Paul Martin and experts David Fletcher and Adam Partridge visit the Pittville Pump Room in Cheltenham, where Adam finds an item that is every auctioneer's dream.
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Today we are in fashionable Cheltenham
and this place owes its wealth and its architecture
to its popularity as a spa town in the 18th and 19th centuries.
And this iconic piece of architecture, look at that.
What a wonderful classical example. It's the Pittville Pump Room,
our venue for our valuation day.
Welcome to "Flog It!"
The Pittville Pump Rooms were built away from the main town
in the 1820s by local entrepreneur Joseph Pitt.
He wanted to establish a small town here
and the area known as Pittville is now a thriving suburb.
And judging by the size of this crowd,
I think it is a booming success.
This lot are here to get their antiques valued.
They're going to ask that all-important question
-to our experts which is... ALL:
-What's it worth?
When you've found out, what are you going to do?
ALL: Flog it! That's the name of the game.
We've got the experts, you've got the antiques. Let's party.
Our experts are already amongst the queue
looking for the very best antiques and collectables to send to auction.
They're led today by gentlemen valuer David Fletcher...
..and the young pretender, Adam Partridge.
-I collect royal memorabilia.
-Do you? I'm going now!
'And I'm keeping my eyes peeled too.'
-Is it something you want to sell?
-I do, actually.
-I'll be talking to you a bit later.
-Isn't that lovely?
You'll find out what that's worth in just a moment.
Also on the programme today,
Adam's whipping up interest in the audience.
"Wow." I heard a "wow".
That's great. What do you think of this?
I'm glad I came.
David's disappointed that his celebrity status
isn't all it should be.
-I was pleased to see you come in with an autograph album.
Actually, I was a bit disappointed really,
because I thought you were going to ask for mine but you didn't.
'And at the auction, I'm in another fine mess.'
And all that to enjoy, so let's get on with the show.
Well, everybody is now safely seated inside this magnificent
Grade I listed building.
Our experts are straight at the tables.
It looks like Adam Partridge is first to spot a real gem.
Let's take a closer look at what he's found.
-Nice to meet you.
-Thank you very much.
You've brought along this very nice gold chronometer.
-It's got a stopwatch function as well, hasn't it?
-It has, yes.
Where did you get this from?
Well, actually, I was in the Royal Navy at the time
and my father contacted me
and he wanted to help out a colleague that he was working
with in the mines in South Wales and he asked me could he use the money
to actually purchase the watch
to help this particular colleague of his out.
-So you said, "Go for it."
-I said to him to go for it
because at the end of the day it is a bit of an investment.
-And roughly when was this?
-This was 1967.
That's a nice story. Was it a good friend of his that he was helping?
-I should imagine so, yes.
-You never knew him?
It's interesting because it's still in its original box which is
-The largest English watch manufacturer.
It's a great piece of engineering. It's a pocket watch. It's got a stopwatch function.
I'm just going to open it up actually first. Oh!
-It is quite difficult, yes.
-There. But it's nice quality.
-It's not falling apart on us.
-It's still nice and tight.
There's the 14 carat mark.
And there's the case number on there, which is
-also the number on the dial.
-Always good to see.
You know, it's not a marriage being made up of other bits and pieces.
-It's also got the number on that as well, the case.
There's the case number there
-and the case number on the movement there.
-And the address of the...
The movement signed, "H Samuel, "Market Street, Manchester."
-So this is the original head office.
-Head office, yes.
-And the original case.
So late 19th-century.
Lovely condition. Um...
There must be some sentimentality involved here.
Why are you selling it?
Well, we first met in Hong Kong in 1970
while Eddie was in the Royal Navy.
Two years later we married
and nearly 40 years on, we're still together,
so we'd like to go back for our anniversary in September.
That's romantic, isn't it?
So anything we make, we'll put it towards the slush fund.
-Is this your idea?
-I thought so!
-Yeah, I'm a bit of a romantic.
-I think that's a lovely idea.
-It is, yes.
So, we typically put an auction estimate on these of about £200-300
and they will make more.
I can tell by that look of disappointment
that it's not great news for you.
I think because gold prices also are so strong,
we can up it a little bit without scaring people off too much.
-Gold prices are pretty much an all-time high.
That's not going to be bought for scrap,
but there is a significant value in the gold case,
so I think if we up it a little bit
-and put 250, 350 estimate.
-Yeah, that sounds good.
-Is that all right?
-That sounds good to me.
-Yeah, that's fine.
At 250 reserve, so that if it doesn't make that,
it goes home with you, but it is a lovely object, great condition.
The dial's immaculate.
-The case is all there and the owners are charming as well.
So it's got everything going for it.
We do love a bit of romance on "Flog It!"
So we'll do our very best for Eddie and Maria.
This is what I love to see,
hundreds of people with smiles on their faces.
I know a lot of them are feeling really nervous right now,
hoping they are the lucky ones
to be picked to go through to the auction room,
where we put everything under the hammer,
and look what I've just come across.
You've got a gavel in your hand, Mrs!
-Haven't you? What's your name?
Marjorie, what are you doing with a gavel in your hand?
-I brought it to have it valued.
-Do you know something?
Our experts working the tables right now, Mr David Fletcher
and Adam Partridge, would love to buy something like that, wouldn't they?
Every auctioneer on the programme would.
-I'd like them to buy it as well!
-But you know, they're not allowed to.
-But isn't that marvellous?
It's a gavel that turns into a propelling pencil.
You can imagine an auctioneer pulling that out of his pocket
to sign a cheque or something.
It was easy to carry in a handbag, that's why I brought it.
-Look, good luck with that.
-And I love the programme.
It's brilliant, isn't it? This is where you get to find out
exactly what it's worth when it goes...
-Under the hammer.
-Under the hammer.
And we'll pass that on to Adam in a moment, so he can tell us
what he thinks it's worth, but before that, David's found his first item.
He's with Jenny, and she's brought in a train set.
Now, in my experience, ladies don't collect toy trains,
so I suspect this isn't yours.
-No, it belongs to my grandson.
When did your grandson acquire it?
Ten years ago, a friend of my husband's gave him this
-because he was mad on trains.
But it wasn't Thomas, so he didn't want it.
No. It's a bit older than Thomas the Tank Engine.
Or at least for older boys, I think, than Thomas the Tank Engine.
-How old is he now?
-So that was ten years ago.
And happily, he hasn't played with it, has he?
No, he hasn't even touched it.
And he's gone off trains.
-He's gone off trains.
-In a big way.
-In a big way.
OK, we've got, really,
as we can see, a choice of two types
of set here, really. You can either gear this little tank engine up
as a goods train by using these two carriages here,
or as a passenger train by using the carriages there.
Now, Marklin started making toy trains in Germany -
or model trains, I should say -
in Germany way back in the late 19th century,
and is one of the big names.
We know that these were made before 1989
-because this box is marked, "Made in Western Germany".
And of course, Germany was reunified in 1989.
Curiously, the locomotive is marked, "Made in Germany",
so that might possibly be made a few years later.
But what in a very roundabout way we can establish is that
-when it was given to your grandson, it was second-hand.
-Do you have any idea what it might be worth?
OK, I'd like to think
it might make £100
but I would be tempted to go for an estimate of 40 to 60.
-Hope for the best.
And I would really suggest that we sell without reserve.
-I think the auctioneers probably wouldn't thank us
if we put a reserve on it.
And what will your grandson do with the money?
If there was enough money, I think he'd like to go
and see an Arsenal game.
-Go and see Arsenal play?
So you might have to pay for the train fare to get him to London.
-Let's hope we make enough for the ticket.
The price of football tickets these days,
we'll need that to really sell well.
Now, I recognise our next owner.
It's Marjorie, who had that unusual gavel.
She's made it to the front of the queue,
where she's talking to Adam.
You've brought something that I really like. Tell me about it.
It's a Sampson Mordan pencil
-that's in the shape of a gavel.
And it's my husband's,
and he brought it and said that if I brought it, you would like it.
-He was right, wasn't he?
-So it's a little gavel,
you've summed it up really nicely, by the firm Sampson Mordan and Co,
from the late 19th century, I think 1880s, 1890s,
-and they were the inventors of the propelling pencil.
And many people see them in silver, in different novelty shapes.
-I've never seen one of these before.
-Haven't you? Oh, that's good news.
And I just think that's so pointless,
it's wonderful, isn't it?
It's everything an auctioneer could need, because you could record
-the result and then write it down, couldn't you?
I think that is lovely.
So your husband is obviously a bit of a collector.
He does, yeah, he collects odd things. Including me!
You could see my mind working, couldn't you?
He collects anything that's a bit unusual
and then he keeps them for a few years and then he sells them on.
-It's a good hobby, isn't it?
-Dabbles a bit, that's all.
-So this delightful little thing set your husband back how much?
That's quite a strong price, I think, isn't it?
-But it was worth it.
-It was worth it. It was worth it.
-But to some people it may not be worth it.
-But obviously he doesn't want to lose any money on it.
And I think it's so unusual and it's got the good name on it
-that I think we could try it at £200 to £300.
Wow? I heard a wow! That's great.
-What do you think of this?
-I'm glad I came!
-Would anyone give £200 for this?
-You would? There we go. We've got a buyer already.
Well, I think it will go pretty well,
and I'm looking forward to seeing it
-go under the gavel...
-That'd be great.
-..at Philip Serrell's,
and you know, when an auctioneer loves something,
-you're always going to get a good price.
Shall we put a reserve on it?
He said a reserve of 180, but obviously...
-180, OK. Pop in a reserve of 180.
-And off we go.
-Needless to say, he'll spend the money on more...
-Thanks for coming, Marjorie.
-Thank you very much.
Now, over on the other side of the hall, I've found a real beauty.
-Angela, thank you for coming in to the valuation day.
I know what you've got is very precious.
It's incredibly small.
Can you guess what it is?
-It's not in your pocket, is it?
-No, it's not.
-It's not wrapped up in a bag.
-No, I haven't lost it.
Boxes full of bubble wrap. Come on, show me.
-That's a sparkler, isn't it?
-Bit of a rock.
Who gave you that?
I bought it several years ago
and wore it to lots of lovely functions,
which we don't go to any more, so it sits in a box
and I get it out occasionally and have a good look at it
and then put it back in the box.
-And get dazzled by it?
-It must be so nice to wear a ring like that.
-And watch everybody go, "Oooh!"
-That's right, yeah.
When you're signing a cheque or something or... "Oooh!"
Of course, the problem is, it's an old cut diamond
and youngsters like my daughter...
-The cut is quite important, isn't it?
-That's right, yes.
What is it, the cut, the clarity, the colour...
-My wife likes the diamond sort of raised and mounted up...
-Yes, I do.
..so the light goes underneath them and it sparkles even more.
-That's right, it's beautiful.
-That's a five-stone.
And the centre, the centre diamond looks like a four-carat.
-Something like that, yeah.
-It's a four-carat, isn't it?
-And the other's a three.
My gut feeling is, that's a four grand ring.
-Now, in auction, maybe a little bit more.
Um... Once a jeweller gets his hands on that, resets it,
-it might be an eight grand, might be a £9,000 ring, mightn't it?
Where are you going to buy diamonds like that, on a ring,
for £4,000 in a jeweller's? You're not.
But you're not going to get eight for it on the open market,
but I think if Philip gets this photographed,
gets it on his website, alerts everybody,
-this will create a buzz, and a sparkle in the room.
Let's just call the valuation £4,000 with a reserve at £4,000
because that is a four grand ring and I'd like to see you going home with 4,000,
hopefully a little bit more.
-And then Philip can take his commission.
Right. OK, that's lovely.
That's what I like to see, a full house,
and everybody enjoying themselves, learning about antiques
and also finding out exactly what it's worth.
Well, right now, we've found our first batch of items
to take off to auction,
and today we're going over to Malvern to Mr Philip Serrell's saleroom.
He's going to look after us. He's on the rostrum, so we're in safe hands.
We've got our first four items.
Now we're taking them off to the sale.
But which one of them will create the biggest storm in the saleroom?
Stay tuned and all will be revealed.
The bidders are already getting settled in
for the sale in Malvern.
This seller's commission here
is 16.5% plus VAT.
We're starting this visit to the auction with a real banker,
a top-quality gent's pocket watch, and Adam's here with the owners.
-Will it get the top end?
-I think we've pitched it about right.
Why are you selling this, Eddie?
Well, it hasn't any sentimental value anyway,
and hopefully the money that we get for it will go,
-because I met Maria in Hong Kong...
-40 years ago.
-We'll put it towards that.
-And that's where you met?
-That's where we met, yeah.
-We've got to get you there.
-I hope so.
-Or at least something towards it.
-Or some spending money.
-At least to the airport.
Here we go.
Lot number 590, 14-carat gold open-faced watch.
I'm bid £150, bid 160, 170,
180, 190, 200.
210, 220, 230, 240, 250.
At £250 only, at 250, is there any more?
At 250, there is the bid.
Lot number 590, at £250, any more at all?
At £250, and I sell, then, at 250, and done.
Yes! £250. That's not bad.
-That's something towards it.
-It is, yes.
-And every little helps.
-Every little helps.
-OK, enjoy it, won't you?
-Yes, we will. Thank you very much.
-Spend it on a bit more jewellery out there!
A good start to the sale. We're clearly on the right track,
and that leads us to our next item.
It belongs to Jenny, who is trying to raise money
to buy an Arsenal ticket for her grandson.
It's the electric train set with mixed bits and bobs
and some of it is boxed.
We've got that, but unfortunately, we don't have our owner, Jenny.
She can't be with us today, but we do have David Fletcher, our expert,
-and we're looking for around about £40 to £60 for this.
But hopefully we're going to hit the back of the net right now
with the top end of the valuation.
It's going under the hammer. Here we go.
Number 418 is the Marklin train set.
There you are. There's the whole lot of it. Bid me for that, someone.
Start me off wherever you want to be.
I'm bid £20 for that. Lot at 20.
20 bid. And five, 30.
Five, 40. 45, 50.
At 60 bid, in the room...
At £60 only, at 60, is there any more at all?
At £60 in the room and I sell,
five on the net, at 65,
-70, 70 bid.
At 70, at £70 only, at 70, any more?
At £70 and I sell, then,
at 70, and done.
I'm pleased with that. Good valuation. Well done.
-And I think Jenny will be as well.
-I hope so.
They're difficult things to value.
They don't set the world alight
but there always is a market for them at the right price.
There's always train enthusiasts and train collectors
and they'll always buy that sort of thing, you're right.
-Even if it's for spares or one or two boxes.
Let's hope Arsenal win that game as well.
Next is our auctioneer's gavel.
And to get a second opinion on it,
who better to ask than auctioneer Philip Serrell?
I spoke to him at the preview day.
I think every auctioneer should own one of these gavels.
I think all auctioneers do, Paul,
but not like that, do they?
No, not with a propelling pencil.
I think this would be a lovely birthday present from the wife
if she bought this for you.
-Have you had a word with her?
-No, I haven't!
I saw Marjorie in the queue, funnily enough, I saw her holding this gavel
and I said, "I'm not going to value this,
"I know it's going to come on the show",
because you've got to go through a series of auctioneers
and I know that they'd just love to talk about it.
Well, sadly, you know, all auctioneers collect gavels.
And what I love about this is that every time that you go...
..you've got that "sold".
That's something every auctioneer likes to hear.
And I would think I've had every auctioneer and his dog
on the telephone saying, "Philip, how much is that gavel?"
-All of our experts as well.
-I couldn't possibly tell.
How many of those have you seen?
I've never seen one with a propelling pencil inside it.
I think it's probably worth 150 quid.
-I think it's going to make between 250 and 300.
Yes, which is spot-on, really. Adam's put £200 to £300 on this.
Well, this will be going under the hammer very shortly. I can't wait.
And here it is. Philip's on the rostrum,
and Adam and Marjorie, the gavel's owner,
are on the saleroom floor with me.
I think we'll get your money back. I remember something you said,
your husband bought it for around £180-odd.
-That's right, yeah.
-It's got to be worth that.
-I can feel a profit!
-You can feel a profit?
-Me and my big mouth!
-But I can feel a profit.
-It's your fault if it isn't.
A Samuel Mordan ivory propelling pencil gavel.
I'm bid £150, bid at 150, 150, 150.
Telephone bid to 160.
170, 180, 190.
-190, 200 with me.
At £200, 210 with me. At £210.
220, 230 with me.
240, 250 with me. At 250.
-There is a profit already now, isn't there?
Is there any more?
260, 270, 280, 290.
I told you, didn't I? Didn't I say they'd fall in love with it?
At 310, at 310, 320.
At 320, on the telephone, the book's at.
340, is it?
£340, on the telephone.
At £340, is there any more at all?
At £340. Any more? The bid's on this telephone.
-Your husband that bought it, wasn't it?
He's got a good eye.
-He married me!
At £340 and done.
-That's a good result. A good result.
-I agree with you on that one.
What did your husband say?
Did he know on the day that you were going to sell this?
He gave it to me and said,
"Take this, you'll get on the telly."
I said, "I don't want to be on telly."
There you go, you got on the telly.
But he said if it sells, he's taking me to Venice.
-So I'm off to Venice now!
-What a lovely ending.
Up next, my favourite item of the show so far.
We're going to have this lovely diamond ring,
-and it is a bit of a whopper, isn't it?
So you're happy with the new reserve? We got a fixed reserve of £3,200.
-See what happens, OK?
There's a big smile. Your smile is a sparkle enough, isn't it, really?
Let's find out what the bidders think. Here we go.
This lovely five-stone ring.
Bid me £3,500, chaps.
Bid me £3,000.
2,500 I'm bid, at 2,500.
At two-seven, 50 anywhere? 2750.
Two-eight, 850? Two-nine?
2,950. 3,000 I have.
At 3,000, three-one?
-We're nearly at the reserve.
-Oh, so close.
You're out. Three-two, the book. At 3,200. Is there any more?
Book's in, you're all out.
At £3,200, any more?
-and done, then, at 3,200.
-He's selling it.
-It's gone on the reserve.
-It's gone on the reserve, right.
-It's gone. It's better to say,
"Look, it's gone at three-two",
rather than it struggled at 35 if we did have that reserve.
-You'd be taking it home.
-For the sake of £300.
Yes, that's true.
And that is a lot of money, still, isn't it?
Oh, it will go a long way, yes.
That was close, wasn't it? Some of them are close.
-You are a living on a knife-edge in this business.
Well, there you go. That was fast and furious.
Some good results there and that brings us to the end
of our first visit to the auction room today.
We are coming back here later on in the programme,
so don't go away, because I can guarantee
there will be some more surprises, but right now, while I'm in the area,
I'm going to go off and do some exploring.
On this programme, we visit many stately homes and manor houses
all over the British Isles, so in keeping with that tradition,
I'm going to be showing you some of the extraordinary history
of this castle, which spans 1,000 years,
right back to Saxon times,
and be meeting the present-day lady of the manor.
This is Sudeley Castle in the beautiful Cotswold Hills.
It's steeped in history, with royal connections spanning 1,000 years.
As with so many English country houses,
the present owners fund running costs
by opening it to the public for part of the year.
But this tranquil setting is a total contrast
to the dramatic and sometimes violent history this castle has seen.
At one point, it was nearly destroyed.
This is the Chapel of St Mary, the final resting place
of Catherine Parr, the last of King Henry VIII's six wives,
and she was known to be intelligent, vivacious, strong-willed
and proved to be the perfect foil to an ill-tempered king.
In the 16th century, Catherine Parr became the lover of Lord Seymour,
then owner of Sudeley Castle.
She broke off the relationship
when King Henry declared his interest in her.
It was only after Henry's death in 1547
that she was reunited with Seymour,
married him and came to live here at Sudeley
until her death a year later.
Her grave was found purely by chance in the then-ruined chapel
back in 1782, and eventually, her coffin was moved
to a purpose-built new tomb here in the Chapel of St Mary.
She rests under this magnificent Victorian marble effigy,
which was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott
and carved by master mason S Birnie Philip.
And I have to say, the detail is exquisite.
100 years after Catherine's death,
Sudeley once again played an important part in English history.
During the Civil War,
the owners of the castle took sides with King Charles I
and in August 1643, the Royalists mounted a disastrous attempt
to siege Gloucester.
It went horribly wrong. They lost the battle.
The rain was pouring down and the dejected king sat on a rock
surrounded by his troops,
and one young officer said, "Sir, can we go home now?"
The King replied, "Well, I have no home to go to."
Two days later, the King and his troops
were offered refuge here at Sudeley.
During the following years of the war,
the castle was besieged twice by Parliamentarian forces
and bombarded by cannon.
After the Civil War in 1649,
Cromwell ordered the castle to be slighted,
or made untenable as a military post.
This involves removing the roof and exposing the inside to the elements.
The castle was allowed to fall into ruin
and these tumbledown walls have been left as a reminder of that dark time.
After 200 years of neglect,
wealthy Worcestershire glovemakers, brothers John and William Dent,
spotted the ruined Sudeley Castle whilst out riding.
They spent most of their wealth purchasing it and restoring it.
Sudeley Castle is still owned by the family of the Dent brothers.
American-born Elizabeth, Lady Ashcombe,
married one of their descendants more than 40 years ago.
She's been instrumental in opening the castle up to the public.
You open to the public, and I know you're opening in a few weeks' time.
-Is the pressure on?
The pressure's on, yeah!
-It's like putting on a play.
-Lots of worry.
Well, it's the sort of frenzy of the last-minute build-up to opening day.
And of course we tidy up everything and...
-The grounds are magnificent, they really are beautiful.
It must be so fascinating and rewarding at the same time,
living in such a historic house.
It is kind of extraordinary.
I mean, the thing about living in a house like this,
the history is very tangible.
You see it, you feel it, you can touch the things
of the historic people who've walked the halls before,
we live with their paintings and their furniture, and of course
that's why people come to Sudeley.
This is a historic house.
It's not really a stately home. It's partly a ruin, as you can see.
This room is an interior designer's dream, isn't it?
I can see your touch everywhere. It's beautiful.
Well, it's kind of iconic, this room, in a way
because it's an earlier part of the castle.
It was originally the gatehouse to the early Tudor castle
and this is where the guards would sit and play cards
-and drink beer and, you know, carry on and everything.
-A communal room.
-So in a way, this stonework would have been there,
that wouldn't have been panelled back then for such a room.
It wouldn't have been panelled then
but then later in the Victorian times,
when the house was restored to take on the sort of Tudor...
-I can imagine.
-It was panelled.
I was instrumental, much to everybody's horror,
-in taking the panelling down.
-Well, good for you.
In the '60s, everybody thought that was a terrible sacrilege
-but it wasn't, really, because the stone is such a beautiful...
Could you imagine sitting here now with just oak panelling everywhere?
These colours wouldn't work. Nothing would work.
Now you've let the room breathe again to how it should be.
-I'm glad you like it.
-Oh, I do, I love it. And do you know
what I really admire about you is the fact that it's not a museum, OK,
but the quality of the antiques
-and artefacts you've got here are the very, very best.
-There are some marvellous things.
-And you use them every single day.
There's no ropes around them saying, "Don't touch".
You actually use all these wonderful things.
Well, as you said, it's not a museum
and I think that as long as we look after these lovely things,
it's wonderful to have them
-being used for the purpose that they were intended for.
Look, thank you so much for showing me around. I can't wait to come back
-on a day off and spend the whole day here, so thank you.
-Thank you, Paul.
Our valuation day venue
is the Pittville Pump Room in Cheltenham.
And we've got hundreds of owners who have brought along
their unwanted antiques and collectables to be valued.
We're ready to take a look at the next item with Adam.
-Welcome to "Flog It!", Lynn.
-It's very nice to see you brought some interesting items along.
These very colourful cloisonne vases.
-Japanese. Do you like them?
They seem to have grown on me today
because lots of people have said how nice they are, so...
And where did you get them from?
How did they come into your possession?
-I've had them about a fortnight.
-Oh, is that all?
They were left to me by a cousin.
I picked them up from the solicitor about a fortnight ago.
-And you've taken them home.
-And sort of thought, "Well, where am I going to put them?"
It was really a case of, they didn't sit well in the house.
-Do you know where your cousin got them from?
-I don't know.
All I know is that she travelled quite a lot with her first husband.
-And I think she picked up things on her travels,
so I'm presuming these were...
Do you think she went to Japan?
I wouldn't be surprised. She was quite well travelled.
-Quite a cosmopolitan lady, was she?
Well, they are cloisonne enamel, they're Japanese.
It's a technique of enamelling, often with a foil background,
this technique called jinbari enamelling.
And they're really rather nice, I think.
-The colours are lovely.
Have you seen any damage?
This one has got damage there.
A little bit of a blister there, isn't there?
Is that something that was done during firing?
No, it wouldn't have been released to the market with that on it
because one thing about buyers of cloisonne,
the slightest bit of damage...
The value plummets completely,
and we always say cloisonne doesn't bounce well. The slightest thing
and you'll get a little star crack or bits coming off.
-So, yes, that does affect it quite a lot.
In terms of age, they're not massively old.
They're 20th century, they might be '30s, possibly later than that.
But they're very, very decorative. What do you think they are worth?
-I haven't got a clue.
-Not a clue.
-And you're selling them anyway.
Even if I said they're worth 20 quid?
-All right, well, they're worth more than 20.
-Well, that's nice!
But not much more. I think they'll make 60 to 100 between them.
And I would suggest you put a reserve of £50 on them
because if they don't make £50, then they're not worth selling.
Even if you don't like them, they'd be worth you taking them
-and trying them another day or something like that.
Does that sound all right to you?
-Yes, that's fine.
-That's excellent news.
And we'll look forward to seeing you
-at the auction.
-Thank you very much.
-Thanks for bringing them.
So that's the second time today
Adam's sent something off with no reserve,
but will it pay off?
Now for something slightly more modern.
Michael is at David's table with a table.
I think this is great.
We so rarely see this sort of thing on "Flog It!" When did you buy it?
-'68, and you'll have bought it new?
Bought it new, yes.
OK, and at that time, of course,
in the 1960s, this sort of furniture was the height of fashion, really.
Yes, it must have been, yes.
-Can you remember what you paid for it?
-No idea, no.
-Pounds, shillings and pence.
Furniture like this was bought, really, as I say,
because it represented everything that was up-to-date, you know -
pared-down, modern materials.
That's the most important thing of all, I think -
a Formica top and a metal base,
-and apart from the decoration on the top, that's it.
-There's no carving.
-There's no inlay.
All those sorts of things are just dispensed with.
What I really like about this
is the fact it's decorated by John Piper.
-Or at least after John Piper.
John Piper was probably one of Britain's greatest artists
of the 20th century. His life spanned the century, very nearly.
He was famous in particular for his stained-glass work
-at Coventry Cathedral.
And for working with John Betjeman on the Shell Motoring Guides
in, I think, the early 1950s, so he is a big name,
but I've never seen his work
represented on a table like this before.
It's curious, really. You have these amazing classical baroque buildings.
-They're all after Christopher Wren, I think.
They're all Wren churches. This is St Paul's Cathedral
and they find themselves on this ultra modern piece of furniture,
so, you know, as was so often the case in the 1960s, anything went.
You know, you could mix and match, and people loved it.
I would have said it's going to make
between £100 and £150.
-But I wouldn't want to sell it for less than 100.
So would you be happy with a reserve of £100?
-Yes, would be happy with that.
It only came out of the attic yesterday, so...
You haven't been using it?
-No, it's been in the attic for 20-odd years.
-Oh, right. Right.
-Knowing you was in town...
-You thought you'd come along.
-OK. We'll go ahead on that basis...
-Thank you very much.
I look forward to seeing you at the sale.
And our next item - well, it's a suitcase.
Alison, underneath this canvas cover I know there's quality, isn't there?
It wouldn't have a canvas cover on it otherwise.
Clearly not your initials...
No, they belong to my mother.
-Hilda Georgina Secret.
What a lovely surname.
-You're obviously not still a Secret, are you?
-No, I'm not. No, no.
-That's a great surname.
-Can I? Ready?
That's beautiful. There's not a scratch
-or a mark on there.
-..that's pigskin, isn't it?
-Quality, quality, quality.
That's the best-quality leather,
that's the best hide money can buy.
-Oh, it's just divine, isn't it?
-It looks beautiful.
It's just getting better and better, isn't it?
Do you know, it's never been used, has it?
I think it must have been used,
cos there are a couple of teeth out of the comb, so...
Very, very nice. It's all there.
-I could see it in the back of a Bentley, couldn't you?
Did she have one?
-No, she didn't.
-Is it by Mappin & Webb?
-I think it... Yes.
-Yeah, there you go.
It's clearly not really been used.
Well, it's so heavy...
-This lifts out, doesn't it?
And then that closes.
And then you take that off with you.
Look at that.
But it's so heavy. I mean, you...
-Have you any idea of value?
-It's pretty much perfect.
I've got to say,
this is possibly the best example I've seen for quality and condition.
-Why do you want to sell this?
Actually it belongs...really belongs to my sister,
who lives in Australia.
Half of it belongs to her and half of it belongs to me.
So the best thing to do is to split it. Split the money.
I think if we split the money, and then we could have...
-We could meet.
-Yeah, that'd be nice.
-What a lovely story.
Any idea of value?
I've seen them before, not so good as this,
and I put, I think,
£400 to £600 on something very much the same,
and it made £1,100.
So let's be a bit gutsier, OK?
-£800 to £1,200 on this.
And hopefully, it does the top end and a little bit more.
-Are you happy with that?
I am very happy with that.
We'll protect it with a reserve...?
I'll tell you what we'll do, let's give it discretion.
Let's say £800 to £1,200
with a discretion of 10% at £800.
-That'll make the bidders keen.
I'm pretty sure it'll go at the top end. But I can't guarantee!
I can't guarantee what's going to happen on the day in auction.
Of course, you can never tell what's going to happen at the auction,
and even the best valuations are in the fate of the bidders on the day.
We'll find out soon.
Time's running out.
We need one more item to send off to auction.
So quickly over to David Fletcher,
and he's with Mervyn and a childhood collection.
I was pleased to see this autograph album...
Yes. Thank you.
I was a bit disappointed cos I thought you would ask
for mine. But you didn't.
Whose autographs have you got? Shall we have a little look?
I've got quite a bookful, quite a selection,
but some of the more famous ones
are Laurel and Hardy...
OK. You've tagged all these, I see.
-Right. Yeah. Laurel and Hardy.
I collected them from the stage door of the Birmingham Hippodrome.
-Really? Did you?
-When I was a youngster at school.
-Many years ago.
So they actually signed
-this autograph album for you.
So they've handled this very book.
Also Abbott and Costello...
Yes. Names I know as well.
And we've got lots of other names
like Guy Mitchell...
Guy Mitchell. "I've never felt more like singing the blues."
-I remember that one.
What was that - '50s I suppose?
-You collected these yourself.
I must say, I think that makes
the collection particularly interesting.
So Mervyn, you were a very young lad
when you collected these.
-I was about 13 or 14.
And when I was at school in Birmingham,
my friend and I used to take the bus
-and go down to the Birmingham Hippodrome...
-And hang round the stage door.
And I collected them then.
And are you still interested in
-the theatre and in films?
-But you're not collecting autographs any more.
-Although I did get one today, a very special one.
-Whose was that?
-Which must be worth a lot.
Is that in there?
-Yes, it is.
It's next to Laurel and Hardy's, actually. The next page.
The next page. There it is.
-"Best wishes, Paul Martin."
Well, I was going to say it's worth
£100 to £150...
-I'm going to have to revise my estimate now...
-I think so.
-It's worth £30.
-It's worth £100 to £150, in my view.
-Would you be happy with that?
-And if we put a reserve of £100 on the lot, say?
And have you anything in mind
to spend the money on?
-Well, I'm going to give the money to my wife...
..who's likely to spend it in a well-known departmental store
-where she can take it back if she's not satisfied.
-Does she often take things back?
-Yes, she does.
-Does she? Oh, dear.
Well, let's hope we make her enough money to buy something
-really nice that she won't want to take back.
Let's get that and our other items
wrapped up and sent off to auction -
and here's a quick reminder
of what we're taking.
Let's hope the bidders
will want to snap them up.
We've left the Cotswolds behind and headed off to the Malvern Hills
for our auction, at Philip Serrell's saleroom.
£110, there's the bid... Done.
Our first item under the hammer is a pair of cloisonne vases
owned by Lynn, and spotted by Adam.
These were left to me by this lady.
She's absolutely beautiful.
Yeah. She left me these items, hence why I brought her today.
One red ground, one green ground
and I believe the red one's got a bit of damage, hasn't it?
Little bit, yeah, cloisonne's very prone to damage, isn't it?
-I think we've reflected that in the estimate.
Good luck. And let's hope it gets the top end of the estimate.
Two cloisonne vases...
..and I'll start at £100 bid, at £100 only...
Told you they'd start at three figures.
I'll take 10 anywhere.
At £100 -
10, may I? At £100.
110, 110, the book's out.
At £110, right at the back,
and I sell then at 110 and done. Thank you.
It was straight in, really, and straight out. £110.
-That's good, isn't it?
-Yes, very pleased.
A good solid sale, just over the estimate,
and away to a new owner.
Michael's John Piper decorated table.
-You bought this brand-new in 1968...
-And you've had it ever since.
-In Cheltenham. Yep.
Gosh. He's got his money's worth.
We talk about minimalism,
and the demise of the brown furniture -
-this represents the future.
And do you know, there are over
150 lots of furniture in this sale,
and only one isn't made of wood.
It's funny - over the years
-you get rid of all your brown furniture...
..but for some unknown reason, I kept hold of this.
-And you've used it.
-And I use it - my son's used it in his place,
then I had it again and then back in the attic it went.
Can you remember how much you pay for it?
No, I've been trying to think, but no, I can't.
Well, I'm sure you're going to make a healthy profit anyway.
We're going to find out what it's worth right now, it's going under the hammer.
There you are - John Piper table,
St Paul's and St Martin's.
£55 bid, at 55,
At 55, 55.
And 60, and 5. And 70, and 5.
80, and 5. 90, and 5.
100, 110, 120,
One more, sir? 130...
40, thank you.
At 140. 50 on the net bid.
At 150. Here's the bid...
150... 160. 160...
Is there any more?
At 160 bid...
-Good - fresh legs.
At £180, in the room. Any more at all?
At £180, and I sell in the room,
and done then at 190. 190...
-Gone up again.
At £200. At 200...
In the room.
The net's out. At £200, in the room.
At £200, and I sell, then,
at £200 and done. Thank you.
Hammer's gone down. £200. Top end of that estimate, well done.
-That ticked all the right boxes -
-and the affiliation with cathedrals with John Piper.
-So someone's got a nice thing.
-They have. Hope they enjoy it.
Now for our next lot, and I'm joined by Alison.
Well, I'm feeling a little bit nervous right now, Alison,
it's my turn to be the expert.
We're just going to put the leather case with all the vanity set inside,
Mappin & Webb, under the hammer.
It's been in the wardrobe for a long time?
Yes, it has, unfortunately, doing nothing. What would you do with it?
-Well, at least it's been kept in great condition.
Here we go. This is it.
The, er...super Mappin & Webb case.
There we are.
Bid me £800.
I'm bid £500, with me,
at 520. 520.
At £550. At 550.
-(Oh, come on!)
-£600. Any more?
At £600. Any more?
It's not going to sell.
At £600 only -
any more at all?
is there any more at all?
No? Well, I'm sorry, I can't do that, chaps.
-Close. We're close.
But listen -
the bidder that left £600
-will probably have a word with Philip.
We're short, by £120.
-I'm ever so sorry.
-I don't want to stick it in the wardrobe!
No, it doesn't want to go back in the wardrobe,
it's better off in a saleroom.
You can't let one "no sale"
ruin your day at auction,
because blink once and you'll be back on track with a winner.
Next up, the autograph book belonging to Mervyn
-who's just joined me right now - hello, thanks for coming in.
Now, you collected all these on the stage door,
-didn't you, at Birmingham?
-All bar one...
-..which you collected at the valuation day.
But thank you so much for asking me to sign it,
-I was in such good company there.
-And it's great
that you collected them yourself,
-that's what's so good about it.
-Yes. That's right.
They're big names, aren't they?
They are big names.
And there were kind enough and modest enough to sign for you,
-they could have been a bit snooty about it.
No. They were all very good.
And the good news is there's plenty of collectors for Laurel and Hardy
so I think that should get them away at the top end of the value.
-OK? We'll find out right now. Here we go.
The autograph albums,
and I've got two bids
the same sort of money,
so I'll start at...
At £280. On the book.
290. At £290. Who's got 300?
On the telephone, at 300.
Do you know what, it's obviously the Abbott and Costello
-that are making this really, really fly.
600 bid. On the telephone.
I think it's your autograph
they wanted really, Paul.
£600, any more?
and I sell then at £600 and done, thank you.
-Well done. Thank you.
-Well done and thank you for bringing those in,
what can I say?
Well, I undervalued them - but I'd rather do that
-than overvalue them.
-What are you going to do with all that money?
-Don't forget there is commission.
-Well, my wife's going to spend it
-in a well-known store.
-Oh, on clothes?
Well, that's what girls do.
-And you've got to keep them happy.
Thank you so much for coming in, and what a lovely surprise that's given us at the end of the day.
Sadly we're running out of time, I hope you've enjoyed the show.
Join us again for many more surprises to come on "Flog It!", but until then, it's goodbye from Malvern.
Paul Martin is joined by experts David Fletcher and Adam Partridge at the Pittville Pump Room in Cheltenham, as they continue their search for rare and interesting items, and hear the stories behind them.
Paul finds out whether his celebrity status will help an autograph hunter cash in on his collection, Adam finds an item that is every auctioneer's dream and David checks out a German-made train set. Paul takes time out to visit the lady of the manor at Sudeley Castle.