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Tuesday, 5 Nov 2017

University of 3rd AgeOne Woman Antiques Roadshow

Speaker: Sheila Antrobus

On Thursday 19th October, Sheila Antrobus wowed U3A Todmorden with her wonderful enthusiasm and knowledge as a one person Antiques Roadshow. 

Sheila’s task was to do a lightning assessment of small articles of interest that U3A members had brought in, tell us what she thought, and then suggest a value. Would there be any mega-buck items? Would there be an item of exceptional an unusual interest. We would find out!

Sheila introduced herself as a former secondary school teacher and lady golfer from Oldham whose passion is for antiques. She emphasised that she is not an expert, but has a fair few years of practical experience to be able to suggest a realistic sale value for many things. 

She told us what pushes up an object’s value is whether it is quirky and whether it’s in vogue. Currently, the fashion is for Art Deco, Art Nouveau and the Arts and Crafts movement.

Anyone who is a natural ‘chucker’ was advised to think twice before hurling out something they think valueless because it might not be. And ‘hoarders’ should sift through their stuff to see if there is anything that might command a good price. 

Whatever you do, check it, don’t chuck it!

So, without more ado, it was down to business and a trawl though our pottery. A Royal Doulton figurine attracted Sheila’s eye and led to a disquisition on the designer, Harry Nixon, whose early designs command a good price. Our article, alas, was worth a mere £75, and an Alfred Meakin trio a mere £10.

Several gold and silver items were adjudged probably worth little more than their bullion weight. Nevertheless, a silver sovereign case made in Birmingham would have got £55 on a good day, and a pair of solid bronze Victorian vases might have fetched £450. 

But it was quirky items that most caught Sheila’s eye. In particular she selected a wooden snuff box in the form of a pair of boots (£55), a miniature Art Deco camera made from plastic (£55), a Scottish silver brooch set with Scottish stones like carnelian (£75), and an unusual, fragile Victorian fan (‘must be kept in tissue paper’) at £75.

There were two curious guns, which Sheila confessed to knowing nothing about. But their owner told us that one was a stage coach blunderbuss with a flick dagger and the other a Naval Very Pistol.

By the end of her talk, Sheila had covered every item in the hall and told us a good deal about antiques in a hugely enjoyable, informative and entertaining presentation. A tremendous afternoon.

Our Vice Chair, Gill Radford, thanked members for their contribution to the afternoon and for bringing their membership cards as requested. The hearing loop and the video screen enabled all members attending to enjoy the presentation.

Other news includes a brief report of our Let’s Go group’s recent trip to Kiplin Hall in North Yorkshire, a Jacobean Hall now furnished as a Victorian home, and a visit to the lovely market town of Richmond with its Norman castle, Georgian architecture and large cobbled market place.

The Hall was built in the early 1620s for George Calvert, Secretary of State to James I and founder of Maryland, USA.  Baltimore, its capital, was named after his peerage.  Most of the furnishings and personal memorabilia belonged to the four families who owned the Hall, all connected through blood or marriage, between 1620 and 1971 when it was handed over to a Trust.  The house is filled with family portraits and paintings and the Rose Garden, the White Garden and Walled Garden have been lovingly restored. Refreshments served in the Jacobean Hall rounded off the day.

Let’s Go is one of our most popular groups and is provides members with both a social and educational (in the widest sense of the word) occasion.

U3A Todmorden’s next meeting will be held on Thursday, 16th November in the Central Methodist Hall in Todmorden at 1.45.  Our speaker will be Heather Davis whose talk is titled ‘Frogs, Firearms and Flames: Hazards in Modern Museum Collections’.

Our contact details are (website) www.u3atod.org.uk, (email) enquiries@u3atod.org.uk, or (phone) 01706 812015.

Many thanks to Anthony Peter for this report


Previous U3A reports on the HebWeb

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