Paul Martin visits Colchester with David Barby and Kate Bateman. There is a jaw-dropping moment at the auction as a jade scent bottle receives some unexpected attention.
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This is Colchester town hall in Essex.
These people are waiting to join in a very special TV programme!
And they've all brought along something for us to look at.
Welcome to Flog It!
This is the show where we value your antiques and send them off to auction.
I'm already eyeing up some items!
Oh, very nice. Look at that!
How beautiful is that?
-It's an improvement!
-Yeah, a big improvement!
Funny, I was just about to say that!
This lot hope their items are really going somewhere.
The journey starts here for many of our owners.
The queue at the valuation day.
Somebody here will go home later with an awful lot of money.
Stay tuned and you'll find out.
They don't know it yet, we don't know it yet and that's the exciting thing.
You never know what's going to happen when we go to auction,
which is where some of the lucky ones are going later.
Leading today's team of experts is David Barby, on the look-out for quality.
Hello, what have we got?
A load of rubbish!
-That's a good start!
-It really is rubbish.
You'll have to look a bit harder than that, David!
And we have auctioneer Kate Bateman. She's hot stuff when it comes to antiques.
I'm cold. Once we get going it'll be nice and warm.
Well, I could stay here all morning!
But now it's 9.30 by my watch. Time to get the queue inside
and start valuing.
As the crowd find their seats, they have no idea what the day has in store.
Trust me, one of them is in for a really big surprise.
At my age, you know, it's shocking, this sort of thing!
-Oh, do stop. This is awful!
Oh, no! They're still at it!
That's all to come. Let's get down to the valuations.
Here's Kate with Joe.
Joe, you've brought this fantastic centrepiece. What can you tell me about it?
Right. It was bought in 1965.
My mother bought it. There was a fantastic three-day auction
at an old house in Burnham on Crouch.
It belonged to a sea captain who'd brought back things, filled the house, from all over the world.
-My mother really loved it.
She always had it on the mantelpiece.
We had it out at Christmas on the table with a bunch of grapes hanging from here.
And tangerines and things down the bottom.
It's a really unusual shape. We've got all this crazy decoration.
-It's quite ornate. All these sea scrolls. It's a bit Rococo.
If we look on the bottom to see who the maker is.
As we suspected, Doulton Burslem.
A registration number, 142326.
If we look that up in a book, that will tell us it was made in 1890.
That's the year this registration number was put in the book.
It was retailed by Phillips of Oxford Street in London.
Quite a high-class retailer. Do you like it?
-I love it when it's got the grapes and the fruit.
-Very festive, I imagine.
-It is. It brings it all together.
It looks so empty like that.
When I see things like this, I expect to see bits broken off.
I've looked really carefully for bits of glue! But it seems to be perfect.
-It's amazing it's survived this well.
-You've taken good care of it.
-As good as I could.
That's one very good reason for selling it.
-Because it is in perfect condition.
Either it's a question of putting it in the loft to keep it safe
or putting it on the mantelpiece and it gets chipped or broken.
I'd think, "Why on earth didn't I bring it to Flog It before it got broken?"
That's probably a good thing. Pass it on to somebody who'll enjoy it.
-Price-wise, 100 to £150.
I wouldn't be surprised if it made a bit more on the day. It's a strange thing.
-Would you be happy with that sort of figure?
-What about a reserve of £80?
-And estimate of 100 to 150.
-What have you got there? I'm intrigued.
-That's actually the original catalogue.
-Where your mother bought it?
-We went there, my mother and I.
-And this is it, Lot 162.
-Yes. Old Doulton china fruit bowl and a Staffordshire figure.
-A Staffordshire figure.
-How much did you pay?
-Seven pounds, five shillings.
-So that's our aim, seven pounds, five shillings.
-I hope we improve on that.
-We'll send it to the sale room.
I think Kate's on safe ground, there.
As she says, it shouldn't be hard to make that seven pound target ten times over.
While she's been dealing in old money, Lena's brought in a fascinating old chap.
-Lena, what do you know about the oil painting?
-Very, very little.
I found it in a flat I bought about 35 years ago.
-Where was the flat?
-In Crouch End in London.
-Crouch End. And the owners just left him there.
-On the wall?
Yes, lots of bits and pieces. And wine in the cellar!
-Really? I like him. Don't you?
-I do. He's got a lovely old face.
Where has he been, these last 30 years? On the wall?
He's been under the stairs since I've had him.
Why under the stairs? Shouldn't he be on the wall going up the stairs?
-No, he's not very attractive. He's depressing.
Depressing! Now, this is signed Hans Tiel.
I took the opportunity, half an hour ago, to look him up on the internet.
German. Yeah. Instantly looking at this, you can say late 1800s quite easily.
Yet the weird thing is, when you look up his biog on the internet,
when you type in his name, it comes up with his date of birth as 1900
and his death, 1900.
So the website's not very reliable!
But looking at this I'd say that's circa 1890, 1900.
-Have you heard of him?
-No. Not until today.
-So I've learned something.
I think a very skilful artist.
It's loose, slightly impressionistic.
It takes a lot of skill to paint like that.
It's as if he's painted it in a hurry, but it's not. Know what I mean?
It's got life and vitality. Isn't he lovely?
-He's the uncle you never had.
-Old Uncle Albert.
-I think we put him into auction with a valuation of 100 to £150.
-That's super. Fine.
-And put a reserve on at £80.
-How do you feel about that?
-It's better than having him under the stairs!
-Why isn't he on the wall as you go upstairs?
Nice thing, going up the wall.
Going up the wall - exactly!
Well, it might be driving Lena up the wall, but I like it.
And so will someone else at the auction room.
So from one aging gentleman, it's over to David Barby
who's suddenly feeling younger.
-Congratulations, Lynne. You have brought the oldest piece along today.
This is a beautiful, beautiful piece
of Chinese, provincial Chinese, celedon ware.
Probably date-wise I would say 17th/18th century.
This is celedon green, a lovely opaque green glaze.
If you look right at the bottom of the bowl,
can you see the barest outline of design
and also following through on the sides.
-I'd never noticed that before.
-See it just cached in the light?
-I see, yes.
-This was actually carved into a block.
Then the clay was put on and turned on a wheel.
So you have this nice finish all the way round.
Inside, you're left with the relief pattern.
That was obliterated on this occasion by this thick glaze.
What do you use it for?
Well, it's been sitting on my coffee table for about ten years,
filled with pot pourri.
So I never noticed the design.
It's very difficult to see the design, actually.
But that's a good use.
When it came over to England, let's say in the 18th century,
it would have been used for the same thing.
Or it might have been used for fruit or gourds, something like that.
Is this a family heirloom? Have you had it a long time?
My father worked in Indonesia in the '50s, '60s.
So I suspect he bought it then.
-How astute of him!
Yes, it was. Yes.
What I like is the sort of aging detail underneath.
If you look, you'll see where this has been put onto the floor of a kiln.
In the firing and the glazing, it's picked up all the grit.
-Oh, I see.
-All the way round. Feel it.
Like little blotches of sand.
-What would this...
-That's when it was turned on the wheel.
-As it was finished like this.
And it's where it's possibly been cut off with a wire.
-Then this foot rim was added all the way round.
-I see. Right.
Lovely piece. I did notice as my hand was going round
that there's a hairline crack there.
And again there. So at one stage, a great chunk came out.
But for it to have survived that length of time is quite remarkable.
But that's going to affect its value.
-I'd like to see it do about 200 to 300.
But I think because of that hairline crack, it may deter people.
But for me it's quite exciting but I have reservations about the damage.
Right. OK. Would we put a reserve on it?
I think a reserve of 80.
-OK. Fair enough.
-So the guide price will have to be shoved up to 90 to 150.
-OK. That's fair enough.
-Happy with that?
Lynne, thank you very much for bringing this beautiful bowl along.
-And I hope it's going to surprise us both when it goes to auction.
-I'm looking forward to it.
-Thank you very much.
-Not at all.
Halfway through the day and the hall is still buzzing.
There are more people arriving all the time.
It's been hectic, our experts working flat-out meeting hundreds of owners and valuing their items.
-We're having a fabulous time, aren't we?
Have a big smile. The camera's up there. Give it a wave!
We're coming back later in the show to find some more gems.
Now let's go to the auction room to put those valuations to the test!
This is what we're taking.
Joe's Doulton centrepiece has stayed intact for 120 years.
I hope somebody at the auction will see it, fall in love with it and keep it that way.
He is my choice in going to auction today
because I think it's a good starting point for anybody that doesn't own an original piece of fine art.
At £100, you can't go wrong.
This is the oldest thing I've held today.
I hope it's reflected in the price at auction!
For our auction, we stay in Colchester. We're at Reeman Dansie auction rooms.
Before the auction, there's always time for prospective buyers to get hands-on.
And that includes me. I must show you this.
This caught my eye. Possibly my favourite thing here.
Unfortunately, it's not one of our owners' items.
But it's here for sale, lot 851.
Pardon the pun, but I think this might fly away.
I've looked it up in the catalogue and it says 1,000 to £1,500.
It's a hardwood model of a hawk. Look at this wonderful tail feather
which helps it to balance.
It's quite steady. See the key here?
An original key and lock. But look at this.
It's a lovely little box. And another compartment just here.
Fabulous detail. Absolutely fabulous.
Everybody wants to discover something in the sale room
that they know is worth a lot of money, hoping everyone else missed it.
I bet there's half a dozen people thinking the same thing.
It's got wear and got the age consistent with something from the early 1800s
possibly later - 1700s.
It's fabulous! I've never seen anything like it.
I've seen a lot of furniture like this, inlaid with bone and ivory from this region in India.
But nothing as sculptural as this.
It's folk art at its very best. This was found in a charity shop.
All the money is going to a local cancer hospice.
I think that's £15,000 at a top London fair.
That will fly away! Let's watch this one later.
851. Make a note of it.
The sale room is filling up and we're almost ready to start.
Remember, if you're buying or selling at auction, there's commission to pay.
That's how they pay the wages here. It varies, so check the small print in the catalogue
or ask the auctioneer.
Here at Reeman Dansie for our sellers, it's:
Today we're in the safe hands of auctioneer James Grinter.
Now for the moment we've been waiting for.
It's lights, camera and action!
Time's ticking away. Let's find out what it's worth!
Our first item is the one I spotted.
The oil painting on canvas by Hans Tiel.
A value of about 100 to £150, with a reserve at £80.
Unfortunately, owner Lena can't be with us. She's feeling poorly.
She really wants to be here. Lena, get well soon. All the best.
Let's find out what it's worth. Here we go.
The Hans Tiel. Late 19th-century oil on canvas.
Portrait of the bearded gentleman.
I have two commissions with me
and I start the bidding at £90. £90 with me now.
We've sold it.
At £90. With me at £90. Any advance?
All done at... 95. With you, madam. At 95.
That's more like it! Come on.
All done at £95.
Hammer's gone down.
£95. Blink and you'll miss that.
We got it away. Hope you're happy with that, Lena.
Short but sweet. Next up, Joe with his 120-year-old fruit dish.
Good luck, Joe. You've got a packed sale room here.
Quality always sells. Doulton is a great name.
We're looking at 100 to £150.
-You got this in auction, didn't you?
-Have you spotted anything here you'd like to buy?
-Some beautiful furniture.
-It's a good time to invest in antiques.
-There's never been a better time.
-And it doesn't get greener.
-Their carbon footprint is zero because they get recycled.
-It's the ultimate recycling.
-Have you seen anything you'd like to buy?
-Loads of things.
-If you were allowed!
-Yes. There's a box there I'd take home with me.
But sadly not. Not today.
Good luck. Let's find out what the bidders think.
We want £150 at the top end. Here we go.
The unusual Victorian Doulton Burslem fruit dish.
Complete with a grape suspender. There we are.
Very splendid thing. What do you say? 80?
£80 to start me. £80 to start me.
£80 for it. 60, then?
£60 start. 60 is bid on there. At 60.
At £60 bid now. At 60. Do I hear 65?
£60 is bid.
-£60 is bid.
-And advance? All done now?
-He's not selling.
65 on the internet.
70. At £70 bid now.
At 70. At £70 bid.
75. At 75.
-80. At £80 bid now. 80.
-Gosh, it's done it.
At £80 bid now. At 80. At £80.
-£80 is bid.
-Well done, internet bidders!
It's going to be sold. Against you on the internet. One more? £80 is bid.
Are you all done?
Internet bidding does slow it up, but it does put the prices up,
-that's for sure.
-It's worth the wait.
Somebody sitting at home on their computer bidding at the very last minute.
-Are you happy with that?
-Thank you. That was great.
-Just, wasn't it just? I didn't think it was going to sell.
-I thought it was stuck at 70. It's good.
What a rollercoaster ride!
If you want more excitement, hold on to your seats.
Remember that late 18th-century, early 19th-century wooden bird
inlaid with ivory and bone that I showed you earlier? It's going under the hammer.
We've had a huge amount of interest in this lot. We've got six telephone lines booked on it.
I hope we're through on all those lines.
The bidding's quickly reached £1,900.
At 1,900 now. 2,000 on the internet. 2,000.
2,100. At 2,100.
-This could be quite a long time!
-With me on the book at 2,200. 2,300.
2,400. With me on the book now at 2,400.
It's taking time because the internet is quite a slow process.
Telephone bid's come in now.
2,800. At 2,800.
At 3,000. 3,100. At 3,100. 3,200.
At 3,400. 3,500.
They certainly love it!
3,900 is bid. 4,000.
4,100 is bid now.
This is what it's all about, the excitement of the auction room!
At 4,800. 5,000.
The great thing is the money's going back to a cancer charity where the bird was found in a charity shop.
6,400. 6,600. 6,800.
At 6,800. 7,000.
7,000 now. I said earlier five to ten grand.
At 8,000. 8,400.
9,200. At 9,200.
10,500 on the internet.
Now I'm shivering! I'm tingling all over.
At 11,000. Make it 11,500?
11,500. 12,000 on the telephone.
12 grand! I wish this was one of our owner's items.
Are you sure? At 12,500 now.
That's the beauty of an auction.
That sale just shows how strong the market is for Asian items right now.
Let's hope some of it rubs off for our next item, the Chinese bowl.
We're about to find out what it goes for, what it's worth. Hi, Paddy. Hi, Lynne.
-You've got a bidding card there!
-I've spent my money!
-Spent my money already!
What are you after?
-I've bought two cups and saucers.
-This is nice. Bring something along, sell it,
-and buy something to take home.
-We haven't sold the item yet!
-Ah. Good point!
I think we will, though, don't you?
My reservation is it has a crack in it.
A bad crack. But it's a nice early piece.
But Chinese art and Korean art is flavour of the month.
Very difficult to put a price on.
I'm not expecting 41 million!
If only! That would be a record for Flog It!
Let's find out exactly what the bidders think. It's going under the hammer.
The early Chinese provincial celedon-charged dish.
With the moulded proud decoration. What do you say to start me? £80 to start me?
80? £80 to start me somewhere?
£80 I have on the internet.
Straight in at £80 bid.
£80 bid. 85?
-At £80. On the internet now.
-No-one's bidding against the internet buyer.
-He's selling it.
-Sold at 80.
-Well, it will cover my purchases!
-How much did they cost?
-I don't know what that cost.
-By the time you've divvied it up
and paid the commission and the buyer's premium,
you're about equal.
-Thanks very much.
That's it from the auction house right now. We'll be back later
with more items to sell.
We meet a lot of collectors on this programme,
people with shelves full of Clarice Cliff and display cabinets full of Royal Doulton.
But what if your budget is a lot bigger and your display shelves are the size of two big barns?
I'm at Bonnard's Farm in Essex to meet a man who's taking collecting to the next level.
It starts here through this rather unassuming door. Let's have a look.
There's always been a certain romance about the early days of motoring.
Cars have been with us now for over 120 years.
So are they mechanical artworks, technical wonders or just a necessity of modern life?
Either way, the nostalgia of those pioneering days
is still being fuelled by vintage rallies, museums
and more unusually, private collections like this one.
Bernard Holmes used to be an executive at the Ford Motor Company.
So when his own business ventures provided enough money for an expensive hobby,
it's not surprising his collection led here.
This is where it all started for you?
Yes, this was the first car we restored
and it was a nuts to bolts restoration. Body off, down to the chassis.
Incredible job you've done.
It was very enjoyable doing it.
What do you look for in a practical classic like these lovely old cars
-when you go to buy one.
-If I come across a car and I fall in love with it, I'll buy it.
I then add it to the collection.
So this one was bought. I knew nothing about the car.
I've learned about it as I've restored it and I've learned to love it.
We've travelled a number of miles in it.
All these cars get used.
-They're all roadworthy.
-It's after using them that you get an affinity with them.
-But you would buy a wreck, would you?
-Yes, this one was a wreck.
A very expensive wreck! But it was a wreck when I bought it.
You couldn't have used it.
You get the parts hand-made now in this country?
Yes, what you try and do is use the original part and repair it
by re-sleeving or putting bushes in or whatever.
That's the first way to go.
If you can't do that, you're forced into copying the part and remaking it.
You try and do that as little as possible.
You do a lot of the work yourself, which keeps the costs down.
Yes. Although I say I do the restoration myself,
obviously I use a team of people. So I subcontract the paint out.
I subcontract the upholstery out.
A friend of mine, Barry, did the wickerwork.
Somebody else does the woodwork for me.
But there's a lot of time and money spent in disassembling the car,
doing all the running around, getting the parts plated, that's what I do.
Bernard has 26 cars and dozens of motorbikes
all restored to an incredible condition.
If we're going to talk about these wonderful vintage cars, you have to include a Rolls Royce!
-You ought to, I guess!
-And there's one right here!
This is a 1913 Silver Ghost
with a particularly light bodywork on it.
-It's called a London to Edinburgh.
-It was built as a Grand Tourer.
Yes. And this is capable of 70 miles an hour.
Last year we did a tour via Paris down to the Cotes D'Azur
-back to Monaco and back through the Alps.
-Your wife told me you took this to Durban.
Yes, we did 4,500 kilometres around South Africa.
Durban, Swaziland, and down out through Cape Town.
-What did the people from the townships think about this?
I always think people are very generous.
Actually, we did take this into a township.
And it just caused the same sort of stir that it would in England!
They must have thought you were royalty! It's incredible!
You don't get envy. People just admire the car for what it is.
-Clap and cheer!
-It's very generous of people, really.
What would one of these cost in this condition today?
-Half a million, I guess.
But they're not all that price. The entry level would be a Model T Ford.
There are thousands still on the road. You can get one for £10,000.
All that nostalgia is kept alive by events like the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.
It started in 1927 and every year, 500 old cars make the 54-mile journey south.
The only rule is they have to have been built before 1905.
It's an enthusiast's dream, and some of them really go!
Bernard's cars are regulars on the various historic rallies.
His engineering background means he has his favourites.
I'm particularly interested in De Dion Bouton.
I have single cylinders, twins, four cylinders, an eight-cylinder.
-So I can follow the De Dion.
-What's the fascination with them?
I like the engineering.
And at the turn of the last century,
Darroch and De Dion supplied more than 60% of all motor cars.
-In the world. So they were the leaders in their industry.
Let's look at another. I know you have a favourite down there.
It's a particularly exciting car.
It's a twin-cylinder De Dion dating from 1904.
Let's have closer look. Is it easy to drive?
It's particularly easy, this one,
because you just move this lever into that position,
push that forward, and you're in first gear.
-Push it back and you're into second gear.
-Then move that back to that position and that's into third gear.
-So it's a bit like rubbing your tummy and patting your head.
But once you're used to it, there's no possibility of mucking the gear change up.
-You need good co-ordination.
-Yes. And it's got a good turn of speed.
35 miles an hour, nearly 40 miles an hour.
You don't go any faster or it vibrates itself to death!
What a wonderful collection. The good news is, Bernard opens to the public on selected days of the year.
Back at Colchester town hall, everyone's in good spirits
and Kate is ready with our next owner, Mariette.
Mariette, hello. Welcome to Flog It! You've brought something small and beautiful!
-Tell me about it.
I can't tell you very much. I brought it on behalf of my mother.
She inherited it when my father's mother died, my paternal grandmother.
It's lived in the box ever since. That's all I know about it.
-In a box? You don't show it at all?
-It's come from quite far away.
-What he have here is a 19th-century Chinese celadon jade scent bottle.
If we pick it up here, it's so small and tactile,
it's got this lovely little brass and turquoise, but faded, lid.
And then you've got what's probably a bone or possibly ivory scoop.
I guess you'd dip it in and dab it behind your ears or dab your perfume inside your wrists
and put it back in.
It's really sweet.
The only other thing I can think it might be used for is snuff or something like that.
It could be that instead of perfume a snuff scoop that you'd put a pinch of snuff on and sniff it up!
But it's quite a lovely thing, irrespective of what its use is.
We'll stick with scent bottle at the moment.
It's a lobed, we call it lobed form decoration.
-But otherwise very plain.
Often we see them with intricate carvings, dragons, all kinds of stuff on it.
But I love the simplicity of this. It's so tactile.
-You want to pick it up...
-And stroke it, yes.
It's a lovely thing.
It sits in a box!
-So you wouldn't be gutted if we sold it, I suppose?
-No, she wouldn't be, no.
-It's your mother's.
Price-wise, there are lots of collectors out there.
Obviously the earlier stuff is higher prices.
But Jade is quite high at the moment.
Chinese collectors are buying stuff like this back again.
-I would have thought conservatively it's 50 to £80, something like that.
-But I would certainly put a reserve on it of £50 just to protect it.
You could maybe give it a bit of auctioneer's discretion, so maybe they'd let it go at 45.
-But I think it's worth £50 every day of the week.
but it sits in a box and my mother doesn't want it,
so sell it. Flog it!
Flog It! That's the name of the game and why we're here!
-We'll give it a go at the sale room.
-Hopefully they'll have other Oriental bits to help it sell.
-Attract other bidders, yes.
-I'm scenting victory at the sale room!
Wonderful. Thank you very much. Thank you.
From a luxury item to something much more practical that's caught David Barby's eye.
Peter, this is quite an extraordinary collection
related to watches and clocks.
In particular, restoration of clocks and watches.
Where did all these come from?
It was a hobby. Many years ago, I was interested in engineering
so I decided to look at something which was quite easy to pick up
as regards items, clocks and watches.
-But mainly clocks.
-It is such an exacting profession, clock repairs.
-It certainly is, yes.
But these are extraordinary.
This one here, which dates from the end of the 19th century
-is called an uprighting tool.
And this is for drilling back-plates of watches?
Back and front-plates, yes.
And it's so simple and wonderfully executed.
We have this adjusting section up here, called an arm
-which held the actual mechanism or clock.
-It held the plate.
And you could adjust it, then the drill was passed through the top.
-It's a beautiful instrument. Lovely. This one here
is again a well-made piece.
-What would you use this for?
-The same again, working with watches.
Turning the pivots and parts of the wheels.
And this one here, which I think is an extraordinary-looking object,
particularly with the handle here.
To accompany all these, we've got a lovely selection of books.
This one here, Watchmaker's Handbook.
-This is just a straightforward description of how to work clocks.
Even to the extent of polishing brass.
-They give you everything.
This would make a very interesting lot on its own.
-But I think the best is this one here.
I noticed it was owned by C.Curzon,
escapement maker, south Tottenham.
-He was the one that owned this book.
Obviously he was a friend of the author,
Britten has actually signed the dedication to Mr Curzon
"With F.J.Britten regards."
-How many times do you see a book autographed...
-..by the author, with a dedication.
-Both involved in clocks. Clock restoration, clock making.
This is extraordinary. Why are you parting with them?
I've finished with my hobby now.
There's no need for it now.
I've enjoyed it over the last 30 years.
-The time has come for me to depart and maybe someone else will enjoy them.
"Time to depart"?
Depart from the...
Plenty of life in you yet!
As regards value, I don't know how the auction house will deal with this.
They may separate it into two lots.
But overall, I think we have a price range in the region of about
-250 to £300.
And I would think that they would suggest maybe,
excluding those two books,
they might suggest something in the region of about
£200 for this lot
and a reserve of about 180.
Yes, that's fair.
And that will leave those two books to be sold separately.
They could make anything up to £100.
So I'm putting these up for sale by auction in fear and trepidation
in view of your professionalism!
-So I hope they'll do well.
-So do I.
-Thank you very much. Fascinating talking to you.
-And you, too.
The valuation day is drawing to a close. We're off to auction.
Here's David and Kate with their thoughts on what we're taking.
I'm sure this Chinese scent bottle will make at least £50 at auction.
It's so tactile, I hope there's a collector for snuff bottles or scent bottles that will take it home.
This is such an extraordinary collection of clockmaker's tools.
Bearing in mind that at Colchester there was such a vibrant clock-making industry
during the 18th and 19th century.
So it's back to the auction room
just down the road at Reeman Dansie in Colchester.
The great thing about auction preview days,
you get a chance to look around, take your time and pick the lots up,
make sure there's no damage. Chat to the auctioneer.
He's duty-bound to talk to you and pick out all the faults and tell you the provenance.
That's his business. He wants to promote it.
Now, tell you what I've fallen in love with!
Can you guess what they are? I'll tell you.
They're made out of metal, gold-leafed bay trees in the form of a standard lamp.
A matched pair. They're quite weighted.
They terminate in these lovely bamboo baskets
and they'd be ideal in a conservatory.
They create the look. If you've got double doors into a conservatory,
I think those lit... There's some spotlights in there, about four or five.
Once those are on, you've really got the look.
This is a proper interior designer's lot.
They're here today for sale at only a couple of hundred pounds.
You can't make them for that.
I know they're kitsch, but there's something really fun about them.
Our auctioneer, James Grinter is ready at the rostrum. Here we go.
Our next owner is amateur clock and watch repairer Peter with two lots.
The specialist tools and his clockmaker's handbooks, up first.
Wonderful books. Obviously,
your bible, the definitive guide to repairing clocks and watches.
You must have nimble fingers and great eyesight!
I've got stumpy, clumpy things. Could you repair them?
-No, I couldn't. I'd bodge it.
-I wouldn't have the patience!
Good on you. Have you repaired many in your day?
Not watches so much, because they're so small.
-But mainly clocks all the time.
-Would you like to have been a professional?
I wouldn't mind because I'm interested in engineering as well.
That would have been ideal. There you go.
-What's your hobby now?
-You've got a long way to go!
The Watch and Clockmakers' Handbook.
And the other watch book.
£50 start me.
£50 to start me. 50's bid on there. At 50.
£50 bid now. Five. 60. Five.
£65 bid here. At 65.
At £65 bid. 70 anywhere?
-£65 is bid.
-They're worth a lot more.
-All done? At £65.
Sold at £65, just over the £60 reserve.
-Sorry we couldn't get you any more.
-That's auctions for you!
That's money in the bank. Now Peter's clock-making tools.
The thing I like about this lathe is the way it tightens the spring.
If it accidentally comes off, it shifts all over the place.
Very skilled, very careful.
It's a wonderful little lathe. Hopefully it will get top end of estimate.
Let's find out.
The Swiss small precision lathe.
And other watch-repairing items here.
I have two commissions with me. I start the bidding at £320.
Do I hear 340? £320 with me now. At 320.
At £320 with me. At 320. Do I hear 340?
At 320 with me. 340.
360. 360 still with me now. 360.
Still with me. Are you all done?
Yes! I'm so pleased!
£360. Brilliant. Fabulous.
Spot-on estimate, there.
-Got to be happy with that?
-I'm pleased with that. Very pleased!
-So what hobbies have you taken up?
-Just resting now!
-Enjoy the money, Peter.
-Thank you very much.
Unusual item. First we've ever had.
That's a grand total of £425 for the two lots.
A retirement fund for Peter!
Now we're going all girly and delicate
with this lovely 19th-century Chinese jade scent bottle.
We're looking at 50 to £80. It belongs to Mariette. This is Mum.
-It is actually mine!
-It's yours, isn't it! What's your name?
-Pleased to meet you.
Why have you decided to sell this?
-Because I don't collect scent bottles.
It's a lovely little thing.
It was a present to my husband from a grateful patient.
-OK. Happy with the valuation?
It should do the top end, shouldn't it?
-Jade and Chinese things are doing really well. So I'm hoping.
-Time to sell.
We'll find out what the bidders think. Good luck, Kate. Good luck both of you.
Thank you very much, Paul.
A late 19th-century Chinese green jade snuff bottle.
A snuff bottle here.
Two commissions with me.
Start the bidding at £320.
-£320 with me now. 320.
320. Do I hear 340?
At 320. 340 on the internet. 360.
At 360 with me on the book. 380.
400. At £400 with me.
440 with me.
440. 460. 480.
-480 is bid now. 500.
£500 I'm at. 520. Another place on the internet. 540. 540 on the internet.
-At my age, it's shocking, this sort of thing!
620 on the internet now. 640.
640 is bid now. 640.
At 640. 660? At 660.
660 is bid now.
-I've gone all clammy.
-I don't believe it!
-This is ridiculous!
740 is bid. 760?
-We missed something, didn't we, Kate?
-Somebody's gone mad.
At £800 now. 820? 820.
-820 is bid.
820. 840? On the internet
-Oh, do stop! This is awful!
-No, don't stop!
All done now? Fair warning.
All done at 86... 880.
880. Back in the UK now.
900 in China!
At £900 in China.
Mr UK, will you make it 920?
Come on, UK!
-At 920 now. 940 back in China.
-940 in China.
-Let's round it up!
940. All done at £940.
-Back in the UK! 960.
I like your style, sir. 980.
Back in China.
Round it up to £1,000. Come on.
It's only money! At £980.
Make it £1,000?
Last chance. £980. Sold!
-What a lovely surprise!
-I can't believe it.
Tingling! Hope you're on the edge of your seats at home! Enjoying it as much as we are.
Absolutely wonderful. And it will all go to charity.
-I've made up my mind.
-Medecins Sans Frontieres.
-My favourite charity.
My heart is really going. That rarely happens to an auctioneer!
What a rollercoaster ride!
We said somebody was going home with a lot of money and it's you!
I can't believe it. Thank you very much.
Thank you for bringing it in.
We're out of time here. Hope you've enjoyed the day as much as we have.
Join us again for more surprises. Until then, cheerio from us.
Thank you very much indeed.
It was a wonderful experience!
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Paul Martin and the team head to Colchester in Essex. The experts are led by David Barby and Kate Bateman.
There is a jaw-dropping moment at the auction when a jade scent bottle found by Kate receives some unexpected attention.
Meanwhile, Paul visits an extreme collector - a man who buys and restores old cars and has a collection of 26 roadworthy vehicles dating back a hundred years.