Episode 12 Restoration Roadshow


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Episode 12

Series devoted to saving treasured heirlooms from the scrapheap. Eric Knowles and his team of brilliant restorers continue their efforts to save heirlooms at Chatsworth House.


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Transcript


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Many of us have got the odd antique and collectible at home that might be a bit tired or broken.

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You might have asked yourself whether or not it's going to be worth restoring.

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And if it was, could you then take it to an auction, sell it, and make yourself a bit of money?

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Find out how on Restoration Roadshow.

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We're here at magnificent Chatsworth, in the heart of the Peak District.

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It's the perfect setting for today's Restoration Roadshow and I can't wait to get started.

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By the looks of all the walking wounded already waiting for attention,

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our restorers are going to have their hands full.

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-Is it working at the moment at all?

-No, it's not.

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What everyone wants to know is how much are their treasures worth?

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Should they be cleaned up and restored?

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£400, maybe £500.

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-And will they be kept...

-This is the kind of piece that you could spend a fair bit of money on.

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..or sent to make money at auction?

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Coming up, we give this stunning Victorian writing box some 21st century help...

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This is a laptop, although you won't get on the internet with it.

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..rescue a washed-up Japanese fisherman with beastly problems...

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If we give him the other foot, he can fight the octopus on an even keel.

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..and stumble upon the equivalent of a golden calf.

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This is very, very unusual to get something like this.

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Our restoration surgery is open for business and the patients are already lining up.

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18th century clocks, headless Doulton figurines, someone's even brought in the family china.

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There's nothing I can do with it today, I'd have to take that back to my workshop.

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But there's no time for tea breaks on this programme.

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The first casualty to grab my attention is this beautiful Victorian writing box

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which owners, Malcolm and Patricia, are hoping we can rescue.

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Do you have a great sentimental attachment to it?

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It came to us 39, 40 years ago from my great aunt.

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We never really used it for the purpose that it was made.

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-We just love it.

-Let's have a look inside, because all is revealed.

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Oh, dear, that wasn't a good sound.

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-It wasn't.

-No, but...

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what have you been doing with it?

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Have you let the children play with it or something?

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No. The children have never touched it. It did have a purple velvet on, didn't it?

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This area here would be for writing your correspondence.

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These empty spaces would have certainly taken inkwells.

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'Portable writing boxes would have been a very familiar item

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'in most Victorian middle-class homes, especially as letters were the fastest way to communicate.

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'This one needs a face-lift.'

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-Now, that's going to cost you some money.

-Not to worry.

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I love it when they say that.

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-I notice it was your wife that said it.

-But it's my money, how's that?

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In its present state it's probably worth about £80 or something, so it's not a huge amount.

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If it was done up, just maybe, worth 150 or two...

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So... You've got a decision here.

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If you're going to spend some money on this

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and then sell it, you're not going to be seeing much in the way of a profit.

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It will never be sold.

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-No.

-So you see you're not sellers, you're curators, aren't you?

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Furniture restorer Tim Akers has a passion for rejuvenating old furniture.

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From William and Mary walnut side tables to George the Third bookcases.

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It's actually in remarkably good condition.

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Can I have a look, I know it's going to fall-out.

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That's lovely. We've got a little bit of inlay missing here.

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Very lucky, really, to have got away with such a small amount of damage.

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It needs either a new velvet or a leather.

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-I would suggest leather.

-Yes, please.

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This is a linen strip across here which actually gives it

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extra strength so you don't wear the leather out.

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-I'll try and replace it with another linen strip.

-Tell us...

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It's worth spending money on.

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It's a really pretty box. The workmanship in that is fantastic.

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I would say

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about between £120 and £130 plus whatever cost of the leather is.

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OK?

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In total, Tim's charging around £160.

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Hypothetically, the chances are that you would never get your money back.

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But talking to you, that is obviously not the issue.

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OK, So you are saving it for posterity and for future generations, very noble.

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I love it when people go the extra mile to save an antique.

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Especially one as attractive as this.

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This wonderful but careworn Victorian writing box could maybe fetch £80 in this condition.

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Tim's going to fix it up for £130 plus the cost of the leather.

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Restored, we estimate it could only achieve £150 to £200.

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But this piece has huge sentimental value so it's worth the investment.

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It's high stakes for Tim, too.

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Easy with that scalpel.

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Back at antiques A&E, our restorers' healing hands are in high demand.

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The place is littered with sick and injured treasures today, like these 18th century volumes of

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Roman history brought in by Maisey Maudley and her son which, by the looks of it, have been well read.

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A job for paper restorer Louise Drover who has over 20 years' experience,

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spanning London's V&A to Bucharest Museum Of Art And History.

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What can you tell me about these books?

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They belong to my husband.

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He has had them about 40 years.

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He got them when his family were moving from a large house down

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to smaller accommodation, they had to get rid of their books.

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It's a lovely set, isn't it?

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-Tell me how old are the books?

-1768.

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So pretty early, aren't they?

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Lovely condition inside. Lovely paper.

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Hand-made at the time.

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The 10 volumes written by French historian Charles Rollin

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chronicled the foundation of Rome to the Battle of Actium

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As they're over 200 years old, they've acquired a few scars along the way.

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These corners have become knocked and damaged and they tend to de-laminate.

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I would consolidate that with a starch paste.

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Makes it very nice and firm and it will hold together nicely.

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In their current state they would be worth around £100.

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But Maisie's keen to sell at auction and wants to know if restoration will up their value.

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I think the work I would do would probably cost,

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just to do some tidying, some surface tidying, about £80.

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If they were worked on, they could be perhaps £200.

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I think we'd be prepared to have them restored.

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-OK, we'll see what we can do.

-Fantastic.

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In their tattered state, this well-thumbed series could fetch £100.

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Louise is going to tidy up the covers for £80

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which could see them reach £200 at auction.

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But Louise has some heavy studying to do

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before these weighty tomes can march off to auction.

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All manner of weird and wonderful objects turn up on Restoration Roadshow

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and today we've got plenty in need of our specialist attention.

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Some just need a bit of spit and polish.

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It's just household dust and dirt, years of it hanging on a wall.

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Others require emergency surgery like this terrified 19th century earthenware fisherman

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and his extremely angry passenger, brought in by Mary Bagley.

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It's a Mayday call for our ceramics guru.

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Roger Hawkins knows a thing or two about ceramics.

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With over 30 years' experience, he's one of the country's leading authorities.

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But I suspect he won't have seen many of these before.

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So tell me, how did you acquire this lovely character?

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Lovely little octopus fisherman?

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My grandfather gave him to me.

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He always had a great story that the poor octopus here would really like to be in the sea

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and this horrible fishermen had caught him and then this octopus had put his

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great tentacles around and broken the man's leg and his hand

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-because he desperately wanted to get out of that basket in the back.

-He certainly looks like he's in agony.

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Did your grandfather tell you anything of his origin and where he came from?

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My grandfather's sister worked out in Hong Kong and she was in a cholera hospital as a nurse.

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He went out to visit her and that's when he brought this chappy back.

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So you don't actually know anything about the figure itself, or really where it came from?

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No, I don't even know whether it's Chinese or Japanese.

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Japanese. Probably around the 1900 period and probably made in a small factory,

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not one of the large factories from Imari or the Satsuma factories

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where they produced a huge range of pottery and porcelain.

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It's sad, with his foot missing like that it does make him disfigured,

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it's not very pleasing to look at, is he?

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Probably the hand and the foot were broken at different times

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and his foot's obviously gone for a walk somewhere else.

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But I could make that foot. I could put that foot pack on properly so that he becomes as good as new.

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Did you notice that he's missing something here as well?

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Yes, I don't know what that is.

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That probably would be a little pouch for his money or little tokens.

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-So what's the damage in money terms, Roger?

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The cost of restoration on this would probably, if I had to make that new hand, the foot.

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Probably somewhere around the £300 mark, unfortunately.

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-Right.

-It's just the amount of time and labour in doing it.

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Sadly, even in perfect condition he probably wouldn't be worth quite that amount of money.

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So probably, if we put him in auction

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he would be...

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probably, let's say between 100 and 150.

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So to spend 300 on him would mean that you have to be

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very, very sentimentally attached to him to spend that money.

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But in my opinion, he's worth doing.

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I'd really love to have him restored.

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I'm amazed you can actually do something like that and make him whole again.

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If we give him the other foot then he'll be able to fight the octopus on an even keel.

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A better chance of winning.

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As he is, this unusual 19th century figure would only be worth around £20 to £30.

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Roger's going to get him back on his feet for £300.

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Even then he'd probably only net 100 to 150 at auction

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but it's a sentimental piece and one that owner Mary Bagley

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wants to pass on to future generations.

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Roger's going to have his hands full with this tricky opponent.

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Outside, my restoration A Team are battling away, too,

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suggesting treatments for your antiques and heirlooms.

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Every now and then an object arrives that turns out to be a bit of a special breed.

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Lis Woodehouse has brought in a 19th century oil painting of a short-horned cow.

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One of three, all painted by the same artist, it's in desperate need of restoration.

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Our painting restorer is already getting excited.

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Lucia Scalisi is no stranger to priceless works of art,

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having restored everything from Holbeins to Picassos,

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and been a conservator at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

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How did you come across this?

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It belonged to my mother's grandfather.

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They were farmers, they're from a farming family.

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He entered his cattle at shows and competitions

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and when we sold the farm two years ago and the family home,

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three, the three of them came to light.

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I know that A.M. Gauci is well-known,

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a renowned painter of cattle and farmers always had their prize cattle painted.

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They had their pigs painted and their prize sheep painted

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and it's a whole wonderful sort of era of painting animals.

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Gauci's patrons included Queen Victoria and some of his works are worth thousands of pounds.

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However, this magnificent specimen isn't in prime condition.

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It's got water damage and the water has seeped behind the glass

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which is sitting directly on the painting but the paint layer is stuck to the glass so I'm not really sure

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where we can actually take this from the glass very safely without losing paint.

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It's particularly critical around the signature because that's one area

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that you don't want to lose the paint.

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Sounds risky but Lucia thinks this prized beast and his friends could be worth their weight in gold.

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These are very collectible things and it's very beautifully painted.

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It's also quite unusual for this period.

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They're hard to value so Lucia wants to do her homework before putting a price tag on this herd.

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First she has to tackle lifting that glass.

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A test that could prove her toughest yet.

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Today's Restoration Roadshow has thrown up all sorts of challenges for our team of restorers.

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They're all busily attending to their patients.

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Remember that Victorian writing box in need of some microsurgery?

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Tim's about to replace the intricate missing inlay on the top

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and has cut tiny sections of boxwood, ebony and mahogany to fill in the gaps.

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Ridiculously small.

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It's fiddly work at the best of times, let alone in this breeze.

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That's in.

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They're all glued slightly proud so that when the glue is dry

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we then just use a chisel.

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If I wet it, you can see the natural colours of the timbers that I've chosen.

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That will trim down and produce the missing piece of parquetry.

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So I'm pleased that went OK, actually.

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Now for the writing leather.

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Tim's using wallpaper paste as it's reversible

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and can be wiped off without causing damage.

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The glasses would be a good idea for this so let's go ahead.

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You have to place it equally on top and feel through the leather

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to where the rebate is underneath.

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Steady, Tim, mind you don't cut the polished surface underneath.

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I'm just going to check, that's fine.

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There you go.

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That's the leather in place.

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What a crowd pleaser.

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Let's hope that Tim's craftsmanship captivates owners Malcolm and Pat

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when they're reunited with their writing box later.

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-Are you ready for this?

-Oh, yes, please.

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Here you go, here's your box.

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Louise has also been busy, skillfully restoring the Charles Rollin Roman History volumes.

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Popular reading material, judging by their worn covers.

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I'm just re-laminating these corners that have all become very damaged and soft.

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They'll be pasted in between each layer until they're firmly stuck together

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and then I'll just wrap it with this piece of polyester

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and then just a piece of blotting paper

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and a piece of board either side and that will form an nice rigid repair.

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I do that on each of the corners.

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The wheat starch paste Louise is using could stain if she uses too much but she's a dab hand at this.

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It's one of the most common repairs, actually, on books of this age.

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They often have very similar damage.

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Usually it's the corners.

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Perhaps broken heads.

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That's how they're removed from the shelf.

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If Louise didn't fix them, they'd deteriorate and the whole cover could be lost.

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She bandages the repair and gives them all a good polish.

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It's such a minimal amount of this wax is used.

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Dip this into the pot and take it off

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and just apply literally very minimal application of wax.

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She might not need much but that wax will protect and bring out the colours in the original covers.

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Let's hope it makes the set more saleable at auction.

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A really nice set of books. Lots and lots of bidding on it.

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Our restorers are cracking along restoring, transforming, revitalising,

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determined to prove what can be achieved when antiques are given a second chance.

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But not everything at Restoration Roadshow needs restoring,

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like this stunning 17th century panel belonging to Alan and Alison Frater.

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I like that. That's quite ancient, isn't it?

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Yes, it's dated 1679.

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So what have we got? We've got this Cavalier and it's all done on silk.

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It was probably produced by a teenage girl using patterns bought from a travelling peddler.

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Which could explain that leopard.

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Such detailed delicate needle work is highly prized.

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When it comes to the value of something like this, obviously there's a demand.

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And this is big and it's dated.

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I think this would carry an estimate at auction of maybe 12, 14, 1500.

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And it doesn't really need anything in the way of restoration.

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It might be over 300 years old but this treasure is best left well alone.

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Will it deteriorate?

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The sad thing is that silk does.

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It's remarkable that it's lasted this length of time.

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If it was mine, I'd kiss it every day I left the house.

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It just goes to show that restoration isn't always the answer.

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But for some items, like our nineteenth-century Japanese figure,

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it's the only option.

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Roger's retreated to his workshop where he has everything he needs to make and fit new limbs.

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It's a long and tense procedure.

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This foot which is now getting its first coat of paint

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I had to make completely from scratch.

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It just wasn't there.

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But fortunately I had this foot that was still in existence -

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although broken off -

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to model from. It had to be done

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to the right style, I couldn't take a mould

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of a right foot to make a left foot, that doesn't work,

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so it all had to be done completely freehand.

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What I had to do was make sure I got the style right and I didn't really know what the hands looked like.

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I mean, what was he doing?

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So there's an element of artistic licence.

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I had the position of the stumps telling me or giving me a clue

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where the hands should be so I've had to try and do these hands

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in an appropriate way that it looks right.

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With the undercoat done, Roger's next challenge is to colour match our fisherman's new body parts.

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By the time he's got the appropriate coats of paint on

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he will become quite a happy little chappy.

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He doesn't look happy at the moment,

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but I wouldn't if I had an octopus around my neck.

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Coming up, Tim's had to battle the elements to get that Victorian writing box finished.

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I lost one piece in the breeze I just put it down and it flew away.

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And Lucia's research into that Gauci painting uncovers some surprise results.

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Louise has been lovingly tending to the war-torn 18th century Roman history series.

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She's worked on all ten volumes, gluing, bandaging and waxing them back to life.

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Now it's time to see how they stack up.

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So, finished the books, just here.

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Oh, that's splendid, isn't it?

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-The colours. That is really really...

-Happier, really.

-They've cleaned nicely.

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-They have. Labels have gone down nicely.

-You have done really, really well, haven't you, with that?

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Before, these tired old leather covers were tatty and torn, hardly fit to house the Roman Empire.

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Now with their corners strengthened and jackets polished, these spruced-up volumes

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will look imperious on the shelves of any book seller.

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They look really good.

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I managed to reattach the head caps which had broken away.

0:20:330:20:37

And all the corners have been consolidated.

0:20:370:20:40

-That's very good. That's really super. Very pleased with that.

-Great, thank you.

0:20:400:20:45

So the Romans are heading off to auction where they should command our bidder's attention.

0:20:450:20:51

But not everyone wants to sell their heirlooms and our next item is staying put.

0:20:510:20:57

Earlier, Malcolm and Pat brought in this exquisite Victorian writing box, falling apart at the seams.

0:20:570:21:04

Tim nearly went cross-eyed trying to fix it so I hope all his hard work pays off.

0:21:040:21:07

-It looked very fiddly.

-It was extremely fiddly. The breeze didn't help.

0:21:070:21:13

I lost one piece in the breeze. I just put it down and it flew away.

0:21:130:21:17

No.

0:21:170:21:19

-Are you ready for this?

-Oh, yes.

-Yes, please.

0:21:190:21:22

Here you go, here's your box.

0:21:220:21:24

-That's fantastic.

-Look at that.

0:21:260:21:28

-Isn't it lovely?

-I tell you what, I'm blowed if I can see the replacement bits. Can you?

0:21:290:21:37

-No, no.

-I know where they were. I couldn't tell you.

0:21:370:21:41

Brilliant. Superb.

0:21:410:21:43

-That's only half the story.

-Yes, it is.

0:21:430:21:46

Is it ready to do...

0:21:460:21:48

Open the box.

0:21:480:21:50

And then move it around.

0:21:500:21:51

Oh, that's fantastic.

0:21:510:21:54

Oh, it is. Isn't that lovely?

0:21:540:21:56

And then when you do this one you just fold it like that.

0:21:560:21:58

That's wonderful, thank you.

0:21:580:22:01

Before, this neglected Victorian writing box was like a blank page,

0:22:010:22:05

stripped of the wood with chips in its detailed surface.

0:22:050:22:09

Now, with its beautiful pattern complete, glowing woods and leather in place,

0:22:090:22:14

it's the last word in style and elegance.

0:22:140:22:17

So there was a box that we reckoned was worth £80 to £100 or maybe a bit more,

0:22:170:22:22

but I also suggested that it might have been worth up to £250 once it was restored.

0:22:220:22:28

But I've got to be a bit more bullish

0:22:280:22:30

because I think that if I went to a specialist box dealer then...

0:22:300:22:36

-I would see a price tag on that of at least £300 or £400.

-Excellent.

0:22:360:22:39

So have you had second thoughts?

0:22:390:22:42

We're not going to do anything with the box, we are going to take it home and treasure it.

0:22:420:22:46

Put it where it came from, on the bookshelf, between the books.

0:22:460:22:50

And there it will stay.

0:22:500:22:52

What a rave review. I'd say that was two satisfied customers.

0:22:520:22:58

Our restorers have seen and treated all sorts of troubled treasures today.

0:22:580:23:01

Some are going home like that beautiful Victorian writing box and the traumatised Japanese fisherman,

0:23:010:23:08

but can Roger get him back on his feet?

0:23:080:23:11

I couldn't take a mould of the right foot so it's all had to be done completely free hand.

0:23:110:23:17

While the others are of to auction like the Charles Rollin history of Rome books.

0:23:170:23:21

Where are those book dealers?

0:23:230:23:26

Come on.

0:23:260:23:27

And it doesn't stop there.

0:23:270:23:29

Remember that water-damaged cow portrait signed by AM Gauci with the paintwork stuck to the glass?

0:23:290:23:34

Well, when Lucia investigated the damage, her suspicions were confirmed.

0:23:340:23:40

The conservation job is a real horror.

0:23:400:23:43

It's not going to lift off.

0:23:430:23:44

If I try to lift this glass off, these areas of paint will just

0:23:460:23:50

come away with the glass and will be lost forever really. Very sad.

0:23:500:23:54

The good news is that after more research she discovered

0:23:540:23:58

the paintings could fetch around £6,000 in their current state.

0:23:580:24:01

And sell for a hefty £15,000 if restored.

0:24:010:24:05

It's a fantastic end to a fabulous day. Let's hope we pull in the pounds at auction, too.

0:24:050:24:11

But first, it's time to catch up with Roger and his Japanese fisherman.

0:24:110:24:16

When we first saw this lovable 19th century figure he'd really taken a beating.

0:24:160:24:21

Roger's had to use every creative bone in his body to give him a fighting chance.

0:24:210:24:27

Well, let's have a look at the end result, shall we?

0:24:270:24:30

Oh, Roger.

0:24:340:24:36

He can now fight off the octopus and a lot easier and he can run away now.

0:24:360:24:42

Before this embattled pottery figure had a broken arm and a leg missing.

0:24:420:24:47

Now he's back on his feet with new hands and money to boot,

0:24:470:24:51

this odd couple can be enjoyed for generations to come.

0:24:510:24:55

It's absolutely fantastic.

0:24:550:24:58

-You're happy with him?

-I'm exceedingly happy.

0:24:580:25:01

Thank you very much, Roger.

0:25:010:25:03

It was a pleasure doing it. I really enjoyed working on him.

0:25:030:25:06

In fact I don't want you to take him home, I want to keep him now.

0:25:060:25:11

He's not worth a huge amount in monetary terms

0:25:110:25:13

but he's still in Roger's heart and means the world to owner Mary Bagley,

0:25:130:25:17

having belonged to her grandfather.

0:25:170:25:20

No-one really wanted this but me and I really treasured it all my life

0:25:200:25:23

and I think he'd be pleased that I've done something, restored it and I'll be able to hand it on

0:25:230:25:28

because that's really what I'd like to do.

0:25:280:25:30

Now it's even got another story to tell behind it.

0:25:300:25:35

So I'll let all my children know about Roger and how creative he's been really.

0:25:350:25:42

It's a wonderful foot.

0:25:420:25:45

So, Roger's meticulous modelling has paid off and our fisherman lives to fight another day.

0:25:450:25:51

But will our history books sell at auction?

0:25:510:25:54

Here at Bamford's auction house in Derby, Maisie's 18th century books are hoping to command and conquer.

0:25:590:26:05

There's plenty on show today and lots of eager bidders.

0:26:050:26:08

Hopefully we'll find them a new home.

0:26:080:26:11

Remember, if you're interested in buying or selling at auction

0:26:110:26:15

you'll have commission and other charges to pay. Check with the auction house first.

0:26:150:26:19

Everything that's been restored should be noted in the catalogue

0:26:190:26:23

like our books which Louise's given a new lease of life to.

0:26:230:26:26

She tidied them up for £80 and we think they could now fetch £200 at auction.

0:26:260:26:33

But Maisie and Simon are upping the ante with a £400 reserve.

0:26:330:26:37

They're obviously impressed by Louise's repairs as so often happens on Restoration Roadshow.

0:26:370:26:43

But that's double our estimate.

0:26:430:26:46

-Reserve of 400.

-400, so you're of a mind to keep them at that rate?

0:26:460:26:52

-Yeah.

-You really are, I think you're pushing your luck there actually.

0:26:520:26:56

Let's watch, wait and see and hope the gods are smiling on you today.

0:26:560:27:00

-Fingers crossed.

-Lot 130 is a Charles Rollin

0:27:000:27:04

Roman history and the foundation of Rome to the battle of Actium.

0:27:040:27:09

London 1768, they're a very, very well-known edition.

0:27:090:27:12

There in great condition.

0:27:120:27:14

A really nice set of books. Lots and lots of bidding on it.

0:27:140:27:18

I can start with me at...£370.

0:27:180:27:24

380, do I see in the room first?

0:27:240:27:26

At 370, 380 do I see?

0:27:260:27:29

Where are those book dealers?

0:27:290:27:31

Come on. 390.

0:27:310:27:34

At 390, 400 now.

0:27:340:27:37

Come on,

0:27:370:27:39

where are you, where's that bid?

0:27:390:27:42

Close. Isn't that frustrating?

0:27:420:27:44

Isn't that frustrating?

0:27:440:27:46

I hate to say it but I think obviously if that reserve had been that little bit lower...

0:27:460:27:53

We're overegged it.

0:27:530:27:54

-We don't mind.

-You don't mind?

0:27:540:27:57

-Have you read them?

-Oh yes.

0:27:570:28:00

Take them to bed every night.

0:28:000:28:01

Oh, really? Oh, right, well, I'll test you later on ancient Rome.

0:28:010:28:08

Well, Maisie's got a lot of swotting up to do now, I can tell you.

0:28:080:28:11

She may not have sold her Roman History series but she did

0:28:110:28:14

place a higher reserve and very nearly made it.

0:28:140:28:17

It just shows what a difference restoration can make and that given a little time, money and expert care

0:28:170:28:22

your old antiques could make you a handsome profit at auction.

0:28:220:28:25

So, until the next time, it's cheerio from Restoration Roadshow.

0:28:250:28:30

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:28:340:28:37

E-mail [email protected]

0:28:370:28:39

Series devoted to saving treasured heirlooms from the scrapheap, restoring them to their former glory and maybe even making some money at auction.

Elegant Chatsworth House is soon witness to some frenetic activity as Eric Knowles and his team of brilliant restorers continue their valiant efforts to save your heirlooms from the ravages of time.

Tim Akers does everything he can to revive a wonderful Victorian writing box. Ceramics expert Roger Hawkins grapples with an extraordinary 19th century ornament depicting a Japanese fisherman under attack from an octopus, and Lucia Scalisi meets a totally different beast – a painting of a short horn cow that might carry a very hefty price tag.

Elsewhere, paper conservator Louise Drover faces a mammoth task too. She has to resurrect a badly scarred 200-year-old set of volumes charting the history of Rome. But will her efforts be rewarded with success when the books come up for auction?