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Biddulph Program 113
Biddulph
Biddulph, StraffordshireHighlightsLocation

When the ANTIQUES ROADSHOW UK stopped at Biddulph in Staffordshire, experts discovered a marvelous mix of items, including a remarkable collection of ship's documents that were saved from a fire, a genuine Constable sketch, and a handkerchief that Queen Victoria gave to the lady who strung her pearls.



Ship and cargo documents appraised by Clive Farahar

Ship and cargo documents A collection of ship's accounts and books full of details about the sale of slaves, an auction of stolen bounty, and details of sailors' wages are the things "one dreams of finding," Clive Farahar says. He thinks the accounts are gruesome, yet fascinating. There is a document dated 1778 listing the sale of 234 slaves for a total of £6,906—a lot of money in those days. Also, something unusual: an auction catalogue of the bounty stolen by the Essex—which was obviously a private ship of war—such as sugar, coffee, and tobacco. Incredibly, the owner's father managed to rescue these documents from being burned 50 years ago and they're now worth around £5,000 ($7,500).

 

Possible Constable drawing appraised by Phillip Hook

Possible Constable drawing "At last, an almost certainly genuine Constable on the ROADSHOW," exclaims Philip Hook. "Many people come into the ANTIQUES ROADSHOW saying 'I've got this Constable,' and so many people are disappointed." However, Phillip believes this sketch is an early Constable done when he was training to be an artist and studying with the watercolorist John Thomas Smith, probably in the 1790s. The owner bought the sketch in 1971 in Suffolk—a nice connection as that's where Constable came from—and she is delighted to think it might be genuine. Surprisingly for a Constable though, it's only valued at £1,200 to £1,500 ($1,800 to $2,250).

 

Queen Victoria's handkerchief appraised by Marc Allum

Queen Victoria's handkerchief A lady brings in a handkerchief with the cipher "VR," which Marc Allum says denotes it as belonging to Queen Victoria. He wonders how she came to have one of the Queen's handkerchiefs. The owner explains that her great aunt used to string the pearls for Queen Victoria and Queen Alexandra and, when she retired, Queen Alexandra gave her this box, which is supposed to be Queen Victoria's handkerchief box. So both the boulle-work box and the handkerchief would seem to have come from the Royal personage.

 

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