Paul Martin presents the series in which the public attempt to sell their antiques. This edition comes from Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, Glasgow.
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With scenery like this, we could only be in one place -
the west coast of Scotland. This unspoilt wilderness is the perfect
antidote for the stresses of modern-day living.
And for one lucky city, it's less than one hour's drive away.
More about that later on in the show but right now, welcome to Scotland,
and welcome to Flog It!
Surrounded by stunningly beautiful scenery,
Glasgow's mix of austere Victorian gothic and brutalist architecture
reflect the no-nonsense industry
at the heart of its wealth and tradition.
This gaunt aspect of the city may explain the creative excellence of
many of its artists having to turn inward to the landscape of the mind.
The Scots' famous industriousness together with their creative talents
has proved a winning formula.
Today's venue is the magnificent Kelvingrove Museum,
purpose-built to house the very best of Glasgow's fine art collection,
natural history and history collection.
Looking for some treasures of their own are experts James Lewis...
I think I'm a 22. Have you got a size 22 in there?
..and Will Axon.
Masses of pictures. Yeah.
Trouble with them - everyone would have kept them. Och, shut up.
We've got a great show for you today where we get to see if
the stereotype of canny Scots being good with their money
really stands up to auction scrutiny.
Today's items have come from both near and far
but which one will sell at auction for 100 times its purchase price?
Our candidates include this very Scottish oil painting,
this naturalistic gold brooch,
and this not-so-Scottish piece of tribal art.
Just wait and see what happens at the auction.
Give that man a clap.
This great hall is filling up nicely
so let's get started with our first item.
Ian, when I found you in the queue earlier
I saw this little circular turned box
and I thought it's either going to contain a compass
or it's going to be a very plain snuff box.
But when I opened the lid
and saw what can only be described
as a box of miniature light bulbs...
I thought, "What on Earth are they?"
It says here,
"Hydrostatical glass bubbles for proving spirits,
"adjusted in the most accurate manner
"to the universally approved scale
"by the maker William Twaddell, Glasgow."
What a wonderful little set of beads.
Where did you find it?
My grandfather died and I was given that as a memento of him.
Whether he got it from his grandfather, I presume so,
something like that. So it's been in the family a long time? Yeah.
The only other set that I've seen is in the Glasgow Museum,
the National Museum of Scotland. Oh, yes.
And they have a little box with these
but they don't have the label in the cover. Oh.
I think these are better.
Not hugely valuable, but to measure the density of alcohol
you would drop individually one bead after another.
Each one would have a number beside it.
If that bead, when you drop it, doesn't sink, doesn't float,
that should match the density of the alcohol in that fluid. I see.
And then you look on the scale here
and number 25 says it's likely to be the same density as oil of olive.
Oil of olive? For number 25.
Then we have number 22 - "very strong."
All the way up to number 14 there
which just says "alcohol."
So I guess pure alcohol. And then down at the bottom, number 56 -
I think it's an amazing comment on the times.
Something that I would imagine a weights and measures official
would have used to make sure that either you weren't overselling
or underselling your alcohol content. And also to give them
a fairly accurate idea of what the alcohol content is
in their fluids.
It would have been made between 1795 and 1810.
It's a really interesting object. Have you ever had it valued before?
I did ask an expert once about it
and he said it would be about ?300-?400.
Yeah. I think that's...
a retail figure for it.
It's one of those things that I think it might just put people off
if we put that size of estimate on it. Right.
Would you be happy with ?150 reserve?
Yes, I would be. Yes. Let's put 150-250
and see if that's OK with people. Right.
I think that's a sensible figure. That's very good of you, thank you.
Let's take it along and see what happens. Excellent.
What a lovely and fascinating piece of Glaswegian history.
Up on the balcony, Will has found four very special pieces.
Little works of art in themselves, aren't they? Yes.
Little World War I silks. Yeah.
A lot of the time there's a story behind these. What can you tell me
about these? Who are they from and who were they to?
Well, they were in the effects of my husband's auntie
when she died in '89 and it was her brother William
who was serving in France and he sent them to her,
her other sister and his mother. So this is where they all came from.
But he lived till he was 93, so he survived the war.
You've met him, you know of him? Yes, I met him in the 1960s
when I first married my husband.
So William survived the war - that's a nice touch because a lot
of the time these sort of things are tinged with an element of sadness
in that maybe a family member sent them and never made it back himself.
Now, these were generally made in France, obviously,
that's where they were bought.
The whole reason behind them was so that the soldiers could
keep in touch with their family, let them know how they were.
If they got one of these at least they knew that everything
was relatively OK.
Let's just have a look in here. "Keep me in your heart."
And then we open that up, we can see there's a little calling card -
"Greetings from France." There we go.
I'll just spin that round.
You can see there we've got the correspondence there.
No address, so this was probably sent in a separate envelope.
Which, again, means the damage was limited as much as possible.
Let me just see if I can read this.
"Dear Maggie, I'm getting on all right so far
"but I'm dealing very bad with the heat. It's almost unbearable.
"Your affectionate brother, Will."
There we go. Short and sweet.
Part of family history -
what's compelled you to bring them along today?
Well, you were here and I thought we'd find out...and have a look.
And they are something you're happy to flog?
Yes, if... Yes.
Like I said, I alluded to it earlier, the price of them
is not going to be terribly great.
You might be looking at ?5-?10 each, that sort of level,
which doesn't sound a lot but there are people who collect these,
so at least you know whoever's going to be buying them or bidding
on them will be wanting them and they'll form part of a collection.
So they're given a new lease of life, shall we say,
in someone's collection. Would you be happy at sort of ?20-?40?
I'm amazed! Yes. Happy at that? Yes.
Let's not put a reserve on them, let them go if you're happy with that
and then at least we know we've got a guaranteed sell.
They might make a little bit less, they might make a little bit more,
but what they've got going for them is the condition.
All it comes down to now is the day. Yes.
See if we can get them away for you. Yes. Fine. Excellent.
And I look forward to seeing you at the saleroom.
It was lovely meeting you. That's kind of you. Thank you.
We've seen a few similar items over the years
so I'm hopeful these postcards, both historic and personal,
will attract a bit of attention at the auction room
and surprise us all.
Like the items on our valuation tables,
the details of this building also ooze history.
This was the original entrance to Kelvingrove, with its overpowering
statue of St Mungo to greet you here at the door,
the patron saint of the arts of Glasgow,
flanked by two figures either side, one representing music,
the other art. And they've been skilfully executed here
by one of the leading artists of the day, George Frampton,
who's also known for his statue of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.
Isn't that lovely?
Back inside the gallery,
Rose may have brought in her item at just the right time.
It's a funny old thing because I was given gold sovereigns
when I was born, by my grandparents - not many -
and I hung onto them and I kept them and I kept them and I kept them.
Then about ten years ago the government decided to sell
Britain's gold reserves and I thought,
"Hm, they must know what they're doing, being the government."
And I sold my gold sovereigns.
At that time, when the government sold its gold reserves,
my gold sovereign was worth ?36.
What do you think it's worth now?
More than double. Treble? Nine times. Wow.
But you did the right thing and you kept it.
And you kept it for times when the market was good.
Is it something you've put together yourself?
No, it was a gift. Oh, giving away a gift.
My husband and I have turned 60 this year. Right.
So we're going away on a big holiday. Where are you off to?
Hoping to go to New York and Vegas. Oh, fantastic.
So that's our spending funds.
I think this would do really well.
It's nine-carat gold.
It's just over 30g.
Any ideas in your head what it's worth?
I think we should put an auction estimate of ?280-?350 on it.
There's a buyer's premium and a vender's fee to sell at auction.
But I still think it's probably better then putting it in a bag and
posting it off to somebody who you don't know what they'll give you.
So, generally, it's a better way.
The other way of doing it is to sell it directly to a jeweller.
If you do it that way, you've got a fair chance of getting a good result
but it just depends on what they're buying the gold in at.
Auction estimate of 280.
I think we should put a reserve of that on, firm.
If it doesn't make that, have it back and try
and directly sell it to a jeweller.
Right. Because otherwise you're losing too much with the commission.
Is that all right? Right, thank you very much. Pleasure.
What an exciting morning we've had.
Everybody is thoroughly enjoying themselves,
we're working flat out, we found our first three items, so
let's put those values to the test and hopefully they'll hit the roof.
Here's a quick recap of what's going under the hammer.
Ian's alcohol tester, which was made right here in Glasgow,
should certainly float some interest at auction.
And Patricia's beautiful World War I silks deserve
pride of place in any collection.
And Rose feels the time is now right to sell her charming bracelet,
so let's hope she's not disappointed.
We haven't needed to go far today for our sale -
straight across town to the Great Western Auctions where
the wonderful Anita Manning will be selling our items.
I've got my idea of what's going to fly, you've probably got yours,
but right now it is down to this lot, the bidders, and hopefully
you will be bidding on our lots and making them soar through the roof!
We're going to find out right now.
First up is one my favourites, the hydrostatic glass balls.
A rare and unusual object, Ian.
A complete set, the condition is fabulous.
I love everything about it.
Good, I'm glad. Can I just ask why you want to sell these?
They've been kicking around in the wardrobe for a long, long time,
so I might as well sell them. It's not something easily displayable.
Either you've got them in the box, in a drawer, or you have them out,
they might get damaged or lost, you might just be playing with them
and they get broken. It's time to say goodbye. I hope so. Ready? Yeah.
OK, let's put them under the hammer, here we go.
One my favourite items, ladies and gentlemen.
Can we say ?300?
Start me at ?100.
Any advance on 100? Any advance on 100?
It's a little piece of history here. 110. 120.
130. 140. 150.
160. Any advance on 160?
All done at 160. 160...
160. Just got it away. Yeah, I'm surprised, actually,
it didn't go a bit further. I was a little bit surprised.
But not easy things to sell. No. Cos it's a hard thing to display,
as we've said. What do you do with it?
You either want it or you don't, there's no in-between.
And from one wonderful slice of history to another.
Can Patricia's silks fetch a good price?
You brought it in to show Will, thinking,
"Let's put no reserve on them." You don't really look at them any more.
But it's ignited this whole kind of research period that you've
gone through in the last month since we've saw you
and you found out so much more information about them.
He had three brothers and we've now got their military history as well.
Has this changed your mind about them?
Do you want to hang on to them now?
Not really but it's made us go into the family history.
I'm now going to start digging, you know, more of the history.
There's plenty of postcard collectors out there.
These are quality and they're going to sell. Here we go.
Lot 185, ladies and gentlemen, is this charming little lot.
It's a lot of World War I silk postcards.
They are quite beautiful and they're postmarked 1917.
Can we say ?100?
?50 for the little piece of history there.
50 bid. Straight in at ?50.
Any advance on 50?
You're joking. ?90.
90 for that little piece of history.
Any advance on 90?
Any advance on ?90? All done at ?90.
Short and sweet. That's amazing!
That's a fabulous result for such a wonderful piece of history.
I thought ?20.
Yeah, I mean, you know, like you said,
they're not hugely valuable but it's the whole aura around them.
I thought those would do well
and I'm pleased they reached a good figure for Patricia.
Now, time to find out if Rose gets her Las Vegas spending money.
She's certainly up for a gamble.
I know since the auction you've had a word with Anita
and you've put the reserve up to ?400, which changes the valuation.
Why did you do that?
I just feel...
My auntie gave me it
and I wanted to, you know, get as much as I can to spend in Las Vegas.
Right, OK. That's quite a big jump.
I don't know if the gold prices have really gone up that much, have they?
The thing is, if you want the best price, you let the room decide.
As soon as you start saying what you want
and telling other people in the room what you think it's worth,
then they tend to think, "Well, OK, take it somewhere else."
So, in a way, it's quite an aggressive move
and often a move that doesn't work.
But you never know.
The prices have changed slightly, you might be lucky.
Fingers crossed. This one's going to be a tight call.
It's a lovely object
and if somebody really wants it they will pay for it.
Buying it as a bracelet, though, not as the gold value, if it makes that.
Yeah. OK, fingers crossed. Ready for this? Yeah.
OK, here we go, it's going under the hammer right now.
Lot 90, ladies and gentlemen, is a charm bracelet.
It's nine-carat rose gold.
Can we say ?600?
Any advance on 200? Any advance on 200?
220. 240. 260.
280. 300. 320.
Any advance on 360?
Oh, it's so close.
390. One more.
390 with you.
We're close. ?390.
Will you go to 400?
So it's at 395.
395. She's gotta sell it for 395.
395. I need ?5 on this.
It's at 395. I want you to get it.
400! CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Give that man a clap.
APPLAUSE Brave move, brave move.
Any advance on 400?
Another fiver(!) That is brilliant auctioneering.
All done at 400. 400. Well done.
Well done, you. Well done, Rose, as well. Well done, both of you.
That's a brilliant auctioneer.
And well pitched. Cor, just!
Bit of luck, I have to say, as well.
That's the gambling streak, the gambling instinct there.
It's for Vegas. Exactly, yeah, save it all, won't you?
And hopefully you'll go out there and be a winner. That's it.
What a result!
After some great work by auctioneer Anita, Rose's gamble paid off.
Gold prices do fluctuate but she's got exactly what she wanted.
# Get out of here and get me some money, too... #
That's the end of our first visit to the auction room today.
Some good results,
and a great place to pick up antiques and collectables.
But be warned - once you start collecting antiques
they can be addictive. You can't stop, you are hooked.
But if you stick at it you can build up the most marvellous collection.
And that's exactly what one Glaswegian did. Take a look at this.
Just a few miles from the centre of Glasgow,
nestling in beautiful wooded parkland,
is a contemporary building - a rather spectacular one -
custom-built to house one of the world's greatest
The museum contains over 9,000 objects collected by one man -
Scottish shipping magnate Sir William Burrell.
What makes this collection so incredible is not just the quantity
but the quality, and the unique way in which they're displayed.
Burrell spent a lifetime - and a small fortune -
putting together this collection.
But in 1944, at the age of 82,
he gave it all away to the city of Glasgow.
It was a marvellous coup at the time for a city still trying to build
its reputation as a place for outstanding art galleries
and museums. But as you'd expect with such a generous donation,
there were one or two strings attached.
To ensure his collection wasn't broken up,
Burrell gave a further ?450,000 towards a custom-built museum
that would be worthy of the calibre of the collection.
And it didn't stop there.
This building had to be built 16 miles away from the pollution
that was clogging the air of the industrial centre of post-war
Glasgow because he was concerned about some of the fragile artefacts
that were here, especially the Flemish tapestries
that were hanging on the walls. That was his big concern.
While the city authorities searched for a suitable location for these
rare and fragile artworks, Burrell couldn't kick the buying habit.
Inspired by visions of what his new museum might look like,
he took it to another level.
The building, the collector
and the collection are all linked quite literally.
Burrell acquired this enormous gothic portal,
which originally came from Hornby Castle in Yorkshire,
as part of a job lot of medieval stone doorways.
At this stage of his life Burrell was well into his 90s
but this time he was collecting with a view of incorporating these
enormous monumental architectural pieces into the very fabric
of his new proposed gallery.
And I must say, it does sit comfortably well
when you see the contemporary meeting the medieval.
It's a wonderful, wonderful marriage.
But Burrell's eccentric ideas and requests didn't stop there.
Another of Burrell's stipulations was he wanted three rooms
from his home - Hutton Castle - recreated right here in the museum
to the exact size and scale, and I'm standing in one of them now.
This was his dining room, complete with contents.
Now, it really shows Burrell's enthusiasm for the Middle Ages,
especially English furniture,
from the 1300s right through to the 1500s.
What we're looking at here, though, is slightly later.
It's more Elizabethan and Tudor period
but it is the finest English oak you will see,
right down to its carved linenfold panels here, its rich, deep carving,
wonderful heads of men, figures everywhere.
This is just mind-blowing. Absolutely mind-blowing.
And to think that Burrell used this room every day of his life.
He had his supper here...
..at this table.
The collection is so vast it would take a building three times
the size of this one to display it all.
And down in the store rooms you get an idea of just how big it is.
Tester beds, joint stools, coffers,
gothic tracery, screens, trunks.
Gosh, this is really is a history of furniture.
Oh, it just gets better and better, it really does.
You have to understand, this is the very best, the creme de la creme.
Very, very nice in here.
Oh! 14th century French.
I've got to the chair section.
Look at all those chairs.
Here you have the history of the regional chair,
the vernacular chair,
different regions throughout the country producing different styles.
I've never seen a collection like this before in my life.
Thanks to Burrell's passion, his keen eye and generosity,
this priceless collection of outstanding fine-art objects
has been saved for the nation.
But Burrell was a very private man and he made one final stipulation -
that there would be no information about him in the museum.
But his legacy speaks for him.
The Burrell Collection is a celebration of human creativity
spanning 4,000 years,
made more remarkable cos it is the collection of one remarkable man.
The museum is definitely well worth several visits
because the Burrell Collection is a collection to fall in love with.
Welcome back to Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery,
our host location for today.
As you can see, we're surrounded by fine art and antiques.
I think it's about time we joined up with our experts who are in the main
reception area and find some more antiques to take off to auction.
And who knows? Maybe we can make some history of our very own.
With so much going on,
Will has gone upstairs to search for his very own piece of Scotland.
What can you tell me about it? Is this hung pride of place at home?
It's kept in a drawer,
away from the kids.
Really? It's modern-day houses...
Yeah. I mean, that is an element that comes into valuing antiques -
how do we decorate our homes?
Whereas in the old days there used to be a lot of pictures
hanging on the walls, you'll be surprised now the number of houses
I go into and there's not a picture in sight.
Not like my house where I think every spare inch is covered
with pictures, my collection of pictures by unknown artists, mainly.
But this isn't an unknown artist cos we've got a nice clear
signature down there at the bottom.
It's a MacKenzie. Now, you've done a bit of research, haven't you?
Yeah. He was born in 1800 and died in 1880.
OK, so spanned most of that 19th century.
He was part of the Scottish Academy and I think somewhere
down the line he got kicked out for some odd reason.
I don't know why.
That would be an interesting thing to research further. I mean,
that's the slight disadvantage we have on these valuation days,
in that if you had come to see me at my office I would have given you
a receipt for it, I would have done a bit of research, gone on
down that route you've suggested.
Just to dig out the facts, really,
whereas here it's very much, you know, we're on our toes
and we're very much at the moment rather than having time to do
a lot of research. But looking at the style of picture it's not
anything that is sort of, shall we say,
pushing any artistic boundaries or experimenting with different
factors that, you know, certainly towards the late 19th century,
were sort of the birth of modern art.
He's what I would call a... sort of a professional artist.
He obviously had his formula for painting. Yeah.
Like I said, the market for pictures changes. Where did you buy it?
Is it from a gallery? Have you got a receipt?
It was a local car-boot sale. Really?
What are the car-boots like round here? What did you have to pay?
Erm...roughly about ?4. ?4, can you imagine?
You wouldn't be able to buy the paint to paint it with ?4, really.
So, ?4 for a Scottish picture.
I would like to think it's worth between ?200/?300,
something like that. How does that fit with...? Yeah, that sounds OK.
Not a bad return for ?4, is it? Yeah.
It's very good. We'll reserve it at 200.
Are you happy to have a bit of discretion? Yeah.
If it gets to 180 or something like that? Yeah, that'd be fine.
Excellent. So 200 reserve with discretion and thank you
for bringing along your car-boot bargain. You're welcome.
Well, when you find a bargain like that, it's hard not to
blow your own trumpet.
Or should I say horn?
I didn't think I'd be able to do that!
Well, I have to tell you, you do not look like a Congolese tribesman.
Well, I'm not. I didn't think you would be. I'm a Scotsman.
I love tribal art. Especially things that were made for the tribe to use
and not made for the tourist market.
This is made from ivory
but it was taken from an elephant
by the native people of the country.
When the native people of Africa worked with the animals,
hunted and killed, took what they needed and didn't waste,
for thousands of years. It was only when the Westerners arrived
and decimated the elephants that the problems started.
But this would have been
used as a horn for contact in the forests in the centre of Congo.
Sometimes they were used in celebrations and in parties
and it's known as an Oliphant.
Now, what is an Oliphant doing with you in Glasgow?
Well, it's come down through the family
because it was originally my great uncle Sandy who was a civil engineer
but he was also the commissioner for the upper Blue Nile in Egypt.
This isn't Egyptian, this is further into...
Well, he was upper Blue Nile, so who knows where he went. So Nubia?
I've actually got a photograph.
I'm not sure what he was doing but...
that is my great uncle Sandy.
My dad's uncle, obviously. His dad's brother.
The classic look with the pith helmet. Yeah, yeah.
So when do you think this was taken?
Well, this is what we're not sure about.
We're placing it about 1910, 1913.
But he died in 1933, I think.
So he really was an explorer of Egypt as well, really.
This is before the great Tutankhamen and all that sort of excavation.
What a lovely picture.
Got some more things here that might be of interest.
All part of the one collection my great uncle had.
Ah! In the original bag.
A Bank of Egypt bag.
They do look to be Egyptian, actually,
and probably made for the Western market, those.
I think they're probably napkin rings, something like that.
This is the most interesting piece. It's probably 1890,
something like that.
Way before the ivory laws started. Uh-huh.
And anything pre-1948 is legal to sell. It's not hugely valuable,
so we'll put them all together as one lot, all three,
I don't know, put the Egyptian bank bag in as well,
and 120, I think. If it made over 140 we'd be doing very well. Right.
Now, do you want to put a reserve on it? Yeah, definitely.
What sort of thing were you thinking? I was thinking ?50-?60.
Is that fair enough? Let's put it at least that. I think 70.
I think if they don't make ?70 you ought to... Keep them.
Keep them in the family. Anita Manning on the rostrum.
She's a wizard with the gavel. Ah, right, I've seen her in action.
She'll do well for us.
We have had ivory items on Flog It! before but as James quite rightly
pointed out, selling and buying ivory that was made after 1947
So any good auctioneer will thoroughly check the origin
of a piece, helping the conservation of these beautiful animals.
Next, something far more modern has turned up on Will's table.
Christine, I hope you don't mind me
saying that you look like a pretty trendy sort of girl.
Is that right? Well, I like to think I am.
One finger on the pulse of fashion and all that.
Yeah. Very nice. And is that what attracted you to this, I think,
pretty spectacular piece of jewellery?
Well, I do look out for good things from charity shops.
Charity shops? Yeah. You know what that makes me start thinking?
That you haven't actually paid a lot of money for this, have you? No.
Dare I ask how much you paid?
Well, to me, ?4 was quite a lot for a brooch in a charity shop. Was it?
Yeah. So you must have had an inkling that it was...
I just liked it. It's a very stylish piece.
I can see why you were attracted to it
because it's got that almost sort of naturalistic sort of feel about it,
with the gold. Cos it's solid gold, make no mistake.
I've had a look and there's no reason to suspect why these
stones aren't diamonds. They are good clean stones, nice clarity.
I've had a look for a maker's mark - can't see anything.
I would imagine, date-wise, it should be post-war.
It's either going to be '50s, '60s, maybe even into the '70s.
And that is a sort of period in collecting that is growing.
People are starting to appreciate how the designs evolved
and how new designs emerged and they were sort of letting go of the old
and really pushing forward to a...
a new look, wasn't it? Yeah.
Have you worn it? No.
You've never worn it? No. No? But you just liked it? I just liked it.
At the time I was saving brooches,
and that was one of the ones I picked up.
Did you have an inkling when you bought it that it was
something special? Yeah.
A good tip is if you turn a piece of jewellery over and look at the back,
you can just see the quality and craftsmanship, can't you,
that someone's taken the effort to make
the piece of jewellery from scratch, and the quality is obviously there,
from the back. The piece that you're not meant to see,
if they've taken the extra effort to make the back as good as the front,
then you know someone's put a lot of work and effort into it.
So, ?4, what's that worth?
18-carat gold and it's well publicised that gold and silver
prices are high, stabilising a little bit but still high.
I think you're probably going to turn your ?4 into probably
close to sort of ?400, I would have thought.
If we can say ?300 as a figure to reserve it at,
I don't know how you feel about that.
Smashing! Yeah? That's pretty good, isn't it? Yeah. Not a bad return.
We can see that you've got a unique eye
and you're spotting the right pieces in the right places
so, you know, all I can say is keep doing what you're doing. Thank you.
# And I go la-la-la-la-la
# She's got the look... #
Well, we've certainly seen some real gems come through the door today,
all worthy of our magnificent host location.
And I'm rather excited about some of these.
I can't wait to put those values to the test,
so we have to say goodbye to this magnificent museum and art gallery
as we go over to the auction room for the very last time today.
And, in case you've forgotten what's coming along with us,
here's a quick recap.
John's moody Scottish seascape could whip up a storm of local interest.
Ian's ivory horn may be far from Scottish but hopefully it will draw
the attention of the big hunters at the sale room.
And Christine's solid gold find has all the makings of a modern classic.
Hopefully it can fetch a price to match.
MUSIC: Money by The Flying Lizards
# I want money... #
Yesterday at the preview day I caught up with the auctioneer,
the wonderful Anita Manning,
and this is what she had to say about one of our items.
It might just struggle.
She's done a bit more research into the painting
and found it's not the artist we thought.
There is a listed MacKenzie artist but the signature is
different from the signature that we have on that oil.
So it's a different MacKenzie. So the value's not two to three.
Have you adjusted that? I've spoken to the vender... John.
I've explained to him and I asked him
if it was OK to bring the estimate down to sort of 50-80.
So we got 50-80, he's going to be pleased because he picked that up
in a car-boot for ?4.
It was a good buy. It was. So fingers crossed he's going to make
a brilliant profit, and it just goes to show that if you get up
early in the morning, go to those car-boots, buy something
and stick it in auction, there still is money to be made. Yeah.
A bit of extra research can make a lot of difference.
If only we knew who made this piece of tribal art.
Good luck, Colin. We're putting the ivory to the test now.
I love the horn, I think that's a super little thing. Great lot.
And typical of you to pick up on that one.
Not a lot of money, ?80-?100.
Thought it would have been a bit more. They're relatively common
but the more decorative ones,
decorated with roundels like the napkin rings,
they were used at weddings. They're the rare ones.
And they come this big. Wow. OK, good luck, fingers crossed.
Let's put it to the test, here we go.
We have the Oliphant tusk with the male's head handle and you have
the two ivory rings with the engraved decoration.
19th century ivory, ladies and gentlemen.
Can we say ?200? 200?
Start me at ?100 for the ivory.
?100. ?50, then.
Start me at 30.
Any advance on 30? 40.
40 with you, sir.
?60. Any advance on ?60? No. All done at ?60.
They didn't sell, Colin. It didn't reach the reserve and thank goodness
James put a reserve on for you.
I thought the trumpet horn was worth better. It was worth that.
But the problem is not many people understand tribal art
and because it's such a specialist area maybe it wasn't the right place
and the right day. Sorry about that. It's all right.
It stays in the family, which is actually a good thing.
You didn't give them away.
Now, you know I am a big fan of traditional arts and crafts
and wherever we are in the country filming I like to see as much of it
as possible. It's a way of embracing these traditional skills,
and Scotland has one of the oldest skills in the world
at basket making, particularly in the form of willow weaving,
and something I've always wanted to have a go at. Take a look at this.
Here in Scotland the ancient tradition of basket weaving
can be traced back a staggering 9,000 years to the early settlers
in the Hebrides who weaved willow baskets to catch their fish.
With these designs and patents being passed down through the generations,
modern basket makers today are carrying on the tradition,
using the same techniques as their forebears.
The techniques may not have changed but modern practitioners are adding
their own contemporary twist,
creating objects of beauty and practicality. I'm here to meet
Lisa Bech, who's one of Scotland's leading willow weaving artists,
and hopefully I'm going to have a lesson in weaving willow
and make something of my own.
Lisa is a one-woman weaving dynamo.
She and her husband Ian have turned
a barren patch of countryside in the southern uplands
into a veritable oasis.
In the middle of this patch Lisa has all the raw materials she needs -
lots of home-grown willow.
Lisa, hello. Hello. Welcome. Thank you. Come on in.
Lisa is living the dream, having turned her hobby into a career
as an internationally renowned artist.
Lisa, your work is beautiful. It's so sculptural and eye-catching.
The willow looks like it's alive
and breathing and nature's intended these organic forms.
Well, I grow my own willow and I live in a beautiful landscape,
so I can go out, harvest the willow and really try to emulate nature.
But I know I'll never get there. But I think you have! I can see
where your inspirations are with nature and your surroundings
but at the same time, from a distance,
you would think these are centuries old. Because you've copied
those same traditions, those same techniques. You've given it
a different twist. This could be a fish trap or lobster pot
and it is those techniques that I have used.
There are so many different hues here. You're using different
species of willow, aren't you?
I've got about 22 different varieties growing in the garden.
They all grow here? Yeah, yeah.
Some of them do come in the sort of greens and browns
and occasionally into black and orange.
This one, to me, that's incredibly organic.
It reminds me of a seed pod. Is that fair? I'm happy for how
it speaks to you. But it's moving, it's got movement and energy. Yes.
And it catches the light. You can see that when you turn it,
and from whoever angle you look at that...
There's always something of interest.
It's a wonderful piece of sculpture.
I'm making one at the moment, shall I show you how...?
Are you halfway through one? More or less. Can we have a look at
the technique and just watch it develop?
I'd love to show you. Oh, brilliant.
Gosh, you are quick.
Obviously this is really advanced and I couldn't tackle
something like this but could you show me something very basic
that you could make with a good master maker like you,
let's say, something I could make in 30 minutes?
I can show you how to make... I call it a bird feeder but you can
use it to store your onions or garlic. I'd like that. We can
hang it up in the kitchen. Very useful. I like useful items.
Learning from someone like Lisa is a real privilege
but what she calls a simple design may be a bit tricky.
I have to warn you, this can be addictive. OK.
You put the first one in.
Around the stake, come back on itself.
Can you feel how meditative it can be? Mm. Lovely.
The rhythm of it. Very therapeutic.
This weaving stroke is called three-rod waling.
And where does this originate?
Don't ask. OK!
I think it must be Anglo-Saxon.
'In the past, woven baskets were an essential part of everyday life,
'used for catching, gathering and storing food.
'Keeping these skills alive is hugely important
'but as I'm finding out, it's not as easy as Lisa makes it look.'
Pull right in and bend.
'Lisa is right, however - once you get the hang of it,
'it's actually quite relaxing and quite addictive,
'and there's nothing better than picking up new skills.
'Even if they are old ones.'
'It won't be quite the art Lisa can make
'but I think it's just as satisfying.'
I can't believe I've made that. Obviously I couldn't do it
without your help but it is possible for someone like me to make
something like this in half an hour if you've got the kit and
the tuition. So thank you so much, Lisa. I'm going to look out for
your work in the art galleries because I know they will
become the collectibles and the antiques of the future.
Big thank you. You're very welcome.
And here I have some willow cuttings for you. If you put these
in the ground you will get your own willow bed. Will I? Yes. Fantastic!
Because that has inspired me to do something at home,
if I had the willow.
I will do something. And then you can start a collection of
different willow plants and increase your palette as you go.
There you are, something to hang the onions and garlics in today,
could be baskets tomorrow, but seriously, I will go home,
plant this willow, have fun watching it grow and be creative with it.
It's relatively easy if you have the right teacher and it's quite
refreshing to meet people like Lisa as well, living the good life,
being inspired by nature and creating something, well,
out of nothing, virtually.
If I was you, I'd give it a go. It's a breath of fresh air.
Now it's time for John's painting. It's a different artist to the one
we thought but how big a difference will it make to its value?
Since the valuation day, Anita's had a chat to John.
Anita's lowered that reserve to ?50-?80.
It's not the MacKenzie we were thinking of. Right.
But I have a feeling this will meet both estimates. I could see it
doing over ?80 quite easily.
This is a nice picture, ladies and gentlemen. Can we say 150?
Will you start me at ?50?
30 bid. Any advance on 30?
We've sold it, John.
?60 with the gentleman. ?60.
It's the percentages here. It's a fantastic turnaround.
Yes, the hammer's gone down! ?60. Fabulous return on four quid.
It really is. Get back to that car-boot sale. Certainly will.
Or you could do what Christine did
and find your bargains in a charity shop.
Remind us how much you paid for it. ?4. Which you said you thought
was a bit too much for a charity shop. Yes. That is cheeky, isn't it?
It's an outrage. You're after a bargain all the time, then?
Did you beat them down?
No. I was because there was a stone missing.
There is? Yes, a diamond. A diamond.
But you didn't know at the time that it was 18-carat gold.
You had a gut feeling. It was good.
This is a wonderful piece, ladies and gentlemen,
an iconic piece from the 1960s.
Can we say ?500?
500. He's going to come straight in.
You're saving me time.
300 with you, sir.
Any advance on ?300? 300.
390. ?390. That's good.
Any advance on 390? All done at 390.
That was a ?4 investment. ?390. Hammer's gone down.
There is commission to pay, don't forget that, they'll deduct that
from the hammer price, but that's a very good result. That's a classic
Flog it! story. We love those stories - finding something for
next to nothing and turning it into a profit.
That's brilliant, that's what it's all about. Thank you.
There you are, it's all over for our owners. The auction is still
going on but what a day we've had here. Everyone has gone home happy
and that's what it's all about. I think it's time for me to have
a well-earned rest, that's for sure.
But anyway, I hope you've enjoyed today's show. Do join us again
cos there's going to be many more surprises to come in the future.
But for now, from Glasgow, it's goodbye.
Let's Sing And Dance exploded onto our screens,
setting the stage alight...literally.
You look like roadkill with rhythm.
Stars were a-swinging... Could somebody help me?