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Program 108

Barnstaple

North Devon Leisure Center, Barnstaple, DevonHighlightsLocation

ANTIQUES ROADSHOW UK's visit to Barnstaple in North Devon turns up a plethora of interesting items, including a wonderful collection of walking sticks once owned by the Duke of Windsor and some dating back to 1700, an octopus bag made in 1860 by Native Americans in Canada, and Lawrence of Arabia's pilot watch.



Collection of walking sticks appraised by Tim Wonnacott and Henry Sandon

Walkingstick "It's a lovely cross-section you've got here, I hardly know where to start really," says Tim Wonnacott when faced with a large collection of walking sticks, "but perhaps we might go with the earliest one, which is, I guess, probably about 1700 or 1720." This one has a lovely Malacca shaft and an ivory terminal with wonderful bits of silver inlay known as pique work. Tim also admires a beautifully carved, molded horn mask in the shape of a horse's head with a silver racing bridle. One unusual stick is made of the vertebrae of a ray and another contains all the necessary equipment for an alfresco letter. The most expensive one was owned by the Duke of Windsor, and Tim thinks that the whole collection of 200 is worth £60,000 to £80,000 ($90,000 to $120,000).

 

19th-century octopus bag appraised by Keith Baker

Octopus Bag "How on earth did this end up in Barnstaple?" asks Keith Baker when he sees an octopus bag made by Native Americans in Canada around 1860. The owner found it among her mother's possessions but has no idea of its history. These bags were made by the Metis, a tribe created by intermarrying between the trappers and the Cree Indians. The skin is caribou and the decoration of local flowers and plants is done with silk and particularly nice beads. The embroidery is so fine that it must have damaged the sewers' eyesight to make. Keith thinks it is "absolutely wonderful" and values it at £3,000 to £4,000 ($4,500 to $6,000).

 

Lawrence of Arabia's pilot watch appraised by Simon Bull

Pilot watch The owner of a First World War pilot's watch gets a shock when he's told that it belonged to Lawrence of Arabia. "Good God. To be truthfully honest, I always thought he was a fictional character." The owner bought the watch at a bric-a-brac stall in South Wales 20 years ago and hadn't realized that the "T.E. Shaw" on the repair bill that came with it was in fact better known as T.E. Lawrence. Simon Bull guesses that with the Lawrence connection the watch would be worth £5,000 ($7,500), or maybe even £10,000 ($15,000). "I'd better get it insured then!" says the owner.

 

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