Jane B (knally) wrote,
Jane B

A bit of antiquity

The 24th episode of the the current series of the Antiques Roadshow has just been shown, and it's from Winchester Cathedral. And if you have very sharp eyes, at about 10 and a half minutes in you can spot me in the crowd behind the jewelled dragonfly :-)

My sister and I attended the event in September last year. The series has always been a favourite of mine over the years and since my sister (another fan) was visiting while it was being shot we decided to go along. We were a bit stuck about what to take at first, since I don't have many antiques! But then I thought of the watercolour I bought over the Isles of Scilly a few years ago, a view of the steps in Tresco garden. It was painted in the early 20th century by one of the family who lived on Tresco, and I bought it in an exhibition they were holding to raise money for the upkeep of the gardens. So we packaged it up with blankets and set off in the afternoon when it was dry. We didn't fancy waiting in the rain and since we were outside for a couple of hours it was just as well we were later. Once we were inside the wait was more interesting since the line wended its way around the various stands and displays - hence my ogling at the dragonfly. Although, I wasn't an official ogler. When they have a piece that's going to be shot, they ask members of the crowd to stand round and look interested.

ARTicket It felt strange seeing all the experts from the show, they were celebrities but also quite familiar after all these years. Since we came in towards the end of the filming the experts, specifically David Battie in our area, who had finished with their queues, were casually wandering about doing on the spot valuations. The first stop for the queue was the Reception desk which was staffed by valuers who you don't see on the show, but who can tell you if it's worth queuing any longer. The valuer who looked at my painting recognised the view immediately since she was a Scilly visitor as well. While you're waiting calls are sent out for any areas where there are no queues - for example, there wasn't much Silver late on in Winchester. When you get to the desk you get a ticket to a new queue for your item. It's probably a good idea not to take completely different items or you'll end up queuing for way longer.
The Paintings queue was very long and several other experts were helping out on it towards the end of the day. It's worth mentioning that although the experts are specialised, many have a good working knowledge in other areas. So I first showed my watercolour to Eric Knowles, but he wasn't completely sure of the value, and passed it on to the paintings expert, who I think was John Foster on this occasion, but it wasn't the main one that we tend to see - Rupert Maas. He valued it at the price I bought it for, which I was actually very pleased about since I believed I'd probably paid more than it was worth to support the garden. He also said the colour was really good, and rather than buy another antique item it would be worth paying to get it re-glazed with museum quality glass to maintain the colour. So, good advice, and lots of interesting behind the scenes viewing.


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