Crathes Castle Flog It!


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Crathes Castle

Paul Martin and experts Adam Partridge and Anita Manning are at Crathes Castle in Aberdeenshire. Anita hones in on some Wemyss pottery with a local interest.


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The most spectacular setting, and a fabulous crowd.

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Today, we're in Aberdeenshire, and this...

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ALL: ..is Flog It!

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Today's show comes from the magnificent Crathes Castle, near Banchory.

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It's a 16th Century tower house with fairy-tale turrets,

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a world-famous garden and connections to Robert the Bruce.

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Now, if that's whetted your appetite, stay tuned,

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because later on in the programme,

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I'll be taking a closer look inside and outside the castle.

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But right now, we have a fabulous crowd of people,

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all eager to ask our experts that all-important question, which is...

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-ALL: What's it worth?

-Stay tuned, and you'll find out!

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So, let's meet our team of experts. And first up, it's Adam Partridge,

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and he's not afraid to tell how it is.

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-Yeah, they can go back in the bag.

-Back in the bag!

-Yeah.

-Subtle(!)

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They call me Mr Sledgehammer cos I'm so subtle, yeah.

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-Oh.

-Is it valuable?

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I'm trying to hide my disappointment.

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He's being nosey! He's nosey!

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And Adam's joined by the brilliant Anita Manning.

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As one of Scotland's first lady auctioneers,

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she certainly knows her stuff, but shouldn't someone tell her to stop having so much fun

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and concentrate on antiques?

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-You're beautiful!

-Is the lipstick on straight?

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'Coming up on today's show, our experts pick their favourite items,

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'but cannot see eye to eye with their owners...'

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-I absolutely love Wemmys. Do you like it?

-No.

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ANITA CHUCKLES

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They're quite fun, aren't they? They're quite nicely carved. Do you like them?

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Erm, not especially, no!

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-I think it's charming. Do you like it?

-No.

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Well, everyone has different tastes.

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'..I get to grips with life in a medieval castle...'

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The defender of the castle would have the upper hand,

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and he'd thrust into you!

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'..and, as always, tension and surprises in the auction.'

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Come on, come on, someone come in.

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We've a great turnout here, and our crowd have brought along

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dozens of bags and boxes brimming to the top with antiques and heirlooms.

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So what are we waiting for? Let's get on with our first valuation.

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Adam's at the table with local lady Elizabeth,

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who's brought in some collectibles which hail from much further afield.

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And you've brought along some rather curious-looking figures, here.

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What can you tell me about them yourself?

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Well, they belonged to my Uncle Jack,

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and I believe he got them from a friend who worked out in Hong Kong.

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-Ah! Well, that's...

-A police chief, or something.

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-OK.

-I'm not exactly sure what he did,

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but that's where they came from, anyway.

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OK, well, that makes sense, yes.

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So you've identified them for us, of course.

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These are early tourist carving souvenirs, if you will.

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They're quite fun, aren't they? They're quite nicely carved.

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-Do you like them?

-Erm, not especially, no!

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-So that's why you're selling them!

-Yes.

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-Do you have them on display at home?

-They are actually on display, yes.

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And how long have you had them?

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About...

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15... 10, 15 years.

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Quite a while.

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So, we've got this sort of elder here

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with the... With the youngster clinging on there.

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They're quite fun, aren't they?

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-They are fun, and they're very well made, too.

-They are.

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They're intricately carved.

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-You can see the teeth are showing, he's lost an eye, hasn't he?

-Yes.

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And the second one, the lady here.

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I particularly like the eyes of that.

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It looks like he's had a real shock.

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Eye sockets bulging out of his head there.

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She's got a certain expression on her face.

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Supercilious expression.

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Yes, yes. She looks like she's looking down her nose at you, or something.

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-Snooty.

-Yes.

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I get looked at like that quite often, actually, myself.

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-So you don't really like them so you've brought them to sell them?

-Yes.

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Well, that's good. They're not actually going to make a great deal of money.

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They've both got a few condition issues.

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He's had a bit of a break which has been a re-glue,

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but actually done pretty well,

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and she's lost a bit off the top there. But I think they'll make £30-£40 for the pair,

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-something like that. Happy to let them go?

-Yes.

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And do you want a reserve on them or do you want to let them go for the highest...

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For whatever they make?

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Um...

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-What price would you be disappointed if they didn't make?

-15, 20...

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-Let's put £20 on them.

-OK, fine.

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-If they don't make £20, they can go back home with you.

-Yes.

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-Exactly.

-And you can tell the story of Uncle Jack and your Flog It! figure that didn't quite sell.

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-Hopefully, they will. Thanks for coming along to the show today.

-Thank you.

-A pleasure.

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Well, Adam certainly has a way with words

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but we'll have to wait until the auction to find out if his valuing is up to scratch.

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Now, over to the other side of the grounds.

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I found something you'd have to be a real dummy not to love.

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Linda, thank you very much for coming along to our valuation day

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and to all of you because without you, we wouldn't have a show.

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Tell you what, what a location. Look at that, it's beautiful.

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-It really is. I guess you're all familiar with the castle, you're all local?

-ALL:

-Yes.

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-Where do you live, Linda?

-Just in central Banchory.

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Oh, just down the road, then. So you didn't have far to carry this?

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-Not too far.

-Just a little bit of a struggle.

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It's a lovely mannequin. How long have you had this?

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Probably about a year. A year now.

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-And how much did you pay for this?

-Um...around £25.

-OK.

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-From our local charity shop.

-Well, I think you've done rather well.

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This evokes the Edwardian era for me, but these mannequins and tailors' dummies

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have been used through the Georgian period. You see them in shop windows

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and they are made of quality.

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This is made of wood. Covered in a fabric.

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Sadly, the fabric is a little bit... worse for wear.

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It's stained and it's a bit dirty but I'll tell you what,

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what a lot of people do with these

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is they have these recovered in a bright velvet or...

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could be a light blue like this, or bright red,

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and, all of a sudden, you've got a contemporary look. It's really nice to actually...

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if you're a lady, to have your necklaces on it just draped,

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maybe half a dozen in the bedroom. You could stick a hat on there with a feather,

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and, all of a sudden, you become a decorator and you're playing.

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You're just playing with something.

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And I think that's half the fun with something like this.

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There's not a lot of history to it.

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I notice there is a maker's name just stamped on there.

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It's "Harris and something".

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I think it's "Harris and Hall, Birmingham." Made in Birmingham.

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-Have you noticed the stand's made of an oak?

-I knew that, yes.

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That's so typical of the Edwardian period as well.

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This lovely white French oak. It's quality, it really is.

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So I think your £25, if we put this into auction,

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should realise... How about double your money, £50?

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-Would you be happy?

-Really? Yes. Yes.

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We should put this into auction with an estimate,

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a guide price of £40 to £60.

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-Fixed reserve at £40.

-OK, yes, I'm happy with that.

-Yeah?

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It's got the look.

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-It's very tactile, I thought.

-Yeah, it is, isn't it?

-I want to give it a cuddle.

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-Go on, then, say goodbye and give it a cuddle. I'll see you in the auction room.

-OK, thank you.

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Whilst they say their goodbyes,

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let's see what's going on back at the valuation tables.

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Anita has sniffed out some ceramics with a great local interest.

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Irene, welcome to Flog It! And I'm delighted to see Scottish pottery

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on our Aberdeen show and especially delighted to see Wemyss.

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I absolutely love Wemyss. Can you tell me, where did you get it?

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They belonged to an aunt of mine.

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I don't know whether she might possibly have had them when they were new.

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I mean, what... What are the dates?

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The date, 1892 to 1930s.

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Well, I suppose, maybe, I don't know.

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-Did you inherit these?

-Yes.

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Did you like them?

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No.

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THEY LAUGH

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-Not really.

-Do you have them on display?

-No.

-No?

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-Where are they?

-In the cupboard.

-In a cupboard, I know.

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Well, everyone has different tastes

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and I must say that Wemyss is a collectable pottery

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so people will like it.

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It was the factory of Robert Heron and Sons in Fife.

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It was named after the Wemyss Castle

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because the occupants of the Wemyss Castle

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loved this type of ware.

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And they used a lot of it in their household,

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-the wonderful basins.

-Right.

-Toilet sets and so on.

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If we look underneath, we can see the back stamp for Wemyss.

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And we can also see an impressed stamp on it.

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Where's that? I don't think I noticed that.

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This one here is not in good condition.

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And we can see a great deal of damage in the inside

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and somebody has stuck it together, not terribly well.

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I don't know what's happened. It was like that.

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It was like that? Yes.

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What people love about Wemyss

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is the quality of the hand-painted decoration.

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If we look at the wonderful application of paint

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on this little pot

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and it's decorated with cherries,

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it's almost mouth-watering

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and, to me, this is still a little work of art.

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And someone will continue to enjoy it

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despite the fact that there is damage.

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And it may be that whoever buys it may want to have it restored in a more professional way.

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Now, what I would do, Irene, is to...

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sell these items in two lots.

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I would put these vases together.

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And I would put them in with an estimate of 80 to 120,

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with a reserve of...£70?

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This is a little lot and we'll put it in 60 to 80

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with a reserve of £50. I'm sure they'll go higher than that,

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but these are the right estimates to put them in at.

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-OK.

-Tell me, Irene,

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do you like these a wee bit better now that I've been very enthusiastic about them?

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THEY LAUGH

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-Not really.

-Not really?

-Sorry!

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THEY LAUGH

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Well, put them into auction

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and I'll look forward to seeing you there.

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All right. Thank you.

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Well, nice try, Anita, but I've got a feeling

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someone will fall in love with that pottery at the auction room.

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And that's it for our first half of the valuations but before we go to auction,

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let's remind ourselves what items we're taking with us.

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Adam's put an estimate of £30 to £40 on these fun figurines

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but will their damage be their downfall in the saleroom?

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Linda's hoping to make a profit on the £25

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she spent on that quality tailor's dummy, which I valued at £40 to £60.

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And Anita's decided to split the Wemyss into two lots.

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She's valued these vases at £80 to £120

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and the second vase and jam pot at £60 to £80.

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And this is where all the action's taking place today.

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John Mill auctioneers in the heart of Aberdeen.

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I'm going to go inside and catch up with our owners. They're feeling nervous.

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Fingers crossed, it's a packed saleroom.

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Well, our luck is in because it is packed and we're just in time

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because auctioneer Graham Lumsden is about to kick off proceedings.

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Our first lot under the hammer are those Far Eastern figures.

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Just been joined by Elizabeth with her two figures.

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I think these are resin. We had a look and a chat to the auctioneer earlier.

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He said they're definitely resin. Nevertheless,

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£30 to £40 we could turn into £100.

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-Why are you selling them?

-I just don't like them.

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You know, they're not really my cup of tea.

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No, but somebody will like them and we're going to find them right now.

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Here we go.

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Lot 70, two carved Chinese figures.

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They're in fact resin, they're not actually carved wood.

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They're in fact resin. For the pair, £50.

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£50 the pair.

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40? I'm bid 40.

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Any advance on £40, the pair of Chinese figures, 45? 50.

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At £50 on my left.

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Any advance on £50?

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The bid is outside the room at 50. They're going to be sold for £50.

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All finished at 50?

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-Well, that was short and sweet but we got the top end, £50.

-I'm happy.

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For something you didn't like and didn't want.

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-Yes, it's a bonus.

-Yes, it is.

-Absolutely.

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-Thank you for bringing it in.

-I think there was damage too, wasn't there?

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-One of the eyes was missing.

-That was all right.

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'What a great start. Now it's Linda and that mannequin.'

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Linda, I hardly recognised you! Wow! Whoo! Go get them, girl.

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We are just about to sell the mannequin

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and you're just in time because it's been frantic here.

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It really has. It's a packed saleroom, things are flying out.

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I think this mannequin will sell.

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-This is it. Let us find out what the bidders think.

-Lot 100.

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80, at £80, the mannequin. 60.

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£40, the mannequin.

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I'm bid 40, beside me.

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Any advance on £40, the mannequin? One bid at £40.

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It's going to be sold at £40. £40, the mannequin. One bid at 40. 45.

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-50.

-Yes! Yes!

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55. At 55 at the door.

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Any advance on £55 at the door for the mannequin?

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-£55, the hammer has gone down.

-Oh, well.

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-That wasn't too bad, was it?

-It wasn't.

-I was about right.

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£55. We got nearly the top end. Enjoy the money.

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I think that's lunch out for you for turning up

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at the valuation day and today.

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-And it's an enjoyable day.

-Thank you.

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'Linda got more than double the £25 she paid so I'm chuffed with that.

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'Before we see Irene's ceramics go under the hammer,

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'let's see what auctioneer Graham had to say about them

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'on the sale preview day.'

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We are in the right place to sell some Wemyss.

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I must say I love country pottery. I really do.

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I'm a big fan of Wemyss.

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Love the roses, I love the fruit.

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That's my favourite - the little preserve jar, the jam jar.

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Unfortunately, it's damaged.

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The whole collection belongs to Irene.

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We valued these but we've split the lots up.

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The pair of vases, we've got 80 to 120.

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For the preserve pot and the larger vase, we've got 60 to 80,

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purely because of the damage on the jam jar.

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Absolutely correct.

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The Wemmys is a Fife pottery,

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started in the 1850s and eventually went down to Devon.

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It did, didn't it?

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The pair of vases - we should do quite well on them.

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A lot of Wemyss buyers up here.

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-We should double the estimate.

-It was 80-120.

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Hopefully 150-200 and a bit more.

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As you stated, the preserve pot is badly damaged,

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that's why the lots have been split.

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Along with a good vase, 80 to 120, 150, maybe. Should do well.

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And there's still plenty of people up here that collect this?

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A large pot last week did very well.

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And it always looks good, doesn't it?

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As a prop, I don't mind the damaged one

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because you're not going to use it. Put it on the shelf and it's going to look umph.

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It's very good for still-life painting and things like that.

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What you are buying is a little work of art, aren't you?

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Absolutely. It's almost nursery pottery, isn't it?

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'Let's see if he's right because they're up next.'

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I'm a big Wemyss fan and so are you.

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Proper Scottish pottery. I love my country pottery.

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Why are you selling these?

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Well, I don't particularly like them.

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-You don't?

-No.

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Gosh. Why not? What's wrong with them?

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They haven't seen the light of day for at least 20 years.

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Really? They've just been stuck in a box in a cupboard somewhere.

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Oh, that's a shame.

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Irene is doing the right thing. If they are tucked in a cupboard,

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sell them and let someone else enjoy them.

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We've got two lots. We've split them into two lots.

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The little preserve jar, which has a lot of damage,

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we're selling that with the taller vase.

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Plus we have a pair of vases to follow, with 80 to 120 on those.

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-Is that OK?

-Yes, yeah.

-Thank you for bringing them in and hopefully,

0:16:560:16:59

we'll send you home happy.

0:16:590:17:03

-That would be nice.

-It would be nice, wouldn't it?

0:17:030:17:05

-THEY LAUGH

-Here we go, let's find out.

0:17:050:17:08

115 is the next lot. Two pieces of Wemyss.

0:17:080:17:12

As we have it, the jam pot has had some extensive repair. £60.

0:17:120:17:17

Wemyss ware for 60. 40. I'm bid 40.

0:17:170:17:21

Right, we're in. We've got someone down the front on 40.

0:17:210:17:24

42, 45, 48.

0:17:240:17:25

50. At 50 on my right. The lady has bid on the Wemyss at 50.

0:17:250:17:29

We have it at 50. Any advance on £50?

0:17:290:17:32

-We're just short, aren't we?

-60. 65. 70. At 70 in the room.

0:17:320:17:38

Any advance on £70? The bid's in the room at £70.

0:17:380:17:41

-I'll finish now at 70.

-We've done it. Mid-estimate.

0:17:410:17:44

Thank goodness for that. That was slow to start with. Right.

0:17:440:17:49

Here's the next lot. We're looking at 80-120.

0:17:490:17:51

Again, we're back to the Wemyss Ware.

0:17:510:17:54

It's the two Wemyss vases. Good order. £100.

0:17:540:17:58

A pair of Wemyss vases. 100, 80.

0:17:580:18:01

I'm bid 60, 70. At 70.

0:18:010:18:05

Any advance on 70? 80. 90. 100. 110.

0:18:050:18:10

On 110 on my right. 120, 130.

0:18:100:18:12

-This is more like it.

-140. At 140.

0:18:120:18:16

145. 150. At 150 on my left. Any advance on 150?

0:18:160:18:23

The Wemyss vases are going to be sold for 150.

0:18:230:18:26

They're going to go at 150.

0:18:260:18:28

That's a good result. That's a great result. £150.

0:18:280:18:32

-Are you happy, Irene?

-Yes. Very good.

0:18:320:18:35

£150. That's great, isn't it?

0:18:350:18:38

They were in perfect condition.

0:18:380:18:40

That was the pair to go for.

0:18:400:18:42

That was the pair to go for. We got 70 for the other lot and 150.

0:18:420:18:47

-That' not bad. £220.

-Jolly good.

0:18:470:18:50

'I'm so pleased Irene can put that money towards something she'll really love.

0:18:500:18:55

'That's three great sales so far but don't go away -

0:18:550:18:58

'we've got three more to come and I can promise one big surprise.'

0:18:580:19:02

While we were up here in the area,

0:19:020:19:05

I went back our stunning valuation day venue, Crathes Castle,

0:19:050:19:08

to check out behind the scenes and find out a bit more of its history.

0:19:080:19:12

Crathes is one of the most magnificent

0:19:300:19:32

and best-preserved 16th Century castles in Scotland.

0:19:320:19:36

It was home to the Burnett family for a staggering 14 generations.

0:19:360:19:40

You can definitely say they left their mark on the landscape.

0:19:400:19:44

The castle was completed in 1596 but the story starts a lot earlier,

0:19:440:19:49

back in 1308.

0:19:490:19:51

Then, this whole area was part of a forest

0:19:510:19:55

rich in boar and deer, ripe for hunting.

0:19:550:19:58

Robert the Bruce would come to visit here and recuperate

0:19:580:20:00

from the rigours of battle.

0:20:000:20:03

He loved it so much he made this area part of the Royal Forest.

0:20:030:20:07

One of the King's great supporters was a local man

0:20:070:20:09

called Alexander de Burnard.

0:20:090:20:11

Robert repaid Alexander's loyalty by giving him the lands

0:20:110:20:15

and the post of King's forester.

0:20:150:20:17

Alexander built a small island fort on the nearby Loch of Leys.

0:20:200:20:24

The family moved there and stayed there for the next 250 years,

0:20:240:20:27

where their name changed from Burnard to Burnett.

0:20:270:20:30

They weren't the most ambitious of families

0:20:300:20:33

but they were respected for their sophistication and mild manner.

0:20:330:20:39

Eventually their fortunes grew and they were able to move

0:20:390:20:42

away from the marshy island of Leys to build the home of their dreams.

0:20:420:20:46

Work on Crathes started in 1553.

0:20:460:20:49

Unfortunately, construction was held up because of the troubled period

0:20:490:20:53

during the time of Mary, Queen of Scots.

0:20:530:20:57

It took another 40-odd years for the building to be completed.

0:20:570:21:01

'It was certainly worth the wait.

0:21:060:21:08

'Small, round towers with conical roofs sit beside overhanging

0:21:080:21:12

'turrets, giving it a romantic, chateau-like appearance.

0:21:120:21:15

'This exquisite stone decoration around the eaves

0:21:150:21:19

'and where the turrets protrude, each side of the building is different

0:21:190:21:23

'and it looks more like a fairy-tale castle than a medieval fortress.'

0:21:230:21:28

But appearances can be deceiving.

0:21:280:21:31

The castle's design incorporates many cunning defence strategies.

0:21:310:21:35

First of all, the walls at ground level are much thicker

0:21:350:21:38

than they are at roof height, making this building very, very solid.

0:21:380:21:43

Almost like a buttress on the side of a medieval cathedral.

0:21:430:21:47

If you managed to burn down this heavy, studded oak door,

0:21:470:21:51

look what you encountered.

0:21:510:21:54

A huge great big iron yett.

0:21:540:21:57

In the heat of the moment, in battle,

0:21:570:21:59

you'd be coming in here charging with your axe above your head,

0:21:590:22:02

or a sword above your head to deliver a blow, but you couldn't.

0:22:020:22:05

It would be knocking these low ceilings.

0:22:050:22:07

The defender of the castle would have the upper hand

0:22:070:22:10

and he'd thrust into you.

0:22:100:22:13

Also, supposing you did charge the tower and you came running

0:22:130:22:17

up here, this spiral staircase goes in a clockwise direction.

0:22:170:22:21

Most soldiers would have been right-handed.

0:22:210:22:24

You couldn't hold your sword or axe in this hand because

0:22:240:22:27

the spiral staircase is turning clockwise,

0:22:270:22:29

so you'd have to hold it in this hand to try and attack the defender, leaving your torso open.

0:22:290:22:36

The man above definitely had the upper hand

0:22:360:22:39

because he could thrust down into you.

0:22:390:22:42

The 11th step, the riser, is much higher than the rest of them.

0:22:420:22:47

That's designed to trip you up as you were running upstairs.

0:22:470:22:51

I don't call that cunning, I call that sly.

0:22:510:22:55

'I have managed to make it upstairs unscathed.

0:22:550:22:59

'As you look around the rooms, you notice the family

0:22:590:23:01

'coat of arms adorning the ceilings, windows and the furniture.

0:23:010:23:06

'The horn in the centre has a special meaning for the Burnetts.'

0:23:060:23:10

Legend has it that when the King gave the title and the deeds

0:23:150:23:19

to Alexander de Burnard in 1323, he also gave him a small gift

0:23:190:23:24

in the form of an ivory horn as a badge of honour, a symbol of trust.

0:23:240:23:29

This horn has been incorporated into the family coat of arms

0:23:290:23:34

and it remains a fitting reminder of how the Burnetts came to Banchory.

0:23:340:23:39

Thankfully, it's still here, on the wall in the Great Hall.

0:23:390:23:44

Look at it - it's beautifully presented up there.

0:23:440:23:46

So much history there.

0:23:460:23:48

There's lots of interesting rooms here

0:23:500:23:52

but it's actually the Jacobean ceilings I'm interested in.

0:23:520:23:56

Several have been painted but for me it's the ceiling in the room

0:23:560:23:59

of the Nine Nobles which is the most impressive.

0:23:590:24:04

Painted ceilings were a popular style of decoration

0:24:040:24:07

for barons during this period.

0:24:070:24:09

This whole Jacobean art form

0:24:090:24:12

is wonderfully bright and vivid,

0:24:120:24:15

and it's closely associated with King James I of England or the VI of Scotland,

0:24:150:24:19

following on from the Elizabethan period.

0:24:190:24:22

Glancing around I can pick up heroes of the past going back to ancient history.

0:24:220:24:25

Hector of Troy, there. Hero of the Trojans.

0:24:250:24:29

Alexander, it's got the Conqueror, but it's Alexander the Great.

0:24:290:24:32

He did conquer Macedonia.

0:24:320:24:35

All of this was painted in situ,

0:24:360:24:39

when the floorboards were put down on the joists.

0:24:390:24:43

You can imagine the artisans working on makeshift scaffolding,

0:24:430:24:47

lying down here there and working away.

0:24:470:24:50

Painstaking process. Wonderful. Absolutely wonderful.

0:24:500:24:55

Vivid chromatic hues - that's because they've used blue azurites

0:24:550:24:59

and a heavy red oxide paint, which doesn't fade with the light over the years.

0:24:590:25:05

Quite clever.

0:25:050:25:07

There's a couple of extra spaces here that's been unfinished.

0:25:070:25:12

I guess they're waiting for history to catch up with us.

0:25:120:25:16

But Crathes is most famous for its gardens.

0:25:230:25:26

No-one is sure exactly how old they are.

0:25:260:25:30

Some of the trees have been dated back to the early 1700s.

0:25:300:25:33

It's a passion that the family have continued in more recent years.

0:25:330:25:39

The garden would have supplied the castle with fresh fruit,

0:25:410:25:45

herbs and vegetables,

0:25:450:25:47

but over the years it's moved away from a traditional kitchen garden to more of an arts and crafts style.

0:25:470:25:52

There are eight little, individual displays each with their own theme.

0:25:520:25:57

As you see them now is how they were created

0:25:570:26:00

by the 13th Baronet of Leys, Sir James Burnett and his wife, Sybil,

0:26:000:26:05

who started to create these compartmentalised displays

0:26:050:26:09

back in the 1920s when it was all the rage.

0:26:090:26:13

For me, the iconic June borders are the most exciting part of the gardens.

0:26:150:26:19

So called because of the time of year they were best viewed.

0:26:190:26:24

Lady Burnett first laid out the beds in the 1930s.

0:26:240:26:28

She took much inspiration from landscape architect Gertrude Jekyll,

0:26:280:26:34

and had a real flair for design and colour co-ordination.

0:26:340:26:37

Although the Burnett family have a very close relationship

0:26:440:26:47

with this magnificent castle,

0:26:470:26:48

is has been in the safe hands of the National Trust since the 1950s.

0:26:480:26:53

Today, it still remains a home steeped in the dedication

0:26:530:26:56

and love that all those generations of Burnetts have lavished on it.

0:26:560:27:01

I hope my visit has inspired you to take a look for yourself.

0:27:010:27:05

It is open to the public at certain times of the year.

0:27:050:27:08

It's a wonderful day out.

0:27:080:27:11

Now we've caught up on the history of our stunning venue,

0:27:200:27:22

let's get back to our valuation day here at Crathes Castle.

0:27:220:27:26

We've already unearthed some real treasures

0:27:260:27:29

so let's see what else this eager crowd have in store for us.

0:27:290:27:33

-Thank you for coming. I'm Adam, I'm the expert for today.

-I'm Brian.

0:27:330:27:37

You've bought along a fascinating early microscope, haven't you?

0:27:370:27:42

It's pretty old.

0:27:420:27:43

I think it's early 19th century, probably as early as 1800s.

0:27:430:27:47

-Do you agree with that?

-Probably round about that. That makes sense.

0:27:470:27:51

You seem to be a chap who knows a little bit about this already.

0:27:510:27:55

Can you tell me a little bit about it?

0:27:550:27:58

-I know about the physics, not so much about the history.

-Right.

0:27:580:28:01

But the physics is that here you have a concave mirror,

0:28:010:28:04

which helps the daylight to reflect up to here, to your specimen.

0:28:040:28:09

On there, you'd have a tiny insect, or maybe an aquatic organism.

0:28:090:28:15

So there's a few lenses here - different power.

0:28:150:28:19

-And you have to put your eye very close to that.

-Yes.

-Cos it's a very small lens,

0:28:190:28:23

a fat, small lens, with a very short focal length.

0:28:230:28:28

-So you have to get really quite close to the organism.

-Right.

0:28:280:28:31

And you put your eye close to it.

0:28:310:28:33

It's not convenient or comfortable.

0:28:330:28:35

No, but it's very portable.

0:28:350:28:37

Very portable - it's how they did it in those days.

0:28:370:28:39

I've only ever seen one of these before

0:28:390:28:41

and I always understood it was an aquatic microscope,

0:28:410:28:45

so it's interesting that you've said aquatic organisms.

0:28:450:28:48

-For viewing pond life.

-Right, right. Amoeba, and that sort of thing.

0:28:480:28:53

Yes. And it's beautifully made in brass, and in this shagreen case.

0:28:530:28:57

This is what? Is this shark skin?

0:28:570:29:00

-Shark skin.

-Shark skin, yes, amazing.

0:29:000:29:02

-Which is valuable in its own right.

-It's very hard.

0:29:020:29:05

Very durable. And it would need to be,

0:29:050:29:07

because it would have been something you carried around with you

0:29:070:29:11

and used as and when needed.

0:29:110:29:13

How did you come to own it?

0:29:130:29:15

I was given it when I was about seven, I think,

0:29:150:29:19

by a friend of my mother's.

0:29:190:29:21

She probably had it in her attic for a long time.

0:29:210:29:25

And I was young and interested in physics and science.

0:29:250:29:30

I played with it for a while.

0:29:300:29:32

-You must have played with it very carefully.

-I had fun for a while.

0:29:320:29:35

Then it gets put away in a cupboard for a long time.

0:29:350:29:38

As these things often do. And did you pursue science as a career?

0:29:380:29:42

-I did. I became a scientist. I did physics at Cambridge.

-Right.

0:29:420:29:46

-Downing College, Cambridge.

-Oh, yes, excellent.

0:29:460:29:50

So, why have we now, here in Aberdeenshire, and you've brought this in to sell.

0:29:500:29:54

What's the reason behind that?

0:29:540:29:57

Well, it's been appreciating for a long time and I thought,

0:29:570:30:00

"Well, there's no point in dying and then it's still appreciating."

0:30:000:30:06

It's nice to know what it's worth.

0:30:060:30:08

I think the most famous of these were made by the big firm Dollonds,

0:30:080:30:11

just slightly before this,

0:30:110:30:13

at the end of the 18th century in the George III period.

0:30:130:30:18

-And this... It's a shame it's an unnamed example.

-Yes.

0:30:180:30:21

-That's the thing...

-No company name.

-There's no name at all.

0:30:210:30:25

And that's the thing that's going to slightly limit its value

0:30:250:30:28

to the collector who's a little bit fickle.

0:30:280:30:30

If it had a name on it, it would be worth twice as much, if not a bit more.

0:30:300:30:34

Have you got any ideas as to what you think it might be worth?

0:30:340:30:37

Well, I thought maybe £400.

0:30:370:30:40

-Yeah, well I think that's fairly accurate, actually.

-Yeah.

0:30:400:30:44

-What I would suggest is an estimate of 250 to 350.

-Yeah.

0:30:440:30:48

And at what price would you be not willing to sell would be the question?

0:30:480:30:54

-You mean a reserve price?

-Yes.

0:30:540:30:56

-Maybe 200.

-200, I think would be very realistic.

0:30:560:30:59

Very good. Thanks for bringing it. Certainly the most fascinating object of the day.

0:30:590:31:04

The rarest and earliest thing I've seen all day.

0:31:040:31:06

So I'm delighted to have seen it.

0:31:060:31:08

-It's been nice to talk to you. Thanks for coming.

-Thank you.

0:31:080:31:11

Well, that microscope certainly wowed Adam,

0:31:110:31:15

but what about the bidders?

0:31:150:31:17

Well, we'll find out in a moment.

0:31:170:31:20

Now Anita has spotted a quirky carving that Jennifer can't wait to sell.

0:31:210:31:26

Jenifer, this is a fascinating little piece of social history.

0:31:260:31:31

It's a little carved panel.

0:31:310:31:32

Can you tell me, where did you get it?

0:31:320:31:35

It was found in the house, left in the house when we moved in,

0:31:350:31:39

and that's really all we know.

0:31:390:31:41

-How long ago was that?

-46 years ago.

0:31:410:31:43

46 years ago.

0:31:430:31:45

And did you ever hang it on the wall or put it on display?

0:31:450:31:49

-No.

-Did you ever wonder who did it?

-Yes. Oh, yes, definitely.

0:31:490:31:53

-Do you like it?

-No.

0:31:530:31:55

-Is that why you want to sell it?

-Yes.

-OK, let's have a look at it.

0:31:570:32:00

Although it's perhaps not to everyone's taste,

0:32:000:32:04

we see a carved figure here.

0:32:040:32:06

And we have a little panel which says, "Home from the front."

0:32:060:32:12

And we have the artist's name here,

0:32:120:32:15

"GSW Watt, 1918."

0:32:150:32:19

This little panel depicts a soldier returning home from war.

0:32:210:32:27

And we see... I don't know if that's perhaps a foot missing.

0:32:270:32:31

-Perhaps shot off in the war.

-Yes.

0:32:310:32:33

So it's, I suppose, rather sad in that way.

0:32:330:32:39

The carving, a rather naive carving.

0:32:390:32:42

It's not someone who has done fine work.

0:32:420:32:46

And it had occurred to me that this is perhaps something that he may have done...

0:32:460:32:50

..after coming back from the war, perhaps injured,

0:32:520:32:56

perhaps not able to work, and this is how he spent his time.

0:32:560:33:01

So there could be a little story behind that, if we knew.

0:33:010:33:07

-If we knew.

-If we knew.

0:33:070:33:09

If we look at the back, and I find the back of it quite fascinating,

0:33:090:33:16

we have the depiction of two... What would you call them - scallywags?

0:33:160:33:22

-Yes.

-"Thrummie Cap and Goony John."

0:33:220:33:28

And these, perhaps, were characters from his own village or town.

0:33:280:33:34

And they're quite nicely carved,

0:33:340:33:38

but, again, they have that naive quality,

0:33:380:33:42

which has its own charm and its own followers.

0:33:420:33:47

-I don't think it's going to get a lot of money.

-No. Oh, no.

0:33:470:33:52

And I feel that we should estimate it conservatively.

0:33:520:33:56

-If we maybe put it in £20 to £30, would you be happy enough with that?

-Oh, yes, yes.

0:33:560:34:01

Do you want to put a reserve on it?

0:34:010:34:03

-Maybe £15.

-£15, yep.

0:34:030:34:06

-I'm sure it will do more than that, but £15 will just protect it.

-Yes.

0:34:060:34:11

OK, that's wonderful. Thank you again for bringing it in.

0:34:110:34:14

-I think it's charming.

-I don't.

0:34:140:34:17

Well, each to their own, I suppose.

0:34:170:34:21

Time to squeeze in one last valuation,

0:34:210:34:23

and Adam is with Maureen on his table.

0:34:230:34:27

This is a wonderful collection of coins and medallions.

0:34:270:34:31

-Thank you.

-Can you tell me, did you collect these yourself?

0:34:310:34:34

-No, I didn't. My father did.

-Your father did.

-Yes.

0:34:340:34:36

It was a great pastime of people, collecting commemorative medallions.

0:34:360:34:40

These are quite interesting.

0:34:400:34:42

They tell you what they are, which is always handy for us valuers.

0:34:420:34:45

This is the limited edition

0:34:450:34:47

of 5000 of these 26 sterling silver proof medals,

0:34:470:34:51

and they record the achievements of Her Majesty's 25-year reign.

0:34:510:34:57

So they go from 1952 all the way up to 1977.

0:34:570:35:00

Looking at them before we started filming,

0:35:000:35:03

reminding you of the famous things that happened in those periods,

0:35:030:35:07

such as the invention of the hovercraft, 1955.

0:35:070:35:11

Decimalisation, '71.

0:35:110:35:14

And it's quite a good reminder of all these events.

0:35:140:35:17

So I suppose he may have bought them yearly, do you think, annually?

0:35:170:35:20

I don't know if they were monthly or weekly or annually.

0:35:200:35:25

They often came in instalments and they would have cost a few pounds each at the time.

0:35:250:35:30

Over here, we've got the sovereigns of Europe,

0:35:300:35:32

the kings and queens of all the European states.

0:35:320:35:36

Again, a limited edition of 5000, with the central medallion there.

0:35:360:35:41

And then we've got these ones that look like gold but they're not.

0:35:410:35:45

They're gold plated. They're 22-carat gold on a silver core.

0:35:450:35:48

So you've got 12 of those, which all look like important coats of arms,

0:35:480:35:53

royal family coats of arms and things like that.

0:35:530:35:56

And what are your reasons for wanting to sell them?

0:35:560:36:00

Lack of space, really, because my mum died last year as well,

0:36:000:36:04

so I've got more family mementoes.

0:36:040:36:06

-OK, so they're not particularly sentimental.

-These aren't, no.

0:36:060:36:11

Any idea what you think they're worth these days?

0:36:110:36:14

-I haven't got a clue.

-Let's have a guess, Maureen.

0:36:140:36:18

150, 200?

0:36:180:36:20

-For the lot, or each?

-The lot.

-For the lot.

0:36:200:36:22

I think that's conservative. That's probably what they were worth five years ago.

0:36:220:36:27

-Oh, right.

-But these things have got a lot more desirable nowadays,

0:36:270:36:31

thanks in some part to silver values generally going up,

0:36:310:36:34

and there's more interest in these commemorative medallions with coin collectors.

0:36:340:36:38

So I think we can be a bit more bullish with the price

0:36:380:36:42

and up it to £400 to £600.

0:36:420:36:46

That's fine, yes.

0:36:460:36:48

-And I think they'll probably make towards £600.

-Excellent.

0:36:480:36:52

Once the bidding's all done, once they've all fought it out.

0:36:520:36:55

I think we should put a reserve of 400.

0:36:550:36:57

-Because I think they're probably worth that anyway.

-Right.

0:36:570:37:01

-And we don't want them undersold.

-Definitely not.

0:37:010:37:05

What would you do with that decent sum of money?

0:37:050:37:07

I'd probably divide it between my two sons and three grandchildren.

0:37:070:37:11

Excellent. That's nice to hear. And what about some for yourself?

0:37:110:37:14

Yes, possibly a handbag.

0:37:140:37:18

-And give them the last bit! You've got to treat yourself.

-See what's left.

0:37:180:37:22

-Thanks for coming to Flog It!

-Thanks.

0:37:220:37:24

Well, before we find out whether they make the reserve and Maureen gets that handbag,

0:37:240:37:29

let's have a quick run down of our final items going off to auction.

0:37:290:37:32

Brian's had his super little microscope for many years.

0:37:320:37:37

Will it make Adam's estimate of £250 to £350?

0:37:370:37:41

At £20 to £30, I think this carved panel's a real bargain.

0:37:410:37:46

But will the bidders love it as much as Anita does?

0:37:460:37:49

And finally, Maureen's coin collection is a great piece of history,

0:37:490:37:53

but was Adam right to put a rather confident £400 to £600 on it?

0:37:530:37:57

'We're at the auction house in Aberdeen and the sale is in full swing.

0:37:590:38:03

'The lots have been flying out of the door

0:38:030:38:05

'and next up, it's that fascinating old microscope.'

0:38:050:38:09

Now, something for the academics.

0:38:100:38:12

I love this, and I know our expert Adam fell in love with it.

0:38:120:38:15

It belongs to Brian. It's the aquatic microscope. It's real quality.

0:38:150:38:19

-A proper scientific instrument, shagreen case.

-Mm-hm.

-What a nice thing.

0:38:190:38:23

-Quite a rarity, too.

-For looking at pond life!

-PAUL LAUGHS

0:38:230:38:27

-In a shagreen case. Early Georgian.

-Or fleas, or ants. Whatever.

-Gosh.

0:38:270:38:33

Every schoolboy's dream. Let's find out what happens. Here we go.

0:38:330:38:37

Lot 288, the aquatic microscope. I have this one at £300.

0:38:370:38:41

Aquatic microscope at £300.

0:38:410:38:43

£200?

0:38:430:38:45

180.

0:38:450:38:47

-Should be bids at this level.

-Come on.

0:38:470:38:50

Any advance? £150. The aquatic microscope at 150.

0:38:500:38:54

160?

0:38:540:38:55

170. 180. 190.

0:38:550:38:58

200. Outside the door at £200.

0:38:580:39:02

210. 220.

0:39:020:39:04

230.

0:39:040:39:06

240.

0:39:060:39:07

It's outside the door at 240. Any advance on £240?

0:39:070:39:12

It's going to be sold for 240. I'm going to finish at £240.

0:39:120:39:16

-It sold.

-Very good.

0:39:160:39:18

-Are you happy with that?

-Yeah.

-I think we were about right.

0:39:180:39:21

-A lovely thing.

-I was hopeful for more, but I always am.

-Yeah.

0:39:210:39:25

-I'm that kind of chap!

-He's an optimist.

0:39:250:39:28

'What an intriguing object.

0:39:280:39:30

'Perhaps it will go on to encourage a youngster's interest in science,

0:39:300:39:34

'just like it did for Brian all those years ago.'

0:39:340:39:37

'Now it's that naive wooden picture that Anita picked out.'

0:39:370:39:41

All the proceeds of this lot will go to charity.

0:39:430:39:45

It's a carved wooden panel and we're looking for the top end of the £20 to £30.

0:39:450:39:50

Jennifer. It's good to see you again.

0:39:500:39:52

-Jennifer's had this in the house for 46 years and you quite liked this.

-I did.

0:39:520:39:58

I know you don't like it, Jennifer, but it's a lovely piece of naive craft work.

0:39:580:40:03

-It is, yes.

-And every little penny helps for charity.

0:40:030:40:06

-It's going to Help For Heroes.

-A wonderful cause. It's going under the hammer right now.

0:40:060:40:11

Let's find out what the bidders think.

0:40:110:40:13

A picture. Home From The Front, by Watt. £40.

0:40:130:40:17

Small, carved picture for 40.

0:40:170:40:19

30.

0:40:190:40:21

-£20.

-Come on. Someone come in.

0:40:210:40:25

£20 the bid. One bid at 20. 22. 25. 28. 30.

0:40:250:40:31

32. 35. 38.

0:40:310:40:33

At 40.

0:40:330:40:35

42. 45.

0:40:350:40:37

48. At 50.

0:40:370:40:39

This is good, this is good.

0:40:390:40:42

Any advance of £50? 55. At 55, standing on my right.

0:40:420:40:47

All finished at £55.

0:40:470:40:48

-The bid is on my right.

-That's a great result. £55.

0:40:480:40:51

The hammer's going down. Yes! Jennifer, that's great.

0:40:510:40:54

For a moment, everyone had their hands in their pockets.

0:40:540:40:57

No hands were going up in the air.

0:40:570:40:59

Well, that's great, isn't it? Thank you so much for bringing that in.

0:40:590:41:03

-As I said, every little penny helps.

-Yes, it does.

-I'm delighted.

0:41:030:41:07

'What a great result for something that Jennifer found

0:41:070:41:10

'when she moved house.

0:41:100:41:12

'There's just time for one final lot

0:41:120:41:14

'and I can't wait to see how that coin collection gets on.'

0:41:140:41:18

Going under the hammer right now. Maureen's three sets of coins.

0:41:180:41:22

They could go at the top end, I have a feeling.

0:41:220:41:24

400 to 600, Adam put on them. Why are you selling them now?

0:41:240:41:27

-Don't really want them any more. Don't look at them. They're stored away.

-Sit in a drawer?

0:41:270:41:32

-Stored away in a cupboard.

-Good time to sell precious metals.

0:41:320:41:35

It's an all-time high, silver.

0:41:350:41:37

Because the silver value is quite high, it'll push up the value of the coins.

0:41:370:41:41

But these will probably go to collectors,

0:41:410:41:43

cos they're collectors' editions, limited series, that sort of stuff.

0:41:430:41:47

I think they're going to sell pretty well.

0:41:470:41:49

Maureen just said to me, "As long as I don't have to take them home again."

0:41:490:41:53

-It's not a lot to carry, is it? You could have brought in a chest of drawers.

-That's true!

0:41:530:41:58

I think these will sell. I think Adam's spot on here.

0:41:580:42:00

-Let's go for it.

-Let's find out what list this lot think. It's down to the bidders now. Here we go.

0:42:000:42:05

Lot 40. A coin collection.

0:42:050:42:07

Souvenirs of Europe. Ten coins.

0:42:070:42:09

Queen Elizabeth's reign. Six coins.

0:42:090:42:12

-Fingers crossed.

-Yes.

0:42:120:42:14

I think they're going to make a mint, Paul!

0:42:140:42:17

He had to say that, didn't he?

0:42:170:42:18

£600.

0:42:180:42:20

-That's where we want to end up.

-£500.

0:42:200:42:24

Coins for 500. £400?

0:42:240:42:27

Come on, you lot.

0:42:270:42:28

A bid, 350. Any advance? At 350. 360.

0:42:280:42:32

-We're in. Here we go.

-400.

0:42:320:42:35

In the seat at £400. 420.

0:42:350:42:37

440. 460. 480.

0:42:370:42:40

500.

0:42:400:42:42

520. 540.

0:42:420:42:44

560. 580. 600.

0:42:440:42:47

620.

0:42:470:42:48

640.

0:42:480:42:50

660.

0:42:500:42:51

680.

0:42:510:42:52

£700.

0:42:520:42:53

720.

0:42:530:42:54

740.

0:42:540:42:55

760.

0:42:550:42:57

780.

0:42:570:42:58

800.

0:42:580:43:00

Yes? 820.

0:43:000:43:02

At 820. 840.

0:43:020:43:05

860. 880.

0:43:050:43:08

(£880.)

0:43:080:43:10

920. 940.

0:43:100:43:12

960. 980.

0:43:120:43:14

1,000. And 50.

0:43:140:43:16

1,100.

0:43:160:43:17

1,100 on my left.

0:43:170:43:19

-Any advance on £1,100.

-1,100.

0:43:190:43:23

They're going to be sold for £1,100. I'll finish at 1,100.

0:43:230:43:26

Yes! £1,100. Well over the top end of the estimate. I'm ever so happy.

0:43:260:43:31

Strong price.

0:43:310:43:33

Very, very strong. What are you going to put the money towards?

0:43:330:43:37

I've just spent most of it on a holiday, but I'll go on another one!

0:43:370:43:40

There's always time for another one. Adam, well done.

0:43:400:43:43

What a wonderful way to end the show. I hope you enjoyed it.

0:43:430:43:46

You can never predict what's going to happen in a saleroom.

0:43:460:43:49

See you next time.

0:43:490:43:50

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:44:080:44:11

E-mail [email protected]

0:44:110:44:14

Paul Martin and experts Adam Partridge and Anita Manning visit the historic Crathes Castle in Aberdeenshire. Anita hones in on some Wemyss pottery with a local interest, whilst Adam finds a fascinating old microscope that inspired its young owner to pursue a career in science.

Also, Paul takes time out to find out more about the castle itself, and discovers why it owes much of its history to Robert the Bruce.