Nature Flog It: Trade Secrets


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Antiques series. Flog It! Trade Secrets explores the enduring appeal of antiques and collectibles which feature animals.


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One of the things I love about "Flog It!" is seeing and hearing

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about the thousands of interesting, beautiful and sometimes valuable

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items you bring along to our valuation days.

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-It's called Adam.

-Is it?

-After yourself.

-That's very kind.

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The Scarlet Pimpernel would have needed one of these

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during the French Revolution!

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Over the years, we've made hundreds of trips

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to auction rooms all over the British Isles.

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That's £120. For the very last time...

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Bang! That is a big "sold" sound!

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-£700...

-That's fantastic.

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Now, in this series, I want to share some of the knowledge

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we've picked up with you

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to let you in on some of our trade secrets.

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The natural world has been a source of inspiration to artists

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ever since humans first started daubing images

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on ancient cave walls,

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and in more recent times, makers and writers have continued to find

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their muse in the world around them.

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As an nation of pet lovers,

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we have a particular affection for collectables featuring animals,

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so today, we're casting a beady eye on antiques inspired by

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our furred and feathered friends.

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This lovely glowing light that is falling on their backs

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-and shoulders.

-It's nice, isn't it?

-Lovely. Lovely piece.

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On today's show, we've got a colourful cast of creatures

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from our valuation days.

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-A turtle.

-Would you?

-Hmm.

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Well, I said tortoise and Beryl said turtle

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and to this day, I still think I'm right.

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A cheeky monkey causes a sensation in the saleroom.

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£500...

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£1,800.

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£1,900.

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£2,000.

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And I'm at London Zoo

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on the trail of an unlikely avian artist.

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I'm not a bird expert, but that looks real.

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The exotic fauna from all over the world has intrigued travellers

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for centuries.

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Intrepid explorers have brought back tales of the creatures they've seen,

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and their stories have inspired makers of fine things

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to reproduce animal images in their work,

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but which are worth a closer look today?

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Some animals do appeal to collectors more than others.

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Cats! Pigs. People love to collect pigs.

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Farmers, of course, will buy Beswick cows and Beswick bulls

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so, yes, some animals are more collectable than others.

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For me, it's horses.

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But for someone else, it might be dogs.

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For someone else, it might be ducks.

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Some of the more obscure animals will appeal to people -

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emus and koalas and penguins and things like that,

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so I think any animal is good news, really.

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We see dozens of animal-themed antiques on "Flog It!"

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and as we're a nation of animal lovers,

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these items tend to sell well.

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Whether it's cats, dogs, horses, cows, we've all got our favourites.

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At a valuation day on HMS Warrior in Portsmouth,

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Will Axon showed that he clearly values a bird in the hand.

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Russell, tell me, how have you come by this?

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This really caught my eye when I saw you in the queue.

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-I bought it in an antiques store in West Sussex.

-OK.

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About six months ago.

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I thought at first it was a print.

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-Yes.

-But my other half is a picture-framer

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and had a good look at it and we thought

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maybe it is a painting.

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There's no doubt that you've bought yourself what I think

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is a rather nice watercolour.

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Most of the painting is actually exposed paper.

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The whole body of the cockatoos, we'll call them,

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is actually where he's left the paper.

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He hasn't painted that,

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so I think that, in turn, helps accentuate

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this lovely glowing light

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-that is falling on their backs and shoulders.

-It's nice, isn't it?

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I think it's a really nice watercolour.

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And signed - HSM.

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Now, I think you've done a little bit of research.

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-I have.

-What have you come up with?

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I believe it's Henry Stacy Marks,

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-who did lots of bird paintings.

-Exactly right.

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You've got to be careful

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because a little bit of research can be a dangerous thing.

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It takes you off on a tangent.

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All of a sudden, you think, "Oh, my days!

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"I've got the crown jewels here.

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"There's an example of this painting hanging in the V&A,

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"and I must have another copy of it."

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If that's the case, the original's probably in the V&A,

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and you've got a print of it.

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Russell did a bit of research on the cockatoo picture

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and so he would have seen that Stacy Marks was a well-known artist.

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His most famous work is of birds,

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and hangs in the Walker Gallery in Liverpool,

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so he is well known for this subject matter.

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He's an artist, sort of mid-19th century,

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he was actually working for Minton, for example,

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painting on ceramics and doing more decorative works

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-and things like that.

-Yeah.

-But this was really his love.

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He took a real interest in birds, mainly parakeets,

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I suppose for the exotic flavour of them.

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You looked at it and you believed it,

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whereas other bird pictures, when they're perched on a branch

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or in a tree, they almost look like they're floating.

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They don't quite sit, you know?

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He's got gravity right. They stand well.

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Really, you've just got to go with your gut instinct.

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Does the picture work?

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If it does, then it's probably something.

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If it doesn't, maybe a lesser artist or someone trying to copy.

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For me, it was the light around the heads. It was quite stunning.

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Yeah. Cos it's something that is very effective,

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looks simple, but I'm sure it's very difficult to get right.

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You just get the form of the body, don't you?

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Like I've said before, there's no painting here to suggest that.

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-It's purely done on the highlighting.

-Yes.

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Lovely. Lovely piece.

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You say you bought it in an antiques shop.

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-Yes.

-What was the price ticket?

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It was 55, and I got them down to 50.

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Listen, Russell, I'd give you £100 for it now

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if you wanted a quick profit!

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But we're going to work in your interest.

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I'm going to say, let's put it into auction

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and I'm fairly confident, with that name,

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you'd get a price of at least £300 to £500.

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-Fantastic.

-Yeah?

-Good return.

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So, did those cockatoos ruffle a few feathers in the saleroom?

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-We have one, two, three, four commission bids here.

-That's good.

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-Wow.

-I will start the bidding at £500.

-Top estimate!

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£500. Is there 20 in the room?

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And £500 and selling. Is there 20?

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At £500. Commission bid.

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At £500. Any more? All done?

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At £500 for the very last time...

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Well, that was short and sweet.

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I don't think Russell minds how short it was!

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You could say those birds flew away, couldn't you, at £500.

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-You've got to be happy with that?

-I am indeed.

-Ecstatic.

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I think Russell did earn his money.

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He took a chance,

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cos I know he was thinking of pursuing

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a career in the antiques trade,

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and I hope he has, you know?

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With an eye like that,

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I think he's got a head start on all of us.

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I dare say Russell has gone from strength to strength.

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He spotted a quality piece and, as we say time and time again,

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quality always sells.

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Now, a survey in 2013 claimed to answer definitively

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the question of whether we British prefer cats or dogs.

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By a slim margin, it's dogs.

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And that comes as no surprise to us on "Flog It!".

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Dogs are extremely popular, not just as man's best friend

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going back generations, but in antiques and art,

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we see dog paintings, dog sculptures.

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Anything dog related always commands a premium

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because, like me, there are thousands of people out there

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that are absolutely passionate about dogs.

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-So, who spotted them?

-My dad.

-Did he?

-Yeah.

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-Do you think he's clever, spotting them?

-Yeah.

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-How much did he pay for them?

-£5.

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£5? Do you think that's lot?

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Not really.

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You've done very well for a fiver,

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because these are early-20th-century Austrian

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cold-painted bronze dogs, bookends of course,

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that sit on these onyx bases.

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-They've both come detached from the bases.

-Yes.

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Onyx was a very popular material used particularly in 1920s

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and 1930s sculptures, bronzes and spelter figures.

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It's typically green, but it does come in other colours.

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A lot of the time you see it polished and highly finished,

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but these ones were left in the rough of it

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and I think that was quite charming.

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They've been through the wars a bit but they're

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getting on for 100 years, or thereabouts.

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As I say, they're Austrian and cold-painted bronze.

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A lot are made in spelter as well, which is a cheaper alloy,

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but if you have a look underneath here,

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this yellowness shows us that they're bronze.

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Also, the weight. They're nice and heavy.

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-You wouldn't like one to drop on your toe, would you?

-No.

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Or that, actually.

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Sometimes, we also see cast-iron figures,

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which are simulated, pretending to be bronze as well.

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People say, "Look, they're very heavy, they must be bronze."

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That's when you need to get your magnet out,

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because bronze is not magnetic.

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What do you want for 'em? Tenner?

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More?

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-About...50?

-About 50?

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-That's a good start.

-That's it.

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-I'd like to think that they'd make £100 or maybe a bit more.

-Really?

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Because they cost so little,

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let's go for it. Put a big estimate, see what happens.

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So, will the bidders BITE at auction?

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80 for these?

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80, thank you. 85 anywhere?

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85. And 90?

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-85, with you, sir.

-Fingers crossed.

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100. 105.

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110. 115. 120.

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125. 130. 135. 140.

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145. 150.

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160. 170.

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180. All done?

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£170.

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£170!

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Hammer went down on that.

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That is a lot of money, isn't it?

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They were on the cute end of things,

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the Scottie dog bookends. They always had a great story.

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They were picked up, I think, for a nominal sum

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at a car-boot sale.

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They're not my favourite breed of dog,

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but they're a very cute thing

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and I think that's undoubtedly why they appealed and sold so well.

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Yes, the "Ahh" factor often adds value.

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The cuter it is, the more collectable.

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But I'm not sure this quality can be applied to the item

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James Lewis found at one of our Scottish valuation days.

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Of all the things I was expecting to find here in Fife,

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a Turkish prisoner-of-war-work snake dated 1919

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is not one of them!

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When the Turks were over in England

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as prisoners of war,

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these were things that they could go into the local community and sell

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to raise a bit of money.

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What's it doing here and where did you find it?

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I found it in a market in London

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when I was eight years old

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and bought it for £1.

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No, that is ridiculous. That is a really good bargain.

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Well done, you. It's an interesting thing

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and I don't know why the Turkish prisoners of war

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decided that it would be a really good thing to make snakes.

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You can imagine, you're sitting in your prisoner-of-war camp

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thinking, "Hmm. What can I do?

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"I know, I'm going to make a beadwork snake!"

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But they made them in their hundreds and thousands.

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I think there are two quite distinct categories of what was made

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in a prisoner-of-war camp -

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those that were made by the prisoners for the captors

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and those that were made by the prisoners

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for themselves to sell on.

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But both have a significant collecting area.

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So, when you got it home, did you have sisters to taunt with it?

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-I did. I have two.

-That'd be good fun.

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Stick it in their bed, and things?

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Got played with for a bit.

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Oh, great fun.

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Value?

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I don't know.

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£40 to £60?

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-Something like that?

-OK.

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-So your £1 investment's done all right.

-Not too bad.

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They come in various sizes

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and this is a particularly long one,

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so that's in its favour.

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Shall we put a £40 reserve on it?

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That sounds good to me, yeah.

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How Andrew found that for £1, I really don't know.

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I wish I could find those for £1!

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It was a great investment.

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It was a great buy.

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The Turkish prisoner-of-war beadwork snake.

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I'm going to start this at £25.

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25. 30. 5. 40.

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45. 50. 5.

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I'll come to you. 60. 5. 65. 70. 5.

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80. £80 on my left. At 80...

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-85. 90. 5.

-Excellent, Andrew.

-100.

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110.

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120. 120. Standing at 120.

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Anyone else want in at £120?

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-Yes, the hammer's gone down. That's good.

-A good result.

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-The condition was very good on that, though.

-It was a good, big size.

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-Very good condition.

-Excellent condition. Well done, you.

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Andrew deserves double the praise.

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You couldn't have wished for a better example

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of prisoner-of-war craftsmanship.

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A great return for a £1 investment!

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Elizabeth was on slightly shakier ground in 2007

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when she caught up with a creature which turned out to be

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remarkably tricky to classify.

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Now, I think this is a tortoise, Beryl. What do you think it is?

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I would have said a turtle.

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-Would you?

-Hmm.

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I said tortoise, and Beryl said turtle,

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and to this day, I still think I'm right.

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But Beryl knew the piece far longer than I did

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and I shall bow to her better decision.

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-It was given to my mother.

-Right.

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-And when she died, she passed it on to me.

-OK.

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She'd been looking after someone that was sick,

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and they gave her that before they died.

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And so she did the same.

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How lovely.

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So he's always been loved and cherished to this point.

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-Can I demonstrate him now?

-Oh, yes.

-Is that all right?

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If you just touch his head, like this...

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BELL RINGS

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-That's it.

-Isn't that great?

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Over the years, I've seen a few novelty table bells

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or shop bells,

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and they come in a variety of guises.

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I have seen pigs and little dogs and things,

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but I don't believe I'd seen a turtle or a tortoise before.

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Do you know where this one started life?

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-I think it was in a shop.

-In a shop. Yes.

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I think it was.

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A lot of these were.

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I've seen them as pigs and all sorts of things,

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where you actually press the curly tail

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and it makes the bell sound.

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The tortoise ones, or the turtle ones,

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often were found in shops,

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-butcher's or haberdasher's, things like that.

-Yes, yes.

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And if we turn him over,

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we'll see that he's very cleverly but very simply made.

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He's made of cast iron

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but he's absolutely pristine and in very genuine condition.

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These bells are much rarer in finer metals

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so bronze are rarer than cast metal,

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and silver ones would be top of the pile, really.

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Silver ones are less likely to be found for use in shops

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or public places. They tend to be for the refined environment

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of grand houses or wealthy families.

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I would like to see him make between £80 and £120.

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If you are happy to enter him with that sort of estimate,

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it doesn't sound frightening, but it sounds achievable,

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-and if two people...

-Really want him.

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-Yes.

-They could keep going.

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-That would be lovely.

-Is that all right? Can I ring him again?

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BELL RINGS

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I'm sorry, Beryl, but I have to side with Elizabeth.

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I think it's a tortoise.

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But did it make slow progress at the auction,

0:16:090:16:12

or end up winning the race?

0:16:120:16:15

Fingers crossed. It's going under the hammer now.

0:16:150:16:17

Fun little lot.

0:16:170:16:19

Let's start, what, 30 quid.

0:16:190:16:21

30 I'm bid. 32. 35. 38.

0:16:210:16:24

At 38 now. Done, then, at 38?

0:16:240:16:26

-40. 42. 45.

-Behind me.

0:16:260:16:28

48. 50.

0:16:280:16:30

55. At 55.

0:16:300:16:32

58. 60.

0:16:320:16:34

65. 70. 75.

0:16:340:16:37

80. At 80.

0:16:370:16:39

Sell over here at £80.

0:16:390:16:40

I sell there, at £80. Done at 80...

0:16:400:16:43

Yes. Right at the lower estimate.

0:16:430:16:46

-It has sold, Beryl.

-He's hit his clipboard.

-Yes.

0:16:460:16:50

That was a little bit of fun, that really was.

0:16:500:16:52

A gorgeous little thing.

0:16:520:16:54

Little bells like this are not overly common.

0:16:540:16:57

They're rare enough to be quite an interesting thing

0:16:570:17:00

to seek out and collect, but still accessible

0:17:000:17:03

and, therefore, within a budget of £50 to £80,

0:17:030:17:06

you can pick up some lovely examples at a very reasonable price.

0:17:060:17:11

If you fancy an animal-theme collection,

0:17:110:17:13

that's a fun place to start,

0:17:130:17:15

and at entry-level prices.

0:17:150:17:17

BELL RINGS

0:17:170:17:18

Talking of fun,

0:17:180:17:20

what could be more entertaining than the wacky world of majolica?

0:17:200:17:24

Majolica is fun, funky and so very Victorian.

0:17:240:17:29

The Victorians loved this colourful and hugely decorative ceramic,

0:17:290:17:33

which was often inspired by nature's bounty.

0:17:330:17:37

Kate Bliss was lucky enough to come across a great example

0:17:370:17:40

at a valuation day in Bangor.

0:17:400:17:42

That's a family piece.

0:17:440:17:45

It belonged to my great-grandmother

0:17:450:17:47

and she had it and passed it to my grandmother,

0:17:470:17:51

and when my grandmother died,

0:17:510:17:53

my cousins and I were asked to choose things from out of the house,

0:17:530:17:57

and that was my first choice.

0:17:570:18:00

You find animals are used a lot in majolica.

0:18:000:18:03

Sadly, I suppose, there is this element of

0:18:030:18:05

the monkey and humanity, if you know what I mean.

0:18:050:18:08

So, it was quite interesting to place a monkey as a finial

0:18:080:18:12

or as a handle or as the feet of something.

0:18:120:18:14

The first thing I will do is just take the lid of carefully

0:18:140:18:17

and have a look at the bottom.

0:18:170:18:20

But we haven't got anything at all on there, have we?

0:18:200:18:23

We can see the little marks where it's stood in the kiln,

0:18:230:18:25

but there's no impressed mark to tell us which factory.

0:18:250:18:29

So, we can see from the quality of it and the moulding

0:18:290:18:31

and the way the glaze has been put on that it is by

0:18:310:18:34

one of the leading factories.

0:18:340:18:36

In the 19th century, there were three factories

0:18:360:18:38

producing this sort of ware - George Jones, Minton

0:18:380:18:41

and the third one was Wedgwood.

0:18:410:18:43

And as it isn't marked,

0:18:430:18:45

it could be one of the three.

0:18:450:18:47

Now, my gut feeling is that it's George Jones,

0:18:470:18:50

but we can certainly look at the pattern of it,

0:18:500:18:53

and I'll do further research.

0:18:530:18:55

This particular teapot was made by George Jones.

0:18:550:18:58

It was part of a tea service,

0:18:580:18:59

in simple blue and white.

0:18:590:19:01

They can be much more exuberant with many colours,

0:19:010:19:04

bright turquoise, blues and greens.

0:19:040:19:07

This one was nice because the monkey formed the handle,

0:19:070:19:10

and it's a typical piece of Victorian quirkiness, really.

0:19:100:19:15

Now, one thing that is a shame is the condition,

0:19:150:19:17

and if we take off the lid,

0:19:170:19:19

we can see we've got quite a chunk taken out of the corner.

0:19:190:19:22

The finial is badly cracked, isn't it?

0:19:220:19:25

And we've got a funny little repair here

0:19:250:19:27

to the spout, which is, of course, a very vulnerable piece.

0:19:270:19:31

Tell me about that. Did you know that had been repaired?

0:19:310:19:34

Well, I believe it was done in the 1920s

0:19:340:19:36

-by a local blacksmith.

-Oh, right.

0:19:360:19:38

-He's just soldered on a spout.

-Yes.

0:19:380:19:41

I believe that was a usual repair that the blacksmith did.

0:19:410:19:44

Damage, of course, is important when you're collecting something,

0:19:440:19:47

but there are some areas, and majolica is one of them,

0:19:470:19:50

where collectors will be a little bit lenient,

0:19:500:19:53

particularly if it's a rare shape.

0:19:530:19:54

I think, even in this condition, you're going to be talking

0:19:540:19:57

a significant amount at auction.

0:19:570:19:59

I'm going to put a conservative estimate of £200 to £300.

0:19:590:20:02

-Gosh.

-What do you think about that?

0:20:020:20:04

I think that's very nice, yes.

0:20:040:20:06

I think the monkey might attract quite a few people.

0:20:060:20:10

Kate wasn't wrong about the appeal of the monkey,

0:20:130:20:16

but nothing could have prepared Graham and Lesley

0:20:160:20:19

for what unfolded once the bidding commenced.

0:20:190:20:22

200 I'm bid. £200.

0:20:220:20:24

Straight in at 200.

0:20:240:20:27

£300.

0:20:270:20:28

-£400.

-Mmm...

0:20:280:20:30

£500.

0:20:300:20:32

£600. £700.

0:20:320:20:35

£800.

0:20:350:20:36

After smashing the estimate,

0:20:380:20:40

it kept climbing higher and higher.

0:20:400:20:42

£1,700.

0:20:420:20:44

I can't believe it.

0:20:440:20:46

£1,800.

0:20:460:20:47

£1,900.

0:20:470:20:49

£2,000.

0:20:490:20:51

2,100.

0:20:520:20:55

You've gone, have you?

0:20:550:20:56

£2,100. £2,200.

0:20:560:20:58

I can't believe it.

0:20:580:21:01

£2,300.

0:21:010:21:03

£2,400.

0:21:030:21:04

-I can feel you shaking.

-£2,400.

0:21:060:21:09

£2,400. Anybody else in the room wants to come in?

0:21:090:21:13

What do you think about that? Bang! There it goes.

0:21:140:21:17

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:21:170:21:20

Well done, Kate.

0:21:200:21:22

Well done.

0:21:220:21:23

Well done. £2,400.

0:21:230:21:25

There's a tear in your eye. Look at this, he's crying.

0:21:250:21:29

-Wonderful.

-That was fantastic.

0:21:310:21:33

-I can't believe it.

-2,400.

0:21:330:21:35

It's moments like that that live long in the memory.

0:21:370:21:40

The teapot did so well because the majolica market

0:21:400:21:43

was particularly buoyant at that point.

0:21:430:21:46

And timing is key.

0:21:460:21:48

Prices rise and fall in the world of antiques,

0:21:500:21:52

so take advice from your local auction house.

0:21:520:21:55

If it's a bad time to sell, keep hold of your item for another day.

0:21:550:21:59

When it comes to collecting animal-themed antiques,

0:22:000:22:03

always examine the workmanship

0:22:030:22:06

and look for finely executed decoration and good condition.

0:22:060:22:10

But in the end, it comes down to horses for courses,

0:22:100:22:14

so to speak.

0:22:140:22:15

Go for what appeals to YOU.

0:22:150:22:17

If you fall in love with something,

0:22:170:22:19

just enjoy it for what it is.

0:22:190:22:22

That is until the next piece catches your eye.

0:22:220:22:25

At our valuation days, we often see beautiful artwork

0:22:310:22:36

that's been inspired by nature

0:22:360:22:38

and in 2012, I had the privilege of finding about

0:22:380:22:41

one of our country's more intriguing 19th-century artists.

0:22:410:22:45

An artist who is better known for his poetry.

0:22:450:22:49

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea...

0:22:510:22:53

In a beautiful pea-green boat...

0:22:530:22:55

They took some honey, and plenty of money...

0:22:550:22:57

Wrapped up in a five-pound note.

0:22:570:22:59

The Owl And The Pussy-Cat is one of the world's most famous

0:22:590:23:03

and best-loved children's poems,

0:23:030:23:04

and it's brought its author Edward Lear fame and fortune.

0:23:040:23:08

His limericks and nonsense poems

0:23:080:23:09

have secured his place in literary history,

0:23:090:23:12

however, as a young man,

0:23:120:23:13

he had a very different plan for his future.

0:23:130:23:16

He was an extremely talented artist,

0:23:160:23:18

and an animal-lover, so there was only one place he could come to work,

0:23:180:23:21

and that was right here at the newly opened zoological gardens,

0:23:210:23:25

and he began his career painting parrots.

0:23:250:23:27

Hi, guys!

0:23:270:23:29

London Zoo was established in 1826

0:23:490:23:51

for the scientific study of animals,

0:23:510:23:53

and as photography had yet to be invented,

0:23:530:23:56

the zoo employed artists to document their growing collection

0:23:560:24:00

of exotic wildlife that was arriving on a weekly basis.

0:24:000:24:04

And amongst these daubers was a very young Edward Lear,

0:24:100:24:12

with brush in hand.

0:24:120:24:14

He was eager to show off his artistic skills.

0:24:140:24:17

He spent two years here at the zoo,

0:24:170:24:19

sketching and painting parrots,

0:24:190:24:20

and, uniquely, many of them were drawn from life.

0:24:200:24:23

What he would do is actually get inside the aviary,

0:24:230:24:26

this very aviary, and join them,

0:24:260:24:28

and paint them and sketch them.

0:24:280:24:30

In 1832, Lear published the results,

0:24:300:24:32

Illustrations Of The Family Of The Psittacidae,

0:24:320:24:35

containing 42 lithographs

0:24:350:24:38

hand-coloured by Lear himself.

0:24:380:24:40

It immediately secured him

0:24:400:24:42

a reputation as a supremely talented ornithological draughtsman.

0:24:420:24:46

175 books were made, of which about 100 survive today,

0:24:470:24:51

and one of them is here in the zoo's archive.

0:24:510:24:54

I'm meeting up with natural history artist Rebecca Jewell

0:24:540:24:57

to take a closer look at it.

0:24:570:24:59

They are exceptionally good.

0:25:060:25:08

They are.

0:25:080:25:09

I'm not a bird expert, but that looks real.

0:25:090:25:12

Well, it is. It's absolutely stunning

0:25:120:25:15

and I think what makes Lear stand out

0:25:150:25:17

as bird artist

0:25:170:25:19

is that he did many of his...well, most of his drawings from life,

0:25:190:25:23

-so he went to London Zoo...

-Inside the aviary, basically,

0:25:230:25:26

-with the birds.

-..and he was sketching from the live birds

0:25:260:25:30

and he did many, many sketches.

0:25:300:25:32

There's a lot of work that's gone into that.

0:25:320:25:34

He would have drawn with the pencil

0:25:340:25:37

and then done layers of watercolour,

0:25:370:25:39

probably with gum arabic in it, which is...

0:25:390:25:42

OK. Which is like a glue with colour.

0:25:420:25:45

-And it gives it this beautiful luminescence.

-Hmm.

0:25:450:25:49

And rich, rich colours.

0:25:490:25:51

It's just beautiful. Can you turn a page?

0:25:510:25:54

Can we see some more?

0:25:540:25:56

Is there a big difference between drawing these birds

0:25:560:25:59

when they're living and when they're dead?

0:25:590:26:03

It's easier to draw something dead.

0:26:030:26:05

If you compare him to, say, Audubon,

0:26:050:26:07

who was the equivalent,

0:26:070:26:09

absolutely amazing artist,

0:26:090:26:11

in America drawing birds,

0:26:110:26:13

he did sketch out in life,

0:26:130:26:15

in the field,

0:26:150:26:17

but he then shot his birds

0:26:170:26:19

and he strung them up and put wire in them

0:26:190:26:21

and so his birds are slightly more constructed

0:26:210:26:25

-and angular.

-And awkward looking.

-Yes. They're still beautiful

0:26:250:26:30

but the thing about Lear is,

0:26:300:26:32

he was recording the parrots scientifically, correctly.

0:26:320:26:36

My eyes are gazing over towards that eagle owl. It's an eagle owl, yeah.

0:26:360:26:41

But you can see the expression on the face now.

0:26:410:26:44

You can see where Lear would develop his characters from, can't you?

0:26:440:26:48

Yeah, absolutely.

0:26:480:26:50

And Lear adored owls...

0:26:500:26:52

He thought he was one!

0:26:520:26:53

He did, yeah. He often did a caricature of himself as an owl.

0:26:530:26:58

This is just absolutely fabulous,

0:26:580:27:00

-the detail...

-Hmm.

0:27:000:27:02

..the speckling,

0:27:020:27:04

the colours of the feathers.

0:27:040:27:06

Sadly, due to failing eyesight and lack of financial success,

0:27:100:27:14

Lear gave up bird painting in his mid-20s

0:27:140:27:16

but he never gave up his love for birds.

0:27:160:27:19

They're a theme all of his nonsense poems and his sketches

0:27:190:27:23

and he often caricatured himself as an owl

0:27:230:27:25

so perhaps there is more to his famous poem after all.

0:27:250:27:28

# And hand-in-hand On the edge of the sand

0:27:290:27:32

# They danced By the light of the moon

0:27:320:27:34

# The moon The moon

0:27:340:27:35

# They danced By the light of the moon. #

0:27:350:27:38

Animal collectables are such good fun,

0:27:480:27:51

it's hardly surprising that they never go out of fashion.

0:27:510:27:55

And with a huge variety of things out there,

0:27:550:27:57

you don't have to spend too much to start a collection.

0:27:570:28:00

Dogs, cats, pigs and horses are all popular subjects

0:28:000:28:04

but rarity adds value

0:28:040:28:06

so it is also worth looking out for pieces featuring more unusual breeds.

0:28:060:28:10

So, if you have any antiques and collectables that need re-homing,

0:28:130:28:17

well, then I hope you come and see us at one of our valuation days.

0:28:170:28:20

That's it for today's show, join me again soon for more Trade Secrets.

0:28:200:28:24

Flog It! Trade Secrets explores the enduring appeal of antiques and collectibles which feature animals.