Paul Martin, Catherine Southon and Mark Stacey visit Henley, where they find a very special lot - an example of Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron's work.
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This is the programme where we take your unwanted antiques
off to auction and make you a handful of cash
but on today's show we are talking big money -
not just hundreds of pounds but thousands of pounds
for one lucky owner. Welcome to "Flog It!"
Today's valuation day comes from the wonderful Henley-on-Thames
in Oxfordshire, at their town hall. Lots of people have turned up
with their treasures, and it's up to me and a team of valuers
to spot the real gems in the crowd.
Heading up the experts are Catherine Southon...
-I bet you've had lots of fun with that.
-Yes. Used to.
..and Mark Stacey.
I'm going to stick this on you, all right?
And then I'm going to put you in my big pen.
But there's no time to lose. Let's go inside and get cracking.
Coming up - it's always good to see our old "Flog It!" favourites
like Charlotte Rhead.
What I really adore about her work is the tube lining.
It's got that lovely texture to it, that wonderful relief.
And Clarice Cliff.
Do you see a lot of it on "Flog It!"?
Good old Clarice Cliff!
But sometimes we find something that really causes a stir,
like this photograph.
It's not the sitter I'm interested in. It's the photographer!
That demands special attention.
Whatever it brings, the students will be delighted.
Good luck. Good luck, that's all I can say.
The town hall is packed, and valuations are underway.
Over at the table with Catherine,
Ellen has brought in an elegant compact.
The reason I was drawn to this very pretty little box
was its colour, a very beautiful light blue.
But I don't think it does it justice...
-It's on the same background.
-..on the "Flog It!" tablecloth,
so I'm going to lift it up. I think this is part of a dressing-table set.
-If we just open this up here,
we can see that perhaps it contained powder or something like that,
and it was part of a big set where you would have had brushes
and soap dishes, things like that, all different items
which would have been kept on a dressing table.
What I really love about this is the beautiful guilloche enamel,
which is engine-turned. You can see there,
all the tiny little lines there, how it's actually been worked,
-and the lovely blue enamel.
-Yes, it's pretty.
And I think that's really where its value lies.
Where did you get this from?
Well, I used to look after elderly people,
and this was one of the pieces amongst their possessions
that I was left, so I've had it for about ten years now.
You can just imagine that on a dressing table with other pieces.
But in its own right it's still a very beautiful object,
and it's very commercial, because you can put anything in there -
-your hair clips or whatever.
It would sit very nicely on your dressing table.
Looking at it more closely, we can see it's silver gilt,
and it's got a couple of marks there...
-I'd never noticed before.
-..which tell us that it's French.
And then, moving around here, there's another mark.
There we are. Very, very tiny little mark there,
which is actually giving us the maker's initials.
That's something we'll have to research.
I've never seen it, all these years I've had the box!
The only thing that worries me slightly
-is that it does have a bit of wear.
Can you see? There's a bit of damage to the guilloche there,
and then also on the underside there.
These things do get damaged quite easily,
but apart from that, it is in rather nice condition.
So this was given to you. What have you done with it since then?
It's just been in a little cabinet. It seems such a shame
to leave it unused. It should be used.
-The time's come to flog it?
-Time's come, yes.
Now, value-wise, it would be lovely if we had the entire set.
-Then we'd be looking at, perhaps, £300 to £500.
But for this item alone, I'd say we should put a pre-sale estimate on
-at £50 to £80...
-..and reserve on of 40.
-Would you be happy to sell at that?
-I would indeed.
Thank you for bringing it along to "Flog It!",
and let's hope that it makes some money at the auction.
That vibrant blue enamel and silver-gilt detail
is bound to appeal to some magpies at the auction room,
and could even complete someone's dressing-table set.
Another decorative object has landed on Mark's table, brought in by Steven.
What's a chap like you doing with a parasol like this?
Basically being very embarrassed. THEY LAUGH
Don't be silly. It's lovely. Where did you get it from?
It was inherited from an auntie, and her mother had it
-when she was in India, as far as I know.
-Oh, right. OK.
Well, there's no surprise why we like it here on "Flog It!".
It's because of this wonderful ivory handle,
which is fantastically carved with these rather mischievous bears
going all around it, which is really good fun.
It's been very detailedly carved out and stained,
and they've got little eyes and faces,
-and it's really quite a quirky object.
There are a few problems, however.
First of all, parasols are not as collectable as walking canes.
Now, if this had been mounted onto a walking cane,
it would be a lot more collectable. Secondly,
-all this has been replaced.
Originally it would have had a much more delicate, lacy fabric on it.
-So you can imagine, in the Edwardian period -
you know, 1900, 1910, 1920,
fashionable young ladies would have been promenading
with their parasols up, protecting them from the sun.
-It would have been purely used for the sun?
It's not an umbrella. There is another interesting thing there.
-It's the name.
We'll have to be very careful how we open this.
When we open it up there, like that,
we can see the word Paragon, which is the retail name of this.
-And then we can see the firm Fox & Co Limited.
Now, I don't know who Fox & Co are, but it would have been retailed
and sold through very fashionable shops
in India, or maybe Delhi or Calcutta.
-Right. Right, yeah.
-So, knowing all that,
and the fact that I think what somebody would probably do
-is restore this, or turn this bit into a walking stick...
..how much do you think it might be worth?
Haven't got a clue. That's what I'm here for.
-That's what you're here for? I don't, either.
I can give a guesstimate, because I do think this makes it, actually.
I would suggest maybe somewhere around £100 to £150.
-Oh, right. That's good.
-Would that be all right for you,
-to put in for sale at that?
-I think it's worth a try.
-With a reserve of 100 with ten percent discretion.
Hopefully we'll get a bit more than that.
-How do you feel with that estimate?
-That would be fine with me.
-Fantastic! I'll see you at the sale.
-Thanks very much.
All the pretty things have turned up at the Henley valuation day today.
Catherine's been won over by Joyce's pastel pottery.
Joyce, I always love to see a piece of Charlotte Rhead on "Flog It!".
-Where did you get this bowl from?
-It was given to us 40 years ago
by an elderly neighbour when we lived in Somerset.
-Given to you as a present?
-Yes. That's all I know about it.
-And did you know who it was by?
-It's well marked, isn't it?
-It is very well marked underneath,
with her signature. We see there it's got "C Rhead".
The very early pieces were marked "L Rhead",
for Lottie, Lottie Rhead,
so that will help us in trying to date this.
We can also see there's a stamp on the back for Crown Ducal,
-for when she worked at the factory Crown Ducal.
So that would date this around 1925, 1930.
-So, it's something you've had displayed in your home
-for quite some time.
-Something that you've loved?
-Oh, yes, I love it.
-So why did you decide to bring it along today?
Well, just something to bring, really,
-because we were coming over anyway.
-What I like about it
is the colours. Now, with Charlotte Rhead,
what we often find are oranges and yellows and greens,
real Art Deco colours. Lovely to see these wonderful mauves
-and sort of pinks.
I think so. Lovely to see that, and I do really like that.
But what we love about Charlotte Rhead,
and what I really adore about her work, is the tube lining.
If you feel it, it's got that lovely texture to it,
that wonderful relief. And it's where the clay
has been piped through like a liquid,
giving it this wonderful texture,
and something that I really love about it,
and really makes her work so distinctive.
So, time to sell it, do you think?
I don't worry, really, whether I keep it or sell it,
but may as well get rid of it. It'll probably get broken.
So time to move on. Would you be happy if we put it in auction
-with an estimate of £120 to £180?
-That sounds fine, yeah.
-With a reserve of £100?
-Are you happy with that?
-I think it should do well.
If it does do well, what would you do with the money?
-Probably buy a bear, an old bear.
-A teddy bear?
-A teddy bear, yeah.
-How many have you got in your collection?
-About 100, I expect.
-Wow! That IS a collection.
Well, keep your eyes peeled at the auction,
-and perhaps you can swap this for a bear.
-Sell this and buy a bear in its place.
-I'll see you at the auction in a couple of weeks.
-Nice to see you.
-I've seen you lots of times.
Charlotte Rhead will hopefully turn into a furry friend
for Joyce's collection. But now it's my turn.
I've got to say, I'm very, very excited about my next find.
Right now it belongs to Angela - well, Angela's school.
-Tell me a little bit more about your school.
Slough Grammar School is based in Slough, Berkshire,
and we're looking at selling this because we need to do rebuilds,
and this is an asset we can sell to help the school.
-So the school needs the money. They're always under-funded.
OK. This is the scientist, Herschel, who...
There is some local connection, isn't there?
He was born and brought up in Slough.
Which is literally just down the river.
Credited for pioneering and developing the telescope...
-..and optical lens.
But it's not the subject, not the sitter, I'm interested in.
It's the photographer. I've been to Julia Margaret Cameron's studios
on the Isle of Wight, and this is an original by her -
the greatest female photographer, possibly, in history,
-definitely in the 19th century.
There's a little description, isn't there, just down there,
and I think it says "taken at the residence"
of Herschel's own home, Collingwood,
"by Julia Margaret Cameron, April 1867."
Yeah. And signed by the portrait -
Signed by Herschel himself.
There is a little bit of damage to the image. Not a lot -
-it's just lifting slightly, isn't it?
But otherwise it's in very good condition.
-And this was available to buy, around 1867.
Judging by the catalogue we looked at,
you could buy this print for around about £10, couldn't you?
And that was expensive then. Yeah.
So for this to turn up today is really, really exciting.
You've done a little bit of research.
-Because something like this sold at Sotheby's a few years ago,
-For about 51,000.
I said today, whatever you do, don't turn over,
because somebody's going home with a lot of money. It could be Angela.
-It really could be you.
-Well, the school.
Yes, for the school. That money would come in tremendously handy.
We had so many meetings, talking about finance,
and we said, "We're going to sell you one day,"
-and now's the time to sell him.
-You heard "Flog It!" was in town
-and you thought you'd get a second opinion.
This is so important to us, and we want to act in your best interests.
I think it's really important that we take this away with us,
we do a little more research,
because if Sotheby's think it's worth 50-odd thousand pounds,
or one like it has sold for that... They haven't actually seen it?
-They sent a researcher out.
-Oh, they did?
And the researcher confirmed it was a Julia Margaret Cameron.
I think we take this to a major saleroom in London,
see what they think, and we get it put into a specialist sale,
a photograph-and-print sale. Are you happy with that?
-That's really good.
-Thank you so much,
Angela, for coming in. It's been a pleasure talking to you.
-We'll look after this.
-Thanks very much.
'We're leaving Henley with some lovely items to sell for our owners,
'but what made them special?'
What drew me to this was the beautiful blue colour
and the lovely guilloche enamel work.
What I really hope is that we've got a couple of buyers
who come to the auction who've got the matching set,
and then we've got big money.
This lovely ivory-handled parasol has all the "bear" necessities
to make a healthy price at auction.
I'm always drawn towards Charlotte Rhead,
because I've got a few pieces at home.
This is slightly different from the rest.
What I like about this are the lovely pinks and the purple,
which separate it from the others, and I hope that because of that,
it will stand out at auction and it'll do well.
And our fourth item, the Julia Margaret Cameron photo -
well, that is going off to a specialist
for further examination. More about that very soon.
But for now let's get on with the sale,
and we're at Midgham, at Cameo Auctioneers.
I can feel the tension starting to build.
I know our owners are really nervous right now.
For you at home, you can sit back and enjoy this,
but for the rest of us it's going to be a roller-coaster ride,
so fasten your seatbelts, because anything can happen at auction.
The standard seller's commission rate here is 20 percent plus VAT,
including all fees.
Let's start proceedings with Steven's ivory-handled parasol.
Our experts are always saying, "If you want to invest in antiques,
invest in quality." And this next lot has it in abundance!
It belongs to Steven. Mark is our expert,
and I'm absolutely in love with this, because it is sheer quality.
£100 to £150. Steven, why are you selling this?
It just sits in the umbrella stand doing nothing,
so I'd rather it go to somebody that would benefit from it.
-It's been in the family a long time.
-Yeah. About...ooh, 75 years.
Well, it's down to the bidders out there.
Good luck. We got a fixed reserve at £100.
Let's hope we get double that. Let's put a smile on your face. This is it.
This is rather nice. This is an ivory-handled parasol
with the handle decorated with bears and lions.
Manufactured by Fox & Co, in super condition.
It really is very nice indeed. Give me 100 for it, somebody, please.
-50, then, to start it, if I may.
-There's two or three hands going up.
60. 65. 70. 75.
80. £80 I'm bid. 85. 90. 95.
-100. At £100, I'm bid.
-A bit more.
In the room, then, at £100 and away.
-Are you all done at £100?
-A bit more, a bit more.
Sold! £100. Just got it away on the reserve. Happy?
-Yeah, that's fine.
-It's better than it perishing away,
let's face it. Enjoy the rest of the day, and thank you for being on the show,
because it's always lovely to hold and talk about quality.
The parasol just made its money, so Mark was spot-on
with his valuation.
But will Joyce's bit of Charlotte Rhead find a new home?
Joyce, good luck. You're squeezing my hand ever so hard.
You're nervous, aren't you? You can let go now!
Bless you! John, how you feeling, mate?
-All right, thank you.
-We've got the bowl going under the hammer now.
-Sad to see it go?
-In a way, yes. I was afraid of breaking it.
Nice example, isn't it? And I know you've got £120 to £180 on it.
Yes, because you don't just want to give it away,
so we've put a decent price on it, and we've protected it
-with a good reserve.
-Otherwise we can take it home again.
-Yes. Did you ever use it at all?
-Yes. I put potpourri in it.
Well, it's in fabulous quality, that's the main thing.
Let's find out what the bidders think, shall we?
It's a great name in studio pottery, so hopefully that will get it away. Here we go.
Charlotte Rhead, Crown Ducal signed bowl,
in very good condition. £50 to start it, somebody, please.
I'm bid £50. 55 anywhere, please, for the Charlotte Rhead?
55 anywhere? At £50, I'm bid. 55 anywhere?
-Struggling a bit.
At £65. And £70 with me, and away.
At £70 with me. Are you all done at £70?
-And with no further bids and no interest...
-Not the day for Charlotte Rhead.
-I don't mind taking it home.
You do love it, don't you?
So it's going home, which is not all bad news.
-Put the pot-pourri back in it.
-Yeah, and look after it.
-It's been out for a day.
-It's had a day out.
It's not all bad news when things don't sell.
I think Joyce was relieved to take it home.
Now we've got something for the ladies - an enamelled blue compact
belonging to Ellen, who sadly can't be with us.
She's gone down to the south coast to get a bit of sea breeze.
-But her son Mark is with us...
-..flying the flag.
-You've been feeling poorly, under the weather.
You've got out of bed for us today. We're really grateful,
and I think Mum will be as well. Do you know where she got this?
An old friend of hers left it to her.
You picked up on it at the valuation day, didn't you?
It's probably part of a big dressing-table set,
but I liked it because of the blue enamel.
It is quite eye-catching, isn't it?
Hopefully it will catch somebody's eye here.
-It's in good condition.
-That's what it's all about.
It's going under the hammer right now. Good luck.
The nice French blue enamelled silver-gilt compact,
circa 1920, in very good condition. I've got two bids.
They're exactly the same. £60. £60 with me. 65. At £65 and away.
70, anywhere? At 70, I'm bid. 75.
-80. 85. 90.
-Ooh, they like this!
-They like this.
-125. 130. 135?
130, then. At £130, I'm bid. 140.
-It's so hard to see the bidders!
£150 in the room. At 150 in the room.
-155. 160? At £155, I'm bid.
At £155 and selling. Are you all done? And sold.
£155! You've got to get on the phone and tell her the good news.
-I will do.
-That's so unexpected!
I thought maybe top end, so about 60.
I thought that would be it, so that's brilliant.
If she's got any more, tell her to bring them.
-We want the rest of the set.
-I'll make sure she's not on holiday next time.
OK. Thank you.
50 I'm bid.
Well, a great start to the programme, but don't go away,
because we've still got that wonderful Victorian photograph to sell.
So, who was Julia Margaret Cameron,
and why is her work so highly regarded?
Well, back in 2005, when I was filming with "Flog It!"
on the Isle of Wight, I had the pleasure of visiting
her former home and studio. It's now a gallery and museum,
dedicated to her life's work. Take a look at this.
Being by the seaside is a fantastic opportunity
of taking photographs. Photography dates back to the early 19th century
and a famous person for taking photos of famous Victorians
lived here on the Isle of Wight.
Julia Margaret Cameron has been described
as the greatest pictorial photographer
of the 19th century.
She was born in 1815 in Calcutta.
Her first interest in photography started in 1855,
when she was recovering from an illness in the Cape of Good Hope.
She met Sir John Herschel, who had come up with the term "photography".
But it was 27 years later, when she was given a camera as a present,
that her interest really began to develop.
Julia Margaret Cameron moved to the Isle of Wight in 1860,
and she lived here in Freshwater, in this house, Dimbola Lodge.
It was due to be knocked down in 1990,
but luckily enough, a group of Cameron enthusiasts managed to save it.
It's now a museum dedicated to her work,
and the curator is Brian Hinton.
Why did she come to the Isle of Wight?
She was a great friend of Tennyson, the Poet Laureate,
and when her husband went off to Ceylon to run the tea estates,
she got rather lonely, so she'd come and stay at Farringford nearby,
and she liked it more and more, so eventually she bought two cottages,
one of which we're standing in, and put a big Gothic tower
to link the two together, and turned the chicken shed at the back
into a photographic studio.
But I think there's something about the quality of the light here
that really matters, and lots of painters and photographers
have found it. I think she fell in love not just with Tennyson
and all his friends, but with this place and the lovely scenery.
It's gorgeous, and that is what attracts artists.
-Why was she so renowned?
-Because she was a great photographer.
She was quite notorious. A lot of male photographers at the time
thought she was unspeakable, because she didn't focus her camera.
It was all fuzzy and artistic, and some people thought,
"She can't do it." She was a brilliant artist.
-Look at the results.
-The work is absolutely superb.
Did she find it hard, being a woman in a man's world
-in the photography business?
-She won prizes, but abroad,
in Ireland and Germany. Never here. And she did get a lot of flak.
It was becoming a profession, and all these people
were starting their little photographic practices,
and she was a lady, and she would only photograph who she chose to.
So you can imagine what they thought of her - dilettante, you know?
-So, yes, she got a lot of flak.
-How can we identify her work?
In terms of the subjects, she did two main things -
well, three main things, actually. She did Madonnas,
when she had her maids pretending to be the Virgin Mary,
very holy and very beautiful and very spiritual,
and again, usually just one person in shot.
That classical composition.
Very well trained in classical paintings.
But also portraits of famous people, again just one person,
head and shoulders. No-one had done that before.
So almost like the personality portrait - she invented it.
-And thirdly, she was very good at children.
Wonderful examples here. Superb.
Yeah. She would get some wings off a turkey or something,
and stick them onto... The children weren't too happy.
-They used to run away.
-But... What techniques did she use?
She took all the photographs here in an old chicken house,
but her technique was to use roller blinds to control the light.
She always photographed in daylight. She didn't use studio lights
like photographers do today. So she would have the sitter
sitting there for about five minutes.
She would put a charged glass plate into the camera,
and let the image, upside down, of course, work its way into the plate.
After five minutes, the sitter would be dismissed.
The glass plate would be treated with all kinds of chemicals and water,
and it would be then put onto specially charged paper,
paper made partly with albumen of egg,
and the two would be put together in the sunlight,
and gradually the image would come through onto the paper.
You could do that endlessly from the same glass plate.
-What a laborious process!
-And only one in ten worked.
-Tell me about some of her subjects.
-Well, the main one is Tennyson.
The one most famous is Tennyson, because he was the Poet Laureate.
There's a lovely one where he looks like, as he describes it, "a dirty monk".
You've also got people like Browning, Longfellow, the poet.
Then you've got what she called her "beautiful maidens",
so you've got her niece, the mother of Virginia Woolf,
and you can really see the similarity.
-Are her works collectable?
-They weren't in the 1950s.
You couldn't give them away. But now, highly collectable,
and a lot of museums are still trying to build up collections of her work,
so when they come for auction, you have private individuals
fighting with institutions, especially in the States.
Her work is absolutely stunning. She captures people so beautifully.
What sort of prices are we talking about?
We're talking about 1,000 to 20,000 for originals.
Recently one went for £1,300, but not in very good condition.
Condition, as in every kind of antique and artwork,
is very important, and they have to be originals
from the original glass plates, not copies,
and you need an expert to actually tell the difference.
These are all copies. Do you have originals?
Yeah. We've got about 25 now, tucked away in a secret location.
The trouble is, they are so susceptible to sunlight, humidity,
that we can't put them on display. I wish we could,
but it would just be a desecration. We do sometimes show them,
but in very controlled conditions.
Julia Margaret Cameron left the Isle of Wight
to go and live in Sri Lanka, to join her sons who worked there.
Although she took her equipment with her,
she could never create the same style of work
she'd produced here on the Isle of Wight.
She died in 1879, and is buried in a tiny churchyard
high in the mountains of Sri Lanka.
So, will our Cameron photograph be in demand with the bidders?
We're going to find out shortly. But first we have more antiques to find in Henley-on-Thames.
Our team of experts are working flat-out
to get everyone's items valued, and over with Catherine,
it's Sue's turn to find out more about her spoon.
Sue, welcome to "Flog It!".
Thank you for bringing along your nice little spoon.
Not an ordinary spoon, cos if we turn it over we can see
that it's got this beautiful coloured enamel on the top.
We'll talk about that in detail in a moment.
But tell me, where did you get this from?
Actually, it was in our family sugar bowl for many, many years.
Growing up as a child, I would use it for the three spoons of sugar
I used to have in my cups of tea in those days.
-So it's very well used.
-Yes, very well.
It is in very good condition, considering that.
-Do you know where it came from before then?
As far as I can remember, my mother said it was a friend of her mother's,
my grandmother, and that was about as much information
-as she ever gave out.
-But you've always known it.
-It's always been in your family.
So, why did you bring it to us today?
It's one of those items that I wanted very much when I was a child,
because I thought it was so pretty, and I begged my mother,
could I have it one day when she didn't want it any more,
and I did have it on display at home for many years.
Then we moved house, and it got put away in a box
-and never brought out again.
-It's a difficult thing to display.
I mean, that's the way to display it,
because this is what we call cloisonne enamel,
where it's got - if you look very closely, you can see -
there is wire that has been applied to the metal.
This is actually silver, and the enamel has been put inside,
so almost like little cells.
But the colours are very beautiful, and you said, as a child,
-you thought it was very pretty.
-And I can see that.
It dates from 1900, and it's actually Russian.
So there's no Russian connection with your family,
-or, you say, your family friends?
-Not as far as I'm aware.
Right. OK. But that's its history. That's where it's come from,
as far as I'm concerned.
But the beauty, as I say, is in this enamel.
It's so pretty. I think I'd like to put it with an auction estimate
-of £60 to £80.
-It should make more than that.
But I'll put £60 to £80, with a firm reserve of £60,
to get some people excited and get the bidding up.
It's really beautifully made. I love it, actually.
The more I look at it, the more I love it.
It's a very fine piece.
I bet most of you watching at home will recognise Mark's next item.
You've brought a "Flog It!" favourite in with you today.
-You do see a lot of it on "Flog It!".
-Good old Clarice Cliff!
I really like it! It's slightly different, isn't it?
I haven't seen one on "Flog It!" or any other show so far.
-Where did you get it from?
-Well, I bought it over 20 years ago
-at a jumble sale.
-So you didn't pay very much for it?
I didn't pay hardly anything for it. Nobody wanted it.
Strange, isn't it? Completely out of fashion then, you see.
Have you had it valued in that 20-year period?
About ten years ago I had it valued, yes.
-It was the Antiques Roadshow.
-It came to Henley, outside of Henley.
And you took it along to one of their experts?
-Yes, I did.
-And what did they value it at?
They said around 200 or 250 at the time.
It's not too bad, is it?
Clarice Cliff is one of those funny factories.
It really does have a roller-coaster ride.
I mean, sometimes the prices can be up there,
sometimes they can be down there, and it depends on the shape,
it depends on the pattern. I must admit,
-I find this quite attractive.
-I think it's a nice shape.
-It's a very simple shape.
It's a very bold design. It's got that lovely summer-yellow colour
with a lovely blue flower on it.
And of course, when we look underneath,
we can see the typical mark, Bizarre, by Clarice Cliff,
and the pattern is Sungay. I don't think it's changed an awful lot.
-I think they probably got it right about ten years ago,
and it's flattened out a bit since then,
so I think the estimate is still probably around 200 to 300.
What I don't know, because I haven't had time
to research the pattern fully,
but if the Sungay pattern turns out to be slightly rarer
than I'm thinking, on the day, it might push the price up a little.
Would you be happy to put it in at 200 to 300?
-Yes, I would.
-With a 200 reserve?
-Yes, 200 reserve.
-Fixed or discretionary?
I don't want to give it away, but if we got up to 195 or something,
-would you be happy to sell it?
-Yes, I would.
So we'll put a discretionary reserve.
To me it looks as if it was made somewhere between 1930 and 1934,
somewhere like that, so right in the heyday
of Clarice Cliff's Art Deco period. Why are you selling it?
I actually didn't like it when I bought it.
I went to the jumble sale, and I thought,
"I'm coming away with nothing," and it was sitting there all the time,
-and nobody else wanted it!
-You didn't want to leave empty-handed.
-No, I didn't.
-I bet you that all those other bits of bric-a-brac
that were sold at that jumble sale won't be worth what this is now.
So, come on. We're all dying to know. How much did you pay for it?
Well, it was 10p. But I think they would have given it to me,
because nobody else wanted it!
I think we're going to make a good return on your 10p.
That'd be good, yes.
-It might be the best 10p you've ever spent, May.
'If only we could find such bargains!'
Let's find out why those two items were chosen
by Catherine and Mark.
I can't believe this spoon has survived
going in and out of Sue's sugar bowl.
It's in great condition, and a very pretty piece.
I think it's going to do all right at auction.
Clarice Cliff vase. Love it or hate it,
we should turn a good profit on 10p at a jumble sale!
Don't you wish you'd found it? I do.
Back at the auction, it's judgement time for Sue's spoon.
Let's stir things up right now. I've just been joined by Sue,
and that wonderful Russian enamelled spoon,
which I think is absolutely delightful.
-I know you used this a lot at home.
-We did when I was a child, yes.
So why do you want to sell this?
Did you think, "Flog It!"'s in town, let's take it along?
Partly, but also because I have two sons
who probably are not that interested,
but I have told them that if it does sell,
-I will split the money between them.
-Take them out for a beer or two.
-Far more interested in that, yes.
-They would be, wouldn't they,
especially on the river at Henley, because that's the thing to do,
-a bit of rowing and revelry. Yeah?
-Let's hope we get the top end.
-Yeah. I like this
because the enamel's intact, all in lovely condition,
-and lovely bright colours.
-Let's hope we've got some bidders
in the room. It's going under the hammer right now. This is it.
This Russian silver-gilt enamelled spoon,
candy-twist stem, with a tsar's crown.
There's two indistinct impression marks to the stem,
and I'm bid £40 for it. £40 I'm bid for it, for this Russian spoon.
45. 48. 50.
£50 I'm bid. At £50, I'm bid.
-£50 I'm bid. 55 now. 60.
-We've sold it.
At £65 here now. At £65. 70 I'm bid.
At £70, I'm bid. At £70, I'm bid on the machine.
-Keep going. Don't stop.
-At £70, I'm bid, and away.
-You all done? Sold.
-Yes, brilliant! Good valuation.
-There we are. In the middle.
-Are you pleased with that?
-Yes, I am.
-Great. The boys will be, as well.
-Lunch! That's lunch.
-Couple of beers.
Not a bad return for such a small object.
May's Clarice Cliff vase is ready to go under the hammer.
-Hello, May. And who's this?
-Cassie? What a gorgeous name!
-So, you're off school. It's half term, yeah?
-What do you think of Clarice Cliff?
-Why is Grandma flogging this?
-I don't know.
-Come on, May!
-Because I don't like it.
Do you know, I don't really like Clarice Cliff,
but I know someone who does. Mark, you like it.
I do. This is a variation of the Gayday pattern.
-It's called Sungay.
-Let's see what the bidders think of this,
-shall we? Here we go.
This is nice. A Clarice Cliff Sungay hand-painted Bizarre-patterned vase,
in very good condition. What may I say for this?
100 for it, somebody, please? 100 I'm bid.
-At 110. 120. 130. 140. 150.
-Lots of bidding down on the front.
160. 170. 160 here. 175.
There's a couple of people waving their catalogues.
185. 190 in the room. At 190 in the room.
195. 200 in the room. At 200. 210. 220.
-Sold it, haven't we?
230. 240 in the room. At 250. 260?
250 in the room. 260, if you want it.
-270. 280, if you want it.
-280. Oh, this is good.
£280? 280 I'm bid.
At £290. Here on the machine at 290.
-It's done the business, hasn't it?
-They love it.
Clarice rarely lets us down. It has done on the odd occasion,
I've got to say. And you're glad it's gone.
-You don't have to look at it.
-I wasn't. It was hidden away.
That may be why it got such a good price. Hidden away,
it's protected. It was kept safe. It hadn't got any chips on there,
hadn't got faded. You looked after it as best you could.
I'm glad it's gone, though. CASSIE LAUGHS
Well, that's it from the Cameo auction rooms in Midgham,
but do stay with us, because it's not the end of the show. We're about to turn up the heat.
We still have that fabulous photograph of Herschel to sell,
taken by Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron
back in 1867.
'Remember, it was brought in by Angela
'on behalf of Slough Grammar School, who are hoping to raise funds
'from its sale.'
And we're selling our item at Christie's, in the heart of London.
We've put our item into a specialist sale
with 102 photographs, ranging from Victorian,
contemporaries like ours, right through to the 1960s,
We've come here to consult Christie's international head of photographs, Philippe Garner.
He's going to be the auctioneer for today's sale.
Yesterday, preview day, we caught up with him
and asked him what he thought of our photograph.
I gaze at it every time in admiration.
It's a simple but compelling picture
which has become one of the icons of photography.
Julia Margaret Cameron's work has become increasingly scarce
on the market, and it's a treat to have a picture such as this
in our sale - one of her most celebrated images,
and an image with a great story to it, as well.
Prints of Herschel have survived in enough numbers
to suggest it was one of her more popular subjects,
but it remains today something very rare,
scarce on the marketplace, hard to find.
It's worth bearing in mind that Herschel introduced Mrs Cameron
to photography. He sowed the seeds in her mind
of taking up the camera. Fortunate coincidence,
we have two other very interesting Camerons
in the same sale - here, a head shot of a female subject
who has been cast as Cassiopeia,
and an intensely powerful portrait -
that stare is so compelling, which is very uncommon for photography
of this era, something we associate more
with a 20th-century way of photographing,
and really, I think, Mrs Cameron at her very best.
The other picture, behind me, Mary Hillier and a child
enacting the Madonna and Child.
Mary Hillier was a member of Mrs Cameron's domestic staff.
The Cassiopeia bears the highest estimate, at 20,000 to 30,000,
which is a reflection both of the power of the subject matter,
the rarity of that image,
and the fact that it really is in excellent condition.
That is something our "Flog It!" print didn't share,
and unfortunately, Herschel's signature was a facsimile.
A specialist process to restore the print,
recommended by Philippe, cost £265,
which will be taken from any final sale result.
On a scale of one to ten for condition,
how does our print rank?
Whilst this is a respectable print of the image,
it certainly isn't a ten,
and I think that is reflected in our relatively prudent estimate.
I sold a print of this same subject years ago
for in the region of 50,000. That was a ten.
Here we're quoting 4,000 to 6,000.
So, exciting news for our owners and the school,
all 1,100 pupils. Fingers crossed.
-Hello, Mercedes! Hi, Angela!
-You've got to be excited.
-We are both excited,
and the whole school's excited, so, er...
-So, you're the head teacher.
-Yes, I am.
-You've had Mr Herschel on your office wall...
-For many years.
-For many, many years?
-Yes, many years.
-Sad to see him go?
-It is sad. It's a bit of history
for the city, but the opportunity that it will bring for the school
and the Sixth Form Centre is too good to miss.
-I remember the moment we first met, and you were so excited.
We were talking about valuations of £50,000.
Obviously it's been catalogued at £4,000 to £6,000.
We had a chat to the auctioneer yesterday.
-It's due to a lot of damage.
-If it didn't for sale,
it would sit in a cupboard. It's going to benefit the school.
Whatever it brings, the students will be delighted.
Well, good luck. Good luck. That's all I can say.
I can't wait for this moment. I really can't!
You never know what's going to happen in an auction.
We'll keep our fingers crossed.
Standard seller's commission here is 15 percent plus VAT,
up to the value of £3,000, and ten percent thereafter.
The auction's just about to start. The bidders are in place.
We are in place. We can't raise our voices too much in here
because it's quite a small room, and there's only half a dozen or so...
In fact there's about 20 bidders. Hopefully they'll bid on your lot.
-I hope so.
-I hope so, as well! I'm getting quite excited.
We could see this do quite well.
-Yeah. Fingers crossed.
The auction is just about to start. Here we go!
First of the three lots by Julia Margaret Cameron,
this one the portrait of Sir John Herschel.
Three starts it. I have interest at three.
3,000 starts here. 3,000. 3,200.
4,000. At 4,000. Any more at four?
We're at 4,000. 4,200, the telephone.
Here with me at four five. Are you back in? 4,800.
5,000. At 5,000. Still my bidder at five.
At 5,000. 5,500. 6,000.
-6,000. Here with me at 6,000.
-Top end now.
At 6,000. 6,500.
7,000 now. 7,000.
At 7,000. Any more at seven? I have 7,000.
I have seven five ahead of you. Will you go 8,000?
We're at seven five now. At 7,500. It's with you. 8,000, the telephone.
At 8,000 on the telephone now.
My bidder's out. Last chance in the room.
We're at £8,000, and selling, then, at 8,000...
-£8,000 on the hammer.
Well done, both of you. Fantastic!
With the bidding going over the top estimate for our print,
how did the other two Cameron photos in the sale get on?
Well, pretty good, with the Madonna print making £13,000,
and Philippe's favourite, Cassiopeia,
selling for a whopping £45,000.
Fantastic results all round for my favourite photographer's work.
We can raise our voices now. We've left the saleroom.
It's still going on behind us. But it's time to celebrate!
-Yes, you did it!
-We're very pleased.
-And what a first auction experience for you!
I'm looking forward to more.
Is there anything else hiding in the school you might bring along?
We'll be going into the cupboards when we get back.
Send the pupils on a mission to look for things.
-They'd be very good at it.
I'm absolutely thrilled with the result,
absolutely delighted. Sales are always unknown quantities.
Whatever the indications beforehand may be,
until the moment of truth, you don't know what will happen,
so there was terrific competition for our old friend Herschel.
A great result, yes.
What a marvellous way to end today's show!
I'm ever so pleased for Angela and Mercedes,
and all the pupils at Slough Grammar School.
Certain items that turn up at our valuation day
need a specialist sale to find the right buyer
and the right price, and this certainly was the case today.
Join us again for many more surprises,
but until then, it's goodbye.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
A special edition of Flog It! starts at Henley town Hall and ends at Christies sale room in London with a very special lot.
Presenter Paul Martin and experts Catherine Southon and Mark Stacey are spoiled for choice in Henley. Catherine spots an enamelled Russian silver spoon and Mark is intrigued by a carved parasol, but the real find of the day is an example of Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron's work.
We revisit Paul's trip to the artist's home and museum on the Isle of Wight and follow the photograph's journey from a secondary school to a prestigious specialist sale. How much will it fetch when it goes under the hammer?