Antiques series. Experts Michael Baggott and Will Axon carry out valuations on the decks of the Victorian warship HMS Warrior in Portsmouth.
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Walking on the decks of this historic ship, HMS Warrior,
you are literally transported back in time to the world
of the Victorian sailor where you can see hundreds of men
handling the yarn, rigging and the sails,
ready to fire a shot at the enemy on the fighting deck here.
Well, there's a totally different crew on board today,
but they do have their work cut out.
Welcome to Flog It!
Flog It! first visited Portsmouth a good six years ago,
back in series five. Tell you what, we found so much booty back then
we decided to come back! And look at the weather, we're blessed with it.
-Summer frocks are on. Hello, everyone!
-What have you got in there?
Sandwiches. Good luck with that. That's 80 to 120, isn't it?
What are they? Cheese and pickle?
-That was a good guess, wasn't it? What have you brought along?
-My ginger jar.
-Ginger jar. Well, good luck with that.
You see, it doesn't matter what you brought along, you could be
one of the lucky ones going through to auction later on
and earning a small fortune. I know what this lot are here for,
to ask our experts that all-important question, which is...
CROWD: What's it worth?
And if you're happy with the valuation, what are you going to do?
Already walking the plank are our experts
Will Axon and Michael Baggott.
We're going to have a marvellous day.
The sun is shining, everyone body is smiling
and it looks like Michael Baggott has spotted a real gem down there.
A pair of Chinese vases.
Let's take a closer look at what he's talking about.
Ruth, I spotted you in the queue with these marvellous vases.
-Can you tell me, where did they come from?
-They were my grandmother's.
I think they might have been a wedding present.
She was married in June 1929.
And obviously when she passed away they passed to me
and I don't really use them.
They're just stuck behind a door and it's a shame, really.
-They're doorstops at the moment?
-Well, they are heavy enough!
-They scream Chinese.
-But very, very early form of Chinese vessel.
This shape would date back possibly 2,500 or 3,000 years.
What we've got here is we've got cloisonne decoration
and there are two ways that you can put enamelling into a metal surface.
Champleve and cloisonne.
Cloisonne is basically where you make wires in the body,
and then you'll fill it with powdered glass
and you'll fire it
and the glass will vitrify and melt and form a surface.
-Then you rub it back.
There was a great revival of Chinese style in the West
in the 1680s,
then again in 1750,
then again in 1820,
and then at the end of the 19th-century.
These are end of the 19th-century. They're about 1870.
-Up to about 1900.
Oh, I didn't think they'd be that old.
Really you date them by the quality
and also by the colour of the bronze because they are cast bronze.
You've got these little zoomorphic handles.
Yes, I do like the handles, I must admit.
-They're quite characterful, aren't they?
-Yes, they are.
-And again, they are copied from archaic Chinese bronze vessels.
What they are is a nice, large, decorative pair.
-Any ideas of the value?
-I've absolutely no idea.
I mean, Chinese things are going through the roof at the moment
but the things that the Chinese want to buy back
are Imperial quality, made for their own market.
-These are very much for export and it's poor quality.
-No, that's fine.
-Let's be cautious and say £80-£120.
-And let's put a fixed reserve of £70 on them.
-They won't go for any less than that.
-So, thank you very much for bringing them in.
-I'm sure we'll get them away at the sale for you.
-Excellent, thank you very much.
Michael Baggott with a masterclass in cloisonne.
And now to a very special piece of bronze made by a very special man.
-So, Sandy, tell me, are you a dog lover?
Yes, I'm an animal lover.
I love them dogs, I think they're beautiful, they really are.
Is that what drew you originally to the sculpture?
It was my father's originally. He left them to me.
Was your father a keen collector, was he?
Yes, he used to collect lots of bits and pieces.
He used to go to jumble sales and charity shops.
OK, that's always a good start.
-And it's rubbed off on you, has it?
-Yes, because I'm now doing it!
So, you've obviously done a bit of research,
I would have thought, on a piece like this.
-Pierre Jules Mene.
Yes, born 1810 in France, Paris, lived until 1877.
And I would pretty much say that without doubt,
he was the most successful animalier bronze producer of his time,
if not, ever.
Because, he was a man who was quite happy to be down the foundry
sleeves rolled up, apron on, getting his hands dirty,
producing the bronzes that he would then
sell on to the French aristocracy.
And he would be just as comfortable, shall we say,
schmoozing his clients as he would be with working
with the lads in the foundry, getting his hands dirty.
This has been made from a mould.
-You make the bronze and the mould still exists, doesn't it?
So, when Mene died in 1877,
the moulds of the bronzes were passed on to his son,
and of course, that meant he could keep producing the bronzes.
But you wouldn't say it was by Mene necessarily
because it wasn't in his lifetime.
So, you got to be a bit careful that even though
it is signed Mene, that's signed in the actual mould itself,
rather than it being produced in his lifetime,
with him actually having handled it, checked over the quality,
cos he would have done that with every single bronze that left.
A lot of the time when you get later cast examples,
which are using the same moulds,
but are cast with perhaps not quite as much care
and attention to detail,
you lose the definition, whereas here,
you've got real character, haven't you, on the faces of these dogs.
And, underneath of course, you want to see this.
You want to see, these haven't been off in years, have they?
No, they're all original.
That's exactly what you want to see so I think this is probably
produced towards the end of his lifetime,
maybe even into the late 19th century, early 20th century.
But I'm telling you, it's still a nice example, isn't it?
It is, it's beautiful.
-What do you think it's worth? Have you got an idea in your mind?
It's got to be worth over £150, I would reckon.
-I would agree with you.
-I would reckon.
-I would agree with you.
If we were definite that this was within his lifetime
and he'd handled it and so on,
I would have said the value would have been in the high hundreds,
but I think because I'm erring on the side of caution
that it might be a later model,
I'm happy to try it at sort of 200 to 300.
Yes, because I wouldn't sell it for less than £150, I don't think.
Do you want to put the reserve at, say, £180?
I don't think your going to have any trouble seeing it away because...
-I shouldn't think so because...
-Good subject, good name, nice quality.
-You ticked all my boxes, Sandy. See you at the saleroom!
-Thank you very much.
-Not at all.
-That's great, thank you.
Michael's gone ashore
and it looks like he's found something rather special.
Christopher, thank you for bringing along this most extraordinary
pair of candlesticks. I'm sure there's a story behind them.
Can you tell me what you know about them and where you got them from?
Yes, they came from the consul general in Guatemala City.
He was consul general from 1957 to 1960
and he was a friend of the family and they were given as a gift.
They are set in sterling standard silver and the stone actually
-comes from the temple of the snake god at Chichen Itza.
And they are in the form of the entrance to Chichen Itza.
Good Lord. So, the stone itself is 500, 600, 700 years old.
-Must be, yes.
-And yet, what they've done is rather strange to us.
They've taken fragments of the ruins,
-which, of course, you can't do these days!
-Well, no, no!
And they've fashioned into these most extraordinary candlesticks.
There is a fashion for silver working
in this sort of Mayan, Aztec, sort of native South American style.
I think it really started in Mexico,
the Taxco company and Hector Aguilar.
-They were basically working in the '20s, '30s and '40s.
They're super. If we turn them over, they are marked sterling,
they have the little Mexican symbol on for sterling silver
-and the 925 mark and they're rather spectacular.
And I daresay, it's not a word I use often,
but they're quite funky and they would go into, I think,
many modern interiors and set it off an absolute treat.
-They were an 18th birthday present to you?
-Yes. That was 1962.
-Giving away your age now!
-I know, yes.
Why have you decided to sell them now?
Well, I am now in a very small flat.
I've got loads of other things, silver, china
and there's only so much you can keep in one small space.
Well, I think they're so unusual
is quite difficult for me to value them.
I think what we'll do is put a fixed reserve of £150 on them.
-But I think, let's put a wider estimate on and say £200-£400.
And hopefully get the top of that estimate?
Hopefully get the top end.
Thank you for bringing along something that is unique to me,
I've not seen the like before
and I'm sure the people at the auction will be equally delighted.
-And hopefully bidding!
-I hope so!
-Thank you very much indeed.
Ruth's Chinese vases are a good example of cloisonne work
but will anyone like the look of them in the auction room?
PJ Mene is the name to remember in bronze but will these greyhounds
be quick out of the starter's block in the sale?
And these candlesticks are so unusual,
they are very difficult to value.
We are leaving the busy dockyards of Portsmouth
to head north for today's auction.
And this is where we're putting all of our items to the test today,
Andrew Smith & Son auction rooms in the heart of Hampshire.
A little village called Itchen Stoke.
I tell you what, this barn is absolutely full of gems.
It's got all the ingredients of a classic sale today.
And we have two auctioneers on the rostrum,
Andrew Smith and Nick Jarrett.
At auction buyers and sellers both pay commission.
Today it's 15% for our sellers.
But now, our first lot.
This is a first on Flog It! - that's for sure.
We don't get that many Mexican things actually.
-They are quite unusual.
-They are very, very unusual.
I know they took your eye. Beautifully worked.
At first, I'll be honest, at first I didn't like them at all.
I really didn't. They were very unusual and I thought I'd film them.
By the time we'd finished, I thought they were lovely.
Let's find out what the bidders think.
Lot 275, the sterling silver and carved stone snake god candlesticks.
These are terrific, have you seen them? Lovely style to them.
Possibility that the stone is actually antique, from a temple.
I've got several bids.
I'm going to start you hear at £110.
120 can I say?
At 110, 120 is it?
130, 140, 150?
£140, 150 can I say?
£150. On the side here at 150.
Selling, make no mistake, at £150.
I don't think they're expensive at this level either.
At £150, all done? At £150, are you done?
Sold at £150. That is auctions for you.
You win some, you lose some, but in this case we didn't lose,
-we got it away...
-..on the reserve,
-which is the main thing.
At least they're out of the cupboard,
they'll be used by someone.
As long as we haven't angered the snake god, I'm fine with that!
From Mexico to China.
Well, a touch of the Orient comes to the south coast now
with a pair of Chinese bronze vases belonging to Ruth.
They're about to go under the hammer with a value of around £80-£120.
Well, let's see what they make, shall we?
It's worth a try, isn't it? Here we go, let's find out what the bidders think.
Lot 540, the Chinese copper and champleve vases.
Good vases, these. Where are you going to start me for them?
£50? £50 then, surely?
£50 I have. And five?
55, 60, five, 70?
-Oh, we need a bit more than that.
-We do, I'm afraid.
70, can I say? At £65? No?
At £65, then, all done.
Not sold, I'm afraid.
Sorry about that.
-Oh! Never mind.
-Look on the bright side, it's not a chest of drawers,
-you don't have to lug that home, do you?
-At least they go on the back seat of the car.
-That's right, yes.
Today wasn't the day for Kim so
she's decided to put them back into auction in a couple of month's time.
Who let the dogs out? That's what I want to know.
There's lots running around here and Sandy,
you are just about to sell your bronze sculpture of a greyhound.
-You are a dog lover.
-I'm a cat lover more.
-That's why you're selling your bronze!
-But I do like dogs!
-I love everything.
-Have you checked
the ones running around here? They're all over the place!
They certainly are!
Wonderful casting anyway. I like this bronze greyhound.
-It's lovely, isn't it?
-I think it's wonderful.
And you're a bit of a collector, aren't you?
-You want to do a bit of dealing.
-Good for you!
-I go to antiques fairs and things.
-It's great fun, isn't it?
-It really is good fun.
It's just good to get out there.
Good luck with that. Let's see what we can do for you, shall we?
Fingers crossed here we go.
Lot 500, the bronze group of the greyhound and puppy.
-It is a quality piece.
-And I've got to start you at 140.
150, can I say? 140 with me.
150, is it? 140, here, 150, 160.
-Good, we've got some interest in the room.
The chap over there against the wall is bidding quite heavily.
-He's going to try...
-He's going to get it for 190.
190, I have, are you sure?
-I wanted more.
-Well, so did I.
-We all want more!
190, think that is it. At £190, are we done?
-Yes. It is gone.
-I think he got a good deal there.
I think he did, too.
Back at our valuation day on HMS Warrior,
the waiting crowd are being entertained
by the Royal Marines Association Concert Band,
playing a selection of sea shanties.
A sea shanty was sung to accompany work on board ships,
although not many were sung on war vessels such as Warrior.
It is thought that Drunken Sailor,
was one of the few allowed by the Royal Navy.
MUSIC: Drunken Sailor
What a fabulous performance from some very skilled musicians.
Now, Will has found two hand-made vases that you may well recognise,
but can you guess what he thinks they are worth?
Well, Ann, from the Spinnaker behind me there,
a bit of cutting edge technology in the 21st century,
down to these, which, in their time, the Moorcroft family were
pretty cutting edge in technology and design, too.
Where have you got them from and why are you selling them?
We bought them in the late '70s or early '80s at a collector's fair
in the Guildhall in Portsmouth, here.
OK, so they have not strayed far from where you bought them.
No, not at all. We just bought them because we liked them.
We didn't know anything about them when we bought them.
You've tapped into where Moorcroft were coming from with this
very artistic decoration, very decorative,
very colourful almost on this sea-blue ground, isn't it?
It is very organic, shall we say, which is really the angle they
were coming from, as well as with the shape and with the decoration.
You say you bought them from a fair,
so, what sort of money did you have to pay for them?
If I remember rightly, I think we paid about £60 for the two.
That is not bad going, £60.
Granted that it's for the earlier,
larger pieces of Moorcroft where the big money is spent, but, I mean,
I think we would probably have to put a matched pair, maybe.
I think they're just slightly different,
so I am going to suggest to you that we will put these in with
a bit of a come-and-get-me estimate,
100 to 150, how do you feel about that?
I know it's a long time since you bought them and you may be want a better return.
But we have had the use of them in that time and enjoyed them.
That is the way to look at it, really. Perfect.
What is the money for? Are you going to replace them with more Moorcroft
or are you going to go off on another collecting tangent?
-We have got a Fifth Wheel so we are probably...
-A Fifth Wheel?
-Yes, it is a kind of caravan.
-Oh, I thought it was a condition!
It is an articulated vehicle that goes on the back of a truck bed.
-Very easy to use.
-Let's have a look.
-That will give you an idea.
-Yes, you're right, there is you and your husband?
Well, listen, 100 to 150, let's hope we can get you top estimate,
a bit of cash to put towards your holiday.
-I look forward to seeing you at the auction.
So, 100 to 150, did you get that right?
Later, we will find out if they make more as they go under the hammer
but now, we are back on deck with Michael.
Martina, thank you for bringing this beautiful lady today.
What can you tell me about it?
Well, Michael, I actually inherited her from my godparents
together with 16 other ivory or -
well, we were hoping that it's ivory - items.
Right. That brings up a few interesting points.
The first is that there are so many copies of ivory
in resin, in plastic, in bone.
Bone's quite easy to tell,
because you'll get little black flecks from the vesicles that show through.
The plastic forgeries can be much more cunning.
They often have the same density and feel as ivory.
We must just say that this is old ivory,
not anything that was made in the 20th century.
Ivory can only be sold if it was made before 1947.
This piece certainly was.
This figure would date to about 1870, 1880,
but if we look at the figure in detail,
it's quite difficult to tell,
but if you look here by the shoulder -
I'm naturally drawn to that area, I don't know why -
you can see a little bit of grain in it, and if we just move it,
there is slight flexing and a depth to it
which you don't get with plastic cos it's all surface decoration
and patination with plastic.
I think this is a figure of Diana the Huntress,
-because we've got her quiver.
We've got her faithful hunting dog
and then we have her holding her kill, the boar's head.
That's a very Teutonic emblem.
You wouldn't expect to see her with a boar's head in France,
but in a German carving, that's absolutely fine.
She's nicely done.
I wouldn't say she's the very finest quality ivory I've seen,
but very nicely done, and German rather than the French Dieppe carving.
-Any idea of the value?
I think we need to be sensible with it,
just because she's holding the dead boar's head.
That might just put a few people off
-that like the more Art Deco graceful figures.
Let's say £400-£600.
Let's put a fixed reserve of, say, £400 on it.
-Are you happy to put it into the auction?
-I am, yes.
Because she's only in a box at the moment.
Well, get her out of the box and on display
and in front of some admiring eyes, I hope.
-They would appreciate it more.
-I certainly do.
Thank you very much for bringing it in.
In Roman mythology, Diana was the goddess of the hunt
and of the moon,
and it looks like Michael will join the masses who worship her.
Will's back on shore now, but is he in trouble?
Steve, you're making me a bit nervous in your uniform.
I know my valuations can be a bit out sometimes,
but as far as I'm aware, that's not an arrestable offence, is it?
-No, I don't think so.
-I'm in the clear, then.
-Should be all right.
But look what you've brought along today. These are great fun.
Do you wear these? Are they from your own collection?
No. My mother gave them to me a few years ago, and she got them
off her father, who was in the Royal Navy,
so I don't know how he came to be in possession of them.
Right, OK. They're a lovely little pair of cufflinks.
When I first saw them, I thought, these are some nice gold cufflinks
with enamelled pictures of the Titanic,
-but having had a closer look at them, they're not gold, are they?
They are base metal, so we'd have to call them sort of gilt metal.
The centenary has only recently passed,
so the sort of thing that we want to see on Flog It!
You tell me that your grandfather was in the Royal Navy.
-In the Royal Navy, yes.
-So do you think that they probably came from him, then, originally?
Yes, I have talked to people about these.
Why would they be making souvenirs earlier than 100 years?
If my grandfather had them, they've got to be at least 50 years old.
-So, unless they were a bicentenary thing.
Otherwise, I was thinking,
maybe they were issued to the crews
for cufflinks themselves, or something.
I think they're possibly commemorative
-rather than being on board at the time, shall we say.
Because, even at the time, the Titanic was causing quite a stir.
So I think there was a market for Titanic-related memorabilia
-even then. Not really a cufflink man?
-No, not really.
Well, there are enough people out there who are obsessed -
and that is the word for it - with the Titanic memorabilia.
I think we'll find a new buyer for these.
My valuation would be sort of around the £50 mark,
sort of £40-£60. How do you feel about that?
-That would be fine, yes.
-Yes, you'd be happy with that?
Well, thanks for coming off duty and seeing us.
Shake you by the hand, and see you at the saleroom.
-You don't have to come in uniform.
What a fabulous valuation day we've had here on HMS Warrior,
and particularly in Portsmouth Harbour.
But sadly, it's time for us to say goodbye,
as we get landlocked now into the auction room in Winchester.
Here's the booty that we're taking with us.
Will's estimate was £100-£150, but we all know Moorcroft can make more.
Will this sale cause jaws to drop at auction?
Or will it be the ivory figure that combines beauty and the beast?
There are thousands of Titanic fans in the country.
Will they set sail to bid on these cufflinks?
It's back to the saleroom now,
where it's light, camera, auction for the last time today.
Good luck with these cufflinks.
It would be really nice to think that they could be the Titanic.
-I am pretty sure they are.
-Well, I think it is the Titanic.
You've got the four funnels, you see, and on the Titanic,
you had three funnels for the steam and one for show.
So, the four funnels on these, I am pretty sure...
Which could add to that £40-£60 value,
it could bring it up a bit, couldn't it?
Well, these Titanic collectors are avid collectors.
-Now, I gather all the money is going towards a pram.
-So tell me about this pram. Who's it for?
-For my daughter.
She's 24 and she's expecting her first child in November.
-So you're going to be a grandad?
-Yes, first time.
Let's find out what the cufflinks do.
They're going under the hammer now.
A pair of metal cufflinks with enamel pictures,
possibly the Titanic, lot 245.
Start me at £50. £50?
40? £40, surely.
-30, if you like.
-Come on! They're worth that!
32, 35, 37. 40.
At £42 and selling. Is there 5?
At £45, seated at the front here. At £45, are you all done?
At £45, last time.
It looks like we are selling at 45.
-Yes, the hammer's gone down.
-There you go.
-Glad to see them away.
-But they've gone.
They've gone, and that's the end of them, yeah.
-Little bit of money towards the pushchair.
-Yes, we might get a wheel out of that!
Now, will this be one of those Moorcroft moments?
Why are you selling the vases?
Well, we came down, because it was on the Warrior as well,
and it was a beautiful day...
-It was stunning.
-And we thought it would be a lovely experience.
A good day out. But you get to see how Flog It! is put together and made.
-And that was really interesting.
-Were you've impressed?
-I was, and everybody was so nice.
-We look after everybody, we really do.
-What are we looking for, Will?
-I think I said about £100 for the pair.
I think they've got to be worth that. A pair of Moorcroft vases.
-Yes, one of the best names in ceramics.
Lot 580, there is a pair of Moorcroft spot vases.
We have a commissioned bid. I'll start the bidding at £100.
-There we go.
110, 120, 130. Commissioned bid's out.
130 in the room. It there 140?
160. 170, 180, 190, 200.
-It's going. Well, it is a pair, isn't it? Let's face it.
At £190, then, if you're all done, very last time...
Yes! How about that? We are happy with that.
So that will get the food for the week, won't it?
-Or something like that.
-Who are you going with?
-Is he here today?
-Yes, yes, he's there.
-There he is.
It just shows you, even with popular pieces like Moorcroft,
you can never tell what they will make on the day.
An excellent sale. And finally, we end with a goddess.
Good luck, Martina, with the ivory figure.
Why have you picked this one out to sell,
because you've still got another 15 or so at home?
What was it about this one that you brought to Michael?
She just stood out very much,
and she was actually one of my godfather's favourites.
-He was very much into hunting.
-And it's Diana the Huntress.
So, classical figure. It's really, really nice. I like this.
It's beautifully carved.
It's typically late 19th in style
and the modelling of the features.
Let's find out what this auction room thinks.
There's a lot of bidders. Here we go.
Lot 105, the carved ivory classical figure of the huntress and hound.
One, two, three, four commissioned bids here.
Straight in at £700.
At £700 and selling. Is there 20?
-Straight in at £700.
At £700, are you all done?
At £700, commissioned bid, for the very last time...
Well, I never. Three commissioned bids,
straight in on the highest one, £700.
Has that changed your mind about the rest of the collection?
If they're all worth somewhere around that region,
you're in for a lot of money.
-I think I need Michael's advice on the rest.
-Take Michael's advice.
Slowly, slowly, but, yes, sell them.
We've come to the end of our day, and I tell you what,
you can never guarantee what's going to happen in an auction room. That is the beauty of them.
If you fancy having a go yourself, if you've got any unwanted antiques and collectables,
we would love to see you.
Bring them along to one of our valuation days.
As you can see, it's not just about antiques and collectables.
It can be about gypsy caravans and garden furniture.
If you've got it, we would love to sell it.
Details are on our BBC website, and if you don't have a computer,
check the details in your local press,
because we're coming to a town very near you soon.
Until then, from Hampshire, it's goodbye from all of us.