THREE and a half thousand people visited Newport’s Tredegar House to quiz the experts during filming of the Antiques Roadshow today.
Many began queuing from 6am, more than three hours before the gates opened, to show their treasures to the cult TV show's leading antique experts who included Eric Knowles, Judith Miller, Paul Atterbury and Lisa Lloyd.
This was the first time the series had visited the city, having previously filmed at Chepstow Racecourse in Monmouthshire in 2013.
Gwent antique collectors were among those to seek advice in the mansion’s garden. They came with bags and boxes of carefully wrapped family treasures ranging from paintings to jewellery, medals and furniture.
Among the treasures were a diamond necklace valued at £30,000, a bug bear flask bought at Abergavenny Market in the 1950s valued at £1,000 and an Edward Lear picture valued at over £8,000.
Waiting patiently with his fiancée Laura Pettit, 31, was Robert Ralph, 38, of Cwmbran.
Mr Ralph was hoping to find out more about a landscape oil painting that was given to his mother two decades ago.
He said: “It was left to my mum who displayed it in her living room until she moved house last year. It’s been in storage since then but we are keen to find out more about it.”
“It has been signed by the artist and we think dates back to the 1930s but really want to know more,” he added.
Sister-in-laws Dianne Herbert, of Cwmbran, and Beverley Cousins, 60, of Malpas, were hoping to discover the history behind two taps from HMS Victory and also a 200 year-old plate.
Mrs Herbert, 66, who is a big fan of the show, said: “I inherited it from my mum who passed away in 1988. All I know is that they have the inscription ‘Victory’ on them. It’s not the value but the history that is important to me.”
“I know nothing about the plate but understand it is 200 years-old,” she added.
Jackie Richards, 56, of Newport, brought along an 80 year-old doll, a jardinière- used for large plants, a small wooden figure and a painting. Ms Richards, who is a fan of the show, was given the doll by her uncle and aunt as a child.
“I would really like to know more about their history and value,” she said.
The show’s presenter, Fiona Bruce, said she was thrilled to visit Tredegar House which she described as a ‘mini Versailles.’
“It is a gorgeous setting. I had no idea it was so massive, it’s like a mini Versailles,” she said.
“It has a great history which we will be filming on Monday.”
“We are due to film something about George III’s nightcap and someone who as a child was here when Tredegar House was a school and was given the lock to the front door.”
Ms Bruce said you never know what you will see during the filming of an episode.
“It’s extraordinary to see what treasures people bring to us and I’m looking forward to it.”
Welsh-born antique expert Lisa Lloyd said that among the finds to look out for in the episode are a Welsh dresser and a mechanical French toy.
The episode is due to be screened on the BBC in the autumn.