Antiques Roadshow guest refuses to sell iconic Dads Army item

Antiques Roadshow: Guest shocked by value of paintings

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One episode of the BBC staple saw a guest bring in an original pair of glasses worn by Captain Mainwaring (played by Arthur Lowe) as well as some other items relating to the show. Antiques Roadshow often sees famous TV items being valued at high prices, and miscellaneous specialist Lisa Lloyd was unable to point to an exact value, but believed the Dad’s Army spectacles could sell for well over £1,000. The owner, however, refused to sell them, hoping the item could be put to better use at a museum for fans to enjoy.

“Well one of the best-loved sitcoms from the golden age of British comedy has to be Dad’s Army,” Lisa commented.

Looking at the leaflet, the photo and a pair of glasses brought along by the guest, she wanted to know more.

“And you have Arthur Lowe’s glasses,” she observed. “So what is their relationship to you?”

“Well, we’re going back many years – it was initially a professional relationship,” the owner explained.

Pointing at the leaflet, he added: “This is the play that I was in with Arthur Lowe, Beyond a Joke, in Eastbourne.

“So Arthur Lowe and his wife Joan took me under their wing.

“So the relationship grew into a friendship. We kept in touch after the run finished and of course, when Arthur died that was a very sad occasion.”

“Of course,” Lisa replied. “Because in Dad’s Army, he was like a very bumbling, pompous individual, wasn’t he?

“Yes that’s right,” the guest agreed. “I think a lot of that was very, very tongue in cheek.

“I never really saw the captain side of Arthur on a day-to-day basis.

“He was a very down-to-earth person, there was nothing ostentatious or showbusiness about him.”

“And here we have his spectacles, so how did you come to have these?” Lisa asked.

“Well, some time later, Joan was cleaning up the drawers, and I noticed these glasses and she said, ‘Would you like them?’

“And I said, ‘Oh, yes, please.’ So that’s how I come to the very proud custodian of Captain Mainwaring’s spectacles.

Getting to the valuation, Lisa explained: “They’re an iconic TV item, aren’t they?

“So you know, how do you put a price on something like this?

“I would think that if they did come up for auction, you’d probably, quite conservatively say perhaps get maybe £1000 to £1,500 on them. But, but who knows?”

“In fact, in my mind, these will be presented to the Dad’s Army museum, run by volunteers,” the guest decided.

“So I’d be very pleased if they found a permanent home there for the enjoyment of the wider audience and families.”

“Well I’m sure they’d be delighted to have them,” Lisa stated as she thanked the guest for bringing the items along.

Antiques Roadshow is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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