tv Eyewitness News at 4 CBS December 21, 2011 4:00pm-5:00pm EST
we are quite secure. we serve our own community. this neighborhood needs us. all i say is, miss lane, what i've seen on me travels. the railway feeds some towns so that they grow fat and greedy. others are left to feed off the scraps. i've seen post offices die. i see. now, i'm not wanting to scaremonger you. i only wish to tell you so that you can look out for yourself. thank you. is that why you came back here? i told meself it was. truth is...
i was longing to see laura. but that's my mistake... 'cause she certainly doesn't want to see me. and who can blame her? i'm glad i came back, 'cause now... i know... i have to let her go. but you did let her go. there's letting go and there's letting go. i'll be gone from here soon enough, miss lane, and i'm not likely to come back, so i'll dare to say what's on me mind. perhaps this love of frivolity, this desire for mischief, perhaps a woman like you has too much responsibility. so many people depending on you. perhaps you need a little bit of nonsense
to ease the burden. ( indistinct chatter ) edmund: alfie, what you said about fisher bloom being in candleford, how it can only mean heartbreak for our laura-- that man is a troublemaker, and nothing more. my ma and pa in't here to do nothin' about it, so i have a notion. whoa! you and me, alfie, we'll go over to town, and you can tell fisher that, since it's mischief night, you're going to get me drunk. and when i'm drunk, i shall start talking, and i'll tell him. tell him what? the secret. i ain't followin'. ( brass bell rings ) a cake? for me? why? it is a new recipe, and since you have such a fine palette, i thought i might ask your opinion. you have never leaned on my palette before, miss lane.
well, tonight is mischief night. and how tasteless it is. i shall be in bed long before the moon is up. but isn't it good for us to indulge a little deviltry? i do so enjoy it when my neighbors play a trick on me. don't you ever wish you could take the opportunity to let loose with your own mischievousness? i have no wish to play at trickery, and... thank you, for the cake. excuse me whilst i attend to my customers. then let me put this cake in the back room for you. oh, how are you today? what can i do for you? ohh! oh, minnie! i'd forgotten it was mischief night. in't you got no pranks to play, laura? put that thing down, minnie. we must be patient. there are still lights on in the stores. ma'am, might i ask what it was that fisher wanted with you? i can understand how this must present quite a mystery to you, laura,
but i can assure you that what fisher came about does not concern you. but, ma'am, what else is there? i mean, i feel i have a right to know if he asked about my feelings or... i think you will find that the world does not revolve around laura timmins. i'm sorry, laura. that was rather more harsh than i intended. it is only your youth, i suppose, which possesses you with such self-concern. fisher has a true fondness for candleford, for all of us, and for this reason... how shall i say this? let me find out a little more before i trouble you with this matter. ma'am, i am not so youthful that i must be treated as a child, if i may say so. laura... don't be in such a hurry to grow up.
innocence is easily lost, but never regained. hm. laura, the whole town will be "mischiefing," and you'll be the only one at home being buttoned up. in't that extraordinary? ( passers-by laughing ) fisher! can we sit with you a while? mischief night is when boy chaps have their first drink or two, and it's got the better of young edmund. i in't drunk. i can stand up. i in't drunk!
miss pearl said she'd be gone to bed, mum, before the moon was up. she will, minnie, she will. candleford is the best town there ever was. i hope it doesn't ever change. it's good to see you again, alf arless. you're just as i remember you. never thought i'd see your face back here again. i've often thought of the friends i've made here. i envy what you have, alfie. nothing for a man like you to envy in a man like me. you're wrong, my friend. my life... i meet folks, get to know them a little, then, in a week or two, i'm gone. you have true friends. lifelong friends. you get to see them through life's milestones, like young edmund here tonight. what do i have?
passing acquaintances. what kind of man wants that for his life? but you have adventures. travel. master of your own days. not trapped by nothin', no one. sometimes that's a blessing. some days it's a blight. you sayin' you've had enough of the wanderin' life? sometimes an idea comes to your mind, and you don't know what's happening. it's just there. you don't ask for it. you might not even see it coming. but it's part of you. i have a secret. that no one knows. alfie don't know. edmund, you're drunk. miss lane don't know. let's not say anything else till you sober up again. i ain't a boy no more. i shall say what i know if i want to.
i heard laura talking to my ma. edmund, hold your tongue. let him talk. he's got something to say to me. our laura loves daniel. that ain't news, boy. there's nothing secret about that. and she's going to marry him. she's certain in her heart that she's found the one she loves. see, alfie? fisher bloom can pronounce all the words of wisdom under god's heaven. but i know nothing. i'm no more than a fool who learns too late what truly matters. you fellows best get going. i've work to finish, and i'd soon be left to get on with it.
come on. edmund, you head on home. i want to stay here a little while. i'll stay with you. no, i have a little bit of mischief of my own i wish to enjoy. mr. bloom. miss pratt. i have something i think you should see. if it's another broken watch, i'm not your man this time. it's something that concerns you. please, i promise you will be grateful for what i have to show you. ( brass bell rings ) sydney: are you sure it's okay? yes, she's gone in. let's go.
everyone knows why you have come back here, mr. bloom. what you ought to know is that your efforts are pointless. it is not yet public knowledge, but laura and daniel are already making plans. it's a fine thing that you should have such consideration for daniel and laura. your hopes will only cause you distress, mr. bloom. laura's future is... decided. perhaps too much consideration. i can't help thinking you're all of you trying too hard. a wedding dress cannot be denied. your hopes will only cause you distress, mr. bloom. i hear the message you're trying to get across. you want to push me down the road, and who can blame you? you two put the scarecrow in the window. i will keep watch here by the stairs. go on. fisher: what is it you fear so much? i ain't some demon come here to ruin the lives of decent folks. if laura had plans to marry,
it'd be the simplest thing in the world for her to tell me herself. why would she not? it'd settle everything. now i'm thinking to meself, if it was all as neat and decided as you'd like me to believe, then why would you be so desperate to get rid of me? your determination for me to go might just tempt me to stay. if you remain here, you will meet contempt from one end of candleford to the next. don't you worry your precious heart, miss pratt. i'll go, but not because i'm pushed. i like daniel. i care for laura. i leave because me conscience tells me that's what's needed. i'll go because i'm the creator of me own torment. good night to you, miss pratt.
i'm most grateful that you've remained here to see the job done. i hope that you will permit me to pay you a fair price for your work. daniel... i told you i wouldn't seek laura out. i didn't keep that promise. i saw you going into the post office. i went to see miss lane. but i did speak with laura. i tell you this because... whether i come or go makes no difference how she feels for you. you're a very fortunate man. i know it. then all that's left is... farewell.
i thought i would find you here. i saw the clock had stopped. someone's mischief night trick, i expect. how could i walk by? i'm sorry i was so angry with you, fisher. it's to be expected. it is. then why did you stop the clock? are you accusing me? you suppose i've done this to keep you here. i saw you going out. are you convinced you are that important to me? do you suppose i've been pining ever since you left? there are bushes and wildflowers
i know better than me own hand. the pond where the yellow brandyball water-lilies grow. the little birch thicket where the long-tail tits congregate. how can you remember that so well? here's why i came back. my memory of you didn't fade. it grew. i told meself, "keep moving. it'll pass. it's not like some blinding flash. it crept up on me. i'd find meself smiling, and i realized... i was thinking of you. do you suppose i want to hear this now?
it is too late. i know it's too late. and i accept that. but the clocks have stopped. at least this one has, anyway. it's mischief night. why did you go out, laura? what were you looking for? you will laugh at me. i know you will. i was determined to be frivolous. i was searching for something. i just wandered around. buttoned up. ( laughing ) don't you dare! it's not too late. the night's not over yet. dance with me. ( laughs ) no! oh, a fine idea! dancing's only dancing, laura-- showin' the world your cares are all in the past. in't there fiddles and drums in your head? don't you hear them?
come on, show the world laura timmins ain't buttoned up. ( both chuckling ) ( laura laughs softly ) i can't. this is wrong. what's wrong with a bit of light in your eyes, a bit of wild joy on your face? daniel is out there. i never know when you're playing mischief. folks want me to believe that you already plan to marry daniel. is that what you want, laura? who said such a thing? the closer you get to that moment, is it truly what you want? did daniel tell you that? not daniel, no.
( laughter ) ( miss pearl laughs ) i take it this is your handiwork, miss lane. i am glad you find it amusing. you're quite correct. mischief has its purpose. fisher bloom set out on the road last night. i watched him go. i hope you agree, this is a glad day for all of us. when i came into the stores last night-- i do not wish to conceal from you, pearl, i witnessed your encounter with fisher. let me apologize. i did not intend to spy upon you. i am sure that, in your mind, what you did was for the sake of daniel. if you're preparing one of your sermons on morality, miss lane,
spare yourself the effort. you yourself told me only yesterday that the sprite in all of us must find expression-- surely even more so when it is in a good cause. if what you did goes undiscovered, then you may achieve the ends you intended, but supposing daniel were to find out, what would it do to him? that is not possible. mr. bloom is gone. we will see no more of him, and there is no one left to tell daniel. perhaps my little ruse will turn out to be a premonition of the real thing. would that not be a great cause for celebration? we can consider ourselves fortunate, miss lane. we have had a near escape. mr. bloom has come and gone and left no lasting mark on our town. if only that were true. oh, laura, our conversation the other day-- what you said-- "it is not enough for me"...
i'm sorry, ma'am. i only meant-- i understand that may be so for you, but i would like you to understand that... it is enough for me. alf: whoa! minnie, i was in candleford last night. i know you was. i was looking out for you. well, i weren't looking out for you. it was a grand night all the same. alf arless, you ain't got no more heart than that bag of straw and rags-- and he's more handsome and all. minnie, i was wanting to tell you-- i don't want told! if i live my whole life long, i never want to meet a lump of a boy like alf arless ever again! ( crying softly ) daniel.
i'm so glad to see you. will you do something for me? will you hold me? i am so sorry, daniel. the town clock has stopped. everyone's talking about it. seems like some mischief night prank. you don't think i did it, do you? laura, i know it wasn't you. daniel, i'm so confused. i don't want to hurt you, but i must ask you to be patient with me. for us. what are you saying, laura? isn't it inevitable-- the shock of fisher coming back here? it's bound to...
i have tried. surely you can see that i have tried to cast these thoughts out of my mind. what a pity it is that you must try. i'm trying to explain to you that it is distressing. it's confusing. i can see that, laura. but if you loved me-- truly loved me-- you'd have no room in your head for these thoughts. let's call them what they are-- doubts. you want certainties. life is not like that. i am human. i am here telling you the truth so that we might come through this. can you not see, laura, what fisher coming here has done to us, done to me? i look at you, and i wonder,
"is she thinking of him?" you went to see him in the clock. yes. i watched you. so every day, i will wonder, "does she want to go to him now?" and that is why i stopped the town clock. you? i wanted to know, laura. i wanted to find out if he stayed, what would happen. and now i know. daniel, please, it is only doubt-- i mean confusion. it is confusion. i am confused. and i'm clear, laura.
we are all a curious mixture of good and bad. our best hope is to live and to act so that we do not look back with regret. don't expect me to treat you with courtesy. why was that? laura knows what i offered to her. i'm here. if i asked you... to marry me... me and you, minnie, we're just impossible. margaret: she does seem so naturally at home here. we must not allow ourselves to think such thoughts. he wishes to buy the candleford post office from me. he'll keep the staff on. but i will be cast out of my own home. he's bent on finishing you. we cannot outmaneuver him. we must outwit him.
the fifth earl of dumfries was a military man... a proud scot, and a huntin', shootin', fishin' enthusiast. whose passion for lady mary douglas, the daughter of a friend, led him to this-- a surprisingly feminine and highly fashionable house for the time. the earl's efforts to win his bride left a unique legacy. it resulted in the most important collection of chippendale and scottish furniture from the mid-18th century. the fifth earl didn't have the taste for all of this. he relied on architect robert adam, who was part of a great scottish rebuilding program, making and creating contemporary palladian mansions. dumfries house became the hotbed
of cutting-edge design from thomas chippendale's director catalog. this is the best collection of that style you'll ever see. with his ever-quickening pulse, the earl visited chippendale, and took quite a fancy to his sinuous, "s"-shaped feminine designs, with their coquettish curves and come-hither flaring. this table and chairs cost £85 and were placed here for after-dinner card parties 250 years ago. and they haven't been moved since. the earl was so intoxicated with his designer house that he also employed the best of scottish furniture designers, who produced a rather more masculine look than chippendale. the earl of dumfries built his home for love of a woman, and then she rejected him. well, he was 40 years older than her. and then the old earl's exuberance took another knock.
in 1762, when the house was completed, chippendale's elaborate decoration furniture immediately fell out of fashion. but it's not all bad news. the earl did find a young wife for his home. and what remains is a picture of a style of living and furniture design from the mid-18th century now worth millions. what makes it so special is that nothing has changed, until last year when disaster almost struck. in 2007, the contents of dumfries house were very close to going under the auctioneer's hammer. everything was catalogued, tagged, and ready for sale, when a charitable trust headed by prince charles stepped in and saved it for the nation. and now everyone can see it. and i'm delighted to say that prince charles will be joining us here at dumfries house to tell us more. but now, despite the gray skies, the people of ayshire are keen to meet our experts
for this week's roadshow. well, this is a charming little cabinet. do you know anything about it at all? not a thing. really? not a thing. okay, so, is it a family piece, or...? no, no, no. i bought it at a house sale 15 years ago. right, and how much was it then? do you know? £300. well, that was a good buy. well, i've always thought so, because i really love it. well, that's good. it-- it-- it is a little italian cabinet. oh, it is? cabinets themselves came in in the early tudor period, really, into england, but they really developed in western europe, and the name actually lent itself to its purpose, and essentially, it was a little architecturally motivated thing. a piece of furniture, sometimes huge, sometimes even smaller than this, and this is where a gentleman would have hidden his latest-- ah-- his latest purchase. his latest object of art.
now, inside here, you see it's quite plain, isn't it? originally, there was a complete compartment which went inside there which would have little mirrors and probably a little inlaid floor, rather like an inner hall, okay? yes. that was the cabinet, and in that cabinet, he would place his latest object of virtue, or object of art. a little jewel. that was his cabinet piece, and he would show it to his cabinet friends. only his closest associates. and that's where we get the word "cabinet" in government from. ah, okay. the closest associates, right? mm-hmm. anyway, it is, i think, uh... around the sort of 1700s, 1720, that sort of period. and it uses ebony and ivory in this amazingly delicate pattern. you see these shapes, right? they're figures in black, right? mm-hmm, yes. there will be another little cabinet like this, with a single, simple door,
with those reversed. so the figures will be in ivory, and the background will be in ebony. just as we can see here. and there it is. so, you have the ebony, and then you have the ivory figures, all of which are delineated and etched, and then they rubbed lamp black into them, and that made them stand out in black and white like that, okay? uh-huh. fabulous little thing, but even without its center-part, i think you did very well with your £300. you think so? yeah. um... i should think you'd probably earn 'round about £2,500 on it. what? yeah. that's amazing. ( laughs ) ho, ho, that's amazing. yes, certainly. wonderful. i'll come shopping with you next time, shall i? ( laughs ) i went to buy-- i went to buy a lawnmower at this house sale. you did? no, i bought this instead. oh! ( chuckles ) your husband sent you to buy a lawnmower.
well, he had me-- seeing i was going to this house sale, he said, "our lawnmower's just about had it." you needed a lawnmower, yes. and so you came back with that. yes. he must've been really thrilled. oh, thrilled? he was absolutely amazed. i'm sure he was amazed. ( laughs ) yes. well, i'll tell you what, if you'd bought the lawnmower, that would've been worth a fiver today, so this was the better buy. of course it was. thank you very much, indeed. thank you. wonderful. thank you. now, we see a few bunnykins figures on the roadshow, but these are such lovely ones. you have to explain to me how you got them. they belonged to my mother-in-law. my father-in-law bought them with his bonus money, and he went home with 'em, and she was so disappointed, because he didn't have the money. he came home with the bunnykins. is it something that she didn't like, or...? oh, no. well, no, she had them in display, and any kids that went in always got ahold of them, but i mean, they're relatively in good condition, i think, so... the condition looks great. i mean, do you know anything about bunnykins figures?
no. they were first sort of thought up by a chap called cuthbert bailey. and they were modeled on family members by his daughter, barbara vernon baily, and made by royal dalton, circa 1935. and, uh, she later became a nun, so, but-- where that kind of fits in. but modeled on family members-- you imagine sort of what they looked like when you say that. the condition and the quality of them is really quite lovely. i mean, do you have them on display now? no, no. they've been in the bottom of the wardrobe for the last 10 years. well, that probably explains the condition, 'cause a lot-- a lot of them are damaged. i mean, you'll have chipped ears... mm-hmm. and a lot of the bunnykin figures are obviously a lot smaller. i mean, these are the best examples... yeah, they're quite-- that you could get, really. and, uh, so, value-wise, uh... i mean, £1,000 or so. each. each? each? ( laughs ) each. probably even that's probably a bit mean.
you could, say, if you put them in, they could make £3,500 for the three. really? they're the best of what you'll get, yeah. that's amazing. it really is. this is a very distinctive piece of painting. i look at it and i know that it can only be by one artist, which is edward atkinson hornel, who comes from kirkcudbright, which is just down the road. isn't it? correct. that's right. do you know quite a lot about him? well, the background is that... my mother's father, my grandfather, was a tailor in kirkcudbright, and he made the suits for hornel. hornel's suits. hornel was known not to be a regular payer of bills, so i understand. and once the bill got to £50, my grandfather really insisted that some payment had to be made, so instead of payment, he gave my grandfather this painting. quite typical of a lot of artists not to be able to pay their bills.
but he's an interesting artist because he was born in australia in the 1860s and came over here to scotland, and studied in antwerp, and came back, and was really one of the glasgow boys. but what i find so interesting about him is that he went to japan in 1892 and, uh, was very influenced by the painting out there, and came back, and a lot of his pictures of that period, which is his best period, had japanese girls in them. this one here, we've got a typical work by him. very colorful. almost psychedelic, in a way. and do you know who the models are? have you any idea who they were? yes. these two girls were almost best friends with my mother, and they used to play in the woods-- in these woods. they're called paradise woods, outside kirkcudbright, so, they were known to my mother. do you know the names of the girls? we do actually have the names of the girls, on the back. it's mary and ella. that's really wonderful to know. so, now when i look at these, i'll be able to recognize them in all those other pictures. ( laughs )
it's dated down here, um... 1929. and he died in 1933. his best work, to me, was in the sort of 1890s, 1900s, and he tended to be very repetitive in his subject matter, and slightly went downhill as he got older, and i suppose, when one has to put a value on this, i'd say that it was worth certainly £12,000 to 18,000. good. which is quite good for a late work, but it's a very, very nice one. good. lovely. thank you very much. thank you. you brought along a selection today of objects very scottish, but local insofar an that collectively, they get known as mauchline ware. uh, mauchline-- m-a-u-c-h-l-i-n-e. yes. and a village no more than how far from where we're actually sitting? about 8 miles from here, and in the 19th century, and a pair of very brilliant brothers who worked in a quarry on the river
developed the idea of producing boxes. but the interesting thing is, all this work here is referred to as mauchline ware, but in fact, the town of cumnock really pioneered it, and that tends to be forgotten. and here we are, on the edge of cumnock, with this great house saved for the nation, and some of this work here is a real example of the creativity of cumnock in the early 19th century. well, i'd like to add, um, uh, probably two more names-- victoria and albert... yep. because of course they popularized anything scottish. what is more normal for me is to find this type of object, which is, uh-- you can see it's in a pale wood, and in sycamore. and, in this case, it's actually been printed with a design, one one side, you've got floors castle, and on the other side, you've got kelso. um, and these are things which, even today,
it's fair to say are relatively affordable. 'cause i know that i could go and buy something like that for-- for maybe £50 to 80. that, obviously, has got to appeal not just to a tartanware collector, but obviously to, uh, to a visiting card collector. let's have a quick look at it, because that, i would have thought, is gonna be in the sort of-- around the £100 to 150 mark. now, the collection itself was put together by yourself, or...? well, my father, being an ayrshire man, couldn't resist collecting mauchline ware. and he really collected from before the war right through to about 1970. um, if there's one box in here that is special to you and was special to your father, which one would it be? well, i think this box is very interesting, which is a cumnock-made box. let me put it there. it's particularly interesting because the scene it depicts is a very famous covenanting scene. in 1685, highlanders, who absolutely terrified the lowlands,
came down to mauchline, they dragged three covenanters out into the town and shot them. oh, dear. and this is the scene depicted on this lid. so when it comes to price, do you know how much your father paid for them? no, i don't. i should think it was usually-- i mean, he was quite mean. i would've thought it was between sort of £60 to 100. he would never admit to anything more than that, which, you know, in the '60s was quite a lot of money. yes, of course it was. i mean, something like this today, i mean, it's importance-- damaged, yes. yes, but its importance has been spelled out, though, hasn't it? that-- i would suspect that that has got to be at least £500-plus to a collector. fantastic. thank you very much. well, just before enduring the second world war, the germans were mad keen on awards. they would give awards for almost everything you can think of, but in particular with the army and the kriegsmarine-- the navy-- and the luftwaffe, they gave away combat clasps for--
um, which were awards for when you fought, or when you saved lives, for example. and you've brought along a wonderful collection. a variety of combat clasps. where have you got them from? well, it came from my grand's brother who brought it home. he fought in the second world war, and he brought it home and gave it to his own mother, who then passed it down to my grandmother. and my dad has an interest in second world war memorabilia, and my grand gave this to my dad, uh, a couple years ago. well, soldiers are notorious for picking up souvenirs, particularly when combat has finished, and it's very likely that your great uncle was fighting, perhaps, just at the end of the war, when the germans were losing, and then when the germans surrendered, when all the prisoners were coming in, he was capturing lots of prisoners and looking after them.
it's very common for perhaps a british soldier to exchange a packet of cigarettes or bar of chocolate for a badge or some sort of souvenir, and some of the badges are very interesting. they're actually quite symbolic. this one here is, um, a high seas fleet badge, and this would be for the kriegsmarine, of course. very symbolic. look at this huge ship-- this great battleship plowing through the waves. the next one here is a blockade-breaker's badge. now, if you look at the badge itself, look how right around the edge you've got this chain, which symbolizes the british blockading the german fleet, you see. and how the prow of this ship is smashing through the chain, breaking the chain which symbolizes the blockade, you see. the blockade-breaker's badge. i have to say one thing, though. you've got lots of duplicates. so, i reckon he just didn't really care what he got. he just said, "i'll have that one, i'll have that one, i'll have that one." he must have had lots of chocolates and lots of cigarettes, mustn't he?
and it's all pinned to this nautical belt, this silver braid belt. and you've got-- how many have you got? you've got 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13-- 14, okay. you've got 14 combat badges. i reckon if you sold these at auction today, you'd get at least... at least... £1,500 to 2,500. goodness me. i can't believe-- i can't believe that. there's a label on this box which says, "clyde model dockyard." now, i know it as a maker of all kinds of, um... engineered models, whether they were yachts or trains or whatever. now, did you know the shop? clyde model dockyard? oh, yes. when we were kids, we used to go and get all our toys there, as well. we used to make model airplanes and use balsa wood, and you'd just stick them all up together again. it was a great place.
good quality shop. it's a good quality box. let's see if we've got something good quality inside it. off comes the lid. out comes the first bit of rail. well, now, first of all, looking at the bit of rail, it's a gauge one rail, which is 1/3 inches between the tracks here. so, that's a good sign. out comes the tender. nice-looking tender. i'm gonna ask you to pop that on the track. ( clears throat ) and... quite nice. "quite nice"? i love-- i love your talent up here for, you know, under-description. "quite nice," he says. this is... fantastic. please put it on the track, and i'm going to move the box away
so that we can see it in all its glory. and what else? in the box here, there are a few more bits of track, some bits of paper... so, this train i can date pretty much to 1906 to 1912. you can see the letters "g.b.n." in this sort of radiating lozenge here, and that's a mark that this particular company used from about 1906 to about 1912. and the name of the company-- the g.b.n.-- stands for gebruder bing of nuremberg. ah. so, interestingly, although it's in a clyde model dockyard box, they were just being retailers rather than the manufacturers. he obviously never played with it. oh, he did. used to run it in the garden. run it in the garden? the track was laid out in the garden so he could run it.
but it's completely perfect. there isn't one-- it must have worked out very well. he didn't-- it's never been repainted? no. how extraordinary. well, we can see that it's spirit-fired, so, it's a live steam train, fired by spirit, and here are all the accoutrements to fill the spirit burner. we've got the measuring jug, the little funnel, the oil can here. and so the burner was put underneath the train, and it would operate by live steam. it's a huge excitement for me to see a train like this. i suppose in over 30 years in the antiques business, i have never seen a better one. it is in fabulous condition. absolutely everything is there. it's one of the rarest trains i've ever seen, not because of its outline, but because of its condition.
my first reaction is to say, "well..." you know, "is it gonna be worth £5,000?" the answer is, certainly, it's gonna be worth £5,000. gosh, that's amazing. absolutely amazing. but i think in the right auction with the right buyers there, you could see it going for between 7 and £10,000. gosh, i can't believe that. ( laughs ) i really can't. fiona: all the ingredients of a roadshow classic-- a delighted owner, an excited expert. what a remarkable object. i reckon it may be even more cherished from now on. there's no doubt that one of the great bonuses for me on the roadshow is getting privileged access to some remarkable venues, and dumfries house is a bit of a jewel. now, you remember earlier on in the introduction i told you about the rescue mission to save this house. well, the support of one man in particular was invaluable.
prince charles spearheaded that rescue mission. recently i joined him back at dumfries house to find out why he felt he had to get involved. your royal highness, why was it so important to save dumfries house? well, the-- the-- the most important thing, of course, was the fact that it was an intact and unique connection, which is very rare-- to have a house that still has all its original furniture, and everything made for the house-- in this case by chippendale and those three great edinburgh furniture makers, matthew, brodie, and peter. i remember hearing about this house, and, uh, i knew there was gonna be a problem coming up, because, um, lord bute wanted to sell it. and all sorts of people who knew about it said it was absolutely magical, and i-- i don't know, i'm one of those people who feels that it's so important
not to lose something that is totally unique. so, i'm afraid i felt that we had to do something in this case, but you can imagine it was quite a challenge. and it must've been pretty nerve-wracking, wasn't it? because it was a last-minute reprieve in the end. oh, awful, yes. you see, i'd-- i'd heard about it 4 years before, but i did try a little bit to see if i could find somebody to-- to help. £45,000,000 is a hell of a lot to find. anyway, nobody was really interested. and as you know, the national trust of scotland sadly didn't-- didn't get anywhere, so, again, i thought, "well... nothing ventured, nothing gained," so i asked to see lord bute, and, um-- and then-- anyway, we gradually managed to-- to put something together, but it was absolutely last-minute, because i already knew that the pantechnicons, with all this furniture, had gone halfway down the motorway, and, at 1:00 in the morning,
the tele-- they got the telephone call, and they turned around in the motorway service station in canbury or something and drove all the way back. i mean, it was as close as that. we've had the privilege of filming in many of the rooms here at dumfries house. do you have a favorite room here? yes, i do. it's the, um-- the dining room, which i think is incredibly special. i don't know what it is. it has a really wonderful atmosphere, and the light, when it comes in, is very special. but also, the plasterwork is of such high quality, and that bassano painting, which is set in this rather beautiful frame. the whole thing, i think, has a-- again, a unique atmosphere. so, that's my favorite room. so, um, i think there were quite a lot of rather frustrated people who had their eye on all these bits of furniture. anyway, it just wouldn't have been-- can you imagine what would have happened to this house? it would have been totally denuded of everything.
and all the pelmets-- everything. and then we would've been back to the same situation that happens so often with country houses, where they would've become-- it would've become derelict, is my guess, 'cause they would never have found another use for it. and, you know, we would've been left with a crumbling ruin. fiona: and we'll hear the vision for the future of dumfries house from the prince of wales at the end of the program. meanwhile, back to the experts, hard at work in the gardens. well, david, you're the, uh-- i would say... you're the curator? no, i'm the caretaker of the house. i look after the house. well, having had a tour with you last night, i would have thought you're more the custodian, because you've been here some years now. me and my wife and that was left to look after the collection for the last 11 years, and we've looked after it just as if it's been our own, and, um, we really appreciate everything that's in the house. yeah. we would hate to see anything gettin' damaged or anything like that. we just love all the quaint things that's in the house.
well, it's a rare privilege to be with you, and also to be able to touch-- without white gloves on, just for a second-- a piece of furniture which we know came from the workshops of thomas chippendale. and you've actually seen the original documentation for this piece. yes, i've seen the original receipts for the furniture in the house. right, so, we know how much this cost? it cost 6 pounds, 8 shillings. £6-- and when was that? in 1759. what struck me, too, was we were talking last night about that-- that piece of timber, and the other leaf on the other side on this little table-- quite thin, but it's straight. it's never warped. now, it's never warped because the house has been allowed to breathe. yes. and that's what you've done. yes, you must open the house and let the air through. especially in the summer time. not so much in the winter, but in the summer time, the house must be kept at a safe temperature, and i think that's how the leaves in all the tables haven't warped, because-- nothing's moved. nothing's moved.
the chap before me, called dick freeman, he told me when the house should be open and when it should be closed. definitely an issue. and you just picked it up from there? i picked it up from there. now, this particular table-- it's quite severe. it's not what people think of as typical thomas chippendale. and yet it is from his drawing book. it was quite severe and restrained, but the proportions just have that edge to any other of the period. now, it was called-- is this a breakfast table, or a supper table, or a tea table? some of them made it a supper table. on the original receipt, it was called a breakfast table. right, a breakfast table it is, then. after all, they should know. and now, i think i mentioned briefly to you that sitting on my grandmother's knee, she would impart all sorts of bits of knowledge, some of which were pearls of wisdom, some were not. one of the things she told me was that, um, tables of this sort, with an open but enclosed compartment below-- this case with chicken wire, sometimes with, uh, chinese fencing type fretwork--
was to store the silver for breakfast or fine porcelain. now, you've got a better story than that, i think. well, the story i was told about it was all these houses had dogs in them, and they put their breakfast in there and closed it up, and the dogs couldn't get in to eat their breakfast in the morning. ( all laugh ) grandma, i think you've got a lesson to cover. well, who could possibly dispute such a practical story? whether or not it's true, it doesn't really matter. it happened in this house. um, it's of a pembrook type. you'll see them in most good, stately homes. of course, priceless. um... because there isn't another one like it. this is so fully documented. what i think is interesting is that whereas chippendale we think of as lots of scrolls, and rough leaves and things, here you've got pure gothic design in blind fretting. what a joy. and fancy living with this lot for 11 years. i'm-- i-- i have a pretty good job, but i'm envious.
i really am, and i think you've done a wonderful job, and continue to do so, and, uh-- i hope to come and see you again. thank you very much. thank you. thank you. now, this is what i would call a "love it or hate it" object. what do you think of it? well, i love it. i mean, i bought it 30 years ago, and it hangs in our home, and we love it. i'm not surprised. i'm glad you said that, actually, 'cause i absolutely love it. it's the most fantastic pietra dura picture i've seen in years. i mean, do you have any idea what it's made of, or...? well, i thought it was marble, inlaid marble, but i really don't know. pietra dura, literally as translated, means "hard stone." now, this is obviously like a souvenir piece from italy, and it sort of follows in the tradition of the grand tour, which you'd have taken in the late 18th, early 19th century. i mean, this is a later pietra dura picture, which i'd sort of date at sort of 1880. at the late 19th century, basically. um, but the quality of it is just mind-blowing.