Chatsworth Roadshow

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.

After a few drops of rain early on, the sun came out and the whole scene brightened – not least thanks to the gold-edged windows glinting across the landscape. Begun by the first Duke of Devonshire in 1687, the property is still the family seat and it really is a stunning place.


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.

Reporter Fiona Malcolm and photographer Mike Abrahams were in charge of tracking down the best Roadshow stories, so I was free to spend the morning with our lovely competition winners, Gillian and David Lauder from Northumberland (pictured above with presenter, Fiona Bruce). The couple entered our draw in April and had won a VIP day at the Chatsworth Roadshow, along with dinner, bed and breakfast at the acclaimed Peacock at Rowsley.

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! 

Find a Roadshow near you.

Natasha Goodfellow


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