Wellington Flog It!


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Wellington

Paul Martin, Philip Serrell and Elizabeth Talbot visit Wellington College, where Elizabeth finds a hand painted French casket and Philip sniffs out a silver snuff box.


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Welcome to Wellington College in Berkshire,

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built 150 years ago as a tribute to the Duke of Wellington.

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Today it's one of Britain's most prestigious public schools,

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so let's hope we find some quality items. Welcome to "Flog It!"!

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What treasures will we find at Wellington College today?

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With a queue this size, there should be plenty to choose from,

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and spearheading the team are two of our most experienced experts...

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..Elizabeth Talbot, who I think of as one of the jewels

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in "Flog It!"'s crown...

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-You're on half-term.

-Yeah.

-Perfect timing.

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-Morning, all!

-Good morning.

-Good morning.

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..and that's the bit which made me go, "Ooh!"

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..and Philip Serrell, who always brings a polished charm of his own.

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I didn't clean that one. That's the only one I cleaned.

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Just whisper that to me. Go on. Whisper it again.

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I should look at someone else's. THEY LAUGH

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-You know what? She's right.

-THEY LAUGH

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We've got a wonderful turn-out, even if it is slightly rainy.

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We won't let the weather dampen our spirits. We'll have a great day,

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and somebody is going to go home with a lot of money.

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It might even be this lady with her teddy. Thank you very much.

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You've all come to ask our experts that all-important question...

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-ALL: What's it worth?

-If you're happy with the answer,

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-what are you going to do?

-ALL: Flog it!

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It's time to get the doors open and get the show on the road.

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Come on, everybody! Let's go in.

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'Coming up, people often bring in amazing discoveries of their own.'

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-Did you know what they were?

-Hadn't got the faintest.

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And the normally confident Elizabeth gets cold feet.

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Hopefully we can find all those bidders,

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but it might not be the time, that's all.

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-I'm covering all options today.

-Cover all the bases!

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'Whilst everyone is settling into their seats,

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'I get the chance to see what interesting things

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'people have brought in today.'

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Look at that! Ahh!

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Woof, woof, woof!

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HE LAUGHS

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How cute is that? Surely he's not for sale, is he?

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You're parting with him?

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I don't know if I want to, but it's one of those things.

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-You've got to downsize eventually.

-My little boy would love this.

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He talks about dogs all day long. He would.

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-Oh, that's really cute.

-I love him.

-This looks like 1960s.

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Yeah, it could be. I'm... I'm old.

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THEY LAUGH

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Philip is first at the table with Amy, a young art enthusiast.

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-Amy, how old are you?

-I'm 23.

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Now, antiques and collecting is the preserve of elderly people.

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Why are you here?

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Because I love anything to do with old things,

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old photographs, so I go to charity shops a lot.

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So what drives you - to buy or find something you really like,

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-and enjoy, or to make some money?

-It's a bit of both.

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I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to buy something

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unless I thought it was going to be worth something,

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but mainly if it looks nice, and I like it, then, that's the main thing.

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So, Amy, you trawled into a car-boot or a charity shop,

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saw these. If you'll pardon the pun, what floated your boat for you?

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Well, because I enjoy painting myself,

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I appreciate it, the work that went into them.

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They're not amazing, but they just jumped out at me.

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because they looked old, and I just thought, "Yeah."

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"Be quite nice at home, maybe." But I've got too many things as it is.

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But it was the detail in them, really.

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Well, for me, this is going to be a process of elimination.

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They're a pair of watercolours,

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and they're clearly continental, possibly Austrian or German

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-or Dutch.

-Yeah, I thought they might be Dutch.

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Yeah. And just down here we've got "H"... Is it "Woelke"?

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Yeah.

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W-O-E-L-K-E.

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Now, I'm really flying blind here a bit.

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He's not an artist I know or recognise.

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I don't think they're of great quality,

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-but I think they're fun.

-Yeah, yeah.

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What I want the auction room to do is to do a little bit of research,

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-see if they can find anything out about our friend Woelke.

-Yeah.

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But there's one thing here that, from looking at these,

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sort of becomes apparent to you in the background.

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Um, it doesn't look like they've been finished.

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I'll tell you what I think. If you've got an oil painting,

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it won't fade. Its colour won't alter.

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But if you've got a watercolour, particularly skies,

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you can have a lovely vibrant blue cloud when it's painted,

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but over the years it fades.

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-Direct sunlight and ultraviolet light will do that.

-Right.

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And I think these skies here have faded quite dramatically.

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-Yeah.

-And by and large, a watercolour that's got a faded sky

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is a real, real no-no.

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-I think that they're worth £15 to £20 apiece.

-Yeah.

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So I'd put an auction estimate on them

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-of probably £30 to £50.

-OK.

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-Now, what did you pay for them?

-I paid £10 each.

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You paid £20 for the pair?

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Here's the deal, right? If they go and sell, sell well,

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-you've proved that you've got a really good eye.

-I have, yeah.

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And if they don't sell, it's back to the drawing board for you, isn't it?

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It is, yeah.

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We'll have to wait for the auction to see if Amy recoups her money

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on her purchases.

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My choice next, which is rather surreal.

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Patch... I can call you Patch, can't I?

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-You can.

-It's a rather unusual name. How did you come by it?

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-A mixture of...

-A long story, is it?

-Far too long to tell here.

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-But it's a name you've given yourself?

-Yeah.

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It's a cool name, anyway, and what wonderful cool tiles!

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-They really are, aren't they? Salvador Dali.

-Yes.

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It doesn't get more surreal than this, does it, really?

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I've got to admit, no, and I had no idea what I was getting hold of

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-when I found them.

-How did you come by these six tiles,

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with original box, I've got to say?

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Yes. I was offered a caravan that was going to be scrapped,

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went round, collected it. They were in there.

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I said to the people, "Do you want them back?" "No."

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-"We're not worried. Take them."

-Did you know what they were?

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Hadn't got the faintest. It wasn't till I turned over

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-and saw the "Dali"...

-Just turn this over.

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You can see. "Tiles by Dali, 1954."

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And look how clean they are!

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I don't think they've ever seen the outside of the box.

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Wonderful, aren't they? Have you got a favourite?

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I would say this one. I don't know why. I just like it.

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Well, judging by the way I've set them out,

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you can tell my favourite's the one in the middle.

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It's a vague idea.

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For me, that sums up Dali, that whole Spanish kind of thing.

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I think I have seen that in a print or something,

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-so, yeah, it is nice.

-But all these tiles are signed, aren't they?

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-Yes.

-There's one there.

-It's trying to find them.

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-One here.

-One there.

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Yeah. I can never find the one on this tile particularly.

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-Oh, I think it's here.

-Yes.

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It seems to blend into it.

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Have you any idea what they're worth?

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None whatsoever.

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-We looked on our Art Sales Index guide...

-Mm-hm.

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..for a similar set that have sold recently,

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and guess how much they went for.

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£400.

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-Ooh! That would be nice.

-Isn't that good news?

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-Very.

-What do you do for a living?

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-Unemployed, unfortunately.

-So if we going to £400,

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-that's an awful lot of money, and that will come in handy.

-Yes, very.

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Very handy.

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Can we pitch these at £300 to £400, with a fixed reserve at 300?

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-I'll go for that.

-And hopefully we'll get that top end.

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And I think they'd look fabulous put together,

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inset in some marine ply with a piece of glass over the top,

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so you can enjoy them and put coffee cups down on them.

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I think they'd make an excellent table.

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Rather than use them as coasters, cos they'll get chipped.

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-They're immaculate.

-Immaculate condition.

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I'm sure the bidders will be excited about these.

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-Hopefully there'll be some interior designers there.

-Fingers crossed.

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-See you at the auction.

-And you.

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Let's hope that Patch comes away with the top end of the estimate.

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Elizabeth's picked out a small collection of pottery

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that has travelled from the Southwest.

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Chris, what a lovely collection! There must be a story behind this.

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-Yes. They actually belonged to a friend of my mother's.

-Right.

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And she had no family, and she suddenly phoned me up one day

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-and said, would I look after things when she died.

-Right.

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She didn't want the council coming along with a skip

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and clearing all her life away.

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So when it came to the time of arranging her funeral and everything,

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-I was there for her.

-Wonderful.

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But I've got a house full of her things as well as my own.

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-So these are some of the items...

-Just some of them, yes.

-OK.

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Do you know anything about this little collection?

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Did she have a story to tell about these?

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-Not really.

-And was that in this part of the country that she lived?

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-She lived near Bournemouth way.

-Bournemouth. Right. OK.

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I don't know if you know, but this is known generically as Devon Ware.

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Several potters in Devon, including Watcombe,

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which I notice you have a few of here -

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some of them are marked on the bottom -

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produced things like this, and they were cheap and cheerful little souvenirs

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for people who went on holiday to that part of the world, came back

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and had something to show for it. It's very basic earthenware,

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which is then slip-decorated with a heavy, thick slip,

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mainly cream, and then using this very limited palette

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of the browns, the greens and the blues.

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The little brown-roofed house is a common image,

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and then the little scrolls and blobs

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and flowing-leaf type pattern. And what's rather nice is,

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they're not just a souvenir from Devon,

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but there's nice little sentiments and some Victorian sayings

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and little common-sense phrases which we no longer know these days,

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but if you read them, that's a nice thing to say.

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In terms of the market generally,

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the interest in Torquay Ware has faded a little bit

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in the modern taste for de-cluttering space.

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The good news is, that seems to have turned a corner

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in the last six to eight months,

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and we seem to have people who are looking to collect objects again

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-and have displays, and make nice little groupings of them.

-Yes.

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But being sensible about this,

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and the fact that none of it is hugely valuable individually,

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we group it together at auction, and I think that, sensibly,

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you'd be looking at round about £20, £25 worth,

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-maybe 30 on a really good day.

-Yes.

-Does that disappoint you?

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-Not really.

-No?

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I knew they were for bringing home from the seaside from holidays,

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so I didn't presume they would be a lot of money at all.

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It's a good group, but it won't be borne out by a lot of money.

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But if we offer at £20 to £30, would you like a reserve on,

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or do you just want to let the market take it...

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-I think we'll take it as it comes.

-I think that's probably sensible.

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-Oh, I think so, yes.

-And we might be pleasantly surprised!

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That would be nice. THEY LAUGH

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-Thank you for bringing them in.

-Thank you.

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Not a very high value, but let's hope Elizabeth is right,

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and it's back in fashion. Before we go to the auction,

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let's take another look at what we're taking with us.

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Will Amy make a little money on the two watercolours

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that she picked up for £10 each,

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even though we don't recognise the artist?

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But most people will have heard of the artist

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who designed Patch's tiles.

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It's the famous Spanish Surrealist, Salvador Dali.

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Closer to home with our next item,

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a collection of pottery from Devon.

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For today's sale we've travelled to Wokingham,

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to the Martin & Pole saleroom, where they charge a seller's commission

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of 15 percent plus VAT.

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Auctioneer Garth Lewis will be on the rostrum.

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Well, this is what I like to see - a room packed full of bidders!

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The auction has just started. Hundreds of people are in here.

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I'm going to catch up with our owners,

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because I know they're really nervous.

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It's OK for you at home - you can put your feet up and enjoy this,

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but we're going to have a few tense moments.

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This is going to be a roller-coaster ride.

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First up, it's Amy's two little watercolours.

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We have the items. Unfortunately we don't have Amy,

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-but we do have Amy's mum. Hello, Sally!

-Hello.

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-Thank you for standing in for Amy.

-You're welcome.

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-What do you think of the paintings?

-They're lovely.

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She's got a good eye, hasn't she? Why has she decided to sell them

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-after such a short time?

-She just thought it might be the right time.

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It was lovely to talk to her on the valuation day,

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because we had a chat about what she'd got,

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and I think she's got a bit of a future ahead of her in this.

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-She'd like to think so.

-Fingers crossed?

-Yeah.

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Here we go.

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A pair of small mid-20th-century watercolour drawings,

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depicting ships of the Hanseatic League

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in Lubeck Harbour. May I say £30 to start, please?

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30 anywhere?

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20, if you will. I don't mind, if you want them.

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We'll go ten. We'll have to move on if nobody wants them at £10 only.

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I think Amy might be taking these home.

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-On my left, ten.

-We're in at 10.

-12.

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15. 18.

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£18. Are you all done at 18? I'll have to move on at £18,

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if there's no further.

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There's no getting away, they are good watercolours.

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They've got to go home, but give Amy our best.

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-I will indeed.

-Hopefully put them back on the wall and enjoy them.

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-Disappointing.

-Yeah.

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Sadly they didn't quite make it.

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It's always easier to sell with a known artist,

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so the Salvador Dali tiles should have a good chance.

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OK. My turn to be the expert now.

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This is where things could get slightly surreal

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and go completely wrong. I'm talking about the Dali tiles,

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and I've just been joined by Patch. The auctioneer absolutely loved them

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so there's lots of enthusiasm. Hard thing to put a value on,

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but he agreed with the price, so fingers crossed.

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-Just hoping now.

-Just hoping, cos it's all down to that lot,

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isn't it, really? But thank goodness they were boxed,

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and they were in good condition, cos condition always counts.

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-This is it, Patch.

-Here's an interesting lot -

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six of these Spanish wall tiles,

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in surreal designs, after Salvador Dali.

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I don't want to waste your time. May I say 200 to start, please?

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200, surely.

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-150 if you like. I don't mind.

-We're in. We're in.

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60 now. 160. 70.

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180. 190.

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200. 220. 220 on the right.

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-He's got a commission bid, hasn't he?

-Has he?

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220 on the right. It's against you, sir. 240 if you like. 240.

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240. Are you all done? I can sell at 240 if you're done.

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-At £240...

-We're not selling.

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-Didn't sell.

-PATCH SIGHS

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-Sorry about that.

-That's life.

-That is life, isn't it?

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I do think the value's right, though.

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Some, as we said earlier, had sold recently,

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and they fetched around £400 and something.

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You know what they're worth. Save them for another day.

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I'll just hang on to them, and hope later on for a better price.

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-Yeah. Keep them in good condition.

-Oh, yes, definitely.

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Oh, dear! The day has not started as well as we would normally expect.

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Let's hope we can do a better job with the Watcombe pottery.

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Going under the hammer now we've got a bit of Devon Motto Ware,

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something for you West Country collectors.

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I like this traditional Watcombe pottery.

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-Chris, this is your first auction, isn't it?

-It is.

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-OK, tell us, how's it going so far?

-Oh, it's really good fun, yeah.

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-Are you thinking of buying anything?

-No.

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I've got so much stuff already. I've got to get rid of it.

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Are you coming back here to sell?

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I thought I'd come and see what it was like.

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Test the water. Test the water! Is it a good time to sell, generally?

0:17:020:17:06

Generally, absolutely brilliant time,

0:17:060:17:09

but Devon Ware is not everybody's taste.

0:17:090:17:11

It does kind of skirt around the edge of the market.

0:17:110:17:14

If you love country pottery, it's the kind of thing to have.

0:17:140:17:17

OK. It's time to go. It's time for them to go under the hammer now.

0:17:170:17:21

This is it.

0:17:210:17:23

This small collection of Watcombe pottery,

0:17:230:17:25

the Devon Motto Ware, as detailed. May I say £20?

0:17:250:17:30

20 anywhere? 15 if you like. If nobody wants it I'll go ten.

0:17:300:17:34

-Oh, we have a bidder.

-We've got a bidder.

0:17:340:17:37

I can sell for ten. No, I can't. 12 now.

0:17:370:17:40

12. 15. £15 with the lady. With my original bidder at £15.

0:17:400:17:45

£15. Didn't get the top end, but we got the lower end. Is that OK?

0:17:450:17:49

-Yes, that's fine.

-At least it wasn't a complete failure

0:17:490:17:52

-on your first day out in an auction room!

-No.

0:17:520:17:55

Has that wet your whistle for another occasion?

0:17:550:17:57

It encourages me to come again. I've got so many collections from Dorothy,

0:17:570:18:01

costume jewellery, and she's got a selection of pen knives.

0:18:010:18:06

Well, good luck with those, and thank you for coming in,

0:18:060:18:09

and if you've got anything like that, we would love to see it.

0:18:090:18:12

That's better, and it will help Christine with her de-cluttering.

0:18:120:18:16

Time to take a break from the auction,

0:18:170:18:19

enjoy the fresh air, and look at a surprising revival

0:18:190:18:22

of a traditional farming product.

0:18:220:18:25

"Hanged up in houses", it "doth very well attemper the air,

0:18:360:18:40

cool and make fresh the place, to the delight and comfort

0:18:400:18:43

of such as are therein." Now, that's a quote

0:18:430:18:46

from the famous English 16th-century herbalist, John Gerard,

0:18:460:18:50

and he's talking about scented herbs,

0:18:500:18:53

and more than likely this stuff - lavender.

0:18:530:18:55

We've all seen it. You've probably got some growing in your garden.

0:18:550:18:59

But have you seen it on a scale such as this?

0:18:590:19:01

This is truly magnificent! The aroma is so overwhelming,

0:19:010:19:07

I feel like I'm in heaven, and you could be forgiven for thinking

0:19:070:19:10

that we've gone to the South of France to film this.

0:19:100:19:13

But we haven't. We are in deepest Somerset.

0:19:130:19:16

And take a look at that.

0:19:160:19:18

Indigenous to the mountain regions of the Mediterranean,

0:19:180:19:21

lavender has been in documented use as a herb for over 2,500 years,

0:19:210:19:27

used by the Egyptians for mummification and cosmetics,

0:19:270:19:31

and the Romans used the oil for bathing, cooking,

0:19:310:19:34

and scenting the air.

0:19:340:19:37

And we've probably got the Romans to thank

0:19:370:19:39

for the modern-day word "lavender".

0:19:390:19:41

It comes from the Latin verb "lavare",

0:19:410:19:44

meaning "to wash", or "lavandula", meaning "livid" or "blue-ish".

0:19:440:19:48

And the Romans recognised the antiseptic and healing qualities

0:19:480:19:51

of lavender, so consequently over the centuries,

0:19:510:19:56

lavender has become one of our most popular and versatile herbs.

0:19:560:20:00

And it's said that, during the time of the Great Plague,

0:20:000:20:03

if you tied bundles of this stuff to your wrists,

0:20:030:20:05

it would ward off any disease.

0:20:050:20:08

Also, if you hung a little bit above a doorway

0:20:080:20:11

or poked it through a keyhole or the little escutcheons of a door,

0:20:110:20:16

it would ward off all the ghosts, all witches,

0:20:160:20:19

and, of course, putting it underneath your pillow gives you a good night's sleep.

0:20:190:20:23

Another 16th-century herbalist, William Turner,

0:20:230:20:26

wrote in his groundbreaking book A New Herball,

0:20:260:20:29

"I judge that the flowers of lavender,

0:20:290:20:31

quilted in a cap and daily worn,

0:20:310:20:34

are good for all diseases of the head that come of a cold cause,

0:20:340:20:37

and they comfort the brain very well."

0:20:370:20:40

Whilst some claims were more fantasy than fact,

0:20:400:20:43

there's no doubt that lavender does have

0:20:430:20:46

some amazing medicinal and relaxation properties.

0:20:460:20:49

I've come to Somerset Lavender in the village of Faulkland.

0:20:490:20:53

It's a small family farm run by husband-and-wife team

0:20:530:20:56

Judith and Francis Green.

0:20:560:20:57

Judith and Francis, hello! Oh, you lucky things!

0:20:590:21:03

-HE LAUGHS

-This is fabulous!

0:21:030:21:05

This is your office.

0:21:050:21:07

I've never seen so much lavender in one place.

0:21:070:21:10

How many plants do you think you've got?

0:21:100:21:12

35,000 in this five-acre field.

0:21:120:21:14

Wow! That's a lot of plants, isn't it?

0:21:140:21:17

What type are they?

0:21:170:21:20

This is Folgate, an English angustifolia.

0:21:200:21:22

We grow it mainly for the essential oil that we distil

0:21:220:21:25

-here on the farm.

-So it's just the one type here?

0:21:250:21:28

We've got a few others as well. There's some Maillette, Rosea,

0:21:280:21:31

but they're all English lavenders.

0:21:310:21:34

How do you know when this is ready to cut?

0:21:340:21:36

I know it smells right now, and it looks perfect,

0:21:360:21:39

-but is it right for cutting for oil?

-Not yet, no.

0:21:390:21:41

We still need the flowers to come out.

0:21:410:21:44

Let me pick one. Let's have a look. What are you looking at there?

0:21:440:21:48

Well, at the moment this has still got a long way to go,

0:21:480:21:52

but what we tend to say is, "one flower open,

0:21:520:21:55

one flower over and one flower yet to come".

0:21:550:21:58

-OK. That's the maxim, is it? That's the golden rule?

-Mm.

0:21:580:22:01

How long will it take you to cut all this lavender?

0:22:010:22:04

-About five weeks.

-And how many of you will do that?

0:22:040:22:07

Just myself. We've got this purpose-built lavender harvester

0:22:070:22:11

-that we went to France and bought.

-Is it like a little gizmo

0:22:110:22:14

-that goes over the top?

-Yes, and gathers it,

0:22:140:22:16

and squeezes the plant together and cuts it off,

0:22:160:22:19

and then it's been pruned all the way round. It's perfect.

0:22:190:22:22

-And the soil's good for lavender here?

-It is here, yeah.

0:22:220:22:25

-Free-draining.

-You don't need to water it that much?

0:22:250:22:27

-No. We don't water at all.

-It's very good!

0:22:270:22:30

It really is quite self-sustaining.

0:22:300:22:32

How long have you been lavender farmers?

0:22:320:22:35

This is our fifth season that we've been open as a lavender farm.

0:22:350:22:39

What were you farming prior to this? I gather you were a farmer.

0:22:390:22:43

-I was a dairy farmer.

-A dairy farmer?

-Milking 70 Channel Island cows, yeah.

0:22:430:22:47

Gosh! What made you go for lavender in the first place?

0:22:470:22:50

Many farmers diversify now, and stop dairy farming

0:22:500:22:53

and go into, say, growing asparagus. Why did you choose lavender?

0:22:530:22:57

Well, we spent a long time wondering what to do,

0:22:570:23:01

and everything we thought of, either we crossed off

0:23:010:23:04

because somebody else nearby was already doing that,

0:23:040:23:07

and then we hit on the idea of lavender,

0:23:070:23:10

and we realised how versatile lavender is.

0:23:100:23:13

There's so many different things you can do with it.

0:23:130:23:16

The key to that versatility is the oil.

0:23:160:23:19

80 percent of the crop grown here

0:23:190:23:22

is for the production of lavender oil,

0:23:220:23:24

and, like, everything on this farm,

0:23:240:23:27

the extraction is done by Francis and Judith.

0:23:270:23:29

Once the lavender has been cut and dried a little,

0:23:290:23:33

it's packed into large containers, or stills.

0:23:330:23:36

It takes approximately 100 lavender bundles to fill one still.

0:23:380:23:42

The distilling process is an ancient one.

0:23:440:23:46

Steam works its way through the flowers,

0:23:460:23:48

releasing the essential oil and capturing it as it goes.

0:23:480:23:52

Finally, as the moisture condenses, the oil is collected.

0:23:520:23:56

This is nice. We're surrounded by products of lavender,

0:23:580:24:02

and it's quite diverse - lots of soap, and even food.

0:24:020:24:05

But really it's the oils. This is your oil, which I'm interested in.

0:24:050:24:09

-This is what we distil on the farm.

-Yeah.

0:24:090:24:12

-This is incredible. Can I have a dip in there?

-Yes! Go ahead.

0:24:120:24:15

-That's our pure...

-Ooh!

-..English lavender oil.

0:24:170:24:20

-Gosh, that's concentrated, isn't it?

-Yeah.

0:24:200:24:23

-And that's how you leave it, is it?

-Yeah. We don't add anything to it,

0:24:230:24:27

-or take anything away.

-So, how many lavender plants would it take

0:24:270:24:31

to get just a little bottle of oil that size?

0:24:310:24:34

For a tiny bottle like this, it takes about five plants.

0:24:340:24:38

So is it five of these, that you get in the garden centre?

0:24:380:24:41

-Oh, no. Much bigger than that.

-What - that?

-At least that.

0:24:410:24:44

-Five of those? That's a lot of lavender, isn't it?

-Yeah.

0:24:440:24:48

Last year was just the best year we've had for many years,

0:24:480:24:51

-because it was sunshine...

-So in respect of that,

0:24:510:24:54

was the oil a lot stronger, more scented,

0:24:540:24:57

or did you just get more oil per bundle of lavender?

0:24:570:25:00

We had more oil per bundle of lavender,

0:25:000:25:03

-and it had a nice perfume to it.

-The quality, yes.

0:25:030:25:06

Gosh, it's like wine, isn't it? I mean, you know...

0:25:060:25:09

It is slightly different every year, and I think that's a good thing,

0:25:090:25:13

because you know it is what nature's given us this year.

0:25:130:25:17

-It makes it interesting, doesn't it?

-Yes.

-Very, yeah.

0:25:170:25:20

Did you nip over to France and ask farmers over there?

0:25:200:25:24

Yeah, but not being able to speak very good French...

0:25:240:25:27

-We didn't get very far, did we?

-It was more looking and learning.

0:25:270:25:31

Did you learn much, though? Traditional techniques?

0:25:310:25:34

Yeah. We watched them harvest it, and knowing the height to cut it

0:25:340:25:38

was a key point to our venture, I think.

0:25:380:25:43

How does English lavender vary to French lavender?

0:25:430:25:47

It's very different,

0:25:470:25:50

because the English lavender is in a whole other group of plants.

0:25:500:25:53

French lavenders, all the intermedias, are much bigger.

0:25:530:25:57

They are, and a slightly different colour, and more fluffy.

0:25:570:26:00

They're hybrids, and they've been bred to produce lots and lots of oil

0:26:000:26:05

-and they do that very well.

-They don't smell as much, though.

0:26:050:26:08

-They don't smell at all, in fact.

-Not so nice,

0:26:080:26:11

and we thought, we'll do the best we can

0:26:110:26:13

and really go for the top quality.

0:26:130:26:16

Well, long may it continue, and I've thoroughly enjoyed my day here.

0:26:160:26:19

I really have. Thank you very much!

0:26:190:26:21

-Thank you.

-Thank you.

0:26:210:26:24

Back at Wellington College, Elizabeth's attention has been drawn

0:26:310:26:34

by a sparkling brooch belonging to Sue.

0:26:340:26:38

They say diamonds are a girl's best friend, and I do like your brooch.

0:26:380:26:42

-Thank you very much.

-What is the story behind it?

0:26:420:26:44

It belonged to my grandmother. She's wearing it in the photo here.

0:26:440:26:48

-Ah, so she is!

-It passed down from my mother to me.

0:26:480:26:51

-And do you wear it?

-No, I don't. It stays locked away in a box,

0:26:510:26:55

because I lose things, and it's too nice to lose.

0:26:550:26:59

So it's a bit of a responsibility to wear it...

0:26:590:27:01

-That's right.

-..and worry about losing it.

0:27:010:27:04

It's a shame, because it should be out and about and seen.

0:27:040:27:07

That's what it was created for.

0:27:070:27:10

Was your grandmother the first owner of it?

0:27:100:27:12

I have absolutely no idea. It could have belonged to somebody before her.

0:27:120:27:16

I don't know how old it is.

0:27:160:27:18

Your grandmother was wearing it when? 1950?

0:27:180:27:21

-The photograph was taken in 1950.

-I think it's earlier than that.

0:27:210:27:25

It probably dates from any time in the decade prior to that.

0:27:250:27:28

It's very stylish, in the late-'40s, '50s design patterns.

0:27:280:27:31

It's unlikely to be much earlier than that.

0:27:310:27:34

They're collet-set diamonds with collars around them,

0:27:340:27:37

in a very sinuous pattern

0:27:370:27:39

reminiscent of the Art Nouveau period,

0:27:390:27:42

but a little bit more restricted, not quite as sinuous.

0:27:420:27:46

It has a collet-set ruby in the middle,

0:27:460:27:49

and at the bottom it would have had hanging down a little pendant,

0:27:490:27:53

one little stone or something,

0:27:530:27:56

but not to detract from what's left there, which is a stunning brooch.

0:27:560:28:00

Have you had it valued before?

0:28:000:28:03

Yes. Mid-'70s, I had it valued for insurance purposes,

0:28:030:28:07

and they valued it at about £500.

0:28:070:28:09

Right. Insurance is higher than sale value, obviously,

0:28:090:28:13

replacement value, and prices and markets do fluctuate

0:28:130:28:17

quite dramatically, but it's a good time to be selling jewellery.

0:28:170:28:21

People are buying it with great enthusiasm,

0:28:210:28:23

partly because people enjoy wearing it,

0:28:230:28:25

and they collect it and they see it as investment,

0:28:250:28:28

a nice way of investing their money where they can see it.

0:28:280:28:31

So it is a good time, at the moment, for that.

0:28:310:28:33

In terms of value for open market now,

0:28:330:28:36

I think it should achieve somewhere between £600 and £800

0:28:360:28:40

-quite comfortably.

-Oh, OK.

0:28:400:28:42

So it's almost saleable just above where you were insuring it for 30, 40 years ago.

0:28:420:28:47

But given the wearability of it and the size of the diamonds,

0:28:470:28:51

and the composition of it, if it made more, I wouldn't be surprised,

0:28:510:28:54

because I think it has a very commercial take on it.

0:28:540:28:57

It's beautifully made, good quality, not too big.

0:28:570:29:00

Quite ageless, really, timeless.

0:29:000:29:03

It's quite elegant. Ageless, as you say.

0:29:030:29:06

You're wearing the perfect top for it. It would look stunning.

0:29:060:29:09

-If you're comfortable at £600 to £800...

-Yes.

0:29:090:29:12

And we'll place a reserve of £600 on it to protect it,

0:29:120:29:15

and we will see how the auction takes it.

0:29:150:29:18

-Thank you.

-Thank you for bringing it.

-Thank you.

0:29:180:29:21

How lovely to see the brooch being worn in Sue's family photo!

0:29:210:29:25

-What have I got next, then?

-We've got Richard and Margaret.

0:29:300:29:33

Well, it looks like lights, cameras, action,

0:29:330:29:35

and it is a well organised event.

0:29:350:29:38

It can only be possible with a floor manager. Hi, Phil.

0:29:380:29:41

This is Louise, our floor manager! How's it going today?

0:29:410:29:44

-We've had a really busy day.

-About 400 people have come in.

0:29:440:29:47

-It's been brilliant.

-What's the hardest thing about the job?

0:29:470:29:50

Making sure we get to film all our items at the right time.

0:29:500:29:55

-Two tables working simultaneously.

-Making sure we coordinate them,

0:29:550:30:00

they're busy at all times, having lunch breaks when they should,

0:30:000:30:04

-so, yeah, it's quite busy today.

-Ruling with an iron rod, aren't you?

0:30:040:30:08

I certainly am. You should be moving. Get to work!

0:30:080:30:11

OK. Thank you.

0:30:110:30:13

Well, I've been given my orders.

0:30:130:30:16

Meanwhile, Philip is keeping busy at the valuation tables.

0:30:160:30:20

-So you're...

-Harry.

0:30:210:30:23

-Lee.

-And is Lee looking after Harry, or is Harry looking after Lee?

0:30:230:30:27

-Lee is looking after me.

-Do you need looking after?

-No.

0:30:270:30:30

I didn't think you did. Does he need looking after?

0:30:300:30:33

-No, not really.

-Looking after, or keeping an eye on?

0:30:330:30:36

-Keeping an eye on.

-I thought so.

0:30:360:30:38

-What do you reckon this is, Harry?

-A box.

0:30:380:30:41

A box. Spot-on. There's three words I'm going to use to describe this.

0:30:410:30:45

You got the last one right. What's the first word?

0:30:450:30:48

-It's to do with the colour.

-Silver.

0:30:480:30:50

Well done. I don't expect you to know the last one,

0:30:500:30:53

-but I'll ask Dad.

-Snuff box.

-A silver snuff box.

0:30:530:30:56

Absolutely right. And this criss-cross decoration on here,

0:30:560:31:00

that's called engine-turning. You can see where this has been...

0:31:000:31:03

-Worn away.

-Yeah.

0:31:030:31:05

The first thing we've got to ascertain is that it is silver,

0:31:050:31:09

so we're looking for a thing called a hallmark.

0:31:090:31:11

And there it is. We've got a little lion there.

0:31:110:31:14

-That tells us that it's silver.

-Yeah.

0:31:140:31:17

Then there's that letter of the alphabet there. Can you see it?

0:31:170:31:20

-Yeah.

-And that tells us that this was assayed in 1894.

0:31:200:31:24

And then, can you see those initials there on the right-hand side?

0:31:240:31:28

-Do you know what they are?

-No.

0:31:280:31:30

-It's a G and U, and that stands for a man called George Unite.

-Oh!

0:31:300:31:35

Right. And that in there, Harry, is snuff.

0:31:350:31:38

-Do you know what you do with snuff?

-No.

0:31:380:31:41

You get a pinch of it like that, and you put it in there like that,

0:31:410:31:44

and I'm not going to do this, and you go like that,

0:31:440:31:47

and you sniff it. Oh, that's still strong!

0:31:470:31:49

How long's this stuff been in here?

0:31:490:31:51

That snuff's been in there a good 25 years.

0:31:510:31:54

-Have you ever tried it?

-Yes, when I was around Harry's age,

0:31:540:31:58

-around ten. I wish I hadn't.

-Really?

-Yeah. It wasn't very nice.

0:31:580:32:01

-Sneezed for a fortnight?

-Yeah!

-So it's clearly not good for you,

0:32:010:32:05

but it's a form of ground-up tobacco.

0:32:050:32:08

Now, I've told you all I know. What do you know about it?

0:32:080:32:11

I know, obviously, it was my granddad's.

0:32:110:32:13

-Yeah.

-I remember him using it.

-Really?

0:32:130:32:16

-Yes.

-It was your granddad's, and you want to sell it?

-Yeah.

0:32:160:32:20

We're down on our luck with funds at the moment.

0:32:200:32:23

I haven't worked for six weeks. Broke my collarbone

0:32:230:32:25

-in a charity football game.

-Oh, Lord!

-So, yes.

0:32:250:32:29

You've put me on the spot now. I sort of don't want you to sell this.

0:32:290:32:32

-Oh, right.

-But you want to sell it, and you need to sell it,

0:32:320:32:36

and I understand that. You can do one of two things.

0:32:360:32:39

You can either put an estimate on it of £80 to £120,

0:32:390:32:42

and that way, I think you're guaranteed a sale.

0:32:420:32:45

-Right.

-Or you can be a bit more bullish,

0:32:450:32:47

and I don't think you should sell it for less than 100 quid.

0:32:470:32:51

-No. No, not at all.

-I really, really don't.

0:32:510:32:54

-Because it's going to go on, isn't it?

-Yes.

0:32:540:32:57

-So let's put an estimate of 120 to 180 on it.

-OK.

0:32:570:33:00

Fixed reserve's £100, and I really hope you don't sell it.

0:33:000:33:04

I really do. On the way home, I hope you get a winning lottery ticket.

0:33:040:33:09

-That would be nice.

-And I really hope you don't sell it.

0:33:090:33:13

-OK. Thank you.

-And I don't often say that.

0:33:130:33:15

Short-term, I think selling it's the right thing for you to do.

0:33:150:33:18

-Long-term...

-No.

0:33:180:33:21

-OK.

-What do you reckon?

0:33:210:33:23

-He should sell it.

-Definitely?

-Yeah.

0:33:230:33:25

Out of the mouths of babes!

0:33:250:33:27

-Thank you.

-Come on, Harry. Shake my hand.

0:33:270:33:29

Well done, matey.

0:33:290:33:31

I do hope the collectors notice Lee's silver snuff box,

0:33:310:33:35

either in the saleroom or on the internet.

0:33:350:33:38

Elizabeth has made a real find. It's a lovely casket,

0:33:380:33:41

with a bit of age to it.

0:33:410:33:44

Richard, you've brought a very fine and generous casket here.

0:33:440:33:47

What do you know of it?

0:33:470:33:49

Not an awful lot, except it belonged to my grandmother,

0:33:490:33:53

and has been handed down to my mother,

0:33:530:33:57

and that's now handed down to my family.

0:33:570:34:00

So you've obviously grown up with it and lived with it around...

0:34:000:34:04

-For a few years.

-Yes?

0:34:040:34:05

But the problem now is, it's just been in a cupboard for the last few.

0:34:050:34:09

It's not the sort of thing that I would want to leave out

0:34:090:34:12

so somebody might have an accident with it.

0:34:120:34:15

You're custodian of it now, which is a lot of responsibility.

0:34:150:34:18

-Do you actually like it yourself?

-Yeah. I think it's quite pretty.

0:34:180:34:22

Have you done any research on it as an object?

0:34:220:34:25

I've tried to look it up on the internet,

0:34:250:34:27

and I found this E Collet chap on the internet,

0:34:270:34:32

but I couldn't find an example of that particular pot.

0:34:320:34:35

Well, it's a French porcelain casket.

0:34:350:34:37

It's big enough to be called a casket,

0:34:370:34:39

and the French have a long history of making boxes in ceramics,

0:34:390:34:43

whether that was snuff or patch boxes that were quite tiny,

0:34:430:34:46

right through to sort of big jewel caskets,

0:34:460:34:49

which were possibly even bigger than that.

0:34:490:34:51

These days, it's quite common to find smaller examples,

0:34:510:34:54

less so such sizeable pieces.

0:34:540:34:57

In terms of date, I would put it in the late 19th century,

0:34:570:35:01

but it is actually harking back to the 18th century,

0:35:010:35:04

and it's very much the Bombay shape

0:35:040:35:06

that was very popular in the 18th century,

0:35:060:35:09

and it's decorated in the rococo style with scrolls, etc,

0:35:090:35:13

centred by this beautiful scene in the middle.

0:35:130:35:15

You mentioned Collet. He was a professional artist,

0:35:150:35:18

and had a calibre over and above many artists

0:35:180:35:21

who would just have sat there painting flowers on things,

0:35:210:35:24

and in the same way that an artist who's professional

0:35:240:35:27

and is painting a canvas would want to record his work,

0:35:270:35:30

he was of a calibre that he would put his signature on the front.

0:35:300:35:33

It's debatable whether he would also have done the floral panels.

0:35:330:35:36

They could have had two people working on this.

0:35:360:35:39

These are slightly harsher in their execution

0:35:390:35:43

-than this lovely, soft...

-It's almost blurred.

0:35:430:35:45

Yes. He's got a wonderful way of using enamels on the surface.

0:35:450:35:49

I didn't appreciate that. I thought one name would be one person.

0:35:490:35:52

No. You'll find, again harking back to the fine-art world

0:35:520:35:56

of painting on canvas, it's not unusual for the big-name artist

0:35:560:36:00

to paint what he specialised in, and he had a studio of people

0:36:000:36:03

who would do the background or the other brushstrokes.

0:36:030:36:07

So you've got two artists' hands there at least.

0:36:070:36:10

And the mounts and the trim, they're a base metal

0:36:100:36:13

which is then gilded, so it's a kind of ormolu finish

0:36:130:36:16

which complements this nice rich casket.

0:36:160:36:18

But interestingly as well, if you open up the lid,

0:36:180:36:21

there's no expense spared, either. There's a lovely interior

0:36:210:36:24

with a floral pattern inside.

0:36:240:36:26

What would somebody have used it for originally?

0:36:260:36:29

-What was the purpose?

-You could have stored in there whatever you chose,

0:36:290:36:33

and there's a good chance, given its condition,

0:36:330:36:36

it's never had anything in it. It was just appreciated

0:36:360:36:39

as quite a flamboyant thing to be able to possess

0:36:390:36:42

and enjoy for what it is. So, in your research,

0:36:420:36:44

-have you come up with an idea of what you think it's worth?

-Yes.

0:36:440:36:48

I did make some enquiries, and it was indicated to me to be £500 to £800.

0:36:480:36:52

Mm-hm. In certain situations, that would be not far off the mark.

0:36:520:36:57

I'd be happier to look in the region of £400 to £600, that sort of level.

0:36:570:37:02

If it had been an 18th-century one, I'd have said no problem.

0:37:020:37:05

-Not quite old enough, then!

-It's not quite old enough.

0:37:050:37:08

I ought to keep it for another hundred years.

0:37:080:37:11

I'd like to meet you in 100 years' time and see what we can make of it.

0:37:110:37:15

I think 400 to 600 is probably a more realistic chance

0:37:150:37:18

-of it making a good sale, if you're happy at that.

-Yeah.

0:37:180:37:21

Would you like a reserve on it? I should think the answer will be yes.

0:37:210:37:24

I think so. It would be silly to let it go for nothing.

0:37:240:37:27

I think the auctioneer would look after it anyway,

0:37:270:37:30

but if we put £400 on it, would you be happy with a bit of discretion?

0:37:300:37:34

-That would be fine.

-Hopefully we'll be proved to be very pessimistic

0:37:340:37:38

and modest on our expectations on it.

0:37:380:37:41

-Thank you for your comments on it.

-Thank you for bringing it in.

0:37:410:37:44

That's a quality item, in good condition,

0:37:440:37:47

so there really is nothing to stop it doing well.

0:37:470:37:49

Right! So we're off to auction, and this is what we're taking with us.

0:37:490:37:54

Elizabeth hopes Sue's brooch will dazzle the bidders.

0:37:540:37:57

Lee could do with a bit of good news,

0:38:000:38:02

so let's hope his silver snuff box does the business.

0:38:020:38:06

And finally, Richard's French porcelain casket,

0:38:070:38:10

which just screams quality.

0:38:100:38:12

Back to the saleroom now in Wokingham,

0:38:190:38:22

where auctioneer Garth Lewis will be doing his very best

0:38:220:38:25

on behalf of our owners.

0:38:250:38:27

And he's starting with Sue's beautiful family heirloom.

0:38:270:38:32

-A very exciting moment!

-Yes, I hope so.

0:38:320:38:34

£600 to £800 is riding on this. Had a chat to the auctioneer.

0:38:340:38:38

-He said...?

-The quality and the age of it will make it sell.

0:38:380:38:43

-And it is quality, isn't it?

-It's beautiful.

0:38:430:38:46

It's a ladies' item, and there aren't that many ladies

0:38:460:38:50

in the saleroom. I think this is a dealer's lot.

0:38:500:38:53

We ladies rely upon you gentlemen buying them for us.

0:38:530:38:56

Of course you do. How silly of me!

0:38:560:38:58

It's going under the hammer right now.

0:38:580:39:02

Little Edwardian Belle Epoque openwork diamond-encrusted brooch.

0:39:020:39:07

Very pretty it is, too. Don't want to waste your time.

0:39:070:39:11

May I start at £500?

0:39:110:39:13

Four is bid. Thank you. I have four.

0:39:130:39:16

-Oh, wrong direction.

-Do I have 20 now?

0:39:160:39:19

-440.

-He looks quite determined, though.

0:39:190:39:22

480. 500.

0:39:220:39:25

And 20. 540.

0:39:250:39:28

-Is there any further? £540.

-Come on!

0:39:280:39:31

-Pass the lot, I'm afraid, at 540.

-No. Didn't sell.

-Didn't sell.

0:39:310:39:36

-Ooh, dear. Ever so sorry about that!

-It's all right. It's OK.

0:39:360:39:39

Just wasn't your day, was it? I totally agree with the valuation.

0:39:390:39:42

The auctioneer agreed with it. But nobody was here today

0:39:420:39:45

that really wanted it. It was as simple as that.

0:39:450:39:48

You could put it in this saleroom in a month's time,

0:39:480:39:51

five people would want it, and it would shoot through the roof.

0:39:510:39:54

That's the unpredictability of auction rooms. Ever so sorry!

0:39:540:39:57

That's a shame, but there will be another day

0:39:570:40:00

for a brooch as lovely as that. We need a better outcome

0:40:000:40:03

for our next item.

0:40:030:40:05

Hopefully this lot is a real pinch at £120 to £180.

0:40:050:40:08

It's that silver snuff box. It belongs to Lee.

0:40:080:40:11

We've got Philip, our expert, here, and the price of metal has shot up,

0:40:110:40:15

so it's all in your favour. Good luck.

0:40:150:40:17

-It's a family heirloom going under the hammer.

-Thanks very much.

0:40:170:40:20

This is it.

0:40:200:40:22

Little silver snuff box with overall engine-turn decoration

0:40:220:40:27

and a monogram. Good maker. George Unite, the maker.

0:40:270:40:31

There is some rubbing to the case.

0:40:310:40:33

-May I start at £60?

-Bit of quality, this.

0:40:330:40:35

-Oh, come on. That's mean.

-60 is bid, thank you.

0:40:350:40:38

On the left now, 60. Five. 70. Five.

0:40:380:40:42

80. Five. 90. Five.

0:40:420:40:45

It's going in the right direction, Lee.

0:40:450:40:47

£100 here on the left. If you're all done at 100...

0:40:470:40:51

And ten. New place. 110. Just in time. 110.

0:40:510:40:55

-If you're all done now...

-Yes! We did it.

0:40:550:40:58

We had a fixed reserve of £100, and we just did it. Well done, Lee.

0:40:580:41:02

-Thank you.

-Well done, Philip.

-Pleased with that.

0:41:020:41:05

-I think it went in the room to a bidder.

-Just over there.

0:41:050:41:09

Let's hope that means Lee's luck has turned.

0:41:090:41:12

Finally, Elizabeth's choice, the hand-painted French casket.

0:41:120:41:17

Gosh, I really do like this, Richard!

0:41:170:41:19

We're talking about this little Sevres trinket box.

0:41:190:41:23

A lot of money - £400, £500, maybe. I think this is such quality.

0:41:230:41:26

Why are you selling it? It's a keeper!

0:41:260:41:29

Yes, but it's been in a cupboard for nearly 20 years.

0:41:290:41:32

It should be on display, shouldn't it, Elizabeth?

0:41:320:41:35

It should be, but it's a big piece.

0:41:350:41:37

But I just have to err on caution here.

0:41:370:41:41

It is a bit of a fish out of water at this sale.

0:41:410:41:43

But quality does sell, and if you've got a good website,

0:41:430:41:46

and people can find it, there should be no excuse.

0:41:460:41:49

Hopefully we can find those bidders. But it might not be the time.

0:41:490:41:52

-I'm covering all options today!

-Cover all the bases.

0:41:520:41:57

I would be keeping this, but he's selling it,

0:41:570:41:59

and hopefully it'll go for top money. Let's find out right now.

0:41:590:42:03

This very impressive Sevres trinket box,

0:42:030:42:06

beautifully painted, floral sprays overall,

0:42:060:42:08

-and interest here on the book. It starts with me at 360.

-Ooh!

0:42:080:42:15

Against you. 360 is bid. 380. 400.

0:42:150:42:18

-420. 440.

-I was worrying over nothing!

0:42:180:42:21

I was worrying over nothing!

0:42:210:42:24

520. 540.

0:42:240:42:27

-560. 580.

-See? Quality always sells!

0:42:270:42:31

If you're done... At £580, then.

0:42:310:42:34

-Oh, well done!

-580! You were starting to bottle it.

0:42:340:42:38

Thank you so much for bringing that in.

0:42:380:42:41

There is commission to pay. It's 15 percent.

0:42:410:42:43

What do you think you'll put that money towards?

0:42:430:42:46

Oh, my wife wants to go away for a weekend.

0:42:460:42:49

-Lovely. Where you going to take her?

-No idea yet.

-Let her choose.

0:42:490:42:53

12 now. 12?

0:42:550:42:57

That's it. It's all over. The auction is still going on,

0:42:580:43:01

but I tell you what - it has been a bit of a mixed day.

0:43:010:43:04

At least our owners have gone home happy.

0:43:040:43:06

Some things are meant to be kept.

0:43:060:43:08

If you've got any antiques you want to sell, though,

0:43:080:43:11

bring them to one of our valuation days,

0:43:110:43:14

and hopefully we'll send you home with a small fortune.

0:43:140:43:16

Pick up details on our BBC website of up-and-coming dates and venues.

0:43:160:43:20

Just log on to bbc.co.uk/flog it Follow the links.

0:43:200:43:23

All the information will be there, plus a lot more

0:43:230:43:25

about what is going on behind the scenes.

0:43:250:43:27

If you don't have a computer, check the details in your local press,

0:43:270:43:31

because we would love to see you, and you could be in a saleroom

0:43:310:43:34

just like this one, flogging your goods.

0:43:340:43:37

So, until the next time, it's goodbye.

0:43:370:43:40

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:400:43:44

E-mail subtitling@bbc.co.uk

0:43:440:43:48

.

0:43:480:43:48

Presenter Paul Martin and experts Philip Serrell and Elizabeth Talbot visit Wellington College, Berkshire, where Elizabeth is entranced by an exquisite hand painted French casket and Philip sniffs out a silver snuff box, while Paul enjoys a visit to an English lavender farm.