Antiques series. Paul Martin and the Flog It! team go on a journey exploring antiques and collectables from the world of travel, from souvenirs to posh luggage.
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With over a decade of "Flog It!" valuation days and auctions
all over the British Isles,
we've built up a wealth of knowledge valuing your unwanted antiques.
-And now, we want to share some of that with you.
What have you got lurking in there?
It's like a voyage of discovery in your sack, isn't it?
Our experts are raring to go with inside information,
so if there's something you need to know,
you'll probably find it right here.
Welcome to Trade Secrets.
In today's show, we're investigating how holidays and travel
can affect our collecting habits.
Whether it's antiques, souvenirs or items of grand luggage,
there's a ready market
for any item associated with our desire to see the world.
Coming up, the valuations we put on your items surprise and delight you.
We'll put it into auction for £1,000-£1,500.
-Is that good? Is that good news?
There's joy all around
when our estimates are blown out of the water at auction.
-Brilliant! How about that?
-I can't believe that.
And I investigate the great British holiday institution - the beach hut.
Sun shining down on us outside your own beach hut. What could be better?
-Well, apart from a chocolate biscuit.
-There we go.
We British are great travellers.
We invented the steam engine,
which led to the evolution of the railways and steamships,
which ultimately revolutionised travel.
Now, today, getting from A to B
is all about doing it as quickly as possible.
But in days gone by, it was a much more stately affair.
Suitcases, beautiful early suitcases, and trunks,
complete with labels of glamorous far-off places and shipping lines
sell very, very well.
Railway posters that you used to see in carriages
advertising the pleasures of the seaside.
Gosh, don't they make some money?
Particularly the 1930s Art-Deco ski posters. But condition.
You've really got to check condition.
If the margins have been cut, if there are slight tears, rips,
or if any damp has crept in, it will kill them.
So, condition, period, Deco ski posters. You won't go far wrong.
Over the years, we've seen some marvellous
travel-related collectables on the programme.
Kath delighted two of our "Flog It!" experts when she brought in
a wonderful map from one of Europe's most sophisticated cities.
David Barby had the pleasure of valuing the map
whilst Adam Partridge worked his magic on the rostrum.
Maps are very popular.
Lots of people like maps,
from the sort of enthusiast
that likes an Ordnance Survey map of the area they live in
to the real passionate collectors
that want the rare and the wonderful maps.
So, there's an awful lot to go at in maps.
It's a map of Paris, dated 1780.
Nine years before the French Revolution.
I can imagine English tourists having this and going to Paris,
looking out the sort of fashionable watering places,
going to the shops, seeing the sights.
At the same time, the Scarlet Pimpernel
would have needed one of these, wouldn't he?
-Yes, he would!
-During the French Revolution. This is extraordinary.
Where did it come from?
Well, my father left it to me with one or two books.
-Did you have an interest in maps?
Well, this is a beautiful map.
It's a steel engraving and then all this is hand-tinted.
And, obviously, it was never taken out during the rain,
because it hasn't got any runs or stains on it.
It's always quite a surprise when maps survive well
because, of course, you can imagine them being opened up
and folded out and studied and maybe got wet and folded away,
and so, clearly, this one was one that wasn't used a great deal.
What I do find absolutely extraordinary
is this wonderful plate here, which is so decorative,
explains the routes of Paris,
and then you've got these two emblematic figures either side,
and the royal coat of arms here.
Lovely, lovely piece.
Kath had also brought to the valuation day
a quarter of a Bradshaw map of canals,
and David put it together into one lot with the map of Paris,
an estimate of £80-£120 for the pair.
-We've got some interest here, and I can start at £200 bid.
210. 220. 230. 240. 250.
260. 270. 280. 290. 300. 320.
This was a lovely lot brought to us by the King of "Flog It!",
David Barby, who is such a wonderful man and a great valuer.
Very talented, very knowledgeable.
But it was a very rare occasion here
of him really underestimating something.
380 bid. Any more now? 400. 420. 440.
-This is very good.
£420. Are you all done, then, at 420?
Finished at 420.
-Oh, that's good.
-Gosh, I never expected that.
-Nor was I. I don't think you were either.
-I said double.
-I said double.
-Gosh, that's wonderful.
-Little bit of commission to pay.
But what will you spend all that money on?
Well, we've got our first grandchild on the way at the end of August.
-It's going to be Grandma's indulgence.
-It is, isn't it?
David was surprised at the sale result,
but the lesson here is not to underestimate an antique map,
as there is a huge market for them,
particularly for one like Kath's, in such exquisite condition.
But what else would a well-heeled traveller of yesteryear
have needed to take on holiday?
Well, a travel guide, of course,
and Mark Stacey had the privilege of valuing a wonderful set.
Well, they have just gone from loft to loft.
You've inherited them from a relative or something like that?
Yes. Yes, my great-grandfather.
-So, they've been in the family quite a while?
-Oh, yes. Yes.
Whenever you come across items like this that have been hidden away,
I want to go to every house in the country
and start rummaging through people's draws and cupboards and attics,
because there's a wealth of stuff out there that we don't know about,
and we prove this on every "Flog It!" valuation day.
You've got about 27 volumes here,
and if we just take one of my favourite ones,
which is Spain and Portugal, and each one is similar, in a way.
-When we open it up, we find a little map of the country in question.
And then we have the title of the book.
The Modern Traveller. Popular Description.
And the various countries of the globe.
-Each one is dated either 1824, 1825 or 1826.
And, in some cases, you know, when you look at the others,
we've got four volumes of India, we've got Russia,
we've got all of the Far East,
as well as a lot of countries in Europe.
And then it gives you a whole history of the countries
that you are actually researching.
So, this is almost an early 19th-century equivalent
-of the internet, isn't it, for travellers?
This would undoubtedly have been for the middle classes.
To buy a set of books like this,
you would have had to have been quite a wealthy person.
They were beautifully leather-bound.
There were illustrated maps there. Those were not a cheap item to buy.
I would say, if we were putting these in for auction,
we ought to be looking at something like...
-Is that good? Is that good news?
Course you love it.
I mean, when somebody brings something in that, you know,
they've been queueing up many hours to have looked at
and you can say to them it's worth X amount
and there's a lightning, you know,
it's almost like that sort of chocolate box moment
when the face lights up, it's wonderful.
But was Mark's faith
in the strength of the travel collectables market well placed?
What did Will Axon, who wielded the gavel, think?
Anything to do with travel and typography is always well received.
There are a lot of collectors,
because I think it is just an interesting subject.
You know, this is the world we live on, so why not learn about it?
They've got the look. The decorators will love these.
Well, I've got a couple of hopeful bids here that I'll bypass those,
and we start already at 260, 280, 300, I'm bid on commission.
-320. 340. 360. 380. 400.
420. 440. 460. 480.
500. 520. 540. 560. You're in now by 10.
At £560, in the room now. 560. At 560. My bid is out.
All done, then, are you sure, at £560?
-Brilliant! How about that?
-See your little face!
I think the estimate was spot-on
and I think the selling price was spot-on.
Yeah, I think everyone should be happy all round, really.
Fine auctioneer, wasn't he?!
Will was never one to undersell himself,
but the quality of Pauline's collection of travel guides
was clear for all to see.
Not all travel-related items which make it to our valuation days
immediately scream quality.
It's always worth looking in a battered old suitcase,
because you do not know what you will find.
Now, on first appearances,
it looks like you've brought along a rather tatty case.
-Shall we have a little look inside?
-By all means.
There we are.
We have a beautiful selection
of tortoiseshell and silver dressing accessories.
When I think of this,
I think of Orient Express or something like this.
I mean, this is really beautiful.
This is not the average ladies' handbag, is it?
It's not something that we find. But it actually belonged to you...
-My Great-aunt Ida.
-And do you think she ever used it? Did she ever travel?
She was married to a captain in the Army.
When he retired, they did a lot of travelling.
She was a multi-linguist and travelled all over the world.
-Oh, right. So, she was a pretty special lady.
-Oh, she was.
-And she would have taken this around with her?
-Yes, we believe so.
I mean, it's a wonderful set.
We've got mirrors, we've got brushes, we've got a shoehorn.
Now, each one, I can see, looks like it's hallmarked.
-Yes, we believe they are.
-And hallmarked silver.
Birmingham mark, and the letter Y,
and that would date it to around the 1920s.
The sort of people that would probably go for an item like this,
they could either be silver dealers who'd be looking for
good quality pieces of silver with tortoiseshell on,
or they could be interior designers.
Now, these interior designers and, indeed, dealers,
would be looking for a good name sometimes on the suitcase,
so it's always worth, when you get a suitcase,
having a good old look around the rim
to see if they've got some nice retailers' names on.
Perhaps Mappin & Webb, something like that.
It is genuine tortoiseshell, but it's pre-1947,
so it's something that we are allowed to sell.
It's a smart thing and I would be happy to put an estimate on
of 100-150, with a £70 reserve.
-How does that sound to you?
-It's fine, thank you.
-Happy to see it go?
-He's VERY positive!
Catherine was clearly taken with Mike and Anne's case,
but did the bidders fall in love?
I'm bid £180 for it. At 180. 190. 200. 210. 220.
230. 240. 250.
At 250 here.
Finished, then, at £250. Quite sure at 250?
-It's a good price.
-It found its level.
-Yeah. That was nice.
A great result for Mike and Anne.
Travelling boxes and cases are a popular collecting field
and we see lots of them on the show, and they often do well,
but how do you spot one of quality?
James Lewis is the man in the know.
If the outside is good,
then you open the lid and all the jars are there as well,
then that's really nice to see.
Look at that. Fantastic! We now know what this was used for.
It's a travelling box. Probably made 1840 to 1860.
It's likely that it would have been owned
by somebody of some social standing,
because to actually afford to travel at all,
you'd have had to have had a fair bit of income.
Here we've got boxes, and if you hold the box lid up to the light...
-you see it's got holes through it?
And that's so that whatever was inside didn't go mouldy.
So, with holes, we know it was something that would have been wet.
-So, that's likely to be for the toothbrush.
At £360 sitting here. At 360. At 360, are you done?
And it isn't just James who can spot a winner.
I came across a glorious travelling case
which perfectly captured its period.
This kind of thing would have been around in the 1920s.
-The age of the motor car. The golden age.
-Cars were first introduced in the early 1900s.
-Out went the canvas baskets, out went the wicker baskets.
-Because everything was horse-drawn then.
In came the leather travel ware.
-You had to be quite wealthy to have something like this.
I was over the moon to discover the case had a hidden secret.
-Ah, look at that. This is where...
-If you go in here...
-..the diamond necklace goes.
-Oh, come on. Is there one?
-I wish there was!
-Oh, look at it. It's exquisite.
When it came to the auction, did Anthea's 1920s travelling case
struggle without the addition of a diamond necklace?
600 right there. 620. 650? 650. 680.
700. 720. 750. 780. 800.
-820. 850. 880. 900.
At £900 in the middle there. 920?
At £900 I'm bid.
At £900. Going 20? No. At £900.
-I can't believe that.
The next time you see what appears to be a battered old case,
remember, it's worth having a closer look.
Now, not all travel-related items we see on "Flog It!"
have been used for holidays.
Some have travelled far and wide for different reasons.
It's an Attaboy, isn't it?
An Attaboy is a trade name, it's a hat company, or a range of hats
made by the Denton Hat Company of Stockport, Manchester.
Of course, Stockport the home of hat making.
They even have a hat museum there. Did you know that?
So, let's have a look at it. Let's get that lid off there.
-This is the sort of salesman sample, I think, really.
And salesmen would have taken it out,
because it's small enough to carry around, and say, "Believe it or not,
"this miniature Attaboy is half the size of an ordinary Attaboy hat."
-So, you've got an idea of what it'll make.
-What it would be.
Isn't that cute?
I suppose you could have had any amount of small hats like that
in your salesman's kit - it would have made it a lot easier
hawking them round the streets, through the rain and the wind,
on public transport,
trams and horses and carriages and things like that.
So, I can imagine there was a real need for salesmen's samples,
and they were made to exactly the same specification and quality
so that you could show your potential buyer,
look at the detail, look at the quality,
and what you're going to get is a full-size version.
I think that's dead cute.
And it serves a purpose for me because, of course,
-now I'm getting on a bit, I've got one of these bald spot.
That will cover it just nicely.
Unfortunately, it's got a bit bigger since then, so...
..I think I might need the full-sized hat now!
So, why are you selling it? I suppose cos it's in the loft.
Yes. We're trying to get rid of quite a lot of things.
Well, that will free up a load of room, won't it(?)
I know, this is it!
-Um, it's not worth a lot.
-We know that, but...
-Great fun, though.
-It's not all about the value.
-It's a novelty thing, isn't it?
-It's a curiosity.
It's about what you've got and the story you can tell.
-So, I think it will make £20-£40.
-Yeah? Quite surprised.
It wasn't just Adam who was taken with the Attaboy.
The auctioneer was rather fond of it too.
I know that my opinion counts for nothing,
but I think this is one of the most delightful lots in today's sale.
It really is. It's a real little gem.
It's always nice when an auctioneer is fond of your item,
as it's always depressing when they don't like it.
It's happened both ways.
But he was really a great fan of this hat
and he did his real very best in talking it up,
and I think the fact that he liked it so much
undoubtedly rubbed off on the bidders.
40 bid. 40. A real little beaut. At 40.
40 I'm bid. 50. £50.
-60 bid. £60.
70 with me. £70.
5 again now. At £70. A delightful little lot.
75. 80. 80 bid.
-On the book at £80.
I didn't think we'd get that.
I thought we was going home with it.
-£80. The hammer's gone down.
Even though it was £20-£40 and made, I think, £80,
which is an awful lot of money for it, really,
when you look at other comparable examples,
it's right up my street, that sort of thing.
It's right up my street too, Adam,
and I wasn't surprised it sold so well.
The Attaboy had rarity and an enthusiastic auctioneer on its side.
A winning combination.
Other things to think about when buying travel-related collectables.
Check that all-important condition.
Well-kept pieces fetch good prices.
-Oh, that's good.
-Gosh, I never expected that.
And if you're buying a case that comes with extras,
make sure they're all there.
It will seriously affect the price if any components are missing.
Now, "Flog It!" regulars are always on the lookout
for intriguing items to add to their own collections,
and Michael Baggott boasts a fine piece
that had sailed the seven seas.
I mean, I'm not a great maritime collector.
I've got no associations with the sea.
But a couple of years ago, I went to an auction,
ostensibly to buy some silver,
and I found this beastie in the saleroom,
and it's a bit of naive art.
And it's something that tells a story,
because the carving that's been done on it
has been done at sea by a sailor,
probably in the middle of the 18th century.
He's found coconut and ivory and mother of pearl -
very exotic things - to inlay the face on the head of the cane.
And then he's gone and basically engraved the ship he's on.
His initials - to say it's his cane.
But then he's passed onto another seaman, who's added a mermaid
and a whale.
And then he's probably had it for 20, 30 years,
and passed it on to another sailor. Who has then added his ship.
And further down, you've got all the different animals and beasts
the sailor would have seen at the various ships
and ports that he landed.
This cane's probably going to date anywhere from about 1740 up to 1780,
when it was originally carved and the figure inlaid in.
Some of the engraving might be as late as 1800-1820.
And I don't think you could get anything more personal
and more related to the sea, and the personal experience of a sailor
on board an 18th and 19th century sailing ship.
It's a little mini-social history of early maritime life
during the Georgian era.
Wonderful thing. And a rare survival.
Sooner or later,
all British travellers make their way to the coast.
And when they do, there's only one place to hang out - the beach hut.
Having a swim in the sea is one of the great pleasures
of coming to the seaside.
And it all took off really in the early 18th century
when doctors encouraged their patients to have a
dip in the saltwater to improve their general health and well-being.
Early bathers were encouraged to bathe naked.
But that wasn't as straightforward as it sounds.
It wasn't appropriate to have people walking naked along the beach.
So a more discreet solution was needed.
Bathing machines, which were basically beach huts on wheels,
were invented to provide the occupant with the modesty,
and as a way of getting from the top of the beach down to the water.
But fashioned changed, and by the turn of the 20th century,
it became acceptable to wear a bathing costume and be seen in it.
But people still needed a place to change in.
And the answer was static beach huts.
These soon became a sought-after accessory to any seaside holiday.
Nowadays, these brightly-painted beach huts are an iconic symbol
of the Great British seaside resort.
We tend to take their presence for granted.
So I'm here to find out a little bit more.
And the person to tell me is Dr Catherine Ferry -
a seaside historian who is an expert on beach huts.
Do you have a beach hut yourself?
Oh, I wish I did. I don't. I feel a bit of a fraud admitting that.
But there's something that appeals to me
about these tiny buildings on the margin between the land and the sea.
They could get blown away but they're bright and cheerful.
-You know, I love that.
-They do put a smile on your face.
-What a backdrop we've got.
-With the golden sunshine.
-It keeps you snug.
On some of our summer's days, you know, you want to be in there
-if the sun doesn't come out.
I think that's why the British love them so much.
Because when the rain comes down,
it doesn't matter cos you just go inside and make yourself cosy.
And you can look out at all the other poor people
walking on the prom in the rain.
-But you're snug inside your hut.
-You spent months on the road
going on virtually a tour of the coast of England.
That's right. And I did actually count the beach huts as I went.
OK, come on. Let's hear it.
I counted just over 19,000. But I think I missed a few.
Actually, that's quite a surprisingly low number,
because there's so much interest in beach huts these days
that you imagine that there's going to be hundreds of thousands of them.
-I like the brightly painted ones.
-So do I.
-They remind me you of a stick of rock.
-They put a big smile on your face.
-They're so, so summery, aren't they?
-Even in the winter, they look summery.
-Yeah, I think that's what it's all about, don't you?
Beach huts aren't just places to relax in,
they're also highly sought-after pieces of real estate.
Prices have rocketed in recent years,
with some in popular locations now selling for well over £100,000.
So I'm keen to have a look inside a hut and meet some of the owners.
Christine and Iain, this is the life, isn't it?
-Just the business.
-Sun shining down on us outside your own beach hut.
What could be better? Well, apart from a chocolate biscuit.
-There we go.
-Do you mind?
So, how long have you had this one?
We've had it six months. We moved to Brighton last October.
We decided we'd like to retire by the sea.
And you thought, yep, can't get any closer to the sea than this.
-That was us.
-It's just there.
I come down when the weather's nice, like this.
If it's windy then I just sit in the hut.
Just inside, out of the wind. Otherwise, out here.
-Sandwiches, food, wine, Champagne...
-You know, just have a lovely time.
-It's no wonder you look so happy.
-It's a good life.
-I've got to try some of this.
-I've got to try some of this.
-You have to.
So, where's that Champagne then?
-It's chilling down right now.
Well, I've got to say, this definitely is the life.
I've just had a fascinating insight into what life is like
owning a beach hut.
And I can honestly say, if I lived anywhere near the coast,
I would definitely invest in one of these.
And my dogs, they would absolutely love it.
Still to come, Charlie Ross stumbles across the weird and wonderful
on a visit to Blackpool.
It's quite extraordinary to me that thousands of people will
queue and pay money to see a vicar in a barrel.
And a collection oozing Hollywood glamour crosses
Catherine Southon's path.
-Is that Clark Gable? Wonderful.
And here we have Cary Grant on Santa Monica Boulevard.
It's often the case that an object travels a long way
before finally finding a home.
And that's certainly true of an item that's of great
sentimental value to expert David Fletcher.
A friend of mine, who is a book dealer in Bedford,
telephoned me about six or seven months ago
and said, was I related to a chap called Fred Fletcher?
Might he be an ancestor of mine? I thought, funnily enough,
my grandfather was called Fred Fletcher.
And he said, "Well, I think I've got his diary."
So I popped down to his shop in a state of some excitement,
as you might imagine, really.
When I got back, I was fascinated when I sat and read it.
It describes a journey he makes between December 1916
and April 1917.
We did know that he was in the Royal Army Medical Corp
and that he travelled to Mesopotamia.
And on the way, he called in at Cape Town, Durban and Bombay.
And he describes his experiences in some detail.
He says he has one hell of a time in Cape Town.
He obviously thoroughly enjoyed himself there.
And he arrives in due course in Basra.
And he says at that stage, on Friday 6th April...
"Today, for the first time since I have been in the army,
"I have done some work that counts.
"All day, from 6.00am to 8.00pm, 100 of us have been loading
"and unloading wounded on and off hospital ships."
So he's a medic and he feels what he went there for has suddenly
But there's a very, very poignant ending to this diary.
And this occurs in the last entry, which is
written on Friday 20th April.
And he says, "At last I can say I am settled."
And he goes on to say, "All I want now is a letter."
And at the same page in that diary,
there's the front of an envelope, that's all that remains,
addressed to him. It's originally sent to India,
but it's been forwarded to him in Mesopotamia.
I have no proof of this, but I'm certain refers to the fact that
his brother had been killed a few days earlier on the Western Front,
I know that Tom, his brother, died on St George's Day, April 23rd.
And the letter has a Bedford postmark of April 27th.
And the diary finishes there.
Not another word's written.
You can just imagine the feelings that this young man had,
on the other side of the world, learning all those miles away
that his brother has been killed.
So, this was a remarkable buy for me.
And obviously one I treasure very much.
In 1846, when the railways arrived in Blackpool,
people started flocking there for their holidays.
Aside from the Pleasure Beach, the Illuminations and the Tower,
there was a whole host of theatrical entertainments to be enjoyed.
Flog It! regular Charlie Ross has a notion that theatrical ephemera,
as a collecting field, is on the way up.
I've had a love of the theatre from a very early age.
I can remember being taken the West End aged eight,
seeing My Fair Lady and being completely thrilled
by the whole experience.
And from that, I started doing am-dram myself.
Through that I've become interested in the ephemera side of it as well.
Great thing about theatrical ephemera, it touches everybody.
We've all got a favourite film or favourite show.
I don't think there's anybody that isn't excited by a certain
sphere of this.
I've come to Blackpool to see the most extraordinary collection
of theatrical ephemera put together by the late Cyril Critchlow.
Cyril Critchlow was a remarkable man.
He was a magician, an impresario, he put together wonderful shows.
He ended up with his own museum.
And sadly passed away in 2008.
After his death, his daughter Pat
and librarian, Tony Sharkey, went through all
this ephemera, which was kept in, I think, five or six garages.
All these items are now put together in Blackpool Central Library.
And that's where I'm going.
We were amazed by how much he had. We knew he was an avid collector.
When we put Cyril's collection together,
-we made 179 volumes, just of archival material.
I'd love to see just one or two things from the collection.
Take a look at this.
This is Blackpool's first summer season programme.
There's something unusual about that programme.
It's...well, there it says "souvenir cotton programme."
So that links the cotton industry with Blackpool.
Blackpool's visitor heartland is the Lancashire cotton industry.
It's right on Blackpool's doorstep.
And when they came to Blackpool, as the wakes week started
and they were able to start spending a full week in Blackpool,
-they knew how to spend their money.
And they wanted to be entertained while they were here.
The good thing, from our point of view,
it's still in perfect condition.
If you have a paper one and somebody folds it,
it falls to bits fairly quickly, doesn't it?
-It's a talking point.
-So, you know, that is...yes.
And how proud you'd be to go home and say,
"I've got a cotton programme."
How wonderful. That's splendid.
How many people would come here?
I mean, not just presumably the Opera House, other theatres as well?
Blackpool would have a full-range of entertainments.
In the '30s, Blackpool was claiming 7 million visitors a year.
-And all of those people, of course,
would want to be entertained in the evening.
-That's a huge number of people.
-It's a huge number of seats to fill.
Providing a massive amount of income.
-The income that came into the town was considerable.
-But the expenditure on glamorous shows was also considerable.
Of course, there's many aspects to Blackpool's entertainment culture.
Once side... Maybe not totally acceptable today,
but it was Blackpool's sideshow culture.
Which was vast.
-Which was very considerable.
-Who have we got here?
-Here we've got Harold Davidson.
-He's a vicar. He's a discredited vicar.
-He's the former rector of a parish in Norfolk.
He ended up exhibiting himself in a barrel on the promenade in Blackpool.
Crikey! Look at the number of people!
It's quite extraordinary to me that thousands of people will queue
and pay money to see a vicar in a barrel.
-This was the reality of Blackpool's sideshow culture.
I think from a collection point of view, what is one looking for?
Fame, one's looking for rarity.
And this is obviously as rare as a show could get.
Where else will you see a picture like that? Nowhere else.
-We've looked at Blackpool's sideshows.
But Blackpool in the '40s and '50s attracted major Hollywood stars.
-And sometimes they went nowhere else.
"The only concerts in the British Isles..."
-So she didn't go to London.
-She came to the Opera House.
She didn't go to the West End.
-She didn't go anywhere else. She came to Blackpool.
And that's where the people were.
Once some major stars started to come, others
followed in their footsteps.
That's Mae West. The thing that really took my eye here
is that it's signed. That makes all the difference.
Something like that is worth hundreds of pounds now.
People collect these things.
And the thought that somebody stood in a queue, got the signature,
met the person...
Blackpool does do, and did do, glamour.
-At the very, very top level.
-At the very top level.
As well as your Northern seaside humour,
as well as your Blackpool sideshows...
-A huge mixture, isn't it?
-It's a huge mixture.
Cyril's left us a legacy that shouts Blackpool,
-that we feel really proud of.
Having seen the collection, now what I want to do is find out
more about the man behind the collection - Cyril Critchlow.
Who better to tell me about him than his daughter Pat?
And where better to meet her than right on the seafront itself?
He started when he was very young,
doing magic tricks when he was about nine.
He came to Blackpool with my grandparents, his mother and father.
And he took great interest in magic at that point.
So, yeah, anything that was around, he'd travel and buy it.
Anybody who knew him would go and see all this stuff in his garage.
Including my grandchildren.
-And there was always something mega in there.
Or something really interesting.
It must have been a huge, huge loss for Blackpool when he died.
-He must have been very well known.
-I think so.
Yeah, he was very well-known.
If you ever went out to the shops or anything, he'd be a good two hours
coming back, because he used to talk to everybody and anybody.
And now, thanks to you and Tony,
-his memory lives on through that amazing collection.
-It does, yeah.
That is fantastic, really.
-He would have been so proud of that.
-Thank you very much indeed.
-Shall we go for a swim?
-I think so.
Who doesn't like to be beside the seaside
or explore great open spaces,
wander the streets of cities and towns - home and abroad?
And let's face it, we all like to bring back souvenirs.
But how do you distinguish the tourist tat from the hidden gems?
Well, here are a few tips.
Most souvenirs are what my mother would have called frippery.
Penny dreadfuls. And don't have quality.
If you can buy something from a region that's just got
a little bit of quality...
It'll cost you more, but it will be well worth collecting.
Don't just buy something because it's got Ramsgate on it.
That's not going to help.
Goss is certainly the big name in crested china.
That's the one you'd go for. Obviously, other lesser makers
copied what Goss was doing and achieving.
But really, you go by the rarity of the object.
Or possibly the rarity of the crest.
Buy something that's hand-painted. Classic example.
Go down to the West Country, some wonderful potteries down there.
Buy an original piece of pottery with a signature on it.
We had Troika. And these were made as souvenirs
to be bought in Cornwall.
So I don't think that we should scoff at holiday souvenirs,
we should always have a second look at them
because very often they can be of quality.
And they can be desirable.
When I think of souvenirs - paperweights, crested china
and stuffed donkeys cross my mind.
But something altogether more exotic found its way to Michael's table.
Obviously when you see something that you haven't seen in the normal
course of events at a Flog It! valuation day
you get very excited.
When you find it's by a very big and important maker,
doubly so, so I was thrilled to see it.
Where on earth did this, dare I say it, grotesque little fellow come from?
Just out of a box at a charity sale that I went to,
with some other little bits and pieces.
It was unusual, it was cheap, so I thought, "I'll have that."
-When you say it was cheap, hopefully not more than a fiver, was it, or...
Something in my brain is saying a couple of pounds with some
other little bits, that's all.
Couple of pounds, well, I think a couple of pounds is all right for it.
It is a gourd, a hardened bean pod,
I mean, variously you get gourd shaped pods in India and China,
the whole of Southseast Asia, really.
Somebody's grown this
and then I think somebody has had a go at making it a bazaar object.
Possibly sold to a tourist.
But the tourist that bought this would probably have been shopping in about 1880.
There's always the Victorian taste,
remember we're at a time before film, before television,
bringing back objects that were extraordinary,
that they could remember from their trip but also describe the exotic locations they'd been.
And they've come back to England
and they've got this thing and they've thought,
"What the devil can I do with this?"
And they have taken it into a silversmith's who have been
really ingenious and they have fitted this silver foot
in the form of a leaf, but we have the hallmarks there are for London, 1878.
And they have followed the naturalistic design
and they have a vine leaf going up the side and a scroll
and they have put a pepper pot top on it.
The most interesting thing, though, is the maker's mark.
It's a very important London firm of jewellers called Giuliano.
This is done by Carlo Giuliano. He's incredibly sought after.
And quite an important Victorian maker.
He was an Italian trained under Castellani in London,
and he did some work for the leading Victorian jeweller,
Robert Phillips, before setting up on his own and certainly
while his silver is very niche is jewellery now is extremely popular.
It's considered to be amongst the finest of the 19th century work in this country.
It's a question of price.
What do you think is a fair return on your couple of pounds?
What do you think it is worth?
I am hoping it is worth a couple of hundred or something like that.
A couple of hundred? I don't want to disappoint you, Julie, so I wont.
We'll put it into auction for 1,000 or £1,500.
-We'll put a reserve of £1,000 on it.
Carlo Giuliano's work in jewellery is incredibly
sought after and rare, his work in silver is even rarer.
In terms of putting an estimate on it
I did know of slightly similar but smaller objects by Giuliano
that had sold at auction and they have sold at 700, 800, £900.
This being a larger example I thought
we would have no difficulty whatsoever it in 1,000 or
£1,500 for it and secretly I was hoping it might do over 2,000.
So, was Michael's confidence well placed?
-At 860 on the book. At 860.
-That's a good start.
880, at 880 now. At 860. At £860. 880 anywhere now?
At £860? You sure now then?
At £860? You all sure at 860...
I said just then it was a great start but it was also the end.
It was the end. Why?
All along I thought, because it is so it is a specialist type thing, isn't it?
It's not something everyone could live with.
Put it into a specialist silver sale because I promise you that is worth £1,000.
All day long.
It was obviously very disappointing when it did not sell.
Sometimes you need the right person to understand an object.
A lot of collectors of silver would look at that
and think 1,000 or 1,500 was a lot of money,
if you collect Giuliano jewellery you think it is an absolute bargain.
Michael was disappointed the gourd did not find a new owner,
but he was right that the name Guiliano can make big money.
In 2011 a stunning gold enamel engraved pearl necklace
by Giuliano sold at auction for around £55,000.
If Julie still has her wacky souvenir I think
she should try her luck again at a specialist sale.
If you do, remember to put a reserve on it.
Now, a souvenir from a little closer to home caught David Fletcher's attention.
You have got which you a.. gizmo, really.
If I can unscrew it there... we have...a pen.
Not a fountain pen but a dipper.
At the other end, of course, a paper knife.
One other thing which I suspect is going to be the case is that
if I look through this little hole at the end I am going to see
a black and white photograph.
Items like this were bought as souvenirs, they were affordable.
If you went away on a charabang in the 1920s or you have gone
away on a train in the 1890s to the seaside and you had a Mum at home
and you wanted to buy a souvenir, something to take back to her, you
could go out and buy one of these and it would not break the bank.
I am sure that when you saw this you thought, "I've got to go to Hastings!"
We went last year!
This type of magnifying device is known as a Stanhope.
Because it was invented by the third Earl of Stanhope.
-Who, quite honestly hadn't got much to do with his time.
He was probably very thrilled with it and I must say it is miraculous.
It didn't really have any purpose, they were just novelties,
just bits of fun.
And they related to a particular resort
and there was a scene in that resort and if you have been there
you took it home, it was a logical thing to do.
This isn't going to make the earth, but it is good fun
-and I would like to suggest an estimate of 30 or £50.
-That is OK.
-We will go ahead and I will see you both at the auction.
-Lovely. Thank you.
The question is, will this lot about your love this?
Let's find out. It's going under the hammer right now.
What did he say? 22? 24, 26 standing now.
28, 30, 32, 34, 36, £36. Are we all done at 36?
36, do I see 38? Selling at £36.
It's gone! £36.
Collectors of Stanhopes today, it must be said,
are fairly or relatively few and far between.
They're by no means the most syllable of all collectable
items but they are collected by people who are buying on a budget.
I don't think it will prove to be good investments, necessarily,
but they might be.
It may just be worth punting a pound or two if you see one.
I agree, Stanhope should not be overlooked as a collecting field,
They're an affordable an. interesting entry-level item for those
who want to start collecting.
Stanhopes were added to all kinds of useful objects,
like walking canes and cigarette holders as well as being
made into purely decorative pieces.
Personally I think they are fascinating and the images
they contain remainders of long lost landscapes and city scenes.
Kathryn also spotted a collection that whisked back to another
place and time.
Now I love to see a good selection of ephemera
and that is what we have here. The lovely bit of social history.
Where has it all come from? Tell me the story.
My grandfather went to America in 1954 to visit his cousin.
He was a 73 and had never been abroad, never been out of the country.
I do not think he had ever been out of Lancashire or Yorkshire at that time.
And he went out on the ship called the SS Flanderer. He went to New York
and flew from New York to LA, he had never flown before in his life.
-To travel at his age, you said he was 70...?
-He would have been 73.
That is a big thing, at that time, if you think whisking back
to the '50s, this was like a movie star thing.
-He was so excited, I was a small boy.
-It was a big adventure.
-It was a huge adventure.
It wasn't really common as it is now in the 1950s for people to
travel and travel really across to America,
it was really only the rich, the very wealthy who were
making their way over to America and travelling extensively.
And he went out on the Flanderer and these are the menus.
They look very grand don't they?
That was second-class, what was first class like?
He came back on a ship in December 1954,
called the Saxonia and that ship was brand-new in 1954 and launched by
Lady Churchill, there is a booklet there telling you all about it,
which he brought back with him as well.
It was interesting to look at the brochures that were
produced at the time, looking at the fashion, the furniture,
the way that the actual ship was dressed.
But also what I loved was the postcards that he had,
he had an amazing collection of postcards
which his grandfather bought when he was over in America.
It was interesting to see how Hollywood looked then
and how it looks now.
-They're so colourful.
-There are a lot of pictures of film stars houses.
Here we have Will Rogers, and the Nelsons.
And here we have Cary Grant on Santa Monica Boulevard.
The value was in the fact that it was a great collection,
it was not only the postcards from the '50s it was
also about the travel in the '50s so it was really an entire story
and I think the fact that it was all really beautifully documented
and it was in superb condition.
That was wonderful.
Now, I think we should put it in auction with an estimate of
2 or £300, and a fixed reserve of £200.
Which means we won't sell it below that.
A fascinating collection,
certainly deserving the top end of its estimate.
-What did the bidders think?
-£100 to start me. 100 to go.
-110, 120, 130, 140.
He hasn't put his bidding card down.
170, 180, 190, 200, £200 there.
In the middle of the room at £200. Anyone else want to come in?
I can sell it then at £200. I am selling it for 200.
It's got £200 and that chap over there was very, very keen.
He did not put his bidding paddle down.
I wanted, I am going home with it.
-I just wish there was someone else in the room doing the same!
Yes, John, unfortunately it always takes two bidders to get top dollar.
I think the gent that won that what got himself a bargain.
That's auctions for you.
Not all modern souvenirs from sunny climbs will fit snugly
into your hand luggage as Adam Partridge discovered.
You have brought this handsome Murano sculpture in today,
can you tell me much about it?
About 25 years ago I was in Italy on business
and a colleague and I went on a boat to Murano and had a look at it and bought one each.
They're lovely. We've never regretted buying it.
Murano is an island off Venice which has been famous for glass
making for probably 1,000 years.
Since the 10th century.
And in the last hundred years in particular it's been a great
area for tourists, holiday,
souvenir hunters etc to bring back colourful paperweights,
vases, they had a whole range of glass produced by Murano.
-This is heavy, how did you get it home?
-It was shipped home, thankfully.
-I know you carried it in today in a holdall.
-£93 excess baggage if we brought it by plane.
Was it really? Do you mind me asking how much it was?
-Just about £800.
-£800. So a couple of million Lira?
Indeed. I spent a couple of million. First and only time I've ever spent 2 million!
I see a lot of Murano glass coming through the salerooms
but it is always smaller pieces, vases and things like that.
I've never seen anything as impressive as this from Murano
-so it is really a great object to see.
-It is lovely.
What was unusual about this, it was all clear for a start at it
was a very distinctive and unusual piece of modern glass, not really my
cup of tea but I was quite excited to see an unusual piece of Murano.
-Presumably you want your money back and a bit more?
-I would hope so.
I would hope so as well. I think £800 is probably the top end of what it is worth in an auction.
When I saw it I thought six or £800 but it is lovely.
-Does it have a name?
-It is called Adam. After yourself.
That is very kind. It's a handsome chap.
It's very nice to have the Murano seal on here, the stamp
and signature on the front there, which is
Rosine and his first name was Loredano Rosine.
The pieces that are signed and designed, those are the ones
that have the best chance of appreciating in value.
We don't want you to lose money so you will want a reserve on this.
I think I would want the reserve to be what I paid for it before,
-there is no point in selling it if I will make a loss.
-I quite agree. I wouldn't do that either.
We'll put a deserve of 800 which I think is the top end
but fingers crossed, we will see what happens.
Bob and I didn't exactly see completely eye to eye,
I would have estimated that at five or £6-£800 rather than £800-£1,000.
But Bob was insistent on wanting the £800.
I actually thought this probably isn't going to sell.
We'll see you at the auction, Adam.
Who was proved right, Bob or Adam?
When the Murano souvenir went under the hammer.
An important piece of modern glass, very seldom on the market.
I have interest. I can start this at £650. 650, 650,...
-It's above your valuation already.
-Stop it, Bob!
800 with you, sir. 800.
-But I can sell, are you quite sure? All done at £800?
You've got your money back.
Bob was extra victorious. When it made the 800,
he said, "I could do your job much easier than you!"
So congratulations, Bob, on making me look like an idiot.
I think it was a fair price, a very strong price.
Perhaps in time to come that might prove to be an investment
but I think it will take a few years.
You can't win them all
but luckily for Bob there was one very determined bidder in the room.
What should you consider when shopping for mementos on holiday?
The best things in life are free. Well, fairly inexpensive.
Travel brochures and postcards from your trip may cost you a few
pounds today but could prove very valuable in the future.
Always keep an eye out for the weird and wacky,
but if you are selling at auction sniff out a specialist
sale and always protect your prized possession with a reserve.
And if you are thinking of starting a holiday themed collection
you can't go far wrong with a Stanhope.
These are charming, inexpensive souvenirs that make a perfect
starting point for those who are new to antiques.
I hope we have shown you that not all holiday mementos are cheap
tourist tat, some in fact are serious collectors pieces.
There's one high-end souvenir which is a particular favourite of Maine.
Over the years we have valued a fair bit of it on the programme
-and it often fetches memorable prices.
-All done at £400.
The hammer's gone down, 400 quid, good estimate.
Tunbridge ware is deserving of the prices it
achieves as it is a quality antique, handmade by master craftsmen.
The wooden wares were originally produced as a sideline
by woodworkers, working in the vicinity of Tunbridge Wells
to sell to the spa town visitors.
Some believe the earliest examples were brought in from London.
The Tunbridge ware items were a popular souvenir,
you must think of Tunbridge Wells, the wonderful spa town
in the 18th and 19th century, the fine folk would go there to take
the waters, and when you go on holiday you want to bring a souvenir back.
So they would buy these boxes, caddies,
and I think there is reference to these things in the books
and letters of that time,
talking about the beautiful little boxes, the wondrous boxes.
The popularity of Tunbridge ware with the tourists who
flock to the town meant that by the mid-18th-century specialist
manufacturers had sprung up in the area.
Over the centuries different techniques were employed
in the decorating of the wares.
Early examples were often painted or print decorated.
But later, the more well-known techniques of marquetry,
parquetry and mosaic work were adopted with up to 150 different
varieties of native and exotic woods being used to create glorious pieces of Tunbridge ware.
Little bit of wood, tulipwood satinwood, Boxwood, ebony,
the most wonderful stringing details in this geometric pattern
which has been coloured beautifully.
The craftsmanship and patience to apply this pattern,
this geometric pattern to both sides of this little calling card box.
Bearing in mind the level of skill
and the quality of materials that went into the wares, it is
not surprising that today they are highly sought after collectables.
So what should you be aware of if you're looking to acquire a piece.
My advice is to do your research and look out for good makers names,
for example, Robert Russell.
Our experts have a few words of wisdom, too.
The most sought after are the wonderful pictorial scenes.
Make sure it is perfectly intact and there is no bits of veneer missing,
look for good quality perfect pieces and you won't go wrong.
Caroline is bang on. When it comes to condition,
Tunbridge Ware is notoriously difficult and costly to restore.
It's wise to look for pieces that don't need it.
-It's so cute, look at that!
There are other things to consider, too.
Learn the difference between Tunbridge ware
from Tunbridge Wells and the Italian copies being made in Sorrento.
Because they are very similar
and to the untrained eye they are almost identical.
But the difference in value is hundreds of pounds per object.
Work out what your budget is, you might say,
"I will not collect across the field I might just buy Tunbridge ware stamp boxes."
You might buy Tunbridge ware dressing table items. The choice is fabulous.
It depends on how much you have to spend.
Always keep your eyes open for unusual shapes and designs.
As they will always hold their value.
That is it for today's show. I hope you have enjoyed it.
Join us again soon for more trade secrets!
Paul Martin and the Flog It! team take us on a journey exploring antiques and collectables from the world of travel; from holiday souvenirs to posh luggage. Expert Charlie Ross visits Blackpool to discover an all-singing, all-dancing collection of entertainment ephemera.
And Paul Martin discovers the history behind the good old British beach hut.