Stapleford Park in Leicestershire is the venue. On the lookout for rare and interesting items are Paul Martin and experts Elizabeth Talbot and Mark Stacey.
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This magnificent architectural delight may look like a French chateau but it's not.
We're still here in England.
A little bit of France has come to us,
in the heart of the wonderful Leicestershire countryside.
Welcome to Flog It!
This is Stapleford Park.
Like the jewel in the crown it is,
it has drawn a wonderful crowd of people here today,
all laden with boxes full of antiques and collectibles,
all hoping they're one of the lucky ones to go off to auction
later on in the programme and go home with a small fortune.
Who is it going to be? Stay tuned and you'll find out.
Joining us in our quest today to find some superior items to take off to the sale room
are experts Elizabeth Talbot and Mark Stacey.
And the competition begins.
And it looks like Elizabeth has made a good head start.
-You can't get it now!
-Isn't it terrible?
I turn my back for one minute and all the goodies are gone.
-Look, she's even got the chair.
-My bottom's slightly smaller than yours, I think, Mark.
How very dare you!
How very dare you!
I think I could squeeze in that. You might not get it back off!
Well, I'd better get back to the pew before you pinch everything else, then.
Are you ready to go inside, everyone? Come on, then.
There's a really good turnout today.
As the crowds flood in with their items,
we're moving inside to escape the great British summer(!)
Coming up on the show, Mark meets one of his biggest fans.
I'm just pleased to be here with you.
Oh! Stop it, I'll blush!
-Nice to meet you, Mark.
-Lovely to meet you. And good luck.
# Love is in the air. #
Aw, look! There must be something in the air
as Elizabeth gets in on the act, too!
Graham, shall we dance?
And we find out which famous author had a moment of insanity on his wedding night.
He woke up in the middle of the night and screamed out, "I'm in hell!"
I mean, could you imagine, on his honeymoon night?
He looked at that, looked at the fire
and thought he's in Dante's Inferno!
But, before all of that, bags and boxes are being unwrapped.
In this glorious setting, typically, Mark unearths a quirky number.
Well, Terry, I don't know where to begin.
Where on earth did you get this picture from?
I bought it on a car boot two years ago in Worcestershire.
Did you pay a lot of money for it?
I did. I paid £2.
Well, at least you got the frame.
I think it's a really fun picture.
I mean, it's a bit of nonsense, really, isn't it?
I'm guessing it was painted maybe in the 1950s/'60s/'70s, that sort of era.
It's what I call, in Brighton, a bit of kitsch.
-And these sort of things are very popular on the south coast,
these kitsch pictures, from this period.
We haven't even tried to look the artist up
because I don't think we'll find out anything about him.
-It's very in-your-face, isn't it?
-Very comical, very nice.
Now why did you buy it? Come on, tell us.
-I quite liked it!
-You quite liked it? Really?
-I did, yes.
-I just thought it was...
Friendly? Well, it is quite friendly I suppose, if you like.
And he's looking at bee, just in case it stings him.
Terry, I think I'd know the answer to this, but you've had it a couple of years already,
has it been pride of place in your sitting room?
No. Sorry, no.
OK. That's fair enough. I thought you were going to say that.
-So it's time for it to go?
-It's time for it to go.
I have no idea how to value this.
I think it's a little bit of fun and I think,
if the auction house appreciates it for what it is,
a little bit of fun art, then we should be all right.
-I don't think it's going to break any records for Flog It!
If I'm being honest with you, I think we should put it in at something like £20-£30
and have a bit of fun with it.
-Shall we bother with a reserve or just leave it?
-No. Just let it fly.
-Let it fly. Let it fly you to £28!
-Or even a bit more.
-I look forward to a bit of fun at the auction, Terry. Thank you.
-Thank you very much.
There's a brief break in the rain clouds,
allowing me to get outside and admire the wonderful grounds of Stapleford Park.
Isn't that lavender beautiful? And it smells gorgeous, as well.
There's hundreds of bees working away there.
They're as industrious as our experts that have been hard at work inside.
But, for my valuation, I've come outside to talk to Roger
because he's got a couple of football teams.
MUSIC: MATCH OF THE DAY THEME TUNE
Well, we are talking miniature football teams.
They're toys. In fact, they're Britain's figures.
Roger, hello. Thank you for bringing these in today. Are you a football fan?
-No, I'm not, actually.
-Was your father?
-No, he wasn't.
How did you come by them?
I was on holiday four or five weeks ago in North Wales.
I went into a little antiques centre and there they were for sale.
-How much did you pay for them, do you mind me asking?
When I saw them, I thought, "Ooh, they're worth a little bit more than that."
-You picked up a bargain.
-About 38 figures.
Yeah, there's two teams, isn't there? Two full teams.
Three footballs, which you don't normally see.
And a few sort of spares from some other team.
I think that's Sheffield United.
-I can't believe you paid that much for them.
-No, I can't, really.
-Have you done any research?
-Not really, no.
We collect toys and games, my wife and myself.
I just saw a bit of profit in them.
That's why I thought, "Ooh, I'll have a go and buy them."
Well, there is a bit of history about Britains.
They were invented by William Britain in 1893.
He came up with the idea of these hollow, lead figures.
They're from a mould. Obviously they're cast.
A cheap way of doing things, but they certainly became the market leader.
Before long, every other toy manufacturer was copying this.
-But Britains were the best.
-They're very early figures.
-They're all dated, aren't they, underneath?
So this is before the company went limited, cos they went limited in 1907.
They literally dominated the world for years.
I mean, every little boy and every grown man would have had one.
The family sold the business in 1984.
I think that was about the right time as all the kids were starting to buy plastic figures.
-Yeah, that's right.
-Oh, they are just super!
I think that footballers are quite rare.
We've seen a lot of the soldiers on the show before.
Obviously condition plays a big part. These are a little bit tatty.
-But the goalies, their arms move, don't they?
We've got an example of a goalie here. His arms move, don't they?
So it's all there.
Would you be happy if we put them into auction and turned a profit of £100?
Ooh, I would, yes. Certainly.
Well, I tell you what. I think you just might make a profit of £200.
-Yes, I do. A set did sell recently in auction.
They were in slightly better condition. It was two full teams.
-And they made just over £300.
So that gives you an idea of the kind of figure we're looking at.
So let's put them into auction with a value of £200-£250.
-Yeah, that'd be fine.
-But we could hit the back of the net with £300.
-They're very nice. They're very nice, yes.
Now I'm a bit concerned because we've lost one of the footballs!
Well, hopefully, they'll make their way to the auction with all three footballs.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth couldn't resist some old "Flog It!" favourites.
-Susie, hello. Thank you for bringing your Troika in.
Now this is not an unknown quantity on "Flog It!" but tell me about your collection.
Well, I didn't buy them altogether,
but I've had them for a long time because I've always liked Troika pottery.
-Do you remember which sequence you bought them in?
I seem to remember buying these fairly close together.
I think I bought the square one a bit later on.
Do you know much about the Troika factory at all? Or the history of it?
Not an awful lot.
I mean, it's a name that people are now very familiar with.
A few years ago nobody would have known what we were talking about.
Now it's very visually familiar to people.
The Troika factory was established in St Ives, in Cornwall, in 1963.
They created, very often, these flat-sided, slab-sided pieces, normally vases.
They were destined to imitate either granite or concrete.
It was very much a modern look.
Hans Coper and Ben Nicholson were great influences on their design and their artwork.
So two big names who they looked to for inspiration.
Yes, sounds familiar.
The pottery moved to Newlyn in about 1970.
Then it closed in 1983. So, actually, it was only 20 years old.
They produced a lot, when we look back at it, in a relatively short space of time.
-I didn't realise that.
-You didn't know?
We have the cube, the wheel vase and the chimney vase.
Quite self-explanatory in terms of shape. Do you have a favourite?
-I think, possibly, this one.
-The wheel vase?
It works really, really well.
And it's very strong in size and decoration on this really bold circle.
I notice, from looking at this, that the wheel has a couple of little chips,
but the rest of the collection seems to be in very good condition.
-Do you have them out on display?
-I haven't, no.
-I've got two Bengal cats so...
-I keep them in boxes, unfortunately.
It seems a waste.
Troika has gone up and down in value over the last few years.
The values accelerated quite rapidly, probably about five or six years ago,
then almost peaked because people had seen so much of it that it sort of reached its plateau.
But I think now it's settled down and there are very avid collectors of it.
So, if we start on the left, the cube vase here is probably the most often-seen shape.
This one, at the moment, would have an auction value of around about £50-£70.
The wheel vase, because of the damage, we'd mark it down quite harshly on that,
I think you'd be looking at around about 70-100 on that one.
-Because of the damage.
I like the chimney vase and this one here is designed by Avril Bennett.
Her monogram is on the bottom there.
That one, I would think, should fetch in the region of about £100-£150.
The collection, therefore, is worth £220-300, that sort of level.
-When you put them all together.
If we leave it to the auctioneer to decide whether they're sold individually or as a group,
he'll give guidance as to how his auction house will best sell them.
-But if we request that they put a fixed reserve on...
Thank you so much for bringing your collection. I think it's really charming.
And I shall see you at the auction.
-And we shall hope that people keep on bidding!
As I'm sure they will. Troika rarely lets us down.
-Good luck with that.
You never know what's going to turn up at one of our valuation days.
And you never know what's going to happen at an auction room.
We've now found our first three items.
So here's a quick reminder of what's going under the hammer.
Terry's canine kitsch picture isn't going to make a fortune
but at £20-£30, it should improve on his two quid investment.
Roger's footy figures by Britain are a fantastic find and a real rarity.
I reckon they're worth £200 of anybody's money.
Finally, Elizabeth thought this trio of Troika is a sure bet at £220-£320 for the group.
But will the damage go against them?
We've travelled south to the historic, picturesque town of Market Harborough.
It's time for today's auction.
This is where we're putting all our valuations to the test.
It is crunch time. Don't go away because anything could happen.
It's an auction.
Some of the things might not sell but some of the things could triple their estimates.
Yesterday I caught up with auctioneer John Gilding, the man with all the local knowledge.
This is what he had to say about one of our items.
I fell in love with these at the valuation day back at Stapleford Park.
-I'm not surprised.
-Roger's such a lovely man and I'm surprised he's selling them because
he's only bought them recently, in a little antique shop for £37.
-Next to nothing. So, you see, you can get bargains in antique shops, as well as auctions!
But there's quite a lot here.
There's 37 separate little figures,
which includes three footballs, which are very rare.
I know the condition's against it but there's a lot of little fellas there.
So I've given it a £200-£250 estimate.
-Well, it may do 300.
-I would hope so.
I mean, I've sold loads and loads of lots, as you already know.
-And I've never seen them before.
We've seen and sold so many Britains on the show before but not footballers.
All of these are stamped "Britains 1904" underneath as well.
-I'm looking forward to selling these.
-Game on, then!
-It's game on!
And it is kick-off time at the auction.
And John's in position at the rostrum.
First up it's Terry,
who hopes his puppy dog eyes will attract some serious bidders.
-Why are you selling it, Terry?
-Just too many pictures.
-What, comical dog pictures?
-No. No, just too many pictures.
It's got to go, unfortunately.
-Even though I do like it.
-What drew you to the basset, anyway?
-I just liked it, something about it.
-Yeah, bassets are hilarious, they really are.
I think it's the ears and their stubbornness.
Oh, I just love it, Paul. It's so kitsch.
-You know, it's so of its time.
-It is, isn't it? It's so '70s.
-And, living in Brighton, of course, this thing is big.
I mean, this would really appeal to the Brighton market.
Whether it does to the Leicestershire market, I don't know. But I love this picture.
Well, let's hope the Brighton market are on the telephone
-and on the internet right now, OK.
-I hope so.
Because, otherwise, you've got to be here to buy it.
I think it's wonderful. It's so quirky.
-Do you know what I like about it?
-It does put a smile on your face.
-It puts a smile on your face.
-It really does.
-And that's worth investing £20 or £30 in. That's what we want.
-It cost you a couple of pounds?
-That's all, yes.
-OK, good luck.
Here we go. Wave goodbye!
Study of a puppy. Now this is good.
-"This is good," he says.
-£20 opens the bidding.
-Oh, we've got 20.
£20, I'm bid 20 and I shall sell.
At £20. I'm bid 20. £20. I'm bid 20. Do I see 25? On commission.
25. I'm bid 25.
Eight on there. 28. 30 on commission. £30. I'm bid 30.
At £30, I'm bid 30. All done.
Selling on commission, then, at £30. All finished and away at 30.
-You'll lose on the net.
-£30. Well, you can't go wrong with that.
-Good valuation, as well. You said 20 to 30.
-Thanks very much, Mark.
-You're very welcome.
Thanks for bringing it on and thanks for putting a smile on our faces.
Yes, it definitely did that. Thank you.
# You ain't nothing but a hound dog Crying all the time... #
Well, there really ain't nothing like a hound dog. It sold on commission,
to someone who wasn't in the room,
but left a bid with the auctioneers.
Let's hope our winning streak continues on the pitch.
It's my turn next to be the expert.
-Roger, it's great to see you again. Hello, there.
-We're talking about those little footballing figures. Who is this?
-This is Chris, my wife.
Right, and I understand when you were on holiday,
-out on a little buying trip, that you were the one who paid for these.
-So you deserve to be here.
-In fact, it's all your money!
Roger, go over there. Go on, to the back of the room.
I was hoping to get a little bit out of it!
I had a chat to the auctioneer earlier.
He thought they're an absolute bargain for £37.
-So did I. We both agreed they should do around £200.
I hope so, yeah.
He said, in all the years of being an auctioneer, selling antiques,
he's not come across Britain's lead footballers.
So it's a first for him, as well.
Well, this is it. Let's find out what the bidders think and, hopefully,
there's some phone lines booked.
Now this is very different.
Footballers in lead and bidding starts at a hundred.
On commission, at £100, I'm bid.
£100, I'm bid. 100. Do I see ten anywhere, quickly?
At £100, I'm bid.
At £100. I'm bid at 100.
I thought there'd be a lot more than this. 110.
I'm bid 110. 120.
At £120 it includes the footballs, as well, of course.
-And the balls are so rare.
£120. I'm bid 120.
Well, surprise, surprise!
At 120, you're watching on the net, you're not bidding.
We've got reserve of 150.
Do I see 30 anywhere? All done. Finished. Away, then, at £120.
Well, I'm sorry, I can't sell them at that. Sorry.
-Not to worry.
-No-one here wants them. It's as simple as that.
-It doesn't mean to say they're not worth that money.
-You know that, don't you?
So, whatever you do, don't let them go for any less than £150.
No, that's what I thought.
If there is another day, in another auction...
Yes. Oh, well. Not to worry. Thank you, anyway.
Oh, dear. That is auctions for you. But I stand by my valuation.
And I'm sure they'll do better on another day.
Hoping for a better result is Susie with her Troika vases.
But, since the valuation day, she's had a change of heart.
-Now, we started off at the valuation day with three Troika items.
We're left with two. You've withdrawn one.
-Why is that? And which one?
Well, my daughter wants to keep the round one.
-She likes that one so I decided to keep it.
-A good one to keep.
And I gather Susie's been fiddling with the valuations, haven't you?!
We're starting off with the chimney vase, for which we were hoping for £100-£150, with a reserve of 100.
-Now you're saying the reserve you want is 150.
-Is that fixed or discretion?
You haven't meddled with the other one, have you?
We are looking at...what? You have? You have meddled?
I think I put a fixed value of £50 on that.
OK, we've got 50 to 70 but you've just stuck a fixed reserve on it.
OK. That's the second of the two. This is the first one, going under the hammer now, the chimney vase.
The Troika chimney vase.
Lovely piece here. Lots of interest. £110 bid.
110, I'm bid 110. 120.
130. 140. 150.
£150, I'm bid.
At £150, I'm bid. Do I see 60 anywhere? 160 ahead.
-170 on commission.
-This is good.
-180 in the room and the commissions are all out.
At £180. I'm bid 180. At £180, you're quite sure? Selling to the room standing.
Yes, £180! That's good, isn't it? That's very, very good.
You were right to be so confident, I have to say.
Right, here's the next one.
Another Troika piece.
Monogram JF. Opening bid here, please, of £45.
45. I'm bid 45. 50.
Five. 60. Five.
-70. Five. 80.
You're out at the door. £80, far and away.
At £80. Do I see five?
-Sold at £80.
-And it's gone down! £80. Well done, you.
Something tells me that you would have been pleased
if they didn't sell.
I possibly would.
-Well done, you, as well.
-Oh, I did nothing. Well done, Susie.
With a combined total of £260 for only two of her vases,
Susie goes home very happy.
Well, so far, so good.
That concludes the first visit to the auction room this morning.
We're coming back later on in the day.
So, whatever you do, don't go away.
There could be one or two big surprises.
While we were up here in the area,
I decided to go off and do some exploring.
And you know I love architecture, so take a look at this.
You have to admit it, that vista over there is so romantic and tranquil.
You can't better that!
And this stretch of ornamental water is just so still.
It was formerly the backwater of the River Trent
and I'm surrounded by countryside and nature.
Beautiful, mature trees. A fine example of a larch tree over there.
You can't beat it on a day like today.
It would be the perfect place to build a family home,
just like this one.
This magnificent Jacobean house is Thrumpton Hall.
It dates back to the early 1600s.
Even though it's in this secluded setting,
it's certainly had its brushes with history and seen some turbulent times.
So much has happened here in the last four centuries.
I've picked a few of the more intriguing and colourful stories to tell you.
The house is built around the remains of an earlier Tudor house, belonging to the Powdrell family.
But, as Roman Catholics in the reign of Elizabeth I,
their involvement in the notorious Babington plot to overthrow
the Queen cut short their tenancy.
The Powdrells were evicted when it was discovered they were hiding a priest here, in this very room.
I can show you, behind all this oak panelling,
there is a little secret door, which leads to priest hole.
Look at this. This is a remarkable survivor from the original building.
Like any secret hiding place, it's full of intrigue, excitement
and there's an atmosphere about this because we're talking high stakes.
It was a matter of life and death.
And they weren't hiding any old priest,
they were hiding Father Henry Garnet,
one of the leading conspirators to plot against Queen Elizabeth.
I wouldn't like to be down there for too long.
These conspiracies were ruthlessly suppressed.
The Powdrells were lucky to escape with their lives.
Their neighbour, however, Sir Anthony Babington wasn't so lucky.
As the leader of the plot, he was sentenced to death for treason and conspiracy against the Crown.
The punishment he received was the severest at the time.
He would be hung, drawn and quartered at the tender age of 25.
The discovery of this plot was also the end of Mary, Queen of Scots.
She was beheaded a few months later.
A bloodthirsty chapter in English history.
Soon after the new owners, the Pigots, rebuilt the house as we see it today.
And at the end of the Civil War, having come through another turbulent time,
Gervase Pigot the Younger embarked on more improvements to the house.
He celebrated the restoration of Charles II to the throne
by commissioning this rather understated staircase.
Well, I'm only joking there because there's absolutely nothing understated about it.
It's grandly over the top, in keeping of the spirit of the time.
I'll just point out a few details for you.
This was all made from timber from the estate.
It's mixed woods, made by the local craftsman here.
All this section here, all of these panels, are made out of elm.
The balustrades themselves, with this wonderful detail on it,
with these finials here and drop pendants there, they're made of oak.
The handrails are made of oak.
The treads and the risers, they're all made of pine.
In the Victorian period the owners of the house wanted
this whole staircase to look like it was made from one wood, an oak.
So they stained the whole thing with a dirty, tarry black varnish,
which was all the rage at the time.
And I've been told it took three workmen one year to scrape it all back off.
To bring it back to its former glory.
Now that must have been a labour of love.
The improvements didn't stop here.
The staircase leads to the saloon, remarkably unchanged
since the 17th Century,
yet still very much in use by the current owners.
Gervase's extravagance was to be the ruin of him.
Unable to meet his mortgage repayments, he forfeited the house to his lawyer, Mr John Emerton.
And it's his descendants who have lived here ever since.
Right down to its current owner, Miranda Seymour. Hello, Miranda.
-Thank you so much for letting us film here today.
-It's lovely you're here.
Oh, it's a real pleasure. Now, you grew up here in this house, what was that like?
I did grow up here and I was terrified here, when I was a little girl.
My parents were just beginning to get a derelict house back after the war,
getting it back into shape again. There were dust sheets on all the busts,
cobwebs on all the windows and the staircase was black.
-I was living on the top floor,
up behind the door where the nursery floor was and I was absolutely scared out of my little wits.
But now, I know you're a writer.
Does the whole atmosphere of this house inspire you?
I love it when I'm writing here and particularly in this room
because it's just a very, very calm space to be in.
I know this house has had a very interesting history.
And, I gather there's a connection to Lord Byron. Is that with you?
There is, indeed. And, actually, I always feel very excited by that as a writer
because, I mean, what a person to be connected to.
But Byron's cousin inherited the title and it was through him
that the title came down to my father's uncle and,
so, we got all these wonderful Byron relics here.
-And you've got a few out to show me, haven't you?
-What have you got?
I've got three things. And this, as a writer, is the most exciting one to me.
Here's Byron's very own signet ring. The first he ever had
-and it fits just perfectly on my signet finger.
-It's meant to be.
So I hope.
Now, this is a rather wonderful relic.
I don't know if you can see here but it's got a B on the front, for Byron.
And in the back it's got a tiny little strand of his hair.
-Oh, I can see that.
-Which was given to his half-sister,
Augusta Leigh, the ones he was so in love with.
She passed it on to Byron's first cousin.
So that's real, authentic Byron hair sitting in there.
It's wonderful provenance, isn't it? I mean, it doesn't get any better.
Nope, I think it has to be the genuine thing.
Now this is more funny.
This is a little bit clipped from Byron's bed hangings at Halnaby,
on his honeymoon night.
And, he had an absolutely disastrous marriage.
Poor Annabella, because he woke up in the middle of the night
and screamed out, "I'm in hell!"
I mean, can you imagine, on his honeymoon night? But, it's quite clear what had happened.
You've got this very, very deep red damask and, in those days,
in a bedroom you'd have had the fire blazing in the corner.
-And I'm sure Byron...
-Looked at the fire and thought he was in Dante's Inferno.
Wonderful artefacts, thank you for showing me.
Well, lovely you could come, thank you.
Thrumpton Hall is bursting with stories.
In its 400 year existence, it's brushed up against some of the biggest names in English history.
From Mary Queen of Scots to Lord Byron and to it present owner,
writer, Miranda Seymour.
And, as long as someone continues to live here, this place will continue to make history.
Welcome back to Stapleford Park. As you can see,
there are still a lot of people here which means a lot of antiques to value.
Let's catch up with our experts and see what else they can spot.
Elizabeth wrestled her next item away from Mark earlier today.
Let's find out what the attraction was.
What a charming chair, Pete. Thank you for bringing this in.
-So, what's the story behind it?
-Well, it's a family heirloom.
It's been in the family for as long as I can remember
and how far back it goes before that, I don't know. Perhaps you can tell me that.
-So, how far can you remember?
-As a child, sitting in it.
-You sat in it, did you?
-Yes, I did.
-Oh, my goodness!
-You can actually remember that?
-Yes, I can. And, then, my granddaughter later sat in it.
-Oh, so it's really been passed from person to person, down the ages?
Do you always remember it having this upholstery?
-Did you remember this have you always known it..?
-I think it was re-upholstered.
And you remember that, do you? Because it's been, in it's life, re-upholstered.
-I mean, the chair is a late Victorian chair.
-Oh, is it?
-So, it dates from the very last quarter of the 19th Century.
It's machine-turned, the legs, and these little feet that kick
out at the bottom are typical of chairs from that period.
You see them on bentwood chairs and cafe chairs and so on.
-So, stylistically, it's very much late 19th Century.
You sound disappointed, did you think it went back further?
I thought it was probably older, but no, it's not.
No. It's definitely of that period and, stylistically, as a chair,
you wouldn't see that sort of style much earlier.
So, when I was sat in it, it wasn't that old, then?
I shan't comment because I could be drawn onto how old I think you are. So, I'm not going to say anything.
Just a whippersnapper, I'm sure.
Anyway, it's a charming chair but you've brought it to flog it.
Are you now looking at depriving your grandchildren of the chair or...?
The family, at the moment, don't seem to be particularly keen on it
so we're trying to declutter, as they say.
-So, it was one of the things to...
-To go, yeah.
I think because we like small objects, we like miniature versions of bigger items,
-any childhood related pieces are quite evocative.
-I think so, yeah.
-Do you've any idea of value?
-No, no, that's one of the reasons I came.
I think, on a gloomy day, it would be round about £50.
On a better day, probably £70 to £100, as the market stands at the moment.
-Oh, yeah. Yeah.
-I'd like to encourage the upper end of that
and suggest that we look for a happier thing. And suggest it should sell,
in this condition, for about £70 to £100.
With a reserve of £70. Would you be happy with that?
-Yes, that seems fine to me, yes.
-We'll put discretion on the 70.
-We'll see how we go. Thank you for bringing it in.
It's marvellous to see some furniture on the show.
Especially ones with such a lovely, personal history.
I love the buzz of the valuation day.
You never know what's going to come through the door. Or, what requests you'll get.
The lining in the suit, they want to look at the lining in my suit.
-There we go, look.
Sorry about that.
Oh, you know you've got to work with amateurs these days. But I love it.
You've brought in a charming, little flower-head ring, set with diamonds.
-Now, where did you get this from?
-Did you buy it or was it inherited?
-No, I bought it.
-Many years ago?
-No, about eight years ago.
-Oh, so not long? And, why did you buy it? You just fell in love with it?
Well, it was a small antiques shop and when I passed it,
I think they'd got a light on in the cabinet and it made it shine.
-And, we women as we are, we...
-So, you were beguiled?
Impulsive buy, yes.
You've had it for eight years, why have you decided to maybe flog it now?
Well, when you become older, jewellery's not important in your life.
Your family is more important.
-So, it's going to go and help a family member, is it?
-Well, it'll probably be for my son.
He's wanting a better car so any money, it'll go towards his car.
So, we're going from something that's very, sort of, unnecessary to something which is very necessary.
-Which is great, isn't it?
If we just take it out of the box, we can see that it's a very pretty ring,
and, modelled on little flower heads.
I suppose it dates it to the early part of the 20th Century.
So, 1915, 1920, that sort of date.
Now, there aren't any makers marks or anything like that in there,
Audrey, it's just stamped at the bottom, 18 carat gold. Which is quite nice.
But, very much that sort of inter-war piece of jewellery.
And, hopefully, somebody will find it very appealing in the sale room.
Now, in terms of an auction estimate, Audrey,
-I would be looking at something around £250 to £300.
-Would that be all right with you?
-Oh, yes, flog it!
-That's what we like. That's what David assures.
-Yes, that's it.
In terms of a reserve, what sort of reserve would you like on it?
-You're the specialist.
-Well, shall we put a fixed reserve of £200 on it?
We'll put the estimate to tempt them in but we'll put a fixed reserve of £200.
-Right, that's all right.
-Will you be sad to see it go?
-I'm just pleased to be here with you.
-Oh! Stop it, I'll blush.
Cupid's aiming his arrow at Elizabeth, now, as she turns on the charm.
-Graeme, shall we dance?
-Yes, we could do it. I do believe that's what It is.
It certainly is. You brought this delightful, little late-Victorian dance card.
Now, tell me how you've acquired it and why it's here today.
Basically, it's because my auntie left it to me when she passed away.
And the reason I'm selling it, is because my daughter's getting married next year.
So, you're hoping it's going to raise a little bit for the general funds?
-I hope so because it's in New York.
-Your daughter has high hopes and big plans, does she?
-Very big plans.
-We're going to hopefully help towards it. So you've decided you're definitely going to sell it?
Do you remember your aunt having it? Do you remember it in her possession?
No, never seen her using it at all. I know they used them in Victorian times.
They did. It was the little accessory that ladies-about-town
who went to balls and dances would definitely have to make sure that
they got the dance card marked for each dance.
It's hallmarked London 1875.
So, presumably, your aunt may have been, in turn, gifted it from a previous generation?
-Yeah, from her mother or...
-I mean, as I say,
it's very well hallmarked,
hallmarked silver which is well stamped and verified there.
Front and back it's wonderful, a very heavily cast silver cover.
It's surprisingly robust, actually.
Often, they're quite delicate and flimsy but this is a good,
solid piece of silver which has been beautifully worked.
And, if you spin open the cover, there,
to reveal these little tablets of ivory, upon which you'd write with a tiny pencil.
Graphite marks ivory quite well but it can then be wiped off
so you can reuse it and reuse it and reuse it.
This use of ivory for jotting notes down is the equivalent of our Post-its, I suppose.
-But the difference is, you could re-use that.
-How did they cut them that thin?
Thin ivory, like this, was originally cut by hand
but, by this time, it would be machine spliced.
I love the way they've shaped it in this sort of kick out at the back, at the bottom, there.
Just to fit into the shape of the front. That, in turn, is very much of it's time.
It's almost art nouveau, that shape, that sort of curved
and swept shape with this arched top.
But, as an example, it's in superb condition.
The silver is very crisp, the ivory's in good condition,
it's got it's ring at the top which would fasten to
either a chattel and chain or to the ladies',
perhaps she'd have a chain round her wrist so she didn't lose it,
or attached to her belt or her to her evening bag.
I'd say that a realistic auction estimate, at the moment, is somewhere between £80 and £120.
-That sound OK?
-Yeah, that's fine.
We'll put an £80 discretionary reserve, put it to the market
and see how they respond.
But I do believe it's the sort of little collectible in silver
which will be received well by the market, at the moment.
-And will contribute a little towards the wedding.
-It'll help with the wedding fund.
That's a remarkable piece of social history and,
as it pre-dates 1947, it's classified as an antique and,
therefore, perfectly legal to sell within the trading of ivory laws.
-Have you all had a good day?
So, there you go, I think it's job done, don't you?
Hopefully, you're going to go home rich, as well.
I think it's about time we put it to the test, don't you?
Let's get over to the auction room for the very last time
as we say farewell to our host venue for today,
the magnificent Stapleford Park.
See you in the sale room.
Let's just re-cap on what we're taking with us, shall we?
Pete's family heirloom doesn't appeal to his grandchildren so it's time to say goodbye.
Elizabeth's valued it at £70 to £100.
Audrey's diamond ring caught Mark's eye. He's hoping it'll make £250 to £300,
a tidy sum, to go towards her son's car.
And, finally, Graeme also needs to raise some money.
Will his silver dance card be marked at the top end of Elizabeth's £80 to £120 estimate?
We're back at Gilding's Auction Rooms for the second half of our items.
What a jam-packed sale room.
I tell you what, I think we could be in for one or two surprises.
Our owners are over there somewhere and I'm going to find them
because I know they're feeling really nervous.
It's OK for you, you can sit back, enjoy this and put your feet up.
But, it's going to be a rollercoaster ride for them.
I'm going to catch up with them and then we'll get on with the show.
John Gilding is back on the roster and racing through the lots.
Going under the hammer right now we've got this wonderful bit of walnut furniture.
It's a child's chair and it belongs to Pete, who's a grandad.
-Hello there, Pete.
-And we're looking at £100 here, possibly £100, top end.
-This is Millie, isn't it? Your granddaughter?
-It is, yes.
-So, Millie, have you sat in Granddad's chair?
He sat in this as a young lad, you know?
So, Granddad, if we do sell this, is Millie going to get the money?
-Well, I'd rather fill up the car with petrol.
-See? I knew you'd say that.
That's proper granddad stuff, that's. That's practical joking.
-We're going on holiday, aren't we?
-Aw, bless! Bless!
-To the seaside.
-To the seaside, great! OK.
Fingers crossed we get the top end of the estimate. I've every confidence in Elizabeth,
-I think you're spot on there.
-Well, I try.
The children's chairs are popular because they're decorative and charming.
-Good christening presents.
-Oh, yeah, that's a good idea.
Funny little things. You can't go wrong with a kid's chair.
Lovely, little child's chair here. What would you say for that?
Lovely, little elbow chair. £45 bid?
45 anybody? 45?
50 in the room. 5.
55, 55, 60!
-£70, I've got 70.
-My commissions are out and you're out on the net.
-Sold at £70!
-He's going to sell, isn't he?
-He's sold it at £70.
We just got it away, didn't we?
-You're off to the seaside, Millie.
-How about that?
-Where are you going to go? Where is granddad taking you?
Wow! Lovely. Good choice that, isn't it?
Granddad's a winner all round, and they're off to the seaside.
Audrey's ring is up next and she's lowered her reserve to £190 to attract the buyers.
Fingers crossed, Audrey, fingers crossed. No more compulsive buying.
We're talking about that lovely ring that Mark put a value on.
We brought it along to the right expert. This ring caught your eye.
It did. It was a very pretty ring, actually, and it's very delicate.
It's got that lovely sort of flower-head top to it.
Now, I don't do a lot of rings, as you know, because I'm not a jewellery expert.
But I think this stands a good chance at auction.
So, there we go. And you've met your favourite expert, haven't you?
Yes. Yes, I've only come here to see Mark. Ha-ha-ha.
The cluster ring. This is a lovely ring. What will we say for that?
£130 bid. 140. 150. 160. 170.
-180 in the room. Commission's a loss.
-Come on, come on.
Could be more. You're out on the net. £190? £190 on the net.
£190 and I'm watching you all carefully.
Selling it away at £190.
Sold it, £190. I heard you saying, "That's OK."
-That's OK, isn't it?
-Just under, under our low end estimate.
It was. I was hoping for a bit more, actually.
-I was hoping it would be around £250.
-Nice to meet you, Mark.
-Lovely to meet you.
-And good luck.
-Good luck with the car hunt.
-You've met your expert hero, haven't you? You're happy shopping for your son, as well.
Well, it might only buy a wing mirror for Audrey's son's car
but any contribution will be welcome, I'm sure.
The late-Victorian silver dance-card is up for grabs right now
with a classic £80 to £120.
And it's in mint, mint condition, Graeme. So, well done for looking after that.
-Oh, thank you.
-It's been in the family a while.
Just a few years, really. My auntie left it to me.
-Who are you with? Hello!
-This is the wife, Linda.
-Oh, hello, Linda.
Now, I'm pleased you're here.
-All the money is going towards your daughter's wedding.
-Yes, in New York.
-How fabulous! Well, hopefully, we'll get the top-end.
Well, hopefully. A little bit towards the very big bill, probably.
It won't make much of an impact but, you know?
Weddings haemorrhage money, they just haemorrhage money.
-They're so expensive nowadays, aren't they? They really are.
-It's very expensive in New York.
Well, fingers crossed this adds to it, it's going under the hammer right now.
The silver-faced jotter, loads of bids here.
Oh, that's good.
£90. 95. 110.
110, bid 110. 120.
Commission's a loss. It's on the net. All out in the room. 130.
130, bid 130.
£130, one of you loses on the net.
The red takes at £130.
-Very pleased with that.
-Every little helps.
-It'll pay for the taxi.
-What's your daughter's name?
-Well, I wish her all the best. I really do.
Well, they'll definitely be waltzing their way to New York after that result.
Well, that's it. It's all over for our owners and I hope you've enjoyed the show.
Looks like there's a chaise longue waiting for me here.
It's been a long day. It's been a tough day. Not everything has sold.
Most things that did sell went within estimate but it just goes to show,
you can't predict what's going to happen in auction. That's why they're always exciting.
Join me again soon but for now, from Market Harborough, it's goodbye.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Paul Martin and the Flog it team are in stately Stapleford Park in Leicestershire. On the lookout for rare and interesting items are Paul Martin and experts Elizabeth Talbot and Mark Stacey. Elizabeth and Mark are lured by silver and diamonds, while Paul discovers a whole team of miniature footballers, but which team is it? While in the area Paul visits Calke Abbey, a National Trust property with one foot firmly in the past, and the other at the cutting edge of conservation.