Antiques programme. Paul Martin and experts Michael Baggott and David Fletcher value antiques including an extremely large diamond. Paul visits Sissinghurst's Garden.
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Where is this wonderful example of modernist architecture
that looks like a horizontal skyscraper?
It's in Bexhill-on-Sea and it's called De La Warr Pavilion.
Welcome to Flog It!
This incredible building is the result of a competition
held by the town council in 1935.
I'm hoping for a lot of competition here today,
because there's hundreds of people, which means hundreds of antiques!
We'll take the best to auction and hopefully have
one or two surprises at the end of the show.
This lot have come here to ask our experts that all-important question,
-ALL: What's it worth?
What will you do when you find out?
ALL: Flog it!
And our experts competing to provide all the answers today...
are David Fletcher...
..and Michael Baggott.
On today's show, we have some one-offs
that our experts have fallen in love with -
a highly decorative exotic glass goblet...
..a magnificent 19th century firearm...
Michael, I like this. I seriously considered running away with this.
..and an exceptionally fine piece of artwork.
But the big question is,
which one of these highly-prized items will reach the highest price?
Stay with us to find out when we go off to auction.
As you can see, everybody's safely seated inside the pavilion.
It is lights, camera, action!
There's a wonderful atmosphere here, so let's hand over to our experts.
It looks like David Fletcher, who's recently got married,
is first at the tables.
Time for us to share a nice glass of white wine.
-Yeah, I guess it's a goblet.
-It is, yeah.
-It's a charming thing.
-It looks good there.
-It does, yeah.
You don't sound convinced. Do you not like it yourself?
I like '60s glass, so this is really not...
I just saw it in a garden safari.
What's a garden safari? I've never heard of such a thing.
It's where you go to a school and to make money, they sell a map,
On the map is all the different garages.
I walked down the drive and this was in the garage
-and that was £1.
This would've been made - you said you liked 1960s glass -
-I assume you meant 1960s...
-I meant 1960s.
-This is about 1860.
-So, this is about 100 years earlier from the glass you like.
-It would've been made in Bohemia.
Characterised, really, by very deep cutting.
-In addition to that, you have a gilt banding,
you have another band which has been etched and then hand-painted.
So, every single decorative gizmo you can think of
has gone into the manufacture of this.
Made, really, for a very discerning, I suppose,
upper middle class customer or client, who, if you like,
probably characterises a slightly overblown taste.
-It's a bit ostentatious...
-Over the top.
-Over the top, exactly that.
-I think this is worth at least £100.
-Um... But put a reserve just beneath that.
-Is that OK?
I'm really more of a beer drinker than a wine drinker,
so if it does sell for £100 or more,
-perhaps you can buy me a pint in the pub after?
That's a date.
Ooh, hang on a minute, he's only just got married!
-Thank you for coming with this watercolour.
You're talking to a guy that grew up in Cornwall.
That's why I was hoping you'd like this.
I recognise it, put it that way!
Do you know where this is in Cornwall?
I thought it was St Ives Bay.
No. I can tell you exactly where it is.
It's, in fact, Port Isaac. You see that building there?
That's the old schoolhouse.
That's now converted to a hotel and I've stayed there.
It's a beautiful part of Cornwall.
Do you know much about Pinder, the artist, Douglas Pinder?
No, we looked him up on the internet and found out he was local born.
Yes, he's Cornish, born in 1886 and he died in 1949.
But he didn't actually take up a career as an artist until 1911.
But he worked in watercolours
and he tended to paint between St Ives and Newquay.
All along that north coast
..because he didn't drive a car.
He rode a bike everywhere,
-so he was very limited to where he painted in Cornwall!
So, looking at this, bearing in mind there's a bit of damage up here,
-some foxing and staining, because it's been kept under glass?
The sun's got to it. You can see the outline of the frame.
I think the Cornish collectors of Pinder will like this,
-but it's definitely entry level.
When I mean entry level, I think around about £80 to £120.
-Yep, OK, that's fine.
-With a reserve of 60.
Yep, I'll go with it.
-If that's what you say, I'm happy with that.
-Are you sure?
-Where's this been, anyway, in your life?
-I'm selling it for a friend.
She's emigrated to Turkey,
so I think it was something she couldn't get in the case!
-Thank you for bringing it in.
Rod will put the watercolour back in its frame,
which should help with the sale.
Michael has picked out a tea caddy,
but Brian doesn't sound like a local.
Brian, thank you for bringing this wonderful little pot in today.
What do you know about it?
Virtually nothing. I inherited it from my parents
and I believe it belonged to my father's aunt before that.
So, it's hopefully anywhere between 80 to 100 years old, I think.
Do you know what it's for? Do you use it for anything at home?
Odds and ends go into it, because we've never known what it's for.
It's something that came down through the family
and I liked the decoration on it, so I kept it.
The decoration is lovely. All this applied relief work on it.
-It's two materials.
-Let's get that out of the way first. They didn't start life together.
If we're looking at the original item, we're looking at that,
-without that cover.
What we've got is basically a Wedgwood-style black basalt,
-which is a ceramic body, tea caddy.
When this was made, in about 1800, 1820, so 200 years old,
at the height of the Regency,
Wedgwood's designs were selling all over the place,
the most popular ceramics you could buy.
-And people copied him.
If this were Wedgwood, it would be a bit crisper.
These reliefs would be deeper and, most importantly,
-it would be marked "Wedgwood" on the bottom!
-That's the clue(!)
This is unmarked, so we can't immediately put a factory to it.
-But it's definitely from Staffordshire.
The interesting thing is it started life with a cover like this...
-Ah, but not that one.
-..but in the same body.
That's become damaged.
I think what's interesting is that somebody valued this enough,
maybe 150, 160 years ago, to have a cover made for it -
cos that fits exactly - in solid silver.
Not an inexpensive thing to do, but it's part of its history.
It's part of its life.
This is part of its life, in a way.
I wasn't sure if that was with it or not.
-This is a jam spoon.
-That's Sheffield, 1920,
so that's a fair bit later, but might as well keep it with that.
-The bad news is the value!
-Thank you, yeah(!)
This cover makes it more interesting.
This spoon and the story make it more interesting, but less valuable.
-Less valuable, yeah.
We're going to have to think in terms of £30 to £50
-and a fixed reserve of £30 on it.
We'll put it into the auction
and I think it should brew up some interest on the day.
-Terrible, isn't it?
-That was bad!
-I know, I know.
Well, Michael got that one off to a T.
Now, let's see what David has lined up.
Thank you very much for bringing these items in with you.
-Have you been rummaging about in your attic?
I'm clearing out the family silver.
You were literally clearing out the family silver, right.
Talk me through them. Are any of them family pieces?
The boxes were my grandmother's.
-I just remember them sitting on the mantelpiece.
-I don't remember where they came from prior to my grandmother.
-And, I think it's a letter opener?
I remember it being in the cupboard at home.
I don't know where that came from.
I'm inclined to think of them really as potentially two lots.
We have four boxes, I think, naturally make up one lot.
Then the letter opener, another lot. Let's treat them in those terms.
We'll start with the letter opener, which has been gilded.
In places the gilding has worn through
-but it's more or less still all over, silver gilt.
This is inscribed,
"Madeleine to Percy for their golden wedding,
"with love and blessing to him for all his unfailing love
"and goodness to her through these 50 years.
-"16th October, 1910."
Isn't that a lovely inscription? But you don't know those people?
I don't know who they are.
-It's actually hallmarked for London and the letter P tells us, 1910.
It was actually assayed in the same year that it was bought.
-In my view, it's worth between £50 and £80.
-I would suggest you put a reserve of £50 on that.
Now, the boxes, what I think is particularly interesting about these
is that they all date from the very late 19th, early 20th century.
We have a London hallmark on this one
Then we have this box, which is also Victorian.
-Curiously, I think London, 1900.
That strikes me as being something that might have been made
-in the 1920s, 1930s.
It almost has an art deco appearance, doesn't it? Very simple.
This item is a matchbox holder.
Again, hallmarked, this time in Birmingham,
and this little chap here, with a painted cover,
an Alpine scene, bears hallmarks
but doesn't have the assay office amongst the marks.
That's not uncommon. This one is 1905.
This little group here made within seven years of each other,
which I would say, had a combined value of 100 to 150.
-I would suggest a reserve of £100.
Have you anything in mind to spend the money on?
We have a family wedding coming up in Cornwall.
-That's got to be paid for?
-And the petrol.
-And a nice wedding present?
You could always give them one of these.
More wedding bells!
Collecting is a real bug.
Once you've got it, there's no stopping it.
Believe me, it's so addictive.
Of course, there is one major problem.
Sooner or later, you're going to run out of space to store it all.
It's precisely at this point, back in 1955,
that antiques dealer and collector Dennis Eyre Bower decided to do
something radical about housing his own personal collections.
So, he borrowed £6,000 from the bank and bought himself a castle.
And this is it. Chiddingstone Castle.
Dennis hoped to finance the running of the castle
and pay off his debt to the bank by charging visitors half a crown.
He had antiques from his four areas of interest on display
to the public.
Stuart and Jacobean artefacts.
And the exquisite Japanese collection.
His acumen for antique collecting being much better
than his grasp of property management.
It's true to say that his obsession with collecting had
a disastrous effect on every other area of his life.
In the 1920s, he was reprimanded by the Midland Bank,
his then employer, for sending out runners to place bids for him
in the local auction rooms.
I'd like to show you a photo of him here.
Look, there he is, with his bank colleagues.
I bet he was a big hit with the ladies.
He does look like trouble, doesn't he?
It comes as no surprise, in 1943, at the age of 38,
he quit the bank for his overriding passion, antiques,
and he became an antique dealer.
Dennis's relationship with women also suffered largely,
taking second place to his passion for collecting.
Although he had many girlfriends and lovers,
neither of his two marriages lasted very long.
The first was annulled after only one year.
The second after only five weeks.
So it seems that Dennis left a trail of disappointed women behind him.
Well, to crown it all, not long after taking over the castle,
Dennis met and fell in love with a beautiful young lady half his age.
He was so in love with her, but one day,
when she threatened to call off the romance, he was so besotted,
he ran to see her, picked up one of his antique guns, took it with
him, dramatically threatening to kill himself if she called it off.
Well, don't ask me how, but somehow, accidentally,
he managed to shoot her.
He was so horrified by what he did,
he turned the gun on himself and tried to kill himself.
After waking up in hospital,
he found he was under arrest for attempted murder,
because the young lady survived, but also attempted suicide.
Dennis was sentenced to life imprisonment and spent
a number of years in Wormwood Scrubs before finally being freed in 1962,
when he returned to live at Chiddingstone Castle
among his collections.
You could say that his eye for the ladies brought him nothing
but trouble, but we should all be grateful for his eye for antiques.
I have arranged to meet Julia Hart,
curator of Japanese Art at the Victoria and Albert Museum
and also a trustee of Chiddingstone Castle,
to look at some of Dennis's Japanese collection.
There is a wonderful collection of Japanese artefacts here.
-We're surrounded by them.
-Was this Dennis's main passion, then?
His father had a collection of
Chinese ceramics and Japanese swords.
From that, really developed his love for Japanese art.
-So this is his niche.
-Yes. One of his niches.
One of his niches. What a great collector.
I mean, this is what
I would normally associate Japanese lacquerware with.
Things like the sake bowls there, with the typical reds.
-And, of course, the little writing box there.
Lacquer is basically the sap from a tree that grows in East
and South East Asia.
By making incisions in the bark, the sap oozes out.
-They can draw it off.
It's collected and then it's processed.
After that, it's coloured.
When you're talking about lacquer
and the depth of coat in the build-up of the lacquer,
it's normally about 20 to 30 different coats of lacquer?
Yes, you normally have a thin wooden base and on top of that,
you build it up with layers of lacquer, essentially.
Then you start on the decorative layer. So, it's a long process.
-And it's expensive work.
And the vessels themselves, let's look at this little box.
Now, that's obviously made of wood to start with
-and then covered with these lacquer processes.
Looking here, that geometric design is so mathematically correct.
-That's some discipline to achieve there.
Yes. Really testing the lacquer skills to be able to work with these
minute pieces and place them individually.
-This is some of the best work I've ever seen in my life.
-Let's talk about the little sake cups.
They are little drinking vessels. The equivalent to our wine glasses.
-What age are they?
-They are 19th century.
There are many examples of this type of work produced on sake cups.
-Sake, of course, is clear.
-So you can see the image through it.
You can see the design.
Sometimes, they have decoration on the back, so that when you drink,
the other person would see the design on the back.
Do you respect Dennis as a collector, a connoisseur?
-Did he have a good eye?
-I agree with you.
I think he was an English eccentric,
who happened to be in the right place
at the right time in the right period.
He was buying Japanese art
at a time when it was no longer especially popular.
-It wasn't fashionable, so the prices were low.
-The prices were low.
He was buying on modest means.
And, with a very good eye, he was able to buy some spectacular pieces.
Well, old Dennis may have had a turbulent private life,
but I tell you what, boy, was he a good collector and dealer!
He had a fabulous eye for detail. He followed his own instincts.
He bought items when they weren't fashionable,
so they were affordable. There's a lesson for us all there.
He bought only quality and items that weren't overly restored.
And his legacy is here today for us to enjoy at Chiddingstone Castle.
I think it's about time we put those items to the test, don't you?
While we make our way to the auction room for the very first time today,
here's a quick recap,
just to jog your memory of all the items going under the hammer.
First, Marilyn's highly decorative Bohemian glass goblet,
which she bought for the princely sum of just £1.
Watercolours of the sea are always popular,
so this one should swim away.
And Michael spotted the caddy.
It's a bit of a marriage, with a new lid and spoon,
but the collectors love them.
The same is true of David's last lots. The silver letter opener...
..and the collection of boxes.
Well, the weather is lovely so let's take the chance
to travel along the south coast.
That sign says it all.
Today we're guests of Eastbourne auction rooms
and everything's going under the hammer.
We're putting those valuations to the test.
Let's get inside and hopefully find a room packed with bidders.
And it is packed!
And auctioneer Paul Achilleus is already on the rostrum.
Bid, 70, 80...
Right now the Bohemian cut glass is about to go under the hammer.
I've been joined by David and Marilyn here.
This was picked up for £1 at a garage safari.
Going for £1, ridiculously cheap.
-Are you going back to some more garage safaris?
-I want '60s glass.
-Hopefully, we can find you some.
There might be some in the saleroom but now we've got business to do.
Let's put this under the hammer and see what happens. Here we go.
Now we have the Bohemian ruby glass goblet, enamelled with flowers.
There it is. Due to conflicting bids, we start this at 50 and 5.
At £55, I'll take 60 from you. At £55 only, 60's bid.
5, I've got at 65. I'll take 70.
At 65, only. 70 is bid.
5, at 75, 80? 80, sir. 80 bid in the seat. At £80.
-We've done it, £80 now.
-£80 only, seated at 80.
Anyone else coming in, then?
At £80 and you see it sell on that bid. Are we all done?
Just, £80. The hammer has gone down.
For a pound.
That's not bad going, is it? That's really good going.
I can't work out the percentage profit, but it's enormous!
Marilyn should be able to get some staggering '60s glass
for that money.
Next up it's my choice, a Cornish artwork.
But Rod, who thought it would appeal to me, sadly can't be here today.
We've got a watercolour by Douglas Pinder.
It's of Port Isaac, down in Cornwall.
Let's see what we can do. We're looking at £80 to £120. Here we go.
The watercolour of a harbour, possibly around Cornwall,
signed and stamped on the reverse, mounted and framed.
There it is. How do we see that?
-Who's got £50 to start?
-50, come on.
-Give me 40 for it, then.
-I've a feeling it might struggle.
Is there 5 bid, 50?
55, 60? And 5? 60 has it.
At £60, anyone else, then?
Come on, people.
At 65, any more in the room? £65 in the room.
65, do I see 70 anywhere? At £65, then...
70's bid on the phone. Phone bidder now at 70.
Do you want 5 on the net? 75, 80? Is it on the phone?
£75, net bidder has it. 80 bid, phone.
-At 80 bid, phone.
-We've sold it.
Is there 5 on the net?
£80 on the phone, then. You're out on the net, now.
At £80, you're also out in the room.
Are we all done?
And, yes, it has. We've sold it, thank goodness for that.
Hopefully, it's probably gone back down to Cornwall.
Saved by the phones, that time.
Well, it's Brian's turn to find out exactly what it's worth, right now.
The black basalt tea caddy is going under the hammer.
-It's no money at all, £30 to £40, is it?
-It's entry level.
The thing is, somebody thought so much of it when it was made,
they had a silver cover made.
-It's a lovely touch, isn't it?
Let's find out what it's worth. Good luck, Brian.
The 19th century, black basalt tea caddy.
Decorated in relief with classical females, shown to you there.
Who'll start me at £30 for this lot?
30? 20, then. £20, I'm bid.
20, 2, 5, eight, Sir. 30? 2?
-30 has it seated. At 32 and five.
38, 40, 42, 45, 48? No, 45.
Gentleman seated at £45. Any further bids then at £45?
-You'll see it sell on that bid.
-The hammer's gone down, £45.
-Just over the top end of the estimate.
Wherever we go, there is always a caddy collector. Every sale.
He is right, you know, caddies are a safe bet.
Next, two lots of silver,
a collection of boxes and the letter opener.
We have those but we do not have their owner, Sarah.
She couldn't make it today. She has to work, she's a nurse.
I hope you're doing well there, Sarah,
but we do have Brian, her father.
-Hello. Thank you for standing in.
-Not at all.
-Where does Sarah work?
-She works at East Grinstead Hospital.
We're going to find out what the first lot goes for, first.
Here's the four little boxes, now.
The silver matchbox case and three boxes including a circular example
set with porcelain panel to the lid, hand-painted with an Alpine view.
There we are. We're going to start this at 160.
At 160, 170 on the net.
180 with me, 190, 200 with me. 210, I'll take on the net.
-210, there. 220 with me. 230.
-We like this.
At 230, the back of the room at 230. 240, new place.
250. 260, 270.
-We like this.
-The lady's bid. 260, I'll take 70 elsewhere.
£260, then, with the lady, at the back. 270 back in. 270, 280.
At 270, I'll give you a chance to change your mind, as well. At £270.
-270, it is.
-£270 and the hammer went down really quickly.
Here is the second of the lots,
the silver letter opener.
There it is, the silver gilt letter opener with engraved inscription.
There it is. Where are we here?
Silver gilt one, there it is at 40 and 5, I'll take 50 from you.
At £45, where is 50 now? At £45 only. 50's bid now.
At 50, I'll take 5 elsewhere. At £50 only, anybody else then at 50?
-Done and selling it on that bid of 50.
-It's gone, anyway.
That's a grand total of £320.
You'll have to get on the phone and tell her, won't you, Dad?
Immediately I walk away from here, I shall be on the phone.
It'll make her day, won't it? Cheer her up in hospital.
-That's a good result, I'm thrilled.
-Yes, thank you very much indeed.
Remember, all the money is going towards the Cornish wedding.
While we've been in the area filming,
I had the opportunity to go off and explore a garden.
In the world of gardens, this is up there with the very best.
Take a look at this.
I'm standing right on the top of Sissinghurst Castle,
looking out at the most spectacular view.
It really is breathtaking.
Down on what is, arguably, one of the finest gardens in England.
We're in deepest Kent, right in the heart of the countryside,
surrounded by woods, streams, farmland and meadows.
It's the perfect location for these gardens.
It's as if they've always been here as nature intended.
Their success is due to a marriage of formality and informality.
The classical elegance of its planning, as you can see there,
and the romantic profusion of its planting.
All of this is only possible because of the vision of not one,
but two people.
So, who were the co-creators of this celebrated garden
and why did they devote most of their lives to making it?
The garden is a blend of the talents of husband and wife team
Harold Nicolson, the diplomat,
and Vita Sackville-West, the author and poet.
Harold providing the structure and elegance of the garden
and Vita, filling it in with her opulent and extravagant planting.
They both wanted to create somewhere that spoke of the past.
Vita was a wealthy aristocrat
who just missed out on inheriting her beloved family home of Knole
to her uncle because of her gender. That's the way things were done.
In 1930, she bought Sissinghurst
and she must have seen the potential in creating something so magical
out of what was the ruins of an old Elizabethan palace.
You can understand why a romantic vision of old England
really sits comfortably with her.
I always enjoy being given access
to somewhere that usually is out of bounds.
In this case, Vita's private workroom,
which would sit quite comfortably in a tale of old England.
Even the door's creaking away. It's full of books.
We are surrounded by all of her possessions,
exactly how she would have left it. A wonderful atmosphere in here.
Obviously, she would be deep in thought in this room,
putting pen to paper and writing novels, poems, diaries
and also her gardening column for the Observer newspaper,
which ran for 16 years.
Something else was discovered in this room.
Her son Nigel found a locked Gladstone bag,
which gave a fascinating insight
into his mother's unconventional private life.
It contained a confession of Vita's love
for this beautiful lady here, Violet Trefusis.
A gorgeous oil painting on canvas.
That's painted by Sir Frank Lavery. Quite incredible.
Later on, Virginia Woolf became one of Vita's lovers
and Virginia immortalised her as one of the main characters
in her novel, Orlando. Just looking around,
you can open up the books,
and there's lots of scribbles in the margins
and I've picked one out for you here.
This is another novel by Virginia Woolf.
Down the margin, written in pencil, by Vita, it says,
"Rubbish. It was frankly a lesbian love. V told me so."
Isn't that incredible? Lots of history here in these books.
I love these little scribbles.
And things underlined, the important things.
"Protecting the love of a woman for a woman."
Vita and Harold were an extraordinary couple
who crossed a few boundaries.
Harold was also known to be homosexual.
They had an open marriage for years.
Despite this, they were devoted to each other.
The garden is testimony to their relationship.
So, where shall we start in this magnificent ten-roomed
Arts and Crafts garden?
Well, I think right here, don't you, in this purple border?
Originally planted up by Vita.
It does look such a showstopper.
But it's made even more effective because they've kept
the rest of the courtyard, as you can see here, incredibly formal.
It's a super idea, it really does work.
Again and again throughout the garden,
we see areas enhanced by this use of contrasts.
Would Harold's long crossing vistas have so much impact
without Vita's fullness of planting,
what she called the "cram, cram, cram every chink and cranny" method?
While I'm here enjoying the garden,
I want to find out from head gardener Alexis Datta
how she maintains Harold and Vita's vision in the garden.
Alexis, how long did it take Harold and Vita to create
and establish these gardens?
They bought the place in 1930, and amazingly, by 1939,
when the war broke out,
they'd already really created the bones of what you see today,
the hedges and paths and everything like that,
-and cleared all the rubbish away.
-A lot of hard work.
An awful lot, and pretty impressive,
considering they were not professional gardeners,
-so they did all that whilst also working at other jobs.
They did employ people, of course, but they really, really put
a lot of work in. Amazing.
Just to have that vision and that foresight to plant it up like this,
because everywhere you turn, everywhere you walk,
there's the most interesting vista, and different height levels,
which is interesting, and wonderful perspectives.
It's interesting, you mention
the vistas like this one going up are quite unusual.
And that was Harold Nicolson's part.
He was classical straight lines, very neat sort of man,
and she was the opposite. She liked to see the plants...
En masse, as much as possible.
Yeah, letting them go over the paths and over the grass.
-I like that, though, don't you?
-Yeah, I think it's really great.
But that was like their two personalities working together.
And actually, looking up here today,
there's quite a good example of that.
And then the clematis coming over the wall.
The geometry of it and the actual design of it is terribly clever,
cos it's not actually that big, but you get big, long vistas like that,
which gives you the impression of size.
And actually, it's only seven acres, which, obviously, to you and me,
-that's a lot for your back garden...
It is really, really stunning,
and I guess your job now is to sort of conserve this.
Exactly what we are trying to do.
I've got a bit of a free rein to be allowed to change it,
-but within the spirit of the place.
For instance, in the rose garden, we've got a lot of roses
which are old-fashioned shrub roses, which are very prone to disease.
So, we have introduced some new ones that are less prone.
But I'm also always very aware of the fact that
the ones that Vita loved so much,
which we know about, cos she wrote about,
-if they do die, to replace with the same.
-Have you learned a lot from this?
-Oh, an awful lot, yeah.
-I've been gardening 40 years, 20 of them here.
-20 years here?
Yeah, but I've learned so much since I've been here.
-You'll never know it all.
Well, I must say, Alexis and her team are doing a terrific job here.
Once again, we're enjoying that juxtaposition
of Harold's formality of his straight-line hedging
with that lovely, sumptuous planting up by Vita.
This was the last garden they created here,
and it's called the White Garden,
with its nostalgic view of the tower there in the background
reminding us of how England used to be.
And I think that's exactly what they wanted.
People are still arriving at the pavilion in Bexhill
to have their unwanted collectibles and antiques valued.
Let's see who David is talking to at the table.
-What a wonderful lorry you've brought along here.
-Do you collect these?
I collect all sorts of different toys, tinkertoys mostly now.
-But I've got a few of these larger ones.
And when did you buy this?
-Oh, about in the 1970s, the early 1970s.
Tell me a bit about it.
-I'm sure you know far more about these things than I do.
-It obviously has a clockwork motor.
-It has a clockwork motor, yes.
That's the key to wind it up.
This is the key to take it all apart,
because it is actually a kit.
I've never taken it apart,
I'm worried about not being able to put it back together again.
-I don't think I would.
-So, it came preassembled?
-It came like that.
-You bought it preassembled.
-I bought it like that, yeah.
It's very old, it's 1950s.
The firm who made this, Shackleton, I've been told,
made them for four years, from '48 to '52.
-And then they went out of production for some reason.
-They never made them after that.
-OK. So, the Shackleton firm...
-And I see you brought along here the maintenance instructions.
-Also in good condition.
Nice to have those, I think they add value.
It's very good to have them. It's a pity the box is missing now.
Yes, of course. But Shackleton were in business just for four years.
That's right. So I've been told.
-So that must add to the scarcity, obviously.
I've never seen another one.
-We need to think about what it might be worth.
Before we do that, if it's in your collection,
why are you thinking of selling it?
Well, I'm going on a holiday to Las Vegas after Christmas.
-Las Vegas, right.
-And I need as much spending money as I can get.
And this goes towards that.
I love your waistcoat, that'll go down well.
-It's not bad, is it?
Anyway, I think this is going to make between £100 and £150.
-I'm being a bit conservative.
-Yeah, I think so.
Nevertheless, we'll keep the estimate down to 100 to 150.
-We'll make the reserve £100.
So, it won't sell for less than 100 and let's hope it makes a lot more.
-Yep, that's fine.
-I'll see you at the sale.
-I'll be there.
-Thanks very much.
-And I can just picture Dougie in Las Vegas.
For me, there's always a surprise at every valuation day and today, I've come across this.
It's a box, but it's not full of paperwork.
It's full of the French army...
..circa early 1800s, fighting the Battle of Waterloo.
Here's the French artillery.
They're lead soldiers, hand-painted. It brings back lots of memories
because I used to collect lead soldiers and paint them by hand.
I belonged to the Kingston Military Modelling Society when I was 15
and I played war games with these old colonel types.
Aren't they beautiful?
It looks like Michael has had a lucky find
with a piece of jewellery.
You're wearing a lovely chain today,
but this really isn't for a gentleman.
-It's more of a ladies' piece.
Can you tell me, why have you got it?
Yeah, actually, it's not mine, it's my sister's.
She bought it back in '85, '86 at a charity auction.
-Ooh. They can be expensive, can't they?
-Yeah, they were.
It's not been out of the drawer for 20 years,
because she'd become allergic to gold.
-After she bought that in a charity auction?
-Yeah. So she can't wear it.
That's the height of irony, I think.
So, why couldn't your sister come today?
She was too embarrassed to come in front of the cameras,
so me being me, I said I'd do it.
It is, I think, a modern pendant when it was sold in '85.
It would have been made then.
What we've basically got is a high-carat chain and mount
framing some of the main business part of it,
which is this heart-shaped diamond.
It's of a relatively large size.
Because it's a peculiar shape, it's difficult to gauge the weight,
-but it's between 1.1 and 1.2 carats.
Normally, this would all be very good news,
if you had a brilliant-cut or a square-cut stone.
-Cos often, these things are broken up again and remounted.
As a consequence,
-this isn't going to be worth as much as if it were a brilliant.
Have you got any idea of its value or expectation?
What she was looking for was hopefully 900 - 1,000.
£900 - £1,000...
I would be much more conservative than that
but given what your sister wants
and the fact that it is a heavy stone,
let's compromise in a way and let's say £700 - £1,000
and put a fixed reserve of £700.
So, John, let's hope that there are at least two courting couples
at the auction that would like to buy a token for their sweetheart.
I've never heard of anyone being allergic to gold before!
I love this picture. What are they doing?
I believe they're shrimping.
Right, it's an etching.
What I like about etchings is they have a sort of calmness.
A good etching has a clarity that goes with the quality of the line.
This is beautiful. It expresses those characteristics so well.
What can you tell me about it?
All I really know is
that my mother passed it to my wife, Susan, before she died.
-That's basically all I know about it.
-When was your mother born?
The artist, Lionel Percy Smythe, was born in 1839
and he died in 1918, so your mother would have been 10 when he died.
It's most unlikely that your mother would have owned this from new.
She would probably have acquired it at some stage in the 1920s or 1930s,
perhaps when she had a bit of spending power, really.
Let's have a little look at that label.
Yes, this indeed confirms that the artist was Lionel Smythe.
The subject is the Boulogne shrimpers,
so they are shrimping and they're shrimping in Boulogne,
so the artist obviously has travelled to France.
It confirms it's an original etching and in fact, it's an artist's proof.
That tells us this was pulled off very early in the print-making process
for the artist to look at himself and to decide
whether the quality was good enough for it to go into production.
A lovely thing and it's as it should be, original frame, original mount.
-I think it has a value of between £60 and £80.
Just to make sure it doesn't get given away,
-I suggest you put a reserve of £50 on it, just below the £60.
-And we'll make that a fixed reserve.
-OK, thank you very much.
What a lovely picture and at that price, it's a real bargain.
Next, Michael is impressed by what fellow Michael has brought in.
To have one early firearm might be chance,
to have two smacks of collecting.
Can you tell me where you got them?
That's the entirety of my collection.
HE LAUGHS Right!
I just bought them by chance.
This one I saw, I think it was at an antiques fair,
10, 12, 15 years ago, bit of an impulse buy.
This particular one, I used to like clay-pigeon shooting...
-Not with this, though?
-Not with that. Definitely not.
It had been on the shelf in the shop I used to use for years
and I made him a silly offer and he accepted it.
-What's a silly offer these days?
I can't rem... I think 150 quid or something like that for it.
Let's deal with this musket first.
Very accommodatingly, these are both flintlocks.
This one's dated on the action, 1801.
There's no problem there.
This, I think you've done a bit of research on this?
Only a little bit. What I've been told by various people,
that this ended up in Afghanistan,
which is where they used to decorate them like this
-with the mother of pearl and the brass inlay.
It's possible, although this is quite crude workmanship,
often they're much more elaborate than this
and you will actually have gold work in them, or silver,
and they're almost of gem-like quality.
Sadly, there are still lots of them about
and it's really the finely worked ones
that are worth a great deal of money and are collectible.
However, we've got this.
-This is a different kettle of fish. Michael, I like this.
I seriously considered running away with this, that's how nice it is.
We've got, again, a flintlock action.
All you've got with a flintlock is a flint set into the head here,
it strikes down on the strike plates,
the sparks go in there, where you pop your black powder,
the charge goes through the vent and off we go.
It's a blunderbuss.
It's stamped on the top of the barrel, London
and then we've got the proof marks here for the London proof house.
We've got, on the action here, the maker's name.
It's a little faint, because it had a bit of wear,
but we've got Moore and he was working
around about 1790 to about 1800, 1802.
You brought them in together, but I think it's very sensible
that we split them and sell them separately.
They're two different guns for two very different collecting markets.
I think we should put that into auction at say 150-250,
put a 150 reserve on it and see where it goes.
This is a different kettle of fish.
In this condition, let's say 500-800,
because it's worth £500 all day long. It's a super piece.
Let's put the reserve at 500 as well, if you're happy with that?
I can drop it down, I don't want it back. It's there to sell.
You don't want it back? If you don't want it back, I'll take it!
-Let's put a discretionary reserve of £400 on it.
-Yep, that's great.
We often get people arguing the price up,
we never get them arguing it down.
They're heavy, I don't want to carry them home.
That is a practical approach!
Let's get that and our other items wrapped up and sent off to auction.
And here's a quick reminder of what we're taking.
The question is, will the bidders be queuing up in Eastbourne
to buy Dougie's flatbed lorry?
Michael spotted the large diamond in the shape of a heart
and what a whopper!
Next, the sensitive etching of the shrimpers from Boulogne.
Ending with a bang, we have the long barrel rifle...
and the splendid blunderbuss.
60's bid. 70, 80, 30.
30, I'm bid... 70, I'm out.
Seven years ago, he took that to the Antiques Roadshow
and they valued it at £500 to £700.
So, has it gone down that much in value?
The market has dropped.
-I mean, we did sell a boxed example.
Boxed example. Nice clean box with it, as well.
-I think it made around about 400 a couple of years ago.
-So, the prices have really dropped.
-They have dropped, yeah.
That's incredible, isn't it? I mean, that's a rare little lorry.
It is a rare little lorry, yes.
I was rather hoping you would say,
"Look, I think our experts are wrong,"
and you've put the price back up to £400 to £600.
-No, I think your experts are...
Yeah they are, aren't they?
Well, that was auctioneer Paul's view of it.
60's bid. 70, 80, 30.
30, I'm bid... 70, I'm out.
Now for Dougie's flatbed lorry.
Now, I had a chat with the auctioneer yesterday.
We were talking about how dramatically in value
this lorry has lost a lot of money in the last few years.
-But you didn't want to sell it then.
-You're still collecting.
-I wouldn't have sold it then.
-How many are in the collection?
-In my collection indoors?
-Oh, hundreds, hundreds of them.
-Indoors? Is there more outdoors?
I've got a massive collection of tinkertoys, yeah.
I've been collecting them for years.
What does the girlfriend think of all this?
Not very impressed, I'm afraid.
-But you're taking her to Vegas?
-She's going to be impressed by that.
-She'll be impressed by that.
The Shackleton. The scale model flatbed lorry,
with the original instructions and tools.
We'll start this at £100 with ten bids straight away.
At 120 in the room. There at 120. 130. 140. 150. 160. 170. 180. 190.
190, 200. 210. 220. 210 has it.
-At 210. 220 in the room.
-In the room.
250. 260. 270. 280. 290. 300. And 10. 320. 310 has it.
At 310. At 310 in the room. 320 on the telephone.
-Keep going, keep going.
-330 in the room.
340 on the phone if you like. 340 is bid. 350 now. 360.
360. 370. 380.
390. 400? No. 390 in the room.
You're out on the internet and you're also out on the phone.
All done on that bid? 390.
-The hammer has gone down. You know what that means?
Ka-ching, yeah, brilliant. Ka-ching, yeah. More spending money.
-Good luck. Have a great time.
-Yeah, I will. Thank you much for your help.
This auction business has been a gamble as well.
But that gamble paid off.
I was always confident that it was going to fetch a good price.
That's why I said I'm not worried about the reserve.
You were right, Dougie.
-Quality always sells. That's what you always say.
-And it had it in abundance.
It is a lot of money, £700 - £1,000 and hopefully, John,
-we're sending you home with that top end.
As you know, you've been to auctions before, anything could happen.
-It really could.
-Well, John's sister wanted a reserve of 700.
I felt, because it's a carat stone, it's worth giving it a go.
The only thing against it is the unusual heart-shaped cut.
The odds are now stacked against us.
Let's find out what happens, John.
The heart-shaped gold mounted diamond pendant,
approximately 1.5 carats on a gilt metal chain.
There it is at 500, I'm bid.
At 500, 520, 550, 580.
At 580, 600, 620.
At 620, now, any more?
At £620, 650 on the net, now.
680 in the room. At 680, 700? Is it?
700 on the net, 720 in the room.
No, 700 on the net now.
At £700 then, internet has it. At £700, then?
Anyone else coming in at 700?
Are we all done? And I sell it to you on the net.
-Got to be happy with that.
-Yeah, that's good.
It's not everybody's taste, it's the way they were cut.
It's not a trade lot and I have a feeling there was somebody at home looking for a present...
-Fell in love with that.
-..hovering, and they got it.
I think it's a good result.
-Will your sister be happy?
-I hope so!
Well, there you are, love conquers all.
Next, David's delightful choice.
Going under the hammer right now, a lovely etching,
the Boulogne Shrimpers by Lionel Smythe and it belongs to Andrew.
£60 - £80, probably for not much longer.
-Why have you decided to sell this?
-The reason is, we've moved from
a three-bedroom house to a two-bedroom bungalow.
-Downsizing, are you?
-Downsizing, and we haven't got
-the space to hang it.
I love etchings. To me, an etching combines craft and art.
When the artist designs the picture,
he draws the original, and then he etches it.
He's a craftsman and an artist.
-Let's hope he fetches a good price.
OK, let's find out, shall we?
Lionel Smythe, Boulogne Shrimpers.
The artist's proof etching,
pencil signed to the margin, mounted and framed.
There it is with me at 40.
And five bid, at 45, I'll take 50 from you.
At 45, 50 seated, sir. At £50, seated in front. At £50.
We've got it away.
At 55, 60. 60, and five on the telephone?
65 and 70. And five?
75, 80 and five?
90 and five?
95 on the phone, 110 on the phone.
110 on the phone, 120, sir, 130 on the phone.
140. 140 is bid, 150, will you?
160, will you, sir? 170 now.
180 now. 190.
200. No? 190, on the telephone.
-Anybody else coming in, then?
At £190, I sell it to the telephone bidder.
Are you all out in the room at 190?
-Yes, fabulous result! Really, really good result.
-I'm pleased with that.
-I bet you are! More than what we thought as well.
That is a charming scene
and I'm not surprised someone fell in love with it.
It's now time to put those guns under the hammer
and we're starting with the long-barrelled rifle.
Let's hope we hit that target.
I did have a chat to the auctioneer a bit earlier.
He said there are two markets for these guns.
The long-barrelled rifle, definitely the decorators market with all of the inlay
and the second, the blunderbuss, militaria collectors.
But right now, we're going to put the long-barrelled rifle under the hammer.
What is all the money going towards? Why are we selling these?
-For a new exhaust system on my car.
-Is it? Is it a classic car?
-Lovely, what is it?
-It's an old Jag.
-At least it's not one banger to another, is it?
19th century East India Company military long-barrelled rifle.
There it is.
And we are showing a telephone bidder here as well
and straightaway we'll start this at 130.
At 130. At 130, 140's bid on the internet.
150, 160 on the internet. 200 on the internet. Internet bidding to 200.
210 on the internet now. At £210, all on the internet now at 210.
220, internet has it at 220.
At 220, 230, internet bid at 230.
-Internet bidding at 230, 240 on the telephone now.
At 240, telephone bidder has it now at 240. 250 on the internet.
-Clicking all over the world for this now!
260, internet. You've missed your slot there.
260, internet bidder has it now. Another internet, 270.
This is lovely, on the phone, to the internet, to the phone.
280, telephone now. 280, telephone. 280, telephone.
290 on the net? You're out on the internet now.
I'm selling it on the telephone. 290, back in. 290.
On the net, 290. 300, may I say?
At £290, internet bidding has it at £290.
Anybody else coming in at 290?
All done on that bid then? 290.
The hammer's gone down, sold.
First one, £290, well done, top end of that estimate.
Here's the next one, the blunderbuss.
We're looking at a revised estimate now of £400 - £600, but I'm confident it should breeze that.
19th century brass and mahogany military blunderbuss rifle
with chase decorations and mounted stock.
There it is, nice example as you see it there. 320, 330, 340, 350.
It's all in the room at the moment.
The internet hasn't kicked in and no phones.
Good, we're levelling.
370 in the room has it, 370. 380, 390, sir, 390. 400.
-We're getting there!
-420 bid on the net now.
At 420, is there 40?
At £420, internet bidder has it then. 440 at the back.
440 is bid, at 440.
-It is a good piece.
Internet bidder then, 460, is there 80?
At £460, in the room then at 460?
Selling to the internet now, 460.
£460, it's sold. Well done, well done.
I'm really pleased with that
although I thought it was the better of the two guns by a country mile,
which shows that the decorative appeal is actually surpassing the militaria collectors.
Interestingly enough, Paul yesterday, when I had a chat to him at the auction preview day
said the decorators' market is really low at the moment,
so just goes to show, no-one really knows.
We can't judge it on a gun by gun basis, can we?
But bang, it hit the target, and that's a total of £750.
-That's a new exhaust system.
-It is, yeah.
£80, final bid 80, are you all done?
Well, that's it, it's all over.
I don't know about you but I thoroughly enjoyed this auction.
We had it all, some highs and some lows, will it, won't it?
But that's auctions for you -
you just cannot predict what's going to happen.
Fasten your seatbelts for another ride soon,
but until then, from Eastbourne, it's goodbye.
Paul Martin and the Flog It team are in the seaside town of Bexhill-on-Sea at the stunning 1930's De La Warr Pavilion.
Experts Michael Baggot and David Fletcher have their work cut out digging and delving through bags and boxes sorting through those unwanted antiques.
David finds a collection of silver boxes, while Michael finds an extremely large diamond.
Presenter Paul also visits one of Britain's best gardens at Sissinghurst Castle.