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Saturday, 25 June 2011

An evening with Henry Sandon.

It's taken me a week to decide weather to post this or not, for fear of upsetting fans of Henry.
My dear husband treated me to a ticket to see An evening with Henry Sandon (of The Antiques Roadshow fame) along with Gerry Berwyn-Jones BA (Hons) of Bonhams auctioneers. (Sorry, no images of Gerry Berwyn-Jones)
Cotswold Auction Company - Mr Henry Sandon

(Photo taken from

I was really looking forward to the evening held to raise funds for the Historical church society and Katherine House Hospice, held at Brewood Church. (Pronounced 'Brood').  We were able to take up to three items each to have valued (which we paid extra for), and the main tickets included a glass of wine and canapes.  I arrived promptly with my three items and paid at the door for the valuations. 

                  I had taken, a 19th Century watercolour painting of 'Bridgland' in Wicklow Eire

A book/library press

(more about that later....)

                an autograph book that once belonged to my Mother in Law (of Tea Bread fame!)

I have passed the church on many occasions but had never been inside.  There are some most beautiful stone carvings behind the alter, but sadly I did not have any opportunity to take photos.  Should you like to read about St. Mary & St Chads church  click on the link and see photos.
Henry Sandon and Gerry Berwyn-Jones were over an hour late arriving due to the heavy traffic on Friday night.  The organisers had decided to amend the evening to suit as there wasn't enough time for both the valuations and Henry Sandon's talk, and so the valuations would be the talk.  Henry pounced upon the Royal Worcester and Flight & Barr pieces, and gave good details about them and of course the valuation.  Gerry Berwyn-Jones was mainly interested in artwork and silver.  There were some interesting things, and I was surprised that some of the lovely old pieces of pottery were almost worthless!  A gentleman had brought in a grimy painting that he had only purchased 48 hours before at a house clearance auction held locally for £30.  I cannot remember the name of the artist (sorry) but Gerry Berwyn-Jones thought it was painted by one of the 'Glasgow School' and if it 'checked out' after further investigation it was worth many thousands of pounds!
I'm afraid to say that I was most disappointed by Henry Sandon, who was quite rude about some of the things 'on the table', he seemed to be quite tactless.  He had bought with him some items that he passed around though, and one of them was a copy of the famous Ozzy the owl that was discovered years ago by Henry on the Antiques Roadshow.  I have seen the real one on display at the Potteries Museum in Stoke on Trent.  He also had a candle snuffer in his image holding Ozzy.  A Cadogan teapot with the faces of both Henry and John Sandon, Henry's wife Barbara demonstrated how it fills and pours. Barbara also held the reference books and looked up marks for her husband. Henry also passed around his 'Gotcha Oscar' awarded by Noel Edmonds (who he was SO rude about I couldn't believe my ears), which it seemed he had no finer thoughts for and asked if someone could break it as it was handed around - he wasn't joking either.
Gerry, did pick up my watercolour about four times but didn't talk about it or value it.  I have owned and loved it for about 15 years (it hangs in the stairwell on a north facing wall to protect it from sun-light), I had chosen it as (an expensive) birthday gift.
There was some flashes of  Henry's Roadshow personality during the evening, along with a few jovial comments.  The evening came to an abrupt end.  We were told that anyone who had not had their items valued could stay behind and speak to the experts.  I really wanted to know about my library press.  A plain looking Victorian item that I had picked up at a boot sale about ten years ago.  I'd spotted it and handled it, and asked the stallholder what was on the 'plates' in the press.  He told me the plates were missing, but I said no, the plates were there.  At which point he got quite shirty with me and said if I wanted it, it was £5.  Well, you have to barter a bit don't you?  I said I'd give him £3 as there were NO PLATES!  I think he was fed-up with me by that point and accepted my offer.  So off I trotted back to the car for a sheet of paper to put in the press, and guess what read:

Beeston Castle
L.M.& S. RY
Tel 28 Tarporley

It was only one from a railway station that had been closed by Dr Beeching!
He told me that normally they are worth about £15-£20 but as it is connected with the railway I could times it by 10 to 15 times :o) :o)

The little autograph book....My MIL was an avid fan of the soap Crossroads and in 1980 won tickets to meet the stars of the show past and present.  This was the Autograph book she took along with her.  All the stars that were in attendance signed the book for her, it was one of her treasured possesions.
Again, I didn't ask for the value, I was SO annoyed by some of Henry's comments (which I won't repeat on here) I   just wanted to get home.  On reflection I should have taken some of my Worcester and old silver items - maybe then I'd have had them valued?  There wasn't any opportunity to get any photographs - I think I'd have been escorted off the premises if I'd attempted any!

Hope you're having a great (dry) weekend!
Best wishes


My Spotty Pony said...

I love your watercolour, it is wonderful and I am so glad your press turned out to be worth so much more... what a find! As for Henry Sandon, I was also surprised at how rude he was at an Antiques Roadshow I went to here in Northumberland a few years ago. It just shows, all that charm is only for the camera!
We are promised sun tomorrow (forgotton what it looks like!) so hope it shows up where you live too. Abby :)

Fading Grace said...

He sounds like a pompous old windbag to me!!!! Some people just let fame go right to their heads.
What a shame xx

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

How disappointing, why do people have to act that way? I am sure you had really looked forward go going. The watercolor is beautiful by the way! Have a great Sunday.

Vintage Jane said...

The wonders of editing ... obviously we don't get to see him being rude on screen ... but now you've let the cat out of the bag! M x