Series devoted to saving treasured heirlooms from the scrapheap. At Burghley House, Rod Titian repairs a Victorian lyre cabinet while Roger Hawkins revives some unusual bottles.
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Hello. I'm Eric Knowles and this is what this programme is all about.
Could it be restored? And more importantly, should it be restored?
And if so, could it make you some money should you take it to auction?
We'll find out on Restoration Roadshow.
Welcome to magnificent Burghley House,
home to successive generations for over 450 years.
It's 100-plus rooms, from Tudor kitchens to Baroque masterpieces,
are full of priceless heirlooms. And the good people of Lincolnshire
have brought along their own treasures today.
We've got all sorts of battered antique in need of surgery.
Everyone wants to know how valuable their items are.
Your painting may be worth in the region of £5,000.
Are they worth cleaning up and restoring?
-We have had a valuer look at it.
-He said £300 to £400.
-Will they end up back home?
She would never have parted with it, so I don't want to now, you see.
'Or make some money if they go to auction?'
At £360 and...
'Coming up - an early 20th century oil painting needs cheering up,
'but I know just the person for the job.'
She's the James Herriott of the Restoration Roadshow.
A stunning Victorian music cabinet in need of help has our restorer waxing lyrical.
It's a nice piece, it's got lovely decorations.
Nice brass work. It deserves to have a bit of life put back into it.
And we reel in a very curious catch.
I wonder how many people watching this programme will realise exactly what they are?
We've pulled the antiques by the trolley-load today
and our expert restorers are already busy doing the rounds.
-It's seen some life, hasn't it?
'One item I'm keen to get a full patient history on is this charming
'20th century oil painting brought in by owner, Graham Sawfleet.'
How long has this faithful friend been in your family?
Since just after the First World War.
How long have you had him?
-Since 1962. 47 years?
-OK. And was he ever in a frame?
I mean, in this state, it begs the question was he ever framed?
The only frame I know of it has been the dust around it.
It's obviously been rolled up at some stage, hasn't it? It goes without saying.
47 years it's been rolled up!
Really? It's a bit sad, really, because it's not a bad painting.
I mean, I see there's a signature down here as well. For...
"F Daws." I know his pedigree, if you'll pardon the pun.
I know that he was at the School of Art, the Lambeth School Of Art.
But he's probably better known for his dog sculptures.
Frederick Daws designed some of Royal Doulton's best selling ceramic dogs in the 1930s
and gave this painting to Graham's father, a fellow-student at Lambeth School Of Art.
If I was to put a value on this today, I would say even in this state, it's got to be worth £300.
There's an awful lot needs to be done to this dog to bring him back to anywhere near his old self.
Looks like a search and rescue mission for our painting restorer.
Lucia Scalisi was painting conservator at the V&A
before setting up on her own and has worked on everything,
from Picassos to priceless Holbein portraits.
I realise that St Bernard dogs are well known for rescuing people.
But I think we've got a role reversal here, Lucia.
Can you rescue the St Bernard dog?
Actually, roll is the word. This painting's been rolled up,
which is not the best thing for canvas paintings at all,
because the paint surface is actually quite fragile.
But if they do have to be rolled up, the best way to do it is to have
the actual painting on the outside,
because paint stretches more and better than it contracts.
You've had this rolled up on the inside and it makes the cracking even worse.
That aside, the canvas is actually in quite good condition
from the point of view that it's still quite a strong canvas, it's not brittle.
It has been on a stretcher and what you see at the edges are the stretcher bar marks where
the canvas has been stretched around a wooden stretcher and it needs to be put back on a stretcher.
But before we can do that, because the stretcher puts it under tension,
we would really have to consolidate the paint there, otherwise it will start peeling off.
And the amount of work that will go into that, it's quite considerable,
so we're talking about a price of around, sort of, £380 to £420.
Add on the cost of fixing it to a new stretcher frame and Graham is looking at £600 to £700 in total.
But once restored, I would expect this lovable old mutt to be worth a bob or two.
The thing is, people love dogs.
There is no shortage of buyers of dogs.
So, something you are thinking of going with?
-Yes, I think so.
-I think I would like to have it restored properly.
Graham is looking to sell the painting at auction, where it could fetch in excess of £1,000.
And then, if you sell it, I mean, have you got something in mind to do with the money?
I've got a big birthday coming up
and I think I might spend it on that.
Have a bob or two and enjoy it.
OK. Excellent. All right.
As it is, this dog-eared oil painting is only worth £300 to £400.
Lucia is going to repair the surface and stretch it over a new frame for £600 to £700,
which could see our signed St Bernard fetch £1,000 or more at auction.
And help Graham celebrate his birthday in style.
But 47 years curled up has left Fido in a sorry state.
Can Lucia nurse this old dog back to health and help him find a new home?
Our restorers' skills are really being tested today by all sorts of wonderful objects.
Some are neglected heirlooms passed down through generations,
or treasured personal possessions with sentimental value.
It'll be a labour of love and I want to keep it.
While others have been rescued from second-hand shops, house sales, even the bin.
Next on our patient list is this Victorian ebonised cabinet
picked up at an antique shop.
It was a superb steal, but it has had a rough old ride in life
and owner, Iona Beckett, is here to see if, between us, we can give it a second chance.
A job for furniture restorer, Rod Titian, who specialises in gilding and lacquering
and has worked at Kew Palace and the Queen's house in Greenwich.
Well, this is a really interesting piece that you've brought here today.
Can you tell me something about it?
Yes. I found it in a sort of antiquey place in Glasgow.
At that time my daughter was a music student
and I was looking for something for her to keep all her music in.
And it caught my eye because of the lovely detail of the lyre.
-Exactly. The musical element?
Music was a popular home entertainment in Victorian times
and most middle-class homes would have had a cabinet to store sheet music in.
But this one is looking a bit off-key.
One thing which I hadn't realised was that
at some point there must have been a little rail around the top.
Yes, a gallery, I would have thought.
I thought the same, a little gallery that maybe had little flutes.
Yes. And they look as if they have been, I don't know, filled with putty or something.
Very badly filled, unfortunately.
Yes, there is potentially a fair bit of work that could be done to bring it back to life again.
I can see straight away that there's a moulding missing here. The moulding is loose there.
There is a little bit of...
Much of it is raised in a couple of areas.
Options here really are, if you are thinking of keeping it
and you were to put it back to a happy condition, you're looking at probably about £400.
The minimum that I would say we would need to do would be
to put back the moulding and I would say do the top as well.
If that is the case, I would say in the region of about £140 to do that.
So, a big difference between the two.
If I can ask you how much you paid for it? If you don't mind.
-Well, that's not bad, then. OK.
I think your £40 hasn't done badly, to be honest, because our valuers on
the show here have actually looked at it and they're putting it in
at the moment at about £120 as it is.
But if it were to be done up, you're looking at about £200.
The difference there is obviously if you're doing it for yourself, you're
going to be going over and above the actual value of the piece itself.
So any restoration is going to be for purely sentimental reasons.
I think I would like it cleaned up.
-And I think we might want to keep it.
But there is always a sort of limit on spending too much on it.
So, we are going to go with the £140 option
and for that we will bring the top nicely back up again.
Give it a little bit of life, just by finishing it off with wax at the end.
So the whole thing will come up looking a lot more desirable.
Because already it's a nice piece, it's got lovely decoration with regards to the marquetry.
The nice filigree brass work as well.
So it deserves to have a little bit of life put back into it.
In its current state, this Victorian music cabinet could fetch £120 at auction.
Rod is going to try and make it sing again for £140,
which could nudge it up to a £200 price tag.
But Iona is not looking to sell.
She wants to restore this ornate cabinet and pass it down the generations.
So, can Rod's virtuosity help it hit the high notes again?
Nothing warms my heart more than ceramics
and we have seen a fair few poorly pieces today.
That's a good, clean break, isn't it?
But these specimens have to be the oddest yet.
Owner, Gerald Wiebkin, has over 200 in his collection.
Any ideas yet?
Ceramics restorer, Roger Hawkins, is one of the best in the business
and is probably more used to working on priceless Meissen vases than curious creatures like these.
Well, aren't these fabulous items?
I wonder how many people actually watching this programme
will realise exactly what they are?
They really are fun.
So, you tell me what they are and where you got them from.
They're stone hot-water bottles.
I bought these particular ones on the internet.
But I have a collection of somewhat over 200.
That sounds impressive!
I believe they're English, although there is some suspicion
that they might possibly be European.
Well, you were right first time, Gerald. These are English,
produced in Derbyshire by the world famous Denby Pottery,
and typical of the brightly coloured pieces they became known for in the 1920s.
-A little bit of damage on them.
The term fish-and-chips springs to mind! You have the chip here, which
is certainly the most unsightly of the damage I can see.
Little nibbles all over.
Is it possible to colour the stopper?
I think so, yes. I think I can do that.
Once Roger has resuscitated this colourful pair, they could make £250 to £300 each.
But how much will it cost to restore them?
I think, with your agreement of spending around £150,
having those chips repaired so they no longer
become fish and chips, just fish,
and colour in the stopper, I think we can reinstate the value.
So you're happy to go ahead on that basis?
Yes, that would be lovely, yes.
They would be wonderful for my collection.
In this condition, each hot-water bottle could fetch £40 to £80.
Roger is charging £150 to fix the chips and colour the stopper.
And once restored, these fish could net £250 to £300 each.
But this treasured pair won't be swimming off to auction.
Once restored, they will be taking pride of place in
Gerald's collection, assuming Roger can make them prize specimens again.
Coming up - that Frederick Daws oil painting has an eye-opening surprise for Lucia.
There is something else underneath and I can't work out what it is.
'And will our St Bernard find a new owner when he's unleashed at auction?'
£500, I start the bidding.
Our restorers are on a mission to revive and rejuvenate your worn-out lifeless antiques.
But imagine looking after treasures on this grand scale.
Built in the 16th century by Queen Elizabeth's Treasurer, Sir William Cecil,
Burghley has amassed an amazing collection over the last 450 years.
Now looked after by the very, very great granddaughter
of the first Lord Burghley, Miranda Rock.
One of my principal roles here at Burghley is care of the works of art.
Obviously there is a balance to be struck between making things
accessible for visitors and making sure they are well protected,
and the constant programme of conservation that we agree at the start of each year.
And when it comes to conservation, be it paintings,
furniture or the house itself, Burghley is in safe hands.
We are very fortunate to have the space and, instigated by my parents,
the opportunity to house a group of very expert restorers.
It has been very supportive to the house.
The first person to come here was probably Mike Cowell, who is a picture conservator,
and he has obviously worked extensively on the collection over the last 20 or so years.
We can now call on a furniture restorer if a piece of veneer
falls off and it's stuck on by the end of the afternoon.
Similar with tapestries. There is a silversmith.
We have a blacksmith now, which is wonderful.
It has been hugely successful and I hope it continues for a long time.
We couldn't resist tapping up Burghley's gold and silversmith, Barry Witmond,
for a bit of advice on this next piece.
With an incredible 40 years' experience, he should be able to shed some light on this
glamorous 19th century French clock acquired by Mick Beech.
What can you tell me about this clock that you've brought?
Well, I originally took it in part-exchange for a car that I sold.
-What car was it?
-It was a very old Ford Escort.
-Not as old as this.
The gentleman couldn't afford the final payment on the car,
so he said, "Would you take my clock as a final payment?"
-Well, I think you did very well.
-But all that glitters isn't gold.
This is a French Ormolu clock, that's bronze with a thin layer of gold on the surface,
and it has seen some tough times.
The cost to restore this, I feel,
would not get your money back.
It has already cost Mick £250.
It would cost £200 to repair and only fetch £250 to £500 at auction.
So it's a classic case of when not to restore.
And Mick is going to keep it.
If this is working, enjoy it.
Or if you wish to sell it...
then you'll still be in pocket.
The fact that you swapped it for an Escort,
I think this is a better deal!
The car is no longer running!
Back in intensive care, our restorers are patching up
today's casualties using a good dose of elbow grease.
As you can see, this is more involving than if I just had to clean and wax it.
Everything from this morning's clinic that can and should be restored is undergoing surgery.
But sometimes a more controlled environment is needed.
Remember that loveable St Bernard rolled up for 47 years?
Well, Lucia couldn't risk losing any more of that paintwork on-site,
so has taken it back to her studio for some delicate treatment.
But this dog is guarding a secret.
Do you see this sort of green paint which is underneath this?
The underneath paint layer, which is nothing to do with this dog at all.
Whether that is a completely different painting or whether it is
just the artist preparing the canvas or whatever, I actually don't know.
Canvases were pricey, so many artists reused them,
covering one painting with another to save money.
Whatever is hiding behind our St Bernard has forced
Lucia to use synthetic rather than traditional water-based filler,
which won't work on oil paint.
-And talking of fillings...
-I use a dental tool.
The end of it is like a little miniature spatula,
and it actually is very thin and quite flexible.
And this is what I use to actually start filling the losses.
And there are hundreds of cavities.
All these teeny, tiny losses have to be filled. Every single one.
And this is the easy bit, apparently.
Next, she has to emulate the original brushstrokes and that's before retouching.
Once the gesso fillings are dry, then I'll have a look at the surface again and start
working on it again with the gesso to naturally put some texture in the surface, where it needs it.
Because we don't want smooth, flat fillings because they'll just show up.
And as you can see, there are quite a lot of losses on this,
so it's going to take me quite a few hours to do them all.
Someone else putting in a tireless performance
is furniture restorer, Rod Titian.
He has been working on that charming music cabinet, brought into Burghley with badly-filled holes.
He couldn't treat it on-site, so he took it back to his workshop,
where he has a special glue to make a hand-made filler.
It's based on traditional recipes that were made up around the 15th century.
I'm going to pour a section of that into the gesso powder.
And just turn it around to pick up the actual gesso itself.
So you can see, it's starting to stick to the solution that I put in.
I'll just pop that into my hand.
And mix it around.
Turned grey with a touch of watercolour, he gently applies it
on top of the old filler.
When you're filling, you need to make sure that the surface
is as flat as possible.
Now flush, the repairs to the top won't be as noticeable.
But this is just the overture.
When you're trying to match colours,
you need to be conscious that obviously a black is never a black.
It could be slightly redder, slightly colder, slightly more ambery.
The colour here is quite cold.
It hasn't got a rich kind of black coming off it.
It's quite a deep black.
Rod's a maestro but he will need all his years of experience
to match the original ebonised finish.
Roger has been busy colour matching, too. He had to take the Denby stoneware
hot-water bottles back to his studio to rid them of their chips.
I've decided to fill the chip with this
epoxy resin filling material.
And I've coloured it a little pinky
to help match the surrounding colour.
It's something I like doing because it helps the painting process.
It makes my first layer of paint blend in very, very well.
And I'm...rubbing it down with this wet and dry paper.
There are very, very fine polishing cloths we use, but I also cut them
in various widths so that when I'm rubbing down,
I'm only rubbing down the actual area of the chip itself.
If I use a larger piece of paper, such as this,
I might, although I'm rubbing down the filler, I might be
rubbing down and scratching the glaze at the same time.
You really need a skilful eye to make such delicate repairs.
We just have to make sure that the filler is absolutely level
with the surface and there is no dips.
In fact, this little piece, there is an area here
where I haven't put quite enough on,
and I can feel the dip
from there to there.
So I've got to put a little more of the filler on there, just to build
it up a little bit and then sand it back again to perfection.
So that that filler thinks it's part of the tailfin.
And not until then will it be ready for painting.
It's precision stuff and Roger won't settle for anything but the best for these beauties.
They really are an amazing thing. Imagine pulling back your bedcovers
and finding a pink cod on your sheets.
Particularly if you didn't know it was there. That would raise a laugh, wouldn't it?
'You're right there, Roger.
'And we've certainly had a few here at Burghley today,
'where our Restoration Roadshow is sadly drawing to a close.
'It's been a wonderful day and, thanks to our team of restorers,
'a whole host of worn-out treasures will live to see another one.
'Some are going home, like that charming Victorian lyre cabinet,
'and those quirky Denby hot water bottles.'
I've seen a few hot water bottles in my time,
but I've never seen one shaped like a fish.
While others are off to auction, like that Frederick Daws oil painting.
Hopefully, it will charm its way to a good price.
Come on, it's worth more 700. We know it's worth more than that.
But first, my favourite bit. It's time to reunite our anxious owners with their precious heirlooms.
-Remember that shabby Victorian music cabinet?
When we first saw it back at Burghley, it looked more rock'n'roll than classical.
And Rod has had his work cut out resurfacing the top.
Time to see if all his hard work has paid off.
There we go.
That's not only a restoration, it's a transformation!
Well, I'm glad.
I'm absolutely delighted. Absolutely delighted.
It has an elegance.
It does! It's a nice, elegant, ebonised piece of furniture.
Before, this ebonised cabinet was spotted with old filler,
had scuffed corners and missing mouldings.
Now, with its scars filled, sanded and polished,
it's a musical masterpiece again.
-I'm more than thrilled.
-Brilliant, I'm glad.
That is always the best reaction for me.
A bit of a pause at the beginning and it had me worried.
I think I was a bit speechless, a bit taken aback.
Because knowing the condition that it had been in...
-..And then suddenly seeing it brought back to life.
It's very nice.
Brilliant. Well, you're welcome. It's a pleasure, it really is a pleasure.
What a satisfying result.
This really is a beautiful piece and, thanks to Iona and Rod,
it will be enjoyed for generations to come.
But will Roger's exotic fish be looking a healthy colour, too?
Owner, Gerald, brought the early 20th century stoneware hot-water bottles along to our
Restoration Roadshow covered in chips and getting rid of them
has been a real labour of love for Roger.
-Are you looking forward to this?
-I certainly am.
Oh, it's fantastic!
-You've done the stopper.
-I've done the stopper.
Before, these stoneware hot water bottles were suffering from
bumps in the night and had stoppers that stuck out like sore thumbs.
Now, there's only fish and no chips, as Roger promised.
Colour matched to perfection, this unusual pair can be enjoyed in all their glory.
So, are you happy with the new colours on the stoppers and how I've matched them up?
I think they're absolutely marvellous. I think it's really great.
I should imagine the colours on those was quite difficult to match.
Actually, matching the colour is not that difficult.
It's actually getting the effect that that colour gives.
This is a very translucent glaze so you can still see the colour of the pottery underneath.
That's the difficult part. And on the fin,
getting the stripes of the colour, getting that effect is tricky.
It's wonderful because that was quite badly damaged.
Yes, all that entire surface was just chipped away.
-So, another happy customer?
Yes, indeed. It's a fantastic result.
-Thank you very much indeed.
-A pleasure doing it for you.
Well, Gerald is hooked and so am I.
These really are quite a catch and will no doubt take pride of place in his collection.
Fingers crossed the owner of our flaky St Bernard painting is as thrilled with his makeover.
It's auction day here at the auction house and the 800-plus items listed
in today's sale have attracted plenty of eager bidders.
They obviously love their antiques but are they dog-lovers, too?
Time to find out.
Remember that Frederick Daws oil painting rolled up for 47 years?
Well, Lucia has been doggedly filling cracks in its surface
and I can't wait to see what a difference all the hard work has made.
And neither can owner, Graham.
I'm full of excitement, really.
-Are you really?
-Yes, I am.
Good. Let's see if we can make you a happy man, Graham.
Look at his face.
She made a good job of that. A very good job.
I'm very pleased.
There's nearly as many tears in his eyes as I've got!
Before, this tired, early 20th century painting was cracked
and peeling and left on top of the wardrobe to gather dust.
Now, with its many holes filled and its colours radiant, this lovable old fellow has been
given a new lease of life, and it all down to painting expert, Lucia.
-Do you think she has delivered?
She'll be delighted. I'll phone her later and tell her because she'll want to know.
And what we want to know, of course, is just what the buyers think of it
out there. I have to say that in its present state,
I would describe that as a very desirable dog.
Yes. I agree.
And the robin is not bad as well.
At first, this neglected painting was worth maybe £300 to £400.
Lucia rescued it for £695.
And we estimate it could exceed £1,000 today, given the right buyer.
Graham doesn't want to re-home his faithful friend for anything less,
so has put on a £1,000 reserve.
If you're interested in buying or selling at auction,
you will have commission and other charges to pay,
so be sure to check with the auction house.
Everything that has been restored will be noted in the catalogue,
like our oil painting, that's next to go under the hammer.
How is the...
I could hear something banging! It must be yours.
Mind you, mine's giving you quite a good run for its money.
Frederick Thomas Daws, a St Bernard in the kennel, watching a robin.
Oil on canvas. Frederick Thomas Daws, lot 1636.
£500, I start the bidding, oil on canvas at £500.
Take 20 anywhere? 520.
550. 580. 600.
£600, I'm bid. 20 anywhere? 620. 650, 680. 700.
Come on, it's worth more than 700. We know it's worth more than that.
Unsold, I'm afraid.
It looks like you've got yourself a robin and a St Bernard.
And it goes without saying that you might have wanted them to go,
but they did not want to leave you.
They didn't want to leave.
Well, I realise it's stating the obvious but they just weren't the right buyers in the room today.
That's auctions for you. Sorry to say. Nothing wrong with the price.
Nothing wrong with the valuation.
You know, it's worth the money.
The fish just weren't biting.
-So, it's going back up to your part of the world.
Any thoughts on where you might be putting it?
It will go on the wall now, instead of on top of the wardrobe.
So, Graham and his St Bernard won't be parted just yet.
And if anything deserved saving, it was this sad old rescue dog.
And having had him restored, Graham can now enjoy his company for the first time in 47 years.
That's money well spent in my book.
So, join us again and see our restorers' skill being put
to the test and more items being saved and given that second chance
here on Restoration Roadshow.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Series devoted to saving treasured heirlooms from the scrapheap, restoring them to their former glory and maybe even making some money at auction.
As people start arriving at Burghley House with a motley collection of antiques and heirlooms that have definitely seen better days, it soon becomes clear that the restorers are going to have to be on top of their game.
Picture restorer, Lucia Scalisi faces a beast of problem when she needs to nurse an F Daws oil painting of a St Bernard back to health. But despite all her efforts, will the restored picture prove top dog at auction?
And Lucia isn't the only expert feeling the pressure. Repairing a badly damaged Victorian lyre cabinet originally used to store sheet music calls for a virtuoso performance from Rod Titian. And Roger Hawkins has to pull out all the stops when it comes to reviving some unusual fish-shaped stone water bottles.