The Antiques Road show is as popular as ever and hasn’t changed that much since its inception in the late 70’s as last Sunday’s episode revealed. The program attracts wider audiences and is comforting to watch on a Sunday night. Part of its appeal is that it brings people together in a gorgeous setting such as Castle Howard. But most importantly it makes the public realise that there are still finds, albeit less now, and beautiful items to be discovered that are sometimes astonishingly valuable.
Being in the antiques trade myself, I love watching it as the idea of quality and craftsmanship is always at its core whether it’s a diamond broach or a drawing by a well-known artist. The fact that some people really have an eye for the exceptional without knowing it is always awe-inspiring.
A letter by Charles Darwin, where he admits that he has made a mistake on the origin of species, was valued at £10,000. It is so great that people have kept and passed on these items from generation to generation. Particular in times where most of our communication is electronic… it makes me think.
Would you pass on a computer’s “hard drive” or would it be better to leave behind a letter or two, a piece of jewellery or an object to be remembered by?
Physical objects really bring back memories and make people share their stories. It is their emotions that are so attractive. The story of Ronnie Archer Morgan, one of the experts on the show, who was reunited with the puppet of Sooty that he had tried on when he was a young boy living in a children’s home brought a tear to my eye. He says of the founder of the hugely popular program Sooty and Sweep, “Harry Corbett sat next to me, and let me put these puppets on my hand. And I do often think about it, and how charmed I was to be privileged enough to handle the things that most inspired me, and made my world go around, Sooty and Sweep, when I was five years old”.
My husband Greg and I both have trunks where we keep our little souvenirs >and I remember we opened his and he found this TV fisher price toy that he had played with as a child. Greg’s face lit up when he saw the toy still worked and the music came flowed out. He then told me that his mum had a shop called the Toy Box where she would sell second hand toys and Greg and his brothers were occasionally allowed to go and choose something. Through memories you learn things about your loved ones.
Have you had the experience of finding something that had touched you as a child and brought these memories flooding back?
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Dear My Billet Doux
I have just discovered this fantastic website which you migt guess from my title is called "The world needs more love letters". The idea is simple but effective- you nominate a person you LOVE and you get the WORLD to write a letter to them.
I have just written to a girl named Lucy, who is 10 and is bullied at school for her looks.