Thursday, January 6, 2011


“Really?”- says Mrs. Sylvia Trottendown- “that much?”

The distinguished looking gentleman sitting on the opposite side of the table smiled gently and nodded briefly.

“Oh, well…”
She paused.
“Really…that much? Goodness.”

Mrs. Trottendown seemed almost at a loss for words!
“My Goodness!”- she exclaimed once again as if she couldn’t believe what she had heard.
“These pearl earrings have been in my jewellery box for years. My Mother- who gave them to me, said they were a gift to her from the Queen’s own jewellery box. She had worked at Buck House as nothing more than a scullery maid years and years before.”

“And your Mother’s whereabouts now my Dear?”- asked the kindly Sir.

“Oh Dear, she’s several metres under the ground over at Hardwicke Castle. Has been these past 17 years”- Mrs. Trottendown remarked, not losing a beat!

“Oh, I am sorry to hear that.”- the man replied, his voice peppered with remorse.

“Well thank you I must say. You are quite kind.” Mrs. Trottendown was obviously touched by his kindly words.

Sylvia let her eyes gaze over the pearl earrings once again as they lay on the cloth-covered table in front of her. After a second or two, she lifted her head- which was crowned in a bright red chapeau made of linen and lace. She asked the kindly gent to tell her the value of the earrings once again.

“Between five and ten thousand pounds Mrs. Trottendown~”- he tilted his head to the side awaiting her reply.

“Well she was a bloody corker at times.”
She paused and placed the fingers of her right hand over her lips.
“Oh Dear, I am sorry for the foul language. I am just so overwhelmed.”

“Quite alright my Dear. Quite all right. No need to apologize. I have heard much worse in my day. I can understand your surprise.”

Mrs. Trottendown tok her fingers from her lips and continued-
“Awww, but she did know how to dress- and accessorize. However, it really is quite the mystery…”

“What is?”- he asked.

“Well, why would my Mum be given these by the Queen. What did she ever do to deserve them, I ask you?”- She stared down at the gems once again shaking her head ever so slightly.
She continued.
“I know she gave the Prince the occasional private sponge bath but I never hear her tell of any such duty performed by her on the Queen herself that would warrant a pearl or two!”

The Gentleman’s bottom lip drooped and his mouth hung low.
“Pardon me?”

“Well it wasn’t a regular thing you understand. Mum would take up a cup of cocoa to the Prince- after 8 o’clock usually- and there he’d be soaking starkers in the tub. He’d ask her for a quick scrub and she’d oblige- gladly. Well, he was the Prince after all. That’s just the kind of lady my Mother was!”
Mrs. Trottendown said proudly. She was actually gushing.

“Well, I’m sure she was just that. Now then, anything else you’d like to show me this afternoon.”

Mrs. Trottendown reached for her handbag- which was laying at her feet on the freshly-mowed lawn, next to the chair where she sat, opposite the kindly gentleman. She opened the bag’s clip and reached inside pulling out a pair of blue jockey shorts-
“ Now look here, what would you think these boxers would be worth? Mother always told me she nicked them from the floor next to the Prince’s tub. See right here, they got a bit of a skid mark or two in the crotch but other than that they are pristine!”

The Gentlemen- who had been sitting opposite her, lay sprawled in a heap on the freshly-mowed lawn.

“Hmmm.” Mrs Trottendam says, “Guess these are worth a lot as well!”

…The Antiques Roadshow will continue after this short break.