Paul Martin is joined by experts Christina Trevanion and Will Axon as Flog It! visits Exmouth on Devon's Jurassic Coast. Amongst the finds is a charming vinaigrette.
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Well, we all love to be beside the seaside,
even on a day like this, which is slightly overcast and breezy.
I'm on Devon's Jurassic coastline.
I know we're not going to find any dinosaurs today,
but you never know what might turn up. Welcome to "Flog It!".
This seaside town sits on the east coast of Devon,
and boasts two miles of golden, sandy beach
coupled with the stunning scenery of the majestic Jurassic Coast -
a perfect place for a relaxing break.
Or a "Flog It!" valuation day! The Deco-style Exmouth Pavilion
is our nerve centre for today's valuations.
We got a wonderful healthy queue here. Look!
It looks like the whole town has turned up laden with bags
full of unwanted antiques and treasures.
We'll whisk the best ones off to auction, so stay tuned
and find out exactly what it's worth.
Two people with sunny dispositions are today's lead experts - Christina Trevanion...
-It's obviously seen a couple of really good parties!
-I think so!
..and Will Axon.
What have we got in here? Ooh!
We like a nice fitted box. Look!
Both highly experienced in the antiques trade,
they're sizzling down the queue.
I just saw all you lot over that side!
-Yes. We had to move across.
-The queue's all over the shop.
Why do you think that's Henley-on-Thames?
The person told me that I bought it from.
I lived just round the corner from there, and that's Shrewsbury.
-That's unusual, isn't it?
-You interested in flogging that?
-That's what we like to hear.
A "Flog It!" favourite!
So, let's get everyone inside and see what's coming up.
Christina investigates everything's above board...
-She does know you've brought it, doesn't she?
..Will strikes it lucky and attempts to tune in to his musical side...
With your permission, may I give the gong a bong?
..and I get a painting master-class.
This is ten years of you going...
That's the problem. It's all feel, isn't it?
Everyone's sitting comfortably. The experts are ready,
and Will kicks off things with a bit of colour.
Well, Muriel, I don't think what we have on the table
needs any introduction for our viewers at home,
because it's easily recognisable as Clarice Cliff.
Tell me, how have you come by these two pieces?
Well, the first one I bought in Australia
when I was out there, and I think that was either 1999 or around 2000.
That was the little plate?
Yes, in a gold-mining town in Victoria, actually.
Was it an auction that was going on there?
No. It was lots of little antique shops there,
and I saw that.
I just thought it was a bit of an unusual piece of Clarice.
With the crinoline lady, which gives it its name.
The pattern is Crinoline Lady. And what about the Dragon jug?
I bought that in an auction, so about the year 2000.
I think it was the millennium year.
It's called the Dragon jug mainly because of this moulded handle.
You don't notice that first of all, do you?
You have to look quite closely, because it's the decoration
that catches the eye, as often with Clarice,
because it's so jazzy and bright. You bought the jug in an auction
in 2000. What I like about it is,
we've still got this rather nice label on the bottom
for the Barry Jones collection.
Barry Jones is a well known collector of Clarice Cliff,
a big collector in the '80s and '90s.
Christie's held his sale... I think it was in 2000,
and this has even got the lot number there, lot 148.
And below that you've got these nice Clarice Cliff printed marks
for the Bizarre range,
which started in 1928, by Clarice, who joined Wilkinson's in 1916.
They acquired Newport Pottery in 1920,
hence the Newport Pottery mark beneath that.
Once the Bizarre range really took off,
she started to design her own pots, jugs and shapes.
And then the Crinoline Lady plate -
you remember buying this when you were in Australia.
-Do you remember what you paid?
-About 200 Australian dollars...
-Right. So what is that?
-I think it was about £70.
-OK, £70. Not bad, actually!
-The rate of exchange was quite good then.
Better then, wasn't it? And the jug, you remember what you paid for it?
Yes. With the commission, it was about 450.
-Yes. So I did pay quite a lot for that, really.
Well, when you have single-owner-collection sales,
prices do tend to be a little bit higher.
So we know what you paid for each piece -
around 70 for the plate,
around four and a bit for the Dragon jug,
so we're looking at sending you in at around £500, aren't you?
Now, I'm going to be honest with you - I think 500 to 800
is going to be too punchy an estimate.
We're going to have to pitch these at sort of 300 to 500.
-How do you feel about that?
But you'll put a reserve on it?
Yes. I think yes. I'm going to agree with you here.
Sometimes I try to get people to go without reserve,
but in this instance, where it stands you in at money,
and you would like to see some of that back,
let's reserve it fixed at that £300. How does that sound?
-You can't make it 350, do you think? No?
-We've got to be realistic.
The auctioneer will want to maximise the value of these.
The more you get, the more he gets. He's working in your favour.
So let's wait for the day, and we'll see what happens.
That's the beauty of auctions. We'll need some Clarice Cliff collectors to help us along, though.
-You've brought some wonderful things in for us here.
Have these been handed down through the family?
The spoons and the knives came from my mother.
These I did buy about 20 years ago, cos I liked the shape
and I'd just had a bonus or something.
Oh! Well, it's good to invest it in silver,
especially at the moment, cos the price of silver is quite high,
so you did a very sensible thing.
I particularly like this little case set here.
I would like to call it a strawberries-and-cream set,
because you've got a cream jug and a lovely sugar caster.
It's very decadent to have silver equipment
to have your strawberries with.
I can't say it's been used an awful lot.
-On the patio with your strawberries!
They are solid silver, made by a company called Adie Brothers,
and they were assayed in Birmingham. Got a nice Birmingham mark there,
and a date letter for 1931.
On closer inspection, if you look at the lid,
they were actually retailed in Edinburgh,
-so they've gone from Birmingham to Edinburgh.
-Is that quite usual?
It's not unusual. Let's put it that way.
-Birmingham silver, there was...
-A lot made.
It was a major, major office. So they really are rather lovely.
I particularly like the sugar caster with this rather wonderful knob
on the top, and very pretty. It's very transitional,
Art Nouveau to Art Deco. This faceted decoration
particularly is Art Deco. When you bought it,
-was it damaged?
-It was, actually.
-But I liked the shape.
-Exactly. Because if we put cream in it
these days, it would be a bit of disaster,
because unfortunately we've got a crack at the bottom of the spout,
and there's also been a repair to the crack in there.
So unfortunately it has been fairly knocked around,
so that's why I'm not going to put them separately,
because there is a bit of a condition issue.
We've also got these very beautiful enamelled spoons,
again very Art Deco in style, with a little coffee bean on the top,
so coffee spoons, and the enamelled bowls
-are particularly beautiful. Have you ever used them?
I'd be terrified of using them, wouldn't you?
They all use mugs now, don't they, and you couldn't use that.
I did have a lovely coffee set, but you just don't use them. Very sad.
Very difficult. You'd be terrified of putting them in the dishwasher,
because they'd just disintegrate.
They aren't hallmarked, so I think they may be silver gilt,
but without a hallmark it's difficult to say.
You've got a similar set there which has got the coffee-bean knob again.
-Those are silver.
-They were quite popular, I think.
They were. We do see a lot of them coming through the saleroom.
We have done research on these before, so we know these are silver,
and these have got silver handles but not silver blades,
these fruit knives. Then you've got a pair of silver conserve spoons.
Those are a similar sort of date, 1930s.
They're by a company called William Hutton & Sons.
-Is that Birmingham as well, or...
-Yes, it is. yes.
So all in all, you've got quite a usable set.
-So you'd put them all in together?
-Yes, I think so,
purely because teaspoons aren't that valuable these days,
even though it's nice that you've got their original boxes.
As a group lot, we might be looking in the region
of about £150 to £200, something like that.
And I think we'd probably set the reserve at £150,
-with some slight discretion.
The way the silver market is going at the moment,
-we shouldn't need it. So fingers crossed!
-See you at the auction.
-Lovely. I'll look forward to it.
Here's a cracking example of how hard it is
to put a value on something like this lignum vitae pestle and mortar.
Let's just ask a few of our off-screeners quickly.
-What sort of a value would you put on that?
-Pestle and mortar?
All right. 100 to 150.
Anthony, Sophie! 18th-century pestle and mortar.
That's a bit later. That's 19th.
What sort of price would you put on that?
-Nice wood, isn't it?
-100 and... 100?
Actually, no, maybe more, cos turned wooden items of that period
would split, wouldn't they? 300, 400, £500, something like that.
There you go. It's getting higher.
Off the cuff, a value?
-There you are, look. Mixed opinions.
That's how difficult it is to put a price on something.
I'll leave it up to Will now to tell you all about it
-and give you a valuation. There you go, Will.
That's lovely. Best thing of the day!
Told you he'd like it. We've been hiding it from him all day
so he didn't pinch it off our table! Well, Judith,
-thanks for bringing in the pestle and mortar.
-Where's it come from?
-We found it in my husband's parents' house
when we were clearing up. He can remember it
since the age of ten, so it's about 55 years.
He thinks that it was to do with his grandparents.
Right. It's certainly older than you or your husband remembers it.
I've been looking at it, and it can be quite hard to date...
-I would have thought, yes.
-..this sort of turned wood,
but I think we're probably into the 18th century here.
-So, yeah, we're thinking 1700s.
That's possible, because his grandmother was in service,
a big house in Tiverton.
This would probably have been used below stairs
in the kitchen, to prepare, or even for medicinal purposes,
for preparing medicines and so on, and mixing up certain ingredients.
And I'm fairly confident that it's lignum vitae,
which is a well known wood for turning,
because it's so dense. You can feel the weight of it.
-Very heavy, yes.
-Lignum vitae actually is one of the few woods
that actually sinks in water. It's so dense that it doesn't float.
Now, the pestle I think is probably associated, to be fair.
I don't think they started off life together.
If you put it inside there, you can see the proportions are a bit odd.
-I thought that.
-It's certainly done the job.
It fits in quite nicely. Have you given a thought
-of what it might be worth?
-Absolutely no idea.
We were just intrigued about it, really.
"Flog It!" was coming to Exmouth, so we'd like to be told about it.
That's what we're here for. I think you're right.
I'm going to suggest we put it in the sale with an estimate of...
-I'm thinking around the £200 mark.
-How do you feel about that?
-Very happy with that! Very happy.
-Let's put it in.
Let's straddle that £200 mark. Let's put it in at 150 to 250.
-Fair enough. Yes, that's fine.
-And who knows,
on the day it could make 200, 300, maybe £400.
That sounds wonderful.
The only thing to say now is, "See you at the auction!"
-Thank you very much.
-Not at all.
So even Will's hedging his bets.
But it's not long now before we find out its true value.
Before we head to the saleroom, here's a recap of what we're taking
and why we're taking it.
I know you either love it or you hate it,
but there's no denying, Clarice rarely lets us down at auction.
We've got a mixed and matched collection of silver here,
but the sheer quantity should ensure it reaches its estimate.
Let's hope our buyers are forgiving about the damage.
A genuine piece of early treen! Right up my street,
and one of the nicest things I've seen today.
I'm looking forward to seeing it away at Exeter.
And Exeter is where we're auctioning our lots today,
at Bearnes, Hampton & Littlewood.
That's what it's all about - "sale today"!
That's what we've all been waiting for.
I've got my favourites. You've probably got yours.
You've heard our experts. You've heard the valuation.
You've probably made your own mind up about what it's worth.
You've watched the show long enough. You've become a bit of an expert.
At the end of the day, it's all down to the bidders.
It's what they think.
Helping them along is our auctioneer Chris Hampton.
Remember, there's always seller's commission to pay,
and here it's 16.5 percent plus VAT.
So, with the saleroom all filled up,
let's crack on with Muriel's Clarice Cliff.
Now, you bought these two items, total value £500.
We'd like to get you your money back.
-I'd like to have it back.
-Why have you decided to sell?
Well, we've just redecorated the house.
-Don't want to put everything back.
-Trying to de-clutter a little bit.
-With the Clarice Cliff collectors,
it's all to do with pattern, so fingers crossed
that someone's on the phone, or has spotted it on the internet,
-and has left a hefty commission bid.
-It really is down to the bidders.
They've got their own opinion. Let's let them decide. Here we go.
The Clarice Cliff Fantasque Dragon jug,
from the Barry Jones collection,
and a tea plate in the Idyll pattern, and £280 is bid.
-Right. We're in at £280, with the auctioneer.
At £300. At £300. At 300.
And 20. 340.
-We have a commission bid on the books.
At £380 against you.
Now selling, then, at £380. All done?
Well, that's good, £380. It's better than what Chris said yesterday.
-Yeah. He thought it might struggle around the £300 mark,
-but I'm pleased with that.
-Yeah. It's cost you a bit of money,
-but you can buy something else now.
-But Muriel's de-cluttering.
-That's true. Sorry.
Put it in the bank.
That's a pretty good start, and more than we expected.
Can we do the same again with the silverware?
I think you could say it's time to say goodbye to your mother's silver.
-We're just a couple of lots away.
We're looking at 150 to £200. There is a lot there, isn't there?
-It's all from the early 1900s,
and someone's just told me it's all going towards some fencing.
-Am I right? The proceeds are going to...
Garden fencing. You've just bought a new house, haven't you?
We've downsized, yes. We bought the house in December,
so it's still new.
but you do find a lot of stuff you've got to get rid of...
-..such as coffee spoons. THEY LAUGH
It's a good silver sale. Hopefully we'll get some good buyers.
-There's a lot of people here for silver.
A lot of dealers are here, so fingers crossed.
Pair of George V silver preserve spoons,
with some coffee spoons,
fruit knives, sugar caster, all the lot together.
£140 is bid. 150. 160.
And ten. 220.
With me at £220.
-That's top estimate.
-Another trader in now.
Still with me. Commission bid at £240.
Selling at 240.
-That's what it's worth.
-Thank you very much.
£240! Not bad, is it? That's half the fence.
-You've got quite a big garden, haven't you?
-Half the fence.
-Are you going for high fencing,
-or post and rail?
-No, it's high, yes.
-High. Bit of privacy.
-Yes. THEY LAUGH
Another sale above the estimate. Can we make it a hat-trick
with the pestle and mortar?
Oh, have I been waiting for this moment
ever since that valuation day back in Exmouth.
Judith's here. What a stir you caused!
-I'm very pleased about that.
-What a lovely item, as well!
Something so tactile, something so sculptural,
which I took around to all the off-screeners.
We got a mixed variation of valuations
and we let Will go ahead with it with you at the table.
-You were ever so excited.
-I was very pleased, yes.
I'd love to have done that one. This could fly away.
The 18th-century lignum-vitae mortar,
and a treen pestle,
and £150 starts it. 160. 170.
-Bid on the book.
220. 240. 260.
At £280 straight ahead.
-Oh, come on. A bit more.
-Now selling at £280.
Well, it's gone. Top end, though, 280.
-I'm very happy about that.
That's very good. That's very good. Had a lot going for it, that did.
Really good. Nice thing. Thank you so much for bringing it in.
-There is commission to pay,
-and enjoy the money.
-Yes, I will.
After the raft of valuations made earlier,
Will was the closest, but the overall winner is Judith.
Stay tuned for more action later on from Exeter in the show,
and hopefully someone's going home with a lot of money.
You know I'm passionate about my art,
so while we're here filming, I thought I'd get a master-class!
Take a look at this. I hope you enjoy it.
Over the years on the show, I've discovered some superb antiques,
seen wonderful works of art and met extraordinary people.
But every now and then, when I least expect it,
I come across an artist who completely bowls me over,
totally inspires me, and that's what happened when I was staying here
in the Dartmoor National Park.
I have two passions in life - art and animals,
and when I saw this painting here in the entrance hall
at Bovey Castle, well, it was love at first sight.
For me, this work is contemporary, it's fresh,
it's alive - vibrant hues, yet understated,
broad square brushstrokes perfectly placed,
but with confidence. This work is complicated,
yet at the same time it's refreshingly simple
and easy on the eye.
It's by contemporary artist Katharine Lightfoot,
and she's kindly agreed to meet up with me today
to have a chat and also give me a lesson,
so hopefully I can pick up some tips,
because her work has inspired me to pick up a paintbrush
and start to paint.
Katharine's an impressionist painter,
who knew from primary school that she wanted to be an artist.
She grew up in Dartmoor, so it's no surprise that most of her work
is inspired by the moorland and the farm animals.
She says it's their stubborn ability to survive the elements
within their remote and beautiful environment
that she admires, and the mood and the character she captures
is stunningly beautiful.
-I'm so pleased to meet you at last.
Thank you for meeting up with me. Oh, crikey!
Two are underway. One's for me, one's for you.
-We're painting sheep.
-You're working from photos?
I'm afraid we haven't got a resident sheep here,
so we'll have to paint from photographs,
-and I've got a lovely Devon Longwool.
That looks stunning as it is. I'm going to muck this up!
-No, you're not.
-So, you start with a blank canvas.
Do you put a ground colour on straight away?
Yes. Always start with a wash that gives more depth to it.
You've started with a charcoaly dark colour.
Are we hoping to put green grass on that?
You can put whatever you like, but green would complement the sheep,
or a sky blue. Make it up as you go along.
-Is that what you tend to do?
Can I just pick a brush up? I love your palette.
Yes. I don't clean it as often as I should,
-but it works for me.
-But animals are your thing.
-Yes, pretty much.
-Mostly Dartmoor-inspired, so yes.
-Look, I need a lesson.
I want to learn how to paint like this.
Where do we start? With this outline?
I work from dark to light, then bring in the creams and whites
and highlights, and build it up from there.
Did you always paint like this?
It's just a style that's evolved, you know,
over the space of ten years, and it's just the way I paint now.
Can I start more on the background, cos I'm feeling really scared,
and I'm not going to muck up the image so much.
If I start to feel confident with a bit of blue...
You've got a lot of white and cream and highlight,
and on the nose, so that would maybe start building up some depth.
You tend not to clean your brushes off.
-You use the same brush for the same colour.
-I try to,
to stop using too much turps. If the brush is too wet,
it stops the colours underneath from coming through,
so work with a dryish brush.
And it's sort of dragged, is it? Sort of moved and sort of...
-That's right, yes.
-I don't know if that's the right colour to use.
I think it works. The secret's to paint fast.
I gather that. I've just been watching you,
and all of a sudden you've put some highlight on your sheep,
and all of a sudden the sheep's talking to you,
whereas mine is in the distance, frightened.
We're lucky. We're painting from photos. If you think about Monet,
he had to paint as fast as he could, and wet on wet.
-Is his work a big influence to you?
-More so than any other artist?
Your work has totally inspired me to pick up paintbrushes
-and do this kind of thing...
-Oh, thank you.
..be loose with it, and be creative and imaginative,
and that's what I think good art is all about.
Yeah. I think, when you're starting out as a painter,
it's always best to use a big canvas and a big brush.
-Don't be frightened of it.
-How long have you been painting?
-About 12 years full-time now.
-And you went to art school?
So you learned the traditional way, then developed your own style,
which I think is the greatest accolade an artist could ever have -
-get recognised for your own thing.
-And I love my subject matter.
I love being on the moor. I love animals.
-It's very therapeutic as well, isn't it?
-It is great.
Can you give me a tip on what to do for some of these curls in the wool?
-..do a curl.
It's not that easy.
You see, this is ten years of you going...
That's the problem. It's all feel, isn't it?
Katharine's painting style enables her to capture the feeling and the movement of her subjects.
Bold strokes and layers give every canvas its own individuality,
capturing the depth and the character of each animal.
Some have a sense of vulnerability.
Some seem detached or even isolated,
while others are just inquisitive.
I'm going to turn my painting upside down so I can look at it like that.
It's just something I do. It helps me to look.
What will you look for when you stand back?
It helps you to see where you've gone wrong, or where to go
when you're a bit stuck.
Will you work on more than one canvas at a time?
Yes, I do, so I don't overwork them, and because they're oils,
I let them dry and pick them up, and put fresh colours over the top.
What do you like painting most? Is it sheep, or would it be the cattle
-Sheep, I think.
There's something nice and familiar,
childhood memories or something. When I have a show in London,
and I put a sheep in a big swanky gallery, a sheep in the window...
-In the city centre?
-..you see these businessmen rushing past,
and they stop and have a look,
and they smile. It makes them smile, you know?
Your work does that. It puts a smile on people's faces,
and I think that's a brilliant quality.
It's technically very, very clever,
but because it's loose and expressionistic,
you don't understand the cleverness. This is why I'm so grateful
to have this lesson, cos I would never have the confidence
-to start like this at home.
-Starting to relax into it now?
Just. Yeah, just.
Now I've lost its ear.
This is looking more like Highland cattle than a sheep...
-You're doing really well.
-Do you actually stand back and go,
"Yeah, it's finished," then tomorrow change your mind
-and want to put more on?
You can go home thinking, "Wow, I've done a good job today,"
come back the next morning and think, "No way."
-"How did I think that was good?"
-So when do you know?
When's that definitive moment when you know it's finished?
When you're actually pleased with it, I suppose -
when you actually see it and think,
"Mmm. Done OK there." Yeah.
Cos sometimes less is best, isn't it?
That's going to be my maxim - "less is best".
I want to keep my sheep quite dark. I know it's not finished,
-but I'm frightened to...
-Maybe you could use a big brush.
-That one's a bit huge.
-Just show me.
He's got a big blob of white there, and a big blob there,
-so if you maybe incorporate a few big blobs...
..just to soften all those smaller brush marks you've got.
-Cos there's a lot there.
Just... What? A big blob?
-Yes, cos all this area's quite light, isn't it?
That's the good thing about oils. You can keep going over it
-and over it, can't you?
-You can, definitely.
Shall we have a look? Can you turn that back up?
I'm just intrigued that you've been painting for half an hour now
-with that upside down.
No, not at all!
-Did that help, turning it over?
-It did, actually, yes.
Gosh! That is so good.
Thank you so much for helping me. I'll shake your hand.
-Can we carry on for a bit more?
-I think this is lovely. What a perfect day out!
Having finally put the paintbrushes down,
it's back to the day job in Exmouth for some more valuations.
Let's get our skates on and see what's on Christina's table.
Mary, I love this figure. I saw you in the queue,
and I thought he was just absolutely delightful.
-Tell me where you got him from.
-When I was a child,
my father used to take me to antique dealers,
and I used to spend my pocket money on things like this.
-I think I probably bought him when I was about ten...
-..for about sixpence, I think.
So he's been with you quite a long time, really.
-Yes. Over 60 years.
-Oh, my goodness! Why are you thinking of selling him?
I had no idea that he was unusual, and if someone's got a collection,
they might want him. I don't mind, cos he's got lots of friends at home.
-So you actually collect figures?
-I did. I don't anymore.
Right. OK. Obviously as a child, you used to have very good taste.
He's a lovely pearlware Staffordshire figure.
I've never seen one that is an ice-skater before.
I didn't know until today he was an ice-skater.
-Really? What did you think he was?
-I've no idea.
-I just thought he was rather sweet.
I'm just wondering whether he might have been part of a series
for spring, summer, autumn and winter,
and whether he was representative of winter,
because you associate ice skating and ice with winter sports.
You didn't see three of his friends in the shop at the same time?
Probably not. I probably had him because he was cheap,
because he's damaged, and I could only afford a certain amount.
Well, really, he dates from the early 19th century,
about maybe 1820, something like that - 1820, 1830.
And I just think he's great. We know that he's pearlware.
If we tip him upside down, we can see in the bottom,
there's some blue pooling of the glaze,
so this is earthenware that's been covered with a tin-type glaze,
and on creamware, this pooling would be green.
So that's how we know that he's pearlware,
and he's made in the Staffordshire area
by one of the Staffordshire potters in the early 19th century.
He's lovely. He's very brightly enamelled.
-His wonderful stripy waistcoat...
-I do like his waistcoat.
It's great, isn't it? It does worry me slightly
that we've got a bit of a chip on his hat,
and his hat's been repainted, so he has had a bit of attention.
And if we turn him round, we can also see
that there has been some repainting to the top of the tree stump here.
I wonder whether somebody has tried to repair it at some point,
and done a bit of a repaint there. But having said all that,
I still think he's lovely. He's a great character,
and I think this ice-skating subject is really quite unusual.
I sold another pearlware figure that was quite similar recently,
but he was in much better condition,
and I sold that for the £80 region.
So I think at auction, for this little chappie,
because of his condition, I might go slightly lower than that
at maybe sort of 50 to 70, with a reserve of 50 firm.
-Is that all right?
So we'll go 50-70, a reserve of 50,
-and will we see you at the auction?
-Where are you off to?
-To France for a month.
-Oh, wonderful. You can't just pop back for the auction?
Super. Well, hopefully we'll be sending you a nice cheque
-that you'll get on your return.
-That would be nice.
-Let's keep our fingers crossed.
Well, Juanita, first of all can I say, what a lovely name!
I love this piece you've brought in to show us today,
the dinner gong, hung from these rather wonderful tusks.
Initially a lot of people might have seen this
and thought, "Oh, dear, elephant tusk or elephant ivory."
Well, they're not. You know and I know that these are wild-boar tusks,
mounted in the middle here and then on this oak shield.
So they're definitely boar tusks.
There's no question of this being elephant ivory,
-and because of that, we're perfectly legal to sell it.
Is this something you remember being summoned by?
Occasionally. After we moved house... We had a big house.
We had the space for it, so...
just occasionally Mum or Dad used to ring it.
I mean, it really harks back to an age
where these sort of things were used for everyday use.
-Well, that's right.
-And I think date-wise,
I think we could be in the late 19th century,
that sort of period. How far back do you remember it?
Has it been with your family forever?
No. 1964, Daddy bought it.
Yes? Any ideas what he might have paid for it, do you think?
-And tell me why you're selling it.
Is it something you have pleasure having a bang with,
or is it something that languishes, hidden away in a cupboard?
It languishes on the floor at the moment.
I used to enjoy ringing it when we lived as a family,
but I'm a single person on my own, and really I don't use it.
It's an example of one of those things that,
in the way we live our lives nowadays, it's a little redundant.
-Have you ever thought of what it might be worth?
-I don't know.
You hear certain things. Sometimes they say,
"Oh, it might be worth"... You know, when you watch "Flog It!" or...
they say, "It's gone up in value so it's now that."
-"Now it's no longer politically correct,
so it's gone down." So I don't know at all.
There is an element of that, yes. Anything made with animal parts
doesn't tend to be as well received as it once was,
but it's a piece of social history. I mean, value-wise,
I think even though it's not terribly fashionable,
I think there is still a market out there for it.
I'm going to say between 100 and £200.
I don't know how you feel about that.
Is that a sort of ballpark figure you would be pleased with?
-Ooh, very pleased!
Well, listen, why don't we put that estimate on it,
100 to 200. Let's reserve it at £100.
Can I have a bit of discretion on that as a reserve figure?
-So that's £100 discretionary reserve,
and I think it's going to find a new home at the saleroom.
There's only one thing left to do. With your permission,
-may I give the gong a bong?
Oh, I feel like that chap on the films. Here we go!
-HE PLAYS ECHOING NOTE
-What a lovely sound! It is.
Well, on that note, thank you very much for bringing it in,
and I look forward to seeing you again at the saleroom. It's been a pleasure.
It's an interesting item. I just hope it's a hit with the bidders
and it's not too specialist.
Well, talk to me about this vinaigrette, which my wife had.
I saw you in the queue, and it was very blustery outside.
You had a big box of things, and you came up with this little gem.
-Where has it come from?
-It's come from her family
who've passed on, from her great-aunt Julia.
-So this is on your wife's side.
-On my wife's side.
-And do you know what it is?
-Yes. I gathered...
My wife has educated me a bit, and told me it was a vinaigrette.
Ah! Do you know what they were used for?
-Yes, for obnoxious smells.
In the 19th century, when there was something not too sweet-smelling,
you would have your vinaigrette, wave it under your nose,
and it would bring lightness back to your life.
This is the most wonderful vinaigrette.
It's silver. You've got this wonderful agate top,
which has been especially chosen and polished
to fit this space, and also the banding has been selected
to create these wonderful striations here.
If we open it up, inside we've got this beautiful silver-gilt...
what we call a grille. Underneath this grille
you would have had a sponge soaked in perfume
or scent, basically. Yes. And what's even more exciting
for a vinaigrette collector, if we lift the grille,
which sadly has had some damage to it...
The grille hinge, unfortunately, is a little bit damaged there.
But underneath the grille we've got this wonderful hallmark
which tells us that it was made in Birmingham,
and the date letter is for 1850,
and we've got those magic initials NM.
Now, NM stands for Nathaniel Mills...
-..who, for vinaigrette collectors,
is the creme de la creme of makers. OK?
At this stage in his career, Nathaniel Mills had passed away,
and his vinaigrette or small-working firm had passed to his sons.
-To his sons.
-So at this particular date,
it's not actually Nathaniel Mills making these pieces anymore.
However, as we can see from how intricate this grille is,
his sons have really maintained his standards,
and he's still popular today with vinaigrette collectors.
And if we turn it over, we've got this continuing floral engraved design here,
and what we call a cartouche in the middle,
which you would have had your initials, your name
or some sort of dedicatory inscription in.
Sometimes they can detract from the value, but this has been left vacant.
That actually will be a plus point to any buyer,
because they can have their own put in,
so that's fantastic. So, tell me, John, why are you selling it?
My wife has literally said, "Well, I don't need it."
-And it's better to go towards something else
-which we might want to buy.
-Sensible woman. I like that.
I think, if you were to send it to auction,
we're looking somewhere in the region
of maybe 150 to £200...
-..with a reserve of 150, with some slight discretion.
-I just think it could do better,
but I do have some concerns about the condition.
-How do you feel about that?
-I feel fine about it.
I think my wife will be happy as well.
-She'd be OK with that?
Oh, good. I'm pleased. She does know you've brought it, doesn't she?
Oh, yes, she knows I've brought it. THEY LAUGH
'Well, I wouldn't want to be in your shoes if she didn't!'
Sadly it's time to say goodbye to the Pavilion here in Exmouth,
and to all of these wonderful people.
We've found the final items to take to the saleroom.
There could be some surprises there. Here's a recap of what we're taking,
but, more importantly, why we are taking them to auction. Let's flog it!
This is a lovely piece of nearly 200-year-old Staffordshire pottery.
Despite his faults, let's hope he skates away at over £50 for Mary.
What a great tusk-mounted dinner gong!
I'm certain that at 100 to £200,
the bidders are going to get their teeth right into it.
I really like this silver-and-agate- set Nathaniel Mills vinaigrette.
With the right internet exposure, it could really fly.
We're back in Exeter for our last visit to the saleroom
with auctioneer Chris Hampton. It's the ice-skating figure next,
but with Mary on holiday in France, it's up to Christina and myself
to see the sale go through.
With only a fixed reserve of £50! Surely it's got to do that.
I hope so. I really hope so. It's difficult,
because the condition... There's a bit of repainting.
Nice-looking thing, though!
Yes. It's an unusual subject, isn't it?
The ice-skating is what should clinch it.
Fingers crossed. It's a shame Mary can't be with us,
but unfortunately she hasn't made it today.
Nevertheless you'll enjoy watching this,
-especially as we should sell it.
This is it.
The Staffordshire pearl-glazed figure,
allegorical of winter, and at £40...
-40, thank you.
-£40. At 40.
-Come on, come on.
-45? 50? 50.
-Yes! We've sold it.
-Has it sold?
-At £50. At 50. Straight ahead at 50.
Five anywhere now? At £50, then. All done? Selling at £50.
-Is that all right?
-She'll be happy with that.
She wanted to see it go. But it's a fine line in the auction room!
Oh, it's very nerve-racking, even though I've done this for years.
It's all right for you. You've got your feet up, enjoying this.
If you haven't experienced it, get down to your local saleroom,
or why not come to a valuation day, details on our BBC website.
Follow the links. All the information will be there,
plus a lot more about what goes on behind the scenes.
Dust down your unwanted antiques and bring them along,
because we're coming to a place near you soon.
Juanita dusted down our next item to go under the hammer.
I've just been joined by Juanita and Will,
and will it be a case of "going, going, gong"?
It would look great down here in a big old manor house
-in the West Country, wouldn't it?
-Why are you selling this?
-Just remind us.
When my dad bought it we had a big house,
a detached house,
and we used to use it every so often.
But I live in a semi-detached bungalow.
A smaller place, so it doesn't really work, does it?
Hopefully somebody will fall in love with this.
It'll look nice with those little Edwardian letterboxes.
It's going under the hammer right now.
Let's find out what this lot think.
The early 20th-century dinner gong,
suspended between two ivory tusks, on the oak base.
And at £75. At £75.
At 75. At £75.
-He shakes the head.
At 85. 90 anywhere? 90, new place.
-At £90. At 90.
-We've sold it.
-We've sold it.
At £90, then. Last chance. Selling.
Ten percent under the discretionary reserve.
-It's all right, though.
-We're happy with that.
The trouble there was, the buyers have got the same problem as you.
-If you don't have the sort of house -
-It won't work.
-But it had to be worth £90.
So that ten percent discretionary reserve was definitely worth it.
Next it's John with our final lot, and that lovely Nathaniel Mills vinaigrette.
John, it's good to see you again. This is Heather,
who we didn't see at the valuation day, John's wife.
-Now, it's yours, isn't it?
-Well, it was Great Aunt's.
-Sad to see it go?
-That's the answer we like!
We're here to sell things, not keep things.
I'm sure you've got other things of hers.
-What a quality piece!
-I know. It's lovely.
I know most Nathaniel Mills collectors do want castle-tops
and what you'd expect of Nathaniel Mills,
but this is slightly unusual, so hopefully we'll find good bidders
-who'll want it.
-Here we go.
It won't be in the saleroom for much longer.
A Victorian silver and polished-agate oval vinaigrette
by Nathaniel Mills, and we'll start here at £180.
-That's straight in at the top end.
And ten. 220.
230 with me. 240. 250.
260. 270. 280. Five.
At £290 I sell. At 290.
-I'll dig my wallet out now to buy more jewellery!
-That's a promise! That's a promise.
-A man that loves you. There you go.
-Brilliant. Well done.
-You're more than welcome.
Thank you for doing the valuation.
How about that? I think most people have gone home happy.
That's what it's all about. We've had a terrific time
here at Exeter, and thanks to everybody here
for looking after us. I can't wait to come back. But until then,
join me again for many more surprises on "Flog It!". Bye-bye.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Presenter Paul Martin is joined by experts Christina Trevanion and Will Axon as Flog It! visits Exmouth on Devon's Jurassic Coast. Christina finds a charming vinaigrette designed by 19th century silversmith Nathanial Mills, while Will discovers a wonderful 18th century pestle and mortar which everyone gets excited about. Also, presenter Paul taps into his creative side during a painting masterclass with contemporary artist Katherine Lightfoot.