Antiques programme. Paul Martin presents from St John's Minster in the heart of Preston, with experts David Fletcher and James Lewis.
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St John's Minster is the local parish church here in Preston.
Although this building is Victorian,
there's been a church here on this site ever since the seventh century.
The city has a long and interesting history
so I've got high hopes for all the objects turning up today
when we open the church doors. Welcome to "Flog It!".
MUSIC: "Flog It!" Theme
Preston has had city status ever since the year 2002
and it's a place bustling full of people.
Yet today it seems pretty empty. Where are they?
Well, I can tell you because they've all turned up at St John's.
This is the end of the queue for our valuation day.
Hundreds of people are here with smiles on their faces, the sun is out.
It could be you going home with a small fortune.
They've come here to ask our experts that all-important question, what's it worth?
Believe me, they're going to find out.
Stay tuned because we could have one or two surprises here.
Our experts are headed up by James Lewis and David Fletcher.
I can tell you it's nearly time to get the doors open, so let's get on with the show.
What have we got? This is some sort of ceremonial chain.
Our experts James and David are already searching
high and low for hidden treasures.
What do you think?
And it looks like there's already a discussion going on.
I like these. I think they're underrated. Yeah.
This particular one has a bit of damage there. Oh, blimey.
Sorry, guys. Zero.
'It's a jam-packed big-money show today...
'but can you guess which of these items
'will receive a shock valuation of over a thousand pounds?
'Will it be a pilot's watch?' I think it's absolutely outstanding.
'A Lalique vase?'
Look at that, isn't that lovely?
'Or an ivory walking stick?'
The quality really is very good.
Still climbing. I knew we liked this lot. It's a rare one.
'Stay tuned as there are more than a few surprises on their way.' Sold.
It's time to open the doors.
Well, we've managed to get half of that massive queue inside the building.
This is where the action really starts because someone here
has got something that's worth a small fortune and it might be you.
They don't know it yet. That's the beautiful part of the show.
It's up to our experts to find it
and it looks like David Fletcher has made a great start.
Let's take a closer look at what he's spotted.
Good morning, Barry. Morning. Good morning, Jill. Morning.
So, Barry said he was going to buy you a new car and he bought you this?
Tell me about it.
It belonged to my late father.
He used to repair bicycles when he retired.
It was given to him in part payment for the repair of this guy's bicycle.
And how long ago do you think that was?
About 40 years ago.
Why are you selling it? Jill, do you have any say in this?
It's been stuck in the loft
so we're trying to get rid of everything.
He hasn't been allowed to have it on the mantelpiece? Definitely not.
Poor old Barry. So it's got to go? It's got to go.
OK. I think this is lovely.
A very saleable little thing, really.
Do you know who manufactured it, Barry?
I believe it's by Bing of Germany.
You're absolutely right.
The BW monogram is the Bing mark
and very helpfully it says Germany so we know that's the case.
Bing were one of the foremost manufacturers of tinplate toys
of this type.
It would have been bought in about 1925 new
by really quite wealthy, doting parents.
And it's a Ford Model T...
..in blue which is strange.
He said, "You can have any colour as long as it's black."
Exactly. That's what Henry Ford said, didn't he?
Well, obviously Bing chose to ignore it.
It's obviously had a radiator cap of some sort which has gone.
And at the back, the spare wheel has been re-fixed.
It must be said, it's a little bit rusty too
which will put a few people off.
Have you any idea what it might be worth?
No, no idea. Not a clue.
I would estimate it at 100 to 150.
OK. I would be inclined to put a reserve
at the lower end of that estimate, if you're happy, at ?100. Fine.
And I'm sure it'll sell well.
Just look what has turned up for me to see.
Emma, thank you for coming in today.
I know you are the curator of history at the local museum.
You've brought some wonderful exhibits to show us,
explaining the history of the guild of this famous city
because it's the only city left with a guild that's celebrated today.
Yes, it is. At one point, lots of merchant towns around Britain
would celebrate a guild every 20 years,
but the guild organisations were abolished in the 19th century
but Preston, in 1842, decided to continue with its guild tradition.
That makes it the only town in Britain to still celebrate a guild.
Let's look at this first. This is the oldest object
we have at the Harris Museum in Preston. Is it dated?
It's from 1762.
It's an official record of the guild of that year.
This records the sort of events that went on.
Amongst the famous people who visited that year,
well, soon to be famous, were Richard Arkwright, the famous inventor
of the water frame. Let's look at this.
A wonderful piece of fine carving.
This is a guild object from 1952.
It's a replica of the clock tower of Preston's famous town hall
that was designed by George Gilbert Scott.
It went round the world to New Zealand, Canada, America.
And people would send their wishes to Preston.
So inside these wonderful scroll holders,
are examples of the friendship scrolls that went round the world.
And it got signed. This started in 1952,
it's something that's still going on today
but now we have digital scrolls so we try to modernise it now.
But this is still an important object. Lovely. It's a lovely thing.
James has found a more traditional antique over on his table.
Anne, are you a social drinker?
Yes. Ah, good.
Because the idea of this is a loving cup
and you would take it, drink from it and pass it.
The next person would take the other handle, take it, drink and pass it.
So if you'd didn't mind other people's spit, it was great.
But other than that, not really the thing for me, I have to say.
So is it something you use?
Is it something you've drunk from in your time?
No, I've never drunk from it but it was used
by my husband when he was a boy...
Was it? ..for the FA Trophy in blow football.
Yes. My word! Now that is not a Preston accent, is it? No.
So where are you from and where is this from?
I'm from Melbourne in Australia
and that has come from my husband's great-grandmother in England.
Not down your line? No. This is a rather interesting thing
because the hallmarks are in lovely, crisp order
but having this made at the time it was made which is 1799
is a little bit like somebody today saying,
"I know, I'm going to have woodchip wallpaper."
I mean, it was as out of fashion as that. It really was.
This is a loving cup in the style of a porringer.
This half-fluted decoration and this spiralled girdle
up towards the collar is very much in an earlier style.
But the handles give it away.
This scroll handle with a plated thumb piece there
are very typical of the late 18th century
but genuinely it's a very interesting thing
and it will appeal to a loving cup collector
and I would put an auction estimate of...
250 to 350.
Now, I think it's worth ?320. I think that's what it'll end up selling at.
But we need to protect it with a reserve.
If it doesn't make 250, I think you ought to hang on to it,
because if it makes less than that, somebody's going to take it,
melt it down and scrap it. That would be a crying shame.
I really hope the loving cup gets fought over in the saleroom
for its craftsmanship and not just its silver value.
Anne, at first sight, this looks like sheer quality.
There's only two glass manufacturers that can achieve this kind of work
and that's Galle and Lalique. It's beautiful.
Both French. And let's turn it upside down.
I'm looking for the R Lalique sign
which tells us it's made by his factory and in his lifetime.
This actually says Lalique, France. It's made after his death. Yes.
Had you seen that mark before? It's so faint, you can hardly see it.
When I first got it, no, I didn't know what it was.
But I was washing it one day and saw the marks and thought,
"Oh, there is something written there."
I'm quite lucky, I've got quite good eyesight still at my old age.
Look at that, isn't that lovely? Look at the deer here.
I'm looking for any little imperfections, restorations, cuts,
because that will affect the price
because people that collect Lalique are very, very fussy.
You'll notice I'm doing this all the time. Yes.
All I'm doing is feeling the rims
and making sure there's been no chips and it's not been ground down.
And it is very, very good, isn't it?
So, what's its story? How did you come by it?
Well, it must have been at least 15 years ago,
my husband and I went to see my mum and dad.
We went into the kitchen and that was sat on the shelf.
And I said, "Oh, that's lovely."
She said, "You can have it if you want it." Cor, you're lucky!
So she didn't know what it was either.
She would have said if she'd known what it was.
Well, I think this is really, really nice.
Made in the 1930s, possibly '40s.
Now, Rene Lalique really wanted people to own pieces of his glass, glasswares of his.
So it was his idea to have these mass produced.
This is moulded glass, you know that? Yes.
So that every household could own one.
So this is not the best you're going to find.
I looked online at some auction results
where one of these has sold recently so I've got a pretty good idea
of what you're going to get for that.
If you're happy, I think we should put this into auction
with a value of ?400 to ?600. Oh!
Because one recently sold in auction for ?600. Oh!
And I can only find one little nick on that
and I can see it cos the light is catching it here. It's just there.
But that's nothing to be bothered about, really.
That's a lovely surprise. Thank you.
Great to see a piece from a respected name like Lalique.
Over with David is another antique of quality.
Hello, David. Hello .
You look a pretty sprightly sort of chap. Not the sort of fellow
who needs to come in here with a walking stick.
Not yet. Not yet!
This I think is just a miniature walking stick
carved to show off the skills of the craftsman who made it.
And the quality really is very good.
If we look at this dragon for example...
They're all intertwined.
Exactly. And then the handle just finishes in a sort of lotus flower,
I think, with a bat which is a curious motif.
The time it must have took. Time was cheap, wasn't it?
That's the thing. They spent a long time making these.
Mind you, they'd have carved it a jolly sight quicker than you and I would
if we sat down with our Stanley knife and had a go.
I wouldn't attempt it!
So how did you come by it?
I bought it at a local car boot. Long ago? About 12 months ago.
I hardly dare ask how much you paid for it.
I gave ?40 for it. ?40. So it wasn't a steal, was it?
I think you'll get more than that for it. Do you collect antiques? Er, I do.
Anything from the 19th century. Right.
I don't think you're going to make a vast profit, but I think you'll make a good turn.
I would be inclined to estimate it at ?100 to ?150.
So after your commission, you'll, with any luck, just about double your money.
Double the money, yes.
'Research reveals the stick is Japanese and, thankfully for owner David,
'it's antique ivory, worked before 1947,
'so, therefore, it's legal to sell. So now we have four items
'ready to take off to auction.
'Barry's toy car came from his father,
'who'd received it in part payment for fixing a bicycle.
'With an estimate of ?100 to ?150, that's not a bad trade.
'Anne's loving cup caught James's eye.' My word!
'And the silver price alone makes an attractive estimate of ?250 to ?350.
'And I was taken with Anne's Lalique vase. It's in good condition
'and I'm hoping it gets the ?400-?600 at auction it deserves.
'Finding an ivory walking stick at a car boot sale must be a dream find.
'It's most likely late 19th or early 20th century,
'ornately carved and more than worth its ?100 to ?150 estimate.'
This is where we up the tempo. I am excited because it's auction time.
Let's get inside and catch up with our owners.
And this is where we are, Frank Marshall in Knutsford.
70, 5. 80, 5. 5 here.
This lovely old building has two salerooms.
Downstairs for the furniture and larger items and upstairs for smaller items and collectables.
That's where our auction is taking place today.
Fingers crossed it's going to be jam-packed full of bidders.
560 I have. 'With auctioneer Nick Hall ready with gavel in hand,
'let's put Barry and Jill's Model T Ford car in front of the bidders.'
Where's this car been all these years? In the loft. In the loft!
Wrapped in newspaper. Everything's up in the loft!
I was going to throw it away, actually. No?!
He said, "No, you mustn't do that it's worth something." You can't do things like that!
There are collectors will pay dearly and, hopefully,
we're going to find out. It's going under the hammer. Good luck.
Lovely thing, '20s, '30s Model T Ford, sedan version.
A nice little model vehicle this.
Start me at ?100 if I could, a ?100.
80? 60? 50 I'll take, it's a start. It's low.
It's too low, but it's 50, 5. 60. Now we're in.
Five, sir, in the doorway? You're out in the room. 5 online. 70.
75. 80. 80 online.
80 online. It's OK, isn't it?
And 5 against you. At 90.
It's chugging along. ?100. The bid's online at 100. Don't stop there.
There's ?100. The bid's online. The book's out. You all done?
Are you sure? I'm selling online at ?100 all done.
Finished now. It's going.
Sold 100. That's great,
considering you were going to throw that away!
Yes! Well make sure you have a good old look
what's in the loft next time. We will.
We've got other bits and pieces. Put it into auction.
'I can't believe Jill nearly threw it out.
'With our next lot, James guessed Anne's loving cup would make ?320
'at the valuation day, but how close was he?' I'm selling.
Why are you selling it? It's just been in the cupboard.
Not enjoying it, not looking at it?
Not looking at it, no. OK. I love it.
It's a bit of Georgian silver in its classic form, something that really is undervalued today.
But the scrap value for silver has forced the values of Georgian silver up.
It's that melt value again. I'm hoping it'll make more than that. Let's hope so.
Ready for this? Yes. Here we go, this is it.
We'll push on now with the Georgian hallmarked silver.
A nice little tin-handled cup. Where are we going to go? 200 for it?
200 start me. Thank you. 200 I'm bid. 210 against you. 220 now.
230, 240, go 250.
It's getting there. It's getting there. It's getting a smile.
To the right, 260. Fresh bidder. 270 now. 270 here. 280.
290. At 3?
To my right at 310. Bid against you, sir. At ?310 all done.
Selling at 310.
Happy with that? Yes I am.
And that was a lovely thing,
as well. We talk about melt and scrap values
but that wasn't going to be scrapped.
That was lovely.
'And James's prediction was only ?10 off the exact total.
'He knows his stuff.'
Can you remember that Lalique vase I valued earlier in the programme? It's about to go under the hammer
and I been joined by Anne, its owner. We've got ?400-?600 on this.
Had a chat to Nick the auctioneer, earlier. He said, "Love it.
"Love the pattern." He would be a little bit cautious and put 3 to 5 on it. Right.
Hopefully, his 3 to 5 is like my 4 to 6 and it may end up being ?400.
A nice bit of Lalique glass. Nice condition, signed, as well.
A good little lot this. May I say 400 for it?
?400 anywhere? Start me at 400.
Start me at 3. Start me at 300.
Come on, get the ball rolling at 300.
Who's going to start me at ?300? This nice, signed, Lalique vase.
A good size, good pattern, lovely condition. 300 anywhere? Surely?
Nothing online. I'm amazed. We can't let it go.
One last call. Start the bidding at 300 or we'll move on. Yes or no.
Unfortunately, sadly, no sale.
It's going home. But you don't mind,
because you're the one that said to me,
"I don't want anything less than ?400 with discretion."
I'm quite happy to take it home. OK.
Give it some love and I know you won't put it in the cupboard.
Oh, no! You'll look at it.
'The specialist glass collectors just weren't there.
'But, still, it's a great piece.'
With this next lot we're hoping to turn ?40 into ?100-plus, maybe.
It's a car-boot find and it belongs to David.
It's that little, tiny, ivory-carved walking stick.
That's right, yes.
Very nice find. Very nice find. I thought it looked all right!
It's in good company because there are a lot of Oriental artefacts here, so buyers are here.
It's been found and hopefully they'll find this one.
Late 19th, early 20th-century Japanese carved ivory walking stick.
What are you going to bid me?
?100 anywhere? 100 I have, thank you, to my right on the phone.
110. Right at the back, against you, 110.
200 I'm bid.
Well, bong! What a big jump. 200.
At 220. The bid's on the phone at 220.
230 I've got.
Thank you. 230 online. 240. 240 now. At 250.
250 now. 300 back on the phone again.
They're fighting this out, aren't they? Yes.
Your ?40 is going a long way now.
Back on the phone at 350 now.
380. Back online at 380 now.
At ?380. Online again.
400. Phone bid is in at 4. Yes, no?
At ?400. Nothing in the room. The room's out. 400.
420 online. Just when you thought you'd got it! Back online. 420 now.
440 now. 460. Thank you.
500. At ?500.
This is walking out, isn't it?
Hammer's hovering. At ?500, last call. 520.
How much?! HE LAUGHS
At 520. Shakes his head.
Back online it is at ?520. All out in the room.
Bid's online. Phone's gone.
Selling at ?520.
HE BANGS GAVEL
Put it there. I take my hat off to anybody that can turn 40 quid
from a car boot sale into ?520.
That's seriously good going. It is, isn't it?
...5. 70. 70 bid.
That completes our first visit to the auction room today.
We are coming back later on in the programme, so don't go away.
We could have one big surprise for you.
You know I'm a big fan of furniture. So while I was up here in the area,
I took a trip to Leighton Hall.
Does it ring any bells?
Well, all will be revealed.
Take a look at this.
Set in the heart of the beautiful Lancashire countryside is Leighton Hall.
This is no ordinary country house. Granted, it's absolutely stunning on the outside,
but it's the design classics inside that I'm interested in.
'There have been records of a manor house on this site since 1246.
'However, with 26 owners in its history,
'Leighton Hall has seen some changes over the years.
'We're here to pick up its story from 1822,
'when it was sold to one Richard Gillow, who knew exactly how to furnish it.'
Most people would have heard of the name Gillow
and his association with fine English furniture.
Robert Gillow set the company up in 1730 in nearby Lancaster
and he would design the pieces of furniture.
And his team of highly skilled craftsmen would passionately make them up.
I must say we are talking a seriously important and respected business here.
Most grand houses and stately homes in the United Kingdom would have owned one or two of his pieces.
But no-one could get exactly what they wanted more than members of the Gillow family themselves.
'New owner Richard was grandson of company founder Robert
'and, by the 1820s, the Gillows' family business had done so well,
'he was able to retire early to live with his wife Elizabeth and their children
'at his new country home.'
You don't have to get very far inside this magnificent house,
which is a super example of Georgian Gothic revival,
to see that Richard did really well.
Underneath this cantilevered staircase,
there is the most wonderful example of a bit of Gillow craftsmanship.
It's called the daisy table because of its shape and design.
The jury is out as to what purpose this served.
I believe, along with a lot of other people, that it was a card table
and, maybe, you were dealt your hand, you sat here.
If you lost your money or you lost, you folded your cards,
but you also folded the little flap you were sitting at.
And that folds down by virtue of moving this wooden knee
on this hinge, which is also made of wood,
tight into the side rail of the table and then this leaf just drops down.
When everybody was out, it would make another rather interesting shape,
an octagonal shape.
Others believe it may have been a dining table for Richard's kids,
because he did have a brood or 14,
but it doesn't really have the wear and tear of a small dining table.
Nevertheless, it is a lovely example.
There are architectural and design details everywhere I look,
from floor to ceiling.
That's beautiful, isn't it?
The most wonderful fanlight
which just floods a central pool of light into the dining room.
Now, I really am spoilt for choice here
because there are wonderful examples of Gillow furniture everywhere.
But I guess, really, I should just point out
some of the obvious to you.
Here on the floor, that's caught my eye because
that's a little cellarette.
These were portable wine cellars, and they were always made this size
because they had to be moved around.
Look at that. This one's on castors.
If I open this up, let's see what's inside.
Yes, look, there's the booze.
There's some spirits and some red wine,
all standing up in little compartments.
I have seen these lined in lead
so you can throw some ice in there to keep your white wine cool.
Now, dining chairs everywhere.
The first thing I do with a chair is pick it up by the seat here,
get hold of it firmly, and you can feel the weight of this.
Again, the finest mahogany. A little tiny detail, look at that -
that's known as a C scroll.
It's very delicate, it softens the whole thing.
And if I turn it sideways, can you see?
The section of the back actually runs right into this sabre leg,
the back leg.
Now look at the curl on that.
The section of wood that's cut from, that's one solid piece of wood,
let's say, three inches thick,
three feet in length by a good 14 inches in width.
Look at the waste wood involved in taking that shape out.
But again, you see, that's a sign of quality.
That's what Gillow is all about.
But I guess the most obvious thing is the imperial dining table.
This was designed by Richard Gillow's old firm,
and it was made for his new house, Leighton Hall.
He also designed a table very similar to this one
back in the year 1800,
and it had a telescopic action which you could unwind from one end,
so the table would come apart in the middle, allowing you to drop
separate leaves in, which would be around this width,
four or five you would take from a cabinet from the wall
and drop them in.
So you could make the table a lot longer or,
if you didn't need the space, bring the table back in.
Although there is so much to see in all the rooms,
it's all functional furniture, still in use today.
And that's what makes for a welcoming and beautiful house to live in.
Isn't that lovely? You can see the mountains of the Lake District
from this elegant yet very homely drawing room.
I must say, the whole house really does embrace you
when you walk into it. It's got the most incredible feel.
So this is a very good room to talk about the different furniture designs
that have influenced the Gillow designs over the years.
And if I show you here, look, a typical side table here,
typically English, typically Gillow, wonderful straight, clean lines,
great proportions, great symmetry, architecturally perfect.
Here is its French counterpart. The straight lines, where possible,
have been softened and curved.
Tulip woods and fruit woods - it's playful, it's feminine.
It's sort of frivolous. And here is a combination of the two.
You can see a games table made of tulip wood and kingwood,
but it's got softened lines to it, yet it remains English.
Leighton Hall has been passed down through the years
to the descendants of Richard Gillow.
It now belongs to his great-great-great-grandson.
And I met Suzie, his wife, in the hall's music room.
So what's it like living in such a lovely house
surrounded by beautiful things?
It's wonderful, it's a huge, huge privilege.
I really married it,
so I've had the job of looking after it for over 40 years now.
And were you and your husband ever sort of taught to look after
these wonderful pieces?
Did you go about it the right way or did you sort of...
No, we didn't, I'm afraid, because he was brought up here.
So he was a little boy, rattling around, crashing into the furniture,
and we just get on with the family life here.
Obviously, we take as much care of it as we can,
and hopefully we'll hand it on to another generation.
But it does look marvellous, doesn't it?
And the fact that it's lived in and used... People do respond very well to that.
The visitors who come, the overriding thing we hear is,
"It's so nice to see a house that's lived in."
Do you feel you have a duty to tell everybody about the Gillow dynasty?
Well, certainly people who come to the house, because what they come for
mostly is the furniture. They know a little bit about the Gillows.
Do you know something?
The more you look at the pieces, the more you keep learning.
Well, this is what's so wonderful, because after 40 years,
every single day somebody I show round the house
will tell me something. And it's you today.
THEY LAUGH Thank you for letting me look. It's a pleasure.
This has been a real treat for me today to see such a full
and interesting private collection of Gillow furniture
still in its family seat.
And those design classics look as good today as they did
when they were first made.
And they fulfil their function.
They've been used, and are still being used,
by the family today. It just goes to show quality lasts.
Leighton Hall is quietly all about good taste and quality.
'Let's catch up with our experts back at the valuation day.
'Over at David's table, Gary's timepiece has caused a stir.'
This is my Eureka moment. I've been waiting for it for a long time!
A clock, manufactured by the Eureka Clock Company Ltd.
What can you tell me about it?
It was left to me by my father,
about 15 years ago. I'm not too sure where he got it from.
He was a builder so it could have been something he got as a payment,
part of a payment of a job.
It was a piece we used as decoration really.
Well, at least it's right twice a day
which is something, I suppose. Yes!
If you look at it, to all intents and purposes,
it looks like a Georgian mantel-clock, but it is a modern battery-powered clock.
This particular model dates from the first ten years of the 20th century.
A man called Powers invented a battery-driven clock
in America in the late 19th century.
And in the early 20th century,
the Eureka Clock Company developed clocks that look like this.
And if we turn it round, we can see...
..what's going on in here. There's an absence of a clock movement
as we know it.
What we have is a section devoted to housing the battery,
and these wires pass a current which causes this part
of the action to rock backwards and forwards,
forming the pendulum effect.
Now, if you're interested in clocks, you're going to want to own something like this
because it plays an important part in the development
of the manufacture of clock movements.
I think it would really sell quite well.
Have you any idea what it might be worth?
Not really, no.
We can expect it to make something in the region of 300 to 500.
And if you were happy with that,
I suggest we go ahead on that basis
with a ?300 reserve. Yes. Have you got any plans for the money?
I just got married last year so it'll be going towards...
We're moving into a new house so it'll go towards decorations.
And what does your new wife think of it?
She likes it but it wouldn't fit in with the decor she has planned.
So it's not going to cause an early marital argument if you sell it? No!
Well, good luck with the marriage, and good luck with the clock sale! Thank you very much.
'James is over at his table with Denise and a bit of silver.'
Denise, you have timed this to absolute perfection
because what you have is a very simple piece of Chinese silver.
Nothing exciting at all, not early, not necessarily rare,
but the market for Chinese anything at the moment
is really fabulous, all right?
Where did you find it?
Well, it belongs to a friend of mine. They've just recently got married
so they've had two houses to put into one, and they had this big pile
of stuff in the living room and I said I was coming to the programme
and they said, "Take something from here."
Right. I chose that. That's what you picked?
And where did they get it from?
Well, he's travelled quite a lot
so I'm assuming he bought it abroad, but I don't know where.
The marks are really nice and clear but I can't read them.
Can you read Chinese? No, but my son took it into the local
Chinese takeaway. Ha! Yes?
And he said that he thought that they meant it was silver. Yeah.
And he said something about the symbols around the edge as well.
And what did he say about the symbols? He said that they meant
health, wealth, peace... Longevity. Happiness. Yeah.
The reason why the Chinese market is so good at the moment is
because, under Chairman Mao, nobody was allowed to own anything early.
Anything looking back to the imperial past was either destroyed
or buried, or sold and shipped out very quietly and very quickly.
But now, of course, China's opened up to the West,
it's the fastest growing economy in the world,
and at the head of every business is a very wealthy businessman
who wants to buy back anything early and anything Chinese.
OK. Not just early, anything really pre-communist China.
So I can tell you that, maybe ten years ago,
if you were to try and sell this, it might have made ?20.
Yeah. Something like that. It's now worth around ?100. Right!
I would say ?80 to ?120.
It will certainly make ?100 to ?110, something like that.
It might, if they get carried away, make a little bit more.
So, at ?80-?120, do you think your friends will be happy? I think they will, yeah.
You know, they've picked exactly the right time to sell it,
and you've picked a very fashionable thing to bring. Thank you.
'Let's hope the Chinese bowl brings the wealth
'and happiness it suggests when it goes up for sale.'
That looks interesting. It matches what I'm wearing.
'Over with David, it's great when we get something quirky in,
'today brought in by Enid and Bob.'
I thought you'd brought along two photographs,
but on closer inspection, although they were originally photographs,
they're actually printed on pottery.
And they're tiles, aren't they? Yes.
I've never seen anything like this. I mean, I've seen hundreds,
if not thousands, of tiles, but never portrait tiles like this.
Did you take them out of a fireplace surround? No, I got them like that.
They came like that? Wrapped in a bit of brown paper. Right.
Did you inherit them? Yes, they came from my father's brother,
and they had just been in a box for 25-30 years. Unappreciated.
It's sad, isn't it? It is, yes.
When you get them out and look you think, "They are quite nice."
This is Kitchener and this is Jellicoe.
Both, I think, in pre-First World War uniform.
I think it's fair to say that Lord Kitchener represented the Army
and Admiral Jellicoe represented the Navy.
Jellicoe was heavily involved with the Boxer Rebellion
right at the beginning of the 20th century,
and I suspect this tile dates from very soon thereafter.
But if we turn them over we get a massive clue,
and that is a "ceramic," spelt with a K, unusually,
"copy Of Bassano's portrait of Lord Kitchener by Carter's of Poole, November 1914."
So what I was saying about the portrait
being pre-First World War is borne out there, really,
because obviously this is dated November 1914,
the month the First World War started, of course.
And Mr Bassano was a society portrait photographer - aristocrats, important people.
And Mr Carter, who established the Poole pottery in, I think,
the 1870s, obviously considered that there was a commercial opportunity here.
I've never seen anything quite like them before.
If you were a fan of Poole pottery, you would want to own one of these...
It's something different. ..because they're quite important, really.
I think they're worth about ?30-?40 each.
Strictly speaking, they're not a pair.
They're two, I think, from a series.
So we should sell them together in one lot.
Given that they're worth about ?30 or ?40 each, in my view,
I suggest an estimate of ?60-?100
and a reserve just below the bottom estimate of ?50?
It's nice to find something out about them. We didn't know anything.
Good. I look forward to seeing you at the sale, then.
'Those tiles would make an unusual fireplace surround, wouldn't they?
'James is asking personal questions of April over at his table.'
Are you short-sighted or something? No.
Need a big watch, do you? No!
What on earth are you doing with that?
Well, years ago, my mother had a chap that fancied her
and wanted to go out with her. He kept asking her out
but she kept refusing. He was a watchman.
He used to fix watches.
Unfortunately, when Mother died, when I was only 21,
he passed on not long after. Ah. And the family came round of the gentleman that owned the shop
and said, "We have a little box here for your mother."
I said, "Unfortunately Mother had passed on."
And they said, "Well, you might as well have the box."
I was just 21 and I put it in a box in the attic and forgot all about it.
Is that where it's been? Yes.
OK, it's a very interesting watch.
Do you know much about it? No, nothing. OK.
Well, let's go back 60 years into the middle of the Second World War.
At night, squadrons of bombers are coming over from Dresden.
If you were in one of those dark, noisy planes,
looking at your watch wouldn't be easy,
especially not if it was underneath your flying suit.
So if you were an observer in one of the planes,
you would need a watch that would go over your flight suit.
And this is what you would have worn.
It's by a factory just outside Dresden and it's incredibly rare.
I've seen them in books. I've never handled one.
This is a first for me.
The hands are, I think, still fluorescent. You can just see, look.
Oh, yes. It's just glowing slightly.
If we take the back off, all the information is on the back panel.
Lange and Sohne. They're the makers.
And to start with, they didn't make many. No?
The ones that they made,
I think the life expectancy of somebody in one of the bombers...
wasn't long. You know, it was months.
So the majority of them ended up... Didn't survive.
A couple of loose cogs there, so it needs a bit of work,
but not very much.
What do you think it's worth? I've no idea.
What do you think?
A couple of hundred. Sell it for a couple of hundred? Yes.
You'd be making a big mistake. Why?
It's probably worth a couple of thousand pounds. You're joking!
I didn't expect that.
It's a fantastic watch. Oh, I am pleased.
If we put 1,000-1,500 on it, ?1,000 as a reserve.
Wow. I think it's absolutely outstanding.
Oh, I am pleased.
Well done. You've made my day. Well done for finding it. You've made my day. Oh!
Just five miles from Preston, the historic Salmesbury Hall
in Lancashire dates back to the 14th century
and over the years, it would have been a significant estate,
with many mouths to feed.
It was crucial that most of the food came from the hall's estate,
which is why this is the perfect setting for me to explore
the county's food heritage, starting with something traditional.
Lancashire hotpot is a firm favourite amongst the county's residents
for sustenance and good old-fashioned comfort food.
Many families will have their own recipe that's been handed down over the generations.
But it's still being made here, at the hall, by the resident chefs
using produce as locally as they can source.
Now, the ingredients may vary around the country
but a proper Lancashire hotpot, a traditional one,
is comprised of four ingredients, four basic ones.
You've got lamb, potato, carrots, and onion.
Historically, meals needed to be high in calories
to sustain Lancashire's industrial workers and miners
throughout the working day.
Another traditional Lancashire dish, known for its simplicity
and convenience, is butter pie, also known as prater pie,
and it's got a simple potato and onion filling.
It was popular as a football match snack
with Preston North End fans.
WHISTLING AND APPLAUSE
Local sweet treats include Chorley cakes and Sad cakes
which originally used up bits of leftover pastry to make a dessert,
served up with Lancashire cheese.
There's still a huge value today in using local and simple ingredients,
so before I start cooking, I need to go foraging.
Although Salmesbury Hall does have its own lambs and pigs here today,
they are strictly pets. The two pigs here, Ozzy and Elvis,
eat up all the kitchen scraps so that's good.
Nothing but the best for them.
I expect they're named after Elvis Presley and Ozzy Osbourne.
There's lots of chickens running around as well
so let's see if we can get any fresh eggs.
Open up here... Oh, yes!
And I tell you what, they don't get much fresher than this!
This reminds me of collecting eggs at home with my little boy, Dylan,
from our chickens. That's a decent-size egg.
And they're going to come in very useful later.
'One enthusiastic advocate of local produce and recipes
'is food writer and cook Philippa James,
'who's going to show me how to easily turn simple ingredients
'into something delicious.'
You're going to cook me something today
and it's vegetarian. It is, specially for you.
A special dish for Lancashire, Lancashire tortilla.
Is this a traditional Lancashire dish for vegetarians?
It isn't but a lot of the traditional ingredients and recipes from the area
were based on ingredients that were cheap and easy to find.
What goes into the tortilla?
We're going to be using local eggs, we've got local cheese, butter,
cream, local potatoes and spring onions.
That's why we're in the herb garden, we need to get some herbs.
How much do you want? Another bit more
and I'll just grab some parsley from round here.
CHICKEN CLUCKS SOFTLY
Right, where do we start? We're doing a Lancashire tortilla
so first, we need to get some butter in the pan.
If you'd like to get some of the eggs we got from the nesting box,
there's a dish there to put the shell in.
I'm going to sling in some spring onions.
This is really easy cos you just snip the ends off.
And Ozzy and Elvis eat everything, all the scraps from the kitchen.
They're great, aren't they? Would you like to put in a bit of black pepper?
I just love cooking for people.
I have a need to feed people wherever I go, I force-feed people!
I'm going to add in some potatoes to there as well.
I've taken it off the heat for a moment because it is so hot today.
A layer of those, just to cover the bottom of the pan.
That's now taken the heat down
in the pan already. I'll pop these over the base.
People think Lancashire's rainy but look at it today, isn't it glorious?
I'm going to be using some Lancashire cheese in a minute.
We get the rain in the autumn and winter, then the starches in the grass turn to sugars.
That's where we get sweet milk from.
Are we going to grate some of that... Yes, I was going to ask.
Would you mind grating some for me? What sort of food do you like?
That'll be the omelettes! I'm an expert on omelettes, believe me.
I ask my wife, "What do you want for supper?"
She says, "Not another omelette!"
I'm going to turn these now, in the butter.
So both sides get some butter on them. They're just being caramelised.
That's it, yes. Is that about enough cheese for that? That's great.
The next ingredient is our eggs.
I'm going to pop those in, there you go.
Right, listen to that sizzle.
Run that round the pan like that. That's the trick of an omelette,
isn't it, so it doesn't stick. Also, if you seal everything in,
it's getting a little collar round the edge. It's easier to open out
and take out of the pan. Absolutely.
Can you see that hot-air balloon
shape in the middle? I pat it down.
Let the egg run back under.
These balloons have nowhere else
for the air to go that's trapped in there.
So get the egg underneath. Yes, this is where you get your layers forming.
We'll put in some cheese next, now we've turned it down.
So, we'll put that back on. If you could pick some of the thyme you got
and just sprinkle some over for me, just break the leaves off.
This is where your flavour comes from.
Every time you make this dish, you could change it.
You could put sunblush tomatoes in there, finish it with basil.
Every dish can be slightly different. Do you want me to slice these?
If you don't mind. Food and the provenance of our food is important.
You can grow a tomato in a pot. You can go out and pick them. I've just had one!
There you go, whizz those in there.
Right, so I'm going to fold it over.
It should, hopefully...
Go on, go for it.
You hope it's the right colour underneath! Perfect, look at that.
We're ready to go now, this looks really good. Thank you.
Exceptionally good. We'll put some of this on a plate.
Cut that in half cos that's a meal for two, isn't it? It is.
It's economical, people don't realise. Quick and easy, made in about eight minutes.
People say they haven't time to cook, this is quicker than a microwave meal. There's no excuse,
you can grow a lot of the herbs and all of the salad in window boxes
and in growbags, a little plot if you've got one, as well.
You can see, in the middle, the tomatoes you put in.
Did you make the dressing? I did, it's simple, just three ingredients.
Mustard. Mustard, honey
from the bees here, the hives. You've got bees? There are bees at Salmesbury... White wine vinegar.
Finish off the dish with a little bit of snipped parsley.
The wind is doing a good job of blowing it around. There you go.
This is the good life. I'm ready to have a taste, here we go.
So tasty. This is the best omelette I've ever had.
That's a lovely meal.
We sometimes take the food we eat for granted
but there's a lot of history and wisdom that goes behind the dishes that we've grown up eating.
Circumstances and economy have dictated the creation
of traditional meals
and they can teach us something, just like Philippa has shown us, that by going back to basics,
and using locally sourced food that's affordable,
you can create a very tasty dish.
Hopefully, that's made you feel rather hungry.
What are you eating tonight?
'So, how do you think our experts' valuations went?
'There's only one way to find out. We're off to auction
'and here's a quick reminder of what we're taking.'
The Eureka clock piqued David's interest.
'Denise brought in her neighbours' Chinese silver dish.
'So they'll be delighted with james's estimate of ?80-?120.
'Those military-themed Poole pottery tiles
'were an unusual find for David
'and he's given them a value of ?60-?100 a pair.
'And April's pilot watch was the star item of the day, here at St John's in Preston.
'But will it make its estimate of ?1,000-?1,500?
'It's now time to find out.'
'We're in Knutsford for the auction,
'for judgment time on our lots.
'Standard seller's commission here is 15%, including VAT.'
With you, sir, at ?170.
'Now, next, will the bidders deliver a Eureka moment for Gary?'
Good luck with this.
We're looking at ?300 to ?500, it's going under the hammer right now.
Early 20th-century Eureka Clock Company,
mahogany and brass.
Electric timepiece, good little quality lot, lot of interest.
I can start the bidding on commission, straight in at...300.
Wow. You're right.
Any advance on 300, where's 20? 20 with you on the phones,
340 I'd take, 340.
But it's not job done, it's still going on.
380 with me, at 380, 400, 420,
440 the phone, 460 I have.
A phone line, that's encouraging.
480, 500, 500 now. 520.
Book's out. With you on the phone. On the top estimate.
Someone else in the room, late legs.
520, back of the room, 520.
Bidding on the phone, 540.
540 now, 560 here.
At 560 now, any further bids?
He wanted it!
Selling now, at ?560.
Great result. Got to be pleased with that! Very pleased!
Just over the top end of the estimate.
'What a good result!'
It was brought in to the valuation day by Denise who's right here,
but in fact it's owned by Graham, a friend of yours. Yes.
Pleased to meet you, Graham. Hello. A lovely thing. An item of quality.
I've got to say you've hit the market at the right time right now.
Why are you selling this? I'm trying to squeeze two houses into one.
I recently got married. Ah! Right, OK. Downsizing, in a way.
Cherry-picking the best items to keep.
Or maybe the best items to sell to raise some money? I don't know. Maybe. Maybe!
The late 19th/early 20th century Chinese silver bowl.
80 for it. Thank you. ?80 bid. Any advance on 80?
Five against you. 90.
Five. 100. 110. 120. 130.
It's racing up quickly.
150 I have. 160. 160 online it is.
New bid at 170. Thank you.
180. 190. 200.
210 now. 220. 220 now.
230. 240 here. 250.
The gent's bid at 250 now. At ?250, selling.
?250. That was very good, wasn't it? Double our top end. Happy?
Very, very happy. That'll help. It certainly will.
'Well done, Denise, for spotting that silver bowl's potential.
'Something more unusual now
'with Enid and Bob's photographic ceramic tiles.'
I've not come across these before so today I have learned something.
What have you done with them? Nothing? Nothing, yeah.
I think it's about time you put them under the hammer, in that case.
Not literally. Of course not! Let's find out what the bidders think.
Two early 20th-century
Carters of Poole rectangular earthenware portrait tiles,
nicely depicting Lord Kitchener
and Sir John Rushworth of course, Jellicoe.
?60 anywhere, someone? 50. 35, I have.
At 35. And 40.
Most of the bidders in the middle of the room. Seated at 50.
Five standing. 55. Bidding online. 60 here.
65. Back in the room. 70.
Five with you, sir. 75 now.
They're historical pieces, really. Yes.
90 bid. 95.
Come on, make 100. 95 in the room.
Finished online. With you, sir.
All finished. Yours.
It's gone. ?95.
Top end of the estimate. Well done, David. You must be happy with that.
Yes, thank you very much. Thank you for bringing them in.
We've all learned something today and that's what it's all about,
really. It is. Bit of knowledge. Yeah.
'Right on estimate there,
'but now it's time to see whether April's pilot watch matches up to its big estimate.'
Time for April's watch to go under the hammer. Big bucks. ?1,000-?1,500.
Had a chat to Nick the auctioneer. He'd have been slightly more cautious.
Not much more cautious! No, no!
Is this your first auction? Yes.
What do you think? Sum it up for me.
Lots of people and noise. Buzzing. Yeah. Great atmosphere. Fingers crossed,
it's going under the hammer right now.
This is what we've been waiting for. Hopefully a big surprise.
Rare, oversized, stainless steel navigator's watch.
In reasonable condition. Had a lot of interest presale.
I'm going to come straight in flat at ?1,000. ?1,000 bid with me.
And 50. 1,100.
(Straight in at 1,000.)
At ?1,200. 1,250. 1,300.
1,400. And 50.
1,550. 1,600. And 50.
1,700. And 50. 18. 1,850. 1,900. And 50. 2,000.
And 50. 2,100. 2,100.
2,150. 2,200. 2,250.
2,250 online. I've got 2,300. 2,300 on the phone.
April, do you need a seat?
Are we going to go 2,400? 2,300. Really?!
I've got 2,300. Come on, bid it up. 2,300 on the phone. 2,400.
They're loving this, aren't they?
2,600. The bid is at 2,600.
It's against you online. At ?2,600...
I've got 2,700. 2,800. Still climbing. At 2,800.
Oh, James, this is wonderful, isn't it?
At ?2,800. 2,900.
Come on. Round it up. 3,000. I knew we liked this lot. It's a rare one.
April, this is stunning. Isn't it? Good on your mum.
At ?3,000, going once. For 3,000 going twice.
Last and final call, at ?3,000 online I sell.
Come here! Gosh!
Well done. Well done. I told you there was going to be a surprise.
We left it till the end. I hope you enjoyed the show.
Sadly we have run out of time in Knutsford.
But what an end and what a day! You can always learn something.
Join us again next time for many more surprises.
Until then... Thank you. ..it's goodbye from all of us.
MUSIC: "Flog It!" Theme
I love you.
It's all under control.
Just when you think you've got it all sorted...
I love you.
It's all under control.
This is really good of you, Pam.
Mum, this is Dean.
Are you all right?
..things don't turn out quite as you'd expected.
This isn't over.
I don't know what to say.
Paul Martin greets a long queue of people all waiting for a valuation for their antiques and collectables at St John's Minster in the heart of Preston. Experts David Fletcher and James Lewis are spoilt for choice with items to value.
David finds some photographic ceramic tiles made by Poole pottery, and James shocks the owner of a big watch when he tells her his estimate. While in Lancashire, Paul gets a special invitation to look around Leighton Hall, home of the Gillow furniture-making family.