Series devoted to saving treasured heirlooms from the scrapheap. Eric Knowles and his team tackle a 400-year-old painting, a Victorian Noah's Ark and two broken 1930s figurines.
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I'm Eric Knowles and I'm surrounded by people with broken antiques.
They're here to see if we can give them a new lease of life and maybe make a bit of money along the way.
Find out how much on Restoration Roadshow.
We've come to imposing Chatsworth in the heart of the Peak District
for today's Restoration Roadshow.
It's a grand setting for a fascinating programme, and I'm really excited
about what's been arriving through the gates here in sunny Derbyshire.
It's a beautiful piece of walnut, it just oozes warmth.
But what everyone wants to know is, are they valuable?
If I want to go and buy one of these,
the price tags are in the sort of £4,000 to £5,000 bracket.
Are they worth cleaning up and restoring?
It would be quite nice to have it restored and then pass it on to my family.
-15, 18, 20...
-And will the restoration add to their value...
-..when it comes to auction?
Coming up on today's programme, remember the biblical story with animals coming in two by two?
Well, these creatures have had a rough journey.
Some of them are in desperate need of a vet.
It looks like this Victorian Noah's Ark needs a miracle.
And could this 17th century gent be related to the painting's current owner?
It's hard to tell beneath all that grime.
It's not city dirt.
Oh, no, what have we here?
Two headless 1930s ladies.
Can we revive them, and will they make some money at auction?
We've got lots of bidding on them.
This 450-year-old estate is home to the Duke of Devonshire, and this elegant 18th century
cascade water feature makes a lovely backdrop for our restorers.
They've really got their hands full today, with broken furniture,
cracked pots and damaged paintings.
Elizabeth Wilbur and Nancy Pulley have brought along
a charming and unexpected piece of history.
I don't mind confessing that, of all the Bible stories I read as a boy,
the one that filled me with total dread was the story of Noah's Ark.
The minute I read it, I was keen for my dad to build one,
just to be on the safe side.
I know for a fact that in this case,
this is not a toy that you've been playing with at any stage.
I believe it's from the local museum.
Yes, this was donated to the Bakewell Old House Museum.
What sort of date has been placed on it?
I thought it was Victorian, but I'm told it's Edwardian.
Well, here's a bit of controversy, because I don't think it's Edwardian for a minute.
I think it's very early Victorian, and the reason I say that to you
is because the later Victorian ones were actually printed with designs.
I've got my eyeglass here,
and if I look very carefully at the decoration,
that is definitely painted, which is a good sign, a nice, early sign.
These are going to be period, whereas these fellas here are not.
The reason being... Whoops, there you go.
These are carved wood and these are metal.
These may well have been made by a firm in the 1920s or the 1930s.
But they are very vulnerable, because first of all,
the animal's legs are very thin sticks of wood, basically.
Let me just tell you that if I wanted to go and replace this today,
I would struggle to find one of this period
-with this many animals for less than £2,500 to £3,000.
Yes! Yes, yes, yes!
It's important for you to know that.
I thought it was a tatty old thing.
But as I said, I think that your animals are in desperate need of
a veterinary surgeon.
Our vet is really a master restorer.
Rod Titian learnt the art of gilding from his dad at just 14.
He specialises in decorative pieces,
some of which can be found in Kew Palace.
Wow, look at this.
Lovely. OK, it's museum, so the first thing that strikes me is that
it's not going to be restoration, it's going to be conservation.
We're going to conserve and preserve what's there
just to hold that for future generations,
which means that what we're going to be doing is quite minimal.
I'm just going to be looking at the structural aspects.
Straight away, I can see there are gates that are hingeless
and some that are hanging off hinges.
The lid is loose here, isn't it?
It's going to need a tiny bit of work on the bow over here,
-which has come away. Is it popular?
Very popular. It's the most popular toy with children, they love it.
So no pressure for me, then?
OK, talking of money, do you have a budget that you want to keep to?
-Yes, it's 300.
-Right, okay, £300.
Well, this is the kind of piece that you could spend
a fair bit of money on, depending on how far you go.
I'll see what I can do, and I always aim to make people happy.
-Now Rod, I can see that you're allowing yourself to become
emotionally attached to this object, aren't you?
Unfortunately, these things happen.
No pressure, Rod, but as long as it can leave here
in a seaworthy condition, that's all that matters, OK?
-I'm sure we can do something about that.
-Take it away, captain.
Even though it's looking a bit seasick,
I think Noah and his Ark is now worth around about £1,000 to £1,500.
Rod's going to fix the gates, touch up the boat
and secure the roof for £300.
If he manages to do all that
and this Noah did go to auction,
I reckon it could fetch
up to £2,500.
But it'll call for some delicate brushwork
if Rod is going to make everything shipshape.
More and more people are turning up today
with tricky challenges for our restorers.
I think there's a bit of veneer work
needed on the inner panel here, I notice.
The top has the usual scars of slight misuse and neglect.
Oh dear, two headless figures.
But has Roger bitten off more than he can chew
with Vicky Shore's tragic ladies?
Roger Hawkins has been in the antiques trade since the 1970s,
and is one of the leading ceramic restorers in the UK.
So if anyone can rescue these fair maidens, it's Roger.
So, two Doulton figures.
This is the bridesmaid, and what's the other one you have?
A seated lady, also minus her head.
-Two headless figures.
So what's the story behind this, how was it broken?
Well, they initially were passed from my grandmother to my mother,
and unfortunately my mum was looking after my daughter one day
and she decided she'd like to have a little look,
as four-year-olds do,
and she went in there and the shelf on top fell down onto these figures
which were below and decapitated the poor ladies.
Well, let's look at this one first, Theresa. Do you know anything about these?
-Do you know what these numbers here mean?
This HN number, from that we can get a good approximate date of it,
so this would be around at 1938, 1940, maybe.
Is it something that, because you've inherited it and it's sentimental,
are you going to keep it?
No, they're not my style, they're not the style of my home.
My mum would have said,
"Sell them and buy something that you like."
Which is a good idea, yes.
On this one, the head is off and the little part of the settee
at the back has broken off.
To restore that would probably cost around £120, that sort of figure.
Restored so that it looks absolutely perfect, then that would be,
I suggest, around £400, maybe £500.
So spending £120 on having it restored certainly is quite viable.
The bridesmaid figure is something which is not as valuable as this one.
To restore this one would probably be in the £70 region, to put that back,
and I think in auction, that would probably fetch around £100.
So is that something you would like to go ahead with
and put them in auction?
Yes, why not? Absolutely.
Bang on the nail, Roger.
Headless women are a bit of a non-starter these days,
and in this state, these two are worth little more than £100.
Roger's estimating £170 to restore, and I do think his value is spot on.
Frankly, I reckon you would be lucky
to get more than £400 at auction.
But first, Roger has the delicate task
of making those necklines irresistible.
Rather him than me.
Coming up, a 400-year-old painting.
One of the simplest materials
to clean the surface of a painting is saliva.
Not particularly ladylike, but if it works...
Find out how Rod's coping with that battered Victorian Noah's Ark.
And poor old Roger has a case of metal mania on his hands.
Unfortunately, rivets are a rather unsightly,
invasive technique for restoration.
Plenty of antiques have found their way to Chatsworth.
This is a trench map from the First World War.
Lots of you seem to have objects cluttering you're homes,
gardens and garages.
Well, I like that. That's quite ancient, isn't it?
And some of you are simply looking for restoration advice,
like George and Jane Bakewell.
We are quite attached to it, we've had it a long time now.
Is he somebody that's been in your family for a while?
It was a bit of a joke, actually.
We had fairly recently moved into an old house,
and when we had redecorated it, I said,
"We need some ancestors to hang on these walls."
And some time later,
my husband came home and said, "I've found your ancestor."
So did your ancestor come cheap or did he come at a price?
-We paid £3,000 for it.
Do you know the artist concerned?
It has always been attributed to
Cornelius Jansen, otherwise known as Johnson.
Cornelius Johnson was a 17th century English painter
famous for his portraits.
I don't think this chap is looking too bad for his age,
but after 400 years,
he might appreciate a little bit of skin care.
Time to call in the expert.
Lucia Scalisi was a senior conservator
at London's Victoria and Albert Museum for 12 years.
Since then, her restoration work has taken her across the globe,
from Calcutta to Georgia.
What about this portrait?
What can you see that is really needing your attention?
First of all, it's a fantastic portrait,
and I can see straight away it's had some restoration treatment in the past, which is probably 19th century.
In terms of what's happening on the surface, it's fairly obvious there are a lot of scuff marks
and scratches here, they're the matt areas. What I'm proposing to do today
is a superficial cleaning of the surface dirt and then a revarnish.
What will happen is,
the re-varnishing will re-saturate all these scuff marks,
and if I just wet those areas with my swab here,
this area down here which is quite damaged,
if I wet over it, you can see it wets out the surface
and a lot of the scuff marks will disappear.
Some of the scuff marks are very deep gouges in the paint there,
so paint is actually lost from those areas,
and there's nothing I can do about that today,
because that's quite a major conservation treatment.
But certainly today, we can improve the whole surface.
What sort or money are we talking about to do this job?
Sort of £250, £300?
-Yes, I think that's OK.
It's hard to give an accurate valuation for this painting,
but it is a handsome piece
and I think currently worth around about £2,000.
Lucia is going to give it a clean for £250-300.
If proven to be by Johnson,
you're looking at nearer
the £8,000 mark.
Hats off to any man like George who'd buy his wife a painting.
I only hope my other half's not watching.
I reckon a few hundred pounds on restoration is money well spent.
But what will Lucia uncover
when she gives this chap a 21st century facelift?
Many items you bring to our roadshow need serious attention.
If you want to save an object for future generations,
it's more about sentiment value than auction price.
But for those of you wishing to sell,
the cost of restoration can sometimes be simply not worth it.
Linda Tinker has turned up with some plates
that are definitely showing their age.
So, three what look like Derby plates. Where did you get these from?
In a box from auction with other things.
Ah, the famous box of miscellaneous.
-And do you know anything about these, about Derby,
their date etc, and value?
I've looked it up and they date to about 1903.
Spot on. You can see you've got an impressed mark there,
which says 3-02, so we know it's 1902, 1903, quite easy to date.
What do you want from these plates?
Are they something you hope can be restored?
Well, just to see what could be done with them.
Obviously, they have already had some restoration,
and whether it would be better to leave them as they are
or to have them re-restored, if you like.
Unfortunately, rivets are a rather unsightly,
invasive technique for restoration.
They're certainly an old repair,
perhaps not long after they were made,
and they used rivets in those days
simply because they didn't have the glues available
to glue porcelain.
The plates themselves aren't hugely valuable,
but like this in this condition, they're almost worthless.
What do you think of their value,
assuming they're in perfect condition?
I would have thought £100 to £150.
Yes, probably nearer £100, I think,
because they're very, very collectible.
Sadly, they never will be worth anything like that now.
The time involved in taking all this apart and putting it back together,
there's quite a few hours work in doing that,
so you're probably looking at something in the order of about £50 a plate.
As much as I hate this ugly rivet repair, Roger's got it right.
They're not of much value at the moment.
Restoration would cost £150,
and after that they'd probably
only reach around £100 at auction.
But Linda's keen to see if they can make her some money,
so we'll find out later how they fare.
Coming up, Roger's decapitated 1930s ladies prove a bit headstrong.
The first problem you have is when you put the head back on,
it keeps falling off.
Lot number 90 is the Royal Doulton figure...
So, will a suitor come forward when they go to auction?
Remember this fantastic Noah's Ark?
It's a much-loved toy at the local museum,
but it's taken quite a battering,
so Rod's been painstakingly painting and piecing it back together.
At the moment, I'm just putting back a tiny bit of the colour
on the bow where it was missing.
So, where the paint has actually come through
and you can see the white underneath, which is the substrate,
I'm just putting back a bit of the colour.
And because this is more a conservation job than restoration,
I'm not really improving it to how it was when it was first made.
All I'm doing is just putting back a bit of colour to
take the eye away from the areas that are disturbing.
Obviously, it's very hard not to go overboard.
You have to really reserve yourself
when doing this kind of conservation work.
OK, I'm going to leave that because I don't want to overdo it.
It still looks old and as if I haven't touched it.
The fact that it still looks as if it needs a bit of work is perfect, as far as I'm concerned.
And it's not just Rod who's been working the paint pots.
Lucia is uncovering the true character
of this handsome 17th century portrait.
The best thing to clean a painting with is something we all have -
although using it is a challenge for experts only.
One of the simplest materials
to clean the surface of a painting is saliva.
One of the problems with using saliva,
which is quite a complicated mixture of enzymes
and collating agents and amino acids,
is that you can't clean a whole painting with it
because you actually run out of saliva.
So Lucia uses artificial saliva made up of a chemical enzyme,
but what is this concoction actually removing?
The dirt that's coming off this painting is general dirt
from any household, really.
It's not city dirt. City dirt is a completely different colour,
a completely different texture, much greasier, much greyer.
It's not nicotine, so whoever has this painting doesn't smoke,
which is rather nice. It's just households dust and dirt,
years of it hanging on a wall.
But you can get an idea of what it's going to look like
once it's been cleaned and revarnished.
You really get a good saturation of the colours,
you get a much better idea of how it's meant to look
than you did before,
when it was just covered in this sort of smoggy veil of dirt and dust.
And once this veil has been lifted,
will this 17th century fellow make Jane swoon?
All will be revealed later.
Coming up, what will Elizabeth and Nancy make of Rod's new home
for Noah's animals? Are you ready?
With no end of broken antiques turning up today,
our restorers have been working their socks off.
It just needs to very slightly ping and you've lost it,
you have to start again.
And for Roger, putting these two Royal Doulton ladies
back together again
is proving a bit of a headache.
The first problem we have is,
when you put the head back on with the glue,
what are you going to do while it's setting,
because it keeps falling off?
So we have to do something, we have to balance it while that head
is resting. So, we have a very, very easy solution.
We just put it into a bowl of gravel at an appropriate angle,
so that when we glue it on
it rests perfectly in alignment.
Let's have a go at mixing the glue, and the good thing about this glue
is that, as you can see, it's a water white glue and it never yellows.
Then we just coat the glue on to one surface. Never both surfaces.
That then goes into the gravel at that angle I've predetermined,
and that head should now
just rest on there.
I will just give it a gentle, sustained pressure,
and I'll leave that now.
This glue is slow setting,
so I would leave that for, ideally, about 24 hours before I touched it.
Roger has to repeat the same time-consuming process
for the other figure before carefully packing them up
and returning to his workshop,
where he has special tools to fill the cracks and paint the joins.
It's a fiddly job, Roger,
but I can't wait to see the ladies looking their best,
and hopefully the buyers will love them when they go to auction.
Back at the roadshow, it's the bit I enjoy best.
All our restorers' hard work is hopefully about to pay off.
It's fingers crossed as we return the restored treasures
back to their owners.
-Oh, that's fantastic.
-The bubble's gone.
Rod's been working on that lovely Victorian Noah's Ark,
and it's about to be relaunched.
To use a biblical quote,
I think we're about to experience "revelations", I think.
Looking at your faces,
-there's a certain amount of anticipation, yes?
Shall we reveal all?
-Let's get on with it.
-Let's do it.
-Are you ready?
-We are. There we go.
Oh, it's magnificent!
Go and have a play.
Oh, my goodness!
It's just lovely to see the gates on.
I'd like to keep it for myself, actually, take it home!
Maybe you could take it in turns.
Before Rod got to work the Ark look shabby and a bit leaky,
but now it's totally transformed.
He's repaired the gates,
fixed the roof and touched up the paintwork,
while carefully conserving the weathering acquired over the years.
So how do you think your museum committee
are going to react to you going out and spending £300?
Could you think of a better way of spending it?
No, I could not. I think they'll be absolutely stunned
and it will get pride of place in our museum.
The beauty of this, as I have said earlier,
it's conservation, so it's preserving it.
What I've done is make it look like it still needs potential work.
-It is so much better.
-Thank you ever so much.
You're most welcome.
It has been a pleasure working on it, it really has.
-That's even better.
-And from our point of view,
it's good for us to know that when we leave Chatsworth,
we're leaving behind a vestige of what this programme's all about,
and that's giving pieces like this
a new lease in life.
Rod's performed miracles.
Meanwhile, Lucia's been hard at work
trying to uncover the true beauty of this 17th century oil painting.
Are you excited about seeing your painting?
I'm excited, but I'm horribly nervous as well!
All right. So, we will do a reveal and let's see what you think.
Oh, my goodness!
That is so different.
You can see his hair,
his clothes, he's even got a sparkle in his cheeks.
That is amazing.
I couldn't agree more, Jane.
Before, the painting's surface was dull and lifeless,
the details on the poor man's face and coat
hidden beneath 400 years of grime.
But no more.
The veil has been lifted, the warm colours and fine brushwork
are clear to see, bringing the portrait vividly to life.
We can now see this proud 17th century fellow in all his glory.
Thank you very much for all your hard work, I really appreciate it.
-It's a beautiful portrait.
Lucia's done a great job, and I think this handsome gentleman
wouldn't look out of place hanging here at Chatsworth.
Our restorers have had a truly interesting and challenging time
here in Derbyshire,
and hopefully they've been able to put a smile on quite a few faces.
Here are some of the treasures that passed through their skilled hands.
The Victorian animals are safely on board, much to the joy of the museum
that will preserve this Ark for future generations.
Lucia delighted us by giving this 17th century chap
a wash and brush-up.
He'll take pride of place in Jane's sitting room.
Coming up for auction,
we have these unrestored Crown Derby plates, rivets and all.
And what will Vicky say when she's reunited
with her 1930s headless ladies?
Will they find any admirers when they go under the hammer?
It's auction day at Bamfords in Derby.
The place is buzzing with people all keen to see what they can bag today.
Do remember that auction houses charge fees and commission,
and everything that's been restored will be noted in the catalogue.
But before we can begin, it's time Vicky saw her Royal Doulton ladies.
She's with her daughter, Holly,
the culprit responsible for the damage in the first place.
-There you are.
You can't see the join.
That's fantastic, absolutely fantastic.
He's even repaired the little flowers.
You just can't tell.
It's an extraordinary transformation.
Once, these pitiful ladies were in pieces,
their pretty heads lying helplessly at their feet.
But now they're intact,
they look fabulous and they can hold their heads high.
Roger has really done us proud.
Before he got to work, these ladies were of no great value,
and while Roger's ingenious restoration work cost Vicky £170,
it means that these Royal Doulton figurines,
now being sold together, could fetch £400.
But not wanting to let the ladies go for nothing,
Vicky has put a £300 reserve on them.
Lot number 90...
And now their number's up.
There we go, they're being held aloft.
-I have got lots of bidding on them.
It will start with me at £270.
At £270, 280 now.
At £270. 280, 290, 300?
300. 300. We've gone to 300.
-290, where is he?
I can't see, I'm looking hard...
-All done at 290.
-No! £10 more!
-Come on, one more bid.
-Those remain with me.
At 290, that's just so near yet so far.
-Not to worry.
I'm not heartbroken, no.
-You're not heartbroken?
-Absolutely not, no.
At least they're two girls that may have lost their heads,
-but they've got their act back together, haven't they?
Well, you can't win them all.
-But it's not all over for us just yet.
Next to be served up are Linda's three Crown Derby plates.
They're unrestored as Roger didn't think they were of much value,
but surely she'll get a few bob for them.
Here we go, we're off.
We've got three of them, we don't him to hold up three.
-£30? 20 then. £20 is bid to my left.
-Where is he going? Come on.
-At £20 and two now.
-20... He's got 20.
-At £20 and two do I see?
Come on, boys and girls, lets get it up. Come on, auctioneer.
£20, 405, thank you, sir.
Well, it's hardly a king's ransom, is it?
No, but not a bad result.
No, it is a result because they sold, didn't they?
Yeah. I got them for nothing so we've not lost anything.
They were in a box of assorted items at the bottom, so a result.
Well, no real high-flyers today, but no shortage of satisfied customers
whose antiques we've saved from the scrapheap.
Until the next time, it's goodbye from 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.
In today's engrossing instalment of the show dedicated to saving family antiques and heirlooms from the scrapheap, picture restorer Lucia Scalisi takes a 400-year-old painting by Cornelius Johnsson under her wing, and a local museum sends out an SOS call to save a fantastic Victorian Noah's Ark. But will Rod Titian be able to work a miracle?
Ceramics guru Roger Hawkins also has his work cut out with two delightful 1930s figurines. Unfortunately an accident means they've become headless horrors and Roger will have to work wonders if they're going to catch the eye of the bidders at auction.