Paul Martin and experts David Fletcher and Adam Partridge visit the Pittville Pump Room in Cheltenham, where Adam and David come across a piece of Whitefriars Glass.
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The town of Cheltenham found fame during the 18th century when it became a spa town,
and that's thanks to the restorative qualities of its spring water.
And today it's playing host to Flog It!
In the early 1900s, a wealthy local banker wanted to create a town that was a rival to Cheltenham
and name it after himself. And he was called Joseph Pitt.
He created Pittville which is now a thriving suburb of Cheltenham.
But its piece de resistance, its landmark
is this striking piece of Regency architecture,
the Pittville Pump Room. And it's our venue for our valuation day today.
Well, what a fabulous turnout we've got here today.
Hundreds of people have turned up. It looks like we've got some valuations to be getting on with!
So let's get started.
And leading the team with valuations already started in the queue,
our experts David Fletcher...
There are both saleable things, but they're not of great value, I'm afraid.
..and Adam Partridge.
This is my kind of thing!
Coming up on today's show, I share my opinion on a beautiful painting.
If this was mine,
I'd be keeping it.
Adam speaks his mind too.
-It's quite nice to see that lump.
And the people of Cheltenham really make us welcome.
Well, everybody is now safely seated inside this wonderful Grade-1 listed building.
And it looks like Adam Partridge is first at the tables, so let's take a closer look at what he's up to.
-Can I ask your names? I haven't checked that.
-Erica. Very nice to meet you both.
And it's always interesting to see a musical instrument,
particularly here at the Pittville Pump Rooms,
because, as a young man, I was very involved in music here in Cheltenham.
And I used to play in concerts in this very room...
-on the violin.
-So it's very nice to see...
-We've listened to many concerts here.
-Oh, yes. We love to come to hear...
-Well, I may have been here 20 years ago...
-Oh, we weren't here then!
-Were you not?
-Ten years ago.
-But I'm glad you've brought this instrument along.
It's a curious thing, isn't it? What can you tell me about it yourselves, first of all?
I was helping clear up an elderly lady's belongings. She was going into an old people's home.
And she thought perhaps in connection with my teaching... I was teaching craftwork
-So this house you were clearing was in Germany as well?
The lady thought it would probably back up my teaching.
We were doing quite simple musical instruments with some of the pupils.
And did you take it and show...?
I've used it along the line, yes.
Have you ever seen or heard it played?
No, not this one.
It's some sort of folk instrument, isn't it?
-To me, it was simply referred to and called a "Fiedel", a German Fiedel...
-I play the violin too.
-Oh, do you?
-But it being a fretted instrument...
-That is quite different.
It has six strings, totally different tuning... I've never been able to...
And it's going to be easier to play than the violin, of course, with those frets there.
But to get a meaningful noise out of it, I don't fancy my chances,
especially with this bow, which is ingenious but very crude really, isn't it?
It's very crude, but also intended to be used like...what do you call them? A Bach bow.
-The player adjusts the tension themselves...
-Can I pick it up?
Er...by tensioning the string with the thumb or fingers,
you can either play one single string or let it wrap around more strings to play chords,
-three, four strings even at once.
-It's very primitive, yet effective.
-Very primitive, but effective.
Exactly. And this is made from pine, isn't it? And the instrument...
-it's also made of pine here, isn't it?
-Yes, pine and maple.
Maple. So very similar to the materials a violin is made from.
-And we have a label in there as well.
-There's a label.
-Well, I've had a little bit of a research while we've been waiting to film,
but I can't find any record of a Karl Freuth, instrument maker.
He wasn't one of your pupils, was he? Way too early, sorry!
-1950-something, is it?
A tricky thing to value.
I've seen many instruments, but nothing particularly like this.
-I'm tempted to think it won't be an awful lot, but what do you think?
-We're not expecting an awful lot.
We just want it to go somewhere perhaps somebody might be interested.
Yes. I'd be tempted to put a 40-60 estimate.
-That's what I thought.
-And then see if it makes any more.
Maybe we can find someone who can play it, but I don't fancy trying to get a note out of it myself, do you?
-It'd be a bit difficult.
-A bit difficult.
Thanks for bringing it along. It's really nice to see such an unusual object.
-It does actually have quite a strong resonance, quite a strong tone.
-Yeah. Let me give it a...
Just plucked, it's not so great!
Well, maybe it just needs a good tune.
Over with David, Sue and James have brought in an unusual trio of items.
I like the look of this.
A plaque which at first sight appears to be ivory,
but it's too big to be ivory. It's to do with the War Savings campaign of 1944.
-I know that because it's written on it. And that's about all I do know about it.
What can you tell me about it?
-Well, I think it was the War Office trying to raise money for the war effort...
And local authorities committed to an amount of money they thought they could raise locally...
-..To the fund. And if they achieved that amount that they said,
-then they were awarded one of these plaques.
-Very interesting. I love it as a period piece.
-It's quite sombre.
-It is quite sombre, you're right,
as you'd expect really. It's respectful and it's thought-provoking.
-This particular image obviously is of a soldier.
-A British Tommy.
Do you think they had other plaques for the Air Force and the Navy?
-I think they did, and when I came across this I also found one saluting the airmen.
And there was a third, I knew, in the series for the sailors.
And how did you come by it? They're not common.
In the 1970s, the company that I was working for moved office...
-And the basement was full of all sorts of papers and bits and pieces.
-Oh, really? Right.
And in the corner I found two plaques so I asked could I have one,
and they said, certainly, they were just destined for the skip.
-But my colleague had the other one.
Well done, you, for spotting that and appreciating it.
I mentioned just now that it looked as if it was ivory. If we look at the back...
and this is really handy...
-it says, "De La Rue Plastics".
-So it's plastic.
-Just goes to show what you can do with a bit of plastic, doesn't it?
-So...we need to think about what it might make. Let's go with 100-150.
-With a reserve of £100.
And then we'll turn just quickly to the jewellery.
I'll move that. The jewellery comprises two watch chains, each one with a fob.
They both belonged to my father.
He died 50 years ago.
-So they've been in the back of a drawer for about the last 20 years.
They were presumably worn as watch chains?
-That's right. My father worked in a shipyard...
-So he spent his...
six days a week in a boiler suit. On the seventh day, on Sunday, he put his suit on.
-Suit, waistcoat and watch and chain.
-Fantastic! A real dandy.
This one is clearly marked 9 carats, and it suspends a piece of serpentine,
which is a piece of marble, really.
This one suspends a medallion which is marked...9 carats.
The chain itself... doesn't appear to be marked.
I think I'm going to value that as gold. I think it has to be gold.
Thinking in terms of their melt value...now, that doesn't mean they're going to be melted...
-Because, of course, whoever buys these, I'm sure, will buy them as objects...
-..as watch chains.
But the melt value sort of puts the bottom in the market, really.
If we say, as far as the chains are concerned,
-an estimate of 400-450...
And a reserve preferably just below the lower estimate, 380.
Now, that gives us a total... my maths is terrible...
-100 and 380...
-480 in all.
-And with a bit of luck you'll get £500 or £600.
-That'd be great.
-Thank you very much.
-Thank you very much.
Sheila's brought a cracking bit of Moorcroft in to show Adam.
Now, you've brought something that's instantly recognisable to many people,
even though it's quite a modern piece. But I think it's lovely. What can you tell me about this?
I don't actually know very much of its history,
although from the bottom of it I can see it's 2001.
-And it's 6 out of 250 made, I think.
-Yes, a limited edition.
-Emma Bossons is a very talented designer for Moorcroft Pottery,
and she designed a lot of these patterns for Moorcroft.
-And this is a particularly nice one, isn't it?
-It is, the colours are beautiful.
We've got these intertwined oak leaves and acorns. And if I just flip it up there,
we've got all the markings on the bottom...
the Moorcroft mark, there's Emma Bossons' signature,
the 2001 date that you mentioned, and the limited series number, 6 of 250.
And, of course, the WM initials, the Moorcroft initials.
Now, sometimes, these have a silver line through them...
and that is when they're a second-quality vase.
So when you're buying Moorcroft, this is for people listening at home as well,
-always look out for the silver line on the bottom, cos that means it's second quality.
-I didn't know that.
How did it come into your possession?
About the autumn of last year, I have a friend who was desperately in need of raising some cash...
-And I could have bought two. The other one was more of a squat vase,
but the colours were quite pale, I didn't quite take to it. But I wish now I'd bought the two,
-because I had the offer of two for £250.
-Whereas I paid 150 for that, but I loved it.
-150 for that. I think that was a fair price for your friend.
This probably would have cost about £450 when it was bought, I would have thought...
-£400 or £500 when it was purchased.
-If you put it in auction now, it's likely to fetch £150 to £200.
So you've paid your friend a fair amount and you may get a small profit.
-Can I ask you why you want to sell it?
Yes. My laptop packed up before Christmas. It's only two years old and the motherboard went in it.
It's going to cost over 200 and I need to buy a new laptop, so I really do need the money.
-OK, well, that's recycling it, isn't it?
Now you need to raise a few funds for your laptop, so the vase goes under the hammer.
Shall we put a reserve of 150 on it?
-Oh, I could lose a lot on that, couldn't I?
-Well, you could lose the commission.
-And the VAT.
-And the VAT.
We could do, but it's going to really push it, because we're going to push the estimate right up.
-I think it has a better chance of meeting competitive bidding with a 150-200 estimate.
-So I'd suggest a 150 estimate, and fingers crossed it makes 180.
-Let's hope so.
-Are you all right with that?
-Little bit of a risk.
-Yes, it is a risk.
-Worst-case scenario, you're going to lose £20 on it.
-Best case, you'll make a profit and hopefully, whatever happens, you'll have your money back on it.
-It'll be interesting on the day.
-Thanks for coming today.
That's what I like to see! Hundreds of happy people enjoying themselves, and our crew's working flat out.
Well, we are now halfway through our day. It's time to put our first batch of items into auction.
This is where it gets exciting. Anything can happen.
It's my favourite part of the show. You know what it's like.
We put those valuations to the test and today we're going to see Mr Philip Serrell.
He's going to be on the rostrum looking after us. Here's a quick recap of what we're taking and why.
I've never seen one of these before. I think it's a member of the viol family,
and if I played it I'm afraid I think it would sound "vile" as well!
Well, I'm not really sure I know what the plaque is worth.
It should be worth £100, and I'll be disappointed if it makes less.
The jewellery, I hope, speaks for itself.
Two nice gold chains. They should come in at least £400.
This Moorcroft vase isn't particularly old,
but it's got all the ingredients for a successful sale at auction.
It's a limited edition, first quality, and by a very desirable, up-and-coming designer.
Well, the room is packed with potential bidders, so let's see how our items go down.
Let's hope the unusual Fiedel makes sweet music!
John and Erica, thank you very much for bringing this in.
And you know you brought your little instrument in to the right expert
-because there's many strings to this man's bow.
-Well, you were a violinist.
Yes, yes, yes...I'm meant to know about musical instruments,
-but this is a little bit out of my...
-Did you get it tuned?
-No, no. It's not my instrument.
-It's quite funny we didn't know more about it.
-Well, you were quite well-informed about it.
You knew as much as me if not more.
-It's slightly out of my comfort zone.
-OK. Not a lot of money, though.
Let's hope somebody can pick up on this and hopefully use it and, you know, play a tune.
-Somebody will find it quirky or interesting.
We've never had one on Flog It! before.
We'll probably never see another one again.
So let's enjoy this moment, shall we? It's going under the hammer right now.
There we are. Lot number 316.
Bid me for that lot. I bid £25, start at 25.
And 30. 35? 40. 40 bid.
There's someone there for it.
50. 50 bid.
And 5. 60.
-I think there's a bid on the book, isn't there?
Yeah, maybe somebody in Mittelhausen!
You just don't know, do you?
80 bid. At 80. Any more?
At £80, and I sell then at £80 and done. Thank you.
-Ever so pleased with that. £80.
Lovely. At least not not sold.
Yeah, that's right. Thank you for bringing in something so quirky.
-That's the unusual, and we love talking about the unusual things.
-The things that get interest.
-Thank you so much.
-It's reassuring that I wasn't too far out.
Sue and James are ready now to see their chains and plaque go up for sale.
The plaque is up first.
-You found this in your office?
-Absolutely, in the basement.
-But time's now up for it.
-It's in the loft, absolutely.
-Were you happy with the £100-£150, somewhere around there?
The plaque is a difficult thing to value for because I've not seen one before.
You just wonder how widespread the appeal is.
I love it because it speaks of that period in time, you know,
and it tells us the story both about how important the war effort was,
-and also in stylistic terms.
-Because it speaks to us of the 1940s.
If it doesn't sell today, I think what we'll probably do is give it to a museum or something.
Well, Philip Serrell's up on the rostrum weaving his magic as we speak,
and it's going under the hammer now. Let's see what he can do for you.
Interesting lot this, actually, a really interesting lot.
I'm bid £50 to start me. At 50 bid. And 5. 60.
And 5. 65? 65? 65?
70. And 5. 75? Is there any more at all?
-At £75. Well, I'm sorry, I can't quite...
-Not selling, well...
-Tricky, tricky thing to value.
-Off to the museum maybe.
let's hope it goes to a good home.
Well, all is not lost. They've still got the watch chains to go.
Lots of money here, David. We're looking around £400-£500.
-Hopefully we're going to get that and a little bit more!
-That should be good.
-It's a good time to sell precious metals.
-It is, gold's going up all the time.
-Through the roof!
Lot number 620. I have two bids the same money.
And I start straightaway at £450.
450. Is there any more at all? Is there any more?
I'm so pleased that you came! 460.
460. Any more at all?
Keep going, keep going!
£460. And I sell then at £460 and done, thank you.
-Someone called out the extra £10!
-Where did that come from?
-It's one of those cheeky jolly dealers!
Good. And how are we going to spend the money?
-Well, we better get it first.
-Get a cheque!
Great result for the chains and the museum might end up with the plaque.
Let's hope good old Moorcroft is a reliable seller.
Sheila's got her fingers crossed.
It's not the classic Macintyre, but I tell you what, it is one of the newer designers
and I think this is a collectible of the future.
Moorcroft is still being made as well, Sheila, so there's going to be a lot of buyers out there for this.
-We're looking at £150-£200.
-Yeah. Even the modern stuff does still sell very well.
There's a very thriving collectors' club, and you can still tell it's Moorcroft. It's coming up now.
Lot 737, the modern Moorcroft vase.
And I'm bid £150, on the book bid at 150. 160. 170.
180. 190. 200. 200 with me. At 200.
At 210. 220.
Any more at all? At 230. 240. At £240.
Commissioned bid. Are there any more?
At £240 and done. Thank you.
-That's the sound of a sold sound! £240.
-You were right.
You said up to 250, didn't you?
You see, it had everything going for it. It had a great maker's name, it had great condition,
and quality always sells.
-That's the maxim, really, isn't it?
-Oh, I'm so pleased.
-It's nice to see someone happy.
Big smiles on Flog It! all round today!
-I could nearly buy a new laptop.
-You can. That's what the money's going towards.
-I was sure!
Well, I'm right in the centre of Cheltenham and this is Montpellier Gardens,
so this is a great place for me to start today,
because I'm going to set off on a tour of this magnificent Regency town on foot,
and it's surprising what quirky landmarks you can discover,
and you can learn so much about the place you're in if you bother to stop and take time to look.
So...here we go!
The rise of Cheltenham from market town to fashionable spa town
is in part thanks to a rather unusual source,
honoured throughout the centre on the top of signposts.
It was the humble pigeon.
They were thought to have triggered the discovery of a mineral spring
in a field in the early 1700s,
as locals observed the birds pecking at the ground, looking plump and healthy.
Wells were dug and the word spread about the medicinal virtues of the water.
The town came to be known as Cheltenham Spa.
The appeal of the town has meant some of its famous residents over the years
have felt a strong loyalty to it, and here we have a statue of the composer Gustav Holst,
renowned for his work The Planets.
MUSIC: Excerpt from "The Planets" by Holst
And a proud Cheltenham celebrated Holst's music with a festival in his honour
at the town hall in 1927.
The town is also known for its elegant look, known as Regency Cheltenham.
And that style of architectural history is pretty much in evidence
wherever you walk around this magnificent town.
The wonderful terraced houses in those lovely crescents with their white-painted facades.
The Regency period lasted around 30 years at the very beginning of the 19th century.
It was named after the Prince Regent who later became King George IV.
And one quirky, well-loved example of this emphasis on design can be seen right here in Montpellier Walk,
nestled between all the shops and cafes, there are a row of elegant armless women, standing guard.
They're known as Caryatids, clearly carved with a classical influence, dating from the 1800s.
Well, I think they're absolutely stunning.
Now, would you expect to see something beautiful when you're doing something everyday,
like going to your local bank?
This building is known as the Montpellier Rotunda.
Built in the early 19th century, it once housed one of the town's spas
and took design ideas from the Pantheon in Rome.
Well, architecturally the town hasn't changed much,
but, I tell you what, the traffic has got a lot busier.
Further on down the promenade, you come across this striking, magnificent fountain
and you can see the Italian influence at work here.
The Trevi Fountain and its horses are clearly inspiration for engineer Joseph Hall
in the later part of the 19th century.
It's a shame it's not working, but we're not in the season.
That's only running in the spring and the summer,
but when it does gush and flow,
the water is provided from the River Chelt which runs beneath.
Isn't that just magnificent?
These streetlamps are known as the dragon and the onion
and they were also designed by Joseph Hall.
Now, why the dragon and the onion?
Because it's not that immediately apparent.
Well, I'll tell you why. You can see.
If you look up there, the dragon refers to the overall shape of the metal.
You can see the dragon's head.
And the onion, that's the shape of the glass bulb.
There are eight hexagonal pillar boxes still in use here, known as Penfolds.
It was in 1866 that the architect and surveyor John Penfold
designed this now classic shape for the Post Office,
but, as it was a bit too expensive to produce,
they only made them for 13 years.
Look out for original Penfolds around the country
next time you go to post a letter.
Now, a more up-to-date piece to look at here in this magnificent town is where I am right now
in a popular shopping area,
and it's this wonderful bronze sculpture by artist Sophie Ryder.
It's titled The Minotaur And The Hare.
Now, we all know what a hare is, don't we? There's one there, look!
And this is a minotaur. Now, that's based on Greek mythology,
part man, part bull.
Why is it here? Well, it was commissioned as part of an exhibition
for the Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum.
The town fell in love with it, they bought it,
and they've stuck it right here, and it's here because this couple are actually people-watching.
That's what you do with the cafe society, you watch just the people go by.
It's great to see the fusion of modern creative art amongst historic Regency design.
But for the final stop of my tour of Cheltenham's history,
I want to show you something magical.
It's the fabulous Wishing Fish Clock in the Regent Arcade,
and what a wonderful space to have an art installation.
I know it's not an art gallery, but the footfall you get in here is incredible.
The more people that see this, the better,
and it really does keep the kids entertained.
We've got the goose at the top, it lays eggs.
As you can see, the golden eggs come down from the goose,
and as they're coming down towards the face of the clock, little mice pop out
from the sides of the clock and there's a little snake at the top
who tries to eat one of the grey mice.
Now, the whole thing was designed by an artist and illustrator called Kit Williams,
famous for his work in the 1980s, particularly a book called Masquerade.
The whole mechanical movement of this clock was built by a local chap, a local clockmaker
called Mike Harding. It took him around nine months to complete,
and it weighs in at an incredible three tones.
But this works now on the hour and every half an hour.
And what happens is the fish starts to blow bubbles. You can see the bubbles coming out now.
And it's said if you catch one of the bubbles, you can make a wish.
And you can see why it really does keep the kids entertained. Isn't that brilliant?
Well, that's it. I hope you've enjoyed my little tour of Cheltenham.
And what perfect weather for it today. I've certainly been blessed.
And I hope this has given you inspiration to check out your local town
and discover some of its hidden history.
At the Pittville Pump Room in Cheltenham, lots of people have come along for the valuation day today.
Adam has found a big lump of glass with a good name, Whitefriars,
brought in by Mary and Richard.
-Well, it's quite nice to see that lump.
I'm sorry. I don't wish to sound rude. It's not really my thing. Do you like it?
-There's no sentimental value to it.
Before today, Adam, I didn't know if it was of any value at all. It was just a doorstop to us.
-It was a doorstop! There's a novel use.
-Well, where did you get it from?
It was Mum and Dad's. It was in their flat.
And, obviously, when they died and left it, then it came to us.
Cleared their flat and just dragged it in and used it as a doorstop.
-And we carried on the tradition. Mary's mum had used it as a doorstop.
Well, that is... Wow! What a testament to its manufacture, cos there's not a mark on it.
There's nothing wrong with it.
It's in good nick, yeah.
-You wouldn't want to stub your toe on it either!
-No! It is a weight.
-A hell of a lump!
And now you're sat here at Flog It! You've realised it's a Whitefriars vase.
-What age will it be?
-These were made late '60s...
-Typically late '60s. Geoffrey Baxter, Whitefriars Glass.
And there's lot of different shapes. They're particularly characterised by this barky finish, you know...
-And do they usually have all that...?
-That thick, clear layer at the bottom. Yeah.
-I didn't realise.
-And there's a recessed circular mark on the bottom.
-Is there a mark?
They're not actually marked as such.
-You're not going to see the name Whitefriars on them.
-They had a range of colours. I think that one's called cinnamon... or pewter.
-I don't know.
-It has got the '60s sort of look about it.
-It does, doesn't it?
And I think that's why they sell quite well. The market has been stronger.
-When I started in this job as a porter, we didn't look at them twice.
They were just mass-produced moulded glass, you know, and they'd go in a job lot, then suddenly...
-the trend for interiors has gone up...
-And you could see that as the one item in a minimalist house, couldn't you, on the shelf!
Which is why, I think, they make some sort of price.
-So this is the volcano shape.
-One of the most famous ones was the drunken bricklayer, you know, that zigzag...
Anyway, you've got the volcano one. What do you think it's worth, your doorstop?
I really haven't got a clue.
I would have thought sort of around 100, something like that, 150.
For someone who doesn't like it, that's quite optimistic, isn't it?
-I wouldn't have thought that much at all!
-No... I'm tending to side with you on this.
-Typically about 50, 60.
-You want to keep it now?
-No, no, not at all! No, not at all!
I'd normally put 40-60 estimate on that and tend to get 60-70.
- That sounds pretty good to me! - Yeah!
Doorstop brings wedge.
Used as a doorstop. Well, I've heard it all now.
It's my turn to be the expert, and I've spotted a real gem with Alison.
-Alison, you know who this is, don't you?
-Alfred John Arnesby Brown.
-Yes. And it's signed...
Arnesby Brown here.
This is the east side of England, isn't it?
We're talking about Norfolk, the Fens.
He in fact spent his summers in Norfolk
and spent his winters in St Ives. What can you tell me about it?
It's been handed down through the family.
I honestly don't know if it's come from my mother's side of the family,
because she lived in the Fens before she was married.
Or it might have come from my father's side of the family,
because I have a very large portrait of my father as a four-year-old eating an apple
-by the artist's wife.
-So your grandparents knew the artist?
Absolutely, they must have done. Because my grandfather had a property down at Carbis Bay...
-We lived in Cornwall. And he was very interested in the St Ives School...
-And the Newlyn...
-Well, it's very alert, very impressionistic,
it's very fresh, it's absolutely everything I love.
This is definitely not the Southwest, this is definitely the east side,
because it's so flat, and when you look at all the things from the Norwich School,
-you see very low horizons and lots and lots of sky.
And that's exactly what we've got here. More sky than landscape.
-He's renowned as a landscape artist and that is lovely.
-Oh, it is.
-And if you stand back, the more you appreciate that, don't you?
-It's really hard to get enthusiastic when you're this close, as all I'm looking at is the technique...
-..the brush work, the palette-knife work...highlights in white.
-When I was a child,
we used to look at this and we could see shapes in the sky,
and we made that out to be a tennis racquet,
and this out to be some sort of animal.
It was ridiculous!
Well, that's the funny thing about oil paintings, especially being impressionistic
-because it's about what the individual looks into it to see.
He was born in 1866, he died in 1955.
And his works have fetched in auction up to £20,000...
obviously depending on size and subject matter.
This is oil on canvas, it's very, very nice.
-There's a bit of cracking, you can see a little bit of...
But that's OK, it's not been restored.
-This has not been in sunlight, you've looked after this.
-Oh, yes, I have.
-You've really looked after it.
There are stickers on the back, it's been exhibited at the Royal Academy, it's had some other exhibitions,
so it's had a little bit of provenance, it's had a little bit of life to it.
I'd like to put it into auction with a valuation of £4,000-£6,000,
a fixed reserve of £4,000,
and, er, Philip Serrell is going to be putting this under the hammer in Malvern. I'm going to make sure
it goes on the front page of the catalogue in colour.
-It goes on all the art buyers' websites so we've alerted everybody.
If this was mine...
..I'd be keeping it.
Why do you want to sell it?
Well, it half belongs to me and it half belongs to my sister who lives in Australia.
-I can't hang my sister's inheritance on the wall, can I?
-That's not fair.
-Are you happy?
-Yes, I'm happy.
Isn't that a magical painting? Watch out for it going under the hammer a little later.
Now, I'm not sure really whether you've brought in a painting
or a box! I suppose it's a bit of both. What can you tell me about it?
I understand it's Lord Byron and it's a papier-mache snuffbox.
And how did you come by it?
About 15 years ago, I was looking for a wedding anniversary present for my parents...
-And I went into an antique shop, saw their present, saw that lurking in the corner,
-and managed to get a good deal.
-So it was a sort of buy-two-get-one-free sort of thing?
Good. OK, I think you did very well.
As you rightly say it is papier mache. It does depict Lord Byron,
one of the greatest poets of the 18th and 19th century,
and beautifully portrayed in this portrait here.
It's an oil painting...
as you say, on papier mache and the box is indeed a snuffbox. He died in 1824
and I think that enables us to date this box pretty accurately, really.
In some respects, I think this box represents a souvenir of Lord Byron's life.
He was an interesting-looking man.
He was known as a romantic, he has this very romantic appearance
and I think the artist here has captured it incredibly well.
It's not signed, but he was certainly a competent person.
Why have you decided to sell it?
Someone else can appreciate it more than I've done. And I could use the money, basically!
-I think this is going to make the best part of £100.
I'd like to estimate it, if I may, at sort of 60-80...
-And just hope that it runs on a bit, because it is better than your average.
-We don't often encounter boxes of this type, although they're not uncommon in themselves,
that have this much quality and depict a famous person like Lord Byron.
-Well, we'll do our best for you, Brian.
-Thank you very much.
-And I'll see you at the sale.
Our experts have now found their final lots to take off to the saleroom.
Here's a quick recap just to jog your memory of what they are and why we're taking them.
This Whitefriars volcano vase has been used as a doorstop for decades.
I'm hoping that someone at the auction room is going to find a better use for it than that.
I'm putting this oil on canvas through to the auction because it's simply superb.
It has a timeless quality about it which will look wonderful on anybody's wall.
If you're a snuffbox collector you'll love this, because it's more than just a snuffbox.
It includes a wonderful portrait of Lord Byron, beautifully handled,
and he is a great person by any standard. I think we'll do well with this.
I'm going to catch up with our owners because I know they're felling really nervous,
especially Alison with the wonderful oil painting that I've put £4,000-£6,000 on.
I'm hoping this does 8,000-plus. It'd be a lovely surprise for her.
Yesterday I had a chat with Philip Serrell, today's auctioneer, the man on the rostrum.
This is what he had to say about the oil painting. Take a look.
Alison's oil painting, John Arnesby Brown. My eyes were on stalks when I saw this!
I say Alison's, actually it belongs to her sister as well.
And unfortunately they can't both own it, and she lives in Australia,
-so Alison's decided to sell and split the money.
-I think your estimate's spot-on, 4,000-6,000.
In my heart of hearts, I think it's going to make 6,000-8,000.
-What I love about it, it's just such a terrific sky, isn't it?
-High, yes, high horizons.
-A fantastic sky.
And also, I don't know about you, but I like a painting that stands looking at.
And if you've got a painting that you look at it once and you've seen it,
you don't look at it again. But this, there's so much in it,
and there's so much depth, and that sky and the foreground does that,
but you can look at it and then you can look at it again and see something different. And so...
I'm hopeful that it's going to fly to the top estimate.
-She'd be ever so pleased, ever so pleased,
-because this is a hard thing to part with.
-I understand why they are, though.
I can't wait for you to get on the rostrum. Whatever you do, don't go away,
because I think this one is definitely the one to watch,
and, hopefully, Alison is going to be so happy.
Well, we'll put our expertise to the test when the painting comes up for sale a little bit later.
But now it's time for the Whitefriars doorstop/vase to meet the bidders.
-Nice colour, cinnamon. Collectible...
It's been around the family for 30 years.
Well, we're going to find out exactly what it's worth.
-We're hoping for around £50. 40-60 we've got on this.
And, hopefully, we'll get that £60 plus a little bit more.
-We always want the top end plus, don't we?
It's Geoffrey Baxter, for goodness' sake! This is it.
Lot number 659 is a Geoffrey Baxter Whitefriars vase.
I'll start at £60 bid.
70 bid. 5 on the net. 80 on the net. At £80...
-This is good.
-Is there any more?
-Is that it?
£80. Internet bid for the Whitefriars. 85. Is there any more?
On the net and done then at 85.
-£85. Good old Geoffrey Baxter! You've got to be happy with that.
- That's great. - That's good, yeah.
-Great. Thanks for bringing it.
-That's all right, isn't it?
Well, £85 will go a long way towards a new doorstop.
Up now it's Brian's Byron snuffbox.
Brian, thank you for bringing that in.
-Why are you selling this?
-It's at the back of the cupboard.
-Not doing anything.
-Have you never used it?
It's not a thing you do nowadays.
But this isn't to be sneezed at! Hopefully, it's going to go at the top end. We're going to find out.
Lot number 360 is the papier-mache snuffbox. There you are.
Lots of interest.
-Lots of interest.
£100 I'm starting, at £100 on the book.
At £100. 100.
110. 120. 130. 140. 150?
-It's the Lord Byron thing, isn't it?
-It's the subject matter, I think.
160, is it now? 170. 180?
200? 200. 210. 220?
220. 230. 240?
Bid's with me. 240. 250.
At £250 on the book. Is there any more at all?
And done and sold then at 250 and done, thank you.
You've got to be happy with that!
That's a lot better than 60-80 which you could have been expecting.
I've now got to rethink what I'll spend my money on!
You'll enjoy spending it, won't you? Hopefully, reinvest back in the antiques trade!
I might be tempted.
Great result for Lord Byron and for Brian!
But now my valuation-day find, it's Alison's beautiful oil painting.
This is what auctions are all about. We've got a cracking crowd here.
Things have been going so well, and they're just going to get better. It can only get better.
-I know you're nervous.
-You didn't really want to sell this,
and I know we talked about it reaching £8,000,
but this is what Arnesby should be sort of reaching, his works.
We pitched this at 4,000-6,000, didn't we? We came to an agreement,
because this is going to be like honey to bees. They all think they've got a chance at 4-6.
Well, I hope so.
This is the best way to do it. And do you know something? Right now, I am tingling!
-Are you tingling?
-No, I'm terrified!
Well, I'm nervous as well for you,
-because I want this to do above the top end of the estimate, that's for sure.
I shall be a bit sad if it goes for 4.
I really will, I...
Lot number 291. There you are.
The Arnesby Brown, oil on canvas.
This is it.
Here we go.
It's all gone quiet.
Here's a lovely thing. Where do you want to start me?
Somebody want to bid me £6,000?
Well, if you don't bid, it doesn't work very well.
£4,000 I'm bid. Commission bid on the book. 4,200.
4,800 now. 4,800.
Do they want to bid or not? Because I will sell it if they don't.
4,800. 5,000, may I? 5,000.
5,200, is it?
5,200. 5,800, is it?
6,200. May I?
6,000. 200 anywhere?
6,200. 6,500? 6,500.
6,800. 7,000, may I? Another telephone bid.
7,200. 7,500? 7,500.
7,800, may I? 7,800.
-This is marvellous!
Yes, £8,000. 8,200 now.
9,000. It's getting rather like Wimbledon, this! 9,200, may I?
9,500, is it?
9,500. 9,800 now?
- £10,000. 10,500? - 10,500.
10,500 here. Any more at all?
third and last time, and you're all out and done. On my left. 10,500.
That is fantastic, isn't it?
You've got to get on the phone to Jennifer. It's about 1.15 in the afternoon here.
It's going to be midnight in Australia. Wake her up and get her out of bed and tell her, won't you?
-What a lot of money!
-Oh, I'm ever so pleased.
-I'm ever so pleased. Are you?
-Yeah, I am.
I feel really happy at having sold it, because I didn't want to sell it,
-but now it's gone for a good price, I feel...
-There's a tear in the eye.
Look, we got top money. That's not going to make any more money now.
That's wonderful. Thank you.
If you've got anything like that, we would love to see you!
Bring it along to one of our valuation days. But sadly we've run out of time here in the Malverns.
We've had a wonderful day. I hope you've enjoyed the show.
Join us again for many more surprises to come on Flog It! in the future.
But for now, from Alison...
-Oh, what a day!
-What a day!
-Thank you so much for bringing that in. Goodbye from both of us.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Paul Martin is joined by experts David Fletcher and Adam Partridge at the Pittville Pump Room in Cheltenham, as they continue their search for rare and interesting items, and hear the stories behind them.
Adam and David come across an unwanted piece of Whitefriars glass and a snuff box that proves desirable, while Paul gets really excited about a painting - but will the auction's bidders match his enthusiasm? Paul also takes us on a walk around the town, taking in its hidden heritage.