Flog It! is in the city of Wells. Presenter Paul Martin is joined by experts Anita Manning and Will Axon who waste no time hunting for interesting items.
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Sh! The locals say this is the best-kept secret in Somerset,
but it's no secret why we are here today in this historic city of Wells.
Welcome to Flog It!
'At the foot of the Mendip Hills, surrounded by Somerset countryside,
'the city of Wells has amazingly well-preserved medieval buildings.'
And dating back to 1180, Wells Cathedral is a heavenly example
and I'm sure we're going to find some real treasure here today.
I can't wait to get everybody out of the cloisters, into the cathedral and get on with the show,
because someone is going home with a lot of money. Stay tuned and you'll find out.
'Our two treasure hunters and lead experts today are Anita Manning and Will Axon...'
Thank you, dear. You're not 90, are you?
Oh, look. That's interesting.
'..both highly experienced in antiques,
'and they're wasting no time working their way down the queue.'
-Was she your doll?
-Yes, it was.
She's got a wonderful expression on her face.
It looks to me as if it's a young bird rather than a mature bird.
I could be wrong.
'Before Will gets his feathers ruffled, here's a peek at what's coming up.
'Expectations are running high at Anita's table.'
Why do you want to sell them?
I've got a daughter who was 21 this year.
She wants a designer handbag, so I want to get her a nice designer handbag.
-We're hoping to get the handle at least.
'And even higher at Will's.'
You probably came in thinking, "I'd give £20, £30. I'd let it go."
Now what are you thinking? Any idea what it's worth?
Well, the world cruise is, erm...
-Out of league, is it?
-I think so.
-We might be able to buy you a brochure.
-That's a start.
'And I take a trip in the countryside, swapping art history for natural history.'
-Can I hold him?
-Just watch he doesn't wobble off.
Oh, look at you! Oh, it's beautiful.
'But all that later. Let's get everyone inside and start valuing.'
It certainly is lights, camera, action now.
Our experts are working the tables. Let's look at what Anita Manning has found.
This one could really fly away at auction.
'And it's that charming Victorian doll Anita saw in the queue, brought in by Karin.'
Karin, welcome to Flog It!
Did you buy her or was she yours? Give me the background.
It was given to me the first Christmas
after we left the refugee camps, because I was a refugee child
from Prussia and my mother possibly was given it by a friend.
And then for Christmas my mother made all the clothes
for the doll, and it was given to me.
My first lovely Christmas, which I still remember to this day.
And I had as well a wardrobe. All sorts of little things.
And a pushchair made of wood.
And on Christmas Day I wanted to show my grandmother the doll
but she lived on the other side of the town in Hamlin,
over very rough terrain, and this poor doll kept sitting
and her eyes were going up and down and she kept slipping out of the pushchair.
I mean, I put her back but, as you can see, she never suffered.
No, she's in very good condition. She hasn't suffered at all.
If we turn her round and have a look at the back of her head,
we can see the name "Armand Marseille."
We see "Made In Germany" up here and we have this number, "390,"
-which is the number of the mould.
-Now, the head number of 390 is a fairly common one.
-So we don't have an unusual doll.
So let's turn her round and look at her.
-Her face is made of bisque.
Another good factor in this doll, when we're talking about collectability
and possibly financial value is the fact that she has the jointed arms
and the jointed legs.
This hair is the original hair, and it's real hair, and it's so good to see that.
And we also have the eyelashes, which are again made of human hair.
Yes, I see.
-The doll is from the early part of the 20th century.
But her clothes are not compatible with that time.
My mother made them specially for the doll.
She's got a wee silk dress on.
-I mean, this is beautiful silk, and if we look,
her little jacket is all lined.
-Doesn't that say something about your mum?
And I never appreciated till recently when I had a good look at all the clothes.
Why do you want to part with her?
Well, I find children of today don't treasure toys like this and I would worry it might break.
And so I feel if it goes to a collector, I know it is treasured again and that is the reason why.
I know I won't get a fortune for it.
I would like to put it into auction with an estimate of 80 to 120.
That's very good, actually.
I think that might be conservative. It draws in the bidders.
-Would you be happy with that?
-I find that a very good estimate, yes.
'Me too, and I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for Karin in the saleroom.
'Everywhere you look is a feast for the eye in this fabulous building.
'I couldn't resist taking a wander to find a quiet spot
'to talk with Jane about her painting.'
Come with me. This is the chapterhouse.
This is where the church council would have done all the cathedral business,
and there's a wonderful ambient sound in here, isn't there?
Sit down, sit down.
I might have found a real gem here.
-Now, how did you come by this?
-I found it at a flea market.
-How much did you pay for it?
-How long ago was that?
Last year some time.
Oh, do you know, that's...
If you'd said this had been in the family for about 40 years
and you don't know where it came from,
I think my hair would be standing on end right now,
because it is very much like an Alfred Wallis.
It's got that whole sort of folk art thing about it,
that complete naive school look.
-Do you know who I mean, Alfred Wallis?
-Did you think it might be his?
I saw some of his pictures in the Tate in St Ives, and when I saw it I thought that it looked like them.
-That's why you bought this?
-Because they're fascinating pictures.
Yeah, it's definitely "in the school of," isn't it?
I don't know. I really, really am dubious whether or not this is the real thing.
I'd like to think it is, but then whoever sold this to you
would have done research themselves.
Especially from a flea market - you bought it from a dealer, then.
He didn't start to paint till he was over 70. He died at 87,
so it was a short span, a short lifespan of painting.
He was a bit of a lonely,
grumpy character, according to his neighbours.
-So you've done a bit of research?
-I've read some books about him.
I've always wanted to own an Alfred Wallis.
I doubt if I ever will, do you know that?
But if this was an Alfred Wallis that size...
you'd be looking at around £30,000.
If it IS Alfred Wallis.
-My gut feeling...
-I won't hold my breath.
No. My gut feeling is it isn't, OK?
Because whoever you bought it from
would have done some research. We are in the West Country.
It's a great place to have this for sale.
I think the auctioneer
should get someone up maybe from the Tate Modern,
and they will know by looking at the brushstroke.
Now, for me, it's naive enough. It's got the charm.
But there's certain things, like the lighthouse highlighted with a black outline -
If this was a Wallis, that would be highlighted in a thin pencil or something.
-I think it's a bit too precise.
-If you know what I mean.
Nevertheless, he was a wonderful artist and this is obviously a tribute to him.
It's "in the school of."
It's a shame whoever painted this didn't sign it.
-Would you be happy to put it into auction with a value of 200-300, fixed reserve at 200?
-I would, yes.
Why do you want to sell this now? You haven't had it that long.
I haven't had it that long, but if it turns out, as you say,
that it's not a real one, then I'd like to put some money
towards an artist
who is up and coming.
A good name. I look forward to seeing you in the auction room.
You never know, we could be in for a nice surprise if I'm wrong. I don't think I am,
but it could fly away, couldn't it? Let's go and join up with everybody else.
'All will be revealed later on in the auction.
'Meanwhile, Will is valuing Pearl's Victorian silver.'
As auctioneers, anything silver, anything jewellery,
what we like to see is a fitted case. It's a sign of quality.
And in the case, first I thought there could be a necklace, a diamond set, pearl or something,
but opening it up we see there's a really nice-quality
Victorian silver fork and spoon.
Is this something that you've gone out and bought or is this an inheritance?
-It's more of an inheritance.
-It's come down through the family.
If I flip this spoon over quickly,
we can see that there are actually some initials.
I've had a close look.
They're invariably hard to read. They try and make them as swirly and as curly as they can,
but I think there's an "H" in there somewhere.
Would that sort of tie in with the family history?
-My name is Hodges, Pearl Hodges.
It's got to be an "H," then.
And I'm almost certain that this would have been given as a christening gift.
So that solves that mystery a bit. That's nice.
I'm going to flip the spoon back over in its case
and I'm just going to point out the hallmarks to you, there.
We have the standard set of Victorian hallmarks.
We've got Victoria's head here.
We've got the date letter there of "G."
And I see on the other one we've got a date letter of "F."
So they're a year apart.
I think it's 1881, 1882, but that doesn't detract from them.
That doesn't mean they're a sort of matched set, you know.
One might have been made in December, the other in January.
Then the leopard's head,
so they're from the London Assay Office.
Then we've got the lion here,
that's telling us that it's silver.
And then I think we've got the maker's mark here. "RM" over "EH."
So I think it's Martin Hall and Company, I think they traded as.
And the pieces themselves - I think they're beautifully decorated.
Are they something that you like, or have you brought them because you don't like them?
No, I like them, but it's just not been used, sat in the drawer.
The fact that they haven't been used
contributes to the fact that they are in pristine condition.
This sort of lovely, foliate etching and chasing, here,
of these sort of ferns...
Beautiful, and not worn at all,
because they haven't been over-cleaned.
-They've been in this case.
-I haven't cleaned them.
What's nice about these is that they are genuine.
This is as they were made at the time.
And, like I say, the fitted case just adds something to it.
-Silver dealers, jewellery dealers - they love a fitted case.
I'm going to give you a valuation now. I hope you haven't booked a round-the-world cruise...
-..on the back of this. Not yet!
-But I see these as a sort of £40-£60 lot. I don't know how you feel about that.
-You're happy with that?
-So what do you feel about having no reserve on these?
-I don't mind. I just want them to be sold.
-You just want them gone?
Pearl, thanks for bringing them in.
Lovely name, by the way, I had to say. Beautiful name
-and a lovely piece.
-I look forward to selling them.
'And that's exactly what we're going to do.
'First, though, here's a quick recap
'of what's going off to the saleroom and why.'
Might do a lot better than that.
She deserves it.
Is it or isn't it Alfred Wallis?
It doesn't really matter either way. It's going into auction
and it's going to find a new home, because that's quality folk art.
This nice-quality silver Victorian spoon and fork
are going to make someone a great gift, whether for a christening, birthday or a cake connoisseur.
Now it's time to put our valuations to the test.
It is auction time, and what a perfect day for it.
Just look at the weather.
Sunshine and antiques - a perfect combination.
And this is where we're putting all our items under the hammer, Tamlyn And Son's in Bridgewater.
I'll go inside and catch up with our owners. The car park's filling up.
That's a good sign. Hopefully it's jam-packed inside.
'Remember, when you sell at auction, you have to pay a commission.
'Here it's 16% plus VAT.
'Claire Rawle is the auctioneer today, so let's get selling.
'Our first lot under the hammer is Karin's delightful doll.'
Karin, it's good to see you again. You must have so many lovely old memories of this doll.
I have. The happiest memory is when it was given to me at Christmas...
The first Christmas after leaving...
The refugee camps, yes.
I think it's such a personal thing, because your mother even cut your old clothes up
and made the clothes fit on the doll. It's got so many memories.
Would you sell this?
I think that if a thing is lying in a cupboard
or it's not admired or loved,
then pass it on to someone who will love it, who will look after it and enjoy it.
We're looking at £80-£120. It's going under the hammer now.
We need that top end.
205 is the Armand Marseille bisque socket-head doll.
And we start her away at £55.
At 55. 60.
Five. 70 at the back of the room.
At 70. Five.
80. Five. 90. Five.
100. 110. 120. 130.
This is good.
130 in the middle of the room. At £130.
Now, 140 anywhere?
At £130. You all done at 130?
That's a good result, £130. The hammer's gone down.
There is commission to pay.
16% plus VAT here.
-But that's a bit of spending money.
-Yeah, and if we get two cheap flights,
we go to Geneva to see my son, who lives up in the mountains,
-and our grandchildren.
-Oh, lovely. Oh, enjoy that.
I will, definitely.
'So, it really did fly in the saleroom.
'Next, it's Jane's painting and, after some research, the auctioneer confirmed my suspicions.
'It's not an Alfred Wallis.
'However, I'm hopeful it will still do well.'
-Jane, good to see. Who have you brought? Is this your husband?
-My husband, Andrew.
-So, you've had this on your wall at home?
-Have you been enjoying it?
-Yes. It's lovely.
-Did you know Jane brought this along to the valuation?
-I did, yes.
-So, you approve?
I had a chat to the auctioneer earlier and she knows it's not Alfred Wallis as well.
You know that, we know that, but it's the next best thing!
And this will look charming in a cottage on the seafront
or a restaurant or a bar, or a hotel, or something like that.
-It's got the look.
-So, let's find out what they think. This is it.
This is the primitive painting
in the style of Alfred Wallis, the harbour entrance.
-I have to start this one straight in at £220.
At 220. Do I see 250 anywhere?
The bid's with me at 220. At 250 on the telephone.
280 with me. 300?
300 on the telephone. At £300.
-Now do I see 320?
-Now I'm getting excited.
At £300 on the telephone.
Are you all done? At £300.
-That's a brilliant result.
That is great wallpaper for any hotel or restaurant, isn't it?
It certainly has the decorator's look. Thank you from coming in.
-It's been a real pleasure to met you both and you made a bit of a profit.
'So, the art buyers are here, but are the silver buyers here?'
And going under the hammer right now, a silver spoon and a fork, London touchmarks.
There is no reserve, Pearl, but I think this will fly away.
Silver's red-hot and I know Will knows what he's doing as well.
-You haven't got me on a knife edge with this one.
Oh, very good. Yeah, we agreed, didn't we? No reserve. You wanted to sell it.
Let it make what it makes. Silver's selling well
and it's a nice, tidy lot, isn't it? In its fitted case. Sweet lot.
All the trade are here. Let's find out what they'll to pay for it. Here we go.
This Victorian dessert spoon and fork,
little silver ones, in their fitted case.
And I start them straight in at £65. At 65. Do I see 70 anywhere?
-Pearl, we're in!
-At £65. At 65.
It's going to go to my bidder then. Are you all done in the room?
-Straight in, straight out. Hammer's gone down.
-Thank you very much.
-Price of silver is rocketing. Pearl, well done.
-Thanks, Pearl. well done.
'It's no secret I'm an animal lover
'and like many people I try to encourage wildlife in my garden,
'but with over 60 million people in the UK,
'there's increasing pressure for space.'
In fact, here in the West Country in the last 20 years
there's been the biggest population growth in the UK.
So, what does that all mean? Well, it means more roads, more traffic,
more traffic accidents, more pollution, more housing estates.
And all this is taking away the natural habitat of the animal.
The result, wildlife is in trouble.
'This wildlife rescue centre helps 4,000 injured and orphaned wild animals annually.
'It's the only one in the south-west that's open 24 hours a day, seven days a week all year round.
'With a small team of staff and volunteers, founder Pauline Kidner
'is the driving force behind the whole operation.'
I bet you never have a moment to yourself, do you?
Not at this time of year, no, definitely.
-It's pretty full-on, is it, 24/7?
-Yeah, it is. Once we get the badger cubs in
we know that it's the start and it's going to be followed by
all sorts of birds and animals right the way through to the autumn now.
-Sleepless nights for you? Are you up every few hours at the moment?
-With these we have been, yes,
because they came in really tiny. The smallest of these was only 55 grammes
-when they came in to two weeks ago.
-Tiny, isn't it?
Very, very tiny. So, yeah, it is every two to three hours.
How old is that little badger cub?
This little one's three weeks old now.
How did you come by these, cos that's unusual? You don't see them
-out the ground till they're three months old.
They came from North Wales. They've had some floods up there. We think the sett got flooded.
And Mum moved them out and put them into a steel drum
and some people discovered them there crying.
They did the right thing. They left them to see if Mum came back. Unfortunately she didn't.
-There's three of them?
-There's three siblings, two girls and a boy.
-You've given them names?
Yes. The two girls are Lavender and Saffron
and the little boy here is Nutmeg.
-So named after spices, then?
We try and do themes each year!
Badger cubs, fox cubs and then, once the blackbirds start coming in,
you know the doorbell's going to be ringing
constantly all through the day with different ones coming in. Perfect. There you go.
-Oh, can I hold him?
-Just watch he doesn't wobble off.
Oh! Oh, look at you!
Oh, it's beautiful!
And just like ordinary babies, it's feed, sleep, feed, sleep.
-Feed, sleep. Yeah.
-How long have you been doing this?
-1986 was when we actually had our first baby birds in.
They were the first to arrive.
-Then people started giving wildlife into me, so now we've evolved...
-Cos you've got the gift, basically.
-I just love it. I just love it.
-Ah! And what does your husband think, and the kids?
He's very good. I mean, he puts up with the fact that he has
otters in his bath and swans going past
and bats being flown in the hall to practice...
-This is a big farmhouse.
-An eight-bedroom farmhouse, but it's all been taken over.
-Yes, it has.
Yeah, but we get 4,000 animals through a year.
Do you? 4,000! And the majority are put back into the wild?
Yeah, that's the aim. We always put stuff back to the wild when we can.
There is a high mortality rate, cos wildlife is usually seriously ill by the time people notice.
Orphans are probably the more successful ones than the adults.
You're just beautiful! He's on this little hot water bottle keeping him warm as well.
Oh! These guys have got a bright future, haven't they?
They certainly have, yes. Because of the TB problem, we actually
test all our cubs three times for TB
and these will be vaccinated because there is now a vaccine available.
So, we are very responsible in what we do to make sure that
healthy animals go back to a healthy wildlife.
-You're going to miss him, aren't you?
-Yeah! You do, but it's funny.
-People say, "How can you bear to let them go?" The whole idea is to get them back to the wild...
-So the best time is to take them to their release sites and know you've done the job right.
-I bet there's a tear in your eye...
-There is, yeah, yeah.
-They literally have taken over your whole house.
-Yeah, but it's an unusual kitchen.
It is, isn't it?! And an unusual bathroom as well.
-Having a bath and then you've got to share it with the otter!
-Can we have a tour and see what else you've got on-site?
'You need dedication and a passion for wildlife to work here.
'It's estimated that one million animals are killed or injured on British roads each year,
so places like this are vital and they aren't cheap to run.
It costs £1,000 a day.
And this is the hospital room, so where animals would come
to be assessed in the first instance
and then sorted out as to which pen they need to go to.
This is lovely, actually. This is a lovely long-tailed tit
and we actually had quite a few of those in last year
when we had the hot weather. They're so pretty.
-Did their nests fall apart in the hot weather?
-That's the only thing I can think of.
They actually make a fantastic nest. It consists of about 3,000 feathers
and then they strand it all together with cobweb strands.
I think in the dry weather perhaps that's what made them fall apart.
-A lot of nests dry out, don't they?
-They do, yeah.
-They break up and fall apart.
-Cor, you're tiny!
-What's in there?
-Underneath all the paper is a hedgehog.
-And we've had about 100 of these in.
-What's his story?
Well, this one actually was just found out in the garden
and we're always worried when they're underweight at this time of year.
-And, of course, that's...
-Is it safe to pick him up?
It is, but that shows you how they've got
the one muscle that they pull right up so that they can disappear inside.
-So a little defence mechanism.
-And then out he comes.
-He looks about the right weight?
Yes, he is. He's put weight on since he's come in
and he's had a good check-up. To be quite honest,
when there's a query we like things to come in,
as we can always check them and then put them back.
But it's always the thing to remember,
nocturnal animal out during the day, there's a problem and vice versa.
That's always the first that you should flag up.
-If it's out at the wrong time of day...
-There's a problem. Pick him up. Rescue.
-What else is in here?
-Bats. We've got one actually over here.
We're actually very lucky in Somerset that we have every single one of the 16 species in Somerset.
People don't realise just how tiny they are.
Don't say nasty things to me.
Look at the fantastic little feet that they hang up by there.
This is the inner ear - the tragus - that you can see there, which is sticking up,
and the long ears that you know can pump and then come up
really, really high when it's ready to move.
Long-eared ones have got the largest eyes, cos they use their eyes
as part of their hunting. Most of the others rely totally on echolocation.
Yeah. Beautiful as well.
Absolutely beautiful. Look at that!
Now, you said you have permanent residents here, don't you?
You've got some foxes. These are here for good?
Yeah, they are. These are resident ones.
Other people have reared them as pets and we just keep them here.
It's a nice big pen for them. There's five in here with plenty of room.
-They look really healthy. Look at their coats.
-They've got their winter coats. They're fabulous.
-If you want to just go in and say hello.
We'll just stand at a distance so that we don't frighten them.
-Come on, Paul, see whether they'll take from you.
-Hi, Marie. Hello.
-Now, stand back.
-I like their little log cabins.
-Oh, it's very posh.
-This is all Marie's efforts.
-Come on, Bazzy.
Doesn't quite trust me yet.
There you go.
Oh, she's trying to bury it, look. "I'll have that later."
-She doesn't want the others to have it.
So fascinating. I think there's too many of us around
-and we're spooking them. Pauline, thank you.
-That's all right.
I'll let you carry on feeding the foxes, because obviously they know you as well.
-Great. Thanks very much. Hope you've enjoyed...
-Oh, I did. I've absolutely loved it.
-..being at Secret World. Thank you.
Well, what a marvellous day I have had here. It's really put a smile on my face.
Being so close to nature and it just makes you realise
how important British wildlife is.
'So, we're back at the divine Wells Cathedral for some more valuations.'
It's just beautiful. Hopefully we'll have a few gems along the way as well.
Our experts are working flat out down there.
'And a little bird tells me no-one more so than Will,
'who's chatting with Tony.'
What a charming little picture you've brought in to show us today of a marsh tit amongst the catkins.
-Signed nicely here by the artist, Winifred Austen.
Now, tell me, are you a twitcher or a fan of Winifred,
-or is this something you've come by?
-Not at all.
I just happened to pick it up almost by accident
in with a box of bits and pieces that I bought from an auction five or six years ago.
House clearance auction. I didn't deliberately buy it. Paid a fiver for the whole box.
Auctioneers are so busy half the time they can't search through every box,
especially if you say this is a house-type sale, a "contents of", you know.
They will literally clear the contents of a cupboard, put them in a box and say "a quantity of".
-You've come out on top, as you've found,
what I would say, is a charming little picture, a little etching.
-Now, have you researched Winifred Austen at all? Have you...
-Only a little, really.
Just that she was quite a well-respected artist specialising in birds. That's it, really.
That's right. Birds, animals, that sort of thing. What's particularly nice about it that it is signed
in pencil by the artist, because Winifred Austen died in the 1960s.
So, what that means is that there is a finite source
of etchings signed by her.
If you look closely at the detail... The more you look at it, the more impressive it is.
I mean, just the way that the detail in the claws and the talons
and how the bird is actually balanced on this branch.
I think she's got it spot on.
You know, perfectly natural in its posture.
It's a nice, clean, well-balanced image.
Framed and glazed and on the wall,
I'm sure it will decorate anyone's house beautifully.
I see it's now out of its frame.
-Have you had it up on the wall?
After I got it, and I saw that it was signed, so I thought...
I sort of guessed it was an etching, but I thought, "Well, it's quite nice then,"
and put an old frame round it and put it up on the wall.
But only actually in the loo.
-So it's just been there every since, for a few years.
-A select audience then, perhaps!
Not in the main drawing room. Nowadays it's easy to look up what an artist is making at auction.
And I think for a picture of this sort of size, of this sort of subject, by her
and signed in pencil, I think you're looking around that sort of £80-100 mark as an estimate.
Is that within what you thought? You told me you only paid £5 for it,
-so that should be a reasonable return?
-Yeah, absolutely. That's fine.
OK. Then we come to the issue of reserve. What I'd like to do is perhaps tuck the reserve in
-just under the £80 mark - say 60 or something like that.
-Yeah, that sounds good.
What are you going to spend the money on? Will you re-invest in art?
No. Well, I'm getting married in a couple of months' time,
so I think probably...
We're having our honeymoon in Cornwall,
-so perhaps a lobster supper or something.
Thanks for coming in and fingers crossed
-for that lobster supper.
-Not at all. Thank you.
This is Eve, one of our production co-ordinators. Hi, Eve.
-Love the hair colour today.
-Thank you very much.
Cheryl, Dave, welcome to Flog It!
And thank you so much for bringing in this interesting lot of pharmaceutical items.
Do you collect this type of thing?
Yeah, I do. I'm very interesting in it.
I'm a pharmacy technician, so it's part of my profession.
It's beginning to take over the house a bit.
Are you fed up with it, Dave?
Not entirely, but it is getting there.
Why do you want to sell them?
I've got a daughter who was a pharmacy student. She's 21 this year.
She wants a designer handbag.
She did say she didn't want me to sell my things,
but I want to get her a nice designer handbag.
We're hoping to get the handle at least.
Oh, that's wonderful. Now, we'll look at the bottles first of all.
They are Victorian, and these two are of particular interest
because they are Bristol blue and people love that colour.
And another added element
is that we do have the names of the ingredients on the bottles,
and people like that.
This item, which is a piece of treen, we can see that this
would have been the container for yet another medicine bottle.
I find this box quite interesting.
"Glycerine cocaine pastilles."
That's a bit scary.
But we must remember that cocaine was used
for medicinal purposes in the 19th century.
And a little set of weights for a pharmacist to weigh out the measurements of the ingredients.
Is that the same sort of age as...?
These are all Victorian. A little later here.
And your box, a little later.
But they make a marvellous group.
Can we look at this, which I love to pieces?
It's a little leather case.
The name on the front, "R J Church," the name of the pharmacist.
And if we look inside, we see this group of bottles in the fitted case.
Now, this would have obviously been carried by the pharmacist or a doctor
-when they were going to their patients.
-How old, do you think?
I would say that that's probably the late 19th, early 20th century.
Tell me, where did you get these bottles, Cheryl?
-I get them off the internet, mostly.
-Do you help your wife in the search, Dave?
Yeah, I do most of the searching on the net and we go to the odd antiques or collectors' fair.
-You've been pulled in!
-I've been coerced, yeah!
I would put it into two lots first of all.
I would put this as a group,
your bottles, your weights and this pastille box
in one lot and I would put your little case as a separate lot.
I would put in an auction estimate of 100-200. Keep it wide.
-With perhaps a reserve of £80 on it.
Again, I'm being very conservative.
On your little bottle group,
I would say an estimate of 80-120, with a reserve of perhaps 65.
-Would you be happy to put it through at that?
And let's hope you can get more than just the handle
-for your daughter's designer bag.
-Get the clasp as well!
And I'm sure Anita will only be too happy to go shopping with you.
Back to Will now, who's found a fascinating bowl with some real provenance.
Well, Simon, you've brought in this really striking studio pottery bowl
for us to look at today, and I see also a letter.
Tell me, how does that pertain to the bowl?
Well, the letter is from the artist, who's Lucie Rie,
who wrote it to my late aunt following a visit
that my aunt had made to the V&A, and had seen a bowl
that was very similar to this,
written to Lucie and asked her if it was for sale.
The letter says, "The bowl's not for sale but I can make you another one."
-And this is her reply, and that's the bowl that she made.
Well, that's really what collectors of pieces like this are looking for.
Unfortunately, what they're not looking for is damage,
and you're well aware that there is a rather nasty hairline crack
running down into the body of the bowl here and just one or two chips on the rim.
Is it something that you like? Do you appreciate it?
To be honest, it's not my...
-Cup of tea.
-..my cup of tea. It's not on display at home.
It sits in a cupboard, it gathers dust.
I'd come from the other angle and say it really is my sort of thing.
I mean, Lucie Rie, I've sold her pieces in the past.
This is very typical of her sort of shape,
this very sort of conical shape on to an almost tiny foot,
which almost looks unstable for the size of the piece.
Bowls of hers can get up to this sort of size.
And if you are talking a bowl that sort of size, you're talking many thousands of pounds.
I mean, Lucie Rie, or "Lutsie," as it was originally pronounced,
because she's actually Austrian.
She was born in Vienna, early 20th century.
Emigrated from there in the 1930s for obvious reasons and came to England, came to London.
And when she first settled in London, she actually started off making ceramic buttons and beads.
It's only in later years, when we're looking back at the work she was doing, that we think,
"Well, actually, she was really at the sort of cutting edge of this sort of simple, modernist design,"
which is really what she was trying to achieve.
But here on the base we can see a nice studio pottery mark for Lucie Rie.
That's what you want to see on something like this,
a nice, clean, crisp impression. You've already told me that you don't like it.
-I'm growing to like it more and more.
-Yeah, there we go!
Well, it's quite an important piece, actually, in the whole history of British studio pottery.
I mean, she is one of the premier league names.
And this letter here, I mean, if I look at it...
Handwritten by Lucie Rie.
"Exhibition is not for sale.
"I could make you a similar one for you. It'll never be the same.
"Should you consider it, do ring me and come and see me." Well, that's typical of Lucie Rie.
She was well-known for taking guests into her studio and for giving tea and cake.
Now, I've talked it up, shall we say?
-I have talked it up. Have you got a sort of idea of what it's worth?
-Well, the world cruise is...
-We might be able to...
-Out of league, is it?
I think so. We might be able to buy you a brochure. How does that sound?
-All right. Well, that's a start.
-What did she pay?
She ended up paying £90.
-She was asked for £100. She ended up paying 90 in cash.
OK, so she negotiated down a bit. So that was back in when?
It's also dated. 1982, I see.
Of course, that £90 was without the damage, wasn't it?
It was for a perfect bowl hot off the potter's wheel.
Without the damage, you would be looking at mid=-hundreds,
I would have thought now, as a sort of translation.
But I think because of the damage, that has sort of pegged it back somewhat.
Let's fix a reserve at £100. What do you think?
-So, hopefully, then, once your commission's paid,
we'll sort of break even back at the £90,
-and print the estimate sort of 100-150.
-That will be very good.
Well, that's it. Our experts have now made their final selections,
so it's time to say goodbye to Wells Cathedral.
I've got to say we've had the most marvellous day here.
The people have been wonderful and we've found some cracking items.
But now it's time to go over to the auction room.
It's time to put the pressure on, and here's what we're taking.
Now, I'm no twitcher, but the quality of this etching is right up my street.
A lot of pharmaceutical items. I've split them into two lots this time.
One lot with the bottles and the other lot with this one.
I think that might be a wee star.
Now, I know it's got a bit of damage, but a Lucie Rie bowl with a letter of provenance?
This is going to be a great addition to anyone's collection. It's just the sort of thing I'd love to buy myself.
So we're back in Bridgewater with auctioneer Claire Rawle and the excitement of the saleroom.
Next up today we've got that beautiful etching
of the marsh tit with a value of £80-£100.
It belongs to Tony and he's selling it to put the money towards his big day.
So we need top dollar, OK, everyone? Will we get that £100-plus?
It's a good name, isn't it, artist-wise?
That's what sells pictures.
OK, it's just a little etching, it's not an original watercolour,
but for collectors, even book dealers who like illustrators...
She was an illustrator of bird books.
So I'm hoping the name has been picked up.
Good luck. This is it.
Winifred Marie Louise Austen.
The little marsh tit, the etching.
And this one I have to start away at £70.
-At 70 for the etching at the back there.
Do I see five anywhere? At £70 the bid's here with me, then.
-The only bid in the book.
It's going to go to my bidder, then, at £70.
It's gone. It went for £70, £10 over the reserve.
I'm happy with that. Every penny helps.
-Yeah, it sure does.
-And well done. Congratulations.
Enjoy that day because it goes just like that. It goes so fast.
-Thank you very much.
I wish them all the best.
Hoping the bidders' diagnosis will be favourable, it's the assorted pharmaceutical items.
Cheryl and David, it's great to see you again.
Hopefully now we can make some chemistry in the auction room.
Well, we should be with the lot we've got,
the pharmaceutical items. We've got two lots.
We split it up. So we've got the group.
There's quite a bit going on, but the first lot coming up is the little suitcase,
the leather one, which has a lot of contents, doesn't it?
It's a wee beauty. It's absolutely lovely. Most unusual.
Let's hope the bidders find this and fall in love with it as well.
This is the first one to go under the hammer. Here we go.
This late 19th, early 20th century fitted leather case
with the pharmacy bottles.
And I've got 55 here. At 55. Do I see 60 anywhere?
60. Five. 70. Five.
80 at the back of the room.
At £80. Now five anywhere?
At £80 it's going to be, then. Are you all sure and done?
Selling, then, at £80.
It's gone. Hammer's gone down.
-80. Yeah, yeah.
We're looking at a reserve of £65 for this lot,
but we would like a little bit more.
A set of pharmaceutical weights and there's some chemist bottles.
And I start straight in at £90. At 90.
-We've done it.
-Do I see five anywhere?
At £90 now. Five.
At £90, then. It's going to go to my bidder by the look of it at £90.
Wow! That's good, isn't it? That's very, very good.
They liked the bottles
-better than the little suitcase.
-It's the blue glass ones.
-Yeah. And I gather all the money is going towards a designer handbag, am I right?
-For your daughter?
-Oh, what a lovely present.
Now, depending on where you shop, that could be the handle or half a bag or a quarter...
But a big chunk towards it nonetheless.
Our final lot of the day is Simon's superb piece of studio pottery.
One of the best names in 20th century modern ceramics, Lucie Rie.
It's just about to go under the hammer with accompanying note.
It's a conical bowl. A little bit of damage, Simon. You didn't do that, did you?
-I did not.
-You didn't do that. How long have you had this?
-I've had it for about 15 years.
-It's a lovely thing.
-I mean, it's just exquisite. And the note, the handwritten note as well.
-That's what really makes it.
-I mean, personally, I think the letter's worth £100 on its own, just to have it, you know.
-So do I.
I'd just like to see it sold.
Why do you want to sell it, Simon?
Well, it's gathering dust, I have to say.
Let's find out what the bidders think, because this is a name to go for
and it's going under the hammer right now.
A Lucie Rie conical bowl.
And I have to start straight in at £200.
At 200. Do I see 220 anywhere?
-At £200. 220. 250 with me.
-Got a telephone bidder.
-280 on the telephone. At 280.
Do I see 300? At 280. 300.
Excellent. There's two telephone bidders.
That's what we wanted.
Fighting this out.
See, the purists know exactly...
-Imagine what it would be perfect.
No. 420 on the first telephone here. At £420.
At 420. Are you all sure? At 420.
Simon, top, top money. Put it there. That is brilliant, isn't it?
-Well done. Not at all.
-The letter did it.
-Anything like that, you know.
-That's such good provenance.
It just gives the bowl a story as well, and that's what people buy into.
You've got to be happy with that. A brilliant result.
Excellent. Really pleased about that. Thank you very much.
Really, really pleased.
-Thank you for bringing that in.
-It's a pleasure.
Well, that's it. Another day in another auction room.
It's all over for our owners now, and, as you can see, the auction is finished.
There's a real buzz still in the room, though,
because the bidders are collecting their lots and paying for them.
We've had a great day here. All credit to our experts.
I hope you've enjoyed the show.
Do join me again soon for many more surprises, because, as you know,
it's not an exact science, valuing antiques.
So until then, it's goodbye.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Flog It! is in the South West today in the divine city of Wells. Presenter Paul Martin is joined by experts Anita Manning and Will Axon who waste no time hunting for interesting items at the valuation day venue Wells Cathedral.
Anita plays mum when she discovers a Victorian doll and Will is captivated with a simple but beautiful piece of studio pottery by celebrated 20th century artist Lucy Rie. Also indulging in his passion for wildlife Paul swaps art history for natural history when he visits a Wildlife Rescue Centre.