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Things haven't changed as much over the last 300 years as we sometimes think.
Back in the 17th century,
it was all about establishing your place in society.
And this magnificent country pile
was built to put its owner at the very top of the social ladder.
So today, here in the heart of the Leicestershire countryside,
we will be following in his footsteps,
where only the best is good enough. Welcome to Flog It!
Our venue today is one of England's finest stately homes,
Stapleford Park, and the building is a mixture of architectural styles
and different periods of history.
This wing is over 500 years old,
but the gables and the niches have been added later,
giving it a Flemish flavour.
Today's experts Mark Stacey and Elizabeth Talbot
are already trawling the crowd, delving into bags and boxes,
hoping to discover a treasure or two.
-Yeah, that's right, yeah.
Mark's rarely lost for words,
but I think he's met his match with this item.
I've got a good idea. It comes off the end.
-Yeah! It ain't what you think.
-I don't know!
And coming up on the show,
one of our items today goes for close on £1,000,
but which is it?
This vintage football programme from 1925?
It's a really interesting and rare one.
Or this glorious gramophone?
Or is it this Art Deco bronze ink stand?
It'll be really interesting to see what happens.
Everybody is safely seated inside, so let's get on with the show.
And this lot are all here to ask our experts that all-important question,
-ALL: What's it worth?
-And what are you going to do when you've found out?
-ALL: Flog it!
Elizabeth couldn't resist an old Flog It favourite.
-Hello. Thank you for bringing your Troika in.
Now this is not an unknown quantity on "Flog It!" but tell me about your collection.
Well, I didn't buy them altogether,
but I've had them for a long time because I've always liked Troika pottery.
-Do you remember which sequence you bought them in?
I seem to remember buying these fairly close together.
I think I bought the square one a bit later on.
Do you know much about the Troika factory at all? Or the history of it?
Not an awful lot.
I mean, it's a name that people are now very familiar with.
A few years ago nobody would have known what we were talking about.
Now it's very visually familiar to people.
The Troika factory was established in St Ives, in Cornwall, in 1963.
They created, very often, these flat-sided, slab-sided pieces, normally vases.
They were destined to imitate either granite or concrete.
It was very much a modern look.
Hans Coper and Ben Nicholson were great influences on their design and their artwork.
So two big names who they looked to for inspiration.
Yes, sounds familiar.
The pottery moved to Newlyn in about 1970.
Then it closed in 1983. So, actually, it was only 20 years old.
They produced a lot, when we look back at it, in a relatively short space of time.
-I didn't realise that.
-You didn't know?
We have the cube, the wheel vase and the chimney vase.
Quite self-explanatory in terms of shape. Do you have a favourite?
-I think, possibly, this one.
-The wheel vase?
It works really, really well.
And it's very strong in size and decoration on this really bold circle.
I notice, from looking at this, that the wheel has a couple of little chips,
but the rest of the collection seems to be in very good condition.
-Do you have them out on display?
-I haven't, no.
-I've got two Bengal cats so...
-I keep them in boxes, unfortunately.
It seems a waste.
Troika has gone up and down in value over the last few years.
The values accelerated quite rapidly, probably about five or six years ago,
then almost peaked because people had seen so much of it that it sort of reached its plateau.
But I think now it's settled down and there are very avid collectors of it.
So, if we start on the left, the cube vase here is probably the most often-seen shape.
This one, at the moment, would have an auction value of around about £50-£70.
The wheel vase, because of the damage, we'd mark it down quite harshly on that,
I think you'd be looking at around about 70-100 on that one.
-Because of the damage.
I like the chimney vase and this one here is designed by Avril Bennett.
Her monogram is on the bottom there.
That one, I would think, should fetch in the region of about £100-£150.
The collection, therefore, is worth £220-300, that sort of level.
-When you put them all together.
If we leave it to the auctioneer to decide whether they're sold individually or as a group,
he'll give guidance as to how his auction house will best sell them.
-But if we request that they put a fixed reserve on...
Thank you so much for bringing your collection. I think it's really charming.
And I shall see you at the auction.
-And we shall hope that people keep on bidding!
-Hello, Rob, hello, Jackie.
Thank you so much for coming today and bringing your friends along.
Where on earth did they come from?
Well, I inherited them from my grandparents.
I remember them sitting on the dresser since I was knee-high.
Since my parents died, they've been sitting in our attic.
Oh, what a shame!
Well, they are a little bit out of vogue these days.
They're quite a novelty, they hold a bit of a secret.
If you just gently sort of nod her head there,
and the same with the hands... you know, they nod and keep time.
These are what are generally referred to as bisque figures, painted bisque.
It has a very sort of dry feel about it,
and they're unglazed,
so they're painted straight onto the porcelain.
And they are copies of ones produced by Meissen.
And you can get really big ones like this of Oriental gentlemen.
Obviously, if they're Meissen, the quality is absolutely first class.
These are not such good quality.
-One of them, of course, has got a nasty crack.
But they are quite old, actually - they date to probably around 1900,
so they're well over 100 years old, and they are probably French.
China and Japan have had a huge influence on European ceramic,
and the first designs we produced were copying Chinese and Japanese,
because that's what the rich wanted, so that's what they produced
before we developed our own styles and the factories got established.
So they're a family piece, but they've been hidden away.
Is that why you've decided to come along and flog them?
I really quite like them, actually, I think they're quite fun.
The damage, of course, is going to limit any value.
Did you have any idea of what they might be worth?
-No idea at all.
If they were in good condition,
they'd be probably be worth around £100, the pair.
I think, because of the damage,
we've got to look at half that, really.
We've got to say maybe 40 to £60, something like that, but who knows?
Would you want to put a reserve on them?
I don't know, I don't think we would.
-I think just let them...run.
-See how they go, absolutely.
And they might nod us into a big profit.
And moving swiftly along,
surely there's a bit more sanity at Elizabeth's table.
-Thank you for coming to Flog It!
-Thank you very much.
-Now, what have you brought?
Oh! Oh, it is, it's a table! Oh, my goodness, that's lovely!
And you've struggled out of the house with this tucked under your arm?
Well, not exactly, but we've brought it in.
-My husband had to take it out of the car from here.
Ah, very good.
What can you tell me about it, and why have you brought it?
-Recently, we bought a house, and this was in the house.
An antique, traditionally,
is defined as something that's 100 years old or more.
This table is...knocking on the door of being an antique,
but it's not quite there yet.
-It will date from anywhere between the 1920s
and probably the late 1930s.
It's made of oak, and it's a drop-leaf small dining table,
which copies the traditional style of English oak furniture
and drop-leaf tables, gate-leg tables of an earlier period.
This one, however, is machine-cut, it's very smooth and precisely made,
so this was in an era when they weren't handcrafting them.
It was machine-made for mass production.
And this lasted until, I suppose, the Second World War,
-when it went out of fashion, everybody wanted utility furniture and so on.
As a table, it's not a rarity to find a table like this these days,
but it's a good, solid table.
Do you like it? I mean, do you like it as a table?
It's just the aesthetics doesn't blend with what you have?
Yeah, I like the table as itself.
All the other furniture is modern, a bit more modern than this.
Although it's a table that's got many decades behind it,
and it's beautifully crafted and it's good solid oak,
-the value is going to be modest.
-So if you're happy to sell it,
I would advise that you put it into auction for a 60 to £80 estimate.
-Not bad for something which came with the house.
Would you like a reserve on that,
or do you want to sell it at whatever the market brings?
-I think about 40, 50?
Do you want to put a reserve on? Put 40 on?
I think that's very fair, we'll put £40 reserve on it.
Shall we make that firm,
or do you want to sell it with discretion?
-Just sell it.
-Just sell it?
-And then what would you do?
Would you buy another table? Are you lacking a table now?
No, I think we'll probably use the money for grandchildren.
-Oh, that's nice!
-We've got three grandchildren.
-Oh, have you?
-Yeah, so we'll buy something for them.
-They can all share in the excitement of the day.
-Yeah, why not?
It's great to see some furniture at the valuation day,
particularly a piece that can only make a profit.
Stapleford's drawn a fantastic crowd, and the room is buzzing!
For his next item, Mark's escaped to the sanctuary of the orangery
to hear about Graham's childhood collection of football programmes.
-Nice to meet you.
-Yeah, thank you.
We're sitting in the orangery, nice and cool, isn't it?
You've brought this fantastic collection of football programmes.
Are they your lifetime collection? Where have you got them from?
I wouldn't say it's a lifetime collection.
My brother and I started when we were sort of early teens,
and we inherited some from relatives and just carried on the collection.
It wasn't a conscious effort,
it was just something that evolved over time.
I'm not the world's biggest football fan...
BOOING ..I have to tell you, Graham,
but this programme has been drawn to my attention.
-This is the 1925 between Cardiff...
-And Sheffield United, yeah.
-They did, the first time that the FA Cup went out of England.
-Which is where I'm from.
So I should be very proud of that, and I am, of course.
And it's a really interesting and rare one.
I think so, I think it's obviously 80 odd years old now.
It's in reasonably good condition.
-It is, considering, because it's quite flimsy paper.
Is there any others out of the varied mix here
that you think are quite interesting to us?
Probably this Northampton Town one, it's only 1970,
but it's the Fifth Round FA Cup
-between Northampton Town and Manchester United.
-And a certain George Best scored six goals that day.
-The legendary George Best.
-So that one's quite interesting.
The thing is, there's lots of memories for you,
but we have to look in terms of auction,
how we're going to sell them, market them.
I mean, the feeling is, and I agree with it,
is that we put the 1925 programme in as a separate lot.
Yeah, sounds good.
-800 to £1,200.
And then we put the other collection together as one lot
at sort of three or 400. Is that all right with you?
-I think that sounds fine.
-But we will put a reserve, of course.
-We'll put 800 on the single programme and 300 on the other programmes.
The auction house should market them properly
and put them on the internet,
and of course people find these things,
so hopefully we'll reach the top ends, if not a bit more.
Thank you very much, Mark.
This magnificent Jacobean house is Thrumpton Hall.
It dates back to the early 1600s.
Even though it's in this secluded setting,
it's certainly had its brushes with history and seen some turbulent times.
So much has happened here in the last four centuries.
I've picked a few of the more intriguing and colourful stories to tell you.
The house is built around the remains of an earlier Tudor house, belonging to the Powdrell family.
But, as Roman Catholics in the reign of Elizabeth I,
their involvement in the notorious Babington plot to overthrow
the Queen cut short their tenancy.
The Powdrells were evicted when it was discovered they were hiding a priest here, in this very room.
I can show you, behind all this oak panelling,
there is a little secret door, which leads to priest hole.
Look at this. This is a remarkable survivor from the original building.
Like any secret hiding place, it's full of intrigue, excitement
and there's an atmosphere about this because we're talking high stakes.
It was a matter of life and death.
And they weren't hiding any old priest,
they were hiding Father Henry Garnet,
one of the leading conspirators to plot against Queen Elizabeth.
I wouldn't like to be down there for too long.
These conspiracies were ruthlessly suppressed.
The Powdrells were lucky to escape with their lives.
Their neighbour, however, Sir Anthony Babington wasn't so lucky.
As the leader of the plot, he was sentenced to death for treason and conspiracy against the Crown.
The punishment he received was the severest at the time.
He would be hung, drawn and quartered at the tender age of 25.
The discovery of this plot was also the end of Mary, Queen of Scots.
She was beheaded a few months later.
A bloodthirsty chapter in English history.
Soon after the new owners, the Pigots, rebuilt the house as we see it today.
And at the end of the Civil War, having come through another turbulent time,
Gervase Pigot the Younger embarked on more improvements to the house.
He celebrated the restoration of Charles II to the throne
by commissioning this rather understated staircase.
Well, I'm only joking there because there's absolutely nothing understated about it.
It's grandly over the top, in keeping of the spirit of the time.
I'll just point out a few details for you.
This was all made from timber from the estate.
It's mixed woods, made by the local craftsman here.
All this section here, all of these panels, are made out of elm.
The balustrades themselves, with this wonderful detail on it,
with these finials here and drop pendants there, they're made of oak.
The handrails are made of oak.
The treads and the risers, they're all made of pine.
In the Victorian period the owners of the house wanted
this whole staircase to look like it was made from one wood, an oak.
So they stained the whole thing with a dirty, tarry black varnish,
which was all the rage at the time.
And I've been told it took three workmen one year to scrape it all back off.
To bring it back to its former glory.
Now that must have been a labour of love.
The improvements didn't stop here.
The staircase leads to the saloon, remarkably unchanged
since the 17th century,
yet still very much in use by the current owners.
Gervase's extravagance was to be the ruin of him.
Unable to meet his mortgage repayments, he forfeited the house to his lawyer, Mr John Emerton.
And it's his descendants who have lived here ever since.
Right down to its current owner, Miranda Seymour. Hello, Miranda.
-Thank you so much for letting us film here today.
-It's lovely you're here.
Oh, it's a real pleasure. Now, you grew up here in this house, what was that like?
I did grow up here and I was terrified here, when I was a little girl.
My parents were just beginning to get a derelict house back after the war,
getting it back into shape again. There were dust sheets on all the busts,
cobwebs on all the windows and the staircase was black.
-I was living on the top floor,
up behind the door where the nursery floor was and I was absolutely scared out of my little wits.
But now, I know you're a writer.
Does the whole atmosphere of this house inspire you?
I love it when I'm writing here and particularly in this room
because it's just a very, very calm space to be in.
I know this house has had a very interesting history.
And, I gather there's a connection to Lord Byron. Is that with you?
There is, indeed. And, actually, I always feel very excited by that as a writer
because, I mean, what a person to be connected to.
But Byron's cousin inherited the title and it was through him
that the title came down to my father's uncle and,
so, we got all these wonderful Byron relics here.
-And you've got a few out to show me, haven't you?
-What have you got?
I've got three things. And this, as a writer, is the most exciting one to me.
Here's Byron's very own signet ring. The first he ever had
-and it fits just perfectly on my signet finger.
-It's meant to be.
So I hope.
Now, this is a rather wonderful relic.
I don't know if you can see here but it's got a B on the front, for Byron.
And in the back it's got a tiny little strand of his hair.
-Oh, I can see that.
-Which was given to his half-sister,
Augusta Leigh, the one he was so in love with.
She passed it on to Byron's first cousin.
So that's real, authentic Byron hair sitting in there.
It's wonderful provenance, isn't it? I mean, it doesn't get any better.
Nope, I think it has to be the genuine thing.
Thrumpton Hall is bursting with stories.
In its 400 year existence, it's brushed up against some of the biggest names in English history.
From Mary Queen of Scots to Lord Byron and to it present owner,
writer, Miranda Seymour.
And, as long as someone continues to live here, this place will continue to make history.
So, how do you think our experts' valuations went?
There's only one way to find out - we're off to auction!
And here's a quick reminder of what we've chosen.
Let's hope the bidders will want to snap them up.
Will Robert and Jackie be nodding all the way to the bank
with these cheeky oriental figures, which Mark valued at 40 to £60?
Finders keepers, but Chitra's decided this old oak table
isn't quite the right style for her interior design.
Will it reach Elizabeth's estimate of 60 to £80?
It's definitely a game of two halves as Mark has split
the programmes into two separate lots,
valuing the earlier at 800 to £1,200, and the rest as a group,
at three to £400.
Finally, Elizabeth's trio of Troika is a sure bet
at £220-£320 for the group.
But will the damage go against them?
Well, the sun is coming out, I'm in a good mood.
I know our owners are in a good mood as well, but will the bidders be?
That's the important thing. For our sale today,
we've come to Gildings Auction Rooms in the heart of Market Harborough.
Hopefully, there's a packed floor inside. It's time for kick-off.
Our auctioneer today is John Gilding.
Now, it's Susie with her Troika vases.
But, since the valuation day, she's had a change of heart.
-Now, we started off at the valuation day with three Troika items.
We're left with two. You've withdrawn one.
-Why is that? And which one?
Well, my daughter wants to keep the round one.
-She likes that one so I decided to keep it.
-A good one to keep.
And I gather Susie's been fiddling with the valuations, haven't you?!
We're starting off with the chimney vase, for which we were hoping for £100-£150, with a reserve of 100.
-Now you're saying the reserve you want is 150.
-Is that fixed or discretion?
You haven't meddled with the other one, have you?
We are looking at...what? You have? You have meddled?
I think I put a fixed value of £50 on that.
OK, we've got 50 to 70 but you've just stuck a fixed reserve on it.
OK. That's the second of the two. This is the first one, going under the hammer now, the chimney vase.
The Troika chimney vase.
Lovely piece here. Lots of interest. £110 bid.
110, I'm bid 110. 120.
130. 140. 150.
£150, I'm bid.
At £150, I'm bid. Do I see 60 anywhere? 160 ahead.
-170 on commission.
-This is good.
-180 in the room and the commissions are all out.
At £180. I'm bid 180. At £180, you're quite sure? Selling to the room standing.
Yes, £180! That's good, isn't it? That's very, very good.
You were right to be so confident, I have to say.
Right, here's the next one.
Another Troika piece.
Monogram JF. Opening bid here, please, of £45.
45. I'm bid 45. 50.
Five. 60. Five.
-70. Five. 80.
You're out at the door. £80, far and away.
At £80. Do I see five?
-Sold at £80.
-And it's gone down! £80. Well done, you.
Something tells me that you would have been pleased
if they didn't sell.
I possibly would.
With a combined total of £260 for only two of her vases,
Susie goes home very happy.
It's time for kick-off! It's Graham's 1925 programme.
It's a great bit of sporting memorabilia we've split into two lots.
The first is the FA Cup final programme, eight to £1,200.
It's going under the hammer right now.
It's supposed to be rare, Paul,
but I hope we haven't scored an own goal.
Here we go. The auctioneer said somebody came in and viewed those
and was very interested.
£600 I'm bid. 650, 700. And 50.
800. And 50.
At £850. Telephone?
Out in the room. Out on commission.
-Are you all done?
Sold and away, then, at £900, all finished?
-It's gone, £900.
-That's all right.
-That's one down.
Now, we've got the boxes, quite a few in the box.
Looking at £300 to £400.
Now, we have a collection in two suitcases.
Ready for you to fly off to your holidays abroad.
As hand luggage, of course.
What would you say for that, please?
The next lot, £200 opens the bidding. £200 I am bid.
£200, do I see 10 anywhere, quickly? £200, do I see 10 anywhere?
All finished and quite sure, then, at £200.
All away, and done at £200.
Well, I'm sorry I'll have to withdraw that lot.
-Sorry about that.
-It's all right. Pleased with the first one.
Very pleased with the first one. Somebody out there really wanted that. That is incredible.
It just shows you what is the rarity value of these, isn't it?
900 is over the bottom bed,
so I think we should be pleased with that.
Like all footy games, you win some, you lose some,
but what a great result for Graham's vintage programme.
Seller's commission today is 16% plus VAT,
but he'll still make a tidy profit.
Up next, it's Chitra's table.
Going under the hammer right now, we have some furniture.
It's a 1930s oak gate-leg dining-room table.
It belongs to Chitra, who is right next to me, and you look fabulous.
-Who have you brought along? What's your name?
-How old are you?
-Six years old. Is this your first auction?
-What do you think, isn't it exciting?
What's Grandma doing? She's selling a table she found in the house?
-It's actually my uncle's house.
-It was in your uncle's house?
What else did they leave in the house? Anything else?
Some other furniture, but I don't think it was worth anything.
I like your shoes. They're lovely, aren't they?
The auctioneer's up there right now, and he's just about
to call your lot number, so get ready for this. Here we go.
The gate-leg, lot 500. £35. On commission at 35.
Do I see eight anywhere quickly? £35, all done?
Quite sure then, finished away at £35.
It was good value for money, £35.
You can buy a table in auction for £35,
but it didn't cost you a penny anyway.
Every little penny helps.
-Someone's going to be happy with that, aren't you?
Students, take note. That's a lot of table for not very much money.
Now, let's see if Mark's still in Noddyland.
Good luck, Robert and Jackie.
Let's hope this little touch of the Orient
sells well here in Market Harborough.
I like it, I really do like it. Basic as well.
Why are you selling this?
-They've just been in the loft for the last seven years.
-Didn't like it?
I know someone that was attracted to it, and he's right here.
I did like them.
They are great fun, and I haven't seen a nice pair for ages.
-They're continental, aren't they?
-They're French, I think.
Copies of the Mason ones we talked about.
The quality's still reasonably good.
One's got a little bit of damage on it,
so we've put 40 to 60 on it with no reserve, and they should make that.
Here we go, we're going to find out right now.
Let's hope the bidders aren't
sitting on their hands right now. This is it.
-91, pair of nodding head figures.
-There's no pressure, really.
-We've got no reserve, have we, Jackie?
-We decided not to.
At 38, but 38. 40, 42, 42. 45.
You're out on the neck. £45 seated.
Look, someone waving their hand at the back of the sale room.
Gentleman standing at £55.
Have you all done, quite sure then? Finished away at £55.
-That's a good result, isn't it?
That really is, I'm quite surprised at that.
I think we can all nod to that, can't we?
That concludes the end of our first session in the auction today.
We are coming back here later on in the programme, so don't go away.
So far, so good. While we were up here in the area,
I thought I'd go off and do some exploring. Take a look at this.
I'm here surrounded by sheep on the Leicestershire/Derbyshire borders,
and I'm off to see Calke Abbey.
I have to admit, I hadn't heard of the place before,
and I hadn't seen it, so my sense of anticipation is really building.
It's a wonderful estate.
We've got this gorgeous long approach,
we've got mature planted lime trees
either side of this wonderful avenue.
I'm pretty sure at the end of this,
we're going to see a spectacular house.
And here it is. Just look at that. Isn't it pleasing on the eye?
My first impressions are it's a mixture of architectural styles -
a bit of Baroque, a bit of Palladian.
But look at it on this vast estate, tucked in that hollow.
It just says one thing to me - wealth.
But first impressions can be deceiving
and on closer inspection, all is not what it seems.
Look at these sandstone columns.
Rather soft, but look at the ravaging it's had
over the centuries from the elements.
It's starting to perish and peel away.
It's losing the definition on all the capitals.
In fact, the stucco mouldings up there are crumbling as well.
This house has seen better days.
There's been a building here since the 12th century.
This Baroque incarnation dates from 1704,
and was built by the fourth Baronet of Calke, the wealthy Sir John Harpur.
But since its glittering prime, time has been a cruel mistress.
The house's dual personality continues on the inside.
One room's lavishness is in stark contrast to the neglect of others.
This magnificent room was once the original entrance hall
when the house was first built in the early part of the 18th century.
I must say, it would have made a very impressive first impression.
It's a raised ground floor, so there would have been a wonderful
flight of stone steps leading up to it.
What we see today is mainly its Victorian incarnation,
but clearly, somebody in the family had a passion for natural history.
There are just cabinets full of seashells, precious stones
and items of taxidermy.
It was the 9th baronet, Sir John Harpur-Crewe,
who started the natural history collecting,
decorating the house with his deer and cattle trophies.
His son, Sir Vauncey, outdid his father.
His collecting was obsessional.
I must say, the items are beautifully displayed, aren't they?
This is a technique, taxidermy, that dates back to
the ancient Egyptians, and in fact, there word taxidermy comes
from the Ancient Greek -
dermi, skin, and taxi, to move around.
I must say, between the two of them,
they would have kept many taxidermists in business.
This is the 7th Baronet's bedroom, again, just as it was
when the National Trust took over the property.
This is Nettie Cook, one of the conservators
who worked on the project virtually from day one, I gather?
Just about. Day two, actually.
You must have seen and learnt an awful lot.
Absolutely, it's a phenomenal collection, and so much to learn.
-So varied. I'm still learning now.
-Whose idea was it?
Well, it was the vision of one man, the then-curator, John Cheshire,
who visited the property before it ever came to the National Trust.
He was absolutely stunned at the amazing collections
housed in this enormous property, but a property in decline.
Literally about to collapse, in some areas.
He wanted that wonderful, overwhelming feeling to be passed on
to visitors, which is why it's presented in this particular way.
I must say, it is fascinating to go behind the scenes, as it were.
Now, obviously, it's open to the public so we can all view this,
but to see the rooms full of clutter,
wonderful items just cluttered around left exactly how they were.
One thing is missing, though.
The cobwebs and the dust and the dirt, that's all gone,
-and there's no sign of damp any more.
because those sorts of issues are addressed,
and there is a team of housekeepers here
who work very hard to care for the contents.
A lot of visitors come in, about 120,000 a year,
they bring in dirt, dust, skin, hair.
The housekeepers have to remove this sort of debris.
Is it easier to keep the room as it is now or to restore it?
The whole ethos of things looking as if they haven't been conserved
is a difficult one for some conservators to actually carry out.
It could well be that, if there was remedial conservation
needed in this room, one conservator may actually just go too far.
There is such a contrast between these rooms and the state rooms,
and do you know something?
I prefer these rooms, because they come alive.
There's an atmosphere about them, isn't there?
There really is,
and there's a smell, the musty-ish smell which you get.
-Because all the surfaces are dry, there's no polish anywhere,
so you get this dryness to everything.
What do the visitors think when they come behind the scenes?
Well, I think some of the visitors really struggle
with the whole concept, because, of course, it does look as if
it's a house in decline. We know it's not because there's been
a phenomenal amount of conservation work, restoration work,
that's gone on to both the building and the contents. Some of
the visitors do wonder what on earth is happening.
But John Cheshire did say that if visitors actually came
and asked him where the work had been done,
then he would have actually achieved his goals.
-Perhaps he knew.
-He was a man with vision.
-Thank you for having a chat to me.
I'm going to enjoy the rest of the house. It's a real eye-opener.
Jolly good! Excellent.
Calke is a wonderful, unique survivor,
and the National Trust's decision to maintain it exactly as they found it
back in the 1980s is a very bold one indeed.
They were faced with a collection of over 10,000 different objects,
and their aim was to preserve it exactly how they found it,
whilst preventing any other further decay.
It was a monumental task for conservators.
But a very worthwhile one.
It's a fascinating glimpse at a country house frozen in time.
There's nothing ghostly about Stapleford Park.
Our valuation day is bursting with life.
The crowd are waiting to hear what our experts have to say.
-Do you trust our experts?
-Of course they do.
Let's hand the show over to them, and see what they've spotted.
Audrey, a charming, little flower-head ring, set with diamonds.
-Now, where did you get this from?
-Did you buy it or was it inherited?
-No, I bought it.
-Many years ago?
-No, about eight years ago.
-Oh, so not long? And, why did you buy it? You just fell in love with it?
Well, it was a small antiques shop and when I passed it,
I think they'd got a light on in the cabinet and it made it shine.
-And, we women as we are, we...
-So, you were beguiled?
Impulsive buy, yes.
You've had it for eight years, why have you decided to maybe flog it now?
Well, when you become older,
jewellery's not important in your life.
Your family is more important.
-So, it's going to go and help a family member, is it?
-Well, it'll probably be for my son.
He's wanting a better car so any money, it'll go towards his car.
So, we're going from something that's very, sort of, unnecessary to something which is very necessary.
-Which is great, isn't it?
If we just take it out of the box,
we can see that it's a very pretty ring,
and, modelled on little flower heads.
I suppose it dates it to the early part of the 20th century.
So, 1915, 1920, that sort of date.
Now, there aren't any makers marks or anything like that in there,
Audrey, it's just stamped at the bottom, 18 carat gold.
Which is quite nice.
But, very much that sort of inter-war piece of jewellery.
And, hopefully, somebody will find it very appealing in the sale room.
Now, in terms of an auction estimate, Audrey,
-I would be looking at something around £250 to £300.
-Would that be all right with you?
-Oh, yes, flog it!
-That's what we like. That's what David assures.
-Yes, that's it.
In terms of a reserve, what sort of reserve would you like on it?
-You're the specialist.
-Well, shall we put a fixed reserve of £200 on it?
We'll put the estimate to tempt them in but we'll put a fixed reserve of £200.
-Right, that's all right.
-Will you be sad to see it go?
-I'm just pleased to be here with you.
-Oh! Stop it, I'll blush.
Cupid's aiming his arrow at Elizabeth, now, as she turns on the charm.
Two pieces of Victorian green glass brought together.
Do they belong to you, Jean, or you John, or are they a joint concern?
They were my grandparents', and then went to my father, and now, me.
-Your inheritance? And do you like them?
-No, I hate them!
-Hence you bring them today to see if they have any value?
Victorians loved glass.
They made glass in all sorts of colours and forms, and practised
and experimented in all sorts of techniques to create objects.
They probably date from about 18...
..70, 80, that period, so they're just over 100, 120 years old.
Do you like them, John? Are they your taste?
To tell you the truth, I hadn't seen them until yesterday!
After how many years?
Jean's had them 13 years, 13 years since her mother died.
You weren't so embarrassed you didn't show them to John, were you?
I don't think they're as hideous as Jean does.
I'm quite intrigued by this one, particularly the motif on it.
It reminds me of something out of a science-fiction film, with aliens.
Yes, I see what you're saying on that.
But obviously, it goes back to 1870.
So they've always, to your knowledge, lived together?
Always been together, as far as I know.
Good friends and companions?
Now with this one, when I first saw it,
I thought, "Oh, what a lovely picture of a stag!
"How delightful and Victorian!"
When we turn it round, I see the full story emerging,
of a heartless huntsman!
But again, if you think about the period,
you go back to Victorian times, to hunt, shoot
and display the mounted trophies you'd get from hunting a stag,
it was very much of high fashion, so this is typically of its time.
I do notice that both of them
have suffered some damage in their long life.
This one has a chip to the rim. This one, here,
has a crack just the other side of the handle, there.
So it will impact on the value.
How do you take them home today?
Would you put them back in the cupboard and keep for posterity?
I would probably have binned them!
Put them in the bin! That's sacrilege! My goodness!
Would you have rushed out and rescued them, John?
No, I don't like them that much!
As I say, value, commercially, is not going to be high,
because of the damage, primarily.
I would have thought, realistically,
you're looking at between 15 and £25, maybe 20 to 30 on a good day,
but it's more likely to be between 15 and £25, and I'm assuming,
correct me if I'm wrong, that you don't require a reserve?
-You'd be happy to see them gone?
-Just let them go.
Thanks for bringing them in.
If you have any antiques and collectables
you'd like to sell, we would love to see you.
Bring them along to one of our valuation days,
just like the people have here, today.
And I can guarantee you, it is a fun-packed day out.
Just log on to bbc.co.uk/flogit.
Follow the links. All the information's there.
Hopefully, we're coming to a town near you.
If you don't have a computer, check the details in your local press.
We would love to see you.
For his next item, Mark shows off a soft spot for some big cats.
-Hello, Janet. Hello, Gavin.
What a lovely piece of bronze you've brought in to show us today.
Tell me all about it.
We purchased it
about ten years ago, from an antiques fair in Chelsea, I believe,
and it wasn't the main purchase.
I bought another bronze lion,
and this one came with it, in a way.
-And I just like the animals, the two lions.
-It is rather charming.
If you bought it in Chelsea, I am very worried about the prices
paid for it! I can see why you fell in love with it.
Are you bronze collectors? Do you like them?
Yes, my husband does like to collect animalia,
so that was the main thing.
Not the inkstand at the side, it was the actual animals.
You have pre-empted me, really, because you think, "What is it?"
Of course, if we lift the lid here, we can see it is a desk stand,
so you would put your inkwell in there.
The designer, Friedrich Gornik,
was in operation, really, from the late 19th century
up to the 1940s, but I think, stylistically, this is about 1910.
And it's rather fun, because you've got a lovely pair of lions,
in an almost Art Nouveau setting.
Very well modelled, I mean, what can you say,
there's a lot of feeling in the lions. They've obviously come
to a watering hole,
but not a watering hole they usually go to, it's a little flowing lake.
The whole thing sits very comfortably, doesn't it?
It's a very attractive piece. Do you have a lot of bronzes, Gavin?
Yes, quite a few.
Mainly French sculptures,
-Barry, and one or two others.
-And a lot of the big cats.
-Big cat people.
This sort of subject is quite commercial.
You've got Art Nouveau collectors
and people who like animals.
My feeling is, if you were thinking of selling it,
is around about five to 700,
and maybe tacking the reserve just under, 450 fixed.
-Would that fit in with your expectations?
-Yes, certainly would.
You'd be happy with that? We never know,
I mean, his work, for his figures, can make more than that.
They can make 650, 850, something like that, and some time ago.
If the market judges it right, we might get up nearer to the 700.
Thank you so much for bringing it in.
Be really interesting to see what happens at the auction, actually.
-That would be great fun.
-It might roar successful on the day.
I'm sure it will. That's a quality piece in anybody's book.
And now, for our final act.
If you'd like to form an orderly queue this way,
your antiques will be valued!
And you'll find out more about this in just a moment,
because Elizabeth Talbot is just about to put a valuation on it.
I'm impressed by this, Chris. What can you tell me
about your fantastic gramophone?
It belonged to my grandfather.
He bought it in the early 1900s as a young man,
when he first started working.
A lot of happy memories of grandfather playing this
as young children.
I can imagine, for a child,
it has quite a magical shape and produces wonderful sounds,
and it is quite a memorable sort of thing to see in action.
Why have you brought it today, then? It's obviously, sort of,
an heirloom that's gone back through several hands.
Yes, basically, myself and my brother have got young families,
and it would be a shame for it to be kept out of the way,
nobody looking at it, so we thought we'd rather bring it here
and get it valued and see if somebody would like to buy it,
go to a really good home, somebody who would care and love it.
It's now over 100 years old, or about 100 years old, in date.
The condition of it is just lovely.
It's actually been very happy.
Wherever it's been, throughout the family,
the conditions have been right.
You have this lovely blond oak base,
and it's very typical of the early part of the 20th century.
A lot of fine art furniture was made in this lovely oak,
a lovely honey rich colour,
and that's kept its colour really beautifully.
These sort of fluted pillars at the corners are typical
of a lot of detail on case furniture,
so it's a piece of cabinet making, at the bottom, there.
We go up to this fantastic horn.
For it to have its horn at all is lovely,
because so often, the bases and the horn become separated.
When I saw it from a distance, I thought it was grained metal,
it had been made to imitate, with a lithographic finish,
the grain of wood. In fact, it's the wooden horn, and for that to
be in such a lovely condition after all this time, is also exciting.
It's made by HMV - His Master's Voice company.
The internal movement is in beautiful order,
and everything looks as though it's all raring to go.
The only damage is superficial.
The felt, which is probably the most fragile of all the components,
has just worn through usage,
and possibly that's reacted to any climatic changes it's been
involved with over time more quickly than anything else.
Have you any concept of value at this stage,
have you researched it or thought about it?
No, no, not really, no, not at all.
I actually think that, realistically,
it shouldn't do less than £250, £350.
I wouldn't be surprised, given its condition,
if it didn't make slightly more than that.
Let's get that and our other items wrapped up and sent off to auction.
And here's a quite reminder of what we're taking.
Audrey's diamond ring caught Mark's eye.
He's hoping it will make £250 to £300.
A tidy sum to go towards her son's car.
Rescued from the dustbin in the nick of time,
Elizabeth valued Jean's Victorian glassware at 15 to £25.
Gavin and Janet's bronze ink stand with those fine lions
has great pedigree.
Mark valued it at 500 to £700.
Finally, His Master's Voice is another top brand,
and Chris's gramophone is sure to inspire the bidders.
Elizabeth valued it at three to £400.
We're back at Gilding's auction rooms
for the second half of our items.
Audrey's ring is up next and she's lowered her reserve to £190 to attract the buyers.
Fingers crossed, Audrey, fingers crossed. No more compulsive buying.
We're talking about that lovely ring that Mark put a value on.
We brought it along to the right expert. This ring caught your eye.
It did. It was a very pretty ring, actually, and it's very delicate.
It's got that lovely sort of flower-head top to it.
Now, I don't do a lot of rings, as you know, because I'm not a jewellery expert.
But I think this stands a good chance at auction.
So, there we go. And you've met your favourite expert, haven't you?
Yes. Yes, I've only come here to see Mark. Ha-ha-ha.
The cluster ring. This is a lovely ring. What will we say for that?
£130 bid. 140. 150. 160. 170.
-180 in the room. Commission's a loss.
-Come on, come on.
Could be more. You're out on the net. £190? £190 on the net.
£190 and I'm watching you all carefully.
Selling it away at £190.
Sold it, £190. I heard you saying, "That's OK."
-That's OK, isn't it?
-Just under, under our low end estimate.
It was. I was hoping for a bit more, actually.
-I was hoping it would be around £250.
-Nice to meet you, Mark.
-Lovely to meet you.
-And good luck.
-Good luck with the car hunt.
-You've met your expert hero, haven't you? You're happy shopping for your son, as well.
It's Jean's glassware. Will the bids go orbital?
-A bit of damage, not a lot of money.
So we are not biting our fingernails here, there is no reserve.
Hopefully, we'll get more than £15.
It's a jug and a vase. I gather they didn't like it, Elizabeth?
In the tradition of Flog It, they came to sell it,
which was helpful on the day, wasn't it?
-So, where have they been? In the cupboard all these years?
I've had them for 13 years, and John didn't see them
until the night before the valuation.
-What else are you hiding?
Hopefully, here's a buyer for them. Someone will love them.
We're going to find out right now.
More tinted glass. Two pieces, in fact.
£10 bid. 10, 10, £10 for the green.
-The glass here. At £10.
I'm bid 10, do I see 12?
Uh-oh, this is looking worrying. They could be going home, John.
Are you all done? Finished and sold at £10. 12.
-£12. I'm bid at £12 in the room.
At 15. I'm bid 15.
£18. I'm bid 18. 18 along the line.
Standing at £18.
I told you it was going to be a roller-coaster ride.
We were teetering on £10, but hey.
Thanks for bringing in, it was fun.
There you go. Don't bin it, flog it!
Next up, the bronze inkwell. This is what I've been waiting for.
-Gavin and Janet. Hello there.
We've got £500 to £700 on this. Hopefully we can get that for you.
Had a chat to the auctioneer yesterday, the preview day,
and he said he would be cautious.
He's hoping it's going to sell,
but he thinks it may sell at the lower end.
I think he's right, actually.
I think the market is very different.
You know, if you're buying privately and you want to buy
from a respectable dealer, you're paying that end-user price.
If I was an auctioneer and that came in over the counter,
I would have probably wanted to settle for three to five.
Ooh, well, we're going to find out right now.
Anyway, it's down to the bidders. Here we go.
114. This lovely big bronze desk stand.
-Featured well, please, on the internet here.
I mean, it is fabulous quality. Fabulous quality.
£340, I'm bid 340.
At 360, I'm bid 360. 380. 400.
I'm bid at 420, bid 420, 450.
-At 450, I'm bid 450.
-Well, we've got the reserve.
-In the door. £450 I'm bid.
You're out on the net. You can't dwell. The bidding's brisk.
And you've finished. Sold at 450.
-We've done it, right on the reserve. Pleased?
-Yes, I'm happy.
-Happy with that?
It's so good to see things like that on the show,
it educates us all.
What a great result.
And now for some old-time music.
SCRATCHY RECORDING PLAYS
That is a vintage sound, isn't it? Full of nostalgia.
I expect you've seen and sold many of these before, John, haven't you?
Not many, but we've definitely seen them before.
-With wooden horns?
-That's the one that's separate.
They nearly always come without the horn, or a replacement horn.
That's where the value is, isn't it?
I would have thought so.
It was his grandparents', so it's been in the family since the 1900s.
We put a value of three to £400 on this.
Well, that is a possibility.
-In my estimation, I'd put it in at, like, two to three.
I like to be able to say, "Come and get me," sort of thing.
Of course, you're an auctioneer. Your top end is virtually our lower.
-We're kind of getting there.
-I'm sure you'll be there.
-I shall work very hard.
Well, we'll soon find out. It's coming right up.
So far, so good. Right now,
I've just been joined by Chris and Elizabeth, our expert,
and we're talking about that wonderful gramophone with
the wooden horn, which is quite unique.
Not many of these have come on the market lately.
There's something evocative about these.
They take you immediately to the past. That's such a lovely example.
Well, it's either going to go to a collector or a decorator,
because, architecturally, it's got that look, so interesting,
isn't it, it's, as you say, nostalgic.
We couldn't get a better condition one really, even the workings.
Very, very good. Collector will get that, I would think.
It's more of a museum piece, really.
And we're going to find out right now. Here we go.
247. This lovely wind-up gramophone.
Particularly with the segmented wooden horn.
What would you say to that, please? Lots and lots of interest here.
And commission bids start me at £280.
-Wow, come on.
£280, I'm bid 280.
You and me, then, Mary, at £280.
-One phone line.
-Somebody bidding on the internet.
320, I'm bid 320, and you're out on the net? £320 I'm bid.
Just looks so fabulous.
480 on the telephone, and the commission's lost. £480 I'm bid.
At 480, 500 on the net.
50 to bid. 550 I'm bid on the telephone.
At £550, I'm bid 550. The telephone's in.
The internet's out.
£550 I'm bid. You all done? Quite sure, then?
All out in the room?
All out on the net. Sold at £550.
-His hammer's gone down. Happy with that?
-I'm over the moon.
-That's really pleasing.
-Good for you, wasn't it?
-Quality always sells, and that was special.
That was special.
Well, that's it. It's all over for our owners.
Another day in another auction room. We've had a fabulous time here.
Everything's sold. Everyone's gone home happy.
And the highlight of the day for me had to be
that wonderful gramophone brought in by Chris,
with a wooden horn.
It flew out above estimate, and he's a very happy man.
Join me for many more surprises the next time.
Until then, from Market Harborough, it's goodbye.
Paul Martin is joined by experts Mark Stacey and Elizabeth Talbot in Stapleford Park in the heart of the Leicestershire countryside to survey antiques and collectables.
Elizabeth is entranced by an exquisite early gramophone and Mark reveals a soft spot for some big cats.
Paul visits Thrumpton Hall to marvel at its opulent Restoration staircase and discovers a connection with Lord Byron through some very interesting relics.