Alnwick Castle 18 Flog It!


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Alnwick Castle 18

Antiques programme. Paul Martin and experts Anita Manning and David Fletcher discover antiques and collectables with unique stories to tell.


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This is the magnificent Alnwick Castle in Northumberland,

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which has had rather a turbulent past,

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with links to rebels, gunpowder plots and Shakespearean knights.

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But today, we're hoping for a slightly more serene experience,

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because this is the venue for our valuation day.

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Welcome to "Flog It!"

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'The castle has been home to the Percy family ever since 1766,

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'many of whom were passionate collectors

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'and furnished the building with some incredible antiques.

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'So with all these wonderful objects,

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'it's a fitting location for one of our valuation days.'

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We've got a marvellous crowd and they've all had a rummage through their attics and cellars,

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looking for unwanted antiques and collectables to put through to auction.

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The lucky ones will be going home with a lot of money.

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So let's not waste any time.

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Let's get our experts stuck into all of those bags and boxes.

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'And our experts today are the feisty lady auctioneer Anita Manning,

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'and the debonair David Fletcher.

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'And Anita is taking no prisoners in her search for the ultimate antique.'

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What have you got? Show me your goodies.

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'And if at first you don't succeed...'

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Stand and deliver!

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'David is shooting people down, too.'

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-I think probably thank you, but no thank you.

-That's OK.

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'Let's hope he finds something worthy of a hefty ransom

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'later on in the show.'

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'Today's programme is packed full of drama

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'and I'll be telling you a historic tale of kidnap

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'and terror as I visit Gibside Pleasure Grounds.

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'And we've got our share of deadly items on the show, too.

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'But which one will make the most at auction?

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'These Victorian pistols or these swashbuckling swords?'

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Yes, there are a lot of people there,

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which means a lot of antiques to value.

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It looks like Anita Manning is our first expert today to spot a real gem.

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Let's take a closer look.

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Beryl, welcome to "Flog It!".

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You were the very first in the queue this morning,

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and I thought that you might have something interesting.

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This is a lovely plate. Can you tell me, where did you get it?

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I was a home carer for a lot of years.

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I was really attached to this old lady and she left it to me

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in her will because I used to wash it and clean it and look after it.

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She was always telling me to go on holidays.

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Otherwise, I don't think I would have parted with it.

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But I've got grandchildren and I'm frightened in case it gets broken.

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Tell me what you liked about it.

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The colours. It is pretty when it's up.

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Well, the most obvious thing about this plate

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are these wonderful colours.

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It's called Imari.

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It comes from Japan, a little town in Japan called Arita.

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It was made 1880s to 1890s for the export market

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and it's characterised by these wonderful blues, rust reds,

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golds and whites, and the British people loved that type of thing.

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I think it is very attractive.

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Now, if we turn it round to the back,

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we see a more restrained colour palette here.

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The blues and whites with this typical blue circle

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around the inside here.

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It's absolutely lovely.

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If it had been selling 10 or 15 years ago, it would have been worth more.

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But this type of item has gone down a little bit in value. OK.

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I would like to put it into auction with an estimate of £40 to £60.

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-Right.

-Would that be OK with you?

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-It might go a little bit more than that, Beryl.

-Right.

-It might go bit more.

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-But that is the correct estimate that it should go in with.

-Right.

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-We could put a reserve of £40 on it.

-Yes.

-Put a reserve.

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If it doesn't get it, you know that it's to come back to you.

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Yes. I'm quite happy if it comes back if I don't get the money.

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It's been an absolute pleasure to have you here with us.

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I've enjoyed it.

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'Who would have thought that Japanese plate would have ended up in a castle in Northumberland?

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'"Flog It!" certainly attracts the exotic and the wonderful

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'and some of our objects aren't what they seem at all.'

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Hello, Richard. Have you hurt your leg?

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No. This is not really a walking stick.

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-Is it not?

-No. It's a Sunday stick, as it was called.

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You could go walking out on a Sunday when golf wasn't able to be played,

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and you could use this to hit the occasional golf ball when

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people would think you were just out for a walk with your walking stick.

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-I have never seen one of these.

-Oh, yes.

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Now, tell me about golf. You weren't allowed to play golf on a Sunday?

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In certain places you weren't allowed to play golf on a Sunday.

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The old course at St Andrews was closed on a Sunday,

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so if you were out for a walk, you could take this with you as

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your walking stick and when no-one was looking, hit a few golf balls.

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So you would be in trouble if you saw the minister coming on the opposite side of the road?

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Possibly, yes.

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So that is when you swung it round and reverted to it as a walking stick.

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Yes. Very good. Show us a swing, Richard. You're a golfer, I'm not.

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Very good! It is a lovely crafted object.

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And it has a little hard wooden face here and little leaded

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weights behind it as a normal golf driver of that era would have.

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-And we have here what I assume must be the maker's name.

-Yes.

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W Sealley. It might be Sculley.

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But I think it has to be the maker's name.

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I love the fact that it adds a bit of a risk to the

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experience of going out for a walk.

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It makes it almost illicit to be playing golf.

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Whether it was actually banned as such, I don't know.

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I suppose you just might have got into trouble for playing on a Sunday.

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I think it's great and what a lovely story.

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Now, this is going to appeal to collectors both of walking sticks

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and of course people like yourself who are golfers.

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How did you come by it?

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It belonged to my mother. She had it for many years.

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Although she wasn't a golfer, she was very interested in golf and anything Scottish.

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So why are you selling it?

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I don't collect any golf memorabilia

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and it has been in the cupboard beside my golf bag for many years.

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So I thought I would try and flog it to see what I could get for it.

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Now, I would be inclined to estimate this in the region of £30 to £50.

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If it made £50 or £60, I would not be surprised.

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But I can't see it making much more than that.

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I think I should say if we're going to sell it at that sort of estimate,

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if we could sell it without reserve, it's the sort of thing that's going to find its level.

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I mean, there will be collectors all over the world for this sort of thing.

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Well, let's hope it comes up to par

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and we have a successful sale and if we do, I will see you in the 19th.

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That would be great.

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'I can't bear all these golfing puns.

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'Now, Anita is about to tee-off her next valuation.'

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Brenda, welcome to "Flog It!"

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It's lovely to have you along in this wonderful setting.

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-It's lovely, isn't it?

-I like this watch. Tell me, where did you get it?

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I bought it from a little antique shop in Berwick about 25 years ago.

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-I paid about £30 for it then.

-Right.

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I see a lot of this type of watch.

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It is a lady's fob watch and this one is particularly pretty.

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These watches often have damage on the porcelain face.

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This one is in perfect condition.

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I particularly like the numerals

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and I also like this lovely gilt decoration,

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which goes around the face.

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The hands are still there

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and again the gilt decoration is repeated in the middle of the watch.

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Yes, it is.

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So it's very pretty and it's very feminine.

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That's what I thought at the time, actually.

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-Then you put it in a drawer...

-Yes, I put it in a drawer...

-..and forgot all about it.

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It is Victorian.

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It dates from the latter part of the 1800s, early 1900s.

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Now, it would have been attached to a long chain

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which she would have had around her neck.

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Or she may have had it attached to a chatelaine, which was a device

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she would wear on her belt where she would keep her little watch

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and the other little everyday things that she might need.

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This little chain here is perhaps not the original chain

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-and it's not anything of any great substance.

-No.

-OK.

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We have looked at the front of it.

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If we turn it around and open it to look at the back,

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we can see a mark - 935.

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Now this is a continental silver mark.

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It tells us that there are 935 parts of silver

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per thousand.

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So there's a little bit of base metal in there

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and that's just to harden the metal up.

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If we look at the back, we see this very nice

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chaste and engraved decoration here.

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All in all, it's quite a nice little item.

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-Do we know if it's working or not, Brenda?

-No, I've never used it.

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You've never used it? Maybe you felt that you deserved a wee treat.

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-We all do, don't we, sometimes?

-I completely agree with you!

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-Let's think about price. You paid £30 for it...

-Yes.

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-..and you bought it in a retail situation.

-Just a little antique shop.

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I would put an estimate of, say, 30-40.

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-It will not have increased a great deal in value.

-No.

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Perhaps we would put a reserve price of 25.

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-How do you feel about that, Brenda?

-That's fine. That's fine.

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I think the pleasure that was got from it was when you bought it.

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Yes, I think it was, probably!

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When you bought it.

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I look forward to seeing you at the auction and we'll have some more fun.

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Thank you very much.

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Well, let's hope Brenda gets a great price for that watch.

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Then maybe she can use the money to buy something fabulous,

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and experience that buying buzz once more.

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Now, what's going on on David's table?

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-Hello, John.

-Hello.

-You look as if you're challenging me to a duel.

-Yes.

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-We're in the right place for it.

-Well, indeed, yes.

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I don't think I'd be very good at it - I'd run a mile

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if anyone threatened me with a sword like this.

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Anyway, I can't claim to be a great expert on swords,

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-so I'm going to have to be led by you. You obviously collect them.

-Yes.

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-So you must know a bit about them.

-A little bit, just what I've found on the internet.

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Is this the extent of your collection or have you got other ones at home?

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-I've a few more swords at home. Two or three more.

-Right.

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So, let's start with this one, which is, presumably, an infantry sword.

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An infantry sword, I think, from about 1820,

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something like that, the cavalry.

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How did you come by this one?

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I was working for a pub doing a job and these were in the cellar...

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-Right.

-..these two, all covered in paint and rust.

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They were going to throw them out, so I asked if I could have them

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and they said, yes, just take them.

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I cleaned them up and I found this one was a Percy Tenantry one

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and this here, a light cavalry sword.

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So this is a cavalry sword not an infantry sword?

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-I think so, I'm not so sure.

-OK, I'm sure you're right.

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Tell me more about that one.

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-The Percy Tenantry is from Alnwick Castle here.

-Right.

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Lord Percy had a dad's army, as you'd say, in the 1800s

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in case Napoleon invaded Britain.

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-That's all I know about that one.

-Thank heavens he didn't.

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-He certainly didn't. And this one's the US Navy.

-Right.

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-And who is this one by?

-Horstman & Sons, Philadelphia.

-Philadelphia.

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-OK. So that one's actually made in America?

-Yes.

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I mean, this looks to me as if it might be based on an earlier

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-pattern, but I'd expect that to be made in the 20th century.

-Right.

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It has USN on the guard, doesn't it, as you imply.

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I guess the most interesting one, bearing in mind where we are...

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-Percy Tenantry.

-Because it has local interest, doesn't it?

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And I dare say they're not uncommon, but have you ever seen one before?

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-Never seen one before, no.

-I think that will generate some interest.

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Do you have any idea what the market value is?

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I bought these at auction, this one at auction for £80.

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And these two you acquired so they don't stand you at anything.

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I mean, as far as you're concerned, are you looking to get your money back, or...?

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-I would like to get my money back on them, yes.

-OK.

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I have a figure of £200 plus in mind for the three of them.

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I think they should be sold in one lot, but the auctioneers

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may decide to split them up and sell them individually.

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-We'll be guided by them on that.

-Yes.

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OK. So let's go for an estimate of 200-300 and reserve them at £200.

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Right, very good.

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Fingers crossed there are some bidders on the day

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determined to battle it out for those swords.

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So, let's get our items over to the auction house

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and just to refresh your memory, here's a quick recap

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of what we're taking with us.

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Beryl's Imari plate has travelled all the way from Japan,

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but will it be flying out of the saleroom

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or flying back into Beryl's arms?

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Richard's Sunday stick might have once been illicit,

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but I think David's given it a perfectly respectable valuation.

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You'll have to watch this space to see if Brenda's little timepiece

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makes Anita's estimate.

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And we are about to find out if David has been cavalier

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in his valuation of John's sword collection.

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This is where it gets exciting. It's auction time.

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Today's sale is taking place at the Boldon Auction Galleries.

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Hopefully, it's going to be jam-packed inside.

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Well, our luck is in. We've got a great turnout

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but will the bidders be putting their money where their mouth is?

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As auctioneer Giles Hodges takes to the rostrum,

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there's no time to waste because our first sale is coming up right now.

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This is classic auction fodder, really, Imari plates.

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Japanese, lovely.

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-£40-£60. Should do that any day of the week.

-Good.

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-Why are you selling this?

-It's big and cumbersome.

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-Where's it been then in the house for the last few years?

-In a drawer!

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Still heavy to put in a drawer.

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It's shame, really, because it is pretty.

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You should have things like that on the wall, in a way.

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-My mum would have that on the wall.

-Yeah.

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I've got too many pictures of grandchildren and what have you.

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Good luck. Here we go, going under the hammer right now.

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We have the Japanese octagonal Imari wall plaque.

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And I'm bid 20 to start it.

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-At 25. 30.

-Come on.

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35, 40. At £45.

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On my left.

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At £45. 50, anybody?

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-Come on.

-£45...

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-50, I've got the hand. At 50. Five.

-That's good.

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60. Five.

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-Someone else is bidding now. £65.

-Come on.

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At £65 for the last time.

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At 65.

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That's a good price. That's a very good price. Happy?

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You said, 40-60. Yeah, I'm thrilled.

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Very good, very good. Well done, Anita.

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-It hovered about 40 for a while and then it...

-A fresh bidder came in.

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I'm thrilled to bits.

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-That's what auctions are all about, and this was your first auction, wasn't it?

-Yes. Yes.

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Well, what a great start.

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Next up, Richard's Sunday stick.

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I wonder if this will find its way back to Scotland.

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Have you done any more research on this?

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Yes, I found it was the Church who banned golf on a Sunday.

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Well, they didn't ban it, they disapproved of it strongly,

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and so the Sunday sticks were invented at the turn of the century.

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-A nice thing, though, a nice thing.

-Oh, yes, unusual.

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I have a mate and he plays golf every Sunday.

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If he was prevented from doing that, he'd be furious.

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-His world would fall apart.

-It would!

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I think this will back to Scotland.

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-There's a lot of golf memorabilia in Scotland. Good luck.

-Thank you.

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Here we go.

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We have the Sunday stick in the form of a golf club.

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I'm bid 40 to start it. At £40.

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-45, 50...

-That was good.

-60.

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At £60.

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Anybody else left? 65. 70.

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-Someone on the phone here.

-Yes.

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£80. You all done?

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£80, and we're away. At 80.

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85. Just in time on the net.

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At £85. All done, ladies and gents.

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On the internet, the room's out, too, on £85.

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-Yes, that's more like it, isn't it?

-That's good.

-That's a good price.

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-That's a good price.

-Someone was serious about that.

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-That's going in a collection somewhere.

-I hope so.

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Thank you for bringing it in. We've all learned something, and that's what it's all about.

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Well, it is fast and furious today,

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but up next we've got a ladies fob watch belonging to Brenda.

0:17:200:17:24

Unfortunately, she can't be here today, but we do have Anita,

0:17:240:17:27

-and we're looking for that top end.

-Yes.

0:17:270:17:30

These little fob watches are quite common,

0:17:300:17:33

but this is a particularly pretty one.

0:17:330:17:36

The porcelain face is in wonderful condition

0:17:360:17:39

and it has lovely gilt and silver decoration, so I like this one.

0:17:390:17:43

Something a little bit different to catch the bidders' attention.

0:17:430:17:46

Here we go. It's going under the hammer right now, Good luck.

0:17:460:17:49

We have a ladies fob watch with a decorative dial

0:17:500:17:53

and a little silver chain.

0:17:530:17:56

I'm bid ten to start.

0:17:560:17:57

At ten. 15. 20.

0:17:570:18:00

Five. Back at the wall...

0:18:000:18:02

-We're hoping for about 20-25, aren't we?

-40.

0:18:020:18:05

Five.

0:18:050:18:06

50. £50 to the front row.

0:18:060:18:08

At £50. Anybody else left?

0:18:100:18:12

-That's good.

-We're away at 50.

0:18:120:18:15

That's a good result.

0:18:150:18:17

They liked it because of the decoration. It was very, very pretty.

0:18:170:18:21

-And the watch was very fresh.

-Good.

0:18:210:18:23

I'm sure Brenda will be chuffed with that result.

0:18:230:18:26

They do say in the antiques trade, the auction room is the cutting

0:18:270:18:30

edge, so it's the perfect place to sell three swords belonging to John.

0:18:300:18:34

We've got a value of £200-£300 on these.

0:18:340:18:37

I like the naval sword particularly. Why are you selling these?

0:18:370:18:39

I've got one or two spare swords at home and I wanted to see.

0:18:390:18:42

I came to value them first, just to get the value.

0:18:420:18:45

Hopefully we'll get the top end for you. There's three of them.

0:18:450:18:48

John is a knowledgeable chap.

0:18:480:18:49

He knows more about these things than I do. He helped me through this one.

0:18:490:18:53

-Thanks for saying that.

-You do. It is a nice little lot.

0:18:530:18:57

The US naval sword and two others.

0:18:570:19:00

200 bid. 220. 250.

0:19:000:19:03

At 250. 280 now.

0:19:030:19:06

At 250. 280. 300.

0:19:060:19:10

320. It's on the phone. At £320 to the phone.

0:19:100:19:15

This is good, this is good.

0:19:160:19:19

360.

0:19:190:19:20

-380.

-They're thinking about it.

0:19:220:19:23

400.

0:19:250:19:26

420.

0:19:260:19:29

440.

0:19:290:19:30

At 440. It's on the phone.

0:19:310:19:34

460, it's on the net.

0:19:340:19:36

-The suspense is killing me.

-At 460.

0:19:360:19:38

480.

0:19:380:19:40

-Still on the telephone.

-It's gone very quiet.

0:19:400:19:43

£480.

0:19:430:19:44

Are we all done, do you think?

0:19:460:19:47

At £480, and we're... 500.

0:19:480:19:51

520 on the phone. 520 on the phone.

0:19:530:19:57

At 520.

0:19:570:19:59

There's somebody really wants them and they're on the phone.

0:19:590:20:02

At £520. We're all done on the internet. The bid is on the phone.

0:20:020:20:05

At £520.

0:20:060:20:09

He'll take that.

0:20:090:20:11

-520. Well done.

-Very pleased with that.

0:20:110:20:14

I bet you had an idea it was worth that, didn't you?

0:20:140:20:17

About that, I thought, about 400-500.

0:20:170:20:19

Now, auctions attract all manner of historical items, including

0:20:200:20:23

diaries and personal letters.

0:20:230:20:25

It's amazing how much they can fetch.

0:20:250:20:28

This letter sold for £550 at an auction house in 2010.

0:20:280:20:33

And I want to explore the shocking history surrounding it.

0:20:330:20:37

It describes a dramatic eight-year ordeal,

0:20:400:20:42

and it was written by the Countess of Strathmore in 1785.

0:20:420:20:47

This is Gibside - a splendid 18th-century estate nestling

0:20:490:20:52

in the countryside, ten miles outside of Newcastle city centre.

0:20:520:20:56

It was built to display its owner's wealth and opulence.

0:20:560:21:00

But its history reads like a tragedy.

0:21:000:21:02

It looks like a fine house, it looks enchanting and inviting,

0:21:030:21:07

but for one woman, it must have felt like a prison.

0:21:070:21:11

In the beginning it was simply a case of owner, George Bowes,

0:21:170:21:20

showing off.

0:21:200:21:22

He created these luxurious stables to rival his contemporaries' houses.

0:21:220:21:26

Designed an exquisite Palladian chapel for his own burial

0:21:270:21:31

and became renowned as having one of the most impressive estates in the land.

0:21:310:21:36

All this worked well for him.

0:21:360:21:38

But it was when Gibside was passed down to his daughter,

0:21:380:21:41

Mary Eleanor, that things took a dark turn.

0:21:410:21:44

Mary Eleanor was just 11 years old when her father died.

0:21:500:21:53

Overnight, she instantly became the richest heiress in the country,

0:21:530:21:58

with an estimated worth of around £150 million in today's money.

0:21:580:22:03

That is a staggering amount.

0:22:030:22:05

It instantly made Mary Eleanor a very desirable young lady,

0:22:050:22:08

but it was also the recipe for disaster.

0:22:080:22:11

As the years passed she eventually settled on a suitor,

0:22:150:22:18

a chap called John Lyon.

0:22:180:22:19

They were in love and they got married

0:22:190:22:21

but, sadly, the countess was left widowed at the age of 28.

0:22:210:22:26

Newly single, she lived in London, enjoying the high life,

0:22:260:22:30

where she met a man who would dramatically change her life.

0:22:300:22:34

Andrew Robinson Stoney was an adventurer,

0:22:370:22:40

conman and despicable rogue.

0:22:400:22:43

He had his sights on Gibside

0:22:430:22:45

and would do anything he could to snare Mary Eleanor.

0:22:450:22:49

Anonymous letters started appearing in a London newspaper,

0:22:500:22:53

blackening her name.

0:22:530:22:55

Stoney, apparently aghast at these accusations,

0:22:550:22:59

penned replies in her defence, which were also published.

0:22:590:23:03

When the letters continued,

0:23:030:23:05

Stoney challenged the newspaper editor to a duel.

0:23:050:23:08

He lost, and was seemingly fatally wounded.

0:23:080:23:11

Stoney asked to see Mary Eleanor.

0:23:120:23:14

He had one final request,

0:23:140:23:16

to marry the woman he was prepared to die for.

0:23:160:23:19

Moved by this act of kindness, Mary agreed.

0:23:190:23:22

They hurriedly made arrangements to wed before Stoney slipped away.

0:23:220:23:26

But what would you know?

0:23:260:23:27

Shortly after the wedding Stoney made a miraculous recovery.

0:23:270:23:31

The duel was a set-up and Stoney had written all the letters himself.

0:23:310:23:36

Unbeknown to Stoney, Mary Eleanor had entered into a legal agreement

0:23:400:23:43

with her first husband's family, ensuring that the estate

0:23:430:23:47

be protected in its entirety for her elder son to inherit.

0:23:470:23:51

When Stoney discovered this, he went absolutely berserk.

0:23:530:23:56

But, having married into wealth, he was determined to live the life

0:23:560:23:59

of a millionaire.

0:23:590:24:01

Mary Eleanor afforded him this life of luxury,

0:24:010:24:04

because she had a rather generous monthly allowance.

0:24:040:24:08

But Stone run up huge gambling debts and, much worse,

0:24:100:24:13

he treated his wife despicably.

0:24:130:24:16

The statue you can see behind me was built by her father.

0:24:160:24:19

It is a representation of Liberty, ironically.

0:24:190:24:23

Mary Eleanor was held prisoner for eight years

0:24:230:24:26

at the hands of this evil man.

0:24:260:24:27

Eventually, after unspeakable torture at Stoney's hands,

0:24:290:24:33

Mary Eleanor managed to escape.

0:24:330:24:35

She wasted no time in starting divorce proceedings.

0:24:350:24:38

But Stoney was not giving up that easily.

0:24:410:24:43

He knew that if Mary Eleanor was successful,

0:24:430:24:46

he would be arrested for bankruptcy.

0:24:460:24:48

As a child, Mary Eleanor would have seen teams of horse-drawn coaches

0:24:530:24:56

coming in and out of this stable courtyard,

0:24:560:24:59

delivering her father's rich guests.

0:24:590:25:02

Never would she imagine how one such journey

0:25:020:25:05

would be so terrible for her in later life.

0:25:050:25:08

The year after her escape, Stoney employed four thugs to kidnap her

0:25:090:25:13

whilst she was out shopping in London.

0:25:130:25:15

They forced the terrified countess into a horse-drawn coach

0:25:150:25:18

and raced up the country with her friends chasing in hot pursuit

0:25:180:25:22

ending up in Streatlam Castle, the Bowes ancestral home.

0:25:220:25:27

Here, Stoney puts a pistol to Mary Eleanor's head

0:25:270:25:30

and demands she stops the divorce proceedings at once.

0:25:300:25:33

But she refuses.

0:25:330:25:35

She'd rather die than live a life of hell at Gibside.

0:25:350:25:38

With Mary Eleanor's friends in hot pursuit,

0:25:380:25:40

Stoney forces her onto a horse.

0:25:400:25:42

They gallop off to Newcastle and, from there,

0:25:420:25:44

they make it over the Pennines.

0:25:440:25:46

After 11 days of pursuit, they reached Darlington, where,

0:25:460:25:49

thankfully, a local blacksmith recognises Mary Eleanor,

0:25:490:25:52

knocks Stoney out and helps her escape.

0:25:520:25:55

Divorce proceedings are resumed.

0:25:590:26:01

The trial lasts two bitter years, where Stoney does everything

0:26:010:26:05

in his powers to tarnish Mary Eleanor's reputation.

0:26:050:26:09

He even feigns illness to try and win public sympathy.

0:26:090:26:13

But at last the countess gets her divorce.

0:26:140:26:17

Their high-profile case was ground-breaking.

0:26:170:26:20

Back then, divorce was fairly rare

0:26:200:26:22

and it was even rarer for a woman to instigate it.

0:26:220:26:25

Stoney was arrested for bankruptcy and put in debtors jail.

0:26:250:26:30

Finally, Mary Eleanor was free of Stoney.

0:26:300:26:33

She retreated to Hampshire to live a quiet life,

0:26:330:26:36

where she made peace with her estranged children.

0:26:360:26:39

Mary Eleanor died in the year 1800, aged 51.

0:26:390:26:42

Stoney died in jail.

0:26:420:26:44

The estate carried down Mary Eleanor's family tree.

0:26:460:26:50

The best-known member of the Bowes-Lyon family

0:26:500:26:52

is the Queen Mother, who would have visited Gibside in her youth.

0:26:520:26:56

But increasingly, the family were not interested in living here,

0:26:560:26:59

and the estate slowly slipped into ruin.

0:26:590:27:02

But in 1966, part of Gibside were taken over

0:27:030:27:06

by the National Trust, who have brought the estate back to life.

0:27:060:27:10

Mary Eleanor's life was far from a fairytale story,

0:27:110:27:14

but, undoubtedly, this is a house with a story to tell.

0:27:140:27:17

These days, the grounds are open to the public,

0:27:170:27:20

but, sadly, the house is a little too run down to explore.

0:27:200:27:23

The grounds are a wonderful place for families to visit.

0:27:230:27:27

All the time and money that George Bowes lavished on this estate

0:27:270:27:31

all those years ago can now finally be enjoyed and appreciated

0:27:310:27:34

in a way that, sadly, Mary Eleanor was unable to do.

0:27:340:27:38

After that dramatic tale, it is rather fitting

0:27:450:27:48

we're back in our dramatic valuation day venue - Alnwick Castle.

0:27:480:27:52

The weather has taken a bit of a dramatic turn, too.

0:27:520:27:55

I've taken the opportunity to escape inside and have a closer look

0:27:550:27:58

at what Suzy has brought along.

0:27:580:28:00

Hello, Suzy. At least we didn't get wet. Everybody ran for cover.

0:28:030:28:07

Right, let's get these out of the box.

0:28:070:28:09

What can you tell me about them?

0:28:090:28:11

They belonged to a very dear friend of mine's father

0:28:110:28:14

and his father gave them to me as a present about seven years ago, eight years ago.

0:28:140:28:19

-These are fascinating.

-They are beautiful.

0:28:190:28:21

These are little muff pistols, designed to be in the muff,

0:28:210:28:25

concealed in a little hand muff.

0:28:250:28:27

Generally, they weren't used by women,

0:28:270:28:29

they were pocket pistols for gentlemen. Tiny little things.

0:28:290:28:32

I think a lot of people considered being shot by these

0:28:320:28:35

was more of a hindrance rather than an injury.

0:28:350:28:38

But aren't they lovely?

0:28:390:28:41

As you can see, the trigger is concealed

0:28:410:28:43

so it didn't catch any fabric from the pocket or the hand muff.

0:28:430:28:46

If you pull back the hammer, that will enable the trigger

0:28:460:28:49

to drop down there.

0:28:490:28:50

Look at that lovely walnut stocks, all cross-hatched

0:28:500:28:54

so there's a nice bit of grip.

0:28:540:28:57

You can see, look, there is a V with a crown,

0:28:570:28:59

so we do know we can date these to the Victorian period.

0:28:590:29:02

I would say circa 1850, 1870.

0:29:020:29:06

There's a name. Can you see that?

0:29:060:29:08

AF Gerding. Do you think these were made for him? I haven't a clue.

0:29:080:29:12

The auctioneer may not know, either.

0:29:120:29:14

But he'll have people that collect arms and militaria

0:29:140:29:17

so we will talk to him the day before the sale.

0:29:170:29:20

We'll get a better picture.

0:29:200:29:21

These would unscrew and you can see where you put the black powder,

0:29:210:29:25

just there.

0:29:250:29:27

Not much at all, not much at all.

0:29:270:29:29

You load your bullet in there, as well, a little bit of round lead.

0:29:290:29:33

Screw the barrel back on.

0:29:330:29:35

And there you are.

0:29:380:29:39

And they are both working.

0:29:410:29:43

-There's been a little bit of damage to this one, can you see that?

-Yes.

0:29:440:29:48

-Have you any idea of the value?

-No, not really.

0:29:480:29:50

I think, if they were both in immaculate condition,

0:29:500:29:53

you may be looking at around £500-£700.

0:29:530:29:55

But I think, because of the condition,

0:29:550:29:57

I feel happy if we put them into auction with a value of £300-£400.

0:29:570:30:00

-Would you be happy with that?

-Yes.

-Yes? Happy?

-Yes.

0:30:010:30:04

-Fixed reserve at £300.

-Mm-hm.

-And we'll see what happens.

0:30:040:30:08

They're marvellous. The nicest thing I've seen today.

0:30:080:30:10

Now, still burning through their valuations, over to Anita.

0:30:130:30:16

Thank you for bringing along this lovely little suite of jewellery.

0:30:180:30:22

Can you tell me, where did you get it?

0:30:220:30:24

From my mother just before she died.

0:30:240:30:26

It had apparently belonged to her grandmother

0:30:260:30:29

-and it's come down through the family.

-Are you married, John?

0:30:290:30:32

-I am, yes.

-Did you wife wear that at all?

-No, she didn't.

0:30:320:30:35

-She thought it was a bit too flamboyant.

-That's right.

0:30:350:30:38

A bit ornate for today's taste.

0:30:380:30:40

What I find delightful, first of all, is that it's in its original box.

0:30:400:30:46

That's always good in the buying of jewellery.

0:30:460:30:50

The date, somewhere between 1880 and 1900.

0:30:500:30:55

It's made of coral and it's all small pieces of coral

0:30:550:30:59

which have together been gathered,

0:30:590:31:01

and we can see a little child lying in a bed of flowers and leaves.

0:31:010:31:06

Quite a romantic thought.

0:31:060:31:08

If we turn it round the back, we can see

0:31:080:31:11

there is a brooch or pin mechanism here, so it can be worn as a brooch.

0:31:110:31:16

But we also have a hook, so it can be used as a pendant.

0:31:160:31:21

We have these long drop earrings

0:31:210:31:23

which were very popular in Victorian times.

0:31:230:31:26

It's a nice little suite, John.

0:31:260:31:29

I like the colour of coral, I think it's beautiful and it's warm.

0:31:290:31:33

I quite like the flamboyance of it. I would wear that with a...

0:31:330:31:37

I don't know, a yellow jumper or whatever.

0:31:370:31:40

-Have you had it valued before?

-No.

0:31:400:31:44

No. We're not talking about precious stones here.

0:31:440:31:48

It is a natural substance.

0:31:480:31:50

If it was coming into auction I would put it in

0:31:500:31:54

in the region of £50-£80.

0:31:540:31:57

It may do more than that, John, that might be a conservative estimate.

0:31:570:32:01

-But I think it is the proper estimate to draw the bidding in.

-Right.

0:32:010:32:06

Would you be happy to put it in with a reserve on the lower estimate?

0:32:060:32:11

Well, I would prefer to see the lower end up a bit.

0:32:110:32:15

-If that's possible.

-It is, of course.

0:32:160:32:19

In the end, John, we want you to be happy.

0:32:190:32:22

We certainly can put the reserve above the lower estimate, so if we

0:32:220:32:27

take the lower estimate up you might feel more comfortable with that.

0:32:270:32:32

Yes, I would.

0:32:320:32:33

60-80 with a firm reserve of £60.

0:32:330:32:37

Right, fine.

0:32:370:32:39

-I hope people fight over it.

-They will.

0:32:390:32:42

I think that it will go at least to the higher estimate.

0:32:420:32:45

We might get a wee surprise.

0:32:450:32:47

David's in the Great Hall with Heather.

0:32:480:32:51

One of your friends obviously went on a lot of holidays if they sent you all these.

0:32:540:32:58

-It belonged to my aunt.

-They're not yours?

-No.

-It belonged to an aunt.

0:32:580:33:01

-Were you aware that your aunt had this?

-Oh, yes.

0:33:010:33:05

-As small children, we used to look at them.

-Is your auntie still about?

0:33:050:33:08

-Yes, she is.

-OK. She won't mind you selling them?

-No, not at all.

0:33:080:33:12

So it won't be too much of a surprise when she sees them on television?

0:33:120:33:16

No, no.

0:33:160:33:17

OK. We'll have a look at them, page by page.

0:33:170:33:20

Right, so far, I must say a bit boring.

0:33:210:33:25

Although there is one of Alnwick Castle here,

0:33:250:33:27

where we are at the moment, of course.

0:33:270:33:30

The Prince of Wales and his wife, Queen Alexandra.

0:33:310:33:35

They're a bit more interesting.

0:33:350:33:37

But generally speaking they are postcards of views

0:33:370:33:42

and although they are saleable they are probably among the least

0:33:420:33:47

saleable of all postcards, really.

0:33:470:33:50

Why are you getting rid of them?

0:33:500:33:53

They have been in the loft, so it is pointless keeping them

0:33:530:33:56

if somebody was interested in them.

0:33:560:33:58

There certainly will be,

0:33:580:33:59

one or two people will be very interested in them.

0:33:590:34:02

Of course, in the days before mobile telephones and texts

0:34:020:34:05

and e-mails and things, people did communicate.

0:34:050:34:08

You sent one postcard, you probably posted it after you got home,

0:34:080:34:11

-and everything was fine.

-That's right.

-No problems at all.

0:34:110:34:15

I wish it were like that today

0:34:150:34:16

and that's why there are so many postcards about, really.

0:34:160:34:19

But you did draw my attention to this loose pile here

0:34:190:34:22

and these are humorous.

0:34:220:34:24

Whether you think they're actually funny or not is another matter.

0:34:240:34:27

-These are far more saleable.

-Right.

-I like this one.

0:34:270:34:30

He is buying get-well cards. He is a Scotsman, of course.

0:34:300:34:34

He says, "Have ye no' one about saxpence?

0:34:340:34:38

"It's for somebody no verra seek!"

0:34:380:34:40

Terrible stereotype, really.

0:34:410:34:43

But anyway, they are going to be worth a few pounds each.

0:34:430:34:47

-You won't miss those ones either?

-Definitely not.

-Especially not.

-No!

0:34:470:34:52

So, you want to sell them. Have you any idea what they might be worth?

0:34:530:34:57

-I haven't, no.

-OK.

0:34:570:34:59

I think we've got between about £50-£80 here in the collection.

0:34:590:35:04

-I would be inclined to put a covering reserve on them and say £30.

-Right.

0:35:040:35:08

OK. I'll see you at the sale and I'm sure they will be fine.

0:35:080:35:11

That's lovely, thank you very much. Yes, thank you.

0:35:110:35:14

David may not have been taken by those postcards,

0:35:140:35:17

but on the other side of the hall,

0:35:170:35:20

Anita's getting very excited about something.

0:35:200:35:22

Pat, welcome to "Flog It!"

0:35:220:35:24

I absolutely love this wonderful big pot.

0:35:240:35:29

Oh, that makes two of us!

0:35:290:35:32

Tell me, where did you get it?

0:35:320:35:35

It was given from my grandmother when she died

0:35:350:35:37

and it was left for me.

0:35:370:35:39

-Can you remember it as a wee girl, Pat?

-Yes.

0:35:390:35:42

Towards the end of the war, I stayed with my grandmother in York.

0:35:420:35:46

She used to always have this full of Victorian pennies.

0:35:460:35:50

I was allowed to tip them out and drop them in to this lovely vase.

0:35:500:35:55

-Did you count them before you put them back in again?

-Not always.

0:35:550:35:59

I preferred the noise it made as they went in.

0:35:590:36:02

Let's look at the item itself. I think it's absolutely beautiful.

0:36:020:36:07

It's a big, studio pot.

0:36:070:36:10

That means it wasn't factory made or mass-produced.

0:36:100:36:14

It was produced in a small studio or workshop

0:36:140:36:18

and every pot that they put out was an individual piece.

0:36:180:36:23

When we look at the decoration here, we see these almost stylised fish.

0:36:230:36:29

Now, what has happened here,

0:36:290:36:31

they have made this pattern or this image by scraping out the clay

0:36:310:36:37

while it was still wet, to make the lines which form up the pattern.

0:36:370:36:42

I love that.

0:36:420:36:44

I like the fish motif.

0:36:440:36:46

This was fairly typical of this studio or workshop.

0:36:460:36:51

It's the studio of Charles Brannam, and this was a Devon factory.

0:36:510:36:56

Now, this studio started in about the late 1880s

0:36:560:37:00

and continued until the 1920s.

0:37:000:37:04

If we look at the base here,

0:37:050:37:08

we can see the signature here for Charles Brannam.

0:37:080:37:13

And this word here, Barum, is a place in Devon.

0:37:130:37:19

It also has a date on it and the date is 1892.

0:37:190:37:24

So it's quite an old pot.

0:37:240:37:27

That's fascinating.

0:37:270:37:29

What did you like about it?

0:37:290:37:32

First of all, as you say, the feel and the colours

0:37:320:37:35

and as a child, I don't know, it was just so different.

0:37:350:37:38

-As a child, can you remember...?

-Yes, the fish.

0:37:380:37:41

-Sometimes they would scowl at me.

-Aha.

-Yes.

0:37:410:37:44

This one looks like a glowering fish. Where do you keep it?

0:37:440:37:49

Up in the attic.

0:37:500:37:52

-No wonder that fish is glowering.

-No!

0:37:520:37:55

Well, I would put a value of between £100-£200.

0:37:570:38:02

It's fairly low and fairly wide,

0:38:020:38:06

but I think that a collector would be prepared to pay £100 for that.

0:38:060:38:11

I think it's certainly worth it. Shall we put it to auction?

0:38:110:38:14

-Yes, please.

-That's wonderful.

0:38:140:38:16

We'll put it in with perhaps a reserve price of £80

0:38:160:38:20

just to protect it.

0:38:200:38:21

Let's get that and our other items wrapped up and sent off to auction.

0:38:210:38:25

Here's a quick reminder of what we're taking.

0:38:250:38:27

I absolutely love Suzy's pistols

0:38:290:38:31

and I'm hoping they'll make a real bang at the auction house.

0:38:310:38:35

And Anita thinks the vibrant coral jewellery will draw

0:38:390:38:42

the bidders in with a conservative estimate.

0:38:420:38:44

They might not be David's cup of tea, but he's confident somebody

0:38:470:38:51

in the saleroom will have their head turned by this postcard collection.

0:38:510:38:54

Whereas Anita has fallen for this Charles Brannam studio pot.

0:38:580:39:02

But will the bidders agree and match her estimate?

0:39:020:39:04

We're back at the Boldon Auction Galleries in Tyne & Wear.

0:39:070:39:10

Giles Hodges is overseeing the proceedings

0:39:100:39:12

and he's about to kick off our next lot.

0:39:120:39:14

We've got a bit of West Country pottery going under the hammer right now.

0:39:160:39:19

I love this, I like Brannam pottery. Were you searching in the

0:39:190:39:22

-house and thinking "Flog It!" is coming to town, what can I bring along?

-No.

0:39:220:39:26

I went to the loft just to enjoy the day.

0:39:260:39:29

I thought, I'll take the blue vase.

0:39:290:39:31

OK. And you got talked into handing it over to Anita here.

0:39:310:39:35

I love this vase. I love the decoration on it.

0:39:350:39:38

These big, almost stylised fish. It's lovely.

0:39:380:39:41

Let's find out what the bidders think. That's what it's all about.

0:39:410:39:44

We can talk until we're blue in the face, but it's down to this lot. Here we go.

0:39:440:39:47

A lovely large stoneware vase by Charles Brannam

0:39:480:39:52

with the swirled handles and the fish decoration.

0:39:520:39:55

I've got two commission bids at 100, starts me straight in.

0:39:550:39:58

Yes! Yes! Yes!

0:39:580:40:00

Ten will go.

0:40:000:40:02

At 100.

0:40:020:40:04

110. 120. 130.

0:40:040:40:06

140. 150.

0:40:060:40:09

160. 170.

0:40:090:40:12

180. At 180. It's with me.

0:40:120:40:15

Come on.

0:40:150:40:16

-190. 200.

-Yes, you've done it.

0:40:160:40:19

220.

0:40:190:40:20

240. Still with me.

0:40:200:40:22

At 240. Anybody left?

0:40:220:40:26

-At £240.

-We'll take that, we'll take that.

0:40:260:40:28

At £240 for the last time.

0:40:280:40:33

At 240.

0:40:330:40:35

Yes! £240. Somebody out there really wanted that.

0:40:370:40:40

It's gone, it's gone!

0:40:400:40:42

But what a cracking price.

0:40:420:40:43

-I'm so pleased. That's wonderful.

-Quality always sells, doesn't it?

0:40:450:40:48

Quality always sells. Thank you for bringing in such quality from the West Country.

0:40:480:40:52

Thank you for having me.

0:40:520:40:54

-Have you enjoyed yourself?

-I've thoroughly enjoyed myself.

-Good.

0:40:540:40:57

Well, that certainly made Pat one happy lady.

0:40:570:40:59

Going under the hammer right now, we've got a collection of postcards

0:41:010:41:05

-belonging to Heather, who is right next to me. Hello.

-Hi.

0:41:050:41:07

-Is this your first auction?

-It is, yes.

0:41:070:41:09

-What do you think?

-Good. Enjoying it.

0:41:090:41:12

A big atmosphere here - it is electric, actually.

0:41:120:41:15

Look, great little collection, but we've had some lovely surprises

0:41:150:41:18

on the show before with collections of postcards.

0:41:180:41:20

Fingers crossed there might be one or two valuable ones in there which will push the price up.

0:41:200:41:24

-Hopefully.

-It's only the postcard collectors who really know that.

0:41:240:41:27

Yes, it is. They know their market very well.

0:41:270:41:30

Let's find out what the bidders think. They're going under the hammer now.

0:41:300:41:34

Large album of various postcards.

0:41:350:41:37

I've got, again, three commission bids.

0:41:370:41:40

I will start at £100.

0:41:400:41:42

-We'll go in tens.

-There you go.

-Ten. 120.

0:41:420:41:45

130. 140.

0:41:450:41:47

150. 160. 170.

0:41:470:41:50

180. 180 with me.

0:41:500:41:53

Have I missed anybody?

0:41:530:41:54

-See, that's a nice little surprise for you.

-Very surprising.

0:41:540:41:58

190. 200.

0:41:580:42:00

Still with me. You're both out. At £200 for the first and the last.

0:42:000:42:05

At 200.

0:42:050:42:07

That's more like it, isn't it?

0:42:070:42:08

-The bidders certainly weren't mean, were they?

-Very surprising.

0:42:080:42:11

See? There was something in there.

0:42:110:42:13

There always is in a postcard collection.

0:42:130:42:15

-What a first experience in the auction.

-Yeah, definitely good.

0:42:150:42:18

-Got the bug? Coming back?

-I'll have to come back.

0:42:180:42:21

-Do some more decluttering.

-Find some more things for sale.

0:42:210:42:24

Going under the hammer right now, something really stylish.

0:42:280:42:31

Coral brooch and some long drop earrings belonging to John.

0:42:310:42:34

They weren't really John's, were they?

0:42:340:42:36

I can't see you in them, somehow. They were your grandmother's.

0:42:360:42:39

-Great-grandmother.

-Great-grandmother's?

0:42:390:42:41

-Gosh, they have been in the family a long time.

-Yes.

0:42:410:42:43

I'm not sure how they came down, but I ended up getting them from my mother.

0:42:430:42:46

-I don't think the box has been open for about ten years.

-Gosh.

0:42:460:42:50

-I love this.

-There's not a lot of money here, though.

0:42:500:42:52

We've got a reserve of just £60.

0:42:520:42:54

Yes. They might do better than that.

0:42:540:42:57

They aren't a precious stone, they don't have gold, silver,

0:42:570:43:00

-we don't have diamonds.

-But they have the look.

-They have the look.

0:43:000:43:03

-So, hopefully, we are looking for twice that.

-Or three times.

0:43:030:43:06

Good luck, John. Fingers crossed. Here we go, it's going under the hammer.

0:43:060:43:10

We have this Victorian coral brooch with the matching earrings

0:43:100:43:14

and in its original box.

0:43:140:43:16

And I'm bid 40 to start it.

0:43:160:43:18

45. 50. Five.

0:43:180:43:21

-It's good, it's bouncing backwards and forwards.

-Bid upstairs of 65.

0:43:210:43:25

70. Fresh place. 75.

0:43:250:43:28

80. Five.

0:43:280:43:30

90. Five. 100. Five.

0:43:300:43:32

Commission bid, he's working from the book.

0:43:320:43:35

120. 125.

0:43:360:43:37

130. 135.

0:43:390:43:41

140. Five.

0:43:410:43:42

They looked expensive, let's face it.

0:43:420:43:46

Bid is upstairs. Now the net.

0:43:460:43:48

-180.

-180!

-190.

0:43:480:43:50

220.

0:43:520:43:54

He's off the book, it's all going on in the room.

0:43:540:43:56

It's in the room at 230.

0:43:560:43:59

300.

0:43:590:44:00

320.

0:44:000:44:02

£380.

0:44:020:44:04

-Wow, John.

-Trying to buy them.

0:44:040:44:05

400.

0:44:050:44:07

Got £400 on the internet. 420.

0:44:070:44:09

It's in the room at 420.

0:44:090:44:12

-That's a good price, isn't it?

-We've quadrupled it.

0:44:120:44:16

At 420.

0:44:160:44:18

440.

0:44:180:44:20

-Wow.

-At £440. You're all out upstairs.

0:44:200:44:24

At £440, and we're away at 440.

0:44:240:44:28

Yes! £440.

0:44:300:44:33

-Wasn't that wonderful? Wasn't that wonderful?

-A cracking result.

-Yeah.

0:44:330:44:37

The thing is, you couldn't ask someone to make them today

0:44:370:44:41

at that sort of price - £440.

0:44:410:44:42

That's how you can gauge values in a way.

0:44:430:44:46

They were worth every single penny of that. Proper quality.

0:44:460:44:49

One more sale to go. This is the one we've been waiting for.

0:44:530:44:56

Having a chat to Suzy again, and it is great to see you.

0:44:580:45:01

We're just about to put the percussion cap pistols

0:45:010:45:03

under the hammer, the ones signed Gerding on them.

0:45:030:45:06

The jury is still out on were they made for him or not.

0:45:060:45:09

Giles has done a little bit of work,

0:45:090:45:12

he couldn't find anything else that you and I didn't know.

0:45:120:45:15

It's all really down to the bidders.

0:45:150:45:17

-I'm quite excited about this.

-Are you?

-I'm nervous and very excited.

0:45:170:45:22

Here goes. This is it.

0:45:220:45:24

Lovely lot. A pair of percussion turn-off barrelled pistols.

0:45:260:45:30

AF Gerding.

0:45:300:45:32

Lovely quality, unfortunately no boxes for them.

0:45:320:45:35

I have one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine,

0:45:350:45:40

Ten, 11 bids.

0:45:400:45:43

We have phone bids as well.

0:45:430:45:46

I can start them off at 850.

0:45:460:45:49

Wasn't expecting that as a starting point. Were you?

0:45:520:45:56

It's on Caroline's phone. At £900.

0:45:560:46:00

900. 950.

0:46:000:46:02

1,000.

0:46:030:46:05

1,100.

0:46:050:46:07

That's 1,100 from Lucy's phone.

0:46:070:46:11

Anybody else?

0:46:110:46:13

-At £1,100.

-It's short and sweet, isn't it?

0:46:130:46:15

The internet's quiet, too.

0:46:150:46:17

At £1,100 for the last time.

0:46:170:46:20

At £1,100.

0:46:200:46:23

Suzy, Suzy, £1,100. Bang!

0:46:230:46:25

Straight in at £900. You've got some tears!

0:46:250:46:28

Oh!

0:46:280:46:29

Thank you so much for bringing those in.

0:46:290:46:32

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

0:46:320:46:34

Whoever's bought them, enjoy them, look after them.

0:46:340:46:37

I'm sure they've gone to a good home.

0:46:370:46:39

What a wonderful way to end today's show. Are you feeling OK?

0:46:390:46:42

-Absolutely fine.

-We'll look after you, don't worry.

0:46:420:46:45

First aid, please.

0:46:450:46:46

We've got tears here in Boldon but, whatever you do,

0:46:460:46:49

join us again soon because there's going to be more surprises to come.

0:46:490:46:52

-But until then, it's goodbye from us two.

-Wonderful.

-Yeah.

0:46:520:46:55

Thank you so much.

0:46:550:46:57

From the historic Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, experts Anita Manning and David Fletcher join Paul Martin in discovering antiques and collectables with unique stories to tell.

Anita is enthralled by a Charles Brannam studio pot, David learns all about the history of the Sunday stick and Paul discovers a pair of pistols that make a real bang in the saleroom.

Paul also takes time out to explore the nearby Gibside estate and uncovers the scandalous story of the Countess of Strathmore and her con man husband, Stoney Bowes.