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Photo of series host Michael Aspel with appraisers Eric Knowles, Paul Atterbury and Henry Sandon.
Series host Michael Aspel (seated) with appraisers (from left) Eric Knowles, Paul Atterbury and Henry Sandon.

Well known British television personality Michael Aspel takes his place as Dan Elias' counterpart across the pond, hosting this lively antiques series from the United Kingdom.

A collaboration of WGBH's ANTIQUES ROADSHOW and the original BBC series now in its 24th season, ANTIQUES ROADSHOW UK is packed with flea market finds, heirlooms, and junkyard gems—many with a royal pedigree. ANTIQUES ROADSHOW UK boasts a lively team of savvy British appraisers and a delightful cross section of local citizenry.

ANTIQUES ROADSHOW UK has traveled the length and breadth of the United Kingdom, from Lochgilphead in the Western Highlands to Selby in Yorkshire, from Caernarfon in Wales to Wisbech in Cambridgeshire, not to mention Barnstaple, Biddulph, Birmingham and Blackpool. There are special open-air shows from Forde Abbey, Knebworth House, Cliveden and Eastnor Castle, while another program comes from Glamis Castle, childhood home of the Queen Mother. And the royal connection continues with a special Victorian ROADSHOW from the Victoria & Albert Museum to mark the centenary of the death of Queen Victoria.

At the V & A, a gentleman produces a silver bangle and a tobacco box by the celebrated silversmith Omar Ramsden, which he admits to having scavenged from a dustbin. Biddulph sees the first genuine Constable in the history of the ROADSHOW, a pen-and-ink drawing painted early in his career. In Selby, when two freemasons bring examples of pottery donated to their Lodge in York, Henry Sandon astonishes them by valuing their full collection at more than £250,000 ($375,000). While in Birmingham, a five-inch high bust is identified as a piece of 17th-century English delftware so rare that only a handful are known to exist; its value is approaching £100,000 ($150,000).

Paintings are well represented, with a work turning up in the V & A show by Petrus van Schendel, the most famous 19th-century candlelight painter, and worth up to £100,000 ($150,000); a fine portrait by Stanley Spencer brought to the Cliveden ROADSHOW by the subject's daughter; several works from the Newlyn School, including one by Harold Harvey worth £20,000 - £30,000 ($30,000 - $45,000); and a drawing by Kurt Schwitters, an important Dadaist and founder of the Merz movement.

Among the more surprising items is a WWI pilot's watch, whose owner is told that it once belonged to Lawrence of Arabia. "I thought he was a fictional character," he says, incredulously. Other unusual artifacts include: a rare "Octopus" bag from a Canadian native Indian tribe, worth £3,000 - £4,000 ($4,500 - $6,000); a 19th-century champion's boxing belt with a difference—it was awarded to a woman; and a £4,000 ($6,000) collection of jewelry legally salvaged by a lady running a council tip. "Yes, I found them in the rubbish," she says. "You have to dig deep or look in things some people wouldn't think about touching—and usually that's where you find the bits," she says.

About the United Kingdom

England, Great Britain, the "UK" ... are they all same? Not exactly, but it certainly isn't always easy keeping them straight.

Officially known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the country people often refer to simply as "Britain" is actually a union composed of four different political entities: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

For more information about the United Kingdom, see the CIA World Factbook at www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/uk.html

ANTIQUES ROADSHOW UK is produced for PBS by the BBC in association with WGBH Boston. Major funding for the series is provided by the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies.

 

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