Discovery Days & Visits

Discovery Days and Visits 2017/2018:

Discovery Days will take place at East Budleigh Village Hall, include three sessions and last from 10am to approximately 3pm


Discovery Days & Visits

A History of Jewellery from Elizabeth 1 to Elizabeth Taylor

Discovery Day: A History of Jewellery from Elizabeth 1 to Elizabeth Taylor

5th October 2017

With John Benjamin of The Antiques Roadshow fame.

On Thursday 5th October at 10.00am at East Budleigh Village Hall, High Street, East Budleigh, Devon, EX9 7DU

£28 Including coffee, lunch and a maximum of two valuations per person.

Programme for the day:
10.00 Coffee
10.30 Jewellery from Elizabeth 1st to Victoria
11.30 Break
11.45 20th Century Jewellery
12.45 Lunch
13.50 Workshop, during which attendees can bring their own pieces to be assessed
(max 2 items per person)

The talk begins in the sixteenth century and takes the audience on a journey through the centuries, showcasing examples of beautiful jewellery in paintings and photographs, demonstrating the widespread fascination the public have with pearls, diamonds and other precious stones.

Gems in the sixteenth century were believed to have prophylactic properties. Social change is also reflected in jewellery trends. The emergence of imitation gemstones in the nineteenth century when the rate of crime was rising and rather than risk losing precious jewellery in robberies, it was better to invest in paste and keep the real items in a safe deposit box.Our hunger to adorn ourselves to symbolise wealth and power remains.

"Jewellery follows the money” whether it is the Monarch or the most popular celebrity. For centuries we have ogled the gems adorning powerful and wealthy people and sought to copy the taste of the rich and powerful, in an attempt to emulate their success.

John Benjamin

John Benjamin has been working in the antiques trade from a very young age and is now a specialist in the jewellery world.

After leaving school at 17, John got a job working at Cameo Corner, an old-fashioned antiques shop in Bloomsbury, London. He then qualified in gemmology and there was no turning back. John is now an independent jewellery valuer, historian, lecturer and author. He was formerly 'International Director' of Jewellery at Phillips Fine Art Auctioneers in London, and in 1999 he set up his own lecturing and valuation consultancy.

John is a fellow of the National Association of Goldsmiths’ Institute of Registered Valuers. He is also a fellow of the Gemmological Association and holds the Association’s Diamond Diploma. In 2000, he became a Freeman of the Goldsmiths’ Company. He is author of Starting to Collect Antique Jewellery and co-author with Paul Atterbury of The Jewellery and Silver of H.G. Murphy.

John’s most memorable item at a Roadshow was a box of treasure brought along to Cliveden by a woman and her son. They had salvage rights to a local tip and had collected a hoard of jewels, including rare opals, sapphires, jade, diamonds and gold – proof that one man’s trash is a another man’s treasure!

Contact: Jan Sokell Tel: 01395 519028   Email:

Ugbroke House and Gardens

Visit: Ugbroke House and Gardens

23rd March 2018

Contact: Di Tremlett Tel 01395 445175

Details to follow

‘Pepys and Hogarth’ with Andrew Davies

Discovery Day: ‘Pepys and Hogarth’ with Andrew Davies

12th April 2018

Contact: Jan Sokell Tel: 01395 519028

Trip to Provence - in the footsteps of Cezanne and Van Gogh

Visit: 6 Days Trip to Provence - in the footsteps of Cezanne and Van Gogh

Departing 11th May 2018

Day 1
We meet at Bristol Airport for our direct scheduled Easyjet flight to Nice. On arrival in Nice we are met by our tour manager and transfer to the centrally located 3* Bristol Hotel in Avignon for a five night stay. A welcome set three course dinner without drinks is included at a carefully selected restaurant close to our hotel this evening, and the remaining four nights are on a bed and breakfast basis.

Day 2
This morning our guided walking tour of the UNESCO listed town of Avignon takes in sights such as Le Pont St Bénezet, the ramparts, the
Petit Palais and the Cathedral. We also visit the Palais des Papes, standing as the mighty symbol of the church’s influence throughout the western Christian world during the 14th century. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore Avignon, and on an individual basis you may choose to visit Le Musée du Petit Palais with its outstanding collection of Italian and Provençal paintings, or Le Musée Calvet, an 18th century private museum with a varied collection of paintings and sculptures.

Day 3
Our morning guided walking tour of Aix-en-Provence introduces us to the beautiful old buildings and magnificent squares of this elegant town and follows ‘In Cézanne’s footsteps’, discovering his life and the landscapes that inspired the great painter including a visit to his studio. This afternoon we visit Musée Granet, one of France’s richest provincial art galleries with works by French painters from the 16th to 20th centuries, including works by Cézanne.

Day 4
The delightful town of Arles is home to the magnificent Roman cathedral of Sainte-Trophime and where Van Gogh is said to have eventually lost his sanity. Our guided tour on arrival takes in the exterior of Espace Van Gogh, the hospital where Van Gogh stayed and painted some of his most famous works of art. En route back to Avignon, we visit the Carrières de Lumières show at Les Baux de Provence. The show comprises thousands of digitised images of works of art that are projected onto all the former quarry’s surfaces, moving to the rhythm of a musical soundtrack.

Day 5
We spend the morning in Nimes, a town with two thousand years of history, architecture and art. On arrival we explore the stunning Roman temple known as La Maison Carrée, one of the finest remaining examples of a Roman Colliseum in the world. This afternoon we visit
the 2,000 year old Pont Du Gard, considered by the Romans as the best testimony to the greatness of their Empire. Made from blocks of stone, hauled into place by slaves using an ingenious system of pulleys, at 49 metres it was the highest bridge the Romans ever constructed.

Day 6
We return to Nice Airport for our direct scheduled Easyjet flight back to Bristol.

Download the tour pdf here

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Contact: Di Tremlett Tel 01395 445175  Email: