Fiona Bruce, host
Every collector has to start somewhere with whatever object of desire captures their imagination. Here, we ask the Antiques Roadshow team, who this week visit historic Baddesley Clinton manor house in the West Midlands, to tell us all about the first-ever antique they owned and why it made them fall in love with collecting…
In the parlour was a sideboard containing a wooden box. I thought it was magical because it contained my father’s medals from World War Two, his air gunner’s brevet, his sergeant’s collect Victorian samplers. They were often embroidered in workhouses, mostly by girls, sometimes as young as six, to teach them useful skills should they go into service.
It’s desperately sad to imagine the lives of such little children in these miserable places poring over their embroidery – but the work they produced is so exquisitely crafted, they deserve to be loved.
I found my first one at an antiques auction, and although samplers of this era aren’t usually of great value, I did discover this one is worth several times what I paid for it. It’s made of silk and shows a map of Great Britain in the early
1800s with tiny, delicate stitches.
I’ve put it behind protective glass and hung it in a shaded part of the house. Every time I walk past, it gives me joy.
Istripes and his white air crew flash worn on his hat whilst training to become a wireless operator air gunner in 1941 with the RAF.
One day in 1969, my Grandma said: ‘You really like these, don’t you? If you promise to look after them, you can take them home.’
I was, and still am, hooked!