Antiques programme. Paul Martin presents from St John's Minster in Preston, with help from experts David Fletcher and James Lewis.
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Here in Lancashire, it's easy to indulge in the local delicacies,
like the hotpot and the world-famous cheeses.
But Preston is also the birthplace of the teetotaller, so I can
assure you we'll all be keeping a clear head on today's show.
Welcome to "Flog It!".
Formerly known as Priest Town,
Preston is named after the monks who originally settled here,
so it's quite appropriate that our venue for today
is the magnificent church of St John's.
And there's a healthy crowd of people here,
all snaking their way around the steps.
Our experts today are James Lewis and David Fletcher.
And they are already on the case delivering verdicts.
But right now it's time to get the doors open.
-Are you ready to go inside?
-That's a big yes.
Let's get them in, come on.
You're the first in the queue, aren't you? What's your name?
-Anthony, well done.
Today's show is a roller-coaster of emotions,
with some priceless reactions from our owners.
You will give me a heart attack!
I'm amazed! I'm really amazed.
But which of these items goes for over a grand?
Is it this sparkling tea caddy?
-You've got something...
Quite nice and very old.
These Oriental carvings.
This is around 1900, this is slightly earlier.
This is about 1880, 1890.
Or this Royal Doulton figurine.
This figure was only in production for two years
and as such is a rarity, really.
Everybody is now safely seated inside.
I think it's about time we found some treasures, don't you? And that's down to our experts.
It looks like James Lewis has spotted a real gem.
Let's take a closer look at what he's looking at. He's over there.
Joan, I have to say of all the things I was expecting to see here in Preston,
a pair of Japanese watercolours wasn't really on my list.
Wasn't it? Oh, right.
What are they doing here, how have they found their way to Preston
and what do you know about them?
I was given them about 30 years ago by an elderly lady.
So I've had them on my wall at home for a number of years.
Then they got put to the back of the cupboard.
Then the other day I was cleaning my cupboards out,
I came across these two pictures and I thought,
really, I've got to downsize now and I'll throw them out.
I put them in a plastic bag by the dustbin last week.
Then I thought, just check that name on the side of the picture.
I checked on the internet and he seems as though he's quite well known.
-So what have you found out about them?
-I found out that he was called Tadashi.
Yes, Tadashi was his first name.
I should think they were probably '40s, '50s.
Looking at their style, this is something
that would have been painted when Japanese art in the West
was very out of fashion.
But he hasn't done them for his own market in Japan
because he's signed them T - for Tadashi - Nakayama,
but he's signed them in the Western way.
It would be interesting to know
if maybe somebody in the Navy visited the Far East.
Well, this lady who gave me these,
she was a nurse and she travelled quite extensively.
She probably worked over there as well.
Whether she picked them up there and brought them back here,
you know, I would imagine she did, really.
When it comes to value,
I reckon we should put an estimate of £100-£150 on them.
They might make a shade more, they might make 180, 200.
But I think that's a sensible figure.
-My word, it's better than throwing them out, isn't it?
I've stepped outside now to the peace and quiet of the courtyard,
to look at a very special item Evelyn has brought along.
-I pulled you out of the crowd because you're holding a little mother-of-pearl tea caddy.
-So how did you come by this?
-Well, my mother had it and she gave it to me. It was her aunt's.
I've had it 40 years now.
And is it something you're considering selling?
Well, I didn't think it was worth anything, really.
I haven't told you yet, have I?
No, because the lid's broke and a lot of pearl's missing from it.
Let's have a look. Yes, you can see this wonderful repetitive geometric pattern.
This is, believe it or not, very late Georgian.
-I'd put this at around 1830, 1835. You've got something...
-Quite nice and very old, yes.
-And to think what I've been putting in it, Paul.
It's been through the wars! What have you put in it anyway?
-What have you been putting in it?
-Hair grips, elastic bands, drawing pins.
-We all need boxes like that, don't we?
-Do you know why there are two compartments?
-No, not really.
-One's for green tea and one's for black tea.
And they're called tea caddies
because of the weight of measure tea was sold in.
Originally it's a Malay word for caddy. Kati.
-Oh, very good.
-Of course it was very valuable in its day.
That's why tea caddies always had a lock on.
-So the servants couldn't pinch it when you went to bed.
-That's very good.
That's true, honestly.
Until it became more affordable, when everybody was drinking tea.
But originally, in the 17th century, it was always the upper echelons,
the Kings and Queens, and people at Royal Court.
-All the posh people.
-All the posh people, yeah.
Now, are you sure you've got all the bits?
Those are all that I've got left of it. I'm sorry.
OK, because this is a restoration project.
And you know what this is made of, mother-of-pearl?
This is seashell, literally ground down and glued on.
-And this is a pine carcass.
-But it does shine, doesn't it?
-That's why it's known as mother-of-pearl.
I think you could safely put this into auction
with a value of around about £80-120.
Really? So much?
But we will put a reserve on at £60 fixed, if that's OK with you.
-Happy to sell it?
-OK, well, I'll see you in the auction room.
James is next with the golden clocks.
Graham, you've brought along two totally contrasting examples of carriage clocks.
Do you know the difference between a carriage clock
-and a carriage timepiece?
-It's only a clock if it strikes or if it chimes.
If it doesn't strike or chime, it's a timepiece.
These have got gongs on the back. Normally they have a gong or a bell.
Both are 19th-century, about 1870-ish, for this one,
and 1890-ish, for that one.
Both French. However, that one seems to have gone through the wars a little bit more.
This case is as good as I've ever seen.
A little button to push there on the side. That opens that up.
And then the clock itself just sits in the velvet-lined interior.
If you didn't want to have it out, you would literally just remove
the sliding leather panel from the front,
put it in the back and there we go.
Nice and safe.
The thing that makes this one so much better than that
-is simply this little tiny button on the top.
That's known as the repeater. That is a lovely quality clock.
-Where did they come from?
-They were passed down to me by my late father,
-who by trade was an horologist.
He had a passion for fixing clocks.
Was this his favourite clock?
I think he placed more value on that one, over that one.
Why sell them?
It's something, to be honest, that's neither my brother or myself are interested in.
-They don't really hold sentiment. We've got lots of clocks in the house.
Basically, he said when I pass on, just sell the pair of them
-and make use of the money the best you can.
-When it comes to value, I would expect that to make somewhere between 70 and £100.
This one, very different.
I would say an auction estimate of £400 to £600
and we ought to protect it with a reserve.
-A reserve of 380.
-It won't make that, it'll make more, I'm sure.
Oh, James, you're putting your neck on the line there.
David's been lured by Catherine and Rachel's gold.
-And when did you inherit it?
-I inherited it about ten years ago.
My great-grandad's brother gave it to his wife and she made a bracelet.
-The chain was actually a watch chain.
-Yes, that's interesting.
You can imagine that being worn as a watch chain.
I wouldn't actually wear it myself.
So we never got it out, which is a shame.
Sometimes people say, oh, it's got to be worth more than its melt value,
and I think generally speaking that's true.
Particularly in the case of an item like this, which is wearable.
So there is a value over and above its melt value.
This, after it's been bought will be sold on by a dealer, if he buys it,
or if it's bought by a private person, they will keep it to wear.
And the chain itself weighs 45 grams, so at today's prices,
that's worth about £360.
-And we have in addition to that the two coins.
Now, this is a sovereign, a gold sovereign, dated 1914.
And this is a South African gold coin,
and they will each be worth about £180.
Now, these won't be hallmarked, but the chain of course is,
and the hallmarks tell us that it's nine carat.
So that's the little package.
Now, given the component prices we've talked about,
I would suggest that we sold it with an estimate of £600-800,
which is realistic, competitive,
and I'm confident that we'll sell it at that sort of figure.
-And the reserve should be £600. OK?
-Yeah, that's great.
For the bright young dandies of the 18th century,
the Grand Tour was the highlight of their cultural education.
And if they were lucky enough they would bring home a painting
by one of the Grand European Masters.
But we had our own Masters, too.
And one of them stood right here where I am some 200 years ago
and painted that scene behind me.
The building in the distance is Tabley House,
and the artist who captured the scene was Joseph Mallord William Turner.
Painted in 1808, and titled "Tabley, A Windy Day",
It's the highlight of a unique collection of British art
created by Sir John Fleming Leicester in the early 1800s.
In a moment we'll be taking a closer look at it,
plus a lot of other hidden masterpieces,
hung here in the original rooms they were purchased for.
Turner's prodigious talent was becoming the talk of the town,
and his vigorous, romantic paintings were creating a real buzz.
Back then, the current owner of Tabley House was a chap called Sir John Leicester.
He was fast establishing himself as a collector and patron of British art.
He was keen to nab himself a Turner or two for his collection.
It was Sir John's father, Sir Peter Leicester,
who built Tabley in the 1760s.
He designed the house in the fashionable neo-Palladian style,
with its impressive Doric portico and its elegant curved stairs.
The local red sandstone of the columns and the stonework
was originally painted a pale grey, giving a pleasing contrast to the brickwork.
But it's Sir John's gallery of British art that is its unique legacy.
Turner may be the most famous painter represented here,
but there are many other paintings worth coming to see.
To show me the highlights of this collection is art historian
Peter Cannon Brookes.
Peter, I've just walked around The Mere, but I couldn't quite make the view Turner had,
so I think he's used artistic licence.
He has indeed. He's moved the tower very substantially indeed.
He's also made it rather grander than it is.
But what a marvellous painting.
Talk me through it. This is early, mature Turner.
This is the early, mature Turner, yes.
He is arguably our greatest English painter.
And this wonderful response to the atmospheric conditions,
to the park and the house in the background and the water,
it's very remarkable indeed.
He started off his life as a topographical watercolourist.
But he really comes into his own just before 1800.
There's a lot of foreground interest. I just love that choppiness.
-I love the figures in the boat.
-It includes the painter himself.
And he has painted himself in there.
-Because Turner came here basically to fish.
-Did he really?
-Not to paint, yes.
-So obviously he was a client to start with.
-Was he a good friend of Sir John's or was it a working relationship?
-It's a working relationship.
I think that he was the best client of Sir John Leicester
in the second decade of the 19th century.
And at the peak period
Turner had sold 11 paintings to Sir John Leicester.
-That is a fine painting.
-One of my favourites, certainly.
And mine, I think.
Talk to me about this one above the fireplace.
This sumptuous painting is by William Dobson,
Britain's finest baroque portraitist.
This is one of his best and most ambitious portraits.
It's powerful brushwork, strong colours.
It's the English baroque as against Flemish baroque.
Exactly. Talk me through the picture. What's going on and who is it?
Here is the military commander, the first Lord Byron.
He was the victor of the Battle of Roundway Down,
one of the very few that the Royalists won in the early stages of the Civil War,
holding his commander's staff.
What's he pointing at?
He's not really pointing at anything. This is a rhetorical gesture of command.
And it goes with the costume.
He's wearing his buff coat with his steel cuirass over it
because he is a military man in command.
His cavalry in the bottom right-hand corner,
this is the notoriously ill-disciplined English Royalist cavalry
commanded by Prince Rupert.
-They tended to treat the cavalry charge like a fox hunt.
They were off!
There's a bit of a double take then!
With a growing collection of fine British art,
Sir John needed somewhere equally impressive to display it.
-Very nice space.
Created out of three rooms.
That was the drawing room. This was the octagonal library.
And that was the bedroom with a little bit of closet alongside.
-It's got a good feel about it, hasn't it?
-Is that Sir John above the fireplace?
-It is indeed.
But thereby hangs a tale.
Because Sir John's face was painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds,
but the rest of the portrait was an absolute disaster area
because Reynolds was going blind and he refused to take delivery of it.
-Did he really?
When Reynolds died he bought it from the state sale
and handed it over to James Northcote, who one of Reynolds' assistants.
But within a few months before his death
he was created the first Lord of Tabley
and so he had repainted again.
This time in his peers robes,
by the studio of Sir Thomas Lawrence and by Simpson.
What a lovely tale.
And of course, facing him here at the other end of the room, that's his wife, isn't it?
That's his wife. That's Georgiana, painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence.
Absolutely marvellous example of his work.
There she is floating in the clouds as hope.
She was the granddaughter of Sir William Chambers.
She was a member of the royal circle because Chambers was George III's favourite architect.
-And one of Lawrence's masterpieces.
-She's a beautiful lady.
-Yes, she was very young.
-She was only 16.
But then Sir John Leicester had a taste for young ladies.
-Was that socially acceptable?
-Amongst Regency rakes, yes.
But this house was not a respectable house
for about ten years in the beginning of the 19th century.
Is that because respectable ladies wouldn't visit here...
Because he had a string of mistresses residing.
-And there wasn't a respectable lady to receive them.
Thank you so much for talking to me. It's been a pleasure meeting you and showing me around.
This is definitely well worth several more visits.
Indeed, yes. There are many treasures to be found and enjoyed.
The main thing is to enjoy them.
And I certainly have.
Do you know, I can just imagine some of the soirees
that would have taken place in this magnificent building.
Artists, patrons and poets all enjoying themselves
to the sound of this wonderful early keyboard music,
played here on this virginal beautifully by Charlotte Turner.
Tabley House and its contents are a testament
to home-grown creativity and the talent of our forbearers.
And it shouts out loud and clear that Brit art is not a recent phenomenon.
If you're serious about British art and British history,
this place is definitely well worth a visit.
Well, there you are. Our first three items found, and we're ready to go to auction.
Don't go away. This is where it gets exciting.
Let's put those valuations to the test.
While we make our way over there, here's a recap to jog your memory of everything going under the hammer.
Thank goodness Joan thought twice about throwing away
these watercolours, which James valued at £100-150.
Though damaged, Evelyn's tea caddy is still a collector's item,
and worth £80-120.
And it's time to cash in on the inheritance
while gold prices are still high.
David's valued the lot at £600-800.
Graham's cashing in his clocks. James has split them into two lots
valuing the first at £70 to £100
and the earlier one at £400 to £600.
Our sale today comes from Knutsford, a town steeped in history.
And our auction is taking place
in this wonderful red brick Victorian building, which was previously a school.
Today, it's the saleroom courtesy of Frank Marshall.
Let's go inside and catch up with our owners, and have a quick chat to Nick Hall,
the man with all the local knowledge, the man with the gavel. See you inside.
The sellers' commission here is 15%, including VAT.
Auctioneer Nick Hall has more to reveal about these paintings.
James believes they're by the Japanese artist Tadashi Nakayama.
Well, he was close. It's actually Takashi Nakayama.
-One letter difference, but two completely different artists.
OK, so does this put a little more value onto it?
Well, there's another oddity.
Actually, Tadashi, that James said it was, makes more money,
and Takashi, that this is actually by, makes less money.
-But the estimate is bang on.
-I hope you're following this at home!
This is very confusing.
But he didn't have a lot to go by, because it is only signed T.
Has there been much interest? That's what we want to know.
After all that, not a lot.
I'll break the news to James a bit later.
But first, let's catch up with Evelyn, who's joined by her daughter-in-law, Alison.
What have you been up to since I last saw you?
-Much the usual things.
-What's the usual?
-You've been on holiday.
-Holiday? Where have you been?
-Only to Blackpool.
-Hey, that's only down the road, isn't it?
You don't go far, do you?
The last time I was in Blackpool, I was walking along the seafront,
and you're not going to believe this,
but there were something like
about 100 Elvis Presleys walking towards me.
I'm not surprised.
In all of their gear, because there was an Elvis convention going on.
You could have seen worse.
# I'm all shook up... #
Look, fingers crossed, OK?
Let's hope the bidders are as enthusiastic as we are about this.
I'm looking forward to it.
It's going under the hammer right now. Here we go.
Lot number 51 is the Victorian chequered mother-of-pearl
mounted rectangular two-division tea caddy.
A pretty lot, where are we going to go? Not too dear, 80 for it?
£80 anywhere? Somewhere? Where's 80? 70? 60, bid me, surely.
Oh, we're going wrong way.
Have a look at the screen. There we go. 60 only, who will start me?
Where's 60? We've got to see a hand up somewhere. 60.
And five online, we're up and running. 70, they're awake at last.
-Come on, 75. 75, 80. At £80.
-Thank goodness for that.
Steadily, slowly, 85. All bids online at the moment. At £85.
At 85, bidders online. Nothing in the room?
It's online at 85, 90 at £90. 95.
Slowly but surely, we're getting there. Round it up for me?
Come on, it's 95 online. Make a round figure, one more.
There's 95 bid online, 95 it is, nothing in the room.
Going online, I'm selling if you're sure at 95. Yours online, thank you.
-I'm going to take that. That was OK.
-Thank you very much.
I felt a little bit frightened.
When you stick your neck on the block,
and you say, yes, madam, it's going to be 80-120 or whatever,
and it's always struggling, you feel really as if you've let you down.
-Anyway, you've not.
-I haven't, no, thank goodness.
-I got it right for once.
-You thought it wasn't going to sell at all.
I did. In fact, I've left a place for it to go back.
Now it's Graham's carriage clocks which has been split into two lots.
Any surprises coming up for us, James, do you think?
I don't think so, they're fairly standard auction fodder.
-Obviously, the second one is much better than the first.
If the second one makes anything over £400, I think that's a great result.
-He'll be happy as well.
Let's find out what the bidders think, shall we?
Right now, it is down to this lot in this packed room. Watch this.
Lot 25 is the early to mid-20th century carriage clock.
A lot of interest in this. Where are we going to start, 80?
Surely at £80. 70, 60, 50... Where is 50? Thank you, online at 50.
5, 60. We're climbing online.
65, 70, 5, 80 now. 85, 90.
All online at 90. 5, 100 110.
We're getting there. Look the smile has come.
120 online. At 125, 130 online.
-We are there, we're done, at 130, I sell.
£130. We're happy with that result. Here is the second one.
Hopefully, £400 plus.
A nice little clock again, late 19th century, French.
Brass, bamboo effect case.
By Henri Jacot, this one, a good maker as well.
I've got commission interest and starting at 280.
280 only bid on the book. For 280. 290 is online. I've got 300.
320, 340, 360, now.
380. 400. 420... Phone bidder and Internet.
We've got two people fighting it out at home.
You can buy from the comfort of your sitting room.
On the phone at 480, now. 500 here. 500. I have 500. Are you in?
No, you're out. It 500 back online. Fresh blood at 520 now.
A nice little clock, don't let it go for the sake of a bid. 540.
-560. It's a good one.
-Graham is enjoying this.
-You are, aren't you?
-Are you finished? It's 560 in the room.
All done, last call at 560. I sell. Yours sir, 560.
You got to be happy. There is commission to pay, don't forget.
Now it's the case of mistaken identity.
Going under the hammer right now,
two Japanese watercolours by Takashi - see? Here we go.
We got it right, didn't we? The auctioneer put us right.
James, unfortunately you failed on the Christian name,
but I don't blame you - it is confusing.
-What did I say?
-And what is it?
-Oh, it was close!
-Very close. I wouldn't have known, either.
But the good news is, it hasn't affected the value.
Good, good, I hope not.
But you have altered the value, because we had a fixed reserve at £100,
and you had a chat to the auctioneer before the sale.
Well, I just thought I really don't want to take them home this time.
Because I have looked at them a long time,
and I'm ready to let them go.
-Well, hopefully you'll be kashi-ing it in later.
-Hey, look, good luck. Good luck.
A touch of the Orient has come to Cheshire.
Let's find out what they think,
because it's down to this lot here. Here we go.
Lot number 460.
A nice little pair of Japanese watercolours.
-They are by TaKAshi Nakayama.
-Oh, rub it in!
Where are we going to go? £100 for them? 80? 60?
-Nice pair of signed original Japanese watercolours.
-They would have made it if they were Tadashi.
-50? Someone, now.
A nice period pair of original signed Japanese watercolours.
-Where is £50? Thank you. 55.
60 seated. Five, Sir? 65. At £65.
At 65, bidding, madam? 70.
-It's a pair, not just one. 65 against you.
Pretty things. I've got 65, gent standing. Any advance?
Any further bids? £65. All done, if you're sure. Selling at 65.
-Not too bad.
-Well, thank goodness you reduced the reserve.
-We got it away.
-We did, thank you. I didn't want to take them back.
What a bargain. They are an authentic touch of the orient.
Next, it's Grandad's gold. You were both at the valuation day.
You're here today. But you're earning all the money. You're doing the hard work.
I know you're splitting it all up between you.
-We might not tell them how much we get!
-You can't do that!
Good luck, OK? This is it.
Lot 667 is the Victorian nine carat rose gold curb link Albert chain.
-We've got over 60 grams of gold there.
-It's a lot.
There's a lot of weight there.
With interest, I can come straight in and start the bidding at £650.
-650, I have.
-I was worrying unnecessarily!
-660, 680, 700.
720, 740, 760, 780, 800, 820, 840, 860, 880. 900, 920.
-£920 of bids with me. On commission now. At 920.
Any further bids? Nothing online. 920 I have, 920 I sell.
-Yes! That was short and sweet. Somebody was really after that.
-Got to be happy!
What are you going to do with your share?
I'm studying natural horsemanship. So I'm helping spend it toward the qualification.
Brilliant. And what about you?
-I'm going to spend it on some music, because I compose music.
-Do you play keyboards?
I'm a bit of a half glass empty man. I must try and be more optimistic.
That's the end of our first visit to the auction room today.
We are coming back later on in the programme, so don't go away.
After all this excitement, I need some fresh air.
There's nothing like a walk in the woods.
Now, this is where my passion for woodwork
and timber craftsmanship comes from, a walk through a small
coppice or a wood amongst trees in their living, organic form.
But let's face it. Where would we be without wood?
Not only has it inspired craftsmen throughout history
to construct magnificent pieces of furniture,
but also fine buildings, bridges and ships.
But if you want my opinion,
it is the mighty oak tree that has put the Great in Britain.
It's built this country.
And here in Cheshire, the architects of the 15th century took it one stage further.
Not only did they construct fine timber-framed buildings,
but they decorated them internally and externally with timber elements
in a style that's become very, very familiar.
And here is a wonderful example.
Bramall Hall in Cheshire is one of our finest
black and white buildings.
It's a style that shouts Tudor,
though the heart of the building dates from the 14th century.
What we see today is a mixture of additions
and alterations spanning seven centuries.
Each aspect presents a different stage in its evolution.
Now, from this elevation, there is evidence of several different
periods of history, shown through architecture.
Looking up there, the oriel window, that dates back to the 1400s,
a really important time for architecture.
Here, 16th century, these two bay windows,
leaded glass everywhere, that shows incredible wealth.
But to top it off, up there, the gable ends, look at that.
In a small coronet, like a crown.
That is so over the top, that's showing off, it says, yes, 19th century.
And moving around here, this wing was renovated in the 20th century.
matching in with the theme of the black and white exterior.
Now, up there is a rather interesting carving
which you might miss, so I will point it out.
An angel with outstretched wings.
And she's holding a shield with a single lion.
That's the coat of arms for the De Bromale family, the original owners of the hall.
But if you notice, the angel is standing on a carved man's head with a large beard.
Coming out of his mouth are sprigs of oak leaves. Beautifully carved.
That symbolises the Green Man, the May King,
which is the medieval festival of spring, rebirth and vitality.
Now, this is the original front door, constructed of oak,
sawn and quartered to three inches thick, that is incredibly heavy.
But if you look carefully, you can see a door within a door.
Now, this was used at night.
The purpose being, if the house was being attacked,
somebody was trying to force an entry, the person on the inside,
let me just show you here, was at an advantage, because
if you were attacking and had a sword, you were drawing it to strike
somebody, you were at disadvantage, because you couldn't get your sword through.
So, from the inside, somebody defending the property could thrust away.
They had the upper hand.
And here we are in the medieval great hall,
which is the oldest part of house, dates back to the 14th century.
This is where all the daily living would have taken place.
It was the social heartbeat of the house.
In 1370, Alice De Bromale married John Davenport,
and their descendants owned Bramall for the next five centuries.
The family didn't just make things in wood.
They also created stone carvings to keep people out of their woods.
Now, the Davenports had a rather gruesome family crest,
and it's the felon's head.
These chaps, criminals with ropes around their necks.
It serves as a reminder of the family's wealth and power throughout the Middle Ages.
Now, these stone heads were originally sat on the stone pillars
of the main gate at the front of the house
to ward off any would-be poachers or people with evil intentions
to stay away, or else.
I think the message is quite clear, don't you?
This is the great chamber where all the entertainment took place.
These remarkable wall paintings date from the early 1500s.
And it's almost like a tapestry.
The artists have painted directly onto the oak. Isn't it just marvellous?
And here to tell me a little more about it and what it means
is one of the guides here, Pat McCormick.
-How do you do?
-What a fascinating place to work.
-It's a wonderful place.
-What do some of the images mean?
Well, we believe this image demonstrates some of the folklore images that we have in the paintings,
and if you look at it, you'll see it's a white horse, but in fact it's got a raven's head.
-Oh, so it has.
-And seated is a little figure with wings.
We don't know where the image originated,
but quite a lot of our visitors like to link it
to the nursery rhyme Ride A Cock Horse To Banbury Cross,
because there is a cross at the front.
Now, this is a bit of fun. What's going on here?
Well, we believe it's a bit of a visual joke,
because it's a painting of a boar hunt.
The Davenport men would have done a lot of boar hunting in the forests around here,
and the painter has interpreted the boar hunt
with the hunter, if you look, on the ground,
mounted by two enormous fierce boars. So it would have been...
On top of him, so it's been turned around, hasn't it?
-It's been turned around.
-The hunter has become the hunted.
Look at this roof, as well. I mean, the craftsmen really had an understanding
of how to work with wood in construction.
These quatrefoils everywhere, lovely hammered beams.
Very, very nice.
And as you were spinning around and dancing and enjoying yourselves,
you'd look up and notice all of this decoration, wouldn't you?
You can see we have the image here of a 16th century woman
and man who are all about the music and dance in the hall.
-In full costume.
-In full costume, with an instrument we think is a mandolin
of some description, and the woman is reading from a musical score.
Isn't that lovely? Marvellous, marvellous.
-Thank you for showing me around.
-It's my pleasure.
Unbelievably, the paintings were later covered by panelling,
which is probably the reason why they've survived so well.
But there's more. Follow me.
I am in the roof space right now, well behind the scenes.
The general public do not come here,
and like all good historic houses, there are bats in the belfry.
I haven't seen any yet, but there is evidence of bat droppings everywhere.
Originally, from the chapel, you'd have been able to look up
and see this wonderful construction.
So this whole space would have been decorated.
Wonderful, bright, vivid colours, hues of reds, blues and golds,
so that as you look up, you look up from the chapel and you say,
yes, there really was a God, wasn't there?
This is incredible. I am very lucky to be up here. And so are the bats!
I hope they appreciate it.
Taking a walk through Bramall Hall tells the tale of how
craftsmen who used wood over the years in so many different ways
and styles, and with 700 years of history behind it,
it can only become an even more fascinating experience in the years to come.
Welcome back to our valuation day, and to St John's Minster.
Let's now catch up with our experts and see what else they can find.
And first up, it's James.
Only somebody called Bruce could possibly
bring in a pair of boomerangs.
-Don't tell me your wife is Sheila as well?
These are lovely. Tell me their story.
My brother was in Australia, based at Woomera rocket range.
Where did you say? He was working on a rocket range?
-Woomera rocket range. They used to test the ballistic missile rockets there.
-That was in the REME.
The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.
Right, we're learning something today.
And what he did, I don't know. But he was there for quite a few years.
Unfortunately, he had an accident on New Year's Day - I can't
remember the year - and died, and these were part of his possessions that came back to UK.
-So approximately when was this?
-The very early
-'50s. The early '50s, OK.
So, we know that they're 60 years old at least.
The thing with tribal art is it's very, very difficult to age
unless you're an absolute specialist.
Everybody associates boomerangs with Australia.
However, what most people don't realise is they were actually
made throughout the world at some point.
You actually get Indian boomerangs,
you get the Native Americans with boomerangs.
You also get the Egyptians using boomerangs.
And one of the things discovered in Tutankhamen's tomb was a collection of boomerangs.
And some of them are made in hardwood like these,
some of them in bone and some of them in ivory.
Some were designed for killing animals.
Some were designed as scarers, so what they would do,
they would throw the boomerang over the grass plains,
and the little birds would think, it's a bird of prey,
they would zoom off in the opposite direction, and they would
raise a net and catch all the birds fleeing from the boomerang.
But, also, they were used in hand-to-hand combat, as well.
Now, the telltale signs on here, a picture of an emu.
That almost looks like a whale, doesn't it? Strange, really.
This one, much more geometrical, very stylised.
If you turn it over, it's plain on the other side.
Now, I would think that if that was designed as a true
piece of tribal art, it would be carved on both sides.
But I've been wrong in the past.
My feeling is these are probably made for the tourist market, but early.
Now, there is a massive market for any form of Aboriginal art,
even modern stuff, in Australia.
So when it comes to value, that has got to be worth £150, in my opinion.
And that has got to be worth another 50-70, at least.
If these are period, they could make considerably more than that.
You've given me a heart attack!
From boomerangs to Madonnas.
I think she's beautiful. Just tell me what you know.
Well, my mum was brought up by my nana and four sisters.
I believe Auntie Kate, she collected a lot of items,
and we think that that's one of them.
It was made in about 1950 by the Royal Doulton factory.
And we know that this figure was only in production for two years, from 1949 to 1951.
And as such, she's a rarity, really.
We'll just have a look underneath at the mark,
which really tells us so much, and tells us all we need to know.
The printed mark there tells us it was made in the Royal Doulton factory,
and beneath that, there is the title, the Madonna of the Square.
And although she looks like the Madonna, and she could easily be
holding the infant Christ, I think she's probably a lavender seller.
-And that, I think, brings us back
-to the fact that she is called the Madonna of the Square.
So, she has this dignity which you'd associate with the Virgin Mary,
but also, there is something everyday about her, isn't there?
-Yes, there's something natural.
It comes in various colourways. Green I think is amongst the rarest.
Um...And she was modelled by one of Royal Doulton's best models,
a lady called Phoebe Stabler.
So that adds to her value, as well.
-You're obviously not going to miss her.
-No, I do like her. She's really pretty.
But she is lying about the house,
and we've four grandchildren visiting regularly,
and I would be very worried that she might get broken.
OK. Normally, a Doulton figure of this type might make
between £20 and £50, but because she is so uncommon,
I think we're going to get a figure of between £200-300 for her.
-Is that OK?
-Yes, that is!
I suggest we put a reserve at the bottom end of the estimate, £200.
-I gather you can't come to the auction, is that right?
It's our ruby wedding, and we're going to Portugal.
Unfortunately, we can't change it. But my son...
my husband's rung my son, and he said he would be happy to come along.
He knows the piece.
And he's the lad who has the grandchildren who might break it.
Archie and Eilish, yes.
-How do you come by these?
-They were left to my husband.
Did he know somebody that was in the hunt?
-Or did he take part in the hunt?
-No, not really. He's there.
-Separated by a Victorian sort of...
-She usually talks to me like that.
It's the best thing that's happened to us today.
What are we doing? Where are we? I'll just say trees.
OK, now, one's Chinese, one's Japanese. Which is which?
-I haven't a clue.
-Have a guess.
-Oh, wrong way!
You had a 50-50 chance. You should have phoned a friend. You're wrong.
That's the Japanese, that the Chinese.
Now, what's a Japanese figure and a Chinese plaque doing in your family?
Well, my mum looked after a neighbour,
and my mum was given it as a gift from the neighbour, so he gave it
to us and then obviously we've kept it for this long.
-Right, and they both came from the same place?
This is known as a Japanese okimono, and an okimono is basically
a carving of a certain size normally made out of one section of ivory,
and in the Meiji period, which is about 1900, 1910, when this was formed,
there was a very different attitude to animal welfare.
And if I ever saw a piece of modern ivory trying to be sold, I wouldn't sell it.
But these things were done in times gone by, in both Japan and China.
This is around 1900, this is slightly earlier. This is about 1880, 1890.
And we've got a hard padauk wood stand.
Padauk wood is rosewood family.
We see figures and attendants in formal gardens with these
building structures and very stylised trees.
So this is an object just to be looked at
and enjoyed for its artistic merit rather than ever to be used.
We've got a tiny chip out of it on the bottom,
but other than that, it's in relatively good condition.
So, Japanese Meiji period ivory. That's going to be worth £80-120.
Something like that. What do you think to the Chinese panel?
-Would you be happy at £100-150?
I think you'd be very silly to be happy with that. I think it is worth a bit more.
-How about 200-300?
-Yes, I'd be happy with that, as well.
Is that all right? Good. I reckon 300-500 is more to the mark.
-I think It'll do really well.
And at the moment, the Chinese market is so buoyant,
you can just see it racing away.
That is a great thing.
And now, Husnain has come along with a very British past time.
You are far too young to have collected these.
Yep, definitely. I found these when I moved house.
And are you interested in this collection, or not?
Um... not really, cos I don't know much about trains,
and I don't really know to put them all together as well.
When you say you found them in a house, what does that mean?
-We decided to buy a new house.
And we were cleaning out the attic and everything,
and we found a train set.
I asked the owner if he wanted it, if it belonged to him.
He said it didn't belong to him, probably the person that had it before.
-And he goes, "You can keep it."
Just left it in the garage, and it's just been gathering dust.
Right. It's not really a set.
But we'll think of it in terms of being a group or a collection,
really, of individual items,
all of which were made by Meccano,
using the brand name
which everyone will be familiar with, I'm sure - "Hornby".
The doyenne of British toymakers...
..Really through the '20s and '30s, and up until the 1950s.
This group would have been manufactured, probably,
just before - or just after - the Second World War.
We're looking at something which is 60, 70 years old.
It's good to have two locomotives.
-They're always worth more than the...
..The carriages, exactly.
This locomotive has a tender with it as well.
It's good to have the buffers,
and it's rather nice to have the signal here.
But the item I like most, I think, really, is the carriage here,
which is working in the sense that it tilts
either way like that,
and it has, best of all,
the name "McAlpine" printed along the side.
It's going to appeal to people who are interested in advertising items,
as well as people who are interested in, you know,
locomotives and rolling stock.
Have you any idea what it might be worth?
Umm... I was thinking about...
..50-100 or something.
I think it's worth a bit more than that, really.
I think we're going to get the best part of 100,
maybe even £150 for this.
Well, they can only make a profit.
And now a quick reminder of what's going off to auction.
Will Bruce's brother's boomerangs be returning home
at James' estimate of £150-£250?
This Madonna's far too valuable
to risk when the grandkids come to stay.
David's valued her at £200-£300.
And James thinks the market is just right for these oriental carvings.
Split into two separate lots,
he's valued the figure at £80-£120,
and the plaque at £300-£500.
Husnain's train set was valued at £100-£150.
We're back at Frank Marshall's in Knutsford
with Nick Hall taking today's auction.
Now, Bruce's indigenous artefacts.
-Who have you brought along there?
-This is my son, Zachary.
I have got to ask this question, and I expect you're thinking it as well.
-Did you ever throw these?
-No, I didn't.
-Oh, you missed out!
You should have gone to a park and had a throw. Did you?
-No, I've never thrown them.
-Do you know, I would have done that.
I would have tried them. Zach can enjoy the money, can't he?
-Well, Dad can.
-Oh, it'll go on him.
-A round of golf or two, and that'll be it.
-You play golf, do you?
-We do, yes.
-What's your handicap, then?
-Spoils a good walk, doesn't it?
It just makes a good walk better.
Hey, listen, let's find out what the bidders think, shall we?
Because, at the end of the day, it is down to this lot and a few people on the phone and online.
It's going under the hammer.
Lot 165, the two South Australia 1940s boomerangs.
I can come in with a bidding, I have got commission interest,
and I can come in straight at 180.
-At 180 with me now.
-200, 210, 220, 230, 240.
-There is someone bidding in the room.
-250, new bidder. 260, 270 280.
290, 300, 310. 320. 320 with me. 320 now. Are you sure? I have got £320.
Nothing online? The bid is with me at 320. Bidding on the phone?
320 it is. Out at the back, but it's on the book at 320.
All done, if you like. I am selling for sure at £320. They're sold, 320.
-You're thinking pound notes, now, aren't you, Zach?
He's thinking rounds of golf.
John and Colette's son Andrew is here to oversee the Madonna.
-Did you grow up as a young lad looking at this figurine?
-It's been in our family for 30 years.
It was passed down from a great-great-aunt of my mum's.
Unfortunately, she's got nowhere to store it that's safe.
I've got children that are running round the house, and she's scared of it getting smashed.
-How old are your children?
-Three and one.
-A dangerous age.
Fingers crossed. You never know what's going to happen. This is an auction. Here we go.
Lot 329, the Royal Doulton figure, the Madonna of the Square.
Who will bid me 150 to get the ball rolling? 150.
Thank you, sir, 150 seated. Any advance on 150 now? 150, 160.
160, now. A rare figure, this one. 170.
It only had two years production. Are you still in? 180. 190 now.
At 190. At 190 seated, still in, sir?
For the sake of another tenner, don't lose it. 190.
I have got 195 on the book against you, sir. Going 200? 200 seated.
That gent seated at £200, third row. Any advance on £200? Nothing online.
With you, sir, at 210. At 210 is the bid. In the room, standing, 210.
Are you sure? At 210, all done? Yours at 210.
-Oh, that was close!
-Who said being an auctioneer was easy?
-A knife edge, that one.
-They'll be happy with that.
I'm sure. It was within the estimate, so great.
-Let them know, won't you?
-Thank you. # I'm all shook up ...#
Husnain's turn now with his lucky find.
We're just about to put the train set under the hammer which was inherited, basically.
-Found in a house that you moved into.
-A lovely story.
-You're a student. What are you studying?
-Accountancy at the University of Bradford.
-So you have a good head for figures?
What did you think about David's figures of 100 and £150? Happy?
Yes, I'm happy with that valuation. It's a reasonable price.
It's not bad for finding something, let's face it!
We'd all like that. Good luck.
Lot 121 is a quantity of Hornby 'O' gauge clockwork railway items.
Where can we start? £100?
Surely £100. 80? 50? Where's 50?
At 40, bid. 45, 50, 60, 60 I have.
At £60. And five, 70.
At £70. I need a bit more.
Not quite there yet. I need more. At £70 only. Online has gone, OK.
At £70, the highest we've got. I can't let it go at £70.
I'm afraid that's unsold, that lot, sorry.
-No! That's it! It didn't sell.
-Close but not close enough though.
Where are the train spotters when you want them, eh?
Now, up next, the Oriental carvings,
and the first to go under the hammer is the Japanese ivory figure.
-It's good to see you. Who's this?
-This is my sister.
-What's your name?
-Lisa, how do you do? Right, OK, this is good.
So, family heirlooms. These were Mother's.
-What you do for a living?
-I'm just at home with my children at the minute, a housewife.
That's a full-time job. That's hard work. How many kids have you got?
-That's hard work. That IS hard work. I wouldn't want four children.
-You must be exhausted.
-I get by. You have to.
-How about you?
-The same, I stay at home with my children.
-Not with four?
-Not far behind me.
-Are you going to have another?
-No, three's my lot.
-You've seen what four does, haven't you?
Put me off for life!
This sort of thing, ten years ago, would have been £50-80.
But the market is so buoyant, if they want it, they just keep going.
-And they do not stop.
-That's good, really good.
-That's what we want to hear.
-An unstoppable roller-coaster ride.
You've just heard it from James Lewis.
If they want it. IF they want it.
Sit back, fasten the seatbelts. Here we go. Good luck.
Lot number 429 is the nicely carved ivory figure group.
£80 anywhere? Surely, where's 80? 70? £60 bid me. 60, 70, 80 online.
-This is good.
-Getting there. At £80, the bid is online.
Someone to open. 85, 90. We can see this interest coming in at £90.
Five do I hear? 100. Still climbing slowly at £100.
Any further bid, any advance? 110 now. 120, still going at 120.
120 now. The bid is online at 120. 130, 140, keep going, don't slow up.
140, 150. The bid is online.
This is the one we thought just might struggle.
The bid is online at 170. At £170. 175, 180. 190, 200. At £200.
Still online at 200. Nothing in the room?
The phones are all out, so it is online at £200. All sure?
-Sold online for £200.
Gosh, and here's the second one.
Lot 430. Chinese carved ivory plaque. Nicely carved little thing.
This plaque, I think this plaque is quite special, don't you?
-This is the goodie.
-£700 straight in on one of the phones. At £700.
Any advance on £700?
-740, 60, 80, 800 online. 840, 860. I will come back. 900, 920.
940. £1,000, the bid on the phone at 1,000. And 50. 1,100, 1,150.
What's Mum going to say? I wish she was here.
1,400, 1,450. 1,500, 50, 1,600.
1,650, 1,700. 1,800. 1,850.
-1,900, 1,950, £2,000.
-Oh, my God!
2,100, 2,200. At £2,200. 2,300, we're not there yet!
-Still going. 2,600, 2,700.
-You'll have to catch me in a minute.
Come on, it's only money! 2,700, don't stop there. 2,700.
At 2,700, back on the phone, do I hear? It's 2,700 online.
No bidding in the room? 2,800, 2,900. 2,900. Come on, round it up.
Give me three. I've got 2,900.
£3,000! 3,100. 3,100, we're not there yet.
At 3,100. Or are we? It's at 3,100. At £3,100...
-I am amazed, you?
-It's carrying on. I can't believe it.
Very excited people in the far corner here. Congratulations to you.
It's £3,300 online. Direct from Shanghai at £3,300.
-He said in Shanghai, coming from Shanghai.
-We're out in the room.
The phones are all dead. £3,300 online. The hammer is up.
We're selling at 3,300. Sold!
-Oh, my gosh.
-Oh, my goodness.
-I'm in shock.
-I'm lost for words. How about that?
-Absolutely over the moon.
Thank you so much for coming in. Well done, James.
I told you there was going to be a surprise, didn't I?
It doesn't get better than that. That's what auctions are about. Hope you've enjoyed the show.
We'll see you next time. Take care.
St John's Minster in the heart of Preston welcomes the team. Presenter Paul Martin leads in a long queue of people all waiting for a valuation for their antiques and collectables. He is joined by experts David Fletcher and James Lewis, who are spoilt for choice with items to value, some of which they are surprised to see.
David finds some photographic ceramic tiles made by Poole pottery, and James shocks the owner of a big watch when he tells her his estimate.
While up in Lancashire, Paul gets a special invitation to look around Leighton Hall, home of the Gillow furniture-making family.