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We're on the south coast in Bexhill-on-Sea. It's got all you'd want from a seaside resort -
the beach huts, the spectacular views, the sunshine,
the promenade, a stick of rock if you fancy it,
but none of those are the main attraction today because we are in town. Welcome to Flog It!
With many seaside towns located on the south-east coast,
it's no surprise they were favourites with the Victorians and the Edwardians.
Even today, they still retain much of their original charm and style. And Bexhill-on-Sea is no exception.
Like any seaside town worth its salt, Bexhill has a pavilion
and a rather splendid one.
It was opened in 1935 and was the dream of the 9th Earl De La Warr.
It's the first Modernist building in Britain, built using different techniques and materials.
It's called the De La Warr Pavilion. I'm now at the front of the queue.
Our experts are looking for the best antiques to take off to auction.
Hoping to spot a dream item are lead experts Michael Baggott...
We may bring the gin out at about two o'clock. Hang around. I'll be looking for you then.
And David Fletcher...
-Walking sticks, OK. Do you do a lot of walking?
And to help our experts out, we've got a couple of basset hounds to sniff out the real gems.
-So are you all ready to go inside, everybody?
-Come on then.
Amongst all these bags and boxes, there is sure to be something with a good pedigree.
Provenance or a good brand name is so important when valuing antiques,
but are the following all they claim to be?
This Mappin & Webb silver bowl,
this painting by G Dillon
or this jumbo Dunhill lighter.
All will be revealed later on in the programme,
but it's Michael who's forecasting great things with our opening valuation.
Anne and John, thank you for coming in.
This morning it was overcast and rainy. Now the sun's crept through.
I could have done with one of these, couldn't I?
Now, where on earth did you get something
as peculiar as a weather forecaster from?
Well, it was my father's.
It was given to him by Sir Percy Hunting of the Hunting aeroplane.
And he said to him, "Oh, Les..."
cos he was head gardener, my mother was housekeeper, "..put it in your potting shed."
-In the potting shed?
When my father died, my mother said, "Oh, you have that, John," so it was given to John.
-And do you like it?
-He loves it.
-It fascinates me, absolutely.
It fascinates ME. I've never seen one before!
It's something we've kept, sometimes it's been stored, other times I've had it on the desk,
used it very often.
-So you need a barometer reading?
-So have you got a barometer at home?
-Two at home.
-You've got two?
-To get the minutes.
-So you've got the accurate reading for it.
There are probably barometer collectors that will go, "Oh, it's another one of those,"
but I've never seen one of these before.
The very good thing
and the thing I noticed when I first saw it this morning,
was the name Negretti and Zambra,
and they really are the best makers of barometer.
They are the Rolls-Royce name.
If you didn't know what it was
by looking at it, you've got all the paperwork.
-There we go.
You basically get your barometer reading
and then you get where the wind is coming from.
Set it on the wind strength and the minutes and just read it off.
And then as you go down, there we go, settled fine weather.
-That will do for today.
Stormy, much rain. I do hope not for this evening.
The last couple of days we've had rain and that forecast it absolutely accurately.
-So you use this?
-From time to time. We have a weather vane at home, so I know the direction of the wind.
You do need other utensils and scientific instruments to use it,
but when you do put it into action...
It is very accurate.
-It does what it was supposed to do when it was made 90 years ago.
I mean, it was not cheap. I think we've got on here 45 shillings.
That was a heck of a lot of money. It was over £2, when £2 was more than a week's wages.
I mean, it is a valuable instrument.
So I think we would be sensible at saying £300 to £500 as an estimate,
a fixed reserve of £300, and then you'll have to look up
the weather in the newspaper or online like everybody else!
Thank you very much.
I think it's one of the most interesting things I've
seen on Flog It! for a very long time.
What can you tell me about your clock?
Well, I like it very much. We think it's '20s or '30s.
I bought it in a jumble sale in North London just before my children were born.
We had a lot of fun with it. It helped teaching them to read the time.
They liked to read the lettering. We went through the story on it. Paid a shilling.
-OK. Of course, it wasn't new then.
It would have been made, I think, as you suggest, probably in the 1920s or 1930s.
More likely the 1930s, I think.
-It's in the High Art Deco style.
It's interesting that you should have brought this to us here today
because the building we're in, the De La Warr Pavilion, is a classic Art Deco or Modern Movement building
and this is very much of the same time with the same characteristics.
-I love this very simple lettering.
It was a lot of the simplicity in the design that I was attracted to.
It's obviously made for a nursery. It has a nursery rhyme on it - Old Mother Hubbard.
We all know the rhyme, so I won't repeat it.
Underneath the figure 6 is the word "foreign".
"Foreign", that's right.
And I think that suggests that the case itself, which is china, would have been made in Germany.
-Yes, I agree.
-We'll have a quick look at the movement.
Which I'm afraid is not going.
It's a very simple movement operated on this main spring here.
-No bells and whistles, probably French.
But it does the job.
-Now, we need to discuss its value, really. Have you any thoughts on what it might be worth?
-But I know what I would like as a return.
-What would you like? You're a very shrewd businesswoman.
I would like at least a minimum of £50.
I thought you were going to say 500! I think we're in the same area.
It's got all those characteristics we discussed,
but above all, it's in the Art Deco style and it speaks of its period.
For all those reasons, I think someone will give us £50 for it.
-So I'm happy to go with a £50 to £80 estimate.
-Right, that's good.
-And you'd like a reserve putting on it, presumably?
-I think I would.
-A £50 reserve would be good.
-We're in agreement.
-Shake on that. OK...
So an item that's a bit different and quite charming to start us off.
However, Michael has spotted something a bit more grown-up.
Margaret, you've brought my favourite thing - silver spoons.
They're lovely in their case. Where did you get them?
I know very little about them. My mother gave them to me.
She had been given them by an elderly neighbour.
I was going to say - we've got the maker's name here.
That's Sverre Nielsen, Oslo. There isn't a Norwegian connection?
-No, but she was a great traveller.
-Ah! She may have picked them up in Norway and brought them back.
Because they're Norwegian, they don't have a date letter code struck on them.
You do see these predominantly from about 1925 up to about 1935.
But what I haven't seen before and what is wonderful are the different scenes on the reverse of the bowls.
-They're beautiful, aren't they?
-They're Norwegian scenes, pure Norwegian.
We've got sort of a winter Alpine-scape.
We've got a chap going along on a reindeer,
the Viking ship, of course.
The lovely thing about these is the bowls have first been engine-turned,
-so they've got this lovely pattern and very bright silver.
They are breathtakingly beautiful.
-Why have you decided to bring them in to Flog It?
-They sit in a drawer.
-Although they're very pretty, I don't have any emotional attachment to them.
-There, you see.
I'm an odd person. I would have them in a drawer and occasionally look at them. That would be enough for me.
The value isn't great, but if I put it in perspective and say,
were these a set of six English coffee spoons,
fully hallmarked in sterling silver, they might be £25.
-But I think these are so attractive,
I'm going to break all boundaries on coffee spoons
-and say they've got to be £120 to £180.
-If you're happy, we'll put a fixed reserve of that on them.
We'll take them along to the auction where everyone will disagree with me, but we'll give them a go.
For me, there's always a surprise at every valuation day and today, I've come across this.
It's a box, but it's not full of paperwork.
It's full of the French army...
circa early 1800s, fighting the Battle of Waterloo.
Here's the French artillery.
They're lead soldiers, hand-painted. It brings back lots of memories
because I used to collect lead soldiers and paint them by hand.
I belonged to the Kingston Military Modelling Society when I was 15
and I played war games with these old colonel types. Aren't they beautiful?
I love finding items like that, but right now, let's get back to the valuations.
This is amazing. I love it.
I saw you standing in the queue with a collection of walking sticks.
This one caught my eye. I was amazed to see it really
because I work and live in Bedford
and this is signed or at least it has the inscription,
"JP White of Bedford".
JP White was a very well-known Bedford person.
-We didn't even know it was on there, did we?
Why would you? I'm making a massive assumption and that assumption is that this is the same JP White.
He was a furniture designer and cabinet maker who was born in, I think, 1855.
-And he set up a works in Bedford called the Pyghtle Works in 1896.
The inscription is on a silver band
and the silver band is hallmarked "Birmingham, 1905".
-I am so tempted to say that this belonged to that JP White.
-It would be good if it is.
-Of course, I can't prove it.
But to anyone interested in furniture history, this is a piece of wooden gold dust.
It's fascinating. What do you think the handle is made of?
-We didn't know what that was. It's not amber.
-It's not any form of stone.
-I don't know either.
I think amber is a good shout and I think it's meant to simulate amber.
-It's more resin.
-Exactly. It's a resin or a composition material.
-That's what I thought.
So, as I say, this caught my eye and I so hope that I've made the right connection.
-I could be barking up completely the wrong tree. So you're happy to sell it?
-Yes, we are.
-Now, I think we've got to keep our expectations low.
So I would suggest a "come and get me" estimate, really, of £20 to £30.
-And a covering reserve of £20.
-I wouldn't like to see it given away.
It's a Bedford walking stick, I'm a Bedford man, I'm feeling tired.
-I'll walk off and get a cup of tea and a biscuit. See you at the sale.
Well, the day's hardly started, David! But while you take a break, we'll soldier on.
Helen and John, thank you for bringing in this wonderful, wonderful jug.
How did you acquire it? Was it passed down through the family?
No, it was left to me by an old lady I befriended.
She lived next door to me and when she died, she left me her cottage and all the contents.
The jug was one of the things in the cottage.
That's fantastic. Was it a particular favourite of yours?
Not really. I didn't think much about it at all.
-That's just been on the landing, on a chest of drawers for all these years.
-How do you feel about it, John?
Well, I like it because of the military history.
I quite like military history.
I thought this was the Battle of Sevastopol. It has the redan and the fortifications.
We've got the widows on this side
with "Royal Patriotic Fund".
But there we've got the scene of battle.
You've researched all that, so it's Sevastopol in the Crimean War.
The Crimean War, 1854, and there's a small date on the bottom that says "1855".
-We'll have to look at that now.
-It's very small.
-We've got almost everything we need to know.
"The Royal Patriotic Jug.
"Published by Samuel Alcock & Company."
They were great potters in Stoke and specialised in transfer-printing.
And we've got the date. I wish everything was this accommodating!
"January 1st, 1855."
And we've even got here the designer.
So we've got this wonderful scene, albeit sad,
-but it is to elicit sympathy, isn't it?
You've got a particular interest in this because of your profession?
My profession... I'm a potter.
I taught pottery at the local art school for 25, 30 years, at Eastbourne.
And so as a technical piece, it's wonderful.
-You can see its cast down here. You can see the seam lines.
It has this soft gold and this beautifully soft, modulated, decorative rim here,
so it's a real exemplar of its kind and I loved it.
-So marks out of ten?
-It ticks all the boxes, so I think it's a ten out of ten number for...
-It's a ten.
That's from a pottery tutor. You can't get any better than that.
We'll have to have you do all our pots in future!
It is a super thing. So if it goes up at auction, John, will we not see you and you'll be at the back,
trying to buy it back?
-I don't think so.
-We have bid against each other.
-We have in the past.
That's fraught with difficulties. Always stay together at an auction.
An early flirt with divorce.
-Any ideas what it's worth?
-Well, I thought it was less than £100.
Wallet, wallet. Wallet, chequebook, it's in here somewhere.
I mean, I'm not a potaholic
and I prefer 18th century to 19th century,
but this does it all for me. I think this is a fabulous jug.
The military connections help enormously as well.
-Let's put it in at £300 to £500.
Put a fixed reserve of £300 on it. If it doesn't make that, put it back on the dresser.
-Are you happy to sell it?
-It won't lead to the potential for a divorce?
-We're both happy.
-My wife tells me I'm happy.
That's great. That's good enough for me. Thank you very much for bringing it in.
And it's good enough for me.
He penned one of the nation's most popular poems
and his stories have entertained children ever since 1894,
and today he remains the youngest person ever to be awarded
the Nobel Prize for Literature.
And this was his home.
This delightful, charming, 17th-century cottage,
called Batemans, lays claim to being the place where Rudyard Kipling
wrote many of his most famous works
and today I've got the opportunity to look around
to see what inspired him to write such magical pieces.
Kipling's popularity was huge,
considered to be one of the first in the modern cult of celebrity.
His audience was enormous.
Best known for his poems and tales set in India,
he created unforgettable characters such as Mowgli the man cub
and Baloo the bear, which bring back such wonderful childhood memories
for me and possibly for millions of other people.
The Jungle Book and the Just So Stories were undoubtedly
his best-known and bestselling works.
But he was a prolific writer.
He penned in excess of 1,000 poems and around 42 books,
many of which contain short stories which he was regarded as the master of.
Much of his writing was influenced by his travels.
He journeyed around the globe visiting Malaya, Burma, China,
Hong Kong, America, Europe and Africa.
He loved visiting new and exotic countries
and coupled with him being born and raised in India until he was six,
all of these foreign visits and experiences undoubtedly nourished his rich imagination.
There are few countries around the world that Kipling hadn't visited
but as his celebrity grew,
and especially after the tragic death of his eldest child,
he craved a sanctuary.
He shied away from public life and harked after a place where
he could be private and inspired and allowed to write,
and this charming, delightful house became that place.
The family moved here in 1902 and Rudyard Kipling
described Batemans as
a real house in which to settle down for keeps
and he wrote, "We loved it ever since our first sight of it."
The rooms, described by him as untouched and unfaked,
remain much as he left them,
and the cabinets are still chock-a-block with knick-knacks from his travels
including the most important room in the house.
The room's laid out exactly how he left it,
giving us a fascinating insight into how he worked
and we know he worked mainly in the mornings, a solitary writer,
and when he wasn't sitting at this desk writing,
he'd be pacing up and down the room, humming to himself,
or he might be laying on this oak day-bed in a trance-like state!
Presumably searching for inspiration.
And we also know he was a messy writer.
The room had to be cleaned two or three times a day.
Just take a look at this Algerian wastepaper basket.
It would be full to the brim, in fact, overflowing,
with screwed up drafts that didn't make it
and just literally thrown into that litter bin.
Two walls are lined with an extraordinary
and eclectic collection of books.
There are history books, novels, Bibles, maps, beekeeping,
rat-catching, agriculture and a number of magic books.
Used as tools and certainly not treated as sacred objects,
he'd rip out pages and write in the margins,
all to help his creative process
and to squirrel away ideas for another time.
His earlier hits, classics like the Jungle Book, the Just So Stories and Kim,
were written before he moved here to Batemans,
but he did write some classics right here at this very desk
for 30-odd years.
Things like Puck of Pook's Hill and If.
This whole place is one big time capsule.
It really is, it's as if he were still here
and I can imagine him pacing up and down this room,
searching for inspiration.
"The children looked and gasped.
"The small thing, he was no taller than Dan's shoulder,
"stepped quietly into the Ring.
"He pointed to the bare, fern-covered slope of Pook's Hill
"that runs up from the far side of the mill-stream to a dark wood.
"Beyond that wood, the ground rises and rises for 500 feet,
"till at last you climb out at the bare top of Beacon Hill, to look over
"the Pevensey Levels and the Channel and half the naked South Downs."
It's difficult to overstate Kipling's popularity and fame,
the Paul McCartney of his day.
If he were alive, his celebrity would dwarf the likes of JK Rowling.
But for someone so famous, there's surprisingly little film of him surviving
and this footage of him addressing the Canadian Authors Association in the 1930s
is the only known recording to include his voice.
For it is with us as it is with timber -
every knot and shake in a board reveals some disease or injury
that overtook the log while it was growing.
Many of Kipling's works are still in print.
If you've got a spare £50,000 and you'd like to spend it,
maybe you should buy his anthology.
These were published posthumously but remarkably,
he signed the pages before he died.
Only 525 sets were published, each containing 35 volumes,
and the leather-bound edition, like these ones,
are known as the Sussex edition.
In 1936, at the age of 70, Rudyard Kipling sadly passed away.
He was a global name.
He amassed ten times more money than Charles Dickens.
He rubbed shoulders with the great and the good,
and he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature
but more importantly, he'd left a legacy of tales and stories
and poems which are just as popular today as they were 100 years ago.
We've got our first four items, now we're taking them off to the sale.
Michael thought the conditions were right to value
this brass weather forecaster.
David found that the cupboard certainly wasn't bare when he found this Art Deco children's clock.
Michael spotted six silver spoons with the most wonderful enamelled Nordic scenes.
Suave and sophisticated, David found the quintessential gentleman's accessory,
a lovely rosewood walking cane.
And finally, Michael went potty for this patriotic jug,
commemorating the Crimean War.
So we've travelled a few miles up the coast to another seaside town -
But someone who can't afford to take it easy is today's auctioneer,
So with a packed saleroom, let's get this show on the road.
I think this one could fly away, Dylan, hopefully.
-I hope so.
-And you got this in a jumble sale?
-I did, yes.
-And all the kids learnt to tell the time from it?
-How much did you pay for it?
-Well, we're bound to make a profit.
-It's going under the hammer now. Let's see what the bidders of Eastbourne think.
Transfer-printed with Old Mother Hubbard scene. Nice one there.
Due to conflicting bids, we'll start this at £50.
At 50. 5...
-We're in at 50.
-At £60. I'll take 2 if it helps?
62. 65. 68. 70. 5.
80? No, 75 is yours.
At 75. Anybody else? 80 bid on the internet now.
Do you want 5 in the room? 85 is bid.
At 85. 90 on the net. At 90. And 5 in the room.
-It is a bit of Art Deco.
-Rounds it off at 100. Is there 10?
At 110 in the seat. 120, sir? 120. 130, will you...?
140 now? 130. 140, internet. 150?
Yes, this is good.
At 140, selling to the net then...
£140 and the hammer's gone down!
-Very good indeed.
-That's more like it. I knew that one would fly.
-It just had something about it.
-I'm so pleased.
'And hopefully, it'll teach another generation to tell the time.
'Next up, Margaret's silver spoons.'
It's a packed saleroom. It's a good time to sell silver.
At 120 to 180, they're there to be bought - £20 each.
You've heard what our experts have had to say. Let's find out what the bidders think, shall we?
It's down to them. Good luck.
And where are we here? Who's got £80 to start those?
Can I see 80 for those? 80 bid on the net. And 5.
90? At £85. 90 is bid.
And 5. 100, sir.
At 110 only. At 110. Is there 20?
At £110 only. 120 anywhere else? 120 is bid now.
Is there 30? At 120 only. Anybody else then? At 120.
All done and I sell it on that bid of 120 now...?
-Yeah, that's OK.
-It could have done a bit more.
-It could have done a bit more.
-I'd have gone 130, 140, 150...
They were beautiful, but they're of a period and style that people don't collect yet.
-If you've got a spare £120...
-That was a bargain.
-..buy those spoons.
Not for now, but in 10, 15, 20 years' time
because the quality is there, that's the most important thing.
'Well, someone did get a bargain, but that's the gamble of the saleroom.
'It's Amy and Tracy's walking cane next.'
And I can see, Amy, a bidding card. Look at this. Let's take a look at the number.
We are selling a walking cane, yeah, I know there are a lot in the saleroom.
-You want to now buy some more?
-I thought we'd broken you of the habit.
-It gets under your skin, this collecting thing.
-I love it.
-We both do.
-I know what it's like.
-This is a nice one.
It's of particular interest to me because it bears the name "JP White"
who is a very well-known furniture designer. He had his own manufacturing works in Bedford.
-Let's hope there are Bedford bidders online.
-We'll find out now.
You have the rosewood walking cane,
the floral, embossed silver collar, engraved "JP White, Bedford".
Again an unusual one there.
And double bids here. We start at 50 and 5 and 60's bid.
At £60. I'll take 5 from you?
5. 70. 5. 80. At £80.
Anybody else then? 5.
90. 5. 95 it is.
At 95. 100? Anybody else coming in? Are we all done on that bid...?
The hammer's gone down, sold. You were spot-on with your enthusiasm.
-I feel very proud of my home town.
-That is a lot more.
-That's really good.
-We're going to spend it straight away!
-These girls can shop!
'I love results like that and they say you've got to speculate to accumulate.
'And I know that's just what Amy and Tracy will do.'
We've got a Royal Patriotic Jug just about to go under the hammer.
It's a bit of Crimean War memorabilia. Very important time in our history. Hello, John, Helen.
-We've been joined by Michael.
-I fell in love with this. I saw it at a distance.
I might have over-egged it, but it's super. It deserves to make that money.
-I'm sure it's worth £300. Let's find out what the bidders think, shall we?
It is all down to the bidders. Let's find out what it's worth. It's going under the hammer now.
Royal Patriotic Jug with a transfer-printed decoration,
commemorating the Crimean War.
We'll start at 150 here with me.
At 150. Is there 160 anywhere? At 150 only.
160's bid on the net. 170, is it?
170's bid. 180, is it?
170 has it. At 180 on the net now. At 180.
190 it is. At 190. 200, is it, on the net?
At 190. 200 is bid. At 200.
220 I'm bid. At 220. 240, is it?
At 220 now. 240 I'll take? 240 on the net.
At 260 in the room. At 260. 280 do I see?
At £260. Is there 80 anywhere? At £260 only. Anybody else at 260?
-At £260 now. Are you all done?
-Where are those hands?
280 back in on the net. At £280.
It's on the internet at £280.
I'll take a chance and sell it at £280. Is there 300 anywhere?
-At £280 anywhere else?
-He'll sell it. Sensible decision.
280 then. On the net then at 280 and I sell it...
-He's sold it. Is that OK?
If I tell you that's more than I think any Alcock jug has ever made, that's quite a good result.
Is it the right climate to sell a weather forecaster?
I hope the money comes pouring in for this next lot.
It's the best name, it's the best example and it's got everything.
It's in its fitted case and it's with the original instructions,
-so if you're going to buy one...
-It doesn't get better than that.
Are you excited? Oh, come on! Are you nervous?
-Is this your first auction?
Hopefully we'll get the top end and you'll be going out
for a slap-up meal tonight, finish off the day in style.
Here we go, it's going under the hammer. This is it. Good luck.
We move to the Negretti and Zambra patent weather forecaster.
Has the benefit of the original instructions, and bid me on that lot.
We've had a bit of interest and we start this at £210. At 210.
I'll take 20s from you. At £210 only. Is there 20 anywhere?
At £210. Do I see 20 anywhere else?
Anyone else coming in. All done on that bid of 210?
At least we protected that with the reserve.
That's the good thing about the reserve.
I might've got carried away with the quality and the fact that I love it.
But I do think it's worth that,
so maybe if it goes into a sale with other barometers,
somebody will see the immediate appeal.
It's a quality scientific instrument.
Have another go at it some other time.
Maybe on another day there'd be a brighter outlook?
Over the years on the show, I've got quite used to visiting Grade I listed buildings,
but today, I'm actually visiting a battlefield -
one of 43 battlefields that are now protected by English Heritage.
Arguably, the field I'm standing in is the most significant battlefield this country has ever seen
because 1,000 years ago, two great armies clashed against each other - the Normans and the Anglo-Saxons.
And the outcome would change the face of Britain for ever.
And the year was 1066.
The battle only lasted one day, but it was an epic.
It was the largest, closest-fought battle in Medieval Britain
and became the most famous battle in English history.
I am, of course, talking about the Battle of Hastings.
It all began with the death of Edward the Confessor.
The Bayeux Tapestry depicts Edward on his deathbed, pointing to Harold Godwinson,
entrusting England to his care.
However, there was another claimant to the English throne - William, Duke of Normandy.
When Duke William heard that Harold, in his view, had seized the crown, he was absolutely furious.
William's claim rested on the spurious premise that Edward had offered him the throne
and that Harold had sworn under duress to accept William as king.
However, this didn't bother William. He was an arch opportunist.
He thought he had right on his side and the endorsement of the Pope,
so he decided to avenge with arms.
While William waited with his ships and men for favourable winds to England,
King Harold had his own problems - he was being invaded by Vikings.
They'd landed on the north-east coast and overrun the city of York.
Harold reacted quickly, marching his troops 200 miles from London to Stamford Bridge in five days.
The battle was fierce, but decisive. Harold was triumphant.
Meanwhile, on the coast of France, the Normans were on their way.
Carried by a favourable breeze, they landed on the south coast and, with Harold's army up in the north,
they met no resistance. But King Harold soon marched south to confront the Normans.
Although the Normans were seasoned fighters, they were about to face an army as large as their own,
some 5,000-7,000 strong.
When William heard that Harold's men were camped six miles north of Hastings,
he marched his troops to confront them. Right here where I'm standing.
I wonder what went through their minds when those two armies met
on that Saturday, 14th of October, 1066.
Each side arranged their battle formation. William had foot soldiers in front with arrows and crossbows,
with more powerful foot soldiers in the second rank, wearing chain mail.
Finally, William himself rode with the cavalry of knights.
Harold drew up his army taking the high ground.
His formation was very different as the English fought on foot.
His men were already exhausted after two forced marches and a major battle,
so Harold had no choice but to fight defensively, forming a shield wall,
as he waited for reinforcements to swell his ranks.
When the order for battle was given, the English army were here and the Normans down there
on the lower ground.
They took the initiative and advanced.
The English hurled all manner of missiles down upon them,
but again and again the Normans came back, wave after wave.
But they couldn't penetrate this solid shield wall. It was the most marvellous form of defence.
The Normans failed to break the English shield wall and it struck fear into William's foot soldiers.
Terrified by this ferocity and facing an extremely steep slope,
William's Bretons to the left of the battle line turned and retreated.
Some of the English broke ranks to pursue them, only to be cut down and slaughtered
when they found themselves isolated from the main English force.
As the battle went on, no side was giving any quarter.
Confusion and alarm rose amongst the Normans when one of William's horses was killed
and it was assumed William was, too.
But he wasn't. He rushed towards his men, took his helmet off, held his head up high and said,
"Look! I am alive and, with God's help, I shall conquer!"
By early afternoon, both sides had been fighting continuously for hours at full pelt.
Already hundreds of men had died when William had an idea.
Seeing that the English had been lured from the shield wall earlier, when his left flank had turned tail,
he staged fake retreats. They'd be chased, then wheel around and slaughter their pursuers.
The plan worked, but it didn't thin out the English army enough.
With light beginning to fade, William made one final push.
He ordered his bowmen to fire their arrows high into the air so they rained down on the English.
What happened next was one of the most famous moments in British history.
An arrow seemed to strike King Harold. Legend has it it hit him in the eye.
Finally, the English wall had broken. The Normans found Harold and hacked him down.
So it was all over. Harold, the last Anglo-Saxon king, was dead.
This stone marks the spot where he's thought to have fallen.
William, Duke of Normandy, was now King of England.
To commemorate those who fell and his victory, he built an abbey here on this site on the battlefield.
Just standing here today, it's really thought-provoking to think
of the thousands of men who died in a fierce battle on that one day.
It's a battleground that's not only infamous,
but which has brought about the biggest political and cultural upheaval in a thousand years.
For that reason alone, this site is well worth protecting.
So time to forward wind and travel a few miles back to our valuation day in Bexhill-on-Sea.
We're still battling to get through as many valuations as possible.
It's Michael who triumphs first.
Ella, thank you for bringing in this stunning little cup.
-Can you tell me - how did you acquire it?
-It was given to my husband I think in the '60s.
Before I knew him. His boss was Jewish, the story goes,
and it belonged to his daughter and my husband said it was
the equivalent of a Bar Mitzvah cup, only for the daughter.
-She married out of the faith, he got rid of all her things and gave that to my husband.
It's interesting that you say it was the equivalent of a Bar Mitzvah.
You get a lot of secular items produced
that are then purchased and might have an inscription in Hebrew, to be used as a Kiddush cup
or a ceremonial vessel.
Certainly all British silver should have a hallmark on it.
-We've got the maker's mark. M&W.
-Mappin and Webb.
-You can work that out.
We've also got the Sheffield town mark and we've got the date letter for 1904.
So we're slap bang in the middle of the reign of Edward VII,
but more importantly we're in the crucible of English Art Nouveau.
You've got this hammer finish or planishing. This was introduced, this finish,
by people like the Guild of Handicraft.
They would finish everything and hand work it, so it would have all these dimples.
Ironically, because it was so popular, firms like Mappin's produced wares
-that were mechanically planished.
So far from being wrought by hand, it's actually machine-done, but made to look as if it's by hand.
What certainly does require a great deal of skill is the stem.
I think it's absolutely wonderful as an example of Art Nouveau silver.
-Why have you decided to bring it in and part with it today?
-Because I'm getting rid of all my silver
-and collecting pots because they don't need cleaning.
-Is it a nightmare to polish?
-It is, yes.
All these little bits here. It was black. I gave it a quick clean this morning to bring it down.
I don't think I'd get fed up polishing it if it was mine.
We have to think in terms of value.
I think we need to put it into auction for £250-£350.
It's the nicest cup of its type I've seen.
-And put a fixed reserve of £250. Is that in line with what you were thinking?
-I had no idea,
but I'd like somebody to appreciate it who will clean it.
Well, I'd appreciate it and clean it, but I can't buy it, sadly.
It's been an absolute joy to see. Thank you for bringing it in.
I don't blame Ella for not liking all of that polishing - she's not the only one!
-This is quite a lighter.
-A bit dirty!
Well...I was going to say you could have given it a clean!
But it doesn't matter. It really doesn't matter at all. It's by Dunhill.
-It's really, of its type, as good as things get, really.
You know, if you wanted, in the 1930s when this was made, a top-of-the-range show-off lighter,
-you bought one of these.
-As early as that?
-Yeah, it dates from the '30s.
-So does it have a story?
-Not one that I can remember.
It's been in a drawer for so long, 20 years probably.
-It could have come from my father, but I really don't know.
-It just sort of appeared one day?
-Are you going to miss it?
I'm not surprised, really. I love these things because they speak of their period,
they evoke the 1930s. They evoke conspicuous consumption.
You can imagine a well-to-do chap lighting his cigar from one of those, you know.
They are high-status objects. Have you any idea what it might be worth?
-I said a fiver!
-A fiver, OK.
I think it's worth a bit more. I think it's going to make between £60 and £100.
-That is a surprise.
-Is that good news?
Very pleased to hear that. I think we should put a reserve on it.
-Well, what's your view?
-I don't want it.
-OK, get rid of it.
-Get rid of it.
-We'll sell it without reserve.
-Why don't we? It'll make its money.
-We'll estimate it at £60-£100. Let's go for it!
-Definitely. Definitely flog it!
So another item dating to the 1930s, just like our fabulous valuation day pavilion.
Time for one last valuation now and it might be a bit special.
Tony, thank you for bringing in this interesting picture today.
-Is it a family thing?
-No, I bought it at auction
-about six months ago.
-Did you buy it because it appealed to you? "I'll put that on my wall."
-Yes, I liked the image. Yes.
A very naive image, I suppose, of fishermen on a beach.
So when you bought this, what did they describe it as?
Just a painting by G Dillon and describing the scene on the picture.
-It's comprehensive in a way.
I saw this this morning and I'll be honest - I thought it had a naive charm,
but I didn't think it was a dramatically important thing,
-but we have this marvellous process to look up artists' names.
-G Dillon is Gerard Dillon.
-He was born in 1916 in Belfast.
Mainly scenes of solitary men
-because I don't think he was a terribly happy soul.
We now have a problem, though.
Is it genuine?
-I'm not an expert in paintings and I'm certainly not an expert in Gerard Dillon.
But there are people who are experts in Gerard Dillon.
So now we come down to the most important question of value.
If it isn't right, you still had a good buy at £50.
It's a decorative oil painting. It might be worth £100 or £200.
-If it's right...
-..we could put a nought on what you paid.
-But we wouldn't stop there because we'd put another nought on.
A conservative estimate would be £5,000-£10,000.
-So if you're happy to leave this with us,
-we will seek those expert opinions.
And with our fingers crossed and a fair wind,
we will place it into the auction with a £5,000 reserve, a £5,000-£10,000 estimate,
-our fingers crossed and we'll see where it ends up.
-Are you happy with all that?
-You bought it to go on the wall. You don't want to put it back?
-Not for £5,000!
-Well, we'll see how it turns out.
-As I say, it's 50/50 at the moment.
But it's really intriguing and this is what the world of antiques is about,
-investigation and discovery.
Are you a cricketer yourself?
No. I support cricket, though.
Which county do you support?
Kent and Sussex.
I suppose living here, you have to support both.
Yes, I've lived in both counties.
Both counties. Right. OK.
I love cricket. I played a bit. Not terribly successfully.
I've scored two half centuries in my life.
At my last innings in the summer, I was bowled by my nephew for one.
I think it's time to hang my pads up.
Enough of me. Let's talk about some great cricketers.
Tell me how you came by this bat.
My husband did a paper round in his youth in a village,
and the lady's husband had died
and she knew he played cricket all his life so she gave it to him.
Fantastic. What a wonderful present.
I mean, this is a galaxy of stars here.
It's been signed by what are simply some of the greatest names in cricket
as I'm sure you know.
On the face, we have the autographs of the Australian 1938 side.
Captained by Don Bradman.
In that season, he scored 13 centuries and scored 1,000 runs.
Beneath him, Stan McCabe, and beneath him, Bill O'Reilly,
-who, as I'm sure you know, was a bowler.
On the reverse side, we have even more autographs.
Gloucestershire captained by Wally Hammond.
And here we have Yorkshire captained by Herbert Sutcliffe.
-You're a cricket fan.
And this is a wonderful cricket bat. You'll probably not see a better one.
Why are you thinking of selling it?
-Well, my children don't want it.
And I thought, well, it will just lie around
so somebody who appreciates cricket
and would like to have it might as well have it.
How old are your children?
-50, 48, 47...
-So they're grown-up!
Cricketing memorabilia generally is collected, as you might imagine, very avidly.
I think this is going to make between £300 and £500.
I would like to suggest a reserve, really, just to be on the safe side
of, say, 270.
-Shall we make that fixed?
Jolly good. OK. And I'll see you at the sale.
I think we have used all the cricketing puns
so here's what's going under the hammer.
David was bowled over with this autographed cricket bat.
Michael took a shine to this Mappin and Webb silver bowl.
David is sure this Dunhill lighter will spark some interest.
And, finally, subject to additional research, we may have discovered work
by Irish artist Gerard Dillon.
So we've moved back up the coast to Eastbourne and we've got some news on Tony's painting.
The saleroom is still heaving, which can only be a good thing for our lots.
We've got Ella.
Quality! Look at you!
And I knew I could put you with this Art Nouveau silver bowl.
You can almost place owners with their objects. Quality.
We're looking at £250-£350 on a good day.
It's a regular name, but the quality is exceptional. It's really a little masterpiece.
I think we'll have a buyer for this. Do you know that? I think we will.
Going under the hammer right now.
The Mappin and Webb Art Nouveau silver bowl with naturalistic stem and planish decoration.
It's Sheffield 1904-05.
There it is. With me at 160.
I'll take 70 from you. At 170. It's bid on the 'net. 180?
-We want to see more than that.
-At 180. Is there 90?
-Oh, come on!
-180. 190. 200 now.
-You have to see past the weight of it to the quality.
-220 bid. 220.
-At 220. 230 do I see?
-This is more like it.
-At 220 only.
Sounds cheap to me. 30 anywhere?
At £220 only. All gone on that bid of 220?
Selling it... I'm not selling it, actually!
230 I'll take. It's not being sold at 220.
Gosh, I can't believe that. Just shy. Two more bids.
-I'm glad it didn't go at the bottom end. It was worth more than that.
-It's a shame.
Ella, I'm ever so sorry. I feel like we've let you down, but we protected it with a reserve.
-If you put anything into auction, stick a reserve on it.
-It's going home.
-You'll maybe have to put it in another saleroom, maybe in six months' time.
Something for all you cricketing fans.
Right now, an autographed cricket bat
with a value of £300-£500 belonging to June.
I love the story involved in this.
Your husband did a paper round and he was given this cos he was a great cricket fan.
You've had it all these years.
There's not a lot of other sporting memorabilia here, so fingers crossed.
-I think this has universal enough appeal.
Is it touch and go, or is it a boundary?
We'll find out what the bidders think
because it's down to them, and here we go.
Now we move to the autographed cricket bat.
And due to conflicting bids, we'll start this at £270.
270, 280, 290. 300 I'm bid. At £300.
310 bid. 320. At £320.
Commission bidder has it at 320. You're out in front.
At 320, 340, 350, 360, is it?
350. No, 340. 340. 340 holds the bid.
I'll take 50. 340 it is. At 340. On commission at 340.
You're out in front now at 340. All done?
It knocked someone for six!
I'm not very good at puns, I'm afraid, but I had to get one in.
I don't know, you've not done badly.
Hopefully, our next lot will set the bidders on fire.
You shouldn't clean this up,
-whoever buys it will keep it like it is.
And it's not a great deal of money. We're only looking at £60-£80, which is nothing for a Dunhill.
Let's hope we can top £100.
The Dunhill silver-plated jumbo lighter. Nice thing.
What a nice one it is, too. I'll start this at £40
and I'll take 5 from you.
At £40. Is there 5? 45 on the internet. 50. And 5.
At £60 I've taken in the room.
£60 in the room. 5 on the net?
At £60. Double bids there. One on the internet, one in the room.
-The bid is in the room at £60.
-Spot on estimate.
65, back in on the internet. At 65.
Try one more. 70 it is. At £70 in the room.
Two people now getting stuck in. This is what auctions are about.
Fair warning on the internet. I sell it, room bidder, on 70.
Those two last bids took it up to a respectable £70.
-A respectable £70.
-Well summed up, Paul.
It's time to reveal if Tony's painting IS actually by Irish artist Gerard Dillon.
I've certainly been looking forward to this one for quite some time.
This is where it's opinion versus opinion. Is it or is it not G Dillon, the Irish artist?
-I've just been joined by Tony.
-We'd like to think it was. We sent it off to Bonhams.
And...in their opinion, it's not by the Irish artist G Dillon.
-They even sent it to a lady in Ireland who is writing a book...
-On G Dillon.
She knows the family very well and, in their opinion, it's not.
This is the most important thing. On the day, I didn't know.
-I'm not a specialist in that.
-Tony, we have to be seen to be doing the best.
-We sent it to the best in the country and, in their opinion...
But it's here today and now it gets interesting.
-Everybody has their own opinion.
-We only need two people who feel that it's right,
right enough for them to bid, and we could see a very handsome return on your money.
I think we leave this to our bidders in the room. Let's find out exactly what this is worth right now.
G Dillon. Figures carrying a boat, by the look of it.
-240 I'm bid. I'll take 50.
-240. 250. 260 with me.
-Straight in at 240.
260 on commission. I'll take 70.
-270. I'm out.
-Someone's having a go.
Is there 80? 270 it is. 280. 290.
No, 400 has it. At £400. I'll sell it on that bid, then.
Are we all done at 400?
-He's sold it at £400.
-Well, I never.
-Someone's taking a gamble. Two or three people were prepared to. You must be delighted.
Considering you just bought it down the road. There you go.
You can never predict an auction.
We've had a fabulous day here. I know Tony's made up - he's made a big profit.
Hope you enjoyed our surprises. Cheerio.
Paul Martin and the team are on the south east coast, in the seaside town of Bexhill-on-Sea. But there's no time for sunbathing as experts Michael Baggot and David Fletcher have their work cut out digging and delving through bags and boxes looking for those unwanted antiques. David finds a charming art deco children's clock, while Michael may have discovered a painting that could be worth thousands!
Presenter Paul also visits the site where, in 1066, one of the most important events in British history occurred - the Battle of Hastings!