Thursday, 16 June 2011

Remember that the most valuable antiques are dear old friends

I've just had an interesting time at the Antiques Road Show...

No, I DIDN'T see Fiona Bruce. I think they only wheel her out when the sun's shining.

It was one of those once in a lifetime experiences that you look forward to and then think 'Well, that's crossed off the list, thank goodness. Never again.'

Think queues. Very British queues, four or five hours long, of people being stoic and making cheerful conversation in the slashing rain. Think blue plastic ponchos. I have one. Now. It was free.

So...I queued for nearly two hours (we arrived early) with my terribly valuable and interesting framed Napoleonic glass cameo, possibly by Desprez, with tiny letter stuck to the back of the frame dated 1850, saying that this was presented by the Archbishop of Rouen...see below, getting his cardinal's hat.


...brother of the ArchChancellor of Cambaceres, who was Napoleon's right hand man, by all accounts, and created the Napoleonic code that forms the basis of the French legal system.

He's the one on the left, next to Napoleon.

The cameo was a present to Dr. Golding Bird, a famous medical scientist who, amongst other things, invented the flexible stethoscope...


So I thought it was Quite Interesting.

The only trouble was, I knew a lot more about it than the expert.

The expert very much liked my hair. In fact, I think he found it more fascinating than my cameo.

Perhaps I should have asked him to value that instead?

BUT, I had a lovely time with my very specially good friend Tessa and her dad, Mr. P, who is ninety years old and as fit as a flea. We toured the gardens and house at Hever Castle, and fed the ducks and watched a line of tiny frogs, dozens of them, making their way along the base of a wall to the lake. And we had ice-cream.

All that made my day one to remember. Forever.