IN THE COMMUNITY: Cockpole Green WI enjoy a valuation day

By Selina Avant

On Wednesday April 17th Diane Bush took her place at the President’s table for her first meeting as the newly elected President.

She welcomed members, guests, Angela Thomas and the return of speaker Simon Jones whose talk was entitled “Our own Antiques Roadshow”.

Two tables were on the stage, laden with members’ antiques; hoping perhaps for a high evaluation!

This is Simon’s third visit. He is MD at Jones & Jacob Fine Art and Auctioneers based in Watlington.

He has 45 years of experience, which held him in good stead as he examined a range of treasures on the tables.

Most of the objects had been in the member’s families for many years so each item, came with its own history.

The first one he looked at was a Sacha Doll, a very collectable item valued at between £60 to £70. An unusual item was a Masonic silver buckle belt.

The Royal Masonic Hospital, which was built near Hammersmith in 1933 awarded buckles to nurses who trained there between 1948-1996. The member, who was trained there received the belt in 1980.

Art deco bronzes were valued at approximately £500. He was intrigued by a paper mâché tortoiseshell snuff box, which came with an interesting story.

There was even a flintlock shotgun cartridge filler/ measure dating back to 19th century when black gunpowder was used. He valued it at £30.

Another unusual item was a military Police Truncheon valued at £30 to £40; this belonged to a member’s great uncle, who was a volunteer in the Special Constabulary in London. Apparently, her great Uncle, when he was part of the Police Force, used it at the famous siege of Sidney street in 1911.

He used a pocket magnifying glass to examine smaller jewellery items.

One diamond ring was valued between £3,000 to £4,000. He explained that gold was higher in value than silver, which made the owner of a gold 9 carat necklace very happy.

There were a few gold and enamel watches dated around 1886, which were 18 carat gold.

The largest item was a lovely large silver bowl which was, unfortunately, silver plated.

It was dated around 1929 having no hallmark so the value was only between £50 to £70.

There were some valuable pieces of Royal Worcester bone china. He was enchanted by a silver Victorian apple corer, with a handle made from a bone; he thought there should be a parer with it.

He estimated the value to be around £150; this was his favourite item of the day.

The members learnt that limited edition Royal Mint coins rarely increased in value unless they were gold. One member had a collection of Chinese coins, some of which were square with a hole in the middle, made of unknown metal.

He was very enthusiastic about a statue of a fisher girl, hand made in ivory with a value of £150 to £170.

Congratulations to our quiz team, Helen Perry, Ruth-Mary Vaughan, Sheila Brockelbank and Sue Griffiths who participated in the Berkshire WI Inter Quiz Night which took place at Knowl Hill Village Hall on  Tuesday,  March 26.

Our team  were the winners for East Berkshire!

Our next meeting will take place at Crazies Hill Village Hall on Wednesday, May 15 at 2.30pm, when guest speaker will the Headmistress of Crazies Hill School, Mrs Philippa Chan.

Her talk will be about the History of the Village School.

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Phil Creighton

Editor of The Wokingham Paper, and has worked in local journalism for more than 20 years including the Wokingham Times, Bracknell Standard and Reading Evening Post. He's also written for computer magazines, The Baptist Times and, to his delight and probably not yours, interviewed several Doctor Whos.

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