Collection of walking sticks appraised by Tim Wonnacott and Henry Sandon
"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
"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
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.