Antiques series. Paul Martin presents from Guildford Cathedral with experts James Lewis and Mark Stacey. Items of interest include a piece of modern art and a vase.
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MUSIC: "FLOG IT!" THEME TUNE ON CHURCH ORGAN
Today, we're in Guildford, pulling out all the stops.
I've been practising my skills on the organ.
Well, I nearly got away with it!
-Well done! Welcome to "Flog It!"
The venue for today's valuations is Guildford Cathedral,
one of the most dominating structures on the Surrey skyline.
It opened in 1961,
after being completed with the help of the local congregation.
And those same people are out in force today, hunting high and low
for antiques and collectibles,
and our experts will be looking out for quality and craftsmanship,
but there's only one question on this lot's lips - which is?
ALL: What's it worth? HE LAUGHS
We've got the crowd, they've got their items.
All we need now are our experts. And we've got James Lewis.
No, it's not! >
That's the hand of the artist. To me, no, it's more than the image.
-There's so much... That's amazing, I think.
I'm so glad you're that side of the camera!
And we've also got Mark Stacey.
-What have you got in your shopping basket here?
-I've got my lunch.
Oh, your lunch.
-And my tea.
-Would you like that valued?
So, as everyone makes their way inside,
here's what's coming up...
Today, we've got woodwork, glasswork and artwork.
But which will do the best at auction?
Will it be this decorative tribal staff?
Or the picture that James disliked in the queue?
Or this classic Lalique vase?
Find out later.
Now, here's a little bit of information for you...
This iconic building was built by the architect Edward Maufe.
It was built at the top of Stag Hill,
which was donated by local nobleman, the 5th Earl of Onslow.
And right here, where this little brass stag is,
marks the pinnacle, the very top of the hill.
Now, we're right behind James Lewis' filming table.
He's our first expert who has found a real gem.
So let's now catch up with James and see what he's got to say about this.
Karen, let me take you back 400 years,
to the time of King James.
In 1601, the English East India Company was formed to try
and bring spices and exotic products to Europe from the Far East.
Spices, tea, tobacco, silks.
And tea became the major product.
In the 18th century,
tea was more expensive per pound than gold or silver.
So you had to have a container that you locked it up in.
And if we open this up, we've got two compartments -
one for black tea, one for green tea, and outside,
this simulated casket,
to represent the value of what is contained within.
So, valued, but obviously not by you because it's here.
-So, is this a family piece? Are you a collector? A tea drinker?
It was given to my husband.
He was working for a lady in London about 15 years ago now and
she gave it to him as a present, and he brought it home and gave it to me.
In other words, she didn't want it, he didn't want it, gave it to you!
What have you done with it?
Well, it was out on display for a few years
and then it's been in the loft for about the last eight years.
Let's hope that someday, somebody at the auction might want it.
But we wondered what this is on top cos I don't think it is brass.
It is brass, but it could well have been gold plated at the time.
It would have been made to look like ormolu, which is gold plated bronze.
And then here, on the top, we have a little polished stone,
and this is banded agate.
So there's a little section of agate on the top.
In the 19th century, they're sometimes divided inside by
a little circular aperture, which would contain a bowl.
It used to be said that this was for blending the green
with the black tea...
But of course, it was for sugar.
The tea was taken very, very sweet.
And the idea of this...
Tea wasn't taken in the way it is today, it was a ceremony,
totally separate, wasn't drunk at the dinner table,
you would be on a separate tea table and the lady of the house would wear
the key around her neck,
she would call the servant to take this tea caddy from the sideboard,
she would bring it, unlock it, blend the tea, lock it again
and send the tea caddy away.
So it was very much a ceremony.
-Date is about 1860. And a value, £60 to £100.
-Is that all right for you?
-Well, it'll buy you a bit of coffee.
OK, yes! Thank you.
Let's hope that tea caddy can brew up a good result
later on in the programme.
Time now to see what Mark Stacey's got for his first item.
-You've brought a lovely pair of dishes in for me.
I know. They're rather sweet.
They're fantastic. I love them. Do you know much about them?
I know they belonged to my grandmother.
I think I remember seeing them when I was about this high
in her corner cupboard, which I've actually got now in my kitchen.
And then my mother had them, and then I had them from my mother.
-They're very, very Victorian.
-Oh, I suppose so.
They've got a date mark on the back. The triangle.
-But I've never found out.
-Well, we can tell you that.
-They're made, of course, by one of the oldest...
..factories in the country, Minton,
-who were founded in the late 18th century.
As soon as you see this type of colour and decoration,
-it can only be one thing - Majolica.
They took the inspiration from much earlier Italian designers
and they put a sort of Victorian twist on it,
-so you get these very vivid turquoises and greens.
-That's a lovely colour.
-It's a really deep colour.
And you can get bright pinks and bright yellows
and reds, and these are perfect for Christmas,
for putting sugared almonds or something like that in on the table.
And they're realistically modelled.
There's a sort of holly branch, with two little white birds on them.
-They've suffered a bit though, haven't they?
-Yes, they have.
They've got the odd chip.
Very easily restored. That's the positive.
And collectors of Majolica are willing to overlook
a bit of damage on interesting pieces.
If we look at the marks, they're fully marked underneath.
-You have the shape number.
-Interesting, you have the word Minton there.
-Yes, I've seen that.
Now, after 1872, they added an S.
-So it became Mintons. So we know it's before 1872.
-We've got a registration lozenge as well.
And we've got a date letter for 1869.
-Oh, how lovely!
-What do you think of them, Michael?
They're a little bit ornate, but otherwise...
I suppose some people like them!
-I don't think they're his cup of tea!
-I don't think he's keen, Jane.
No, he's very polite.
-But there are collectors still out there for them.
Oh, yes, there are.
Do you have any ideas yourself of what they might be worth?
-Absolutely none. Have you?
-I think we've got...
-Can I make a stab?
-Go on, make a stab.
-£200, the pair?
-I don't know why I'm here.
-I don't know why I'm here!
-It was a joke.
No, you're absolutely right.
-I was going to say because of the slight damage, I think we've got to be realistic.
And if we put an estimate of £200-£300 on them,
-with a fixed reserve of 200...
I do hope that on the day, because they're so humorous
and they're so nicely done...
-Like Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee.
-You're happy to put them in for that?
-Yes! Very happy!
-Well, I'm really pleased that we can take them to auction to see what happens.
Earlier on, we saw Karen, who brought along a tea caddy
to be valued, but it turns out it wasn't the first time that we'd met.
Now, this could be embarrassing.
I bumped into two ladies this morning who told me they were next-door neighbours.
-We used to live in the same little town, didn't we?
-And you knew my older sister. You're Karen and you're Janet.
I was a little bit younger than the two of you.
-Now, what have you brought in? You've got something to show me.
-This is embarrassing.
-But there I am!
-Yes, there you are.
-Look at that! Are you there? Is that you?
-Yes, that's me, there.
-And that's my sister.
-That's your sister, Ann.
-And there you are again.
-Oh, look at that! Is this your back garden?
-Your mum and dad's.
Look at that. There I am. Great shorts and with wellies.
I was a fashion icon, even back then.
-It's great to see you!
-Yes, and you.
-Can I have these?
-Yes, you can take those.
-They're for you.
-Aw! I'll show my sister. Well, it's good to see you.
Well, that was a blast from the past. And now over to James Lewis,
who's found something even older than my childhood photos.
Patricia, this is a really unusual thing
because we've got a short umbrella, almost parasol-like,
but the handle is carved with lovebirds
and I've never seen a little handle like this.
Carved with parrots, yes, but little lovebirds, I find really sweet.
It's almost as if it was given as a love token
from one person to another.
-Anybody special in your life?
-Not in my life, no!
I think probably it belonged to my grandmother.
You're going to tell me where it came from cos I don't know.
OK. I'll try. Yeah.
I can see it's old and I think that's ivory, but otherwise I know nothing.
It is. Now, the question is - is this a European umbrella
in the Japanese style,
or is it a Japanese ivory head on a European umbrella?
Let's have a look.
First thing to do... The terminals here are ivory.
The piece at the section here...
But there, look.
-Oh! I never noticed that.
Right, so he's English. Um...
So it's a Malacca shaft, with an ivory handle, a bamboo stem,
ivory mounts, but made for a London retailer.
So, it's a European thing with a Japanese ivory handle.
The birds have got glass eyes and it was carved in Japan,
and in this period that we called the Meiji period.
So, having said all that, good news and bad news.
There are collectors for umbrellas,
but there are far more collectors for walking sticks.
-This one also has the tip off the head.
So that's going to make a bit of a difference.
In perfect condition, that's worth £100-£150.
With the head off, and re-glued, 60-100.
-Is that all right?
-Well, it's doing nothing for me.
-Well, it's not raining outside!
Over to Mark Stacey...
-Jane, this is a heck of lump, isn't it?
-It certainly is.
Tell me the history of it, please.
I think my mother bought it from an auction house back in the '50s.
I remember it a long, long time.
She used to keep it in the cloakroom, full of umbrellas and walking sticks.
-Wow! Well, it's big enough for that, isn't it?
-In the '50s, I suppose, this was considered out of fashion.
People wanted the more modern designs, you know,
the straight lines and things.
But as soon as you see this type of pottery,
with this very distinctive pink-y interior and these lovely
subtle colours, there is only one factory you think of, really.
-Based in Dorset.
It's beautifully decorated with these stylised flowers.
-Such a lovely range of colours in there.
-It's a nice shape.
It would take quite a lot to fire this. A big lump like this.
If we have a look underneath...
we've got a lovely set of marks there.
We've got the marks for Carter, Stabler, Adams - Poole.
-Which is the early mark, the 1920s-30s mark.
So that fits in.
They kept reducing these designs and sometimes you just see them
-with "Poole Pottery," and they are slightly later.
But it's a really, really good piece.
There's a little bit of damage, isn't there?
-Yes, there is a slight chip.
-Which could easily be restored.
Yes, that's always been there, I'm afraid.
I think it really is a lovely object.
-Why have you decided to sell it now?
-We've got six grandchildren now.
And they love charging around.
It was in the lounge and we have a new rescue dog as well,
who plays with a ball.
And I thought, "It's going to get smashed."
It's such a shame if it got smashed beyond repair.
You need the right space for it as well, don't you? Aesthetically.
It's not going to be safe, I'm afraid.
I must say, I must be honest with you, Jane, I think
-a few years ago, this would have been worth a lot more money.
I think if it was absolutely perfect,
-we would easily expect to get the £500 mark for it.
I think we've got to take into account the small chip on it.
-And the fact that Poole isn't...
-It's not as popular.
..quite as fashionable as it was.
-I would probably suggest an estimate of £300-£500.
-I'd be happy with that.
-And to put a reserve on it of 300.
-So it protects you.
-No, that's fine.
I really mean it, I love it and it's the most impressive
-piece of Poole I've seen for quite a long time.
-Lovely, thank you.
While everyone's busy here,
I'm off to do something completely different.
The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew houses one of the most famous
collections of plants in the world.
And it attracts well over a million visitors each year.
The curvaceous lines and perfect symmetry of Kew's Palm House,
designed by architect Decimus Burton, has long been
an instantly recognisable icon here at the gardens.
And quite rightly so.
But today I've come here to explore a much more modest building,
one that I believe to be a hidden gem.
And there it is, look, a Victorian pavilion.
The Marianne North Gallery,
tucked demurely away on the corner of the east side of the gardens.
The question is, who was Marianne North?
She was born in 1830 in Hastings,
which is just a short distance from today's auction.
Her parents were wealthy
and she travelled abroad with her father, who was an MP.
That wanderlust combined with the love of exotic plants,
which she had seen here at Kew, would shape the rest of her life.
At the age of 40 she began her astonishing trips around the world.
She was very close to her father, and when he died in 1869,
she decided to travel as a way of filling up her life
and learning to live without him.
And boy, did she globe-trot!
Between the years of 1871 and 1885, she visited
America, Canada, Jamaica, Brazil, Tenerife, Japan, Singapore,
Sarawak, Java, Sri Lanka, India, Australia, New Zealand,
South Africa, the Seychelles and Chile.
Everywhere she went, she would paint.
In total, she brought back 832 paintings.
A snapshot of the world's flora and fauna in situ.
She really was unlike most women of the Victorian era.
She shunned marriage
and travelled the world to follow her artistic passion.
I can't wait to see inside now the restoration is complete.
'I'm meeting up with author Laura Ponsonby,
'who has written a biography about Marianne.
'And we are going to take a closer look at her work.'
-I'll get the door for you.
-Thank you very much.
Come in. Come in and have a look.
-Isn't it amazing?
It's very overwhelming. It's full of colour!
-Have you ever seen anything like it before?
-No, I haven't. I have not.
And I tell you something,
my first feeling is there is not an inch of wall space.
I think you are more or less right.
And everybody who comes in, goes, "Wow! I never knew this was here."
First thoughts when you actually focus on the artwork,
they don't look like the sort of
botanical, scientific paintings you would expect.
-You know, the ones done in watercolour.
-No, they are not that at all. You see, they are oils.
-And very rich.
Oil on paper. And she absolutely adored colour.
She started painting in oils when she was in her 30s.
Before that time, she painted in watercolour.
-Her basic thing was to show a plant in its habitat.
-It is in situ, yes.
That's exactly how you'd expect to see it, isn't it, really?
It's a snapshot. It's a little photograph.
-Where is this? I think I've been there.
-Yes, you have.
-That's in Sri Lanka.
-Yeah, I have been there.
That's in the Kandy Botanic Garden.
And this is, in fact, a jackfruit tree.
And, like Kew, it's got a river going round it as well.
Just look at the work! You can see the countries where she's been.
Australia. You can see Jamaica, America.
-She was an adventurous, tough woman.
-She was an adventurous, tough woman.
But she spent months in some countries without servants,
without any help.
She did. In India, for instance, she spent nearly 15 months, I suppose.
She had letters of introduction. She knew someone...
Sure, and her father was well-connected.
Yes, you are absolutely right. So she went all over the place.
What does it tell you about her, really?
That she was really determined?
She was determined, she was very adventurous
and wanted her own way, I think.
-The sort of lady you'd love to meet, I bet.
-Yes, I would like to...
I think she was amusing. She could be quite difficult sometimes,
but a good sense of humour.
And had known a lot of interesting people. Very determined.
She showed that determination when she convinced
the director of Kew to allow her to build this gallery in the grounds.
Not only did she pay for it,
but she took a year away from painting to arrange the pictures.
It's probably a daft question, but do you have a favourite?
Well, I mean, there is one
in the little annexe at the back that I really like.
-And it's interesting, too.
You know, it's not just scientific detail.
As you walk past some of these images,
you can see little river snakes and the eyes of crocodiles
poking their heads above the surface of the water.
Which you can easily miss, but they are there.
Anyway, it's in here. It's just in the corner.
It's a plant which is called Northia. It actually named after Marianne.
The first name, the genus name.
She did it when she was in the Seychelles.
-It's a lovely image, isn't it?
-Yes, it is nice.
-You can see it's got a little bird in it.
-Yes, I've just spotted that.
A couple of fruits. I think she brought that back...
You have to look hard,
cos some of these little animals are camouflaged.
Yes, she hides them away. It's quite interesting, isn't it?
Suddenly you see a monkey or a bird, or something of that nature.
How would you sum up Marianne's legacy?
I think it's unique, really. I don't think there is anybody else
who has done anything quite like that.
And of course, it's so interesting where she has been
and all her experiences, and I think people enjoy that,
looking at the places perhaps they've been to on holiday
and they come and see what Marianne painted.
-It's very interesting.
-I think so. It's most fascinating.
I think this place is well worth a visit.
I'm going to come and spend a few more hours in here.
-Yes, you certainly could.
-Thank you so much for showing me around...
-Not at all.
-..and being my guide today.
'Marianne often ventured to places
'that were virtually unknown to Europeans.
'And some of her paintings showed plants that were new to science,
'helping to advance our knowledge of the natural world.
'But the years of exhausting travel took their toll,
'and she retired to Gloucestershire, still surrounded by flowers.
'She died there in 1890,
'a long way from the exotic locations that she loved.'
Marianne North, the intrepid traveller, has provided us
with an exquisite Victorian set piece,
tucked away in this corner of Kew Gardens.
And inside, the most extraordinary collection of botanical paintings.
Although not classical, they are all the richer for it.
I think we can safely say Marianne North and her gallery
are definitely one-offs.
And now a quick reminder of what's going off to auction.
We've got the walnut and brass tea caddy, brought along by Karen.
There's the Majolica bowls that Mark fell in love with.
There's that huge ceramic vase.
And we also have
the ivory-handled umbrella.
Today's sale, we've left Surrey and travelled a few miles south,
to Washington in West Sussex, courtesy of Toovey's auction room.
Now, down there is an eager crowd, waiting for our lots to go
under the hammer, so let's get on with it and not disappoint them.
And the man in charge of today's proceedings is Rupert Toovey.
Going under the hammer right now, another "Flog It!" favourite -
a bit of Poole Pottery.
I remember my days when I went down to the factory
down in Dorset, before they closed down.
They are now open in Stoke-on-Trent, so they're still in business,
-but this is from the 1920s, Jane.
-A really nice piece.
I think it was painted by a lady called Anne Hatchard as well.
-Oh, right. I didn't know that.
Right, let's put this to the test.
Carter, Stabler, Adams - Poole Pottery vase.
1920s. Painted by Anne Hatchard,
and monogrammed with a Truda Carter patterned YT.
It's a wonderful thing. Little chip to the foot, but lovely.
Opening the bidding here at £220. 220 here. Can I see the 250?
£220 here. 250? At £220. 250 can I see?
£220. 250. 280. 300.
300 now with the phone. At £300. Beating the book. At £300.
At £300. Can I see 320?
At £300. 320 can I see? £300. On the phone at £300.
We are selling at £300.
That gavel's just gone down. £300.
-Jane, it's gone. You've said goodbye.
-You don't have to take it home.
-No. That's good.
-Yeah. Are you happy with that?
-Yes, I'm happy with that.
'Yet again, Mark's valuation was right on the money.'
Coming up now, we've got a Victorian dome-lidded tea caddy,
belonging to Karen. I've known her a long time as well, haven't I?
-Well, I haven't seen you for... possibly about 40-odd years!
-Yeah, that's right. Showing our age!
You clobbered me back at Guildford Cathedral with a little photograph.
We used to know each other when we were kids. Next-door neighbours.
-Oh, my goodness!
-How amazing is that?
Right, let's talk about your walnut dome-lidded tea caddy.
I like it because it's got that lovely gothic revival taste to it
and I'm big on that, I love that.
-But I agree with the valuation, James.
Let's get on with selling antiques, shall we? Here we are. It's going under the hammer now.
A late-Victorian burr walnut dome tea caddy with Gothic revival,
applied brass strap-work mounts. It's a lovely thing.
What shall we say for this lot? Shall we say £100? 50, then, please.
50, I'm bid. Can I see the five?
At £50, can I see the 55?
55. And 60 and five.
At £60 now. At £60 and five? With you, madam.
At £65, and thank you.
At £65 now in the room. It's against you all. At 65.
And 70 now with Glen.
And 75. He makes us jump, doesn't he? 75 and 80.
-And five. And 90.
90 and five. 100?
-95, it is, with the lady. At £95. Against you, Glen.
That's right, isn't it? 95, all done. 95!
-Sold at 95. We're happy with that.
-Very pleased with that.
Would have liked three figures,
but hey, we always want more than what we normally get, don't we?
No, that's brilliant.
So, Karen's going home, happy, with one less tea caddy,
but a few extra quid.
Next up, it's the pair of bowls.
Going under the hammer right now,
one of the great names in ceramics, Minton Majolica.
We've got two dishes belonging to Jane and Mike and it's great to see you both.
-I've got to say, you look very stylish.
-Thank you very much.
-Equally as stylish as the little dishes.
-I love them.
I know there's a few nibbles here,
-but Majolica collectors will live with that.
-OK, let's find out.
They're going under the hammer right now. Good luck, both of you.
A pair of Minton Majolica dishes, circa 1869 and 1870, of oval shape.
And we're opening the bidding here at £180. 180. Can I see the 190?
£180 and 190.
£200 here on commission.
-At £200, can I see the 220?
At 220 now online. 220 now online. Can I see the 240?
£220. With you, Glen.
-Any more out there?
-220 it is, with you.
At £220 and selling. 220.
-220, at the lower end.
-I suppose it's the market.
-Just got them away.
-Was that OK?
-Yes, of course it is.
So, Mark was within estimate,
but we've got another bird-themed item now.
It's that ivory-handled umbrella.
Remember, there are restrictions on selling ivory,
but this item is fine because it was made before 1947.
It's absolutely stunning, isn't it? Made by Ben Cox of London.
-Quality, quality, quality.
-And, James, this should do well.
It's got a bit of damage, which is why I've put it down at 60-100.
Yes, cheeky little valuation. Why are you selling this?
I did have it in the hall,
but it was gathering dust and doing nothing.
-You thought, "Let's sell it."
Bring it along to "Flog It!" and see what we can do.
Well, let's hope we get that top end.
It's going under the hammer right now.
An early 20th century ivory and Malacca handled umbrella.
And...a multitude of conflicting bids on this lovely thing.
And we're opening at £110.
-120. 130. 140.
-Now in the room at 160.
-£160. Are we all done?
220, I have. And 240, can I say?
-Are you sure?
-260 now on the net. And 280, can I see?
280, I have. And 300 now?
-300, I have. And 320.
Yeah? 320, I have.
Thank you, sir. 340, Glen, with you on the net.
-At £340. £340 online.
-And the hammer's going down. Yes!
-That is a fantastic result.
Two people obviously wanted that, the collectors are out in force!
Ooh, I'll have a sit down! That's amazing!
Well done to Rupert, though.
-On the rostrum, delivering the goods for us.
Well, that just goes to show you can never tell what's going to
happen at auction when they catch the bidders' attention.
There you are. That's the end of our first visit to the auction today.
Fast and furious. We are coming back here later on in the programme. Don't go away.
Now, music has played a very important part in the history of our religion over the years.
Two instruments in particular, associated with the Church.
I went back to Guildford Cathedral to find out more.
Take a look at this.
When you think of music in the church,
this is probably the first thing that springs to mind -
the calm and soothing sound of a choir.
I'm going to be having a go at something a little bit louder,
assuming I've got the energy after climbing all these stairs.
The history of bell ringing in churches can trace its roots back
to around 400 AD when the Bishop of Campania, in Italy, introduced it.
The art of bell ringing, or campanology,
takes its name from that region and is still used 1,600 years later.
I'm here to meet some modern-day campanologists.
Finally at the top!
And these are some of the bell ringers here at the cathedral.
We've got Justina, Maurice, David and Chris.
I can't wait to have a go myself.
I'm a complete novice, but hopefully, I can join in with you.
-David, can you show me a few things?
-Yes, come along here and we'll have a look.
-Do I need to take my coat off?
-Yes, take your coat off, please.
'It takes a lot of practice to become an expert bell ringer,
'which is why I'm being closely supervised.
'If I get it wrong, I could damage the bells.'
So, if you'd like to take that rope, with your right hand on the bottom, left hand on the top...
Put your arms out straight, don't bend your body.
Now, we're going to pull the bell off.
The rope will go up to the roof, you're going to go up with it,
keep your arms straight, and then pull your arm straight down again.
-OK. You're not going to let go.
-No, I'm not going to let go.
I'm going to go up with you.
Look straight and look forward, straightforward.
-OK, here we go.
Right, OK. I can see it... I can feel the weight of the bell now.
-Oh, I didn't go right up there, did I?
Oh, it's not for the faint-hearted, is it?
That's for sure! Great form of exercise.
And what's the weight of the bell up there? Is that a big one?
-That would be five or six... Six or seven hundredweight, I think.
Do you know what? It's starting to feel good now.
It's feeling really good and I'm sure after an hour,
you could let go of that...
We are not going to chance it right now. Thank you very much.
-I did enjoy that.
-It makes you feel good as well, doesn't it?
-It's good for your stomach muscles.
Good for the brain, good for the stomach.
Well, I'll let you all carry on.
I'm going to leave you now, but can you play me out as I walk out?
Thank you. Thank you. And cheerio.
Look two, trebles going. She's gone.
And it's not just music that bells have been used for.
They were initially used as a call to prayer,
but they've also been rung to warn of impending invasions
by foreign armies and pass messages from village to village.
That was brilliant fun and now for something a little more soothing.
Bells may be a great way to make a loud noise,
but they're not good to sing hymns to,
but that's exactly what this next instrument was designed for.
It's believed this organ was originally built around 1866
and spent the early part of its history at a church in Yorkshire.
It was moved here and installed before the cathedral opened in 1961.
Katherine Deanish Williams is the organist
and master of choristers, here at the cathedral.
Why are organs so synonymous with cathedrals and churches?
Well, effectively because they make a lot of noise.
-Any other instrument would get lost, wouldn't it?
-It really would.
Although we do have bagpipes here once a year.
One of the schools comes and brings a piper so that could be similar.
-But same principle.
-Same principle. Where do you start to learn?
Obviously, on the keyboards, on a piano.
-You've got to learn to play the piano.
You've got to have a fundamental level of keyboard skill,
really, to start, and then the worst thing
when you start is kind of your left hand and feet coordination.
-It just feels odd, you know? You feel slightly one-sided.
-A bit tipsy, almost.
Then, you know, you've got to find your balance and it works.
It's very sort of centralising somehow.
So the hands are playing exactly what you would play
on a standard piano or keyboard
and the feet are enhancing something with more of a swelling noise, or...
Slightly different to that actually, Paul, because what you've got
down here, with your feet, you've got a complete keyboard in itself.
So you could play with just your feet only?
You can play with just your feet. Exactly so.
But, I mean, in order to play anything
you've got to draw a stop to make a sound.
So if I was to play some... one of these keys right now,
you can't hear anything.
So, in order to hear something, you have to draw a stop somewhere.
So if I put down one chord at what we would call normal pitch,
and I can add an octave above it, eight notes higher,
and more pipes are sounding...
Two octaves above it, higher still. I'm still playing three notes,
-but there's far more than three notes sounding.
And the way the instrument has developed is very much in line
with the expansion of the orchestra.
How long did it take you to learn to pull out the right stops?
I mean, there are so many buttons...
The complicated thing is, every single instrument is different.
So what's over here on one instrument
might be over here on another instrument.
-So there's no standard organ?
-There's no standard organ.
And that's part of the challenge as a player
is to familiarise yourself with the instrument.
What connects these keyboards to the pipes over there?
Lots and lots of cabling.
So under the chancel floor, just beneath us,
-there's 30 miles of wiring in total.
You have pipes which are sitting on top of a wind chest
and when a palette is removed, the air goes through and the pipe sounds.
Times that by the fact that we've got, here, 4,398 pipes.
-So it's a massive piece of equipment.
Well, we've heard how highly complex this is and I can see it is.
Can I actually see what it can do
in the hands of a great professional like you?
-Go on, pull out all the stops.
-Give it something!
-All the stops!
-OK. Here we go. This is Widor's Toccata.
Quite a famous piece.
MUSIC: "Toccata" by Charles-Marie Widor
-So there's a lot of sound going on.
-And so on, and so on.
-That's fantastic. Absolutely fantastic.
-Thank you so much.
-It's really moving, isn't it, when you hear it played properly?
-It is. Why don't you have a try?
HE LAUGHS If you're sure...
-Maybe when the cameras have gone.
-OK. You're welcome.
Music plays a huge part in religious worship in most faiths.
In fact, it's the main way that people have been introduced
to music throughout history.
Some of the tunes we hear today remain unchanged
since they were composed centuries ago.
It's a great way of keeping history alive
and a real connection to the past.
And that connection to the past is well and truly alive
at our valuation day, where the Guildford Cathedral Choir
are rehearsing for their next big performance.
# ..plenteous land
# Our fathers were oppressed
# But God Whose chosen folk they were
# Smote those who long enslaved them there
# And all their woes redressed
# And all their woes redressed. #
Well, from vocals to valuables now.
We need to find some more antiques and collectables
to take off to auction, and the best people to do that
are our team of experts.
So let's catch up with them.
-Where on earth did you get this thing from?
I found this in the back of my garage when I was cleaning out
after first moving in and it was under a layer of dust.
-Pulled this out, wiped it off...
-This is what you got?
-Yeah, it's lovely.
-I mean, it is the most...ridiculous item.
We've looked at it and there are several possibilities.
-It's obviously not English.
I think it's something tribal, but it's got this lovely,
-painted decoration on it, hasn't it?
Now, there are some marks on the top
-and the bottom, which might imply it was some sort of bow.
-Oh, I see.
I don't know how flexible it is.
There is a bit of movement, but I don't think it is.
The other thing is it might be just a decorative staff
to show your authority or whatever.
-A ceremonial thing.
-But I adore it because I love the decoration.
Erm...and I think it's got a bit of age to it.
-I think it's certainly 19th century.
If not a tad earlier.
But where it's come from, to be honest with you,
-or exactly how old it is, I'm really not sure...
..if I'm being frank with you.
I just think it's a very appealing object.
-In salerooms, people like seeing interesting objects.
And there will be people out there who will know what it is
and think, "I must have this."
But even from a sort of interior designer's point of view,
it's just a great thing to have propped up, mounted up on the wall.
This is where I had it, in the entrance hall, originally.
-And you got it for nothing, really.
-That's right, yeah.
-It was just in your garage of a house you bought.
-What do you think it's worth?
-A couple of million?
-A couple of million?
-Yeah, I would be happy with that.
Well, if we were talking sort of Turkish lira,
then we would probably be on,
-cos a couple of million Turkish lira is about a fiver.
But I think we've just got to have a stab at it, if you excuse the pun.
Lovely. That's no problem.
-You are happy with that, Kevin?
-I am indeed, yes.
I'm glad because you threatened to pierce me with it
-if it wasn't the right estimate.
-So we are both happy.
-Yes, we are.
-We can hope.
-Yes, sir. Thank you.
From one unusual item to another, now.
-Over to James Lewis and THAT picture.
Yes. THEY LAUGH
I am just about lost for words.
I look at this and I think it reminds me
of a sketch that I have with a magnet stuck to my fridge
that my four-year-old did a couple of weeks ago.
And I look at it again and go, "No".
It hasn't got the same talent as that.
But then, my director says, "He's fabulous! He's wonderful!
"You're underestimating this."
Apparently, he's big.
See? We don't even know who he is!
But all I know is he can't even count!
He's put "DS 20001".
-Well, he really is futuristic cos that's 20,001!
It is. THEY LAUGH
I mean, he really... I mean, he is a big name. He's up with Damien Hirst.
I do take the mickey a bit,
but when you see things like this
that actually are quite important, because it's his hand,
and the artist's hand is important in so many ways...
and if you're going to collect paintings by an artist,
to actually have something like that is a good thing to own.
-Tell me about it. How did it come to be in your hands?
-Well, in actual fact, it belongs to my daughter.
-And she has trained as an art teacher...
And she did her training up at Sheffield Hallam.
-And he was there for one of the lectures.
And she had a chance to speak to him afterwards
and she just said to him, she said, "Would you draw something for me?"
And he said, "Yes". And all she'd got was this little scrap of paper.
So he put his hand down, drew around it and that's what you've got.
-Smart. Smart to ask him to do it.
-The flesh and the interior. Did he write that on there?
-How interesting. I wonder what that means.
He's very much an artist that's obsessed with line, isn't he?
You look at his cartoons and his sketches,
it's very little shading, very little three-dimension.
-It's all about a flat, cartoon-type drawing.
And that's very much in his style. OK.
I mean, this guy has got works in very important collections
-all over the world.
It's so difficult though,
because it is just a very silly sketch of a hand!
Let's say £300-£500.
-Now you're surprised!
-Because, you know, we laugh at it,
I laugh at it and, in a way, it's very naughty
because art only has to be a few people that appreciate it.
-Of course it does.
-And Turner, way back in the 1820s, wasn't respected.
-Manet, Monet, they were laughed at.
But it is a crazy thing.
It's the worst thing I've ever seen on "Flog It!",
thank you so much for bringing it in!
BOTH LAUGH Thank you!
Mark. Nice to meet you.
Nice to meet you too.
And you've brought something in I've been dying to do for ages,
-a piece of Lalique.
-Where did you get it from?
-I bought it at a car-boot sale.
-No! Don't tell me... You paid nothing for it.
Did you know what it was the minute you saw it?
I had an indication as to the colour of the glass, etc,
because naturally, it wasn't until I picked it up,
looked underneath and I nearly fell over...
-And you couldn't get...
-Tried not to drop it!
-You couldn't get the fiver out quick enough!
-I don't blame you, Mark!
-And I didn't even bid them down.
I should hope not at £5!
I mean, it is... As soon as you see it, you know that it's OK.
From a Lalique point of view, it's not the most exciting vase.
It's not full of naked women or interesting fish, or animals,
but it's interesting to me for two reasons.
It's very Art Deco. Of course, that slightly conical form.
You've got the etched leaves decoration going around it
-and then it's been sepia stained in that sort of brown colour.
And it's opalescent as well.
And actually, when you see it under the light like this,
you see that lovely combination,
-that milky opalescence with the brown.
Date-wise, I suppose what we are looking at is sort of 1925,
-1930, that sort of period.
-I didn't realise it was as early as that.
I think it's quite a nice early piece, actually.
It's fully signed underneath, of course, R Lalique.
When we turn it upside down, you have to look in the light,
-but you can see R Lalique in a stencil mark.
But I love Lalique. I've got several pieces at home,
-I'm pleased to say.
-Oh, right. Right.
And it's all in very, very good condition.
I think it's really wonderful, actually.
It's a nice, fresh piece as well.
Lots of collectors and dealers,
of course, are looking for Lalique vases.
They're a good thing to collect because they're decorative.
Some of the shallow bowls or plates are not as easy
to display as a vase.
What's your fiver worth at auction, do you think?
I would... One would hope three figures, but I just don't know.
Oh, so, £5.99?
-That's three figures. No...
No, would one move the point, please?
Well, we'd like to. I think we've got to be realistic.
It is a lovely piece, but, you know, some of the vases can make
many thousands of pounds for the bigger examples in bright,
I mean, I think I would be happy
-putting something like 300 to 400 on it.
I think that should be achievable, actually.
The thing is, you don't want to give it away.
You don't want it to sell too cheaply.
-We'd have to put a reserve on it.
-I would like a reserve if possible.
-And I would put the reserve, say, at 280.
-Would that be a fixed reserve?
-A fixed reserve for 280.
-If you're happy with that,
-I'm really looking forward to the auction.
-That would be brilliant.
Thank you very much indeed.
Time to see what other treasures are waiting to be found.
Back to James Lewis.
Lisa and Marion, let me take you back to the mid-19th century,
before the days of TV, before even "Flog It!" had started.
No radio, where the only music
that you could actually entertain yourself with,
unless someone was playing the piano or a violin,
was something like this.
Mechanical music started really in the late 18th century.
By the 19th century it was in full flight.
The best musical boxes are made in Switzerland.
-And this one is actually a Swiss one.
But having said the best were made in Switzerland,
almost all of them were made in Switzerland.
Also the also-rans as well.
Swiss family or something that has been imported locally?
No, it's a family heirloom.
-It was my great-great uncle's.
-OK. Was this on your side of the family?
Yes, it was on my father's side of the family.
OK, let's look outside first...
The panel in the top here is, I think, papier-mache.
It's quite difficult to tell without seeing the reverse side of it.
And it's, of course, set into wood.
The majority of these musical boxes are ebony in border,
normally have a rosewood panel in the centre,
with a little arrangement of musical instruments in the middle.
I've never seen one with a mother-of-pearl inlaid
lacquer panel before.
But if we look at the little figures there, they are Chinese men.
But very strangely, in an English or European landscape.
Already we've got a complete mix of styles.
Let's open it up.
There we are.
We've got the airs here. Ten airs. Ten musical tunes...
Whenever you are looking at a musical box,
the more tunes, the better. And ten is quite a good number.
Then you also look at how complicated it is.
Does it play on bells, on drums, on cymbals?
This one has bells, playing on three bells.
No drums. But a short cylinder.
The shorter cylinders are normally the cheaper boxes.
And if we open it up...
We can see a steel comb here.
And that steel comb, it's important that it is in good condition
because every little steel tooth that is damaged
is about £15-£20 to repair. So it soon starts to add up. There we go.
It's not a bad quality box. But it's not great. Do you play it regularly?
-Not regularly, no.
We go through stages where we get it out and want to listen to it again.
Then it goes back for safekeeping.
When it first came, we were fascinated by it.
And it was in very poor condition. My dad spent ages cleaning it.
I don't think we could even tell that the butterflies were coloured.
-And he painstakingly cleaned it all up for us.
-He's done a great job.
Really good job. OK. It will end up going to a collector, I'm sure.
-I hope so.
-Value, I should think it's going to make £200-£300.
Something like that.
It's in working order, I presume, is it?
-Are you happy to let it go?
Because once this starts, you've got no choice. Here we go then.
Well, that's it.
Our experts have now found their final items to take off to auction,
so it's time to say goodbye to Guildford Cathedral,
our magnificent host location today.
As we head off to the saleroom, here's a quick recap just to
jog your memory of all the items we're taking with us.
There's that staff or bow which fascinated Mark.
And let's hope the music box hits the high notes in the auction room.
Will the bidders appreciate this piece of art by David Shrigley?
And there's that "Flog It!" favourite -
a piece of Lalique glassware.
We're heading back to Washington in West Sussex,
where today's sale is taking place.
Before the auction started, I had a chat with auctioneer
Rupert Toovey and we took a closer look at that piece of artwork.
-Isn't it an extraordinary thing?
-It is. What do you think of it?
I think it's rather marvellous but there's a great deal
of that sort of post-modern irony going on here, isn't there?
Eileen brought this in and it was her daughter's.
He attended the lecture and drew around his hand,
-which I think is absolutely wonderful.
That's very intimate, isn't it?
If that was my hand, I would be keeping this.
But we're only custodians of these things, aren't we?
Although I'd like to be a custodian for at least 40 or 50 years
of something like this, not just 15 or 12 years, or something.
-We've got £300-£500 on this.
-I think 300 to 500 is about right.
Because it's not exactly what the artist is well known for.
-No, it's more the cartoon work.
-Very ironic, modern humour, isn't it?
But how wonderful to see how work develops...
-So important for that reason, don't you think?
-I think so, yes.
And I'm with you. I think 300 to 500 is spot-on.
I'd like to see it at the top end, but I...
-I think it might be nearer the lower end, actually.
We'll come to that later...
First up, it's that music box.
Will it sell? That's what we want to know.
-You're looking really doubtful!
-Yeah. I am slightly doubtful.
I want this to sell, I really want it to sell.
But I am slightly doubtful.
I brought the bag just in case it doesn't.
-ALL LAUGH It's a big bag.
-Got the shopping trolley.
-I hope it goes. I really do.
A late 19th-century Swiss musical box, playing ten airs.
Lovely thing there.
Bids to match. We are opening at £250. 250 here. Can I see the 280?
£250. 280, can I see? 280. 300. 320.
£300 I have here with the book. At £300. Is there any advance on 300?
Yes, the hammer's gone down! £300. Top end of the estimate.
There you go, your record is safe.
-James is right.
-Ye of little faith.
James is top of the pops. Well done. Thank you for bringing that in.
-That's very good.
-Gosh, I was worried.
'It turns out my reservations were wrong and Marion
'and Lisa are going home with smiles on their faces.'
Next up, our mystery object. Is it a bow or is it a ceremonial staff?
In the catalogue it's catalogued as Indian ceremonial staff,
so fingers crossed that's worth an awful lot more than a spear.
-And you know what it's good for? It's a good decorative piece.
-We like that.
-Yes, we do.
-Ethnographica, they call it, don't they?
-Have you been reading again?
-I learned that from Michael Baggott!
Let's put it to the test, shall we? Here we go.
A 19th-century Indian polychrome painted ceremonial staff.
Very interesting thing. I'm opening the bidding here at £75. £75.
Do I see 80? £75...
-Come on, we need 100, don't we?
-We do, yes.
80. And five. 90, sir?
-A bidder in the room now.
-90, madam? 90. And five.
100, madam? 95, I have...
-We've got it. Come on.
At £95. 100, can I see?
-100 now online. £100...
-100 online. So we've sold it.
-£100, can we see the 110?
At £100. Is there any advance? It's against you, madam.
You're sure, now? £100.
-This might do a bit more, potentially.
It's gone for £100 and you said all the money is going to charity.
-Yes, it is.
-Which charity's that?
-It's Headway, Guildford, Surrey.
-And what does that involve?
-It's for people who've had brain damage through falling over,
-being knocked over by a vehicle...
-What a lovely idea.
-And my partner, Sue, works for them, so...
-Great cause, then.
-Every single penny.
-Thank you very much.
So, we're off to a good start with the tribal woodwork making its estimate.
Next up, it's something that really caught MY eye.
Hands up. Guess what I'm talking about right now? Yes, you've got it.
The David Shrigley. I like this.
-Had a chat to Rupert before the sale started. He likes it as well.
Good investment piece. But Elaine, why is your daughter selling this?
She doesn't really want it any more.
-She's had it for 10 years.
-And she's off skiing at the moment.
-Yes, she is.
-She's having a jolly while we're doing the hard work.
You can get on the phone and ring her up because I know this is going to sell.
Had a chat to Rupert and he said it WILL sell.
He's very collectable and sought-after.
The big question is - how much for?
The David Shrigley.
The outline of a hand, inscribed flesh and interior.
Pen and ink. Initialled and dated 2000 and then one.
It's a smashing thing with lovely provenance and we've a multitude
of conflicting bids and we're opening the bidding here at £280.
280. 300. 320.
350. At £350 now. At £350.
At £350, and it is fair warning.
-James didn't like it, did you?
-The world's bonkers.
Did you like it?
-Now you admit it!
-You wound me up! I thought you liked it!
Thankfully for Elaine, someone did like it
and hopefully that image will be hanging on their wall.
Time now for today's final item.
Well, it was bought at a car-boot sale for £5
and hopefully we can turn it into maybe £200 or £300 and a bit more.
I absolutely love it. It belongs to Mark, who is right next to me.
And here's our expert, Mark. I'm surrounded by Marks!
-What a great find.
-Excellent, wasn't it?
And it's signed "R" underneath before his death,
which is the key factor to look out for.
I'm not a great big Lalique fan.
I don't really like that type of glass,
but I like this because it is sepia and it's a little bit different.
I'd like to see this do 400.
It is quite a small vase, but it's nice and fresh to the market,
the bidders should be out there for it.
-Good on you.
-Good on you.
Let's put it to the test. This is what it's all about.
This is what we've been waiting for.
An Art Deco Lalique sepia stained
and opalescent glass patterned vase.
1930s, this one. It's lovely.
And we are opening the bidding here at £200. At £200.
-Can we see the 220?
-We've got 200.
220, thank you. 250. 280?
280 now, standing in the room. 300, seated.
320. 350, sir? 380.
450. 480. 500.
520, I have.
£520. Are we all done at 520?
550 now. 580. 600.
-The internet again, you see, Paul?
It's because it's sepia.
780, I have. And 800.
-Was this a "come and buy me"?
-Yes, it was.
I thought I was being realistic!
850, can I see?
-850, it is.
850 now, with Glen online.
£850. £850 against the room. At £850.
-Are you sure, now?
-Yes! The hammer's gone down at £850.
-That's not bad, is it?
We've just turned a fiver into £850,
thanks to you, Mark.
Thank you very much indeed. Thank you, Mark.
I told you I loved it, Mark. Thank you for bearing with us.
-I was saying to Mark, it's hard to put a value on something when two bidders get stuck in.
-What a way to end the show.
I told you there was going to be a surprise.
You never know what's going to happen on "Flog It!", so join us
for many more, but for now, from West Sussex,
-it's goodbye from the Marks.
Flog It! comes from Guildford Cathedral, one of very few cathedrals to be built in the 20th century. Paul Martin is joined by experts James Lewis and Mark Stacey, who are on the hunt for interesting antiques and collectibles that will be sold at a local auction. They discover an unusual piece of modern art as well as a Lalique vase which was bought at a car boot sale. But which will do better when they go under the hammer?
Paul also explores the role music has played in the church and has a go at bell-ringing, and he takes a look at the story of Marianne North, a pioneering and adventurous artist who travelled the world painting plants.