Paul Martin opens the gates at London Zoo to the lucky locals laden with antiques. The animals have front row seats as Will Axon and Thomas Plant do their valuations.
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MUSIC: Wild Ones by Flo Rida featuring Sia
Today, we've come to a menagerie in the heart of the city,
London Zoo, home to animals of all shapes and sizes and,
incredibly, a collection of listed
buildings by some of Britain's most distinguished architects.
Welcome to Flog It!.
MUSIC: London Calling by The Clash
'In almost 200 years of the zoo's history, some of Britain's
'best-known architects have contributed to its design.'
The London Zoological Society opened its gardens to members only.
Thankfully, today it's open to everyone.
Hundreds of people have come from far and wide to see our experts today.
Wild-at-heart, Thomas Plant is going on the hunt for some exotic collectables.
-Are you excited about Flog It!?
-Yes, I am.
Well, I hope we come up with a good valuation for you
and your five pounds' investment will be marvellous.
'And just like Noah and the Ark,
'Will Axon's bringing in his items two by two.'
They're quite nicely done in a way, aren't they?
'Right, we're all raring to go, so let's see what Thomas has found.
Well, John, I hope my valuation is going to be good enough
for you to not throw me to the lions.
They look pretty asleep right now.
-No, they're not ready for food yet.
-Not really, no.
Tell me, why did you bring this camera along today?
Well, I've done quite a bit of research with it
and what I've found out, I can't find another one another one
to match it up or even to price it up at all.
So, I thought it would be a good idea to come here.
So, let's be clear, this is a Ducati 35mm range-view camera.
It's made in Italy,
and like all things Italian,
it's extremely compact and actually quite beautiful to look at.
And this being a Ducati, it's known as the Italian Leica.
And Leica are, like, the seminal camera people.
This company produced this very small camera
for a very small amount of time.
That's why you didn't find many on the internet
or your research of working out have these cameras sold before.
You type in Leica to a search engine,
it will come up with reams of them.
Yeah, mostly lenses, I found.
Lots of lenses.
This is a body, this does have a lens here, which can be changed.
-It does come off.
-Yes. Yeah, it does come off completely.
Now, tell me, how have you got it?
Well, about four years ago my uncle died and we cleared out his place,
and then what we've done with all his stuff, all in a box, put it in the loft.
And then, in January this year, we've done our loft insulation
and we came across it again.
That's when I noticed the name Ducati on it. I decided, hmm, they make motorbikes not cameras,
so I decided to check them out.
And, funnily enough, yes, I found that they made cameras as well.
You know, way back in the 1930s or something.
'30s, '40s, then we have the war, and from about '46 to about '53,
-and when this one was made. And this is the Ducati Songo.
-Songo, which means dream.
-Dream? I didn't realise that what it meant.
-Now, value. This is why we're here.
As I said, I've mentioned Leica , you know, the godfather of all
camera production, and I said this is the Italian Leica.
It is a rare camera.
They do not come up very often for auction.
But, there is a little bit of corrosion on the button here.
The shutter is not working, but there's a cloth shutter,
they do deteriorate.
Saying that, I would believe a sensible estimate
would be £800-£1,200,
and I'd like to fix reserve round about 600.
What do you think?
That sounds OK. 600's a good reserve, yeah.
Reserve at six, but we'll put it at £800-£1,200 as the estimate.
Try and build up the interest.
Yes, quite happy with that.
MUSIC: Girls On Film by Duran Duran
Next up, Will's been poring over this jug,
brought in by print artist, Rita.
Rita, I recognise what you brought
in straight away from across the room.
It's a piece of Dalton Lambeth, isn't it?
Yes, that's right.
Now, the thing I don't know is exactly who it's by, designer-wise.
Now, you're going to tell me, aren't you?
You done a bit of research on this, haven't you?
Well, I have, but already I did know who it was by, because of his name.
He's got his initials actually on the item itself.
You're right. The initials on the jug itself.
It's George Tinworth, probably one of the most famous designers working for Dalton.
Established originally at the Lambeth School of Art,
alongside those other well-known names like Hannah, Barlow,
-all the Barlow sisters, so, a well-known name in this sort of field.
We've got the Dalton Lambeth stamp there.
We've also got it dated there, 1880, which is handy.
And then, actually, Tinworth's mark is actually in the decoration, isn't it?
-Yes, it's very difficult to find.
-There it is, there.
So, we've got the interlocked TG.
Tinworth is a good name, very well collected.
This kind of muted colour
-and the way it's decorated is quite typical of the time.
Dalton were known for these slightly sort of subdued colours,
whereas other art firms, such as Minton and so on,
-tended to be a bit brighter, a bit brasher.
But that's, again, part of the appeal.
-It doesn't, sort of, necessarily clash terribly.
You could see that fitting in quite nicely in a, sort of, modern
contemporary interior without, you know, shouting too loudly at you.
-Do you have any idea what you think it might be worth?
No, I didn't and that was... I'm very, very keen to find out.
Er, you know, it can either be almost thousands or nothing.
-Yeah, that gives me a nice wide range to work with.
I have no idea... I mean, I know it's important, but that's all.
I mean, I see it around that sort of 250 mark.
250, that sort of figure.
Let's put it in at £200-£300.
Fix that reserve at £200, and I reckon it'll do sort of 250,
300, that sort of figure. How do you feel at that?
I hope it goes to somebody who really appreciates Dalton Lambeth.
Well, Rita, it's obvious from talking to you that you
really appreciate the artistic merit on something like this,
and I'm hoping there's going to be two or three people
at the auction that feel the same way.
It's out of our hands, it's all down to the auctioneer now.
I look forward to it.
How did you come by them?
There were given to myself and my late husband 37 years
ago by a gentleman who was a warden of a National Scout Campsite.
Why did he give you two spears?
I think he was having a bit of a clear-out,
asked David and I if we would like them,
and we said yes and, er, we used them as
decoration in our living room.
I had this romantic opinion...
that Bert, your Scout friend, um,
these were in the shed, kicking about,
and these have actually been brought back from South Africa
by an older scout.
Not Bert himself, but, you know, maybe someone who knew
Maybe, you know, he was at the Siege of Mafeking, you know.
Or had done all those things. Do you know what I mean?
Yes, I do.
Cos these are probably from South Africa
and they most look like they are going to be from the Zulu tribe.
They had three weapons. They had their shield.
They had this, the stabbing spear.
And they had a throwing spear and sometimes a club.
Because they're so thin, they needed to keep them behind the shield,
-and sometimes you see the shields with the weapons all sticking out, don't you.
And so, these would come behind the shield
and they be able to hold it all in one hand, and the other hand
to do things with, as you know - throw the spear or just carry on.
What caught my eye, I have to say, is this lovely rushing here.
Putting this blade on to the shaft itself,
and this rush-work is just absolutely delightful.
Realistically, we've got to think, "What are they worth?"
Erm, they're not going to make a huge amount,
but I'd like to set a typical auctioneer's estimate. £80-£120.
-80-120. That's what I thought you would say, actually.
-Do you mind?
No, not at all.
I know it's a big cop-out.
-Erm, regarding reserve, about £40, if that's all right.
If we do all right with them, I mean, you know, are going to buy more weapons?
We're going to put it towards a house move.
Where are you moving?
We love Derbyshire, but we can't go as far as that because my son
and daughter are expecting my second grandchild today.
-She's in labour now.
-Well, this is very exciting.
-And you're here?
-And we're here.
Well, that's probably quite a good thing. I mean, they don't, you know...
-Granny can come later.
We don't want to go too far away from them and they live in Hatfield.
And are you a granny, grandma, or Nana, or what are you?
-I'm called Nannykins.
Oh, that's sweet.
Well, I hope we'll do very well for you and good luck with today.
Thank you very much.
MUSIC: Born To Be Wild by Steppenwolf
We're travelling west across the city for today's
sale at the Chiswick Auction Rooms.
And the man with the gavel today is auctioneer William Rouse.
£100, fresh bidding.
£100, shaking his head there.
First up, let's see if Janet
and Heather's Zulu spears hit their mark.
Well, we got a fixed reserve of £40 and I know, Thomas,
you held your hands up at the valuation and said,
"I don't take anything about spears." I don't blame you, because nor do I.
But I'll tell you something, they will sell at £40,
so you don't have to take them back on the tube train.
Which is what I don't want to do.
-No, you do not want to be doing that, do you?
I would like them to move on to somebody who would be able to
appreciate them more now.
-OK, well, tribal art is very collectable.
Hopefully, we'll find a home for them right now.
Here we go, this is it, look. This is exciting.
Lot 130. Two African spears with the nice polished shafts.
Let's start this one at £20 to get going.
I'm bid 20. 22, 25.
£25 is all I'm bid. 28.
30, 32, 35,
£42 I'm bid here. At £42.
In the room, then, it is at £42.
You all done, finished?
For the spears, 42, I'm going to sell them.
-That's fine, that is fine.
That's good, isn't it? Phew, it was close.
But, at least they've gone. They've gone, so that's...
No, the thought of you taking them back on the tube.
MUSIC: Stuck On You by Elvis Presley
Coming up next, we've got John's Ducati camera,
which is just about to go under the hammer.
And, John, it's great to see you again. I really like the camera.
We had a chat to William, our auctioneer, at the preview day.
He liked it a lot, as well.
I mean, it is quality and they didn't make that many of them.
-No, very rare.
-And they didn't sell that well, either.
So, that's why they went into transport, particularly motorbikes.
Now, let's find out with the bidders think, shall we?
It's going under the hammer right now. This is it, good luck. Good luck, John.
Lot 70 is this rare Ducati camera.
Where should we start this?
£400 to get things going.
400 I'm bid.
£460 for the camera. At 460.
480, thank you. 500.
We've got 520. 520.
£540 it is. At 540, nearly there.
-So close, weren't we? So close.
So close, so close.
A couple of bids away, really. You got a couple of options here.
You can have a word with the auctioneer after the sale,
see if he can find the underbidder. He might know who he is because of
his registration number -
and maybe you could sell it at that price.
What a shame, but it got just goes to show you can never tell
what's going to happen when you're in an auction room.
100 I'm bid.
-Thank you very much.
MUSIC: My Sharona by The Knack
Bit of quality going under the hammer right now.
George Tinworth Dalton jug belonging to Rita,
and has to go because the cat
might damage it.
I still keep it on the shelf, but behind another vase.
This sort of high, up there?
So, so the cat can't... It gets up there, though, does he?
Quite high. Much higher than a door, so, I suppose, about seven foot.
Come on, let's get this sold. Let's get it away from Stripes.
160 is the George Tinworth jug. Let's start this at £150.
Someone on the phone there, look.
Maybe he's thinking, to a colleague,
"Yes, I'm in the room, I'll buy it for you."
In the doorway, then, it is at £200.
In the doorway at 200. Anybody else want to come in, then?
I'm going to sell it. For £200 it goes.
It's gone. £200. The hammer's gone down, Rita.
-Right. Aw, I'm sad.
I knew you would be. I knew you would be.
I hope they like it as much as I liked it.
Like we explained at the valuation day, whoever's buying these things
is buying them because they want them. So, at least you know you know it's going to someone who's made
a conscious decision that he wants it.
So, it's not like, you know, you're not letting it, sort of,
go to the dogs, as it were. Whoever bought it...
No, it'll be safe, at least.
At £90, it's going.
-Thank very much.
Marie wants to generate some pocket money for her granddaughter
and her great-granddaughter.
You ask any jewellery dealer and they will tell you that brooches are one of the harder pieces to sell,
because you don't see people out and about wearing brooches.
-You see me.
-Really? You wear brooches?
-I have, yes.
I got a brooch, I think, on every jacket and coat that I own.
Tell me about these. Do these sit in your jewellery box at home?
Yes, they've sat in that box,
-oh, I should think a good 30 years or more.
-Yeah, I've never worn them.
-Have you bought them? Were they a gift to you?
They were a gift from my aunt.
I went to Malta about 30 years ago
and I had an aunt who lived over there,
and she said I want to give you something for you to remember me by,
and she gave me that one,
and I think those two were my mother's.
-We see a lot of these, what we would call, sweetheart brooches.
Sort of late 19th century, that sort of the period, but a lot of them -
usually coming out of Birmingham Assay Office - are made in silver.
-What's nice about these is the fact that they're in gold,
with these, I would imagine, semiprecious stones.
Just makes a little bit, sort of, more special.
You know why gold is popular at the moment, do you?
Yes, cos when is it still high up in price.
Yeah. The demand across the world and the globe for these
sort of things is high, so therefore, that's why we can
put quite a, sort of, generous figure on them, I would've thought.
I think we should put a figure in sort of around the £100 mark.
How do you feel about that?
Yes. Erm, just 100?
I'd like to put them in to put them in at, sort of, £80-£120,
and fix the reserve at £80.
And I think going to do well, because they're small,
they got value as per what they're made of - the gold, obviously - and they're pretty enough.
You know, someone might really take a shine to them
-and think, "Well, I'll have those and I'll actually use them and wear them."
-Are you happy at that sort of a figure?
Do you think you granddaughter and great-granddaughter will be happy, or are we going to have to
-phone them up and check?
-Oh, I think so.
-Yeah? I'll see you there, Marie.
-Not at all.
MUSIC: Walk On The Wild Side by Lou Reed
'Next, Thomas takes a view on Mike's pastel landscape.'
I'm not great on pastel pictures.
-I have to put that caveat in before we start to look it yours.
But I believe you've done a bit of work on this. Is that right?
A little bit of research.
I inherited it from my late father and asked my wife
if she'd like to put on the wall.
So I thought, "We'll look it up, see if we can find..."
-And it does have a name...
-..which we think is Bernard Sickert.
So, I looked him up and there's not an awful lot of his work,
but he is the brother of Walter Sickert.
Beyond that, I don't know much more.
No, and there's three years difference between them.
Walter Sickert is 1860, Bernard is 1863.
Walter Sickert is, you know, a famous British artist,
part of that Camden Town group,
that sort of British impressionism.
The genre of people, of life going on.
This could be his brother. I mean, his father was an artist as well.
They did work in pastel colours.
The pastel is in the right palate.
Actually, it's a wonderful picture,
As in, you look at it from afar,
you actually get the feeling of the fields, the farmhouse.
It's been done by quite a confident hand.
This big, large tree here.
This outline, the pencil and then the filling in...
It's not been done by a happy amateur. Do you know what I mean?
I do. Yes, I like it.
All things being equal, does it make it a valuable picture?
The answer is, being a Bernard Sickert, no.
If it was Walter, thousands of pounds.
There are records of Bernard's work coming up for sale.
It's not signed.
I would say £150, £200.
Reserve it at 120.
-Do you think so?
-You want to give it a go?
I do want to give it a go. I'd love to flog it, because my wife won't allow it,
I'll use the money to take her out for lunch.
A good lunch.
Well, you know, if it only gets 50 quid...
If it doesn't sell...
It might not...
Can I recommend one thing? That maybe - maybe - it might, sort of,
get hung in your house.
-I'd get a better mount for it first.
And actually frame it, and, actually, it would probably look rather good.
I think my wife could be swayed by you.
-You really think so?
-Well, I hope so.
Well, I don't know. Maybe she'll come to the auction?
I hope so, but, then again, it might sell.
MUSIC: Jungle Fever by Roy Hamilton
'Well, I don't know about jungle fever, but when it comes to
'collecting bargains, Eva here is a terminal case.'
So, Eva, I understand from talking to you that these
are something that you've picked up from a car-boot.
Tell me, is that something you do regularly?
Are you always on the look for antiques at the car-boot sales?
Erm, yes, yes, because interesting,
and I'm always learning something.
-You're right there.
-And because, after, I am checking the internet
and there's lots of new information.
Exactly. Well, you've obviously brought along here, what we can see
-in front of us, a Christmas tin here from 1914 and also a selection of medals.
Now, looking at these, can I ask you what you paid for them?
-So, you've done all right there, I think, yes.
Well, let's talk about them separately. As you say, Christmas tin.
These were produced, er, Princess Mary, there was
an advert in the national press
and they were asking for donations, cos what they wanted to do
was to reward people who were in the army fighting overseas,
just to give them a little something from home.
And so many donations were given,
that they had a lot of money to spend.
So, what they decided to do, was produce these Christmas tins
-and they used to put little treats them.
Occasionally, you see them and they still have the contents completely intact.
-What they had in them depended on who you were.
If you were a smoker...
-Yeah, smoker, if, er, some tobacco or a pipe.
You're dead right, yes. Tobacco and a pipe.
If you were one of the young boys who had signed up...
Some sweets, biscuits...
Exactly. And if you were in the Indian Army?
Sweet and spices.
-Yes, yes, yes.
-Exactly, sweets and spices.
So, these were greatly received by the soldiers on the front,
cos it was a hard battle.
It was a hard battle.
Yeah, and it was nice things.
So, that's the Christmas tin, and the medals themselves...
Medals are an interesting area of collecting in antiques.
They can do very well indeed,
but what people are buying isn't necessarily just the medals.
They want a story behind the medals.
They want to know who were they awarded to, why were they awarded to them,
at what battle were they awarded and how original are they.
Now, I've had a look at these and the first thing that catches my eye
- they've done a little sneaky trick here -
if I turn that one over, you can see they're actually the same medal.
-Yes, same medal. Yeah.
-So, that's been reproduced.
So, they wouldn't have been awarded to the same person.
So, already I'm thinking, "Hang on a minute, I think
"we may have a little bit of a mismatch here."
Also, the ribbons themselves.
-Can you see the ribbons here?
These all represent different, er, troops, different battles, erm...
So, each medal itself has a distinctive ribbon.
-Now, this ribbon is the right ribbon.
That goes with that victory medal.
-This ribbon does not belong with this medal.
So, that's something that the serious collector is going to
pick up on that, and that will devalue them somewhat.
Moving along, we've got a...that's got the right ribbon on it here.
And if you look on the side here, can you see where we've got an inscription?
2347, Private WSG Insall,
So, that should match what's on the side of this one.
And it doesn't.
So, they've been awarded to two different people.
That's very important as well.
And looking at that one again, that one isn't inscribed at all.
-That's a little bit unusual. Usually, they're inscribed.
So, I mean, they're a reasonable little group
and if someone was interested in starting a collection,
this would be a good area to start at, because, you know,
some groups of medals can make, you know, thousands of pounds.
I mean, if you've got a Victoria Cross, for example, then, you know, the sky's the limit for those,
because they were awarded for very specific acts of courage in battle and so on.
So, we know you paid for them.
You've done little bit of research.
What do you think they're worth now?
Well, I think you're going to have a...I think they're worth
more than you've paid for them, to be honest.
-If you would be happy to put them in auction at, say, £40-£60?
-How does that sound to you?
-It's not a bad return on a £9 outlay.
Well, nine and ten, you're 19, so...
I think I will try the auction.
Excellent. And what's the money going to go towards? Are you going to put it in your pocket
and head towards the Guildford car-boot again?
-Yeah, I will. I will go, yeah.
-Yeah, of course.
Well, listen, Eva, I'm pretty sure that at the auction we're going to sell them for you.
MUSIC: Hey Ya! by Outkast
'We've arrived back at the saleroom in Chiswick in West London.'
-£450 there. 450.
Well, going under the hammer right now. We have three gold sweetheart brooches
that belong to Marie, and it's great to see you again.
-Did you wear them?
No. They've always been in my box, because I'd always said that
-I would give them to my granddaughter.
Well, let's put that will to the test when its valued, shall we?
Let's see what they're worth in the auction room today.
-Here we go, look. They're going under the hammer now.
-Can I look happy?
-Yeah, go on. Watch this.
Lot 295 is a yellow metal filigree brooch.
It would appear they do test for gold and interest in the lot.
I've got £60, 65 I'll take. £60, 65, 70.
£85 there in the blue. At 85.
-90 at the doorway.
-Ooh, fresh bidder now.
-Are you bidding 100? 100.
Ah, that's nice.
-Smashing, this is, really.
-120, then. Thank you for the bid. 120.
-You see! You didn't like them but somebody else did.
160 in the gallery, then. At £160. 160.
Sold to someone up in the gallery up there. £160.
'Now, our penultimate item of the day is this family heirloom.
'Mike's pastel landscape painting.'
Why do you want to sell this anyway?
I inherited it from my late father
and, um, my wife suggested it went auction, because it hadn't
-been put up and had been lying there for five years unhung, so...
-Framed? Not framed, either.
-Well, it's not a question...
I don't know if she likes it, so, er, hard to get it past the missus.
OK, it's got to go. Let's put it to the test. Here we go.
Lot 400 is this pastel, attributed to Bernard Sickert. £60 to start it.
£60 I'm bid. 65. 70.
With me at £75. I'll take 80, though.
At £75, not quite enough.
At 75. Anybody else?
£75 it is, then.
Not sold, I'm afraid.
-It's going home.
-It's going home.
-I think you've got to remount it.
-I think so.
-I think it's a remount.
Remount, frame it and put on the wall.
'Well, every cloud has a silver lining,
'although I'm not sure Mike's wife will agree.'
'At the preview day, I met up with Will, our auctioneer,
'to discuss our next lot.'
Do you know this group of medals
and this Princess Mary Christmas box Eva got at a car-boot sale?
-Guess how much.
-That's not bad.
-We had a valuation put on by Will of about £40-£60,
so it's definitely a come-and-buy-me.
Christmas box is worth that alone.
Obviously, if it had its chocolate and its tobacco and cigarettes,
it would be worth a couple of hundred pounds in better condition, but obviously it's empty.
But, what about the medals? What I want to know is,
in the catalogue we've got a revised estimate. Is that right? Of around £100?
We've put up the estimate just because, like you say,
the cigarette boxes worth a few pounds on its own
and then you got this group of medals which,
even individually, even if you just say they're worth £20 each...
So, we've now got a revised estimate.
-It's now printed in the catalogue...
..not at £40-60, but at £100-200.
Well, that's a good start already, isn't it? And they haven't even gone under the hammer.
Whatever you do, keep watching. We're about to put them to the test.
95. 100. 110 it is, then. At 110.
If you're interested in making money, ask Eva,
-because she knows how to do it.
-Well, you will do in a moment, won't you?
-Yes, I am.
Turning £10, hopefully, into £100-£200.
-I know, originally, Will put on at £40-£60.
The auctioneers had a look at them and thought, "Let's up that estimate to £100-200."
-Did you know that?
-You didn't know that, did you?
-No, just fingers crossed.
I think the auctioneer spotted a couple of medals in there.
I think there's an Italian aviation one.
-So, hopefully, that'll be a nice return, won't it?
Did you know what you were looking at at all? Or did you just think,
-"Well, actually, I like the medals. They look decorative and pretty. I'll have them."?
-It was that, really, was it? And the tin?
-The tin is, yes.
Well, good luck both of you,
because I think this is going to be a great result.
Let's find out with the bidders think.
I'm bid 30 straightaway. 32, 35, 38,
40, 42, 45...
Well, we're starting low, but we're getting there.
..55, 60, 65, 70...
They can take all day as long as I'm concerned.
..80, 85, 90...
-Oh, we're there, look.
£100, at £100.
At £100 I'm going to sell it, then.
£100. It goes at 100.
-That's what we like to see.
-Well done, you.
-I'm very happy, thank you so much.
What's that, are you going to buy some
-more stuff now at the car-boot? Reinvest?
120 there. 130. 140. 150.
Well, that's it. It's all over.
Another day in the office for Flog It!.
And I tell you what, we had our work cut out there, didn't we.
It was touch and go in places.
A few highs and a few lows, but that's what auctions are all about.
It's not an exact science, putting a value on an antique,
as you've just seen.
Join us next time for many more surprises,
but, until then, from all of us here at Chiswick, it's goodbye.
Paul Martin opens the gates at London Zoo in Regent's Park to the lucky locals laden with antiques and collectibles.
The animals have front row seats as experts Will Axon and Thomas Plant do their valuations al fresco at what must be one of the most unusual locations in Flog It's well-travelled and illustrious history.