Opinions: What's the most exciting thing you've ever found?
Sunday 10 July 1994
RUTH RENDELL, author: Our house is very old. When we first came here, our builder found a hand-blown bottle of port behind the fireplace. It smelt wonderful so we thought we'd drink it. It was terrible - like thick black vinegar.
LOUIS DE BERNIERES, novelist: The tiger's skull and First World War revolver that I found in my grandmother's cellar when I was a very little boy. My father took the revolver off me but I still have the skull.
FIONA FULLERTON, actress: I picked up a silver sugar shaker in a tiny, dusty old antique shop in Cornwall three years ago. It was very dirty and not in very good repair, and I paid pounds 60. I gave it a clean, had a look at the hallmark, and it's George III, worth about pounds 480.
DESMOND WILCOX, television producer: My wife's mind. Esther Rantzen and I have been together for 25 years now and her mind is still a source of constant surprise and delight to me. It's a bit like looking at one of those glass globes where you shake it up and the snow falls and it's a different picture all the time. I get exactly the same pleasure out of her thinking processes as I do out of a piece of Venetian glass.
CHAPMAN PINCHER, spy writer: Peter Wright, Mr Spycatcher. He became infamous around 1986 when he published Spycatcher, but I found him in 1980 and published almost everything he later said in a book called Their Trade is Treachery. He was the kind of character that everybody in Fleet Street had been looking for forever. It changed my life - I've been busy with spies ever since.
ANDRE SZRAMKO, antiques dealer: A piece of wood with a letter from Picasso attached to the back, bought from a couple of gypsies 10 years ago for pounds 2. When we cleaned it we found it was a colour version of Picasso's Guernica complete with his signature.
ROBERT RICHMOND, furniture designer: A complete edition in 15 volumes of a French paper-bound book called L'Histoire de l'Eglise, which I found in a skip. Unfortunately I only took one volume home, and used some of its pages to make a collaged letter for a friend. This friend, who happened to be a French, Catholic rare books dealer, wrote back immediately asking if he could buy the books from me at pounds 100 a go. Sadly I had to explain that I had taken only one copy which I had cut up in order to write to him.
MRS TYLER, London Underground and Buses Lost Property: We've had some interesting things handed in - a wedding dress, quite a few false limbs, teeth and eyes and a jar with bull's sperm in it.
A 3,000-year-old bas-relief worth pounds 7.7m was identified in a school's tuck shop wall
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