Paul Martin and team are in South Wales at the National Museum. Highlights include Swansea porcelain plates and a child's tea set. Paul also visits Caerphilly Castle.
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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!
We've got a great mix of local items and those from much further afield,
but can you guess which one makes the most at auction?
Is it the Welsh mining choir conductor's baton?
This impressive French Art Deco bronze bird?
Or these four delicate Swansea porcelain plates?
Well, keep watching, and you'll find out.
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.
It's in absolutely perfect condition.
-Because sometimes, obviously, with these,
-you find little chips or something round the rim.
But these are absolutely perfect.
Not something that you would hand down through your family?
Well, not really, I've got three granddaughters,
-so who would I give it to? You couldn't give it to one and not the other two.
So it's... If I'd only had one, I probably would have handed it down.
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.
-Thanks for seeing me.
Well, let's hope the bidders fall for those chaps' cheeky charm.
In the decade that the show's been running,
I've never tired of looking through all those bags and boxes,
looking out for our next star item to take off to auction.
And it's not just objects that catch my eye.
I recognise a face here - this chap.
-I know you, don't I?
-I don't know your name.
-I just remember your eyes.
Where have I met you before?
10 years ago, in the first Flog It! we had over there in the City Hall.
-2002's correct, yes, yes.
I'm a little bit attached to this one.
This is very pretty, look at the glaze, look at the colour on that.
Isn't that stunning?
I love this shape, this is used in carving an awful lot.
It's called a trifoil.
-Did that make about 150 quid?
-It did, yeah, more or less.
Now, can you say what actually did you spend the money on,
-10 years later? What did you do?
-Go away on holiday?
I've spent it in 10 years, I can assure you.
Well, that's exactly what we want to see -
more of that today, more Welsh social history, Welsh folk art,
because it's a nation full of wonderful sculptural things,
so, erm...thank you so much for that!
Pleasure. Thank you very much.
And speaking of social history,
Catherine spotted a Welsh item with a great musical past.
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, we'll find out soon, because we're travelling over to Anthemion Auctions,
just a few miles away in North Cardiff.
But before the sale,
I'm going to have a quick chat with our auctioneer, Ryan Beach.
-Ryan, it's good to see you again.
-And the room looks fabulous.
-Thanks very much.
Some cracking lots. All the ingredients of a perfect sale.
Looking forward to tomorrow. And I know one or two of our things will fly,
-and hopefully they'll go overseas.
Which is what I want to ask you about, really.
Without the Internet,
there would be no such thing as worldwide connection, would there?
You wouldn't find the buyers in America or Canada or Australia.
-It's opened the market worldwide.
-Which is good.
It's good for the vendors, it's good all round, really.
At my last auction, we had something like 40 lots of Moorcroft, I think I sold two to the room.
Obviously when you're bidding online, by phone,
you've got to book the line in advance, you ring the landline,
there are people at home picking up the phone.
What happens when you're on a computer?
Basically, we've got a webcam on me, and I'm microphoned up,
and they will register online on their computer, their laptop,
they put all their details in, we check their credit card details
-against their address to make sure they're genuine.
And they literally can see me on the rostrum, they can hear me,
and at the click of a mouse, they can bid.
-Well, good luck tomorrow.
I hope the room will be crowded.
Despite the fact that people are buying online.
I want to see lots of faces in here, because it adds to a terrific atmosphere.
Don't go away - there could be a big surprise.
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.
So why have they come off the wall?
-Cos I don't like them!
-You don't like them!
And they were relegated to the toilet wall.
-Oh, were they?!
Do you know what, that's quite funny, really, isn't it?
-I don't mind... I like art on the walls in the toilet.
-So do I.
-And we're not talking graffiti.
-Appropriate. Appropriate art.
Yeah. And I can see them working there.
But you know, they're really, really good, they need to be somewhere...
On the landing or in the hallway.
-Yeah, or drawing room.
-PAUL MUTTERS MOCKINGLY
-I thought you were going to say in the closet!
-Oh, I haven't been in the closet for years, Paul!
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?
-They're going pride of place somewhere.
And that's our last lot for now.
Time to take a breather.
As we see on the show, time and time again,
the bigger the item
doesn't necessarily command the higher price.
Sometimes the small accountables, the little antiques,
the little delicate ones, that take an awful lot of skill to make,
can command a very high price.
But as I found out recently, on a trip to Caerphilly,
which is just down the road, really,
when it comes to castles, big is definitely better.
Take a closer look at this.
one of the finest and most ambitious architectural creations
of medieval Europe.
The second largest castle in the UK.
The third largest castle in Europe.
Yes, this is what you call a castle,
and today, I'm going to be finding out
about the man who designed this immense beast.
A man who, depending upon your viewpoint,
was either a forward-thinking genius,
r a deluded, deviously-minded egomaniac.
Incredibly, this was not the work of a king, but a very wealthy knight -
Gilbert "The Red" De Clare.
And as the name suggests, yes, he was a red-headed nobleman
of Norman descent.
And when he inherited his father's estates in 1263,
he became the wealthiest and most powerful man in England,
second only to the Royal Family.
He owned land in several counties,
including an area of land around Caerphilly,
here in the heart of South Wales.
But what prompted him to build such an ambitious castle?
Well, it all started in 1267, when arch-rival, Llywelyn ap Gruffydd,
was declared the Prince of Wales by treaty.
But the wording was ambiguous.
Did upland Glamorgan belong to the Welsh lords,
and thus to Llywelyn?
Or to Gilbert, the Norman Lord of the region?
Gilbert lost no time in starting work on the castle,
to defend the land he strongly believed was rightfully his.
Now, he went above and beyond what anyone could have imagined,
ploughing huge amounts of money
into making the most formidable fortress of its day.
most of the building work was completed within three years,
from 1268 to 1271.
Its magnificence would have no doubt struck fear
into the hearts of the local people.
The true strength and majesty of the castle
lies not only in the scale of the monumental architecture,
but also in its outstanding defences,
because it's surrounded by two very large moats, as you can see.
Now, Gilbert was inspired by the water defences at Kenilworth Castle,
so if you were attacking this castle, you were the enemy,
you either had to swim across the moat or travel by boat,
leaving you exposed to the soldiers on the inside
firing down on you with a very high vantage point.
You were literally sitting ducks, it rendered you useless.
You couldn't exactly get an accurate aim and fire back.
So what you see here is the most fabulous example
of 13th century fortified architecture.
But there's more - Gilbert was a complex man,
and his castle was equally as complex.
He was the first person to use concentric walls
as a defence mechanism in Britain.
Circuits of walls, one inside the other.
If the enemy managed to breach the first wall,
as they struggled to scale the second,
they'd find themselves trapped between the two,
and easy targets for defenders firing from above onto their heads.
And cleverly, the towers and the gatehouses
built closer to the castle are taller,
so during a siege, the garrisons on the inner defensive ring
could easily fire over their comrades' heads
without fear of hitting their own men.
Now, in the unlikely event
that an army had penetrated both concentric circles
and reached the inner island,
Gilbert still had some pretty dirty tricks up his sleeve.
If the enemy got this far, the defenders were in grave danger,
so they had to be pretty determined.
A portcullis would be dropped here, right down through that slit.
And down here, through the murder holes,
hot liquids, missiles and balls of fire would have been dropped down
onto the attacking army.
You wouldn't want to be in their shoes.
But the inner castle walls were never breached,
despite being attacked by an army of 10,000 in one siege.
And in the late 13th century,
the prince was killed in battle in Mid Wales,
greatly lessening the threat to Caerphilly.
With the prince out of the picture, the danger petered out,
and the castle's short life as a frontline fortress came to an end.
By the mid 14th century, the castle fell into disrepair,
and into the hands of various owners.
It led a quiet life,
with the exception of the Civil War in the 1640s,
when the Parliamentarians stormed the castle and tried to demolish it
to stop the Royalists from using it.
And it's thought that attack, plus natural land subsidence,
has caused that tower there to lean.
And it leans a whopping ten degrees -
that's more than the Leaning Tower Of Pisa in Italy.
In the late 18th century,
the Bute family took over Caerphilly,
and slowly set about its restoration.
Today, the only marauding visitors are people like me,
who come to simply take in its breathtaking scale and stature.
Gilbert created the archetypal concentric fortress
and its design went on to influence many future castles.
Undoubtedly, Caerphilly's defences
are a little more complex than necessary.
Perhaps Gilbert perceived his enemies
to be a little more of a threat than they actually were.
Or perhaps he just built the biggest, strongest castle possible,
because he could.
A medieval show-off. Whatever the reason, I'm impressed.
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.
Well, I think it couldn't be more fitting.
I'm sure your neighbour would thoroughly enjoy you doing that.
Yes, I think she would.
I just love to see locally-produced collectibles on the programme.
But I found something that feels like
it comes from a million miles away.
I've just left our experts alone for a little while,
working hard doing their valuations,
and I've sneaked out into the museum here
to show you something very, very special.
Now, we see a lot of things on the show
that date back to the 16th, sometimes the 15th century,
but nothing as ancient as this.
It is called an Archaeopteryx, which translates as "ancient wing".
Now, this dates back 150 million years.
It's a fossil, which is in this lovely little piece of limestone,
which is on loan to the museum.
Scientists are convinced this is in fact an early bird.
You can see here... Look, you can see the skull up there.
There's evidence of teeth in there.
Also, you've got the upper arm, the lower arm and fingers.
There's two fingers stuck together there
and one protruding upwards with a claw on the end.
It just shows you how birds have changed over the years.
And I'm pleased they have, because that looks frightening.
Well, that's enough of looking at the ancient,
let's get back to looking at some antiques
and join up with our experts.
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.
There you are, you've seen them.
Our experts have now made their final choices
for items to take off to auction,
so it's time to say goodbye to our magnificent host location,
the National Museum Cardiff.
Let's get over to the sale room and put the values to the test.
Here's a quick recap of what we're taking.
These Swansea plates have been divided into two lots -
this intricate pair,
and the more modest plates.
Will the bidders sniff out this pretty 1940s vinaigrette?
And can we find a new home
which suits this impressive French bronze?
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.
On the sale preview day,
I caught up with auctioneer Ryan to find out what he made of them.
This lot is right up your street. We brought this to the right man.
OK, Swansea plates, two pairs.
She inherited them from her mother's neighbour.
And keeping in with the botanical themes
that are decorated on the front,
she's going to spend all the money on the garden.
This pair, £400 to £600. This pair, £800 to £1,200.
You can see why, you can see the difference in quality, can't you?
There's a lot more going on here. The artwork is incredible, isn't it?
It is. It is lovely.
You've the added provenance here as well,
part of the Harry Sherman collection.
Can we talk a bit more about that?
Well, Harry Sherman himself was a big collector.
He died, intending to leave his entire collection to a museum,
on the understanding that they displayed it fully.
They couldn't fulfil that legacy, so they had to sell the collection.
So they sold it for the prices, I believe, as I'm informed,
for the prices he originally paid for them.
And they were queuing for about half a mile down the road
in order to buy from his collection.
The irony is that he had this fantastic collection,
but his wife hated Swansea, so all of it was in his office.
This is exceptional quality. Do you have high hopes for these?
I would hope they would make around the upper estimate, at least.
OK, yeah. 800 to 1,200.
-You'll enjoy selling these, won't you?
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.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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.
Paul also takes time out to explore nearby Caerphilly Castle, and find out what makes this fortress so unique in design.