond bangle?
It's a big look, isn't it?
You know, it's glorious, as I've said, the sapphires are lovely.
Perhaps not the finest of quality, but still exceptional.
And at auction, despite the fact that it's potentially been broken down
from something else, and has been turned into a bangle,
which in many ways is very wearable, people are still wearing them today,
collecting them. I'd expect a bangle like this to be making in the region
of ?6,000 to ?8,000.
Oh, my God!
Jealousy of the bangles, now. That is a surprise.
Well, it has the potential to fly, on the right day, so...
look after it. Yes.
But the main thing is, enjoy wearing it.
Yeah. Thank you.
Crazy! Absolutely crazy!
So, are you claiming that this box in front of me
came from William Shakespeare's house,
Anne Hathaway's cottage? His wife's house, yes.
That's what this chest claims to be, yes.
The term which we often hear, what can't speak, can't lie.
So inside, there's a little label,
and when was this label put in?
I don't know. It was probably put in in the early 1900s by the family
who acquired it from Anne Hathaway's cottage.
And do you actually believe it's from the cottage?
Yes, I do. And one of the main reasons I believe that
is because of this date on the lid.
Because that date, 1697,
is when Anne Hathaway's cottage was redeveloped by John Hathaway,
her grandson. Oh, right.
And that date is on the chimney of the house,
and on the baking oven in the house.
So who's this? Edward Ounsworth?
I don't know. He may have had some direct involvement in the refurbishment
of the house, but I've not been able to prove that.
Now, there's various issues which I find quite fascinating.
The calligraphy, is it right?
I don't know. You tell me, I don't know.
I'm slightly having problems with that.
Because, just going back to the piece itself, it's oak,
it is a 17th century box, it's beautifully hand-carved in the front.
You've got this...
typical 17th-century feature, which we call chipping,
and it's at the sides.
But the rest of the box is relatively plain.
Yes. Now, when I have seen boxes, coffers,
pieces of this period...
dated, it's just very simple dating,
but then the initials of the cabinet maker or the owner.
Right. But to see the whole name is really
pushing it. If we can prove that this belonged to the house,
this is worth many, many, many thousands.
And so desirable.
Yes. But if it isn't, and it's just that tenuous link,
which it possibly could have,
but it is still a period box, it's worth
?200 or ?300.
It's amazing, here we are at the Pageant Meadow,
in front of Tewkesbury Abbey, on a bright, sunny morning,
and you put this script in front of me.
Dog-eared with this sticky tape all up the back, which I absolutely hate.
But then I see the sign here, the note,
"The Third Man, the draft script."
This was the film that Carol Reed made in 1949. Tell me about it.
My mother was the secretary to the film director
Carol Reed, as he was then.
And when we were going through her effects, we found this.
I knew, growing up, that she'd been part of the filming process.
Yes. And been his secretary.
But I never realised she had this in her possession.
So she actually went out to Vienna with Carol Reed, and Orson Welles?
She did indeed. And Joseph...
Joseph Cotton. Joseph Cotton, who was the other man, yes.
Who was the star, at the time.
Yes, and to film this. Yes. So she must have wonderful memories.
Tell me how this came about,
because this was originally a novella by Graham Greene, wasn't it?
It was, that's right. And she was a temp secretary at the time.
Yes. And Carol Reed, who was well-known for being quite grumpy,
was presented with this novella to read, and he said, "I haven't time to read this."
So he tossed it to my mother and said,
"Could you read this and do me a precis?"
And that's how the script came about.
So she is in fact responsible for The Third Man?
You could say that. His most famous film.
Absolutely. His film noir, set just after the war in Vienna.
And here is a picture of her - a lovely picture of her, I have to say,
beautifully made up and all the rest of it.
Beautifully posed with the rest of the crew.
She was there for the whole period of filming.
So right from the time they flew first out to Vienna,
to go round and look for locations.
They went to the cafes, they investigated the sewers.
All the iconic... Images that we know so well.
And so she has wonderful stories.
I see you've got here also, a letter to "darling", who is?
That was my father. Your father. They weren't married at the time,
they were courting, I think you would say. They were courting, is the word, yes.
He was over in Britain, and she was in Vienna. A lovely long letter.
But this great quote, here.
"The great Orson Welles has arrived now.
"Everybody loathes him."
Not very tactful there!
"The first day he was called, he arrived on set,
"which happened to be in the sewer.
"Everybody was ready and had taken ages to line up the shot for him.
"Carol was to arrive in two minutes."
Anyway, it goes on to say that he wouldn't wait for those two minutes
and stormed out of the sewer and refused to go back.
He was very short-tempered and didn't stay long on the sets.
How can you put a value on this?
I have no idea. I'm going to put a value on it of ?5,000.
that's good news.
The other news, I suppose, which is not particularly bad news,
but had Orson Welles signed it, had Carol Reed signed it,
had the rest of the cast signed it,
I think you could talk about three times that.
Yes. But, here it is, it's your mother's,
the woman who actually found The Third Man and gave it to Carol Reed.
Yes. It's her copy.
It's got to be worth all of that.
The wonderful zither music fits in so well
to give that horrible itchy atmosphere.
MUSIC: The Third Man Theme by Anton Karas
Well, we have two owners, two vases,
but you're both united by one element.
And of course, that is the designer.
The great Emile Galle.
But tell me, whose is whose? Whose is this one? It's mine.
And tell me the story - where did this come from in your life?
A family heirloom.
It's been in the family for about 50 years.
And that was a gift to my parents by some of their very good friends.
And yours? I'm here on behalf of a friend.
OK. It was a car boot find 20 years ago, 50p.
He's very camera-shy,
so he's asked me to come on and hopefully find out a bit more about it.
He thinks it's special, but how special?
His career, really, is run through the latter part of the 19th century,
and in 1889, he wins the Grand Prix at the Paris Exhibition.
And that marks the moment where he's at his international peak of fame,
and he's at the forefront of the Art Nouveau movement,
and respected by so many people around him.
But actually, what you've got here are two very,
very dramatically different things.
You know, you've got this exquisite little jewel of a vase down here,
which is beautiful, with these pulled threads and these wonderful,
they're almost like cyclamen.
And this is in a technique that we call intercalaire.
Which is a cameo process, layering over, picking up more colour,
carving away, colour coming through the body.
And it's so beautifully manufactured and carved.
And we've got that fabulous scrolling Galle signature at the side.
So a fabulous little piece, a little gem.
But then here on this side, you've got something that is just monumental.
Which was something else that Galle and the firm did - they did grand,
they did big. And this is just on a scale that is so fabulous.
So in terms of dates, this little one here,
we're looking at a date of around 1900.
So during Galle's lifetime.
He passed away in 1904.
This one, the big monumental vase, well, we're looking later,
post his death.
Around, between 1910 and 1920.
But even after his death, the factory continued to make these beautiful,
exquisite, great examples of the pieces that were coming from his mind.
And, whilst it is after his death,
it does still clearly have his signature down here on the body.
So the question is, we have two vases.
One small, gemlike, jewel-like.
One is worth more than the other.
Who's got the most valuable? Which do you think? You have.
Small is best, I think. Small is best. Debatable!
And you say? I agree. A quick show of hands,
who in the crowd thinks that the great big fellow here,
the monumental vase, is the most valuable?
Show of hands?
OK. Who thinks that the little one?
OK. You guys have been doing your research.
it's big, it's showy, it's later,
it's after Galle's death, but it's still a stunning thing.
This one, small, jewel-like, exquisite, complex.
Sadly, it does have a tiny little bit of damage on one of the corners.
But take that into consideration.
That's not bad for an inheritance!
But do you know what,
that's some travelling distance from 50p at a car-boot sale!
You may have heard toy specialists on the Roadshow saying
that if a toy is in its original box, that's a real big plus.
Oh, yes. Well, here we have some silver in its original box,
which is also a really big plus.
Amazing. If we open it up,
it's full of a glorious set of cannon-handled knives.
Yes, they're beautiful. How did you come by it?
Well, actually I've always been interested in old cutlery and suchlike,
mainly spoons to begin with.
And I saw this in an auction in Australia, because that's where I live.
And when I purchased them,
they were actually from a chap who was liquidated in Australia,
who was a billionaire, and I knew he'd have very, very interesting items, antiques.
So yes, that's why I bought it.
So you bought them off a billionaire? Absolutely.
Well, actually, he was a pauper at that time.
He was once a billionaire. So you brought them all the way over, they've been in England,
they've gone all the way back to Australia? That's right.
And you've brought them all the way back. I have indeed. And they're not light. No, they're not.
Did you pay extra baggage allowance? I had to go business class, so I thought, "Crikey,
"if my knives are coming, we'd better go business class!"
With knives that good, you'd better go upmarket! Well, I'm hoping to go back first class.
OK. So the question is... They'd better be worth a lot!
The question is, do these knives cover your upgrade on the ticket
and your extra baggage allowance? We'll give it a go. I hope so.
I don't know what your ticket cost.
There are 12 knives with the Prince of Wales cipher on.
There are six with just a family crest,
who didn't probably belong to the Prince of Wales.
And then there are three with initials on them.
So there are three different services, dating to about 1700 to 1710,
same as the box, all been together.
Not all of the knives have been in the box all its life, but some of them have.
And as you've already noticed,
the knives are engraved with the crest,
the ostrich feathers of the Prince of Wales.
That's right. Which must have been George II as Prince of Wales.
The fact that they are 12 is quite good news,
because it means somebody can use them.
OK. So, the value.
If we put it all together,
and bearing in mind you've got the box which is gorgeous, and original,
and anyone would love it.
They would keep their knives in it.
I think you're looking at spending, if you went out to buy them,
about ?4,000, ?4,500.
Well, that's not too bad.
My family were hoping to retire on it!
No, that's absolutely brilliant.
So the porcelain figure is protected by its own glass dome.
Has it always been like this, for as long as you've known it?
It's always been in a glass dome.
I've hardly ever touched the glass dome, or dusting it.
It probably frightens you, I guess?
That's right, yes.
So how long have you had it?
I've had it over 35 years, now.
It belonged to an elderly uncle, and it was passed,
given to me all these years ago.
I'm going to be very brave and lift this glass off it.
Yes, yes. It looks amazing, condition-wise.
It is. It's actually really quite an old piece.
That was made in, what, 1780s?
So back in the 18th century. As long ago as that?
Yes. Let's have a look and see.
You've got a group of four cupids going around there,
and they are holding different things.
This one... He's got a little bird cage and is holding the bird.
Oh, right. All symbolic, I think that's something to do with matrimony,
and I think his idea of getting trapped into marriage by placing the bird
inside its cage, in some way.
They all had different allegorical meanings.
Yes. And it was produced...
And it was made at the Derby factory.
When porcelain has no glaze, we call it biscuit.
Derby were the great makers of biscuit porcelain.
Because without glaze, it gets very grubby, it gets very dirty.
Yes. But it shows the modelling so well.
So the detail, when you look at...
The detail is amazing.
It's incredible, isn't it? The little fingers, they are holding that...
It is a hunting horn, isn't it?
Yes. I mean, every little finger is separately depicted,
and his little wings, and his chubby face blowing the horn,
and his dog down there.
I mean, the finish is remarkable,
and every little leaf is made separately and joined on.
Is it really? And, so, without the glaze that covers most porcelain,
the modelling is superb.
But it means it's so fragile.
Yes. These leaves drop off at the merest touch.
So usually there's a whole catalogue of damage.
But, there, on its little stand, it is as perfect as it left the kiln,
Amazing. So a treat for me to see how biscuit porcelain should have
looked, and because it's so clean and perfect, I suppose,
a fair bit of money, too.
It's worth... ?1,000?
I've had it on display all these years.
Thank goodness the dome.
Thank you very much.
Now, I gather you run a guesthouse,
so these birds are your companions there?
No, my guests are my companions there, more than these.
But my guests love seeing them hanging,
and we often have discussions about them.
And they like to know the history of them.
They play a huge part in my life,
having been inherited from my mother.
And have always been with me, as long as I can remember.
Just very, very special to me.
So these startlingly pretty objects by a Dublin-based artist,
Samuel Dixon, are undoubtedly inspired by
ornithology that's happening at the period.
And it was an age where birds, exotic birds,
were beginning to flock to England in the form of illustrations.
There was the father of ornithology, George Edwards, who in the 1740s,
produced these volumes called A Natural History of Uncommon Birds.
And it allowed people, for the first time, to see some of these exquisite,
which he himself had observed when he was travelling through Europe.
So what happened was, as a result of these images in his books,
they flew to things like porcelain,
other bits of decoration around at the period.
You get them in paintings,
and you get them in works on paper like this, which you've got.
Now, how much do you know about the technique by which these are done?
My mother had a term for it, I can't now remember what it was.
Tell me. Let me relieve you, because it's called relievo basso.
That's right, yes, yes.
So the particular artist who did these
impressed the paper from behind
with copper plates, producing these light relief images.
The sort of bulging birds were then, without colour at that point,
handed on to the artists around him,
and there were some very distinguished artists, to colour.
So it was a process partly of print, partly of watercolour painting,
or in this case gouache.
A thick substitute for watercolour which is much better for bright colours.
The point is, that to an 18th-century eye,
these would all have been undoubtedly exotic.
And, of course, a wonderful opportunity
to introduce great colours into a dimly-lit interior.
And the japanned frames around them just finished them off,
they turn them into deliciously rich-looking objects.
And if we turn this one round, and this is a great added extra,
because you don't often get that with a work of art, a full label...
..describing what he's up to.
So there you have Samuel Dixon,
it's a dedication made out to Lady Castlecomer.
So, to have the labels on the back of these is just an added extra.
Yes. I would say, with some confidence,
that the larger ones with three or more birds would be worth
perhaps ?3,000 to ?4,000 each, because of the labels.
The pair over there in the corner, probably ?5,000.
So you're looking at a collection of around about ?20,000.
And what a nice thing to have in the guesthouse.
Indeed. I mean, just lovely.
Thank you very much indeed. Pleasure.
So, you brought me in the most wonderful piece of jewellery,
because you're a jewellery enthusiast.
But you have it in the family, don't you? Yes, I do, yes.
This is a family piece from... going back generations.
And tell me about the generations.
Well, it belonged to my great-grandmother, Katharine Helen Trefusis.
And it was given to her by Queen Ena, who's Queen Eugenie.
Yes. Of Spain, yes.
And the wife of Alfonso XIII.
Who had a bit of a crush, probably, on my great-grandmother.
Queen Ena was very, very good about it. She didn't take it terribly seriously.
It was all just light-hearted stuff.
Well, thanks to the wondrous mother who's recorded the provenance
of this beautiful jewel meticulously in the lid of the box,
we know that it was given by Queen Ena of Spain
to Katherine Trefusis when she married the Honourable Arthur Crichton on June the 13th 1906.
Magic stuff. This is exactly the period from which it comes.
Queen Ena was Queen Victoria's granddaughter, but also Queen of Spain,
and it's perfectly natural for her to go to a Spanish jeweller to supply her with a gift.
And if we look underneath here...
I was going to say, who made it?
Well, just, just I think is legible at the top, it says Ansorena,
who were the royal jewellers to the King and Queen of Spain.
Made massive tiaras and court jewels for her.
And the thing about this is that it's breathtaking quality.
I absolutely love it.
I love wearing it. Cos it's not overstated.
I can almost wear it with a pair of jeans, as much as a really beautiful dress.
The emblematic function of it is wonderful.
Because it's rubies and diamonds,
which are traditionally associated with Venus.
And of course it's a four-leaf clover.
Gosh, it has amazing symbolism.
It does. And so it's luck in love.
Which would be perfectly right for a wedding gift.
That's just such an amazing meaning behind it, and it really makes sense.
It does. It really does.
My goodness, what a surprise it would have been to be given that under any
circumstances, but to be given it by a Queen consort of Spain would be
pretty exciting stuff, and not many people could lay claim to that.
I love the way they've swapped the colours round,
so they've got the ruby round the diamonds and vice versa. Exactly.
It's such a great design. And it has a universal appeal,
which you've already brilliantly articulated for us.
It's lovely. And with all of that comes the valuation.
But no, it is highly desirable,
and I think anybody would be very pleased to give, well, ?20,000 for it.
Oh, OK, maybe not an everyday jewel with jeans!
Well, you must continue with the jeans, you must!
I love it! A pair of heels, jeans, it just tops them off.
We've a new challenge for you this series.
It's a challenge for me and for you at home.
It's called The Enigma.
Now, we travel to some glorious locations all around the country,
and there are many local museums that we come across
that are stuffed with all sorts of curios and unusual items.
Our experts have been around some of them,
delving into their collections to find some mystery objects.
The question is, what are they?
Now, John Foster, we were talking last night, admittedly over a beer,
about the item you brought along today.
And you're so competitive.
You have bet me I will not guess what this is.
Well, I remember the last time we played a game and I still haven't
forgotten that you actually got it right. Ah. I don't think there's much chance today,
from what you were saying last night. Well, I'm out for revenge. So, shall we go through the clues?
OK. So, what could this be?
OK. Well, clue A is it's from the ancient game of Tewkesbury Five.
Now this has being played on site
and around this area for over 300 years.
This was a game played mostly by choirboys
and it's a cross between squash and handball and fives.
And because it's played by young children, they were getting damaged hands,
and someone came up with the bright idea of making a hand protector.
And basically, this would have had a leather cover.
At certain points you could catch the ball during the game.
A hand protector to protect the hand,
and you would have a little sleeve which sat in there, and a finger guard.
Basically the forerunner for the baseball glove.
You know, as you know it in America.
OK. It's local, so that's a possibility.
Local. And it folds,
so when you're in the catching point, it goes in the back pocket.
So what else could it be? B -
it's a 19th-century anaesthetic mask.
Now, during the 19th century,
obviously that was the beginning of anaesthetics.
So what they would do is they would put material on the back and pour over
the ether and then place it over the patient's mouth to knock them out
to do the operation. Quite simple.
OK. I think that's rather intriguing, actually.
Particularly because of the shape of it.
What's your final, final offer?
Is it an 18th-century light cover for a cargo ship?
Now, this actually is more interesting than it sounds.
They're called mood lights.
When ships were going into a certain point, like Shanghai was red,
New York was blue, London was, like, white.
But then it could be green,
which showed which sort of ship was coming in - cargo, naval, passenger.
So this would slip over something that was attached to the...
Over the bulkhead light. Right. Literally... I mean...
The beauty... Oh, not going to say too much.
Oh. Did we get a clue there, ladies and gentlemen?
I wonder. So, help me out, folks.
What do you think it could be?
Any takers for the Tewkesbury fives?
Oh, yes. Tewkesbury fives.
Gas mask? Anaesthetic mask?
It looks very surgical, as if the GP would have it in his bag,
folded flat and then when he gets to a patient he could use it...
Yes. ..in the professional way.
The only thing is, the way it is,
this is convex.
It would need to be concave to go round someone's face,
wouldn't it, if you think about it.
Possibly. I don't know.
And then the light. The ship's light.
Show of hands. Ship's light.
This is very difficult.
It doesn't look to me like any of those things.
That's the tricky part.
I'm going to guess the anaesthetic gas mask.
Yeah? Yes. Good call.
Come on. Shall I put you out of your misery? Dr Foster, is that an anaesthetic gas mask?
Oh! OK, you definitely owe me a beer.
Ah! So tell us more about it, then.
Well, this actually comes from the collection
of the George Marshall Medical Museum and they're quite simple.
Basically, you would have a layer of material over the top,
you would pour the ether onto the material and that would burn the face,
so this little ring here would stop that and then the material would then
soak up any excess.
Really simple design.
Great thing to see, and I look forward to that beer later, John.
This is a utility knife multitool.
This one has been around for quite a few years.
I wondered if you knew exactly what it was.
I've done a bit of research and it's described as an SOE escape life.
Absolutely. SOE - Special Operations Executive -
was set up in July 1940 and Winston Churchill very famously told his
operatives to go and set Europe ablaze, and they did that.
They were known as the Department of Ungentlemanly Warfare.
They were there for espionage, for assassination, for reconnaissance,
for raiding, for disruption, for lowering enemy morale.
You name it, they did it.
You obviously know a bit about this fantastic knife.
Where did you get that from? We take tools from the public,
refurbish them and send them to the very poorest in Africa.
And one of our volunteers, or two of our volunteers,
were called out to clear out a shed, and Carol, our volunteer's wife,
noticed there was a skip so she refused to give up and ended up
upside down in the skip... Fantastic.
..pulled it out up the bottom.
It was completely covered in gloop,
and two days later it emerged from a bath of white spirit and we realised
it was something a little bit different.
It's modelled on what was called a military wire-cutting knife,
which was designed in 1900, for the Boer War, I guess.
We can see the function of the wire cutters on it.
They're really quite strong. You'd get through some quite heavy gauge wire with that.
It has a blade on it, and you said it was covered in gloop. There's still a bit on there.
But I think perhaps the most important part of it is that.
Do you know what it is?
Somebody said it was a can opener,
somebody else said it was called a lock breaker.
The person who said it was the can opener is dead right
and the person who said it was a lock breaker, well, it would do.
But, you think about what you could use that for,
you're walking past Colonel Von Schultz's lovely Mercedes and you go, "Pssst!
"Ah, We have a puncture, Herr Colonel.
"Oh, my God. I have to be in Berlin tomorrow."
You know, you've disrupted him, you've tied his driver down,
you've tied his mechanics down, you've tied him down.
Have you had a think about what this might be worth?
No. I've had some wildly inaccurate estimates.
I've got no idea, really. As it stands, they are a rare thing.
And if you had to go and bid for that at a public auction
you would pay at least ?500,
and if you got two of three people fighting amongst themselves, 750,
and probably on a really good day, 1,000.
That's great. I think it's fantastic.
It's just really so nice.
I'm very enthusiastic about it.
Thank you for that. Thank you for bringing it.
A pleasure. And keep skip-diving. Oh, yes.
A wonderful photograph of the Abbey,
which we are looking at here in this beautiful photograph.
Part of the great auction that was held on this ground
in aid of the Abbey.
In aid of the Abbey bells in 1962.
When this photograph was taken, there weren't any bells there.
They were all off at Loughborough being recast.
In aid of the bells.
And the treasure sale raised money in aid of the bells... And of course one of the participants here
was Arthur Negus himself.
There he is. The great founder of this whole affair.
It's wonderful, isn't it, really.
He was of course the sales clerk of the auctioneers, wasn't he?
Absolutely. He raised the money for the...
Raised the money, got the people to give the antiques and works of art to the sale.
And it grossed nearly ?3,000
and I think the bells cost around ?7,000.
He was a great, great man.
We'll never forget him, I'm sure, on the Antiques Roadshow.
These pieces are yours, are they?
No, these came from the vicarage,
and I remember as a young lad going into the Abbey house and screaming
blue murder and the vicar would pick that up and it would go "cuckoo" and I would stop screaming.
So it actually goes "cuckoo"? It actually goes "cuckoo".
Oh, let's have a demonstration. Let's see if we can have a go. We can have a demonstration.
CUCKOO, CUCKOO, CUCKOO
It must be June. He's coming back soon. Perfect.
Yes, wonderful. Welcome back, cuckoo.
They are, of course, both of them and the chest of drawers, it's slipware.
Slipware is a very traditional English method of decorating of the clay.
You pour, or trail, slip - different coloured clay -
to make the decoration, and then you fire it.
And it's a wonderful method and these were made, probably up in Yorkshire,
most likely in Halifax, something like that.
They are very collectable nowadays.
I suppose the cuckoo is a pair.
Yes. Two cuckoos.
Going to be worth ?1,000 or 1,200 as two.
And the chest of drawers going to be a little more,
I suppose about ?600-800.
Right. But they're beautiful things. They're lovely things. Lovely, wonderful things.
Thank you very much.
Here we are outside Tewkesbury Abbey.
On a beautiful summer's day.
I understand from the locals here
that it floods, and floods quite deeply.
It can do. So it's very apt you've brought along this...
I have to say, not very beautiful,
pine seaman's chest. Yes. It belonged to my great-grandfather.
And it was with him from... Well, he was born in 1834,
he died in 1918 and this was his chest through his entire merchant career.
The box came to me when I was very young and it served as my toy box
for a while and then more recently had camping equipment stored in it.
I thought great-grandad would have liked that.
And then most recently we just use it for keeping photographs in.
I like these sea chests because they are very plain and ordinary-looking.
They are made by probably the ship's carpenter for everybody who came on board ship.
Because it's really important that you had a change of dry clothing
and you needed a big lock on it to ensure that nobody would
pinch your kit, but it was not a beautiful work of art.
So what's happening inside here?
There would have been a divider coming down here
so that when you came off watch
and maybe your clothes were soaking wet, you could keep them away from the dry ones.
And the little compartment on the right-hand side,
really to keep your personal possessions.
It had everything you wanted.
What about this decoration? I mean, I have to say,
when you told me it was decorated on the inside I thought, "Oh, yes.
"Another seaman's chest that's has been later decorated."
But this is absolutely period.
Yeah. Now, he started what?
On coastal vessels or...?
I'm not entirely sure but I know that fairly quickly he was into proper
merchant seamen stuff and going overseas.
What does this say?
I mean, it says "It shines for all."
And here we have the American flags, the trophies of war,
this sort of odd shield which is half American flag, half Union Jack,
and then the white ensigns and the jacks over there.
And this must be around the time of the Civil War in the 1860s, that sort of period.
Now, in order to have this emblem
it sort of implies he had a strong connection with America.
And what sort of ships did he captain?
For the greater part of his high career, he was on fast clippers, as far as I'm aware.
So it's not impossible to believe he was trading across the Atlantic.
I'm sure he was. That's where the big money could be made.
Your fastest trip on a clipper ship,
and they were the racing cars of their day.
They raced across the Channel. The first one there got a bonus.
So it's a lovely memory to have of him, though.
Yes, it is and it's lovely to have this connection with that sort of immediate past.
Now, this is something I term as British folk art.
And it's not highly regarded here in the UK.
In America, they treat it with great reverence.
It appeals to me a lot.
I think that at auction today you'd be talking about, with the history,
between 2,500 and ?3,500.
Wow. Yeah. Amazing.
What we have here is a book printed in Launceston in 1848.
But this is not Launceston, Cornwall, is it?
This is Laun-ceston, Tasmania.
What's the Tasmanian connection here?
I was born in Tasmania and my father,
in the '50s, was just going to the police station to, I don't know,
renew his driving licence or something mundane.
They were throwing a load of books out and Dad saw this and just asked them, could he take it.
And they said, "Yeah, just help yourself."
Really? So he just retrieved it from the rubbish bin.
Well, er, and how came he to Tasmania?
Erm, well, my father's British but my mother's Australian
and effectively we've done
some digging into our ancestry and found out one of our ancestors was
on the First Fleet.
And one of 50-odd woman who was actually a convict on the First Fleet
and taken to Botany Bay. Really?
Yeah. And that was in 18...? 1788. 1788. Yeah.
Extraordinary. And, suitably enough for the family of a convict,
it's an analysis of the criminal laws of Van Diemen's Land,
which was what they called Tasmania at that point.
And a very early printed book, really, for Tasmania.
It essentially lists all of the various crimes that one could commit there
and what would happen if you did.
Looking through it we see what would happen if you committed, say, arson,
to one of the King's ships or stores.
Wilfully and maliciously setting it on fire,
you got the death penalty.
And the same happened with aiders and abettors.
And you go on. You see,
what happens if you are running a bawdy house or a gaming house
or some other disorderly house?
A fine or imprisonment or both.
I think it was a harsh world for these people.
Yeah, I think so.
In this sort of condition at auction one might expect it to make...
..?300 to ?500.
Excellent. I'm not going to sell it, though.
Very sensible. That's what they all say
but it's got a connection to the family history so, yeah.
Very good. Thank you for bringing it. Thank you very much. Thank you.
Fergus, word is going round the Roadshow that you've found something seriously exciting.
Something quite, quite, quite extraordinary.
The dream item for me. I couldn't imagine anything better.
What is it? This guy, he's turned up, and in this box are three
doll's house dolls.
Look at those. Now, those are seriously early and important.
By which you mean how early? Well, they're 1730s, 1720.
I don't know. I need to see them more carefully.
But they are extraordinarily rare and significant.
But then what does he say? He says,
"I've got the whole house at home with all the furniture and more dolls."
The doll's house? The doll's house that they come from.
Which, if it's early 18th century...
..it's of national importance, seriously.
National importance and potentially extraordinarily valuable.
So are you going to go and see it?
Well, the day's running on, so I'm going to jump in a car.
He's 15 minutes away,
and we're going to go and see what we can do about it.
Make sure you report back. Don't worry.
It's really, you know, my fingers are tingling.
You brought along what I have to say
is not the most possessing model boat in the world,
but it's got a very nice story attached to it.
Perhaps you'd like to tell us about it.
Back in 1946, I was three years old
and with the other boys in the street
and my brother, we used to play in the road.
No traffic on the road then, of course.
And the prisoners of war
were in the camp on one side of the village and they used to go to work
at the market gardens on the other side of the village.
As they went through, all the children used to wave
and cheer to them and
the prisoners of war made toys for the children.
And if you were lucky and you followed behind,
they threw them out the back of the lorries as you ran along
and the one morning, even though I was the youngest one,
I managed to catch this boat and took it home.
It went in my toy box and, as you see, it's been well played with for the years.
And then later on in life, probably in my 50s, I think it was,
my mum said to me, "I'm having a tidy up.
"You must have your boat back." She gave me the boat and I've never known
but there was a letter that came with it.
Really? So this is the letter here.
Fantastic. Are you going to read it out to us? OK.
"Dear boys and girls, we are very pleased to see you all every day.
"Many thanks for your kindness.
"We will never forget the good children in England,
"but all of you are our best friends.
"We like to remember very often to the little boys and girls who standing
"morning and in the evening to wait for the POW.
"We can't see our children but we are very glad to see all of you.
"Your German POW friends."
I mean, that really makes the boat.
I've got to put a value on it.
I really can't. I didn't really expect it, to be honest.
I mean, I think that and the letter, I mean,
at auction perhaps ?30 or ?40.
But you are never going to sell something like that. I mean, it's fantastic.
That's right. It's really nice. And thank you so much for bringing it in. I think that's really great.
Thanks a lot. Pleasure.
This is the most beautifully tactile object,
and as soon as I saw it, I absolutely fell in love with it and particularly
because I have a great affinity for this particular type of object.
I need to know how you acquired it.
I need to find it little bit of history behind it.
Tell me where you got it from. My parents had it before I was born. I was brought up with it.
So I don't know where they got it from.
I inherited it eventually and we would keep bananas in it.
That's what the idea was.
It's the perfect shape for bananas, isn't it?
It really is.
But, yeah. To be frank, actually, it was never made for bananas, quite obviously.
It comes from the north-west coast of Canada and, in fact,
it's what's known as a grease bowl.
And it comes from an indigenous group of people called the Haida.
And it is just so remarkably stylish.
Just look at it. This compartmental carving is quite beautiful
and have you ever kind of wondered what the creature is?
I believe, is it a seal?
It is a seal. Yes. I mean, they are just known as seal bowls, basically.
And you can see that remarkably stylised seal's head there
coming off to a pair of flippers at the back there.
And, actually, what this really denotes is a new-born seal, a pup.
It's done in such a beautifully stylish way.
Now, I think this is probably cedar.
I was going to wonder what wood it was. I think it's cedar.
It's actually quite light.
This one, though, I think is probably early 20th century.
I still believe it's such a gorgeous object that it's worth 3,000 to ?5,000.
My word. That's more than I was expecting.
?3,000 to ?5,000? It's a stunning, stunning thing.
And, to be honest with you,
I don't think you'll ever know its true price unless it's sold.
Well, thanks very much. That's very interesting. I didn't expect it to be that much.
My favourite item today. Thank you. Well, thank you, Marc. Thank you.
This is what I call a gem of a picture.
It's got everything I like.
It's a study, it's very freely painted
and I see down here it's got "With kind regards, Frank Dicksee."
Yes. And that's Sir Frank Dicksee.
And this is a study for a famous picture.
Do you know the painting? Yes, it's called The Two Crowns.
And I know the painting is a big oil.
It is. Now, how come you have this?
Because she is my grandmother.
And she was a good friend of Sir Frank Dicksee.
Indeed, we're told he...
..wished to marry her.
He made a proposal of marriage and she turned him down.
And I think that was about
1895, something like that.
Well, I can see why he wanted to propose to her.
What a beautiful woman or beautiful lady.
She's absolutely lovely.
Frank Dicksee was a major late Victorian painter.
He is on the fringes of the Pre-Raphaelites with Poynter.
And some of his early drawings are very Pre-Raphaelite-looking.
And this is a sort of in between period, but I just love it.
I love the way her arm is draped over the side and she's looking out.
It's a wonderful story.
We have to put a price on it.
I know this is very dear to you and I'm sure you're not going to sell it.
If this came up for auction I am pretty confident it would make
?8,000 to ?12,000.
?8,000 to ?12,000?
My word. I thought it would be worth ?100. ?100,000?
No, just 100.
Well, the family will be very happy with that.
You arrived here this morning and you were clutching
a little cardboard box with three dolls in it.
And I was just kind of leading you off to think about filming those dolls
when you mentioned those dolls actually lived in a house.
And I thought to myself,
"If those dolls live in a house as old as those dolls,
"we're talking something quite, quite incredible."
And can you tell me what you know about it?
So all I know is that it's from the beginning of the 18th century, 1705, apparently.
It's followed the female line of my mother's family since,
I believe, somewhere around then,
but previous to that it was built by some tradesmen on the Isle of Dogs
in 1705 for a lady called Miss Westbrook, whose initial is E,
which I think means Emily but it might have been something else.
And then it was given to my mum's family and has been passed down the
female line ever since.
Then it becomes a bit of a problem because there is no female line.
I am one of three boys.
Right. So let's get this into context.
That's right. And this house, the Westbrook baby house, as we call it,
because early English doll's houses are referred to as baby houses,
not doll's houses, until the early part of the 19th century.
There is no other like it. It is totally unique.
So it was quite unorthodox for the Roadshow because the doll's homes
from which they came was in your house.
So, like never before, we trailed over to your house with a cameraman
and I looked at it.
When I opened it...
..those panelled rooms
and that wonderful furniture,
I was looking at something which was unchanged, essentially,
for 311 years.
Something that was made as a toy
that could so easily have been spoiled,
has been preserved in your family for all these years.
That is why it's so moving.
We brought here just the few pieces from the house
to try and convey to people quite how important these things are.
I must admit, that when I saw it I recognised it.
I've heard of it because someone I know had been doing some restoration
on it so it was something I laid in bed at night dreaming that one day I would see it.
And here I am! The Westbrook Baby House. And here you are.
And these pieces really confirm its importance.
This is a thing I noticed when I first saw a picture of the house.
It's a casket and it dates from 1705 and it's applied with shells and
paper scraps and it's painted.
And I guess it was probably trying to simulate a piece of stump work.
But what is totally amazing, it's got its original stand,
is the outside is all faded through years and years of sunlight and
I can't resist doing this.
Pick it up.
Press the little button. The brightness of that colour.
311 years and there you have that wonderful...
I'm ashamed to say, I've never opened it. You've never opened it. Look at that.
Embossed gold paper.
Amazing thing. The furniture,
I think, looking at the contents, the house was 1705,
I think some of the contents are original to 1705
and I think some of the contents perhaps came from the next generation.
Was added and I think it was added up until the end of that century.
Yes. Post-that I don't think it's been touched.
No, absolutely. I mean, these dolls, they've got those fork hands and very distinctive faces.
They're 18th-century but they're probably 1740 rather
than 1705, so they could be another generation adding to it.
And the hair, what would that be made of? The hair, I think the hair's mohair.
It's extraordinary, when you see something that's so well preserved
and complete when one is so used to looking at things in terrible condition,
it's quite difficult to look at things and think,
"That can't be real and genuine."
But it is! It's the importance of this object.
I've found the whole day today...
..completely staggering and amazing.
I have a passion for early doll's houses.
I never, ever felt, thought that I would see such a wonderful...
It's been great. It's been a very exciting to actually show it to somebody
because it does sit there and you open it occasionally and point at
something and people say, "That's great. Isn't that beautiful?"
And then you can shut the door and then it's gone so it's lovely to see it in the light of day.
Yeah. And it's the Antiques Roadshow and we have to come up with a value.
Do you have to? Yeah. I'm told I must.
For telly. Yes.
It's an impossible task.
Let's leave it at that. Well, no.
I've done the work and I'm going to give you one.
I've done the work.
For the house with its contents we're looking at...
..a conservative estimate...
..of ?150,000, maybe ?200,000.
That's pretty astonishing.
But that doesn't matter. That doesn't matter, no.
Well, it does a bit.
But, you know, this is an object of national importance, really.
Wow. What a find.
And to find something of such rarity and antiquity for our first
programme of the new series as well.
I think Fergus thought all his Christmases had come at once.
And, you know, after all these years on the Roadshow, these objects,
they keep turning up.
From all of us here at Tewkesbury Abbey, bye-bye.
Unparalleled talent, unprecedented access.
BBC Two takes a sneaky peek behind the celebrity curtain.
One piece of advice...
Go out there, grab it with both hands and stick it in your mouth.
Fiona Bruce and the team are at Tewkesbury Abbey in Gloucestershire for the first episode of a brand new series, and over 2,000 visitors dig out their treasures in anticipation.
Two sisters gifted with their great-great-grandmother's jewellery are drawn into the 'battle of the bangles' to find out who has the finest inheritance. A plain box catches the eye of our furniture expert Lennox Cato when the owner makes a claim for it to have once been in Anne Hathaway's cottage. An Australian visitor finds out if the set of silver knives she brought over was worth the cost of the ticket.
And one of the most exciting finds in Roadshow history emerges when a collection of rare figures and dolls' house furnishings from 1705 stuns expert Fergus Gambon, who excitedly tells Fiona it is of national importance... and not insignificant value.
Plus the first in a new audience guessing game with the Enigma, in which experts challenge us to guess the purpose of a mystery object.