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Antiques Roadshow at Ightham Mote

PUBLISHED: 12:00 13 February 2016 | UPDATED: 12:00 13 February 2016

Fiona Bruce, presenter of Antiques Roadshow © Jeff Overs

Fiona Bruce, presenter of Antiques Roadshow © Jeff Overs

JEFF OVERS

Get scouring that attic for family treasures, Britain's leading antiques and fine arts specialists, will be at the National Trust-owned medieval manor house, garden and estate near Sevenoaks on 16 June.

Antique of the month

By Tony Pratt of the Canterbury Auction Galleries

With little money to his name, Alfred Wallis (1855-1942) had to make do with the cardboard ripped from boxes and paint bought or scrounged from ships’ chandlers. He’d be amazed at the prices his paintings fetch today.

Born in Devonport, Alfred went to sea in his twenties, sailing on the North Atlantic trade route, later becoming a deep-sea fisherman, by which time he was stepfather to a family of five. The family moved to Penzance in 1890 where he opened his own business selling scrap iron, sails, rope and small chandlery and subsequently antiques in partnership with a Mr Armour.

He took up painting on the death of his wife in 1922 and was entirely self taught. The result is a group of primitive naïve, almost childlike, art, mostly seascapes, painted from memory.

Ironically, he found himself at the centre of the St Ives colony of artists and was able to influence a number of them, notably Ben Nicholson, who introduced him to a dealer who promoted him in London. Sadly, however, few paintings were sold in his lifetime and he died in poverty in a Penzance workhouse.

This oil on cardboard, titled Trawlers, was exhibited at Whitstable Museum in 1995 and was once owned by the connoisseur collector Sir Alfred McAlpine.

It sold for £8,500 in a recent sale at The Canterbury Auction Galleries, where we are always interested to see and value marine art. Call me on 01227 7863337 for further information.

Roadshow at the Mote

Ightham Mote has been selected as a venue in the next series of Antiques Roadshow, BBC One has announced.

It will be looking to see if it can rival Deal’s Walmer Castle, which was the highest rated episode in three years, achieving an audience of 6.8m when it was shown on 15 November 2015.

In 2015 almost 35,000 people attended an Antiques Roadshow filming day and brought fascinating finds, including a jacket belonging to former US president JFK, a musical penknife valued at £80,000, a sketch believed to be by Picasso bought for a few pounds in a house clearance sale, and a precious toy panda that once flew with the Dambusters.

The Antiques Roadshow’s much-loved team of experts, including many of Britain’s leading antiques and fine arts specialists, will be at the National Trust-owned medieval manor house, garden and estate near Sevenoaks on Thursday 16 June.

More than 30 experts will be on hand to offer free advice and valuations to visitors, who are invited to raid their attics and bring along their family heirlooms, household treasures and car-boot sale finds.

Fiona Bruce, presenter of Antiques Roadshow, said: “The best part of working on Antiques Roadshow is that we never know who or what is going to turn up on the day. The visitors, the objects they bring, their stories and the location all combine to make a fabulous experience that we aim to capture for the viewers. If you are a fan of Antiques Roadshow, curious to see behind the scenes, or just fancy a day out, I would urge you to dig out your treasures and come along – we’d love to see you!”

● More information on attending and what to do if you require help with large or heavy items is available at www.bbc.co.uk/antiquesroadshow. If you have a large or heavy or particularly unusual or interesting item you would like to bring along, please email: antiques.roadshow@bbc.co.uk or write to: Antiques Roadshow, BBC Broadcasting House, Whiteladies Road, Bristol BS8 2LR.

Plan your visit at: www.bbc.co.uk/antiquesroadshow

Set in stone

A new exhibition at the Kent Museum of Freemasonry celebrates the historical cooperation between Canterbury Cathedral and the county’s Masons.

The questions of when, how, why and where Freemasonry originated are still the subject of intense speculation. The general consensus among Masonic scholars is that it is believed to have originated in England in the late 16th or early 17th centuries, descending directly or indirectly from the organisation of operative stone masons who built the great cathedrals and castles of the Middle Ages.

At the opening of the exhibition, museum curator, Tony Periton said: “Many people visit Canterbury Cathedral and admire its craftsmanship, not realising the masonic connections in the two resplendent windows in the Chapter House and the Martyrdom dating from 1896 and 1954.”

The national Freemasons’ Charity recently donated £22,000 to the Canterbury Cathedral Trust to fund an apprentice stonemason; and to celebrate the organisation’s tercentenary in 2017, the Freemasons of Kent, Surrey and Sussex have pledged to raise £200,000 towards the restoration needed to the North West Transept’s pinnacles.

Mother Earth

An exhibition that celebrates nature takes place at The Horsebridge Centre in Whitstable from 2-8 March 2016

Gaia is the title of a collection of paintings by Colette Baumback that will be on show in Gallery 2. The Canterbury-based artist’s work is strongly influenced by texture and colour within the natural landscape, from which she draws her inspiration.

According to Greek mythology Gaia was the personification of the Earth and Colette comments: “As an artist I feel an intense desire to recreate the spirit of nature and want my work reflects its incredible intricacy and beauty.”

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