A ruby and sapphire-studded hawk, a ring dropped by a magpie and a slightly risqué statue of a faun – it must be another filming of the Antiques Roadshow. Yesterday the team and crew and thousands of visitors – over 2,000 by lunchtime alone - were at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire.
On a quick tour the evening before, we’d learnt all sorts of fascinating facts: how Father Christmas (ok, a lookalike) really did come down the chimney in the Painted Hall; how the mesmerisingly beautiful Canova sculpture of Endymion has a special finish to make him appear as if he’s bathed in moonlight (his lover was Diana – goddess of the moon); and how, quite extraordinarily, silver specialist Alastair Dickenson had once bought the very crown pictured in a painting of George IV hanging on the newly restored oak stairwell.
They got Fiona’s autograph, had a behind-the-scenes tour and met their favourite expert, Henry Sandon, who told them Gillian’s Deco tea service was worth around £100. Not bad for a £3 car-boot buy!