Antiques series. Paul Martin presents from Blackpool Tower Circus with experts Anita Manning and James Lewis, and the team uncovers a tribal mask and a tea set.
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Today we are exploring the spooky side of Lancashire
with tales of ghosts and witches.
Let's hope there's nothing scary about what our experts
have to say when it comes to valuing antiques.
Welcome to "Flog It!"!
Can someone let me out?
We will be back at Lancaster Castle later on in the show,
but right now we are off to the location for today's valuations.
We are in Blackpool,
one of the UK's most popular holiday destinations.
It originally became fashionable in the 1800s,
when the opening of the railway meant that workers
from the cotton mills of Lancashire
could escape the grime of the cities for a bit of sea air.
The town still attracts over ten million visitors each year,
who come to be thrilled and scared by the attractions,
including the country's tallest rollercoaster ride
and today's venue, the Tower Circus.
But it's not about the tourists today.
We're here to do some business and, of course,
it's about the good people of Blackpool and the surrounding areas.
They have turned up en masse, laden with unwanted antiques
and collectables, all hoping to make a small fortune in auction.
Our experts are already hard at work in the queue.
There's Anita Manning over there. There's James Lewis.
All hoping to find the best items.
Of course, this lot have one question on their lips
and they are dying to say it, aren't you?
-ALL: What's it worth?
We've got the crowd, they've got their items,
all we need now are our experts.
When I was a wee girl I wanted to run away to the circus.
-And today I'm doing it. You're going to take me?
-I'll carry you off!
Here's a couple of items that are getting carted off
to the auction in today's show.
Which of these will make thousands later on in the programme?
The silver snuffbox with the intriguing inscription,
or this Royal Doulton Spook figure?
Find out later on.
There has been a circus on this site since it first opened in 1894.
And the four corners of the room I'm standing in today are actually
part of the superstructure, they're made up of the legs of the tower.
This is one of the legs, which rises 500 feet above me in the air.
There's another one over there and there and there.
Fingers crossed we have some high-flying results
in the auction room today. First, we need some antiques.
Let's join up with our experts and look at their first finds.
And as the crowd settle in, James has made a head start
with a spooky-looking mask that's a long way from home.
Anybody who knows me knows I am an Africa nut.
I've been to Tanzania
and I have spent time with the tribe who made this mask,
called the Makonde.
They are northern Tanzania and Mozambique.
They are the most amazing people with, in my opinion,
-the most ferocious masks on the planet.
So, what is a fantastic mask like that doing here today?
-It was a find off the internet.
And it was so unusual and the markings on it, I found it bizarre.
And being a full helmet rather than just a mask...
Did you buy it because you had an interest in African art
or just because you thought it strange?
We had the staff and that, didn't we?
And we got a couple of the normal wooden masks that everybody gets.
-But it's just so unusual and to have the hair
on the top and everything, it's a bit freaky.
-And you know it's real hair?
There are different designs that you find on different masks
for different purposes.
These type of helmet masks were used in marriage ceremonies,
in death ceremonies, funerals,
but also for fertility,
for wishing a new season of a fertile harvest.
Some of the masks are denoting female, some male.
The rarer ones are the female ones. This is a male.
The teeth, they are actually pierced.
The mask was designed to be worn like that and some masks,
you would look through the mouth, use it as eye slots.
I think this one would have been worn more like that.
So it is one of the only masks that was worn on the top of the head
rather than like that.
Inside you see white wood under the dark staining.
-That dark staining is made to look older than it is.
And this is very light.
They often were light but...
..made for the tourist market.
The masks that were made to be used in their own ceremonies,
19th century and earlier, are massively in demand,
worth sometimes tens of thousands of pounds.
The ones that are made for the tourist market
are a totally different thing. But there we are.
The staff, it's not so exciting.
It's a bit of hardwood.
It's probably Ghanaian. North-west African.
Probably a tribal chief's staff, or meant to be.
But again, it's made for the tourist market rather than for their own.
-So, shall I ask what you paid?
-Well, we would rather keep that one quiet.
-Especially if my wife's watching.
-Do you think you might have paid a bit too much?
A little bit too much, yes!
Well, I reckon at auction -
you might have bought a bargain, you don't know -
£60 to £100, as an estimate.
-You paid too much, didn't you?
I'm sorry. You never know.
It might absolutely fly and do really well.
But if it does, then you will have done really, really well.
-Thank you very much.
From a "Flog It!" first to a "Flog It!" classic. Over to Anita.
Tina, welcome to "Flog It!"!
It's lovely to have you along and thank you
-for bringing in our old favourite, Clarice Cliff.
We see lots of Clarice on the programme.
Some people love it, some people hate it. I love it. What about you?
I absolutely love Clarice Cliff. I have done now for 30-odd years.
-How did you come by this lot?
-It was from a house clearance.
My mum helped our old neighbour clear her sister's house
and this was part of some pottery
that she put in the back of the cupboard.
When I discovered this was Clarice Cliff when I was about 18,
this started my collection.
-So, this started a love affair with Clarice Cliff's work?
-Yes, it did.
-So, why have you brought this in today?
I mean, I've got some of these pieces out of newspaper
-that has got the 2001 date on.
-You haven't had it out since then?
-So it's time to pass it on.
I just love it and I think that somebody else will as well.
I mean, I love Clarice Cliff.
She was a poor girl who became enormously successful
in her designs in the pottery trade.
Wonderful, wonderful designs which were ground-breaking.
This little coffee set is the Sundew pattern
and it was done for the 1930s.
We've got six cups, six saucers, a coffee pot here, sugar,
cream and a little jam dish.
But I did notice, Tina, that we have some damage on the coffee pot.
So that's the only thing that worries me a little bit, the crack.
And it's quite a substantial crack
which goes the full length of the pot.
But we still have our six cups and saucers,
we still have our sugar and cream and we still have our jam pot.
Estimate on this, I would say maybe £150 to £200.
It would be more if we had, you know...
-if everything was in good condition.
-I know. I realise.
-Would you be happy to pass it on at that price?
-Shall we go for it?
-£150 to £250. Keep it wide.
With a reserve of maybe round about 130 on it.
-Yes. I agree with that.
-We'll do that.
-Thank you again for bringing it along.
These are two of the most unusual things
that I have ever seen on the "Flog It!" tables.
I THINK I know what they are. I'm sort of 99% there.
-What do you know about them?
-Not a great deal.
They are a family heirloom
and I've been asking people do they know what they are and they say no.
I haven't seen anything quite like them for probably 25 years.
My last family holiday with parents was to go to the Somme battlefield.
My dad is a great sort of military historian.
And we would walk the battlefields and try and work out
-where the trench lines were and all that sort of thing.
As a sort of an eagle-eyed collector, I was ferreting around,
trying to find interesting things to pick up, and one of the things
I picked up was one of these, or something very similar.
I think what we have here are a pair of World War I
-shell case fuses.
-From the pointed end of the shell.
-There we have a hole at the end
and then a spiral to contain something.
-I think it's a wire, a fuse wire.
-A wire? Oh!
There is a gap at the bottom
and then there is a little hole that comes out either at zero -
which I presume is zero seconds -
-or 49, for 49 seconds.
And that is a bit of a guess, but I think that's what they are.
Now, the fact that they are First World War
would indicate that they were probably put together in this form
by probably somebody in the trenches.
If you think in terms of an infantryman 100 years ago
on the front-line battlefields,
we often see the scenes of them going up over the edge and fighting,
but the truth was, 95% of their time
was literally sitting in the trenches,
waiting - cold, damp, bored,
and up to their knees in mud with very little to do.
So they made things known as trench art, and they made snuffboxes
out of bits of brass shell case,
they made fire implements for them for stoking the fire and tongs
and also things like desk weights.
And it wouldn't surprise me if these were made
-by an infantryman in the trenches 100 years ago.
-Could be right. Yeah.
So, now the final thing to try and work out is a valuation.
It's a little bit like that.
-I've not sold them before.
-..I think £30 or £40.
-OK. That's fine.
-Would that be all right for you?
Somebody might love them.
Somebody might, love. Let them enjoy them.
Anita has found a classic timepiece.
-Carol, Eric, welcome to "Flog It!".
It's lovely to have you along.
Especially in this most fantastic and wonderful circus ring.
-Do you come from Blackpool?
-I do, yes.
-And what about you, Eric?
-I originate from Yorkshire. I've been in...
-How did you two get together?
-We met when I was 16, Eric was 17.
And we started going out together
and we went out together for a couple of years.
And then, unfortunately, we parted company because we fell out.
-Whose fault was it?
-So what happened?
-Well, we parted company,
and 50 years later, we met again,
after our husband and wives had died.
About five or six years ago.
And then you fell in love with her all over again.
-Right, let's get back to antiques.
-This is a watch of some style.
Tell me, where did you get it?
It was a present, originally, from my first wife.
I used to wear it, originally, but as time went on,
I got a little older
and I get a little bit frightened of wearing things.
No, I can understand that.
-So, how long have you had it?
-Somewhere in the region of 15 years.
About 15 years.
This is a Rolex which is really the Rolls-Royce of watches.
And this is a Rolex Oyster.
The Rolex company was founded in about, I think it was 1905, 1906,
by a German, but the company existed in London.
By 1908, 1909, it was one of the most famous watch companies
in the world and renowned for the precision
of these wonderful machines.
And the Rolex Oyster, which first came out in 1926,
was the first waterproof watch.
This is a later Rolex Oyster, but still a wonderful piece.
-And I love these watches.
This one is in stainless steel.
And we also have the original box and that is good,
with the Rolex logo and this little crown here.
And we have the box to put the box in!
OK, I think this will do well at auction.
It's in beautiful condition, it's been well-kept.
I tend to be a wee bit conservative in my estimates,
but I would like to put it in maybe £500-£700.
Would you be happy to put forward...
-With that estimate?
-And would you like us to put a reserve on it, Eric?
-We'll put it at the lower estimate
with a wee bit of discretion.
-Would you be happy with that?
Well, let's hope that this Rolls-Royce of watches
just rolls away and makes a terrific price.
I'm sure it will. Thank you, Eric, for bringing it in.
-Thank you, so much.
-Thank you very much.
Before we head off to auction, I'm going to explore a local landmark.
Browsholme Hall is one of over 5,000 listed buildings in Lancashire.
But what makes this one more special
than most is it's the oldest surviving family home in the county,
having been passed down through 14 generations of the Parker family.
It's estimated that over 90 of Lancashire's historic stately homes
have been lost over the last century,
having either been demolished
or left to fall into a state of disrepair.
Browsholme Hall, however, is one of the county's proud survivors
and it's been in the same ownership for the past 500 years.
Now, that is an impressive claim to fame,
only made possible by the courage,
the conviction and the incredible antiques of its inhabitants.
The house was built in 1507
by Edmund Parker, using money that he inherited.
Through the years, each generation
has made its own mark on the building
and that's continuing today with the current owners
and members of the family.
And I'm here to take a look around.
But first, I want to introduce you
to two men from the Parker family tree
who I believe have been instrumental in cementing the ancestral roots
of Browsholme Hall over the last five centuries.
And we're going to start with the first gentleman.
The current owner.
Hello, pleased to meet you.
-Welcome to you, Paul.
-What a lovely day, as well.
Robert Parker was left the house and its collection of antiques
aged just 19 when he inherited it from a distant relative.
And whilst most people at that age would have sold up and spent
the money on partying, Robert chose to stick to his family roots
and has lived here ever since.
This is a marvellous house.
What was the house like, when you inherited its?
Well, when we first came here,
we found a house that was almost unliveable in.
The water supply was poisonous, the electricity supply was dangerous,
there were no kitchens, no bathrooms.
So not something you could comfortably move into, by any means.
Right. Obviously, all of your ancestors
have had a fabulous eye for antiques.
They are great collectors. Is it something you have inherited?
And who do you think was the main man?
The rooms that you will see today are really the creation of
Thomas Lister Parker, who is one of the early antiquarians.
Unusual at the beginning of the 19th century,
to actually start admiring what went before,
rather than collecting new and modern things...
-From the day?
-From the day.
So the room as you see it today is his creation.
What had accumulated in this house in 300 years before he inherited it.
Do you mind if I take a look around?
Because, really, this is my kind of thing, this period, the 1600s.
-Can I be nosy?
-OK, thank you.
Thomas Lister Parker owned the house from around 1796 to 1824
and it was he who first discovered
all the collections stored in Browsholme's attic.
Whilst generations before had obviously acquired the items
over the years, they had certainly not appreciated them.
Luckily, Thomas had an eye for antiques and
he went on to buy many more.
Most of the items here in this room were bought by the family
centuries ago to be used, practical pieces of kit which have now
become precious antiques for us to enjoy today.
The first thing that grabs my attention
is this huge great big dresser.
It is a dresser? No, it's not.
If you look closely, you can see it is in fact four separate chests.
These tests were made for the family in the 1600s
and they are beautifully carved.
But Thomas, in the 1800s, put them all together to make this dresser,
to make something practical, to display all of these antiques on.
And it is absolutely remarkable.
Just look at this. This is a panel from a local abbey.
But it just shows the wonderful carving
of the secular work of the monks.
This is classical Renaissance at its very best.
And here, look, if you look closely,
you can see St Catherine of Alexander.
So we are talking around circa the year 250.
You associate Catherine with the Catherine wheel,
this is the term we know - the Catherine wheel.
How did that come about?
Well, she was persecuted for their religious beliefs,
tied to a wheel and beaten to death.
Horrific, what went on back then.
Another of Thomas's purchases was this painting,
which shows the hall as it looked when he was alive.
This watercolour is by John Butler,
a renowned watercolour artist back in the 1800s.
He specialised in interiors and he helped the family out quite a lot.
This was done in 1807, but if you look at the hall,
as it was back then, you can see a lot of the pieces of furniture
and artefacts are still here today, some 200 years later.
And I've spotted these chairs, see, there's quite a few of them.
There's two here, look.
But look at the abuse somebody has given this chair over the centuries.
They've obviously enjoyed sitting in it,
and they have adapted it to be turned into a rocking chair
for extra comfort.
But that gives us a fascinating insight,
not just into the antiques and the architecture of the house,
but of what the things were used for.
The social history of the family, work rest and play.
Thomas Lister Parker was a great patron of the arts,
spending huge sums of money on collections of paintings.
But in 1824, he spent up and ran out of money
and was forced to sell the house he loved so much.
Although, luckily enough, it stayed in the family,
when his cousin bought it.
Gosh, I absolutely love this house.
I wish I was born a Parker!
You know, every room you walk into,
it embraces you, it does have a magnificent family feel about it.
And that is so important.
This staircase is another feature...
installed by the ever-present Thomas Lister Parker,
and it dates back to the early part of the 1800s.
But that stained glass window there on the landing,
or elements of that, date back even further.
He put this together in the 1800s, really as a montage,
as a piece of colour, something to enjoy,
not for religious purposes, but really for antiquarian purposes.
And I can point out some of the early pieces here.
This little picture of Christ, that dates back to around 1250.
Here, this little panel, that's around the mid-1500s.
That is the Tudor Rose, look, Henry VIII.
And here, I quite like that.
That's sort of what the pagans really worship,
and that's the Green man.
Look at that, isn't that lovely? That's, again, from the 1500s.
And being a family home, obviously enjoyed by everybody,
even the youngsters would like to look at this window.
But these bars have been added for protection, really,
to stop them from getting too close
so they don't poke their fingers through the glass.
It's easy to see why Thomas's collection attracts
thousands of visitors each year.
But some of his items haven't proved popular
with the later generations of the family.
The clock on the east wing dates from 1816
and although it's been restored,
earlier residents chose not to repair the mechanism
because it has an extremely loud tick
which makes it impossible for people in the rooms below to sleep.
What an incredible house!
Actually, I should rephrase that,
and say what an incredible home because that's what it is.
The building is not just of historical interest
and significance, but also its contents.
They have been in the same family for 14 generations.
They have been looked after and cherished and is a wonderful insight
into the Parker family social history.
It's their heritage, they have protected it and looked after it.
And it's good to see a building used for the same purpose
that it was built for.
A family home.
Things have got off to a flying start here at the Tower Circus.
I'm just watching Anita Manning, one of our experts, hard at work there.
We are ready for our first trip to the auction room, but before that,
here's a quick recap of all the items going under the hammer.
Phil and Sean are hoping their mask doesn't scare off the bidders.
There's that Clarice Cliff tea set, brought along by Tina.
And there's the classic wrist watch along with its original packaging.
And Stella is hoping her artillery fuses go with a bang.
We are leaving Blackpool and heading a few miles down the coast
to Lytham St Annes,
where it's time to put our first lots under the hammer.
And the man in charge of today's proceedings
is auctioneer Jonathan Cook.
The auction house is packed and ready to go.
Let's get moving with our first lot.
Fingers crossed, Stella.
-Is this your first auction?
-Is it really?
-I've never been.
-Gosh. Are you nervous?
-Yes, I am.
-Got your hands behind your back.
Whatever you do, don't do that! You might buy something!
These two fuses from the First World War,
that's what's going under the hammer right now.
-Not a great deal of money, James, is there?
They are unusual things, things you don't see a lot of at auction.
There are a lot of militaria collections out there
and I'm sure these will find a new home.
Good luck, both of you. Let's put it to the test.
Lot 80. World War I trench art.
A pair of brass and copper shell tops.
Converted to paperweights.
A bid's there at £20 on the internet, at 20.
It's all down to the bidders now.
£20. On the net at 20. Are we all sure at 20?
Any further interest?
£20. 22. 24.
At £24. Any further interest on 24?
-On the internet at 24.
-There's no hands in the room.
At £24. Selling away at 24. All finished? At £24.
-It sold. You were right.
-Spot on, James.
They are not easy things to sell, are they? Who wants them?
-There's only so many paperweights you can have.
Thanks for bringing them in because it was an interesting talking point
and that is what it's all about. It teaches us new things,
cos I'd not seen these before, you'd not seen them.
We know what they're worth and we know what they are.
That's all right, love. That's fine.
We love seeing trench art on "Flog It!"
but often the priceless stories behind them
aren't reflected in their value at auction.
We've come downstairs for our next lot,
the wooden helmet and staff brought along by Philip and Sean.
Philip has some mobility problems
and there are a lot of steps to the auction room,
which is on the first floor above us, so we've set up a live link
to the auction room down here
so we can watch it on this monitor and follow all of the action
and hear what is going on.
-So are you excited, boys?
-We are going to put that valuation to the test.
-That's what auctions are all about.
-Yeah. It's a great lot.
We haven't got much tribal art in this sale
but it's live on the internet.
What we're watching here on the internet
is what thousands of people across the world are watching as well...
Thank goodness to modern technology. Here's the action now.
Let's follow it. This is our lot coming up right now. Good luck.
Lot 180. Tribal art, possibly Makonde.
Together with the carved staff.
Bid's there at £40 on the net. Any advance on 40?
At £40. Any advance on 40?
At 42. £42. Any advance on 42?
At 44. 46.
At 48. 50.
55. 60. 65.
-This is getting better.
At £90 in the room. Any advance on 90?
At £90. Gent's bid at 90. Are we all done at 90?
At £90. Sell away at 90.
It seems to have settled at 90.
-I think it's settled now. It's found its level at £90.
No further interest.
-£90. Well done.
Another lot making its estimate.
Time is up now for that classic wristwatch.
Eric and Carole, why are you selling this?
Em...well, I don't wear it that much, to be honest with you.
It's been in the safe most of the time.
I just thought it was time to go.
-But you've got another watch?
-I've got another watch.
Well, look, good luck. I mean, the thing is,
with its original box, it's much more sellable, isn't it?
The box is very important,
it's showing us the design features of that time
and the collectors of vintage items will love that.
I've got high hopes on this one,
I think this could do the top end, perhaps a little bit more.
-Let's hope so.
-You know, it's a good thing. OK?
Fingers crossed, everyone, let's put it to the test. Here we go.
Rolex Precision Oyster gents' stainless-steel vintage wristwatch,
circa 1960. Oyster strap,
-lots of interest...
-Classic date for a Rolex.
340. At £340.
Any advance? 360, 380,
-There's someone in the room bidding now.
440, 460, 480, 500.
At £500, any advance on 500?
550. At 550 in the room, gent's bid at 550.
Any advance on 550?
600 on the net.
At £600, on the internet at 600.
We've sold it, haven't we?
Any further interest? £600, then.
-Sell away for 600, all sure?
-Hammer's gone down. £600. We're happy with that.
-Absolutely, very happy, yes.
And the box really did help.
Time to see if the Clarice Cliff tea set can improve on that.
It wouldn't be "Flog It!" without it, would it?
-Ever used it?
It's just been locked in the back of a cupboard before I had it
and I have been storing it in boxes.
A lovely thing like that shouldn't be stuck in a box
or in a wardrobe or at the back of a cupboard.
-It should be out, making people happy.
-Very much so.
Let's put it to the test. It's going under the hammer. This is it.
Lot 380. Clarice Cliff. Hand-painted. Six-piece coffee set.
Showing there. Bids of £100. 110. 120.
At £120. Any advance on 120?
130, right at the back at 130. In the room at 130.
At £130. Any advance on 140?
At 140. 150. At 150.
At 180. 190.
Come on. Let's get 200. Come on, come on, come on.
-Yes, we've got it!
£260. £260 in the room.
Any advance on £260? All sure at 260.
-No further interest.
-Wasn't that wonderful?
Clarice doesn't let us down.
It's a great name, isn't it? It's a great name in design, basically.
-Happy? You've got to be over the moon.
-I'm just shocked.
There you go.
If you've got anything like that as well, we want to sell it.
Bring it along to one of our valuation days
and you could be standing in the next room next to us next time.
Blackpool is a place best known for fun and laughter,
but the County of Lancashire itself has had a scary and sinister past,
with tales of witchcraft and magic throughout its history.
And I've been off to investigate one of the most famous stories of all.
From our early childhood, most of us have heard tales of witches,
and they seem to be warted women concocting deadly potions,
stirring a cauldron and casting wicked spells on people
and they seem to have black cats and ride around on broomsticks.
Well, such stories have thrilled and frightened us for centuries
so today I've come to Lancaster Castle
to unearth one of the greatest witchcraft tales of our history,
that of the Pendle witches.
It all began in March 1612,
when an argument in a small town spiralled out of control
and soon led to 20 people being arrested and accused of witchcraft.
Colin Penny is the manager of Lancaster Castle
and an expert on the Pendle witch trials.
20 people were arrested. On what grounds?
Well, the whole incident of the Lancashire witches begins
with an argument between two people.
Alison Device, who is very poor, she was a beggar,
and John Law, a pedlar
who basically is travelling around, selling things.
He passes by, she asks him for some pins.
He says, "Have you got any money?" She says no.
"Well, you can't have any pins, then."
He walks off, but he almost immediately becomes very ill.
He has what we think was a stroke,
judging from his symptoms as described at the time.
He believes himself to have been bewitched. So did his son.
Alison was arrested. That then began a snowball effect.
Her friends, her family are also interviewed
and the charges against them basically spiral out of control.
There was a genuine belief in the power of magic,
both for good and for evil, not least because James I
was obsessed by witches and by witchcraft.
He wrote the Daemonologie in the late 16th century,
which is essentially, if you like,
a handbook in how to identify and go through the process
of what you should look for
in a potential witch suspect, if you like.
And it's no coincidence that there is a huge rise
in the number of witch accusations under James I.
The 20 accused were held in Lancaster Castle for five months
between April and August 1612.
And the conditions at the prison were far from comfortable.
Back then there were no rules or rights when it came to the treatment
of prisoners at the castle, and here are a few examples
of the kind of things that were used to restrain the prisoners.
Here you have got some neck and wrist irons,
so you would literally be clamped to the wall. Handcuffs.
These weren't items really designed to hurt you,
but to humiliate you for hours on end.
This one in particular, the scold's bridle,
used mainly on women who were deemed too aggressive and outspoken.
They'd be paraded through the town with all the folk jeering at them
because they were too aggressive and a little bit lippy.
And if you look inside there, that actually opens up,
clamps all the way over the head
and there's a gagging piece of metal that actually goes in your mouth.
Clamps your tongue down to stop you from speaking
as you are paraded through the streets.
All 20 of them were held together in one small, windowless cell,
much like this one.
And whether they had access to daylight or fresh air
was down to the discretion of the jailer who was on duty at the time.
One of the accused, an elderly lady named Old Demdike,
died in the jail before the case could begin.
However, in August that year, the remaining 19 stood trial.
The proceedings were unusual
because they were documented by the court clerk, Thomas Potts,
in his account, The Wonderful Discovery Of Witches,
which became a historical document of the trial.
What was unusual was evidence was given from a nine-year-old girl.
Now, that is totally out of the question normally, but here,
the rules were bent to help the prosecution.
The jury, no doubt basing their decision on their own fears
and prejudice of witchcraft, found ten of the accused,
including the original girl, guilty and they were sentenced to death.
And it was here on Gallows Hill, overlooking the town,
that the ten guilty people were hung
and later their bodies were buried at a crossroads
so if their spirits returned,
they couldn't find their way back to haunt those that they cursed.
What about the castle itself?
Well, it's still playing its part in law and order.
The castle was used as a fully functioning prison
right up until March 2011.
This room today is still being used as a fully working courtroom.
Luckily enough, there are no witches to be put on trial any more.
Welcome back to Blackpool and our valuation day
here at the Tower Circus, where hundreds of people have turned up
today with their unwanted antiques and collectables,
all hoping to make a small fortune at auction.
Now, which item will get a standing ovation?
We are about to find out. Let's catch up with our experts.
Jeanette, are you a collector, are you a trader,
are you a car-booter that's found it for a bargain 50p?
Tell me the history.
I've not got a lot of history.
It's been in the family for a while, but I don't know a lot about it.
-I'm a bit of a hoarder.
But it's time to unleash some of these things I'm hoarding.
Righty-ho. Well, do you know how much about it?
Nothing. I'm hoping you can tell me.
Well, let's start with the trinket pot for the dressing table
that is combined with a hat pincushion.
If we look around the edge, this is repousse work,
which is very much in the Dutch style,
but I was very surprised to see
a Chester hallmark there
GN and RH, George Nathan and Ridley Hayes, good local makers,
so we are talking about an Edwardian pincushion
in the Dutch style.
They've obviously just been inspired by a bit of Continental silver.
The scrap value of the silver is next to nothing,
it's a very thin, oval band, so very little silver there,
but there are lots of collectors for silver trinkets
and especially pincushions,
so what do you think will be affecting the value of this?
The intricate figuring on it.
-I'm not sure about the pincushion because it is worn a bit.
Whenever you look at any object,
the things that generally make its value are the market,
how fashionable it is, whether it has anything intrinsically valuable,
like a scrap value to it, and whether it has any great provenance.
Condition is the other thing, but in terms of pincushions,
a bit of wear to the surface of the velvet is acceptable wear,
but if we just push this up, you can see
what a lovely plum-colour velvet it would have been,
but that thing that is important is this,
because as you polish,
the first thing that is going to rub through
is the noses on the figures, the ends of the hats
and, as it wears through,
you see light through, so if you hold it up,
if you can't see any pinholes of light, then it's in good order.
If you can see holes coming through, it halves the value.
-Right? So, there we go.
Don't worry about a bit of rubbed velvet.
With it, we have three solid-silver... Oh, hang on...
Correction, two solid-silver and one silver-plated thimble.
-Those are worth £10 each, that one is worth next to nothing,
so £20 worth of silver thimbles.
What do you think the pincushion is worth?
OK, guys, you've been watching long enough.
What do you think that is going to make?
120 - 150.
You are all fairly close.
100 - 150, I recognise is what it's worth,
so I think I might as well retire and leave it to you lot, so I'm off!
Bobby, welcome to "Flog It!". It's lovely to have you along.
I had a wee blether with you in the queue
and I know you're not from around these parts. Where are you from?
-I am from Texas.
-Texas! That's fabulous!
-What are you doing here?
-I came, my husband lured me over.
After he moved back here, I came back with him.
-So now you are a Lancashire lass.
Now, you have brought along a wee group of things.
-Can you tell me where you got these?
These watches were my husband's grandfather's.
This necklace my mother-in-law gave me
and this necklace was my brother-in-law's.
He worked for a lady in a large house
-and so she gave it to him.
-As a gift.
-Maybe she thought it suited him.
So these are all stuff that's maybe come from your husband's family.
And it really is the type of thing which anybody
might have in a drawer, passed down in the family.
Nothing of any great value, but a nice wee group.
And if we look at them closely, this is a Victorian necklet.
It is silver.
It's not hallmarked but I think it is silver.
-You are probably talking about 1880 to 1890.
Going on to this one, this necklet is a Norwegian necklet.
It is sterling silver and it's marked sterling,
but it has this wonderful enamel finish on the leaf design
and the Norwegians were masters of enamel work.
We have three pocket watches here that are all in various states of...
We have hands missing on this one, we have the second hand missing
on this one and we have this Waltham here,
which is an American watch but it's not silver.
So, it is a wee sort of mixed lot.
If you put them all together,
we could have some interest in the saleroom.
-Do you like any of this stuff?
I like the pocket watches, but the necklaces, no, not personally.
-You wouldn't wear them?
-Does your husband know you have brought them along here?
-Is he quite happy?
If they were coming into auction I would put an estimate,
grouped together, between £40 and £60.
Would you and your husband be happy to put them
-to auction at that price?
-Yes. That's fine.
-Shall we do that?
They may get more than that, but for a wee mixed lot,
I think we keep the estimates conservative on them.
-We'll put a reserve price on them. Would you want to do that?
We will put £40, but we will put "with discretion"
-so the auctioneer has a little discretion if he needs it.
-But I think they will sell away.
-OK. Sounds good.
Back to James Lewis now, who has discovered something
that looks a bit and usual and even a little bit spooky.
Helen, Doulton are very well known for making little models
of girls in frilly dresses, little clowns, ladies and parasols.
Really, as far as I'm concerned they should be smashed onto the floor,
rolled over with a digger and used as road fill. I hate them.
I hate them, I hate them, I hate them. But that is fantastic!
He's a great little figure!
He's called Spook and he's really sort of naughty,
mysterious, hiding under a cloak.
Modelled after my mother-in-law, I think, originally.
-You'll be in trouble!
-I think he's fantastic. What do you think?
I'm not really keen on him myself.
My husband bought him but I just don't like his evil-looking face.
As if he's up to no good.
-I like them ladies what you would like to smash!
-You don't like those!
You can't like those! No! No! I prefer him.
He is in a titanium glaze, which is this wonderful iridescent blue.
They came in different models. This titanium glaze was a trial glaze.
The original and most well-known of the Spook,
he's known as the Spook,
is actually hand-coloured and decorated fairly naturally.
If we turn him over, there we have the Doulton mark.
But it is very faint.
I can understand why people probably wouldn't have recognised it
as being a Doulton.
But I think also, being a trial glaze,
it's something that's slightly more difficult to identify.
The date is 1916, 1917. Something around there.
Modelled by Tittensor, one of Doulton's leading modellers.
So, your husband liked him, he bought him,
brought him home, fell in love with him
and now you've brought it here to "Flog It!".
-Yes, that's right.
-That's not really fair. Where did he find him?
-He found him in a car-boot sale.
-About a month ago.
-OK. And how much did you pay?
-Would he take 3?
-Yeah. Possibly 50.
-Would he take 50?
I'll buy it for 50.
I'm not allowed to do it. I'm not allowed to and I wouldn't.
It's not worth 50, it's worth 200 to 300.
Your £2 has turned into 200 or 300. That is a car-boot dream.
-Well done. It's a great little object.
-I like him now!
Do you? You are going to take him home?
No, he can go.
No, he's really brought you a bit of luck.
He's a great little figure.
You can see how the Spook does later on in the auction.
It's coming towards the end of the valuation day now
but Anita has found one last item that's caught her eye.
Molly, this is a charming little snuffbox.
Can you tell me where you got it?
It was left to my husband and myself
with quite a few other things in 1989 from a dear friend.
-So you've had it for a wee while.
-I have, yes.
-Have you had it on display?
It's been in the china cabinet, inside a teapot.
-Inside a teapot? Not doing much good there.
-I like this one.
If we open the lid we can see your silver marks here.
It was made in Birmingham in the 1860s, so it's a good age.
And this is important - when you look at an item like this,
the hinges must be pristine to keep the snuff fresh.
It's in very good condition, but one of the things
I like most about this is the little dedication on the cartouche.
Usually in items of silver we like to see the cartouche empty
because it means if it is given as a gift
then it can be engraved afterwards,
but this one has a marvellous little dedication.
"To Old Copey, from Scissors."
-Do you know anything about that?
-We know nothing at all.
-You know nothing about it.
If you think about it,
I can see these names as being nicknames
of two old friends.
Two old pals.
And to have something like that really does
spark off your imagination.
It makes us wonder who Old Copey was and who Scissors was.
What about value, then?
Snuffboxes were making a little more,
say, ten years ago, five years ago.
-In today's market they are a little less.
I would put a value on that of between £60 and £80.
-Would you be happy to sell it at that?
Yes, that would be quite all right.
It would go to a collector and I think that is
a far better place for it to go than in an old teapot.
I think so too.
-Shall we put a reserve on it?
-We will leave that to you.
We will put £60 with a little bit of discretion
but I'm sure it will go higher.
The buyers will like the condition
-and they will like the inscription on this cartouche.
There you are.
What a wonderful time we have had at the Tower Circus in Blackpool.
Everyone has thoroughly enjoyed themselves,
I know I have, and our experts. And I can't wait to come back.
But right now we've got some unfinished business
in the auction room down in Lytham St Annes.
While we make our way down the coastline,
here's a quick recap of all the items going under the hammer.
These silver sewing trinkets.
Time is up for Bobby's collection of pocket watches and two necklaces.
There is Helen's unusual ceramic Spook
that was bought at a car-boot sale.
And, finally, Molly hopes her snuffbox
isn't something to be sniffed at.
I caught up with today's auctioneer Jonathan Cook at the preview day
to take a closer look at one of our items.
Jonathan, I'm absolutely in love with this lot.
Royal Doulton Spook figure.
Not the kind of thing you associate Doulton with
-when you look at their figures.
-Not at all.
I think he's quite rare, a lovely blue lustre to him.
Belongs to Helen.
Her husband bought it in a car-boot sale. Guess how much for?
I don't think... A fiver?
Less than that. It's horrible. It's horrible.
-I mean, that's bonkers, isn't it?
Somebody sold that for £2.
They are going to be sick if they are watching.
James, our expert, has put £200 to £300 on this.
Could this be a little sleeper? Could this go for a lot more?
I think this is a prototype. I've not seen this colour before.
I've seen various other colours
and some of them can fetch £2,000 to £3,000.
-I'm not saying this one will.
-£2,000 to £3,000!
-This is exactly what we like. This is what auctions are all about.
I can't wait.
Good luck on the rostrum with the rest of the lots
but we are looking forward to this one.
A bit of a mixed lot going under the hammer right now.
Two necklaces and three pocket watches belonging to Bobby,
all the way from Texas, who married a man from Lytham
a couple of years ago.
-Happy here? Like it?
-Yes! I love it!
-Great stretch of coastline.
We originally had £40 to £60 put in by Anita.
You've now upped the reserve to 80, new valuation of £100 to £120.
-I think you're spot on with the money, I really do.
I think it should. We have got...
We've got watches and those two
lovely enamelled pieces of jewellery.
And that is very popular in today's market
so we have put it up a wee bit but I think we're in with a great shout.
Let's find out what the bidders think. This is our lot. Here we go.
Bids of £70. Any advance on 70?
At £70. 75 on the net.
80 on the net. 85, 95, 100.
110. 120. At 120 on the net. Any advance in the room?
-At £120 on the internet. At 130 now on the net.
Any advance in the room? At £130.
Are we all sure at 130?
Any further interest? At 130. All sure?
-It's gone. The hammer's gone down. That was a good result.
-I'm pleased with that.
-You're pleased with that.
I know you are. And your husband will be as well.
Thanks very much for bringing that in.
Now, time for some pieces of silver.
Our next lot coming up is the silver pincushion
with some thimbles, belonging to Jeanette.
I think this is a cracking little lot.
Back at the valuation day,
there was no discussion within the valuation of a reserve,
but I know you have got in contact with the auction room
and you have sensibly put £100 on,
which is what James recommended.
-I think the thing is,
with something like that, it's best to just put a safety net.
-Silver at the moment, so much of the silver
is selling for its scrap value, but it can go for very little,
but having said that, this is so pretty, it's in lovely condition,
it's not holed.
-This won't go to melt.
-No, it won't.
-No, no, it won't.
It's too worked, it's too beautiful.
Let's do it, here we go.
Edwardian fine silver pincushion trinket box,
decorated in high relief, together with three silver thimbles.
Bid's with me of £70.
-Any advance on 70?
-Straight in, aren't we? We need a bit more.
85, 90. 95, 100.
And 10? At £110.
120, 130, 140,
at 140 on the net.
150 in the room, lady's bid at 150.
Are we all...? 160.
-At 160, then, on the internet at 160.
Any advance on 160? 165 if it helps?
-165, at 165 in the room.
Any advance on 165?
are we all sure?
-Quality, you see? Quality, quality!
-You were right.
-It's lovely, very pretty.
-Will you treat the granddaughter now?
Next up we've got a Victorian silver snuffbox.
Is it a pinch at £60 to £80?
We are about to find out. Anita's laughing her head off. Hello, Molly.
I know this is yours. You've had it from the 1980s.
-You've decided to sell it.
-Good time to sell silver.
The cracking thing about this little snuffbox
is that it has this marvellous inscription,
-"To Old Copey from Scissors."
-I wonder who that was.
-I've no idea, unfortunately.
-Here we are.
Let's find out what it's worth.
It's going under the hammer now.
Victorian silver snuffbox marked for 1861.
42, 44, 46, 48, 50.
55. 60. 65. 70. 75.
At £95 on the internet. Any advance in the room?
At £95, then. Are we all done at £95?
Sell away, then, at 95. No further interest.
The hammer has gone down. Short and sweet.
-Above the upper estimate.
Good little things to collect, snuffboxes. They really are.
We were lucky enough to have it left to us.
Snuffboxes are a regular on "Flog It!",
but now for something we've never seen before.
Are you all sitting comfortably in your chairs?
This could get exciting. Could get scary. It's quite spooky.
It's the Doulton Spook belonging to Helen. Hello there.
Thank you so much for bringing this along to our valuation day.
I had a chat to the auctioneer yesterday and he said
he's seen them come up for sale before in different colourways.
Exactly. Different colour.
I'm not going to tell you how much he said
just in case it ruins the surprise
-but, I mean, what are you thinking of getting? 200?
Maybe 300. If we're really lucky today, we could get 300.
Good luck. That's all I can say. Fingers crossed.
I think this will go online. It'll go on the internet.
But let's watch this and hopefully,
hopefully it will go through the roof. Here we go.
Lot 360. Royal Doulton.
Rare lustre figure. Spook.
Lots of interest and we can start it off at...
£650. 650 on commission.
Any advance on 750?
950. 1,000 with me.
At 1,000 on commission.
1,100 on the net. Any advance on 1,100? 1,200.
Any advance on 1,200? 1,300 on the phone.
1,500. 1,500. 1,600.
I love this, and they love it as well.
I hope you're tingling at home.
-Helen! You're in the money.
Now we know what they are worth!
-£4,100, and don't forget,
this was bought at a car boot for £2!
4,250, if it helps.
At 4,250. Are we all sure?
At £4,250. Fair warning.
Bought in a car boot for just £2.
And you said to me at the start of the sale you would be happy
-with 200 to 300.
-How about that?
We didn't know what it was worth, now we do and now you do.
Helen, enjoy that money, won't you?
What's going through your mind? What will you do with that?
I'm going on holiday next week with my daughter.
It doesn't get much better than that. Have a good time.
-Bit of spending money.
-You will just love it.
Thank you so much for bringing that in.
That's what auctions are all about. That's why we love them.
I hope you've enjoyed watching today's show.
More surprises to come in the future so keep watching "Flog It!",
but for now, from Blackpool, it's goodbye from all of us.
Antiques series. Paul Martin presents from Blackpool Tower Circus with experts Anita Manning and James Lewis.
The team picks out a selection of antiques and collectibles to be sold at auction. James discovers a scary-looking tribal mask from Africa, and Anita finds a Clarice Cliff tea set. But will a Doulton figure bought at a car boot sale cause a surprise at the auction?