Flog It! comes from Scotland's most visited attraction, the magnificent Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery in Glasgow. Paul Martin is joined by experts James Lewis and Will Axon.
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Docks once busy with Glasgow's ship-building industry
are now home to a thrilling and thriving art scene.
The city's home to the Scottish Opera, Ballet,
the National Orchestra and, of course, HQ of BBC Scotland.
Glasgow's cultural excellence was first recognised in 1990,
when it was named Britain's first City of Culture.
And today's venue couldn't be more fitting.
Purpose built as a museum and art gallery, the magnificent Kelvingrove
is literally a palace of the arts.
This magnificent setting has really drawn the crowds.
And on hand to help spot any potential masterpieces
are our very own double act, James Lewis...
Underwear that she put away for getting married,
-but she never did.
-Your aunt's underwear?
I've got to see this!
..and Will Axon.
Done well not to drink it. I bet there's been a few late nights
when the shops are shut and you thought, "Shall we?"
Kelvingrove has witnessed many events in the past 100 years,
but I don't think anything can match the excitement of our Flog It crowd.
If I could bottle this atmosphere, I'd be a rich man!
Let's dive into our first valuation
and catch up with James Lewis to see what he's spotted.
Lesley, whenever I see a box like this,
the first thing is I know it's got silver in it.
But it's either going to have a three-piece tea service,
a bachelor's one, a dressing table set
or silver-mounted coffee cans.
But when you see that box, it's got to be one of them.
And what a fantastic set!
Just so, sort of, modern and fresh.
And considering that this was made in the 1920s...
-..I think it is remarkably current and remarkably now.
The spoons are solid silver.
In a way, they tell you instantly what the cups were used for.
We have these little coffee bean terminals. They look mint.
-Have they just stayed in here?
-No. Far from it.
I think they were very well used in their time.
-They've been in the family since the '30s.
I think they were probably a wedding present to my mother's cousin,
who was married in the '30s.
They were very hospitable jolly people who entertained a lot.
And then he passed them to my mother at one time and she used them a lot.
-And I've used them.
-But not recently.
The porcelain itself is made by Cauldon of Stoke-on-Trent.
-If you hold it up to the light, it's almost transparent.
Very, very thin, fine quality porcelain.
And the silver mounts are made...
-That one's Chester.
-The spoons are Birmingham.
-Well, it's not where they were made.
It's where they were assayed.
As a retailer and a manufacturer of porcelain,
you would commission the cheapest silver that you could
so you would increase your profit margins.
The silver smith that makes these
might be more expensive to buy the spoons from.
They'd shop around and get a maker for these
-and a different maker for the spoons.
These are dated 1927.
-So just before the '30s when you know your family had them.
-If we put £70 to £100 on them...
-..is that all right?
Let's hope we can celebrate with something stronger than coffee!
That would be very much appreciated.
That's a gorgeous little set, and up on the balcony,
Will has also got his hands on a mystery box.
But what will be in this one?
June, whose dressing table have you been raiding to come to Flog It?
-Where's this box come from?
-My late mother-in-law's house.
She passed away last year.
During clearing, we came across a lot of things. This is one of them.
Let's have a look inside, shall we?
Well, you've got a real mix in here.
Let's get a few pieces out.
We've got a little gold-framed cameo brooch.
And we've got this interesting
gold and enamel naturalistic frame,
which must have had something in the centre at some stage.
At some point, probably.
Then another little brooch. Again, rather sweet.
Little split seed pearl
and gold in black enamelling.
And then we've got...
We always like to see a fitted box on this show.
Look at that! That's very pretty, isn't it?
Let's put that down there.
You've got a little split seed pearl brooch and a pendant brooch,
which could have been worn as either a necklace or a brooch.
We've got another box, a right Aladdin's trove here!
There's a little selection of brooches.
Some portrait brooches. We've got another mourning brooch.
Typical one with the plaited hair. So it's mounting up.
We've got one more box. Let's have a look what we can see in here.
I see, we've got a little suite
of typical Victorian nine-carat gold, I'd have thought, jewellery.
There seems to be a theme running through the jewellery here.
Brooches and mourning jewellery, such as with the plaited hair.
And here, with the black enamelling and seed pearls.
A classic combination of mourning jewellery.
We've got a couple of photographic portrait brooches here.
Recognise them at all? They're all in the same box.
He wondered if maybe one of them was possibly his great-gran,
-who he never knew.
-Right, OK, yeah.
-Then we've got a gentleman here.
-Possibly the same family.
She's got a good Victorian look.
He looks maybe a little bit later, maybe late Victorian, Edwardian.
At some stage along the line,
this is nice quality jewellery, so someone has taken a bit of effort
-and bought some nice pieces.
Most of them are going to be nine-carat gold.
-We'll let Anita go through it and catalogue for her sale.
-And we'll give her a guide price of 100 to 150.
So, June, we'll pack it off to Anita
and see how her jewellery buyers respond.
-Hopefully, by waving their paddles in the air wildly at her.
-I look forward to seeing you at the sale.
-Thank you very much.
Wearing mourning jewellery has been in practice since the 1600s,
but it became particularly popular in the 19th century,
mainly because of Queen Victoria and her lengthy period of mourning.
Widows were expected to dress in black,
only adorned with discreet pieces of jewellery
with items made from jet being especially popular.
Over the years, we've seen some exceptional pieces
go under the hammer.
I wish they could have been here!
So, let's see how this collection goes for June.
There's plenty of items flooding in of all shapes and sizes.
-Gosh! This is quite large to struggle in with, isn't it?
Got some other things at home.
I think that's quite cute.
I'd put that at about, um...
I'd say it's Scandinavian. Boxes like this have their virtue.
You can always keep something in them, you really can.
It's really hard to put a value on traditional things like this,
which are quite naive pieces of folk art.
We're showing it at a disadvantage.
It's just straight out the loft into this place.
-It wasn't cleaned up.
-Needs a bit of TLC.
It needs a bit of beeswax, treating and feeding.
If I did this...
You can just get to see, you know?
It would look like that and you'd fall in love with this little box.
-I never thought of polishing it.
-If you spent a few hours waxing it,
and feeding and treating it, you'd turn it into £80 to £120.
-Yes. It's got a lot of charm to it, it really has.
For our sale today, we're in the West End of Glasgow
at the Great Western Auction rooms.
It's an antique and general sale so
we're in good company and there should be a lot of interest.
Let's go inside and soak up the auction atmosphere. Come on.
Hopefully, it's a packed house.
It certainly is, and Anita Manning is on the rostrum and raring to go.
First up, it's Lesley's silver and china coffee set.
1920s, but it looks like it could have been made yesterday.
-It's so contemporary.
-Everything going for it.
-I hope so.
-Do you like your espressos?
-Yes, I do.
-But you don't really use these?
-Not any longer.
Let's find out what the bidders think.
It's going under the hammer now.
A cased set of six Cauldon china coffee cans and saucers
in original fitted box.
A bonnie little set.
Can we say 200? 150?
Will you start me at £100? Start me at 100.
50, then. 50 bid.
50 with you, sir. Any advance on 50?
-60. 70. 80. 90.
-Three people, look.
£90. 100 fresh bidder. 110. 120.
120 with Pat. Any advance on £120? Any advance on 120? 120...
-Easy, wasn't it?
Easy when it's quality and looks great.
Going under the hammer now, a jewellery box full of treasure!
-It belongs to June. Hello, June. Who's with you?
-My husband, Jim.
-Jim, hello. This was your mother's jewellery?
I see, now, why you brought him along.
-Right, OK. We need to sell this. We're looking for £100, £150.
-It's mourning jewellery, something you didn't wear.
I think we've priced it at the right level.
-There's a lot there for the money.
Fingers crossed we're going to find a buyer for it now. Here we go.
It's a superb lot of Victorian jewellery. A lovely lot.
Will you start me at £100? 100 bid.
-100 bid. Any advance on 100?
-Yes, we're in.
-We're on the phone, look.
140. 150. 160. 170.
You're in the money!
180. Anyone else from the floor? 180.
190 with me. 200. 210. 220. 225.
230. I'm out. £230 for all the jewellery. 230.
240 on the phone. 250. 260.
-They like this a lot.
-Maybe something really shines.
-The star brooch is nice quality.
-£310. Any advance on 310?
-Fresh to the market.
All done at 310? 310...
Yes! That's a sold sound! 310, well done.
Welcome back to Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery.
This is a portrait by Vincent Van Gogh,
one of the greatest ever impressionists.
It's a portrait of a young Glaswegian art dealer,
Alexander Reid, painted in 1887.
He shared a flat with Van Gogh in Paris.
It's all about the company you keep to get a portrait painted like that.
I love the use of the greens and the red, not only in the background
but also all over the face.
It's absolutely stunning. Something to remember.
Right now, I think it's time we join up with our experts, don't you?
See if they paint a pretty picture
about their next item and give us something to remember.
Ian, let me take you back to the 18th century.
-And you were a pipe smoker.
You would, without doubt, be smoking a very long-stemmed clay pipe.
-I don't know if you've ever handled these clay pipes,
but a bang on the side,
a knock from a branch or a trip,
-and the pipe stem would snap.
So this is your 18th-century equivalent of a mobile phone case.
-BOTH LAUGH I see.
-The thing everybody had
to protect their most treasured possession.
So the pipe would go inside.
That answers an awful lot of questions.
It was probably made in Holland,
although they were made in northern Europe and in the UK.
The shape of the bowl is quite a tall one.
Normally, the larger the bowl on the clay pipe,
-the later the clay pipe is.
The earlier you go back, the more expensive tobacco was.
-As tobacco became cheaper, the bowls became bigger.
You look at this, it's a nice big bowl,
so you can say with pretty much confidence
-that would date to about 1780 to 1800.
-I had no idea it was that old.
Then you look here. Do you know what that emblem's meant to be?
I didn't know it was an emblem!
It's an anthemion
and it's meant, in Greek antiquity,
to be a stylised honeysuckle.
It was very fashionable.
Josiah Wedgwood used it in his pottery.
Robert Adam used it in his architecture and plaster mouldings.
And here we have a country pipe case maker
using it as decoration on there.
-It's a lovely little object.
-Where did you find it?
It's been in the house and before that my parents' house
for as long as I can remember, 50 years-plus.
Neither of them knew where it had come from.
I guess the fact that it's on the Flog It table
means you want to sell it?
Well, it's been there doing nothing for all these years.
Somebody will love it!
It is a bit of a classic.
£80 to £120. It's worth about 100.
I certainly wouldn't want to see it less than 80.
If it made more than the 120, it's done very well.
-On that basis, shall we take it to auction?
Over in the natural history section,
Will has a case that does have something inside.
Susan, thanks for coming along.
You've brought in the smallest thing today and behind us
is the biggest thing I've seen today.
Let's see what's inside this rather nice small fitted box.
Let's open her up. Look at this!
A thimble! Not any old thimble.
We see a lot of thimbles. They're usually in silver.
This is in solid gold.
Is this something that you've inherited or do you use it?
I don't use it and I didn't inherit it.
-It was bought for me by my husband as a present.
-Yeah. He does know what I like.
Bijouterie, isn't it?
The fact that it's gold makes it Premier League in the thimble scene.
And it's in its fitted case, which must be original.
We've got a retailer for Dundee.
I've had a look at the marks.
-You wanted an idea of how old it was.
-Yeah. The age.
The marks have been pretty well rubbed, probably through use.
But referring back to Sir Roger behind us
who's been here since 1901,
your thimble's probably not much younger than him, actually.
Edwardian period. It's got a bit of age to it.
Yeah. It's older than I thought.
A gift from your husband.
So, obviously, you didn't have to ask him how much he paid for it.
No, but it wouldn't have been very much at all!
LAUGHING: Sounds terrible, doesn't it?
I'm sure a lot of thought went into it. A lot of thought went into it.
The market for all things gold is good at the moment.
Let's see if we can make him a profit.
At auction, I think you're going to be looking at around the £100 mark.
-Is that a nice surprise?
-You thought it was worth a bit less than that?
Hang on! I think I've got a 20 in me pocket!
No, let's put it in at 80-120. Straddle that £100 mark.
The old Flog It favourite, 80 to 120.
The only thing left to say is see you at the saleroom.
Finally, James is delivering a colourful history lesson.
-Gary, let me take you back 50 years.
-To mainland China.
Being run by Chairman Mao,
a communist, a hater of the Imperial past.
If you were an art lover,
you would not be able to own this 40 or 50 years ago.
There was a complete rejection of the past,
but also a denial of the past by the communist regime.
So you can imagine now that China has opened to the west,
each businessman that is now in charge
of a very wealthy successful business,
is wanting to buy back pieces of Chinese history.
That's why you have timed this absolutely to perfection.
Good. JAMES LAUGHS
I can see it's slightly tarnished. It's not polished, which is perfect.
-What's its history?
-It was my late father's.
He bought it, I think, at an antique fair
and gave it to me to find out a bit about it.
I was quite interested in it,
simply because how beautiful I thought it was.
To find out, first of all,
whether or not it was Chinese or maybe even Japanese.
That's one of the questions that I thought as well.
The Japanese symbolism is almost identical to the Chinese.
I don't read Chinese or Japanese scripts so, for me,
looking at the signature underneath was a bit of a problem.
But the guys here, we've got six off-screen valuers,
and six out of six said, "We think it's Chinese."
So, fingers crossed it is.
The decoration is the three-toed dragon.
The three-toed dragon is often a Japanese dragon, as well as Chinese.
The Chinese five-toed Imperial Dragon,
representative of the emperor.
Here we have chrysanthemums and other emblems that, for me,
would indicate Japanese, not Chinese.
But I've gone along with the overall view that it's Chinese,
so we'll see.
Well, I said you'd timed it to perfection.
-Ten years ago, this would have been worth £100, that's all.
At the moment, I think, even if it's Japanese,
it's going to be worth £400 to £600, something like that.
And if it's definitely Chinese,
it might even double its money and make £1,000.
That's a real surprise, I can assure you of that.
-Yeah? Is that all right?
Let's take it to Anita, get her to translate that mark on the bottom,
and fingers crossed she comes back with some good results.
-Fingers crossed, indeed. Thanks very much.
Back at the auction rooms, I caught up with Anita Manning,
who's done some further research into the vase.
Is it Chinese? Is it Japanese? James thinks it's Chinese.
This little vase is Japanese.
-How could you tell?
-There are several things that we look at.
If we first look at the little band that encircles the neck of the vase,
we see a band of chrysanthemums.
This is a very common motif used in Japan.
It was a sign of prosperity and wealth and good fortune.
-We often see it on Japanese objects.
-That's the first clue.
Second clue - Japanese dragons, three claws.
Chinese dragons, five claws.
Are you serious about that? I've never heard that before.
No-one's ever said that to me in my life. I've learned something.
I hope you're listening and learning.
We all know that Chinese artefacts,
the market for them is a lot stronger than the Japanese market.
Uh-huh. I've kept it at four to six and I'm hoping there's interest
because there is quality there
and we have identified the maker's mark, which is on the base.
That helps as well. Provenance is key, really.
Watch this space. Let's put those values to the test right here.
And with an auctioneer like Anita, who knows what it could fetch?
Something I have never seen on this show before in 11 years of Flog It.
It's a walnut pipe case made in the 18th century to protect clay pipes.
I think it's rather clever.
-It belongs to Ian. Thank you very much for bringing it in.
I'm rather jealous that James had the enjoyment of handling this
and talking about it.
This is absolutely wonderful!
£80 to £120, I think that's no money for something so rare.
I've seen a few, but a long, long time ago.
And I have to say, if that was in an antiques fair
I wouldn't be valuing it, I'd be buying it. Wouldn't you?
Yeah. And it would be possibly £200 to £300 at an antiques fair.
Good on you for bringing it in.
-We love to see something, well,
-haven't seen before in my life.
It's a first for me. It's going under the hammer now.
Wish we could buy it, but we can't. Good luck.
An 18th-century walnut clay pipe case
with brass onlaid and inlaid wire work.
This is an early pipe case, ladies and gentlemen.
It's a rare, rare wee item.
Can we say £150?
Will you start me at £50? Start me at £50.
50 bid. 50 bid. With you, sir, at £50.
I want to put my arm up!
Any advance on 50? 60. 70...
This is definitely one for the purists.
..£90. Any advance on £90? All done at £90?
Sold at 90. Well, it's gone, OK? It's gone.
Well, I would have thought it would have been estimated 20 or 30.
James was spot-on with his valuation,
but I really had hoped that the bidders would have fought
for something so rare and unusual.
Under the hammer right now, a gold thimble hallmarked Chester 1900.
It's very late Victorian. Belongs to Susan.
-Possibly, for not much longer. Boxed as well.
-This was a 30th wedding anniversary present.
You don't really mind selling it, do you?
-No, not at all.
-Looking forward to this?
Let's put it under the hammer and see what this lot here think.
It's going under the hammer now.
A nine-carat gold thimble, ladies and gentlemen.
What else do you need? It's a lovely, lovely wee thing.
And it's in its fitted case from Dundee.
Can we say £150?
Start me at £50.
-Hold me back, Paul!
50 is bid. Any advance on 50 for the thimble?
60. 70. 80...
As long as it's not Susan's husband buying it back, we don't mind.
110, fresh bidder. 110.
It's with you, sir, at £110.
For the golden thimble. 120, fresh bidder again.
We've got the top end of the estimate.
£120. It's the poshest thimble you could get!
Any advance on £120?
-One more over there.
-Any advance on 120?
All done at 120? 120...
Yes! That's a sold sound! Top end of the estimate. Well done, Will.
And well done, Susan. A bit of money towards what you want to buy.
Brilliant! That's £100 more than Susan expected.
A touch of the Orient goes under the hammer now here in Glasgow.
Is it a Chinese vase or Japanese vase? Anita has done her homework.
-It is Japanese and it belongs to Gary.
And you knew that a few days ago.
You'd done a bit of research online, once the catalogues were printed.
£400 to £600, that's what we're after.
Will we get that, James?
We should still get that. The Chinese market is buoyant.
-Much stronger, but it's pulling the Japanese market with it.
Because almost all the Japanese styles were inspired by the Chinese.
-They're linked quite strongly.
-Fingers crossed, everyone.
Let's put it to the test.
Lot 170, ladies and gentlemen,
is this rare Japanese silver baluster vase in high relief.
It has the signed mark for Mitsuhiro,
one of the most prestigious Japanese silversmiths.
She's researched the maker, which is great!
Hopefully, we've got a telephone line booked.
-£300? 300 bid.
-In the room, there.
300 bid. Any adva... 320.
350. 380. 400.
-420. 450. 480. 500.
-Gary, you are in the money.
£500. Any ad... 520, fresh bidder. 520.
-Anita's weaving her magic.
-She's very good.
..650. 680. 700.
700 at the arch. £700.
-Great. Fresh legs.
-720, fresh bidder.
720. 750. 780...
It's a fight between two people in the room.
Gary, you are definitely in the money now.
-This is your first auction.
-Any advance on £1,100?
Doesn't get any better than that.
Any advance on 1,100?
All done at 1,100? 1,100...
-Yes! The Japanese market is strong!
Put it there! You did the right thing there.
I would have sold that for £1,100. So would you.
-I'm tingling for you!
It'll be getting split with my mum.
-It's what my dad would have wanted.
-Aw, bless her. Look after her.
That's what mums are all about.
Wow! What a wonderful way to end today's show.
-Thank you for bringing that in.
-Thank you very much.
Whoo! We enjoyed that. I told you there was going to be a surprise.
Join us again for many more.
From Glasgow and the wonderful work of Anita Manning, it's bye-bye.
Flog It! comes from Scotland's most visited attraction, the magnificent Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery in Glasgow. Paul Martin is joined by experts James Lewis and Will Axon as they pick out their favourite antiques to put under the hammer at auction.