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In over ten years on Flog It!,
we have valued thousands of your items
and we've stood by you in the saleroom
as they've gone under the hammer.
During that time, we've all learnt a great deal
about antiques and collectibles,
and here's where you can find out more.
This is Trade Secrets.
The British are great travellers,
and we're always looking to the wider world
for inspiration and adventure.
Many of the objects you bring to our valuation days
are testament to our wanderlust.
Our experts are always happy to hear your stories
and give you information and a valuation.
But what makes something collectable and valuable?
Well, sit back and enjoy the ride...
..because today, we're taking you on a whistle-stop tour
of travel and the great outdoors.
They called it a quinary.
Quinary? You learn something on Flog It! every day, don't you?
Our journey begins with first-class advice
from our experts.
Take them to your local saleroom and find out what they're worth.
We'll be meeting some unlikely daredevils along the way.
So you did wing-walking at 75?
And I'll be travelling back in time on two wheels.
-I think I've changed my mind.
-No, you've got to have a go!
You may be surprised to find
that objects that once helped us travel
can now help our bank balance,
as Philip Serrell found out.
Well, you know, I like daft, quirky things, and, erm,
and those propellers are a piece of sculpture in their own right.
They're laminated. They look cool, they look good.
-Did you fly in?
-Yes. The rest of it's outside.
-What do you know about it?
-My grandfather acquired it,
probably in the 1930s.
He was a bit of a collector of antiques,
more nautical than anything from the air.
He was ahead of his time if he was collecting 70-odd years ago!
He had a contract to run
down to Southampton and Portsmouth, to the dockyards
because they were breaking up boats,
and then acquired or bought this.
I bet he's got some real fascinating stuff.
It's one of those bizarre instances
of the way the antique world has progressed,
because, you know, people become much more decadent in their taste,
and you find yourself looking at something like this
and it's got possibilities in the antique world.
I think one of the things is, people watch programmes like Flog It!
and whereas five or ten years ago they might have discarded something,
now they appreciate that something has a value
and they're able to realise it.
-I think you could put £120 to £180 as an estimate on it.
I think we can put a fixed reserve of £100 on it.
I think if you have a real good result at the auction,
it could conceivably top the £200 mark.
Propellers make really good money.
With regard to that one, it was hard to put a price on it
because I wasn't sure what it was off.
A lot of propellers that come on the market
are six foot and they're hard to display at home.
But this little one - perfect.
-It wouldn't get us airborne.
-No, it wouldn't!
Interest here on the book. Four-blade propeller.
-I've got 12 bids on the book here.
Per blade, Paul, was my valuation!
£300 on the book. 320.
320. 340. 360.
380. 400. 420.
£420 commission bid. 440.
All done at £420, then.
I think things like propellers and gas masks,
it's really quirky stuff,
so you can go and find those in the attic or wherever
and it will surprise you. Never discard them.
Take them to your local saleroom and find out what they're worth.
Today's trash could be tomorrow's treasure,
so think carefully before throwing away anything,
especially if it's good quality and of some age.
Now, from a flying propeller
to a rare piece of flying history that proves what we all say -
provenance is key.
I want to know about your badges. What are they all about?
That one was when I did a couple of wing walks.
And the second one I did when I was 75.
-So you did wing-walking at 75?
Maggie's achievements on the wing were just so surprising.
She said that she did her first wing walk at the age of 75.
I was, you know, amazed.
She did it all for charity. Obviously a game girl.
Wing-walking at 75 - wow!
And parachute-jumping. I've done two jumps, as well.
You're a very, very brave woman!
So planes have obviously been a part of your life.
Probably from my father, yes.
-There he is there in the First World War.
And he worked in the Royal Flying Corps.
So this here, RFC,
is Royal Flying Corps, which predates the RAF.
-So this was First World War aeroplanes.
He was in the First World War and the Second World War.
-What was his name?
-Theodore Frederick Saunders.
Theodore Frederick Saunders. Wow.
Items from the First World War are so collectable.
It's just edging out of living memory,
but everything is documented from this war.
One can really delve deep and do your own research.
That's why it's so important and so collectable.
"Air Board Technical Notes".
But what's nice is, it's stamped "Royal Flying Corps".
It's a very interesting book, but a little dry.
I understand. I don't know what else to do with it!
This book is actually quite interesting.
OK, it's technical notes again,
-but it's got pictures of all the planes.
We're not looking at lots of money.
-It's going to be under £50, I'm afraid.
-That's all right.
I'd never actually seen anything like this before.
I thought they could be too rare.
Being too rare means that they are too scarce
to have a collectorship behind them.
But what I didn't realise is that Royal Flying Corps items
were such a short-lived regiment before it became the RAF,
they will hold a value.
And I was genuinely surprised at the time.
The WWI Department of Aircraft Production technical notes.
Good wartime memorabilia. Who'll start me? 50 to get on.
£30? At 30, down here. At £30.
In front of me at £30. Five now?
At £30. Five. 40.
Five. 50. Five. 60. At £60 in front of me now.
Five. 70. Five. 80. Five.
-This is good!
Five. 100 bid. 100.
-At 100 now. 110.
-I would never have believed that.
At £100, then? Are you sure? In front of me at 110. Back in.
120, if you like, sir. At 110.
-Goodness gracious! That's unbelievable!
That could pay for another wing walk if you were allowed to do it.
Remember, if you've got any militaria at home
that you're thinking of selling,
make sure you dig out
any corresponding photographs or correspondence
because it all adds to the story,
and that adds to the value.
Next, we're on the Isle of Wight.
Will found a piece of history that's of real local interest.
It's just a shame he didn't know what it was!
Working in an auction house, we see a lot of items,
there's a high turnover of lots,
so generally you've either seen something similar or the same
when something comes through the door.
Matt, Ian, I'm not even going to pretend
that I know what this is in front of us,
but it's certainly caught my eye.
I had to tell them, "I've got no idea what this is. You tell me."
What you've got in front of you is the heart of a paddle steamer.
This sat in front of a big triple-expansion steam engine,
-the biggest type of engine you get in a boat.
An engineer would stand here
and he's controlling the engine and driving the boat.
They told me everything they knew about this piece
that they had found in an abandoned steamship.
They knew exactly what it was.
We operate a paddle steamer called Medina Monarch.
It's the smallest one in the world,
one of three working paddle steamers
that carry passengers in this country.
We were given the opportunity to go in and look for spares
and we came across this.
This was just lying about the ship.
These were paddle steamers on the Isle of Wight
that were abandoned, decommissioned,
and these two guys saw an opportunity there to buy an abandoned steamboat
and plough money, effort and time into restoring it,
and they got it back on the river.
I'm going to say £50 to £100.
If you've got someone who really knows what it is
and what's it worth to them,
they're going to be prepared to pay what they're prepared to pay,
no matter what the estimate is.
Matt and Ian are helping to preserve
-a very special piece of maritime history.
And it's a great big lump of brass
that you wheeled into the valuation day.
It's being sold to raise money
-to do up your paddle steamer, is that right?
It's going under the hammer now. Good luck, guys.
The auctioneer said there was enough interest from around the country,
I think a couple of phone bids against a commission bidder.
It's a lot better than 50 quid!
-Phone's in now.
-520, phone bid. 540.
580, yes. All done at 580?
600 back in.
640. Is the phone bidder out?
-Oh, come on!
-All done at 620. Selling at £620.
That's got to make you feel good.
-Good for you.
-We're really chuffed.
-That goes a big way towards that finance, doesn't it?
-Thank you very much.
It's that element of history that would have been lost,
and so you need people like Matt and Ian to salvage these pieces
from being lost for ever.
Saving derelict objects
can be a great way of making money for old rope,
or even old brass.
But obviously, you need permission from the owner
before you take anything away.
Salvage yards and good old-fashioned tips
are also great places to save historic items from the fire
and give them a new lease of life.
Not all items need to be used for their original purpose,
as Adam found out.
I choose my contributors and items based on a couple of basic rules.
The owner has to be a good character...
-You didn't lose your accent.
-And you've not lost your humour.
-Oh, you mustn't do that!
..it has to be an unusual item...
What is a man like you doing with a trench periscope?
..and I have to know what it is and roughly what it's worth!
And it ticked all three boxes.
It's a handy gadget. When have you had the chance to use it?
If you're a little fella and you want to look at a football match,
that's what you need.
-It's French manufacture.
-World War I?
And it's got this very nice leather protective case.
-Where did you get this from?
-Bury St Edmunds.
This bloke who had an army shop, and, er,
you know, surplus army stuff,
-and I had a swap and that was it.
-You did a deal.
-Why are you selling it?
-I've been forced into it.
-"Get rid of your junk!" she said.
It's quite an interesting item now.
I would think it'd make about £50 in the current market.
It should do, I hope. Maybe more. Would it make more, no?
-50 or 60. I don't think it'll make much more.
-That's all right.
50 to 60 is really keeping it very tight, isn't it?
It doesn't leave much room for any discrepancy.
That's because I'm pretty sure there must've been one
that I remember going for about £50 or £60 pretty soon before that,
so I thought, "Let's see if we can get it really accurate."
-John, that WWI periscope is a lovely little item.
Real quality, isn't it? I'm pleased you picked that.
-Beautiful leather case. Not a lot of use.
It's just a bit different, isn't it?
-Yes. Slightly different.
-We had fun filming it.
-Look at the family over there!
-Turn that around!
Look at that! That's a cracking family you've brought along.
-Lots of moral support.
Good luck. This periscope is now going under the hammer.
Lot 130 now.
We have the First World War hand-held periscope
with its fitted leather case.
Interest on the sheet shown. I start at £30. 32.
35. 38. And 40. 42.
45. 48. Above at 48. 50. 55.
60. Five. 70.
90. 90 at the back. Coming in?
Gentleman at 90. I'll take five again.
90 by the door, at 90. Any advance on £90?
-90 quid. You've got to be happy with that.
Yes, yes. That's a result.
That'll be tea and cakes for the rest of my life.
Tea and cakes for the family!
For the rest of my life!
He used to use the periscope
so that he could have a better view at the football.
I think I asked him, "How would you manage without the periscope?"
He said quite simply,
"Football's on telly these days, lad!"
Made me feel a bit silly, really!
It may have seen action in WWI,
but I love the way John found another use for the periscope
at the football.
Often, an item isn't redundant,
it just needs a little imagination to bring it back to life.
And now to a gentler way to enjoy the outdoors,
with a piece that would add character to any garden...
A local lad, then?
-You can tell that, the way I talk!
-Yes, I can!
'..much like its owner.'
I've got to say, looking at this really quickly,
£40 to £60.
You don't know what I'm talking about.
-£40 to £60 for the trolley sack.
-Oh, sorry! That!
-That blanket come off my bed this morning!
You liked that, did you?
I think that is great.
What's its story? Where's it comes from?
For starters, I suffer from old-timers' disease.
-I can't remember.
-I know the feeling.
I believe I bought it from an antique dealer.
-Did you? We've got to be looking at around about £100, £150.
-Happy with that?
-Shall we put this into the auction without the trolley?
-I tell you what...
-Bung me in, as well!
On to lot 10 now. Lot 10 is the 20th-century heavy figural sundial.
50 bid. At 50. Five. 60. Five.
-We're all right.
-75. Above at 75. 75.
Where's 80? At 75. 80's bid. 85.
-This is good.
At £95, are you all done?
-Not bad at all.
-I'm happy, so you must...
-Even for scrap, I couldn't have got that sort of money.
-What are you going to do with it?
-Well, I make people smile.
I'll probably give it to the wife and she'll go and waste it on food!
It just goes to show that even the impractical has a value.
So, what are the insider tips so far?
When it comes to travelling the outdoors,
the planes, trains and automobiles of the past
have a huge collectors market.
Keep hold of anything transport-related
until you've had it valued.
Salvage yards can be a great place to pick up a bargain,
so go and have a rummage.
And an object can have many uses,
so just because it's not fit for its original purpose,
that doesn't make it worthless.
There are some wonderful works of art out there,
great names and superb antiques.
We want to give you some information on what makes them special.
As we've seen so far on today's show,
it's not just the traditional items
that can go down a storm in the saleroom.
Objects that cash in on our nostalgia for methods of transport
can be very lucrative, too.
Take, for example, the velocipede, or as you may know it -
From the Pennyfarthing to the tandem,
the Raleigh to the Racer,
bikes have been part of our daily lives for decades.
Over the years on Flog It,
I've learned a lot about the cycles of the past and future...
-Paul, this is the YikeBike.
..and how much they can earn you at auction.
And it all started in the Midlands.
-This a very small part of your bicycle collection.
Tell me, how did the bike evolve?
Bikes came to Coventry in 1869
when a fellow called Rowley Turner pedalled into Coventry.
He went to a sewing machine factory,
they were making sewing machines in the city,
and he came on a bike like this, a bone-shaker.
He sold it to the factory that they ought to make these things,
and that was the beginning of cycle-making in Coventry.
The first really important bike to be produced in Coventry
was the safety bike.
The new design, with a diamond frame and same-size wheels,
offered an alternative to the dangerous, cumbersome high-wheelers
known by most of us as...
Now that I'm standing by the side of you, I think I've changed my mind.
No, no! You've got to have a go! I'm sure you can do it.
-What's the technique?
-The technique is,
you've got to put one foot on the step,
either step, it's up to you, whatever you feel comfortable with,
and then you've got to pull yourself up in the saddle,
holding onto the handle bars.
-I'm sure you can do it! Give it a go.
And then hop. Hop, hop!
Get some momentum and jump up into the saddle.
-Go on! Give it a go!
-The grin on his face...!
A Pennyfarthing like this one
can make thousands of pounds at auction.
Even if it is unrideable!
The mass production of bikes led to the evolution of a new sport.
And memorabilia from this time is highly sought after,
as Michael Baggott discovered.
-This is from my grandfather, who was called Eli Pope.
This is his picture there.
-He built this five-wheeled bicycle.
I don't know the name for a five-seater bicycle.
-They call it a quinary.
-Quinary. You learn something every day on Flog It!
-I'd never heard it.
-Even I do.
He then also raced with it on the old Crystal Palace track
and he won this medal for winning the race.
-So rather than a cup, he got a watch!
-A gold watch.
Michael valued the collection at £150 to £250,
but didn't realise
Sylvia's grandfather had a great cycling reputation
and was a member of the Dunlop Team.
How did this affect the sale price?
I have got to start the bidding here at £300.
-£300. 320 on the phone.
-It's going up!
-340. 360 you say.
360. 380. 400.
-£400. And 20. 440.
-I can't believe it.
-It deserves to make it.
550 now. 580.
At 580, then, if you're done...
-Oh, pedal power!
You may be surprised to know that bikes from your living memory
have rocketed in value, too.
This Chopper was no exception.
I had one. I had a bright orange one.
-I was very lucky.
-But I love this ultra-violet colour. It's so girly, isn't it?
Well, if we said this has a valuation at £350 to £450,
what would you say to that?
I'd say that was very good.
Fingers crossed. Here it goes.
All done at £350, then? Are we quite sure?
He's sold it. 350.
Rare Choppers have been known to sell for up to £2,000,
so have a look in your garage for any unwanted two-wheelers.
Maybe it's time to do some recycling!
Lots of you have told me that Flog It has inspired you
to explore the world of antiques.
But what inspired our experts?
The first item I ever bought at auction,
or anywhere else for that matter,
is this little white china dish.
Made in Germany in the late 19th century,
it's typical of so much souvenir-ware made in Germany,
and it commemorates the opening of Delabole Railway Station
in October 1893.
It's important to me because,
as I say, it was the first thing I ever bought,
and I bought it at a cattle market in Holsworthy, down in North Devon.
Running parallel and concurrently with the cattle market,
the pig auction and the sheep auctions and so on,
there'd be a little sale of furniture, household effects,
bric-a-brac and so on.
In those early days, I just loved going to Holsworthy
and poking around.
I saw this and thought I had to have it,
and I probably paid about ten bob for it -
We talk about the auction room a lot on the show.
For the past 11 years,
we've been seeing people buying and selling in the saleroom.
But there is an alternative.
If you're just starting out
or you're serious about adding to a collection,
for me, there is a better way.
But where do you start?
Petworth in West Sussex would be ideal,
as it lays claim to no less than ten of these...
If you want to buy an antique or a collectable
but don't want the uncertainty of the auction room,
antique shops may be the best place for you.
They stock everything,
from 18th-century furniture, to books, paintings and lamps.
You can browse at your leisure, negotiate a price
and still walk away with a bargain.
And that's not all.
With antique shops come antique dealers.
By their very nature,
dealers love antiques and they love to talk.
More often than not, you come across one who really knows his stuff.
All you have to do is be brave enough to ask.
I'm no stranger to antique shops,
so I'm going to ask two local furniture dealers
for their tips of the trade,
starting with furniture expert Tony Wilkinson.
Tony, hello. There is a misconception that
from the outside you look in and go, "It's a bit posh and too expensive."
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
Well, you're absolutely right. It's one of the big problems.
When running a shop like this, you try and get it looking terrific
and then find you've frightened off half the customers.
But once they come through the door,
they'll be surprised at what value for money some of this is.
-And there's something for everybody, price ranges?
From, you know, a couple of hundred pounds
for a really nice pair of chairs,
up to 10, 15,000, 20,000.
But most of the furniture couldn't be made today
for what we're selling it for now.
Can you give the viewers any tips on what you look out for
when buying your passionate piece of 18th-century English?
I always say to somebody,
what they want to do is not to rush up to a piece.
Stand back from it,
look at its general proportion and see how it stands.
If anything jars, that probably means something is wrong.
-It's been altered at some stage.
-Something's going wrong there.
But having established the proportions right,
get up to it, look at the detail, look at the surface and colour.
-That's the thing that can't be changed.
-It's the richness.
And make sure the thing is as original as possible.
-Pay a bit more to buy something really good.
And that doesn't just apply to buying furniture.
That's good advice when buying any antique.
OK, first stop, lots learnt there and some really useful tips.
Dealers like Tony often specialise,
so if you've got something in mind, do your homework.
The beautiful thing is, antique shops are not chain stores.
Each and every one of them is different.
So if one shop doesn't have what you're looking for, another might.
And you might make a day
of searching the shops for something that suits your taste.
For me, it's primitive country furniture.
I'm always happy to get some advice
from dealer David Swanson about what to look out for.
What do you look for when you go out buying your key pieces?
Firstly, hopefully it hasn't been enhanced to make it more saleable,
it hasn't been altered.
And then, very importantly,
its charm, its quirkiness,
its character and colour.
And that's built up over two or 300 years.
-Hundreds of years of dust, dirt...
In the trade, it's called a skin. It's either got a skin or it hasn't.
-And if it doesn't have a skin, don't buy it.
-Don't look at it.
Cross the threshold of these shops
and you'll discover an abundance of antiques and expertise.
They want your business,
so some dealers will let you pay in instalments
and even loan you an item to take home, to see if it works in situ.
Even if you don't buy anything,
you can learn an awful lot along the way.
Looking for antiques to buy can be great fun,
whether it's in Petworth, Tetbury, Hungerford,
or in a town or city near you that has a scattering of antique shops.
Because if you can't find it one, you'll find it in the other.
Well, I hope we've piqued your interest
with our rundown of travel-related antiques.
If you think you've got something of interest at home,
don't just leave it there.
Get it valued,
because, remember, there are all kinds of collectors out there.
At £580, then, if you're done.
I hope you've enjoyed today's show.
See you next time for more Flog It! Trade Secrets.