In the photograph below you can see the smiling faces of those who have volunteered to help restore the Abbeydale Picture House by painting one of the rooms.
Yes … I agree it is an odd way to start a piece about Charles Hanson’s Antique Road Show style valuations at the Abbeydale Picture house … But there is a method in the madness and I shall return to explain where this method has been metaphorically injected into the insanity.
Charles Hanson (off the telly … Bargain Hunt and Antiques Road Trip) is just as nice and passionate as he seems on the small screen and he brought this to the Abbeydale Picture House in December for their first free valuation day.
Despite weather having coated the floor with ice like glass a steady flow of people trotted through the door to have their items examined. We had some lovely pieces appear and Charles and gang worked their way methodically through them with interest and dedication. As I danced around with the camera trying to get images I picked up much as the experts revealed the hidden histories of the oddities and objects presented. One even baffled the experts …
One Item I am afraid I can shed little light on was described as “priceless”. The cheerful chap who presented this object politely asked if I would mind not taking an image as he wanted to keep it under wraps. I can describe it as an amazing piece which thrilled Vanessa Savage as she examined it.
One of our very own dealers presented three wonderful pieces which she had bought for a song. The price given was nothing to how beautifully exquisite the pieces were to behold.
These free valuations days (which now run monthly …. Next one Tuesday 9th January 2018 …. Can you believe it is 2018!!?) are not only a chance for people to reveal the secrets of the items that have been in the family for generations, but also for a good and worthy cause. Charles Hanson has arranged these events for St Lukes Sheffield, and should any item go to auction then the proceeds shall go to this worthy cause.
St Lukes care for those who are sadly terminal in nature. They aim to help relieve their suffering and make their quality of life as much as it can be. It is a wonderful cause for these events to help.
When I was invited to cover Charles Hanson’s Antique Roadshow style valuation day at the Abbeydale Picture House I smelled opportunity to solve a bit of a family mystery (Opportunity smells a little like marzipan …. Although it could be the Almond slice I was eating when I was asked … You can never be quite sure with these things).
One of my family Heirlooms is a bug broach, without mark but slightly exquisite in its design. It was rumoured to have been purchased by my Great great Grandmother in Paris in the 1920’s. When it was talked about there was always the hushed statement made that she had “married into money”. This was back in the day when a small mining town community girl did not frequently find herself transcending the social ladder.
Whether or not it was valuable was not important, it was the firmly held belief that it was purchased in Paris and this Marzipan scented opportunity (or almond slice) was a chance to solve the mystery. And they did … Apparently it was a Victorian era broach that more than likely found itself in one of the Paris flea markets which was common at the time … It was also something they would be happy to auction due to its uniqueness …. It was however returned to my Mum who was pleased as punch to know some of its history.
It was a wonderful day in a wonderful venue with some wonderful people and some wonderful items and for an amazing cause. It is lovely to think I will be there again to see it this coming Tuesday.
The weird thing is that I keep hearing that Antiques lose their value should they have to be restored. And yet I am reminded of the parable of the axe. If you inherit your grandfathers axe yet it has had both the handle and head replaced, is it the same axe? In its soul it must be.
The Abbeydale Picture House is an antique in itself and is painstakingly being restored to its former glory … And these guys painting it are restoring it to something like its former glory for us to enjoy.
Like the grandfathers axe it may not be the same, but it is still functional and it still retains its soul. The Picture house has its stories and tales to tell of what it has been and seen. And so do all those individual little items of the past that are lovingly examined by Charles and his team.
Hope to see you on Tuesday …
p.s. …. Just a personal thought … Do you not think Charles would have been a guest on Morecambe and Wise should those wonderful two still be on the telly? ….. Just a thought I kept having.