Phew - what a day! We were rushed off our feet - as is always the case with Antiques Roadshows, and as I am finding out as the 'new boy'. I still miss the direct contact that I used to enjoy with both people and their objects on valuation days for both Bonhams and Sotheby's. This replaces the excitement of these events for me, so was fantastic fun.
The folk of Belfast are certainly collectors. Everything from Beswick to Murano to Titanic to Worcester passed through the experts' hands today. Not only are they collectors, but they are also wonderfully polite, warm and welcoming. I mention the Titanic as it was particularly important to our location - the Harland & Wolff shipyards where the great ship herself was built. Despite it being a warm and sunny day, there was a distinct, almost eerie, chill in the air when I first set foot inside the romantically abandoned building early that morning. As I have suggested, the visitors soon warmed things up though!
After a short, yet fast and furious, spell on reception I spent much of the day on my usual haunt of the Miscellaneous and Collectables tables. Did I find anything? I sure did! Something related to Elvis Presley left me feeling 'all shook up', as did some rather interesting toys that I rather wished I owned myself. The fate of these unwanted gifts would have been quite different if I had been the recipient as a child - or even today, I am ashamed to say.
If you want to know more, watch the BBC Antiques Roadshows on 11th or 18th January 2009 to see if they make it to the screen. In case you're wondering about the image, it's of Judith Miller and I peeping through the expert biography board on either side of our dear friend Steven Moore - where ever did our cards go? A swift pint of Guinness (what else...) with my colleague Eric Knowles in the famous Crown Bar rounded off what was a fantastic day for all - me especially.
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