European Flog It: Trade Secrets


European

Antiques series. Caroline Hawley and Christina Trevanion indulge in a bit of antique shopping in France. Paul Martin explores the story behind a Dali painting.


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Transcript


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For many years now, you've been coming along to our valuation days

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laden with antiques and collectables,

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putting our experts through their paces.

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You can sell this in your pyjamas on a Sunday afternoon

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and it will make its money.

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And during that time,

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we've all learned a great deal about the items we've valued and sold.

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Now we want to share some of that information with you,

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so if you want to know more, you've definitely come to the right place.

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This...is Trade Secrets.

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We British are a proud island race,

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out on a limb on the edge of the great continent of Europe.

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But for centuries we've looked to the continent for trade

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and travel, and inevitably,

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little pieces of Europe have found their way to our shores.

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The "Flog It!" team regularly get presented with items that

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have made their home here, in Britain,

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so today's show is all about how to spot the very best.

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Coming up, European pieces to take your breath away.

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Unbelievable, £7,500.

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We crack an Italian whodunnit.

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Signed Carelli, but Carelli is a very popular Italian name.

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We discover the secret of the German elephant in the room.

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That adds so much more significance to the object, doesn't it?

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And send Christina and Caroline on French leave,

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and no, it's not a booze cruise!

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-Oh, my goodness, are you serious?!

-Yes. Happy French hunting!

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Oh, you star.

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There are certain objects we quite often see on the show that

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you bring in that we associate with certain countries or areas,

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like Black Forest woodcarving, French bronzes, Danish glass.

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It is quality because they specialise in that

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particular genre, and quality, as we know, always sells.

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So, what constitutes a European classic,

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and what should you be looking out for?

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We're an island race, and so we tend to look in at what we've

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produced in the past, but if you go abroad, go and have a look.

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If you go to Germany, look for KPM plaques, WMF, Meissen -

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look for their history, not ours.

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A good European collectable is one which is indicative

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of the quality of the works that each country is renowned for.

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So, for example, Russian enamelwork, French clocks

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and watch movements, and I think buy the

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best example you can from each particular country of source.

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The Europeans produce wonderful items across the board,

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just like the British.

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If you want to go, for example, ceramics,

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then Meissen is a good favourite, even the later 19th century Meissen

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figures are still sought-after, the quality is always very high.

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We're never short of items that hail from across the water,

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and it's a joy to see European classics cross our tables.

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If Denmark and France are known for glass, Italy for painting

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and Switzerland for watches,

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you can't look at a porcelain doll without thinking Germany.

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I've seen plenty of them, in all shapes and sizes,

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though none quite as large as the one Anita Manning came across.

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-Catherine, this certainly isn't a baby doll.

-No, she's quite big.

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One of the biggest dolls that I've seen for a wee while.

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'The doll collectors like aspects of dolls which are a wee bit unusual.'

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This doll was well-fancied

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and I think one of the reasons for that was the sheer size!

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She was a big girl!

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Tell me, where did you get her?

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I know that she was bought in 1930 for an aunt of mine,

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and I inherited her.

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-You became her adoptive mother!

-Yes.

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So, if we turn her round to the back...we can see

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the markings of Armand Marseille, we have "AM",

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and we also have the number 390, which is the head mould.

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'Armand Marseille was one of the leading doll manufacturers'

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in Europe from the middle of the 1800s to the 1900s,

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they were German manufacturers.

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They lasted such a long time because of the quality of the product.

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Not only did they make these wonderful doll faces

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and bodies, they made faces that were full of character.

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She has this wonderful colour blue in her eyes, which is good,

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and we have an open mouth with these dainty white teeth.

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I think it's the original hair, it's a bit sort of fly-away there,

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she looks like she's been dragged through a hedge backwards.

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I've got to take into consideration that a doll has been played with,

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it's been carried about by a child, dragged across the floor.

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All the articulated limbs were there, the fingers

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and toes were there, for its age it wasn't in bad condition at all.

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Price, I would say between £2-300,

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-would you be happy to sell her at that price?

-Yes, I would.

-Yeah.

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-Tell me, does she have a name?

-No, she never had a name.

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Maybe her next owner will give her a name after all these years.

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I hope so.

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Well, I've always liked the name Anita myself,

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but what about the bidders?

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Did they like the look of this slightly dishevelled piece

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and the name of its classic German maker?

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The Armand Marseille German doll, I'm bid 100 to start it.

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-120, 140, 160, 180...

-We're there.

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..200, 220, 240, 260, 280, 300...

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-Yeah, very good.

-At £300, anybody else left?

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At £300, and we're away at 300.

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-Bang on top estimate!

-Oh, that is...

-Big is beautiful.

-Big is good.

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The doll collectors, I'm sure,

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think of their dolls as little people,

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and like people they have different faces, expressions

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and characters, so character in the face is a very important thing.

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An unnamed doll, but one with a big hitting name on the label.

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Proof that collectors will pay a little more for something

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out of the ordinary, especially when it's from a quality maker.

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Appearances can be deceptive.

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Adam Partridge found an item that looked like it came from

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exotic shores, but it turned out to have origins much closer to home.

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It came from the Isle of Wight,

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where my mother used to look after an old army captain.

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-OK.

-Who died when he was about 92,93.

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And what do you know about the army captain

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and where he might have got it from?

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Well, he was over in India, there was this rogue elephant

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and they were going to shoot it, and he said,

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"Well, no, I'll have a look at it first."

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So they chained it between two trees so it didn't stampede, and they

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lifted its hoof and found out there was a piece of wood in its foot.

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A splinter.

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So he dug it out and bandaged it all up and the elephant...

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-Remarkable story, isn't it?

-..recognised him from then on.

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That adds so much more significance to the object, doesn't it?

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We could have just launched straight into telling you what it was,

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what it's worth and off to the auction with it.

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A fantastic yarn,

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but what's an Indian elephant got to do with Europe?

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A German firm mainly made them, one called Junghans.

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This is almost certainly made in Germany circa 1900,

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you see great big ones four times the size in gilt bronze.

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This one is the one that was made for the domestic market,

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for people to have in their homes.

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It's not bronze, it's made from spelter,

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but they were made en masse, mass produced.

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'The difference between spelter and bronze

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'is quite easy to distinguish,'

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spelter has a sort of tinny quality -

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I do that because I sort of ting my ring on things,

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and you can tell from the sound, a more tinny sound to spelter.

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It's also more lightweight

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and it's a white metal rather than a yellow metal.

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So bronze, if you give it a little scratch in an unseen place,

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it'll come up yellow.

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If you scratch spelter, it'll come up white.

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Shall we put 100 on it, discretion, 10%, or not?

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-No.

-100 fixed?

-I know the auctioneer will do his best.

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-So we'll put 100-150?

-Right, OK.

-Can I move the pendulum round?

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I'm dying to see it swing. There we are.

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'Every firm do their run-of-the-mill things'

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and then they have their feature, their pride of place things,

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and these Mystery Clocks,

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these Elephant Swingers as they're known as, were one of those.

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They're quite a distinctive thing that Junghans made,

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which I think contributed to the strong result of this one.

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Quite sought-after things, these. £100 for it, straight in.

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100, 100, 100

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- 110, 120, 130, 140, 150, 160, 170, 180.

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In the room at 180.

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With the clock ticking, the buyers once again recognise

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German quality, and the price went up and up.

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370, 380...

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..390...400, is it?

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400, 410. £410, and I sell then at £410.

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£410 online, and the hammer's gone down.

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That's an awful lot of money for a spelter clock.

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Clocks are made all around Europe,

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and there are major centres for these - the Black Forest, Bavaria

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and the wonderful carved cuckoo clocks,

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there were loads of German clock manufacturers.

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Also Austria, we see the Vienna clocks, also French clocks,

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which often came as garnitures, as a set of three with the clock

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and a pair of vases or candelabra that

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stood either side on the mantelpiece.

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So there's plenty to look out in terms of

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European clocks and clockmakers.

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The French have given us myriad other first-class designers,

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like Louis-Francois Cartier and Rene Lalique,

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whose works are well worth looking out for.

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And when it comes to sculpture,

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there's another name that stands out from the rest,

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as Will Axon explained at our valuation day on HMS Victory.

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-PJ Mene.

-Pierre-Jules Mene.

-Exactly right.

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'Pierre-Jules Mene could be considered

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'the pioneer in a group of artists that were producing'

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animal bronzes in France, 19th century, specifically Paris,

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they were known as the Animaliere group of sculptors,

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because that's what they specialised in, animals - dogs, horses,

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domestic animals, anything where they could really

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show off their grasp of the animal's anatomy and form.

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This has been made from a mould.

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You make the bronze and the mould still exists, doesn't it?

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So when Mene died in 1877,

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the moulds of the bronzes were passed on to his son,

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and of course that meant that he could keep producing

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the bronzes, but you wouldn't say it was by Mene necessarily,

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because it wasn't in his lifetime.

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So you've got to be a bit careful, even though it is signed "Mene",

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that's signed in the actual mould itself.

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'One way to try and ascertain as to'

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whether a bronze is produced in the lifetime of an artist or not

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is really to look at the quality of the casting.

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Mene was well-known,

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he was involved in the process of making a bronze,

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so he would checking it along every stage just to

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make sure that the quality was kept high.

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On the later examples, this line here,

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the crispness of the base, you lose a bit of the definition.

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As soon as that starts going a bit wavy or it's not quite

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parallel or true,

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you've got to be a bit suspicious.

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Again, handy hint for people at home buying bronzes,

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because they are easy to reproduce, that's the danger.

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'Say the facial features of the animal aren't quite right,'

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you would expect that it's been rushed through the process,

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which wouldn't have happened within his lifetime.

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So I think, in this case,

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the signature within the bronze itself was a little bit soft around

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the edges, shall we say, wasn't quite as crisp as you would like.

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If we were definite that this was within his lifetime and he'd handled

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it and so on, I would have said the value would have been

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high hundreds, but I think, because I'm erring on the side of caution,

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that it might be a later model. I'm happy to try it at 2-300.

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Yes, because I wouldn't sell it at less than 150.

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Listen, I don't think you're going to have any trouble...

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-I shouldn't think so.

-Good subject, good name, nice quality.

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You've ticked all my boxes, Sandy, see you at the saleroom.

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-Thank you very much.

-Not at all.

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-Lot 500, the bronze group, the greyhound and puppy.

-Quality piece.

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-It is.

-Yeah.

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-I've got to start you at 140.

-Ooh...

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Not over yet.

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-140 here, 150, 160...

-Good, come on, we've got some interest in the room.

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170 anywhere?

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The chap over there against the wall's bidding quite heavily.

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-At 180...

-He's going to try...

-Oh, good.

-He's going to get it for 190.

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I think that's it, at £190, you done?

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Yes! It's gone.

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We were in the right ballpark figure certainly for price achieved.

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If you were talking one made within Mene's lifetime,

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a big group of, say, two horses, one sold recently for 17,500 upwards.

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It's that sort of money, that's the difference.

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Make sure to check the definition of those edges to tell

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if it was made by the master himself.

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But even if it wasn't, all may not be lost

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if you can identify great craftsmanship.

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Chances are it'll still be a fine piece that won't leave you

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out of pocket.

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As usual, Michael Baggott has some wise words on buying

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European classics.

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When one considers Europe as a whole for a source of antiques,

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it's marvellous,

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because you have all the excesses of baroque within Spain and Italy,

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and it cools off towards France, then you get the simplicity

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and beauty of Swedish and Finnish antiques.

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So whatever your tastes veer towards, you will find some thing

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or some style or some maker that you can cleave onto and collect.

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Ever since the days of the 18th century's Grand Tour,

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when intrepid Britons fell under the spell of Europe and its vast

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array of artefacts and antiques, we've been going back for more.

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The challenge for today's travellers is how to separate

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the wheat from the chaff.

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In 2012, James Lewis was sure he'd found a pearl of the Mediterranean.

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Giuseppe Corelli - a well known artist,

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well known for painting subjects exactly as these.

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Vesuvius erupting is probably the most common scene

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of any Italian picture in existence.

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-They are everywhere.

-That figures.

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So they're not rare scenes, but they are well painted.

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Now, they're not framed,

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which would indicate that they're not on the wall. And there's a hole.

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-That hasn't been put in today, has it?

-No, some time ago.

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'Damage is always going to be something

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that you have to take into consideration.

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With an oil painting, it's often easier to put right,

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especially if it's a simple, small hole in a canvas.

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When we looked at that pair, there was a small, little tear.

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'Very easy to patch it on the back, fill it in with a bit of oil.'

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-So, £500-800, I should think.

-Oh.

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They might even make £1,000 or above.

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Fingers crossed the right people are on the phones and on the internet.

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That would be rather nice.

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James was confident about the attribution of the painting.

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The trouble is, in Italy, the name Corelli is pretty common.

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There were several Corellis painting in the 19th century,

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and that was a cause for concern to auctioneer Anita Manning.

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I was a wee bit worried, Paul, when they came in at the beginning,

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because they looked like the typical 19th century tourist pictures

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that were sold on the harbour.

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Signed Corelli, but Corelli is a very popular Italian name.

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So, I looked at them...

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We had Giuseppe Corelli, Gino Corelli...

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-So, you're not sure?

-I'm not sure.

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What I've done is I've sat on the fence a little bit on this

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-and catalogued it as G Corelli.

-OK.

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Would this turn out to be a European classic by Giuseppe Corelli

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or just a tourist piece?

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Let the bidders decide.

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Look, James. Look how many phone lines...

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They're all lined up down the front.

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Starting at £400. I have two bids.

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600, 650.

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700.

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750.

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I think that says it's Giuseppe, don't you?

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950.

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-1,000.

-There's 1,000.

-Oh, dear.

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1,050.

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Go on, think about it. Come back to us.

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1,200.

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There's the 12.

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1,250.

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That's what I thought it was going to be.

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-1,300.

-Oh, it's made more.

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1,300.

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It's with Clare. Clare's the last phone left. At £1,300.

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1,300. All done at 1,300?

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Yes. Put it there, fabulous. Good call.

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Good call, both of you.

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The bidders were convinced this was a sought after Giuseppe Corelli.

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As these paintings show,

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the "Flog It!" regulars don't always agree

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when it comes to the tricky business of attribution.

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If in doubt, consult the auction catalogue or get specialist advice.

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"Attributed to..." means there's some uncertainty

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about who painted it.

0:18:310:18:33

"After..." means it's a copy of a known work or painter.

0:18:330:18:36

And if they state the name of the artist,

0:18:360:18:39

you should be on safe ground.

0:18:390:18:41

Here are a few things to think about if Classic European is your thing.

0:18:410:18:45

If porcelain dolls appeal,

0:18:470:18:48

keep in mind that damage to the head can reduce their value.

0:18:480:18:52

Shine a strong light inside to check for cracks.

0:18:520:18:55

Junghans mystery clocks are also desirable,

0:18:570:18:59

and there are lots of fakes around.

0:18:590:19:01

If you're not sure, consult a horologist - a clock expert,

0:19:010:19:05

who will know exactly what to look out for.

0:19:050:19:07

And if you follow these tips,

0:19:080:19:10

you should be getting the Classic European antique you've paid for.

0:19:100:19:14

Throughout history, Britain's political relationship with Europe

0:19:190:19:22

has always been a bit ambivalent,

0:19:220:19:24

but we've always appreciated the very best of European culture.

0:19:240:19:28

"Flog It!" expert Caroline Hawley is something of a Francophile,

0:19:280:19:31

as she explains.

0:19:310:19:32

When I was a child, I used to go to France with my parents on holiday,

0:19:360:19:39

and I loved everything about France and all things French

0:19:390:19:43

and that has stayed with me.

0:19:430:19:45

Especially the Art Nouveau period, 1895-1905...

0:19:450:19:50

Everything really.

0:19:500:19:51

I don't know what I don't love about France.

0:19:510:19:53

This lovely piece I've brought today is, not surprisingly, French.

0:19:550:19:59

There were three main centres of paperweight making

0:19:590:20:03

in France at this time.

0:20:030:20:04

Baccarat and Saint Louis, both in the Alsace-Lorraine region,

0:20:040:20:10

and Clichy in Paris.

0:20:100:20:12

This one is a wonderful piece of Baccarat.

0:20:120:20:16

It's what's called a millefiori paperweight,

0:20:160:20:18

which, in Italian, is literally "a thousand flowers."

0:20:180:20:21

I don't know if there's a 1,000, I haven't actually counted.

0:20:210:20:24

There might be.

0:20:240:20:25

It has certain characteristics which are specific to Baccarat.

0:20:250:20:30

These lovely silhouette canes here.

0:20:300:20:32

There's a cockerel, a dear,

0:20:320:20:34

something that looks a bit like a dog, I'm not sure.

0:20:340:20:37

And these canes are made up of many different glass rods

0:20:370:20:42

fused together to form canes

0:20:420:20:44

and then cut at a cross section to expose these beautiful patterns,

0:20:440:20:48

covered over with a beautiful clear glass stone

0:20:480:20:51

to cause the magnification

0:20:510:20:53

which makes what is altogether the most beautiful paperweight.

0:20:530:20:57

What is interesting about this one is that it's dated and signed.

0:20:570:21:01

Things to look for with the Baccarat signatures and dates are rare dates.

0:21:010:21:07

This one is a fairly common date - 1848.

0:21:070:21:11

I have to look very carefully to find it and so will you, I'm sure.

0:21:110:21:15

It's down here. There's a little B above 1848.

0:21:150:21:21

This is a wonderful piece of quality Baccarat glass.

0:21:210:21:25

Consequently, it has a value of towards £2,000.

0:21:250:21:30

One field in which European makers have excelled for centuries

0:21:360:21:39

is silverwork, but when it comes to the 20th century,

0:21:390:21:42

there's one man who stands out from the crowd,

0:21:420:21:45

a master of his craft who many have tried to emulate.

0:21:450:21:49

The one name that everybody screams about is the name

0:21:500:21:53

that's on the back of that broach. And there is is. Jensen.

0:21:530:21:57

Georg Jensen.

0:21:570:21:58

He was from Copenhagen

0:21:580:22:00

and he originally graduated in 1892 as a sculptor.

0:22:000:22:06

You can see from almost all of his designs over the period

0:22:060:22:11

that he used his techniques and influences in sculpture

0:22:110:22:15

to do his broaches.

0:22:150:22:18

Georg Jensen was a proponent of the Art Nouveau style,

0:22:180:22:21

but no-one had seen anything like his silverwork before.

0:22:210:22:25

By the 1920s, he was the talk, not just of his hometown Copenhagen,

0:22:250:22:30

but of the world, with workshops producing everything

0:22:300:22:33

from jewellery to cutlery, and even tea sets.

0:22:330:22:36

During his long career, he was prolific,

0:22:360:22:39

and there's a lot out there to choose from.

0:22:390:22:41

But be warned, it comes at a price.

0:22:410:22:45

The rarer early pieces are hugely sought after and may be recognised

0:22:450:22:49

by their typical Art Nouveau decoration of pods and flowers.

0:22:490:22:54

If you keep your eyes peeled, you could chance upon something

0:22:540:22:57

like this early wine cooler, sold in 2008 for nearly £30,000.

0:22:570:23:03

Jensen encouraged free rein amongst his designers, and the work

0:23:040:23:08

of Johan Rohde and Harold Nielsen is collectible in its own right.

0:23:080:23:12

You can tell who made a piece by examining the back.

0:23:120:23:16

The Georg Jensen stamp will date a piece

0:23:160:23:19

and the number identifies the designer.

0:23:190:23:22

Don't limit yourself to pieces made within his lifetime.

0:23:220:23:26

Jensen died in 1935, but his company is still going strong

0:23:260:23:30

and remains true to his philosophy of artistry in design

0:23:300:23:34

and excellence in craftsmanship.

0:23:340:23:36

Jensen's work may be at a premium, but his legacy is strong,

0:23:370:23:41

and his influence lasting.

0:23:410:23:43

Look out for the work of silversmiths

0:23:430:23:45

Hans Hansen and Bent Knudsen

0:23:450:23:47

for that minimalist Scandinavian style at a more affordable price.

0:23:470:23:52

Some of the finest antiques to come out of Europe

0:23:580:24:00

are pieces of furniture.

0:24:000:24:02

What I'm about to show you,

0:24:020:24:03

I think is one of the greatest examples I have ever come across.

0:24:030:24:07

Quite frankly, it doesn't get any better than this.

0:24:070:24:10

It's a kneehole desk.

0:24:100:24:13

It's designed and made by a Frenchman -

0:24:130:24:15

Andre Charles Boulle - who was born in 1642.

0:24:150:24:19

He was a cabinet maker to Louis XIV,

0:24:190:24:21

and royal cabinet maker to the Palace of Versailles circa 1700.

0:24:210:24:26

In England, during this time, we had desks quite similar.

0:24:280:24:32

Kneehole desks, marquetry detail on the top,

0:24:320:24:35

but our marquetry was all inlaid with pieces of wood.

0:24:350:24:40

In France, Andre Boulle was using something completely different.

0:24:400:24:44

He was using mixed media.

0:24:440:24:46

He was using metal, brass,

0:24:460:24:47

pewter and tortoiseshell to inlay the geometric floral detail.

0:24:470:24:53

We'd never seen anything like this before,

0:24:530:24:55

and it certainly had the wow factor.

0:24:550:24:59

Since then, this work has come to be known as Boullework

0:24:590:25:03

in honour of the great master himself.

0:25:030:25:06

This is the work of a genius.

0:25:060:25:09

You're always telling us about the hidden treasures you manage

0:25:150:25:18

to unearth at your local car boot sales and flea markets,

0:25:180:25:21

but, to be fair, more and more people are getting wise to that,

0:25:210:25:25

and the bargains are definitely thinner on the ground.

0:25:250:25:29

So, what can be done?

0:25:290:25:30

Caroline Hawley thinks the answer lies across the Channel.

0:25:300:25:33

Fellow expert Christina Trevanion

0:25:330:25:35

wonders if there's anything there that'll float her boat.

0:25:350:25:38

So, Caroline, you called me a couple of weeks ago.

0:25:430:25:46

There was something about France, something about shopping,

0:25:460:25:48

-there was definitely something about pain au chocolat.

-Yes!

0:25:480:25:51

I'm intrigued. Tell me where we're off to.

0:25:510:25:53

-You've heard of the booze cruise, Christina.

-Yes.

0:25:530:25:55

Well, this is more of an antique, collectible hunting cruise,

0:25:550:25:59

and it's so doable.

0:25:590:26:01

Six hours from Portsmouth to Caen, and an hour from there

0:26:010:26:04

is one of my favourite shopping experiences in France.

0:26:040:26:08

A lovely antique fair in Lisieux.

0:26:080:26:11

-Brilliant.

-And you will love it.

0:26:110:26:14

-You're going to have to put a padlock on my wallet.

-I know!

0:26:140:26:17

I'm a bit worried about letting those two loose en France!

0:26:200:26:23

After the ferry, they travel across Normandy by car

0:26:230:26:26

to the town of Lisieux

0:26:260:26:28

to visit one of the regular antique markets,

0:26:280:26:30

or brocantes, as they're called.

0:26:300:26:32

-What a feast for the eyes! This is amazing.

-Do you like it?

0:26:330:26:36

It's just so beautiful, isn't it?

0:26:360:26:38

I just literally could look around all day. It's just gorgeous.

0:26:380:26:42

And, as you were saying, there's all sorts of everything.

0:26:420:26:45

The one thing I get every single year, before I do anything else,

0:26:450:26:49

is buy this book, which gives me all the brocantes, vide-greniers -

0:26:490:26:53

which are car boot sales - in this area.

0:26:530:26:55

-So, this is the Bible...

-That's a really good starting point.

0:26:550:26:58

-..for the French antiques hunter?

-Yes.

-Brilliant.

0:26:580:27:01

So, I'd really like you to show me something that is

0:27:010:27:03

quintessentially French, something that is absolutely from this area.

0:27:030:27:06

-Have you seen anything?

-Yeah, I have. I've seen something over here.

0:27:060:27:09

Oh, cool. Brilliant.

0:27:090:27:10

You can pick those guides up in any region of France

0:27:100:27:13

or get a local paper.

0:27:130:27:14

I would really look for something a little bit different, something out

0:27:140:27:18

of the ordinary, something French, something quintessentially French.

0:27:180:27:22

If nothing else, it's going to be a wonderful memento

0:27:220:27:25

of a fabulous day out in France.

0:27:250:27:27

THEY SPEAK FRENCH

0:27:310:27:35

-Christina, it's an armoire of marriage.

-What does an armoire...

0:27:400:27:43

-It's a cabinet?

-It's a wardrobe, yes.

0:27:430:27:46

But it's from this region... Quelle region?

0:27:460:27:49

HE SPEAKS FRENCH

0:27:490:27:51

La Ferriere, 45 kilometres from here.

0:27:510:27:54

-La Ferriere. And all carved by hand.

-Wow.

0:27:540:27:57

And it's the middle of the 19th century.

0:27:570:28:01

The price would be 1,990 euros,

0:28:020:28:07

which is about £1,700.

0:28:070:28:09

-Just shy of £1,700.

-Yeah, just shy.

-That is quite a lot of money.

0:28:090:28:13

It's a lot of money, Christina, but for the quality.

0:28:130:28:16

I think it's beautiful, absolutely beautiful.

0:28:160:28:19

But, obviously, it's quite big.

0:28:190:28:20

I was thinking more along the lines that we might buy a little

0:28:200:28:23

bit of jewellery, something we can slip in our suitcase rather...

0:28:230:28:26

Yes, but you wanted to see something from the region!

0:28:260:28:28

We'll go and look for some smaller things.

0:28:280:28:31

Merci!

0:28:310:28:33

I don't think you'll be getting that one home on the roof rack!

0:28:330:28:37

It's great to see these locally made wardrobes,

0:28:370:28:40

but we do get French furniture in the UK.

0:28:400:28:43

The advantage of coming here is that you're likely to get terrific choice

0:28:430:28:47

and tip-top condition with pieces historically made in the area.

0:28:470:28:51

Good quality items have high price tickets.

0:28:520:28:55

It is worth trying to negotiate, though,

0:28:550:28:58

because they're very amenable to negotiation.

0:28:580:29:00

But the good things tend to command good prices.

0:29:000:29:03

But there are lots of bargains to be had.

0:29:030:29:06

Look at this damask. And the quality of it...

0:29:090:29:13

The French spend such a lot of time at the table,

0:29:130:29:16

and these napkins are just such beautiful quality.

0:29:160:29:20

The initials on them...

0:29:200:29:22

They would be embroided by a young girl

0:29:220:29:24

before she got married, as part of her trousseau.

0:29:240:29:27

So, she would have her initials before marriage, and then,

0:29:270:29:31

when she got married, she would then put the initials

0:29:310:29:33

-of her married name.

-Her beloved.

-Her beloved on.

0:29:330:29:36

I do think these are beautiful. Would these be a really good buy?

0:29:360:29:39

I have seen them in England, but not in such comprehensive sets.

0:29:390:29:42

You don't always have them monogrammed

0:29:420:29:44

so beautifully in England.

0:29:440:29:46

Here, for instance, a set of 16... 68 euros for 16.

0:29:460:29:51

That's phenomenal, isn't it? Could you pay more in a shop now for them?

0:29:510:29:55

You would, yeah. They're beautiful quality damask.

0:29:550:29:57

That translates as about £57.

0:29:570:30:01

And even better if you're an "AL".

0:30:010:30:03

Yeah, quite, yeah. I'll have to find a CT somewhere.

0:30:030:30:06

I think they're really, really beautiful

0:30:060:30:08

and I've been listening to everything you've told me

0:30:080:30:11

and I think now - less looking, bit of shopping.

0:30:110:30:14

-Yeah.

-I'm going to try and impress you.

-Good.

-All right?

0:30:140:30:16

-So, wish me luck.

-Bonne chance, mon amie.

-Ah, merci!

-I'll see you later.

0:30:160:30:20

See you later.

0:30:200:30:21

As Caroline pointed out, fine dining is in the French blood,

0:30:210:30:25

so a market is a great place to look out for anything

0:30:250:30:29

that makes the eating experience a pleasure,

0:30:290:30:31

from the affordable to the extravagant.

0:30:310:30:34

For somebody to come over here, whether they're buying or not,

0:30:360:30:39

just to soak up the atmosphere

0:30:390:30:41

and the culture of the French,

0:30:410:30:43

it really is a beautiful experience, and so doable.

0:30:430:30:48

I think this is really quite wonderful.

0:30:510:30:54

It's not to everyone's taste - it's really rather brash

0:30:540:30:56

and really rather funky,

0:30:560:30:58

but made by Baccarat, the glass firm.

0:30:580:31:00

So, often we see these back in the UK with just the glasses,

0:31:000:31:03

we don't see it with the glasses, the stand and bowl

0:31:030:31:06

and then the decanter as well in here.

0:31:060:31:08

Really nice. Very gaudy.

0:31:080:31:10

Like I say, not to everyone's taste, but great fun.

0:31:100:31:13

Look at this. I love my suits,

0:31:170:31:21

and this is fabulous.

0:31:210:31:24

Wool, mohair, locally made.

0:31:240:31:27

Merci, madame.

0:31:290:31:30

The skirt - this is so nice, but 50 euros, I don't know.

0:31:300:31:34

It's gorgeous.

0:31:340:31:35

It isn't Chanel, but it has that sort of look about it.

0:31:350:31:38

Chanel used a lot of this sort of fabric,

0:31:380:31:40

especially during that period.

0:31:400:31:42

Cinquante. Trente?

0:31:420:31:44

Trente-cinq?

0:31:450:31:48

-Gentille...

-Oh, merci. Merci, madam!

0:31:480:31:50

I've just bought the most fabulous suit, really lovely,

0:31:520:31:56

for about £30, which is unbelievable.

0:31:560:31:59

I mean, you cannot get a one-off suit anywhere for £30.

0:31:590:32:04

And I will wear it a lot,

0:32:040:32:06

I love it, it's gorgeous.

0:32:060:32:07

The French are known for their style,

0:32:090:32:11

so if you're interested in vintage clothing,

0:32:110:32:13

you've got a good chance of finding something very special

0:32:130:32:16

in the home of haute couture.

0:32:160:32:17

Je pense que c'est la periode de cinema...

0:32:190:32:22

Oh, the Hollywood...

0:32:220:32:24

-Yeah, Hollywood.

-And Cleopatra.

0:32:240:32:26

-And how much would that cost me?

-Trente euros.

-Trente euros.

0:32:260:32:30

That's 30 euros, isn't it?

0:32:300:32:32

-Oui.

-3-0?

0:32:320:32:33

-Yes.

-Yes. Nice hat.

0:32:330:32:35

So what date would you say that...? That's rather lovely, isn't it?

0:32:350:32:38

-Maybe '70s, this one.

-'70s?

-Yeah.

-It's jolly comfy.

0:32:380:32:43

-Jolly comfy, I like that. Have you got a mirror anywhere?

-Oui.

0:32:430:32:47

Oh, that's quite nice, isn't it?

0:32:510:32:54

Christina had the Franglais down pat.

0:32:540:32:56

So, combien for the...deux?

0:32:560:32:59

-Cinquante euros.

-So, 50.

0:32:590:33:02

I'd be happy with that,

0:33:020:33:03

I think they're both really nice pieces, so thank you very much.

0:33:030:33:06

-Thank you. Merci.

-Merci.

0:33:060:33:08

I've come across these,

0:33:110:33:12

which is more than just a carving set.

0:33:120:33:15

There's actually this item here

0:33:150:33:17

which you put the leg of lamb in

0:33:170:33:18

so when it's hot it saves you from getting your hand burned.

0:33:180:33:22

Twist it up like this, which holds it firm,

0:33:220:33:24

and then you can carve it with the knife.

0:33:240:33:28

You've got the fork and I think they're very stylish -

0:33:280:33:31

they've got this Art Deco look.

0:33:310:33:33

They've got horn handles, which isn't to everybody's taste,

0:33:330:33:36

but they were fabricated pre-1947,

0:33:360:33:39

so I'm OK with that, that's fine.

0:33:390:33:41

The gentleman said I can have them for 8 euros,

0:33:410:33:44

which is fantastic - it's not £6. So it's £2 apiece.

0:33:440:33:48

They've got to be bought, haven't they? Oui. Merci, monsieur.

0:33:480:33:51

THEY SPEAK IN FRENCH

0:33:510:33:54

Everything is just laid out so beautifully.

0:33:590:34:02

The atmosphere is really relaxed, really chilled out.

0:34:030:34:06

Just really good fun, really good fun.

0:34:060:34:08

I found these napkins, look.

0:34:100:34:13

CT. How nice is that?

0:34:130:34:16

Christina, she will love them!

0:34:160:34:17

My tip would be absolutely bring a phrasebook,

0:34:190:34:22

try and learn your numbers

0:34:220:34:23

or at least have a pen and paper to hand

0:34:230:34:24

so that you know exactly what you're talking about

0:34:240:34:27

when it comes to negotiating and dealing.

0:34:270:34:29

It's actually so easy to come here, it's so doable.

0:34:300:34:34

You can either do it as part of your family summer holiday,

0:34:340:34:37

if you happen to be in France,

0:34:370:34:39

or you can actually come over for a day trip or a long weekend.

0:34:390:34:42

It really is achievable.

0:34:420:34:45

It looks like they've found plenty to make their trip worthwhile,

0:34:450:34:48

but don't forget, there's a six-hour ferry ride home.

0:34:480:34:52

-I've bought something especially for you, Christina.

-Me?

0:34:530:34:58

-Christina Trevanion.

-Me?

0:34:580:34:59

Oh, my goodness, are you serious?!

0:34:590:35:03

-You found some!

-Happy French hunting.

0:35:030:35:07

-Oh, you star!

-Wow, well done, you.

0:35:070:35:10

And I said to you this morning...

0:35:100:35:12

-I'm really touched, what a lovely memory of our trip.

-Road trip.

0:35:120:35:15

Thank you so, so, so much.

0:35:150:35:18

-Right, come on, we better go, we've got a ferry to catch.

-We'd better go.

-Let's run.

0:35:180:35:22

Still to come - a whirlwind trip to the cold outer reaches of Europe

0:35:260:35:30

takes in a camera that would delight any spy.

0:35:300:35:34

It was a real kind of 007-for-the-lady thing, wasn't it?

0:35:340:35:38

An intriguing royal Russian saga.

0:35:380:35:40

It's got tantalising clues

0:35:400:35:41

that would be lovely to think that it is part of that Romanov dynasty.

0:35:410:35:45

And a mystery clockmaker that had our hearts aflutter.

0:35:450:35:48

If the rules were that we can bid on these things...

0:35:480:35:51

-I'd be bidding against you.

-It would be us two fighting over it.

0:35:510:35:54

Wow!

0:35:540:35:56

There are other ways to enjoy European artists

0:35:560:36:00

without necessarily buying and selling.

0:36:000:36:02

Over the years, I've had the privilege

0:36:020:36:05

of visiting numerous British museums and galleries

0:36:050:36:08

to enjoy their wonderful exhibits.

0:36:080:36:10

And one of my favourites, and most surprising, was at Kelvingrove.

0:36:100:36:14

This striking painting of the crucifixion

0:36:210:36:25

called Christ Of Saint John Of The Cross

0:36:250:36:27

is by the Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali.

0:36:270:36:31

Such is its beauty and power

0:36:320:36:34

that in the last 50 years

0:36:340:36:35

literally millions of people from all over the world

0:36:350:36:38

have made a pilgrimage here to Kelvingrove to see it.

0:36:380:36:42

Standing in front of it, you can really see why, can't you?

0:36:420:36:45

For me, this is one of the most amazing images

0:36:450:36:48

of Christ on the cross

0:36:480:36:50

that's ever been painted.

0:36:500:36:52

Most people think it's a gimmick, but it wasn't.

0:36:540:36:56

Dali was a devout Catholic and a very religious man

0:36:560:36:59

and to attempt something like this I think is incredibly brave.

0:36:590:37:03

It's just wonderful,

0:37:030:37:05

these darkening skies over this sort of floating water below,

0:37:050:37:08

which is his fishing village in Spain -

0:37:080:37:10

it's almost like two pictures going on at once,

0:37:100:37:12

but that's done in the Renaissance style.

0:37:120:37:15

It's incredible.

0:37:150:37:17

It's devoid of a crown of thorns, nails and blood,

0:37:170:37:19

and, for me, I think this is my favourite picture

0:37:190:37:23

of the crucifixion.

0:37:230:37:25

I'd rather look at this than any other.

0:37:250:37:28

The idea came to Dali in a cosmic dream in the 1950s

0:37:280:37:32

and it's called the Christ Of Saint John

0:37:320:37:35

because Dali had a lot of images from the 16th-century friar St John,

0:37:350:37:39

which helped him put this composition together

0:37:390:37:41

and in order to get that angle of Christ on the cross

0:37:410:37:45

he hired a Hollywood stunt man

0:37:450:37:47

to hang form gantries in his studio

0:37:470:37:50

and he spent hours getting those angles right.

0:37:500:37:52

I mean, that's not just a one-off,

0:37:520:37:54

this is a well-trained artist doing what he does best -

0:37:540:37:57

executing genius.

0:37:570:37:59

And it is, the brushstrokes are remarkable.

0:37:590:38:02

It's very, very moving, very evocative and incredibly powerful.

0:38:020:38:05

It's almost as if that's Christ's viewpoint

0:38:050:38:08

of what's going on in the world below him.

0:38:080:38:11

As a member of the surrealist movement in the 1930s,

0:38:160:38:18

Dali's early paintings depicted strange landscapes

0:38:180:38:22

with fantastical animals,

0:38:220:38:23

and littered with dismembered and distorted body parts,

0:38:230:38:27

painted in exquisite technique.

0:38:270:38:29

These unforgettable images, combined with his flamboyant behaviour,

0:38:300:38:34

gained Dali the reputation

0:38:340:38:36

of an eccentric, perhaps even mad personality.

0:38:360:38:39

So the arrival of one of Dali's artworks to Glasgow

0:38:410:38:44

in the relatively conservative early 1950s

0:38:440:38:46

was bound to cause a stir

0:38:460:38:48

and it was all down to the vision of one man,

0:38:480:38:51

Tom Honeyman, Glasgow's Director of Museums at the time.

0:38:510:38:55

Honeyman visited Dali at his home in Spain.

0:38:550:38:58

Dali had just finished Christ Of Saint John Of The Cross

0:38:580:39:01

and, bowled over by what he saw,

0:39:010:39:03

Honeyman thought this would make the most amazing centrepiece

0:39:030:39:06

for the art collection here at Kelvingrove.

0:39:060:39:09

Now, was it a moment of madness or inspiration?

0:39:090:39:11

To find out, I'm meeting Neil Ballantyne,

0:39:130:39:16

Kelvingrove's current director.

0:39:160:39:18

Well, in 1952 a lot of people would have said it was madness, but...

0:39:180:39:23

And a lot of criticism at the time, but I believe the last 60 years

0:39:230:39:26

has more than proved the correctness of Honeyman's decision

0:39:260:39:28

-to bring the painting to Glasgow.

-Yeah.

0:39:280:39:30

What was the reaction

0:39:300:39:32

when it first arrived in the early part of the 1950s?

0:39:320:39:34

Well, there were a number of protests outside Kelvingrove.

0:39:340:39:37

Some of the art students from the Glasgow School Of Art

0:39:370:39:40

were quite shocked at the amount of expenditure.

0:39:400:39:43

I think Dali has always aroused quite a lot of criticism.

0:39:430:39:46

He saw the painting in London

0:39:460:39:47

just before he decided to make the purchase

0:39:470:39:49

and he saw the reaction of the public there

0:39:490:39:51

and he was convinced that the people in Glasgow

0:39:510:39:53

would feel the same way. And he was absolutely right,

0:39:530:39:55

something like 50,000 people came to see the painting

0:39:550:39:58

in the first three months of display in Glasgow.

0:39:580:40:00

When you leave here, it really is that iconic image you take with you.

0:40:020:40:06

-Absolutely.

-Look, thank you very much.

-Pleasure.

0:40:060:40:08

There are many European items we expect to see at our valuation days,

0:40:170:40:21

but more often than not

0:40:210:40:23

you bring in something that takes us all by surprise.

0:40:230:40:25

Now, we may think we know a lot about the best Europe has to offer,

0:40:250:40:29

but think again. There's always a lot more to learn.

0:40:290:40:33

If you were going to formulate a collection of European items,

0:40:330:40:35

you'd sort of think, well, Venice is great for Italy

0:40:350:40:38

and, you know, the Dresden area for porcelain...

0:40:380:40:42

I would just say to you, try and make your collection as broad as possible.

0:40:420:40:45

You should always go to antiques shops when you're on holiday.

0:40:450:40:48

Oh, wow, I always do busman's holidays myself, you know,

0:40:480:40:50

I think it's great.

0:40:500:40:52

If you're interested in European collectables,

0:40:530:40:55

as Philip says, it doesn't have to be all about the classics.

0:40:550:40:59

There are more unusual pieces that are worth a shot.

0:40:590:41:02

Adam found a snappy little number

0:41:020:41:04

that wouldn't have been out of place in 007's kit bag.

0:41:040:41:07

Anne's little vanity camera.

0:41:070:41:10

It was a real kind of 007-for-the-lady thing, wasn't it?

0:41:100:41:14

-If we press that button there, we've got a compact.

-That's right.

0:41:140:41:18

And, in here, this one comes out for your lipstick.

0:41:180:41:22

'I mean, how many times have you had a picture taken and thought,'

0:41:220:41:25

"Let's just have a quick zhush up before we have the picture done?"

0:41:250:41:29

I think it's a great, ingenious thing.

0:41:290:41:31

That pops out, and there is the camera, isn't that cute?

0:41:310:41:36

Really lovely. So it was made in the mid-1950s, German-made.

0:41:370:41:41

And I believe the firm also made lighters,

0:41:410:41:45

in the same way, lighter cameras, and musical cameras as well.

0:41:450:41:48

A really good and rare novelty item.

0:41:480:41:50

I was very excited to see that,

0:41:500:41:51

I don't think I've seen one in the flesh before.

0:41:510:41:54

-Any idea what it's worth?

-200?

-I think that's a pretty good guess.

0:41:540:41:57

I would prefer to put it slightly less,

0:41:570:41:59

if you're agreeable,

0:41:590:42:01

-to put 150-250 as the estimate.

-Yeah.

0:42:010:42:03

-And a reserve of 150 so it doesn't go for less.

-that's fine.

0:42:030:42:07

-Thanks for bringing it in, it's a lovely little item.

-Thank you.

0:42:070:42:09

Would Anne's compact Petie camera realise a petit price?

0:42:090:42:14

One of my favourite lots today,

0:42:150:42:17

German Petie vanity camera.

0:42:170:42:20

Will you start me at £100?

0:42:200:42:22

110, 120, 130, 140.

0:42:220:42:26

150. 150.

0:42:260:42:28

Any advance on £150?

0:42:280:42:31

All done at 150.

0:42:310:42:33

150...

0:42:330:42:34

Hammer's gone down, that's sold.

0:42:340:42:37

I think someone had a real bargain there.

0:42:370:42:39

I thought it might have made a bit more than that.

0:42:390:42:41

Never mind, Adam. Some lucky buyer got a two-for-one deal

0:42:410:42:45

at a compact price too!

0:42:450:42:46

Definitely Germany's a great source of vintage cameras.

0:42:460:42:50

They have fantastic engineering in everything they produced, I think.

0:42:500:42:53

And, of course, the most famous name in cameras, the Leica cameras,

0:42:530:42:57

were also German manufacturing.

0:42:570:42:59

While Germany can boast first-class modern optics,

0:42:590:43:02

James Lewis found a French gem

0:43:020:43:04

from three centuries earlier that was just as ingenious.

0:43:040:43:08

John Butterfield,

0:43:090:43:10

when he was working in Paris in the late 17th century,

0:43:100:43:13

around 1680, 1690,

0:43:130:43:15

invented the Butterfield dial,

0:43:150:43:17

and that is what we have here.

0:43:170:43:20

The idea is that we have this little section here called the gnomon,

0:43:200:43:25

which works in the same way as a sundial.

0:43:250:43:27

You lift that up,

0:43:270:43:29

so that it points directly into the air at a right angle.

0:43:290:43:33

And you use the compass

0:43:330:43:37

to point it in the right direction

0:43:370:43:39

and you will see that it casts a shadow over the time.

0:43:390:43:43

But this isn't a piece of equipment

0:43:430:43:45

that you could have travelled around with,

0:43:450:43:48

because the angle of the gnomon here

0:43:480:43:50

is particular to the angle of longitude

0:43:500:43:53

of the town you are in.

0:43:530:43:56

The lovely thing also is it's in its original fitted case.

0:43:560:44:01

Have you never taken it out?

0:44:010:44:03

-I've never taken it out.

-Haven't you?!

-No.

0:44:030:44:05

If that had been in my home

0:44:050:44:07

I think it would have been just about the first thing

0:44:070:44:09

that I would have done is to open the case,

0:44:090:44:11

take it out, look underneath, but I'm always fiddling with things.

0:44:110:44:15

Simon Beauvais, maker.

0:44:150:44:19

So some time...

0:44:200:44:22

probably 300 years ago approximately,

0:44:220:44:27

Simon Beauvais was sitting in his little workshop

0:44:270:44:32

-making this.

-Wow.

0:44:320:44:35

I thought "Simon Beauvais?!" Never heard of him. Never heard of him.

0:44:350:44:39

So I thought, "I'll look him up online." Couldn't find anything.

0:44:390:44:42

Looked in the clocks and watches reference books,

0:44:420:44:45

couldn't find anything,

0:44:450:44:47

So he just can't have been a very prolific maker,

0:44:470:44:50

he obviously just made the odd thing.

0:44:500:44:52

If he made more, they're not recorded.

0:44:520:44:56

It's worth 300-500.

0:44:560:44:58

Wow!

0:44:580:45:00

-It's a good little thing.

-It's a lovely little thing!

0:45:000:45:04

James and I thought this was just so beautiful

0:45:040:45:06

we didn't care if it wasn't by a renowned European watchmaker.

0:45:060:45:10

We did care that neither of us could buy it.

0:45:100:45:14

If the rules weren't that we can't bid on these things...

0:45:140:45:16

I'd be bidding against you.

0:45:160:45:18

..it would be us two fighting over it!

0:45:180:45:20

-Here we go.

-The little Butterfield brass pocket sundial.

0:45:220:45:27

£600? 400.

0:45:270:45:29

Will you start me at 300?

0:45:290:45:31

200? 200 bid.

0:45:310:45:34

220. 240.

0:45:340:45:37

260. 300.

0:45:370:45:39

-320...

-Sold.

0:45:390:45:40

380.

0:45:400:45:42

Any advance on 380?

0:45:420:45:44

-400, back in.

-Yeah, come on.

0:45:440:45:46

At £400. Any advance on 400?

0:45:460:45:51

All done at 400? 400...

0:45:510:45:53

£400, it's gone.

0:45:550:45:57

The precision of the sundial was clear,

0:45:570:45:59

but sometimes the attraction of the piece is less obvious.

0:45:590:46:03

Philip came across a painting from Europe

0:46:030:46:05

that wasn't quite what it seemed.

0:46:050:46:07

-Lisa, this is just absolutely lovely.

-I've always liked it.

0:46:070:46:11

-So this is a painting?

-I think so, yes.

0:46:110:46:15

-It is and it isn't.

-Right.

0:46:150:46:17

Because, it's a porcelain plaque.

0:46:170:46:20

So let's just move that over there.

0:46:200:46:22

So, now, we have here this really wonderful, 19th-century

0:46:220:46:27

painting on a porcelain panel,

0:46:270:46:30

and it's of a young girl,

0:46:300:46:32

looking quite wistful with this landscape beyond.

0:46:320:46:35

'The thing about that plaque was, anyone can paint a face,'

0:46:350:46:38

anyone can paint eyes, look at the hands and feet.

0:46:380:46:41

I want you to have a look at that girl's

0:46:410:46:42

fingers and her fingernails - that's painting.

0:46:420:46:45

The mark we're looking for is KPM,

0:46:470:46:50

and that's the sceptre mark you can just see

0:46:500:46:52

-impressed into the porcelain.

-OK.

0:46:520:46:55

And that is the best.

0:46:550:46:57

It's the King's Porcelain Manufactury - KPM.

0:46:570:47:00

Actually, it isn't really that, that's the sort of English version,

0:47:000:47:03

but I can't pronounce the real one.

0:47:030:47:06

They just produced the finest quality porcelain plaques.

0:47:060:47:09

If this were to make £100-£200 at auction that would be good?

0:47:100:47:13

No, I wouldn't sell it for that.

0:47:130:47:15

I'd rather keep it, because it's more sentimental value.

0:47:150:47:19

What about the sort of 300-500? Is that getting close to the mark?

0:47:190:47:22

No, no.

0:47:220:47:23

You're absolutely right, cos I think at auction

0:47:230:47:28

you could estimate it at probably £1,200-£1,800.

0:47:280:47:32

What I want to know is, if this makes £2,000,

0:47:320:47:35

Selena, what are you going to spend the money on?

0:47:350:47:38

A horse.

0:47:380:47:40

Is that a definite horse?

0:47:400:47:42

-Or a maid...

-Or a maid?

0:47:420:47:44

..or a day out shopping in New York.

0:47:440:47:46

A day out shopping in New York?

0:47:460:47:48

-So you don't want much, really, do you?

-No.

0:47:480:47:51

'I'm with Selena'

0:47:510:47:53

part of the way, you know.

0:47:530:47:54

Horse - not really for me.

0:47:540:47:56

Trip to New York - sounds great!

0:47:560:47:58

And a maid? Well, I'm not going to go there.

0:47:580:48:00

Lot 566

0:48:000:48:02

is the very beautiful 19th-century KPM porcelain plaque.

0:48:020:48:06

What may I say for that to start? What do we say?

0:48:060:48:09

About £1,500 to start me?

0:48:090:48:11

£1,500 to put me in?

0:48:110:48:13

1,500 may I say? 1,500 with Mervyn.

0:48:130:48:15

1,600 at the back.

0:48:150:48:17

1,700 now?

0:48:170:48:19

1,700 with Mervyn. 1,800 in the room.

0:48:190:48:22

£1,800.

0:48:220:48:24

'It certainly seemed as if Selena would get one of her three wishes.'

0:48:240:48:27

2,800, still there at 2,800 in the room.

0:48:270:48:30

This is great, they absolutely love it.

0:48:300:48:34

3,000 bid. 3,100?

0:48:340:48:37

At £3,000 in the room.

0:48:370:48:40

Last call against you selling at £3,000 then...

0:48:400:48:43

Bang, that hammer's gone down! £3,000!

0:48:440:48:47

Whenever you pick up a porcelain plaque

0:48:470:48:49

and it smells quality at you, you're always hoping

0:48:490:48:52

when you turn it over you've got that impressed KPM,

0:48:520:48:54

because that just adds the Gold Seal, that's the standard,

0:48:540:48:58

and they're quality things, they're a quality item,

0:48:580:49:01

so you don't see them every day.

0:49:010:49:03

But it does make your heart skip a beat when you do see one.

0:49:030:49:06

KPM stands for Konigliche Porzellan-Manufaktur, by the way.

0:49:060:49:12

And that painting was a very unusual example

0:49:120:49:15

of European fine art at its best.

0:49:150:49:18

When we talk of Europe we think about the countries

0:49:180:49:21

we've seen so far, but what about the vast territory

0:49:210:49:24

that straddles both Europe and Asia,

0:49:240:49:26

and which is attracting growing attention

0:49:260:49:28

from collectors and dealers alike?

0:49:280:49:30

You've probably heard of Carl Faberge,

0:49:300:49:33

who designed jewellery for the Russian royal family.

0:49:330:49:36

Well, he had a lesser-known competitor whose works

0:49:360:49:39

also made it to these shores more than a century ago.

0:49:390:49:42

Works like this cutlery set, spotted by Charlie Ross.

0:49:420:49:46

-We've got a name on here, haven't we? Marchak.

-Yes.

0:49:460:49:49

What can you tell me about that?

0:49:490:49:52

I gather that he was known as the Cartier of Kiev.

0:49:520:49:55

I love that expression! He was the Cartier of Kiev.

0:49:550:49:58

And I'm told also that Marchak made cutlery for the Tsar.

0:49:580:50:04

-Oh, right.

-So he was the business, really.

0:50:040:50:06

Yes, so he was high-class.

0:50:060:50:08

If you happen to be

0:50:080:50:10

of a certain standing, social standing, economic standing,

0:50:100:50:14

you want something made, you want it made by the best.

0:50:140:50:18

And if not the best, certainly the second best.

0:50:180:50:21

You don't want it just knocked out.

0:50:210:50:23

You want to say to people round the dining table,

0:50:230:50:27

"This was made by Marchak."

0:50:270:50:28

And this one here?

0:50:280:50:30

What a marvellous question. Caviar, you'd have to be...

0:50:300:50:33

I think that one possibly for caviar.

0:50:330:50:35

You'd have to be a multi-billionaire to use

0:50:350:50:39

-that one for caviar.

-I just wondered about that.

0:50:390:50:42

I've had a chat with a colleague, and we think £800-£1200

0:50:420:50:47

is a sensible estimate,

0:50:470:50:48

but to be absolutely certain,

0:50:480:50:50

I'm going to ring up Kate Bateman, and ask her to do

0:50:500:50:53

a little bit more research so that we don't get it wrong.

0:50:530:50:57

There is a chance that we've undervalued,

0:50:570:50:59

-so at the moment it's 800-1200, reserve 800, with discretion.

-OK.

0:50:590:51:03

Thank you for bringing in such an interesting piece of history.

0:51:030:51:07

Thank you very much indeed.

0:51:070:51:09

What did Kate's detective work undercover?

0:51:090:51:12

Marchak are still going, so we contacted Marchak

0:51:120:51:15

and they got quite interested and said there's no record of this,

0:51:150:51:17

but they fled the revolution themselves and moved to Paris,

0:51:170:51:20

so they lost quite a lot of their records.

0:51:200:51:22

Clearly, it's solid silver, it was made for somebody

0:51:220:51:24

who had some money and was influential

0:51:240:51:26

and liked to show off their wealth.

0:51:260:51:28

Whether or not that was somebody connected to the Royal family

0:51:280:51:32

is very hard to prove.

0:51:320:51:33

The mystery continued.

0:51:330:51:35

Many of today's Russians are keen to reclaim

0:51:350:51:37

their pre-revolutionary heritage,

0:51:370:51:39

so, when it came to auction, would they gamble on a royal connection?

0:51:390:51:43

Let's start at £1,000.

0:51:450:51:48

Straight in. 1,100 here.

0:51:480:51:50

At 1,100, 1,200. 1,300.

0:51:500:51:53

1,400. 1,500.

0:51:530:51:56

16.

0:51:560:51:58

-17.

-Halfway.

0:51:580:51:59

18. 19.

0:51:590:52:01

2,000? 2,000.

0:52:010:52:02

2,100.

0:52:020:52:04

'It went right through the top estimate,

0:52:040:52:06

'so clearly the bidders weren't playing Russian roulette.#

0:52:060:52:09

4,900, 5,000.

0:52:090:52:11

(My valuation was wrong.)

0:52:110:52:12

5,100.

0:52:120:52:14

5,200.

0:52:140:52:16

5,300. 5,400.

0:52:160:52:17

At £6,000.

0:52:190:52:21

'The under-bidder, I knew, was Russian.'

0:52:210:52:23

I had spoken to her before the sale.

0:52:230:52:26

She had rather pooh-poohed it,

0:52:260:52:28

whether she was trying to pull the wool over my eyes

0:52:280:52:30

I don't know. She'd said,

0:52:300:52:31

"This isn't the quality I was expecting, etc, etc,

0:52:310:52:34

"I'm not really interested,"

0:52:340:52:36

then proceeded to sit in the back of the room and bid her socks off!

0:52:360:52:39

I was a bit surprised by that.

0:52:390:52:41

7,000.

0:52:410:52:43

7,100.

0:52:440:52:45

7,200.

0:52:450:52:47

At 7,200, you sure you're finished?

0:52:470:52:49

At 7,200, one last chance to think about it, madam.

0:52:490:52:52

At £7,200 on the phone, done at 7,200...

0:52:520:52:57

(Seven-five.)

0:52:570:52:59

GASPS

0:52:590:53:00

Unbelievable, 7,500!

0:53:000:53:03

At 7 ,500. 7,600.

0:53:030:53:05

Down here at 7,600.

0:53:050:53:08

This is what auctions are all about, when it goes like this.

0:53:080:53:10

-You just can't beat it.

-At £7,600.

0:53:100:53:12

Incredible tension.

0:53:120:53:14

7,700?

0:53:140:53:16

Goes then at £7,600...

0:53:160:53:18

Yes!

0:53:200:53:21

APPLAUSE

0:53:210:53:23

-Thank you very much.

-Well done.

-Thanks ever so much.

0:53:230:53:27

But did it go back to Russia?

0:53:270:53:29

It was a local person who was looking for things to buy

0:53:290:53:32

as an investment, and just thought that that might be a good investment,

0:53:320:53:37

and I think probably right.

0:53:370:53:39

There's a finite amount of Faberge and Cartier,

0:53:400:53:43

and when these things come on the market

0:53:430:53:46

they tend to be only available to the deepest pockets.

0:53:460:53:50

So, go for Marchak.

0:53:500:53:51

A full set will be beyond most of us,

0:53:510:53:54

but if you chance upon even a single piece by Joseph Marchak,

0:53:540:53:58

the Cartier of Kiev, you'll have found some real Russian quality.

0:53:580:54:02

So, what's in a name? We're familiar on Flog It

0:54:020:54:06

with many of Europe's classic makers, and each country

0:54:060:54:09

has its own unique artistic heritage,

0:54:090:54:12

so delve a little deeper -

0:54:120:54:13

there's a wealth of lesser-known treasure to be found.

0:54:130:54:17

Petty cameras are perfect entry-level cameras,

0:54:170:54:20

but if you're into serious makers look for German engineering

0:54:200:54:23

brilliance with names like Zeiss and Leica,

0:54:230:54:27

and check your attic.

0:54:270:54:28

This long overlooked Leica Lexus I sold in 2012

0:54:280:54:33

for a massive £600,000.

0:54:330:54:35

But if you simply fall in love with something particular to an area,

0:54:350:54:39

you can overlook the name and enjoy it for what it is -

0:54:390:54:42

fantastic European craftsmanship.

0:54:420:54:44

Now it's often the case that some of the visitors

0:54:480:54:50

to our valuation day know more about their item than we do,

0:54:500:54:53

and that's certainly the case for Christine,

0:54:530:54:56

a regular to the valuation days up in the North of England.

0:54:560:54:59

She had a lot to tell Kate Bliss this about a very interesting

0:54:590:55:02

pair of French brooches back in 2006.

0:55:020:55:06

What have we got here?

0:55:060:55:08

We've got some plastic jewellery.

0:55:080:55:10

I love plastic jewellery, plastic brooches.

0:55:100:55:13

-But these are by a very special lady, Lea Stein .

-That's right.

0:55:130:55:18

-And what do you know about Lea Stein?

-Only that she was from Paris.

0:55:180:55:22

-That's right.

-Her husband worked in plastics, and she experimented,

0:55:220:55:27

I think magically, with the colours

0:55:270:55:30

and the effects that only plastic can give you.

0:55:300:55:32

In fact, when she was working from the '60s to the '80s

0:55:320:55:35

she was very little known outside Paris

0:55:350:55:37

and it's only recently that she's gained really

0:55:370:55:40

international recognition as a jewellery designer.

0:55:400:55:43

Lea Stein brooches I do collect, I collect other brooches, too,

0:55:430:55:46

but they're not my real passion.

0:55:460:55:48

And I would say these ought to be anywhere between

0:55:480:55:51

-£20 and £40 each at auction.

-Yes.

0:55:510:55:54

So, if you're happy with that, we'll put them in

0:55:540:55:56

with that estimate and hope that we've got a real collector

0:55:560:56:00

there like yourself prepared to give a good price.

0:56:000:56:03

Yes. I'd like that.

0:56:030:56:05

I wanted to spend the money on my greatest passion,

0:56:050:56:09

which is novelty salt and pepper pots, or cruets,

0:56:090:56:11

as I prefer to call them.

0:56:110:56:13

The Lea Stein Paris plastic

0:56:130:56:15

brooches in the form of cats, rather pretty. What am I bid on these?

0:56:150:56:18

20 to open? 20 I'm bid, and five.

0:56:180:56:22

-30.

-Yes, there's interest here, Kate.

0:56:220:56:24

And five. 40. And five. 50.

0:56:240:56:28

At 50, and five.

0:56:280:56:30

Oh!

0:56:300:56:32

At £55. Are we all finished?

0:56:320:56:34

At £55 then, first and last time...

0:56:340:56:36

Yes, great result. There are cat lovers here.

0:56:370:56:40

I have now got, as of this week, 3,005,

0:56:430:56:50

and they're displayed all over the house.

0:56:500:56:52

You've got sea life and seaside in the bathroom,

0:56:520:56:57

the kitchen is mostly food-based.

0:56:570:57:01

I've got storybook characters, I've got pixies and elves.

0:57:010:57:07

I've got a farmyard on here.

0:57:070:57:09

And, not on display, in here,

0:57:090:57:12

are Christmas ones.

0:57:120:57:14

I love them because of their immense variety.

0:57:160:57:21

Their colours, the feel of them, their smallness,

0:57:210:57:25

and it gives you something to look for when you're out and about.

0:57:250:57:29

I can go to flea markets, zip round the room, really,

0:57:300:57:34

cos I'm only looking for things with holes in their heads.

0:57:340:57:37

Some of them seem to have distinct personalities.

0:57:390:57:42

How about this one here?

0:57:420:57:45

I brought him from over there, actually,

0:57:450:57:47

because he's in a storybook.

0:57:470:57:49

He's very realistic and he's absolutely beautiful,

0:57:490:57:52

and it's so nice being surrounded by all these little people.

0:57:520:57:56

The cruets aren't for sale

0:57:570:58:00

because I just love collecting them, amassing them, really.

0:58:000:58:04

I'm quite proud of the number I've got.

0:58:040:58:06

And they're all listed in a book. I can't sell one.

0:58:080:58:11

It would leave a gap in the list.

0:58:120:58:14

Well, that's the best thing about collecting -

0:58:160:58:19

it's a never-ending progress. You sell something, you buy something.

0:58:190:58:22

But, remember, always trade upwards.

0:58:220:58:25

And if you've got something you want to sell,

0:58:250:58:27

bring it along to one of our valuation days.

0:58:270:58:30

Well, that's it for today. Join us again soon for more Trade Secrets.

0:58:300:58:35

This episode is dedicated to all things European, and features items that range from classic continental finds to lesser-known delights.

Flog It! regulars Caroline Hawley and Christina Trevanion cross the channel to indulge in a bit of antique shopping in France, and presenter Paul Martin explores the story behind a breathtaking Dali painting.


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