Paul Martin and team are in South Wales at the National Museum. Highlights include Swansea porcelain plates and a child's tea set.
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Today's show is full of drama, intrigue and bloodthirsty battles.
We're in South Wales, and you're watching Flog It!
We've pitched up our valuation day in Cardiff.
It may be Europe's youngest capital city,
but its history can be traced back 2,000 years.
So let's hope we find some ancient antiques and relics
on today's programme.
The thing I love about a Flog It! valuation day
is hundreds of people turn up.
And I do mean hundreds,
because the queue goes all around this magnificent building.
People have come from far and wide,
laden with bags and boxes full of unwanted antiques,
and every item here in this queue will have a story to tell
about its master, or its maker, or its social history.
Just like our magnificent venue today,
the National Museum Cardiff, which is steeped in history.
Well, I can't wait to get this lot inside,
because they want to find out...
ALL: What's it worth?
Today's experts are Catherine Southon and Mark Stacey,
and they're always keen to find an item full of history.
Do you know, actually, Catherine, I have to be honest with you,
YOU'RE more terrifying than this!
LAUGHTER Thank you!
So what are we waiting for? Let's get this magnificent queue
inside this wonderful building,
all settled into the Grand Hall,
where hopefully, it's going to be a perfect day.
Are you ready to go in?
Come on, then, follow me.
Now, this is what I like to see - rows and rows of happy people.
Which means hundreds of antiques to value -
we really do have our work cut out today.
But somebody here in this massive crowd
has got something that's worth a small fortune,
and the beautiful thing is, you don't know it yet.
You don't know it, but our experts are going to find it
and put it through to auction, and hopefully make a lot of money, OK?
And it looks like Catherine Southon has made a very, very good start.
Let's take a closer look at what she's spotted. She's over there.
Christine, it's lovely to see you. Thank you for coming along.
As soon as I saw the Teddy Bears Picnic Set,
-I knew that we were going to have a bit of fun.
Tell me about this, where does it come from?
It was obviously a present, from my aunt, when I was very little.
I haven't played with it an awful lot,
-cos I wasn't so much into toys and little girly things.
-It's just as it was.
-Just as it was.
Let's just have a look on the top, because I can just about make it out, in pen, we've got,
"To Christine, from Paul, Aunty Beryl and Uncle Tom."
That's my mum's sister, her husband and my cousin.
-Oh, isn't that lovely?
-It's lovely, isn't it!
-So they gave it to you as a...
-As a present. Christmas or birthday.
-Do you remember being given it?
-Not at all?
-Not at all.
-So you were probably quite young.
-I must have been.
Three or four, something like that, I would think, yes.
Because, looking at the box,
I'm thinking it probably dates from the 1950s, early 1950s.
Right, yes. That does make sense.
I don't want to be rude and ask when you were born!
-But I'm thinking around that sort of date, would that be right?
Let's have a look inside.
Cos it's that wonderful baby blue colour.
-Isn't it lovely?
-Lovely, isn't it?
-And each piece has got the little teddy bear on it.
Are you sure you want to sell this,
-cos I'm getting sentimentally attached to this!
Yes, it's been in the cupboard for a long time,
so there's...you know, might as well sell it.
Value-wise, it's not going to be a huge amount of money.
-But I would suggest putting an estimate on of about £30-£40.
With a reserve of £25. How does that sound to you?
-That's fair enough.
-Are you happy to let it go at that?
-Yes, that's fine.
-Well, you've never played with it!
-I've never played with it, no!
-OK, shall we flog it, then?
Yes, flog it.
That's a great little set of items to start with.
And by the look of it, our team of experts
are finding even more valuable objects by the minute.
Trixie, you haven't come on your own, have you?
No, I've come with a friend.
-You've brought two gentlemen with you.
You've got two friends, I think.
Well, one I like, one I don't like.
Oh, which one do you like?
I don't mind this one, but this one, when he's on the wall,
-he's watching you wherever you go, so I'm not...
-I'm scared of him, I don't like him.
-Where did they come from?
My husband's godmother
gave them to us as a wedding present 27 years ago.
Gosh, it's an odd wedding present, isn't it, for a young couple?
-Cos they're very traditional, in a way, aren't they?
-The frames and the subject matter.
And have you looked the artist up, have you done any research?
No, I can't even work out, is that an S, I don't quite know...
No, it's actually W-O-LT-L-E.
Or something like that. I think it's going to be Austrian or German.
Now, these were very popular at the end of the 19th century.
-And they're often old geezers, old gentlemen.
And they're exquisitely painted, I mean, the detail...
-The detail's amazing.
-Almost like a photograph.
-You can see the eyelashes.
-Yeah, and you can see little bits of stubble
on this chap's chin here.
And they often are in pairs in these rather exotic frames.
They're really nicely carved, gilt-wood frames.
And they come up for auction quite regularly.
I haven't been able to find this, I found some examples,
-but not in his date, so we can't pin it...
-What's the date?
Well, I would say late 19th century,
-but I haven't found his actual date.
Have you ever sort of thought of the value of them?
No idea. They've been on the toilet wall...
Erm...and then we moved house five years ago,
-and we built and ultra-modern house, and they don't suit at all now.
-You know, they're really out of place.
-I thought you said they were going to be IN the toilet!
-In the toilet bowl!
-I mean, I adore them, I think there's...
..a sort of cheeky charm to the faces.
I would suggest maybe an estimate of £200-£300 for the pair,
-with a reserve of £200.
-I think that's fine.
-Is that all right?
-Yeah, that's absolutely fine.
And we'll put a discretion reserve, it it's OK with you.
-So, within 10%. Thanks very much for bringing them.
Craig and Anne, welcome to Flog It!,
and thank you very much indeed for bringing along this wonderful piece.
Now, as soon as I saw this, I thought, "Fantastic."
We've got a conductor's baton.
But it's not a baton that would have been used on a daily basis,
it's actually a presentation piece.
Now, do we know who that conductor was?
Do we know who owned this?
That would have been my great-grandfather.
-They were in a choir in the Rhondda Valley.
All the different areas of the Rhondda Valley,
with the mining going on in those days,
-and possibly competing against other choirs in the Rhondda.
And if his choir turned out the best,
he would possibly have been given that.
-He would have been given this as a prize?
So your great-grandfather was quite a prestigious conductor of his time, I should imagine?
-I looked in a book this morning relating to this,
and there was, er...
dating back to... what was the date on it, now?
-1876, the book.
-So a bit of provenance behind it?
With... Yeah, the great-grandfather's book
-with musical hymns in it.
-Oh, how lovely!
So that could be related to it as well.
This is quite a special piece and it's really quite nicely made.
At the bottom here, and at the top,
we can see that it's been made from ivory.
It's quite a sensitive subject, but this is pre-1947,
so we know that this ivory is OK.
Now, this piece here is made from ebony,
and it's been inlaid
with these lovely little dots of mother-of-pearl,
and at the bottom, we've got the pot,
and then the flowers have been engraved,
right the way around the top. It's a really lovely pattern, actually.
Now, these do, surprisingly, fetch quite good money at auction,
and I would say one like this
would probably fetch in the region of £120 to £180.
How does that sound to you?
Well, if it was up the top end, near the 180...
-You'd be happy to sell?
If it went to a good musical home that would appreciate it.
-It would be lovely, wouldn't it?
Well, shall we put it in
with a pre-sale estimate on of £120 to £180,
and fix the reserve at 120,
and not let it go for any less than that?
Are you happy to sell with that estimate?
Well, can we go a bit higher than 120?
-You want to go a bit higher? How about 150?
-Erm...start for 150.
Is that better? OK. Let's do £150-£200,
-with a fixed reserve at £150.
And let's hope that the bands play and we make music,
and this makes the top end.
-Thank you very much indeed for coming along to Flog It!
-OK, thank you.
That's definitely lights, camera, action going on down there.
We've now found our first items to take off to auction,
so let's see some auction action, shall we?
And here's a quick recap of all the items that are coming with us,
just to jog your memory.
Let's hope the auction is a picnic for this cute child's tea set.
Not to everyone's taste, but Mark really rates these old gents.
And will this conductor's baton
capture the imagination of our bidders?
Well, it is now sale day, and time to find out
if those Internet bidders are as keen as they sound.
The day of reckoning, this is where we put those valuations to the test,
and just look at that sight.
A packed auction room, full of bidders,
hopefully all eager to buy our lots.
It doesn't get any more exciting than this.
I'm going to catch up with our owners right now,
cos I know they're feeling really nervous.
So let's get cracking with our first lot.
It's that super little tea set that Catherine picked out.
-This is a terrific little lot,
and everybody was looking at this at the viewing day yesterday.
-Picking it up, putting it down. It's from the '50s.
-You had it when you were about two.
-Something like that.
-And it's in mint condition.
These days, we just...
You've got children and I've got children,
-you just have those horrible plastic ones.
-These are just so lovely, in wonderful condition.
-Something to treasure, isn't it?
-I can see the mum coming out!
-I know, I got all sentimental!
-You've gone all mumsy!
-Yeah. You have, yeah.
-No, it's a great thing.
-It's a lovely thing.
-Yeah, lots of memories as well.
-Nice christening present, isn't it?
-It would be for somebody, yes.
-Well, good luck.
Let's hope we get the top end of the estimate.
Come on, these are going to do well.
Lot number 312, English pottery Teddy Bears Picnic Set.
Child's tea set here, in its original printed box.
£12 I've got to start, £12 I have. 15.
18, 20, 22, 25...
Takes me out at £25, at 25 now.
At £25, the gentleman seated, at 25 now.
32, 35, 38.
-Yeah, you love it!
-Good buyer over there.
At £48, have you got your teddy bears?
48 I have, at 48 now.
50, back in at 50.
-At £50, he's going to miss out...
At £50, 55, thank you, 55...
55 I have, at 55. With the gentleman at 55 now.
55, are we all done at 55?
-That was brilliant.
-55, well done!
-I think there's a lot of 50-year-olds buying in to that, their nostalgia.
-Look, thank you so much for coming in.
-Thank you, thanks very much.
Are you going to split the money between the girls?
Probably, yes. Thanks very much.
What a great start.
Now let's see if we can make some music with our next item.
Going under the hammer right now, we have that wonderful...
conductor's baton, the ivory conductor's baton.
Craig and Anne, whose is it, is it yours?
-So it's been in the family all that time.
Yes, five generations.
-And me the end of the line.
-Are you musical?
Not at all, no.
-Then it's got to go.
Well, let's find out who's musical in the room, shall we?
This is bound to find a new home.
Lot number 638, an ebony and ivory baton here, lot number 638,
inlaid with mother-of-pearl jewelling here, lot 638.
£100 I have to start.
£100. At £100, and 10 do I see now?
At £100, the ivory baton here, at 100, at £110,
is there no-one?
At £100, with me at 100, and 10, 120...
One more bid will clear the reserve, sir.
140, with me at 140, at £140, with me at 140...
-Why not bid? He was wasting time.
All done at 140...
It's that close when you're in an auction, isn't it,
-it really is, it's...
-One bid away.
You built us up there!
-We built it up, didn't we?
Look, you know it's worth around that sort of figure, don't you?
-And on another day, that guy would have paid the extra £10.
Hang on to it for six months, and put it back into another sale.
-Thank you very much, thank you.
-Thanks very much.
I'm sure Craig and Anne will have better luck next time.
Let's just hope those bidders perk up for Patrizia's paintings.
Going under the hammer right now,
we've got two oil paintings of Tyrolean gentlemen,
and I think that's a posh word, really, for Austrian, isn't it?
-It's a good word.
-Signed as well, great frames.
Everything going for it, ready to go on the wall.
The Tyrolean gentlemen here...
Commission bid starts me in at £200, straight in at 200.
-AUCTIONEER DROWNS THEIR SPEECH
-200 I have, and 10 I'll take at 200.
At £200, at 210, 220, 230, 240, 250, 260...
At £260, with me at 260 now, at £260.
At £260, commission bidder at 260 now.
At £260, are we all done?
Good auctioneering there - straight in, straight out.
-Tell you what, they were lovely.
They were, but I'll tell you something,
at £260, plus a buyer's premium, don't forget,
which takes them over £300,
they're definitely not going on the wall in the loo, are they?
From a magnificent fortress designed to protect ancient lands,
to a very different kind of battle, the one that's going on down there
at the National Museum here in Cardiff -
getting through all those bags and boxes,
looking for more antiques to take off to auction.
Let's join up with Mark Stacey now and see what else he's found.
Pamela, whenever you come to Wales,
you want to see, of course,
something from Swansea Porcelain Factory.
And you've brought in these cracking examples.
-Maybe the wrong word to use.
-Yeah, not cracking.
But tell us the history of them.
They were given to me by a neighbour of my mother's.
She was quite elderly. First, she gave me the two with the single design.
-The plainer two.
-The plainer ones.
And when she passed away, she left me the other two in her will.
-I believe they were painted by William Pollard.
-Circa 1850, I believe.
-Oh, a little bit earlier, I would've thought. 1815.
So a little bit earlier. I think the quality of them is breathtaking.
I mean, the richness of the gilding.
Some could argue, Swansea at its height
was one of the best factories in the United Kingdom.
If we look on this particular plate,
-we've got a very faded Swansea mark here, in red.
These are real botanical studies.
You know, these are not just flowers - tulips, roses.
And the colours are so bright and delicate.
-They're wonderful, aren't they?
-Yes, they are.
-But very fragile.
-And the condition of these is excellent.
-They've lived at home, have they?
But they've been packed up and on top of my wardrobe.
Unless, you are a collector and have got cabinets,
-you don't want to break them.
-I have two young children, as well.
-Two young children,
-that's not a good thing with fine porcelain in the house, is it?
On these lovely pair of exuberantly decorated ones,
I think we should put an estimate of 800 to 1200,
-with an £800 reserve.
And on the two slightly lesser-decorated pieces,
maybe around 400 to 600 for the pair,
-with a 400 reserve.
We are selling them in Cardiff,
which is very close to Swansea.
-I'm originally from Neath.
-Which is even closer to Swansea.
-I didn't know that.
If they make a lot of money, would you put it towards another form of antique or something brand new?
No, I'd probably have my gardens done.
I bought the house off the neighbour after she passed away
and I decorated all the inside of the house
and I would like to do the gardens.
So, what we're hoping to do then,
is to turn two pairs of very highly decorative Swansea plates
-into a highly decorative garden.
Back in the hall, Catherine is with Aled,
who's brought in a silver curiosity.
When I saw this in the queue,
I saw this, I opened it up
and I looked at the initials - NM.
NM is like music to my ears.
NM in the maker, stands for Nathaniel Mills,
who was a wonderful silversmith.
Now, you probably know what it is.
-It's a vinaigrette.
But do you know what a vinaigrette is, or what it was used for?
Not exactly, no.
Well, a vinaigrette is actually where you would have
a sponge soaked in vinegar and put inside here.
Then you'd close this little compartment here,
so that you could smell something nice -
not that vinegar smells particularly nice.
But something nice, rather than all the horrible other rotting smells
that you might have smelled in the early 19th century.
So, it's really a 19th-century equivalent
of 18th century smelling salts.
-Where did you get this from?
Well, it's not mine, it's my son's. He bought it in an antiques fair.
I think he paid about £150 for it.
So, he got his eye on that and he asked me for the cash, basically.
-Right. Oh, right, he asked you for the cash?
Looking inside here, next to the initials,
we've got the anchor mark to say that it's assayed in Birmingham
and we've got the initial there, the U, which dates it to 1843.
-So it's a nice mid-19th century piece.
How much did he pay for this?
I would say, auction estimate on this would be about 250 to 350.
-How does that sound to you?
-That sounds good to me.
So, has your son, has he just got into antiques,
or has he been doing this for a while?
-He started when he was about 12. He's got an interest in silver.
And he'd like to be a dealer or possibly an auctioneer.
-So how old is he now?
-He's 15 now.
-Wow, he has got a brilliant eye.
-He got this for 150?
-Yes, he did.
I think it should make around £300, possibly even more.
-But let's put an estimate of 250-350, with a 250 reserve.
And I hope that it does make him £300, then he's doubled his money.
-And he can pay me back the money he owes me!
-He can pay you back.
Well, thank you very much indeed for bringing it along to Flog It!
-Thank you very much.
Time to squeeze in just one more item,
and it's certainly got Mark going.
-What a wonderful sculpture you have brought in.
Tell me all about it.
Well, it's something that we bought when we lived in France.
We lived there for a few years
and whilst we were there, in this little village,
there was a lady that lived not too far away,
used to live in Paris, and this was something
she came along with one day in her shopping trolley
and said, "Would you like to buy this, Peter?"
And we sort of said, "Hmm..." But she was a wonderful saleswoman
and we ended up buying it.
Did you pay a lot of money for it?
We're not really sure.
We think it might have been about 150, possibly 200 euros.
That doesn't sound a lot of money. The euro was probably better then.
So it would have been a lot cheaper.
It's very, very French, I have to say.
It looks and feels very Art Deco,
the swinging '20s and '30s.
-Yeah, that was the appeal of it to me.
-Exactly. I mean,
you've got, obviously, the seagull riding the crest of a wave.
Great size, a real statement piece on a sideboard in an Art Deco home.
And it did look lovely in the French house, but no good.
-No good here.
-No good here.
Well, we change over the years, we change properties,
and what looks good in some houses doesn't look good in others.
-I mean, it looks very 1930s.
It could have been made as late as the early '50s,
because the designs went on a bit.
You often see a lot of these Art Deco clock garnitures
with seagulls or animals on the top,
and actually they were made in the late '40s, early '50s.
But it is a good-looking object. I mean, that's what's going to sell.
-You're looking doubtful there, Denise.
-She doesn't like it.
You don't like it?
-I hate it.
-Did you hate it when he bought it?
-Was there the odd row about this piece?
-Not really a row, no.
Monique, our friend who sold it to us, was very persuasive.
Well, I love it. This would fit in my Brighton home,
because these fly squawking past my window on a regular basis.
-Every day, yes!
-So, I could lift it and throw the thing at them.
In terms of value, I think it will not necessarily fly away,
but I would suggest maybe around £300 to £400,
with a 300 discretionary reserve.
-Would you be happy with that?
If you do get a lot of money, are you going to spend it this time?
-You're out, Peter, I am afraid.
-I'm sure I am.
But it won't be a bronze, I don't think.
No, I don't think so. No, it won't.
We are heading back over to the auction
to sell our final three items
and we've got a full house,
as well as phone and Internet bidders lined up.
So, let's crack on.
First up, it's that bronze seagull that belongs to Peter and Denise.
-There is a big market for this kind of thing.
It is a very big, decorative lump, you know?
And if you've got an Art Deco house,
you've got a nice Art Deco hall table or a sideboard,
you should our fingers crossed and I think this will fly.
-OK. Good luck, both of you.
-Thank you very much, indeed.
The crest of a wave,
the patinated and cold-painted bronze seagull here.
£240 I have to start.
At £240. 250. It's at 250. 260.
270. Takes me out at 270.
At £270. On my right at 270 now.
At £270, with the gentleman at 270.
-Come on, come on.
-Are we all done?
Sell it. Yes, he sold it! The hammer's gone down. £270.
We had a discretionary reserve, just got in there.
That was a bargain. That was a bargain for somebody at 270.
-But, look, it's gone, OK?
-I hope somebody loves it.
-Somebody will love it.
-Somebody will love it.
-And you didn't, did you?
-No, not at all. I didn't, Mark, no.
Not at all, not at all.
Well, discretionary reserve is always a tough call,
but I think that was the right decision to sell that bronze.
We have some real quality on the show right now
and a great maker's name - Nathaniel Mills.
We've seen it many, many times.
A wonderful, wonderful vinaigrette. Gorgeous.
Good to see you again, Aled. Who've you brought along with you?
-Is that your son?
-Yeah, this is my son, Pryce.
-Pleased to meet you.
-He found the item.
Oh, right. So, you... He's got it in the blood?
-Did you know what you found straight away?
-Yep, straight away.
Nathaniel Mills? That's incredible.
He's pretty good. 15 years of age. He knows his stuff.
He just took off when he was about 12 years old.
-And we haven't looked back since.
Gosh. So, you're actually testing the market now?
-How much did you pay for this?
150. Well, we've got a valuation of 250 to 350, which we should get.
Somewhere in there, we should get that.
-He's very good.
-That kid's got talent.
He is going to be doing our job soon.
I think so, yeah!
The Victorian silver vinaigrette, Nathaniel Mills here, 1843.
£160 I have to start. £160.
At £160. 170 now? £160.
At 170, 180, 190,
200, 210, 220.
250. Clears the reserve at 250.
At £250 at the corner now.
At £250 at the corner now. At 250.
Now at £250.
Are we all done? At £250.
Well done. Don't forget, there's commission to pay.
-Have you sold in auctions before?
17.5% plus VAT.
-I don't need to do...
-Well, look, great to meet you again as well. Take care.
Well, it's a good profit margin there
and great to see someone so young with such a passion - for antiques.
Just one more set of items to go, and it is Pamela's Swansea plates.
Well, all very encouraging, but as you know,
anything can happen in the sale room, so let's see how they get on.
Mark has split them into two lots.
We've got 400 to 600 and 800 to 1,200.
So, we've got a good entry level. 400 to 600,
somebody can buy into this at the lower end
and we've got the top end, as good as it gets.
And that artwork is actually exceptional.
They really are what we call botanical subjects,
rather than flower painting,
these are botanical subjects.
They are wonderful.
First lot going under the hammer.
Pair of Swansea porcelain dessert plates here, lot 326.
£290 I have to start.
At £290. 300 is there.
At 300. 310.
-He's got a commission bid. Bid on the books.
-Oh, I see.
340. 350. At 350 with me.
360. 370 with me. 380?
At 370 with me. At 370.
390. At 390. 400 on the net. £400 on the Internet.
Clears it at £400.
At £400, clears the reserve on the Internet. At 410 on the net.
Oh, it's going on on the net.
On the Internet at 410, are we all done?
Sold, first lot.
See, he had a commission bid of 400,
so he was working the Internet to that
and he took one bid higher, 410, on the Internet.
-That's not bad, we sold, which is good.
Now we need £800 to £1,200.
Probably painted by Pollard here.
Nice provenance with the Sherman labels on the back.
Commission bids here start me straight in at...
They are by Pollard, it's as simple as that.
-I'll take £900.
At £900. 900.
920. 950 with me.
-This is better, isn't it?
-Yes, much more exciting.
1,000 with me. And 50. 1,100 with me.
At £1,100 with me, at 1,100.
1,150 on the net takes me out.
At £1,150 on the Internet. At 1,150 on the net now.
1,150 on the net. Phones, 1,200?
-£1,200 on the telephone. At £1,200.
-Top end of the estimate now, Pamela.
-1,250 on the net.
1,300 I have on the telephone.
At 1,300 on the telephone. 1,350 on the net.
1,400 on the telephone.
1,400 on the telephone. 1,450 on the net.
1,500 on the telephone.
-At 1,500 on the telephone. 1,550 on the net.
1,600 on the telephone. 1,650 on the net.
1,750 there. 1,800?
At 1,850 on my right.
1,900? 1,850 on my right.
In the room at 1,850.
-£1,000 over, we'll take that. Well done.
-Very nice, thank you.
That was wonderful, wasn't it?
1,850, brilliant! Thank you for bringing them in.
They are the kind of things we love to see,
giving us a regional identity. That's what it is all about.
-Absolutely. What do you always say, Paul?
-Quality always counts.
-Sells! It always sells.
-It does. Quality always sells.
Yes, and counts!
You can't go wrong when you buy quality.
-Yeah, thank you so much for bringing those in.
We've had the most fabulous day here.
We've sadly run out of time from Cardiff,
but I hope you've enjoyed the show.
We knew we'd finish with one big surprise, and that was it.
And that's all thanks to Pamela. See you next time.
Paul Martin and the Flog It! team are in South Wales and over 750 people come along to have their items valued at National Museum Cardiff.
Paul is joined by experts Catherine Southon and Mark Stacey as they pick out their favourite antiques to take to auction.
Mark is wowed by a set of Swansea porcelain plates and Catherine falls in love with a child's tea set.