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Program 110


Hudson Leisure center, Wisbech, CambridgeshireHighlightsLocation

Host Michael Aspel and the ANTIQUES ROADSHOW UK experts uncover some major bargains in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, including a mourning ring made of horsehair, a Clarice Cliff lotus jug, and a Royal invitation collection.

Horsehair mourning ring appraised by Geoffrey Munn

Mourning ring "They're astonishingly rare," Geoffrey Munn says of a hair ring. "It's an extraordinary survival. Hair is one of the things that can be taken from a human being that never perishes and, for that reason, since ancient times it's been used in jewelry." Some black horse hair in the ring helps Geoffrey date it to 1760 and he thinks it may be a mourning ring. These rings normally survive only in museum collections because of their fragility. He admits that it's rather odd to be excited about a ring which doesn't have "a single piece of precious metal in sight," and tells the owner that "it's a great, great joy to see it." He also gives her the happy news that her £1 ($1.50) ring is now worth 300 times as much, or £300 ($450).


Clarice Cliff lotus jug appraised by Eric Knowles

Lotus jug A tag-sale bargain which cost £1 ($1.50) turns out to be a Clarice Cliff lotus jug. When it was bought it had been given a white emulsion, and so the owner was only attracted by its size. It was only after she turned it over that she saw the name Clarice Cliff and realized it wasn't what it seemed. Eric Knowles is obviously impressed. "If I was to say the value at the moment is somewhere between £600 to £800 ($900 to $1,200)," he quips, "you couldn't by any chance tell me where this car-boot sale is, could you?"


Royal invitation collection appraised by Clive Farahar

Royal invitations "We seem to have an almost full house here of all the Royal residences," says Clive Farahar, looking at a collection of Royal invitations collected by the owner's step-grandfather, Mr. Woodward, who was the chief librarian at Windsor Castle in the 1860s. Apart from invitations to all the great events, there are notes from Queen Victoria and also a delightful sketch titled "Princess Louise and Miss Vower, in the distance B.B. Woodward and Mr. Roland." There are albums full of extraordinary items, such as a check signed by the Duke of Wellington and letters from John Ruskin, Florence Nightingale, and Charles Darwin, and many other famous Victorian figures besides. Clive says the whole collection could be worth between £5,000 and £10,000 ($7,500 to $15,000).


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