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Essex 24

Antiques series. This episode comes from Layer Marney Tower in rural Essex, where Paul Martin and the team find a spectacular Clarice Cliff coffee set.


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Today, we're in Essex, and later on in the programme,

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I'll be investigating one of the county's darkest stories -

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that of the Witchfinder General and how, even centuries later,

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people still claim to see unexplained things in this area.

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TWIG SNAPS

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(Did you hear that?)

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-HE LAUGHS

-Welcome to "Flog It!"

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'We'll be back following the story of the Witchfinder General

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'later on in the show,

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'but now it's time to head to today's valuation day location.

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'This is the impressive Layer Marney Tower,

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'just a few miles away, near Colchester,

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'Britain's oldest recorded town.'

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The house was built in 1518, and throughout the centuries,

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it's welcomed everyone from royalty to this lot -

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the great and the good of the surrounding area,

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hundreds of people who have turned up for our valuation day,

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laden with antiques and collectibles.

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They're here to see our experts,

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and there's one question on everybody's lips...

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ALL: What's it worth?

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'We've got the crowd. They've got their items.

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'All we need now are our experts.

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'And we've got Elizabeth Talbot and Philip Serrell.'

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Elizabeth. What have you got? Oh-ho-ho! Look at that!

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-How much have you paid him?

-Oh, £1,000, £1,500, that's worth.

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What would you get for that? £2,000? £3,000?

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'Oh, that's priceless, Phil! Or do I mean worthless?

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'So, as everyone makes the way to the sunshine in the garden,

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'here's what's coming up.

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'Today, we've got a spectacular Clarice Cliff coffee set

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'and a beautifully modelled bronze of an Alsatian dog.

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'Both have some damage. Now, the question is, will it hold them back?

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'Well, we'll find out later.'

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This magnificent building was designed and built by Henry Marney

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as what he'd hoped would be a grand castle on a rather large scale.

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But sadly, he died before his plans were completed,

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although, he did manage to oversee this wonderful, magnificent facade

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throughout his lifetime, which I am rather impressed with.

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Now, I wonder if we'll be suitably impressed

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with our experts' first find.

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Let's catch up with them.

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'Philip's eagle eye has provided us with our first item.'

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-Warm, innit?

-It's very warm.

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-Very, very, very, very warm.

-Extremely warm.

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What have you brought, then?

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I've brought these glasses that belonged to my mother-in-law,

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who passed away just before Christmas.

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-Right.

-We found these just in a drawer.

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I just brought them along today because I didn't know what they were.

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-These are lovely, aren't they?

-They're beautiful.

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-Do you know what they're called?

-Uh, luminettes?

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-Lorgnettes.

-Lorgnettes.

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Which is derived from the French,

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which is "to squint or sideways look".

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-OK.

-And they were really, really popular.

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Sort of at masquerade balls and that side of thing,

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when you just want to... See, they're quite becoming.

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-These are an improvement, aren't they?

-Not for me, they're not.

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Oh, right, OK.

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-Say it the way it is, Jillian.

-Yep.

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They're probably turn of the last century,

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and the real key to these is whether they're gold or not.

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-Right.

-Cos there's no hallmark on them.

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If they're unmarked gold,

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they're going to just top the scales at £100.

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-You'd sort of estimate them at £80 to £120.

-Yeah.

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And if they are not gold and they're plated,

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-they're sort of 15 to 30 quid.

-Yeah.

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We don't have a gold testing kit here.

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I can't say whether they're gold or not. I think they are gold.

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-The but comes if they AREN'T gold.

-Right.

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-Do you still want to sell them?

-Well, yes. Yes.

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Well, what about this, then? If we ask the auctioneer to test them...

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-Yes.

-..and if they're gold, they put £80 to £120 on them,

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and if they're plate, we put 15 to 30 quid on them.

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-OK.

-Are you happy with that?

-I'm happy with that.

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There you are. That'll be exciting, to get to the auction

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-and find out what's what and where's where, won't it?

-OK.

-Good stuff.

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'Fingers crossed that Philip is right.

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'It's me next, with something truly nostalgic.'

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I must say, I'm rather thrilled to be joined by Peter

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with Concorde memorabilia.

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I think this plane is so iconic. It's marvellous.

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And I just wish I had the chance to fly on it.

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-Did you ever fly Concorde?

-No, I didn't.

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I always wanted to. It was my wife's dream.

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But I paid for the tickets,

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and during the course of paying for the tickets,

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there was a crash in Paris, and now we never did get there.

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I got the money refunded,

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and after that, got a nice letter turn up saying

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that some memorabilia was going to be introduced - would I like it?

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Well, the thing is, now it's in the cupboard.

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I've got ten great-grandchildren, two at university,

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one's training to be a solicitor,

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one's at Brighton training to be an engineer,

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and they need some money to be helped,

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and now they've got to pay £9,000...

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So I thought, "You can't split it up."

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So, they could do with the money

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rather than what they could do with the memorabilia,

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although every one of them would like to own it.

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I bet they would. I bet they would love to own this.

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-I mean,

-I

-would love to own it.

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I think this is as good as it gets for modern collectibles.

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This little model is fabulous.

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It's been signed by the chief Concorde pilot

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when Concorde was taken out of retirement - Mike Bannister.

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He had a lot to do with Concorde.

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I've seen these models on the market for sale

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at around about £150 without the signature.

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So, hopefully, the signature will nearly double that sort of money.

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-I'd like to think £200 to £300.

-Yes.

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But you've got a lot of other things here.

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I particularly like these. Look at that.

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I'd like to walk around with this. "This is my boarding pass!"

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-Keep one.

-But unfortunately, it doesn't fly any more.

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-I can't keep it!

-Keep one of them. There's more.

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No, no, no, no, no.

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We're putting them into auction as one lot, if that's OK with you,

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because I don't think this collection will be split up.

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I think somebody that's interested in Concorde

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will want to buy the whole package.

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Any idea of how much the complete package is worth?

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Because you've got an album there with photographs and cards

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with commemorative stamps, all signed by the British pilots.

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You've got boarding passes - unused.

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And you've also got some wonderful medals.

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I think anything what will help my children at university

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will be a bonus.

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Can we put it into auction with a valuation of around £200 to £300?

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-Yes.

-And see if it really does fly away?

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-Yes.

-I mean, hopefully, this will fly away literally.

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-That's a good expression. Yes.

-Did you...

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I can always remember watching TV in 2003 - it was November -

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seeing Concorde make its last journey,

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passing over Bristol and over Clifton Suspension Bridge.

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-Can you remember that on the news?

-Yes, I think I do.

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Wasn't that fabulous? And as a young boy, I grew up in Cornwall,

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and we lived in Falmouth,

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and at about 3:30 or 4:30 every afternoon,

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Concorde would fly over,

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and once he'd got about three or four miles out to sea,

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you'd hear this huge, great big boom.

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It would go supersonic then. Cos it flew subsonic over land.

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And it went, pow! And we went, "Yep."

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You could set your watch by it. Those Concordes.

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'I wish I could have been one of the lucky 2.5 million passengers

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'who flew supersonically on Concorde.

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'Concorde's fastest transatlantic crossing

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'was on 7th February in 1996,

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'when it completed the New York to London flight

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'in an unbelievable two hours, 52 minutes and 59 seconds.

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'Just a few years on,

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'the memorabilia associated with something like Concorde

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'is very collectible and a really good buy.

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'I very much doubt if it will go down in value as time goes by.

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'Well, it is a hot day, so I'm not surprised by Philip's next choice.'

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I could do with one of these! Have you got a nice cold one?

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-I'll treat you to one later.

-Really? You're up for it!

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Tell me all about this, then, Gloria.

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My brother-in-law, Bill, was in the Merchant Navy

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and he was involved in the bottle drop in the Atlantic Ocean.

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Bottle drop. Which bottle drop, what bottle drop?

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-Guinness.

-Guinness.

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It was to celebrate the bicentenary, from 1759 to 1959.

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So, we've got, "Special bottle drop, Atlantic Ocean,

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"to celebrate and commemorate Guinness's bicentenary, 1959."

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-That's cool, isn't it?

-Yes.

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So, your brother Bill was entrusted with this

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in a freighter, in the Atlantic, in 1959,

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to throw that overboard.

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-That one didn't get thrown overboard.

-And he didn't.

-No.

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Actually, I think there were two.

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I think his wife has got one as well.

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You're not seriously suggesting to me

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that a merchant sailor stole a bottle of Guinness?!

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Oh, well, I'm sure a few others disappeared as well!

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So what is... What's inside?

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It's a letter of authenticity and it asks the recipient of the bottle,

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once they've broken it open,

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to contact Guinness and claim that they've actually found one.

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I've no idea how many of them have been recovered.

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It would be really interesting

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-to find out, wouldn't it?

-It would be, yes.

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-Presumably there was never any booze in it?

-No.

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I can't understand why your brother pinched it, then!

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Now, he was a good drinker!

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Sh! Don't tell anybody that!

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So, these were the original message in a bottle, weren't they?

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Yes, they were.

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And, I mean, it just strikes me,

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-what a great bit of advertising, isn't it?

-It was an ideal one.

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Really cool thing, a bit of fun. What's it worth? Who will buy it?

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Well, do you know what?

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There is a big area of memorabilia

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and you've got the toucans that Carlton Ware did

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and you've got the lamps and all those sorts of things

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and they are very, very collectable and they are sought-after.

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I've never ever seen one of these before,

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so it's a real guess job as to what it might be worth.

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It wouldn't surprise me if it made 10 quid

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and it wouldn't surprise me if it made 30 or 40 quid.

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-I think you'd pitch it somewhere between those parameters.

-OK.

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-How does that sound?

-That's fair.

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It's time to go, isn't it?

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Well, it's a family heirloom, but it's been stored away,

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so, yeah, I thought we'd just see what it fetches.

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Absolutely right.

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Well, let's hope Guinness is good for you!

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Yeah, thank you!

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'Now over to Elizabeth in the garden,

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'who has found something for dog-lovers.'

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Mandy, you've struggled in with a very, very heavy dog today.

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-Yep.

-But handsome brute nonetheless. What can you tell me about him?

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It belongs to my mum. She was given it by her aunt about 30 years ago.

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-Right.

-And that's all I know.

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She wants to sell it because everybody in the family wants it.

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-Ah, she's being diplomatic?

-Yeah, everybody likes it

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and there's an argument over who's going to get it.

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Right. What particularly do you like about your dog?

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I love him. He's just got a lovely face to him

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and he's very well moulded and he looks really nice.

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Has he got a name? Has he been given a name in the family?

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-My daughter's named him Jimmy.

-Jimmy! That's nice.

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I notice the condition of the base, the marble base,

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has obviously suffered a little bit.

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Is that a historic kind of...?

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That's always been like it, far as I know.

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But the nice thing - it's still on its original base,

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and the reason that that's important is it does tell us on the front

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the name of the sculptor, the artist, who originally modelled it,

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and the title.

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So, the name of the sculptor was Chiparus,

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and he was very well known in the early part of the 20th century.

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He was born in Romania, but then travelled to Italy in 1909

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and spent some years there before moving to Paris,

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and he was studying under

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some very highly regarded sculptors of the day,

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and by 1914, he was putting on his own exhibitions

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of high-quality bronze sculptures, which attracted a lot of attention.

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He started off by... I think children were his early subjects,

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but of course, by the 1920s,

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he was very much at the forefront of the Art Deco era.

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-So, all the ladies?

-The ladies and the dancers, yes.

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-OK, yeah.

-So, you're familiar with those.

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His animal sculptures are not so well known.

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In a way, I think the figural ones

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tended to be what people remember him for.

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But this is a "chien policier", the police dog,

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and you get the feeling he really kind of knew this dog.

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-It's such a good study of a dog, isn't it?

-Mmm.

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-He's handsome, isn't he?

-Yeah.

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The condition it's in is a shame,

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but as I say, to my mind, it's the fact

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that it's in original, you know, untouched, unrestored condition,

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which will show the genuineness of this piece.

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He became so famous, so popular and his works became so valuable

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that over the last two or three decades, there have been copies

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and, you know, spurious figures coming onto the market.

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So it's all, you know, original, honest,

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and that's exactly what collectors want.

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So, I would say that...

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a realistic pre-auction estimate in this condition

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-would be somewhere in the region of £200 to £300.

-Oh, right, yeah.

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-But if we put a £200 reserve on it...

-Yep, that's good, yeah.

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-..and then your mother's got peace of mind.

-Yep.

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And it's been well worth your carrying it through.

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-Yeah. Thank you very much.

-Thank you for bringing it in. It's lovely.

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It's time for me to take the opportunity

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for a look around the area.

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At a staggering 1.3 miles long,

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this is the longest pleasure pier in the world

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and it has stood here in Southend for nearly 200 years,

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but unlike many other piers, this was built

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for purely practical reasons and had a huge impact on the town.

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In 19th-century Britain,

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visiting the seaside was a popular weekend activity,

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but Southend was missing out on all of this for one very simple reason.

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It had nowhere for the passenger ships

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to set down their cargo of travellers.

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William Heygate, a resident of Southend,

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was frustrated at seeing passing trade sailing by

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and on to other towns like Margate and Clacton,

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where docking facilities were better.

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He and other businessmen pushed for a pier to be built in the town.

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In 1830, Southend's first-ever pier was built.

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It was constructed entirely of wood

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and it stretched 600 feet out into the sea.

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But that was still too short to allow ships to dock at low tide,

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so over the next few years, it was extended

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and it became the longest pier in Europe.

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It even had its own resident, a chap called William Bradley,

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who lived on the end of the pier for over 20 years,

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in a small cottage which served both as a home and a lighthouse.

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He was even a one-man lifeboat rescue service

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who saved dozens of people and he was awarded medals

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from the Royal Humane Society and they RNLI for his bravery.

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Towards the end of the 19th century,

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the Bank Holidays Act came into effect.

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It essentially forced people to take time off work,

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something that would have been

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unheard of for poor people at the time.

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Soon, thousands of day-trippers,

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especially from the East End of London,

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were boarding steamboats and heading to the coast

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and, being the closest destination to the capital,

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Southend was in a prime location and, at its peak,

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the pier was handling 26 passenger ships every day.

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The pier was proving more popular than anyone predicted

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and the sheer volume of traffic

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really took its toll on the wooden structure,

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so a new pier was built in 1890,

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constructed of iron, at a cost of £70,000,

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which, in today's money, equates to 4.1 million.

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Something was needed to get people from one end to the other,

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so the ingenious Victorians built a railway to ferry visitors around.

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The new pier and railway were a huge success

0:16:060:16:10

and, by the 1920s, business was booming.

0:16:100:16:12

When World War II broke out in 1939,

0:16:210:16:24

the Royal Navy took over the pier and closed it to the general public.

0:16:240:16:28

The pier and the surrounding area were renamed HMS Leigh

0:16:290:16:33

and it became the control centre for all shipping

0:16:330:16:35

going in and out of the Thames for the duration of the war,

0:16:350:16:39

but at the end of the war in 1945, the pier reopened to the public

0:16:390:16:43

and, a few years later, it reached its heyday,

0:16:430:16:45

with visitor numbers topping a staggering seven million each year.

0:16:450:16:49

What are you going to do at Southend, Eunice?

0:16:510:16:53

We are going to have a lazy day and we are going to sit

0:16:530:16:56

at the end of the pier and watch the seagulls feeding

0:16:560:16:58

and we are going to have our lunch there.

0:16:580:17:01

-A picnic lunch?

-Yes.

-Are you?

0:17:020:17:04

What are you going to do, Beryl?

0:17:040:17:06

I'm going to watch the sea birds, same as Eunice,

0:17:060:17:09

and I'm going to look at the sand

0:17:090:17:11

and see if I can collect some pretty shells.

0:17:110:17:13

However, the success of the pier was not to last.

0:17:260:17:29

Disaster struck in the 1950s,

0:17:310:17:32

when the pier pavilion was destroyed by a major fire.

0:17:320:17:36

And things went from bad to worse.

0:17:370:17:40

During the 1960s, cheap package holidays became popular

0:17:400:17:43

and the number of people visiting the seaside went down.

0:17:430:17:46

The pier began to decline and, along with that,

0:17:460:17:49

the structure started to decay.

0:17:490:17:51

With yet more fires and the closure of the railway for safety reasons,

0:17:540:17:58

the council proposed shutting the pier.

0:17:580:18:01

But public outcry from the people of Southend prevented it.

0:18:030:18:06

People like Peggy Dowie, who set up the Southend Pier Museum in 1989.

0:18:080:18:13

Peggy, why does the pier mean so much to you,

0:18:140:18:17

because obviously you've put this museum together?

0:18:170:18:19

Well, like so many people of my age and also even younger,

0:18:190:18:23

they've grown up with it and it's part of your life.

0:18:230:18:28

It is mine.

0:18:280:18:30

And it's not just a structure for going out to sea,

0:18:300:18:33

it's a living thing and everybody across the world loves the pier.

0:18:330:18:37

You were a Southend girl, born and bred?

0:18:370:18:39

-Born and bred, very proud of it too.

-I bet you are, yes. And this is...

0:18:390:18:42

As you say, this is a major part of Southend's social history.

0:18:420:18:45

It's the heart of Southend.

0:18:450:18:47

You've done a terrific job putting this museum together,

0:18:470:18:50

you really have, and I love these old coaches and trams.

0:18:500:18:53

I think this one is brilliant! The toast-rack tram!

0:18:530:18:55

-It's brilliant!

-You can tell why they call this the toast-rack!

0:18:550:18:59

Well, this dates back to, what, 1890?

0:18:590:19:02

Was this horse-drawn or was it electric?

0:19:020:19:04

-No, electric. The first electric tram on any pier.

-Wow!

0:19:040:19:07

State-of-the-art at the time. Where did you find that?

0:19:070:19:10

We found it in a garden, being used as a chicken shed.

0:19:100:19:13

I can't imagine this as a chicken shed!

0:19:130:19:16

We were told about it and the guy gave it to us

0:19:160:19:19

provided we bought him a shed of the same size

0:19:190:19:22

and then we restored it with the help of the local woodwork college

0:19:220:19:27

and they had great fun repairing it, restoring it,

0:19:270:19:31

every bit of authenticity has gone into it that's possible

0:19:310:19:35

because for all the years that it was laying in the garden,

0:19:350:19:39

it was quite rotten in places, but it survived!

0:19:390:19:42

And you've done a magnificent job of restoring it.

0:19:420:19:45

Yes, it's been a wonderful project.

0:19:450:19:46

Well, Peggy, I'm going up on the pier now.

0:19:460:19:48

I'm going to get down to the far end and take a look at the coastline.

0:19:480:19:51

Lucky you.

0:19:510:19:52

Nice to meet you. Thank you.

0:19:520:19:54

The good news is that, in recent years,

0:20:000:20:03

the pier has been restored to its former glory

0:20:030:20:06

and it has well and truly put Southend back on the holiday map.

0:20:060:20:11

The English poet John Betjeman said of Southend,

0:20:110:20:14

"The pier is Southend, Southend is the pier,"

0:20:140:20:17

and I can't help but agree with him.

0:20:170:20:19

Surrounded by people and antiques - that's what this show is all about,

0:20:320:20:35

and I can guarantee, we're going to have one or two surprises right now,

0:20:350:20:39

because our experts have made their first choice of items

0:20:390:20:41

to take off to auction.

0:20:410:20:43

You've heard what they've had to say.

0:20:430:20:44

I've got my favourites, and I know you have too.

0:20:440:20:46

But let's put it to the test in the saleroom.

0:20:460:20:48

Let's see what the bidders think,

0:20:480:20:50

and here's a quick recap of all the items going under the hammer.

0:20:500:20:53

'The lorgnettes will be worth a decent amount

0:20:540:20:56

'if they are gold and not just gold-plated.

0:20:560:20:59

'We will find out at the auction house.

0:20:590:21:01

'And I'm hoping that Peter's Concorde memorabilia

0:21:030:21:05

'stirs some memories in the saleroom.

0:21:050:21:08

'And the bronze police dog by Chiparus

0:21:100:21:12

'is bound to have broad appeal.

0:21:120:21:14

'I'm hoping that Gloria's commemorative Guinness bottle

0:21:160:21:19

'stirs some memories in the saleroom.'

0:21:190:21:21

For today's auction, we've left Colchester

0:21:260:21:29

and travelled to Rayleigh, which is just a few miles down the road.

0:21:290:21:32

And I tell you what, the car park looks busy,

0:21:320:21:34

so hopefully, it's going to be packed full of bidders

0:21:340:21:36

going crazy for our first set of items.

0:21:360:21:38

And this is where all the action is taking place -

0:21:380:21:41

Stacey's Auction Room.

0:21:410:21:42

'And the man in charge of the proceedings is Mark P Stacey,

0:21:440:21:47

'who's sharing the rostrum today with his brother Paul.

0:21:470:21:50

'Before we look at the sale, let's find out

0:21:500:21:53

'if the glittering lorgnettes are really gold.'

0:21:530:21:56

I like these. I think they're very good quality.

0:21:570:22:01

Jillian's folding spectacles.

0:22:010:22:03

Now, Philip was unsure whether they were gold or not on the day.

0:22:030:22:06

There's no hallmarks. But he couldn't test them.

0:22:060:22:09

If they weren't gold, he was looking at sort of £15 to £30 for a plate.

0:22:090:22:12

If they were gold, around £80 to £120.

0:22:120:22:15

Good news, Paul - we've tested them, and they are gold.

0:22:150:22:17

-They've come out as being nine carat.

-Brilliant.

0:22:170:22:19

So, with that in mind, £80 to £120 it is.

0:22:190:22:22

OK. How do you go about testing something like that?

0:22:220:22:25

-A tiny, tiny little bit of acid.

-Just literally drop a little bit on?

0:22:250:22:27

Just a little bit on. If it comes up red, then we know it's gold.

0:22:270:22:30

OK. OK. Well, look, good luck with those.

0:22:300:22:32

-Has there been any interest?

-A little bit.

0:22:320:22:34

-I'm hoping they'll do sort of the top end.

-OK.

0:22:340:22:36

Who's likely to buy that? A collector of spectacles, or...?

0:22:360:22:39

Generally, a collector will buy those.

0:22:390:22:41

I don't think anyone's going to go to the optician's and buy them.

0:22:410:22:44

-So, I think, in the main, it'll be just the collector, yeah.

-OK.

0:22:440:22:47

'Well, that is good to know.

0:22:470:22:50

'It makes the estimate £80 to £120, then.

0:22:500:22:53

'And they are first up, so let's see how they do.'

0:22:540:22:57

OK, all you ladies with a squint, this next one's for you -

0:22:590:23:02

Jillian's lorgnettes.

0:23:020:23:03

-I hope I pronounced that right.

-You did.

-"Lorn-YETS".

0:23:030:23:06

Folding spectacles.

0:23:060:23:07

-We had a look at them at the preview day yesterday.

-Yeah.

0:23:070:23:09

I can remember at the valuation day you were unsure

0:23:090:23:12

if they were gold or not, and you gave us a couple of valuations -

0:23:120:23:14

£80 to £120 if they were gold.

0:23:140:23:16

He's tested them - did a little acid test.

0:23:160:23:18

-Oh, right.

-You can test them with a drop of acid.

-And?

0:23:180:23:20

-It turns red - they're gold!

-Oh, brilliant!

0:23:200:23:22

So you're bang-on - £80 to £120.

0:23:220:23:24

-But these will definitely go to a collector.

-Yeah, absolutely.

0:23:240:23:27

They really will. And hopefully there's a few right here right now,

0:23:270:23:30

because it's going under the hammer. This is it. Good luck. Here we go.

0:23:300:23:33

Lot 141. A pair of 19th-century spectacles, as catalogued.

0:23:330:23:38

Three commission bids.

0:23:380:23:40

Must start the bidding to clear the book at £95.

0:23:400:23:43

< Trading at £95. £100 anywhere?

0:23:430:23:45

£105.

0:23:450:23:47

£110. I am out. At £110.

0:23:470:23:49

£115 is a new bidder. Against you. £120.

0:23:490:23:53

£125. £130.

0:23:530:23:56

£135. £140.

0:23:560:23:58

£145. £150.

0:23:580:24:01

£155. £160.

0:24:010:24:04

< £165. Oh, gosh!

0:24:040:24:06

-When they hold their card up, they mean to buy it, don't they?

-Yeah.

0:24:060:24:09

< £180. £185.

0:24:090:24:11

£190. £200.

0:24:110:24:14

< £210, please, sir?

0:24:140:24:16

(£200!)

0:24:160:24:17

On my left at £200. Fair warning. Last chances, then, please, at £200.

0:24:170:24:22

-£200!

-That's just made ME squint.

0:24:240:24:27

-Yeah!

-THEY LAUGH

0:24:270:24:29

Isn't that a brilliant result? Absolutely brilliant.

0:24:290:24:32

Quality! And quality always sells.

0:24:320:24:35

If you've got anything like that, we would love to see it.

0:24:350:24:37

Bring it along to one of our valuation days.

0:24:370:24:39

And you can pick up details in the press

0:24:390:24:41

or check our website - bbc.co.uk/flogit.

0:24:410:24:44

Follow the links. All the information will be there.

0:24:440:24:46

-And thank you so much for coming in.

-Thank you.

0:24:460:24:48

-Enjoy the money, won't you?

-Rosebushes.

0:24:480:24:51

-Oh, you're going to plant up rosebushes?

-Rosebushes, yes.

0:24:510:24:54

-Are you a keen gardener?

-Oh, yes.

0:24:540:24:56

-The "Flog It!" rose.

-"Flog It!" rose.

-You can plant a "Flog It!" rose.

0:24:560:24:59

'Next, we have Mandy, who has a common predicament.'

0:25:000:25:03

What we have here is a family heirloom -

0:25:040:25:06

it belonged to Mum, but the kids are squabbling over it.

0:25:060:25:09

So it's got to go under the hammer.

0:25:090:25:11

I'm talking about that lovely bronze dog.

0:25:110:25:13

-Mandy, it's good to see you.

-Thank you.

0:25:130:25:15

-So, you've got an older brother?

-And a sister.

0:25:150:25:17

And a sister. So, I can understand you've got to split the sum.

0:25:170:25:19

-Yep.

-And I think that's the fair thing to do, don't you?

0:25:190:25:22

I mean, you must see this a lot as an auctioneer.

0:25:220:25:24

Yeah. It's kind of a sad scenario, but at the same time,

0:25:240:25:26

there is a solution to it which should satisfy everybody,

0:25:260:25:29

if that's the way they choose to do it.

0:25:290:25:31

So, hopefully it'll be a happy ending.

0:25:310:25:32

Fingers crossed we've got a big audience for this.

0:25:320:25:35

A gilt bronze in the form of a German shepherd.

0:25:350:25:38

Lovely bronze there.

0:25:380:25:40

Commission bids, two of them. Must start the bidding at £150.

0:25:400:25:43

£160 anywhere? Thank you, sir. £160. £170.

0:25:430:25:46

You're bidding £180. £180. £180 now.

0:25:460:25:49

Are we all done at £180? Commission bid's at £180.

0:25:490:25:51

Against you. One more, sir?

0:25:510:25:53

-£180. £190.

-Yes. Keep going.

-£190 with you.

0:25:530:25:55

The far back at £190. Coming on the phone at £190.

0:25:550:25:58

£200 on the phone. Telephone bid's at £200. Against you, sir.

0:25:580:26:01

You finished? At £200 now. Fair warning at £200.

0:26:010:26:05

-£200. Thank you for that.

-Just!

0:26:060:26:09

-That was a close one, that was.

-We are on a knife edge here, aren't we?

0:26:090:26:13

-I mean, we are on this one, let's face it.

-Very much so.

0:26:130:26:15

-That close, but we got it away. You're happy.

-Yep.

0:26:150:26:18

And the family's happy. It can all be divided up.

0:26:180:26:20

Once commission is taken out, which is 20%, inclusive of VAT here.

0:26:200:26:24

-Everyone's got to pay it.

-Yep.

-Then we can divide that up.

0:26:240:26:27

-Thank you for coming in.

-Thank you.

-Thank you very much.

0:26:270:26:29

This is where it gets exciting,

0:26:330:26:35

this is where we put those values to the test

0:26:350:26:37

and here we are, right in the saleroom.

0:26:370:26:38

Yes, the message in a bottle. It was by Guinness, wasn't it?

0:26:380:26:41

Or was it by The Police? Let me think.

0:26:410:26:43

That was The Police!

0:26:430:26:44

I got there eventually, I worked it out.

0:26:440:26:47

Lots were dropped, 150,000. I wonder how many survived.

0:26:470:26:50

How many were drunk!

0:26:500:26:52

Let's find out what the bidders think. Here we go.

0:26:520:26:54

Moving now to Lot 570.

0:26:540:26:56

We have a brown glass Guinness bottle, celebrating the bicentenary.

0:26:570:27:02

Shall we say about £10 to start with?

0:27:020:27:04

£10 for it, 10 I've got, thank you.

0:27:040:27:07

-We are in, someone in the room.

-£10 is bid.

0:27:070:27:08

Any advances now?

0:27:080:27:10

A £10 only.

0:27:100:27:11

The opening bid of 10. Are we all done now?

0:27:110:27:13

Last opportunity, I shall sell to you, sir, then, at £10.

0:27:130:27:17

It's gone.

0:27:180:27:20

Opening maiden bid of £10, straight in.

0:27:200:27:21

-That's just about a pint for both of us, isn't it?

-Yes.

0:27:210:27:24

-It is, actually, isn't it?

-PAUL LAUGHS

0:27:240:27:27

No, actually, a pint for you and a half for Philip and myself,

0:27:270:27:30

-how about that?

-I don't like Guinness.

0:27:300:27:32

-Don't you like Guinness?

-I've never tried it.

0:27:320:27:34

Then it definitely is a pint for you and me.

0:27:340:27:36

It was a bit of fun, though, wasn't it?

0:27:360:27:38

Thank you so much!

0:27:380:27:39

That is a really interesting and quirky item and a first for us.

0:27:390:27:45

Well, I've just been joined by Peter, our next owner,

0:27:450:27:48

and it really is chocks away for us.

0:27:480:27:51

I'm talking about that Concorde memorabilia,

0:27:510:27:53

and we're looking at £200 to £300.

0:27:530:27:55

Good luck with this. I think there's been a lot of interest.

0:27:550:27:57

Let's find out what the bidders think. Here we go. Look, Peter.

0:27:570:28:00

Let's watch it fly. This is it.

0:28:000:28:02

Lot 640. Lovely collection of Concorde memorabilia.

0:28:040:28:07

Bids clearing at £100. £110 anywhere?

0:28:070:28:10

£110. £120.

0:28:100:28:12

£130. £140.

0:28:120:28:14

£150. £160. £170.

0:28:140:28:17

£180. £190.

0:28:170:28:19

£200. £210. Your bid, sir, down the middle at £210.

0:28:190:28:23

£220 anywhere? Selling, then, at £210.

0:28:230:28:28

Yes! £210. We just got it away.

0:28:280:28:31

That was close, but it sold within estimate.

0:28:310:28:33

'Nice to see a young bidder, and he looks so pleased with what he got.'

0:28:350:28:40

Very happy with the price that I paid.

0:28:400:28:43

Probably would have gone higher. Really, really wanted it.

0:28:430:28:46

And I thought, because it was such an iconic aircraft,

0:28:460:28:48

it'd be a privilege to own a piece of history.

0:28:480:28:51

'That's great. He's over the moon.'

0:28:520:28:54

Done at £40?

0:28:550:28:57

Thank you. £42. £42 in the room again...

0:28:570:28:59

Did you know that Essex holds a rather dubious record?

0:28:590:29:02

Back in the 1600s, more so-called witches

0:29:020:29:06

were caught, tried and executed in this county

0:29:060:29:09

than anywhere else in the UK, and much of it was down to one man.

0:29:090:29:12

I went to Manningtree, which is just a few miles up the road,

0:29:120:29:15

to find out more.

0:29:150:29:17

'This is beautiful north Essex, a landscape of big skies,

0:29:260:29:29

'meandering rivers and quaint villages.

0:29:290:29:32

'But this peaceful rural idyll has a dark and disturbing history.'

0:29:330:29:37

SHOUTING

0:29:390:29:42

The 17th century was a turbulent time in our history.

0:29:430:29:47

There was a violent civil war

0:29:470:29:48

and clashes between Catholics and Protestants.

0:29:480:29:51

And amongst all the chaos,

0:29:510:29:53

old fears and superstitions about witchcraft and sorcery

0:29:530:29:56

began to resurface

0:29:560:29:58

and Essex became the epicentre of a witch-hunting frenzy.

0:29:580:30:02

'Between the years of 1645 and 1647,

0:30:050:30:09

'over 100 suspected witches were tried and executed,

0:30:090:30:13

'a gruesome record that made the county

0:30:130:30:15

'the most prolific killer of so-called witches

0:30:150:30:18

'in the British Isles.

0:30:180:30:19

'One man in particular became notorious

0:30:190:30:22

'for his involvement in the witch hunts - Matthew Hopkins.'

0:30:220:30:26

Matthew Hopkins was born in around 1620 in Great Wenham, in Suffolk.

0:30:280:30:33

As a young man, he moved here,

0:30:330:30:34

to the small market town of Manningtree in Essex,

0:30:340:30:37

which was at the heart of the Puritan community

0:30:370:30:40

in the east of England.

0:30:400:30:42

Now, at the time, witchcraft was a crime,

0:30:420:30:45

and Hopkins saw the opportunity to forge a new career hunting witches.

0:30:450:30:49

He essentially took the law into his own hands,

0:30:490:30:52

and his search for suspects started right here.

0:30:520:30:55

'Hopkins claimed to have overheard women in Manningtree

0:30:570:31:00

'discussing their secret meetings with the devil,

0:31:000:31:03

'and in 1645, he had the elderly widow Elizabeth Clarke imprisoned

0:31:030:31:07

'on suspicion of witchcraft.'

0:31:070:31:10

Hopkins employed methods of torture,

0:31:100:31:12

such as sleep deprivation and starvation,

0:31:120:31:14

to extract confessions.

0:31:140:31:17

At Elizabeth Clarke's trial, he swore on oath

0:31:170:31:20

that he witnessed four animals, allegedly possessed by demons,

0:31:200:31:24

visit her during his interrogation,

0:31:240:31:26

and as a result of Clarke's ordeal, she admitted to all the charges.

0:31:260:31:30

She was found guilty and hanged.

0:31:300:31:33

'Hopkins' gift for interrogation and persuasion

0:31:340:31:37

'made him a compelling figure,

0:31:370:31:39

'and to add weight to his authority as an investigator,

0:31:390:31:42

'he gave himself the title of Witchfinder General.

0:31:420:31:45

'He even claimed to have been appointed by Parliament.

0:31:450:31:49

'This soon meant he was in high demand

0:31:490:31:52

'in towns throughout the east of England,

0:31:520:31:54

'all of which were willing to pay handsomely

0:31:540:31:57

'to rid them of supposed witches.'

0:31:570:32:00

Many of those he accused were held here at Colchester Castle.

0:32:000:32:03

It looks pleasant enough today, surrounded by flowers.

0:32:030:32:06

It's a wonderful tourist attraction.

0:32:060:32:08

But back in the 17th century, this was a corrupt jail,

0:32:080:32:11

and the prisoners were kept in appalling conditions.

0:32:110:32:14

And for those who fell victim to Hopkins' accusations,

0:32:140:32:17

this was a place of terror, hell and desperation.

0:32:170:32:22

Now, this is Mistley, just a short distance from Manningtree,

0:32:320:32:35

where Hopkins lived.

0:32:350:32:37

Now, local legend has it this lake was used by Hopkins

0:32:370:32:40

for his infamous "swimming trials".

0:32:400:32:43

'Suspects were tied up and thrown into the water.

0:32:430:32:46

'If they floated, they were guilty of witchcraft,

0:32:460:32:49

'at which point, they were taken away and executed.

0:32:490:32:52

'If they sank, they were hauled out and subjected to a formal trial.'

0:32:520:32:57

Either way, if Hopkins accused you of something,

0:32:570:33:00

the outlook was pretty grim.

0:33:000:33:02

'I met up with Professor Malcolm Gaskill

0:33:030:33:06

'of the University of East Anglia, expert on the history of witchcraft,

0:33:060:33:10

'to find out more about Matthew Hopkins.'

0:33:100:33:13

What gave Matthew Hopkins his authority?

0:33:130:33:16

Well, he didn't really have any authority.

0:33:160:33:18

Some people said that he had the authority of Parliament,

0:33:180:33:20

but, really, this was during the English Civil War,

0:33:200:33:23

and the world was turned upside down and the law had been disturbed,

0:33:230:33:26

and he just took it upon himself, really.

0:33:260:33:28

And in those times, it was possible to do that.

0:33:280:33:31

Did he have a particular type of victim that he would go for?

0:33:310:33:34

Well, they tended to be the most vulnerable members of the community.

0:33:340:33:38

So, the poor and the elderly.

0:33:380:33:40

People that couldn't defend themselves and speak up?

0:33:400:33:43

Yeah, absolutely. And especially women.

0:33:430:33:45

But when we say "his victims",

0:33:450:33:46

of course, it actually took quite a lot of people

0:33:460:33:48

to accuse somebody of witchcraft for it to be successful legally.

0:33:480:33:52

So it wasn't just him - he was basically feeding on the suspicions

0:33:520:33:56

and the anxieties of all the local people around him.

0:33:560:33:59

What do you think his motives were?

0:33:590:34:01

Well, people even at the time,

0:34:010:34:03

his critics said that he was just motivated by the lust for money.

0:34:030:34:06

Some people said it was actually a kind of a perversion on his part.

0:34:060:34:11

But I think if we understand the context of the time -

0:34:110:34:14

he was the son of a godly clergyman -

0:34:140:34:16

I think actually, as unpalatable as it might seem,

0:34:160:34:19

he thought he was doing the right thing

0:34:190:34:21

and it was a sincere crusade against what he saw

0:34:210:34:24

as the spread of the devil and of evil in these parts.

0:34:240:34:27

'But how did Matthew Hopkins meet his own end?'

0:34:290:34:33

Some people believe that Hopkins himself was actually subjected

0:34:330:34:36

to the same tortures and punishments

0:34:360:34:38

that he'd inflicted upon the witches,

0:34:380:34:40

you know, at the height of his campaign.

0:34:400:34:42

But it's actually said he was brought to a pond -

0:34:420:34:44

probably this one here -

0:34:440:34:46

and was thrown into the water to see if he'd float or if he would...

0:34:460:34:50

-Go straight to the bottom?

-..sink, yeah.

0:34:500:34:52

You know, and then was hauled out, or drowned.

0:34:520:34:54

There's different versions of the story you find in folklore.

0:34:540:34:57

-Why was HE subjected to it?

-Well, I don't think he was.

0:34:570:34:59

There's no evidence that he actually was.

0:34:590:35:01

He probably almost certainly died of tuberculosis,

0:35:010:35:03

just kind of faded away, but it makes a better story.

0:35:030:35:06

Do you think, because there's no definite conclusion, really,

0:35:060:35:08

to what happened,

0:35:080:35:10

do you think that's why this story and other stories like this

0:35:100:35:12

-continue to get told?

-Yeah, definitely.

0:35:120:35:15

The stories that we have inside us

0:35:150:35:16

need a beginning and a middle and an end,

0:35:160:35:18

and I think, given the sense of injustice

0:35:180:35:20

of what happened round here,

0:35:200:35:22

the, sort of, local trauma

0:35:220:35:23

of so many people being arrested and executed,

0:35:230:35:26

there's a very strong need to tell the story in a certain way,

0:35:260:35:28

and I think that explains why there are so many legends,

0:35:280:35:31

and also why there are so many ghost stories associated with round here -

0:35:310:35:34

both ghost sightings of Hopkins and also of his victims.

0:35:340:35:37

-Well, I'll keep an eye out.

-Yeah, do that!

-THEY LAUGH

0:35:370:35:40

'Whatever the truth behind the stories, there is no doubt

0:35:420:35:45

'that in just three short years,

0:35:450:35:47

'Hopkins' career as Witchfinder General

0:35:470:35:49

'destroyed many innocent lives

0:35:490:35:52

'and tore families and communities apart.'

0:35:520:35:55

And what about the final part of the legend?

0:35:550:35:58

Well, like the truth about his death,

0:35:580:36:00

this place is more ordinary and less dramatic

0:36:000:36:02

than a storyteller would have hoped for.

0:36:020:36:05

These are the overgrown foundations of Mistley Heath Church,

0:36:050:36:09

where, it is believed, Hopkins was buried.

0:36:090:36:11

It's unlikely that the truth about Hopkins's death will ever be known,

0:36:110:36:16

but as we've just seen, from the simplest foundations,

0:36:160:36:19

rich folk history can build.

0:36:190:36:21

And I'm sure you'll agree it's a fascinating yet gruesome story

0:36:210:36:25

which is going to be told for generations to come.

0:36:250:36:28

Welcome back to our valuation day

0:36:400:36:42

here at the magnificent Layer Marney Tower,

0:36:420:36:44

just outside of Colchester.

0:36:440:36:45

As you can see, it's still in full swing,

0:36:450:36:47

hundreds of people waiting to see our experts,

0:36:470:36:50

hoping they're going to be one of the lucky ones

0:36:500:36:52

to go through to the auction later on.

0:36:520:36:54

So let's now catch up with Elizabeth Talbot.

0:36:540:36:56

It's not as though we need any more light shedding on today,

0:36:570:37:00

on this bright, sunny day,

0:37:000:37:01

but you have brought a lovely light fitting.

0:37:010:37:03

What can you tell me about it?

0:37:030:37:05

Well, I spotted it when I was on holiday in Dorset,

0:37:050:37:08

and I used to have a very old listed cottage,

0:37:080:37:10

and I just fell in love with it,

0:37:100:37:12

thought it was very ornate and pretty,

0:37:120:37:13

and thought I'd buy it for my cottage.

0:37:130:37:16

I do buy a lot of items,

0:37:160:37:17

and I just thought it was really lovely and original.

0:37:170:37:20

And did you instate it, install it in your cottage?

0:37:200:37:22

We did actually fix it to one of the beams,

0:37:220:37:24

but we didn't actually wire it up.

0:37:240:37:26

-OK.

-So we didn't actually have it working.

0:37:260:37:28

So it looked as though it could have possibly shed light, but didn't. OK.

0:37:280:37:31

So, did you actually have it rewired at all?

0:37:310:37:33

No, that was like that when I bought it. Yeah.

0:37:330:37:35

Cos obviously, what we have here is a late Victorian brass...

0:37:350:37:39

what was originally a gas-fired light.

0:37:390:37:41

It would have hung from the ceiling, as you say,

0:37:410:37:44

and it has sort of a swivelling, gimballed end here

0:37:440:37:47

so it could be slightly adjusted,

0:37:470:37:49

and then the flow of gas would have been, obviously, operated

0:37:490:37:53

from the little stop-cap there.

0:37:530:37:55

But on and off would have been used by operating the pulley,

0:37:550:37:58

sort of, the seesaw pulley on the chains there.

0:37:580:38:01

In more recent times, it's been converted to electric

0:38:010:38:04

for usage in modern houses.

0:38:040:38:06

And the only other comment I'd make is that the shade,

0:38:060:38:09

which is very pretty in its own right, is more of a 1930s type.

0:38:090:38:12

Yes. I didn't think it was the original.

0:38:120:38:13

-But it complements it.

-It just looks pretty on there, yeah.

0:38:130:38:16

So, have you have you no place for it in your current abode?

0:38:160:38:19

No, cos unfortunately, I had to give up my cottage that I lived in,

0:38:190:38:22

and I've moved to a more modern house, which it doesn't suit at all.

0:38:220:38:25

-Suit it at all?

-No.

0:38:250:38:27

And also, to be fair, you need a degree of ceiling height

0:38:270:38:29

to allow that to fall from the ceiling

0:38:290:38:31

and not bang your head on it.

0:38:310:38:33

I mean, certainly, architectural features such as this

0:38:330:38:35

which have been reclaimed from old properties

0:38:350:38:37

and converted, made good so they can be put to modern usage are popular.

0:38:370:38:41

So, the market at the moment

0:38:410:38:43

is still very receptive to things like this.

0:38:430:38:45

Having said that, this model is not rare.

0:38:450:38:47

They were produced in vast quantities.

0:38:470:38:49

And so it's not a scarcity, it's just a very nice example.

0:38:490:38:52

And have you an idea of value? Or do you remember what you paid for it?

0:38:520:38:55

I think I might, about 15 years ago, have paid about £35.

0:38:550:38:59

-But I've no idea what the value is today.

-And that was for a shop?

0:38:590:39:01

That was, erm, yeah, a little gadget, sort of antiquey second-hand shop.

0:39:010:39:07

So, when it comes to value, realistically,

0:39:070:39:09

we should be looking at an estimate of about £30 to £50,

0:39:090:39:11

which is the kind of value you paid for it when you bought it,

0:39:110:39:14

but from a shop.

0:39:140:39:15

I think if you bought this from a shop now,

0:39:150:39:17

you'd be paying another 50% to 100% on top of that.

0:39:170:39:19

So, it has gone up in real terms - it's just that to sell it at auction

0:39:190:39:22

is slightly different from buying from a shop.

0:39:220:39:24

-But if you're happy with that valuation...

-Yeah, that's fine.

0:39:240:39:27

And if we put a reserve on it at the lower end, at, sort of, £30?

0:39:270:39:30

-£30, yeah, that's fine.

-Do you want that firm or...

0:39:300:39:32

-No, that can be discretion.

-Discretion? OK.

0:39:320:39:34

But hopefully, we won't need it.

0:39:340:39:36

And, yes, thank you so much for bringing it along. It's been lovely.

0:39:360:39:40

Now, Philip is next and he is displaying his creative flair.

0:39:430:39:47

I'm just getting him in frame, just getting him in frame.

0:39:490:39:52

-Hi, I'm Philip. How are you?

-Hi. George.

0:39:540:39:57

George, good to see you, George. If you are going to have a camera,

0:39:570:40:00

-this is the one to have, isn't it?

-It is indeed, yes.

0:40:000:40:02

Ernst Leitz.

0:40:020:40:04

The Leica camera, it is the Rolls-Royce of cameras, isn't it?

0:40:040:40:08

It is indeed, yes. You can't get better.

0:40:080:40:10

Well, no, you can't. And you can date them by the serial number here.

0:40:100:40:14

-Have you looked up the date?

-Yes, we have.

0:40:140:40:16

We've placed it sort of just before the 1940s, '35 to '40.

0:40:160:40:19

-This is pre-Second World War.

-Pre-Second World War, yes.

0:40:190:40:22

I just think they are a really good thing.

0:40:220:40:24

I think it was Oskar Barnack who designed these cameras pre-1920s,

0:40:240:40:27

-but have you owned this since it was new?

-No, when I was about 16,

0:40:270:40:31

my grandfather and grandmother were going to go to America

0:40:310:40:33

and I said, "You need a decent camera,"

0:40:330:40:35

and we went out and we bought this together

0:40:350:40:37

and I had to teach him how to use it and...

0:40:370:40:39

And when did you buy it? '60s?

0:40:390:40:41

-'50s, '60s, something like that.

-1960s, something like that.

0:40:410:40:44

What did it cost you?

0:40:440:40:45

I really have no idea, I can't remember.

0:40:450:40:48

-Were you into your cameras?

-I was into cameras,

0:40:480:40:50

I used to enjoy developing my own films.

0:40:500:40:52

That's why I convinced them to buy this -

0:40:520:40:54

so I could develop the films when they got back.

0:40:540:40:56

-A bit of a hidden agenda, really?

-Yes, so...

-You got it to buy you...

0:40:560:41:00

And hopefully, one day, it might be passed down to me!

0:41:000:41:03

-How sneaky is that?!

-Looking ahead!

0:41:030:41:04

It's funny because I was recently going to buy a camera

0:41:040:41:08

and I was looking at the modern equivalent of one of these

0:41:080:41:10

and somebody said to me, "You will pay £500 for the camera

0:41:100:41:13

"and £1,000 for the name," because it is THE best name.

0:41:130:41:15

So, why, now, do you want sell it?

0:41:150:41:18

Well, purely because film is so hard to get, it's all digital,

0:41:180:41:21

they've killed it, and I believe Kodak have also gone out of business

0:41:210:41:25

as well, because people aren't buying the film.

0:41:250:41:27

That sounds to me like you are a dinosaur, sir.

0:41:270:41:30

-And this is called progress!

-Yes, quite.

0:41:300:41:33

-No, but I agree with you.

-It is, it's all digital now.

0:41:330:41:35

-You lose all the old arts, don't you?

-Yeah.

0:41:350:41:37

You still get digital cameras where you can adjust and fiddle,

0:41:370:41:41

but most people just leave it on auto.

0:41:410:41:42

So, what you're saying, really, is that THAT is the craftsman's camera?

0:41:420:41:46

-It is.

-I've recently sold some Leica cameras

0:41:460:41:49

and they are massively collectable,

0:41:490:41:51

so in a way, you can put £1 - £2 on it

0:41:510:41:53

and it will still make what it's worth.

0:41:530:41:56

Having said that, we're not going to do that.

0:41:560:41:59

I think we need to put £200 - £400 as a broad estimate on it,

0:41:590:42:03

put a fixed reserve on it of £200. Are you happy with that?

0:42:030:42:06

Yes, yes, of course.

0:42:060:42:07

It's better than sitting in the back of a drawer.

0:42:070:42:11

George's camera was made in Germany

0:42:110:42:13

just before the outbreak of the Second World War.

0:42:130:42:16

Ernst Leitz, a German Protestant and owner of the Leica firm at the time,

0:42:160:42:20

helped many Jewish people escape from persecution.

0:42:200:42:24

They trained up Jews known to be at risk as sales staff

0:42:250:42:28

and obtained exit permits

0:42:280:42:30

and sent them to safety to work in their showrooms overseas.

0:42:300:42:33

It is believed that

0:42:330:42:35

they saved hundreds of people from the Holocaust

0:42:350:42:37

and the Leica Freedom Train, as it is known,

0:42:370:42:40

can be compared to the famous Schindler's List.

0:42:400:42:43

While our experts are hard at work,

0:42:560:42:59

I'm also on the lookout for items of furniture.

0:42:590:43:01

My passion is wood.

0:43:010:43:03

I love it in the cut and felled form,

0:43:030:43:05

but also in the living, organic form.

0:43:050:43:07

And here is a wonderful example of - can you guess what this tree is?

0:43:070:43:10

It's a tulip tree.

0:43:100:43:11

They can only flower after ten years of first planting them,

0:43:110:43:14

and I'd say this one is around about 150 years old.

0:43:140:43:18

But tulipwood is a wonderful veneer

0:43:180:43:19

used throughout the 17th century on fine pieces of furniture,

0:43:190:43:23

which really, really does correlate with such a magnificent house.

0:43:230:43:26

I wonder if we can find anything made of tulipwood here today.

0:43:260:43:28

Who knows?

0:43:280:43:29

'Back over to Philip, who has found something rather sweet.'

0:43:320:43:36

-How are you, Anne?

-I'm very hot today.

0:43:370:43:39

-Very, very hot?

-But it's a lovely day.

0:43:390:43:41

Well, this is an ideal day for strawberries and cream,

0:43:410:43:44

-and we've got the old sugar sifter, haven't we?

-Yes.

0:43:440:43:46

How long have you had this?

0:43:460:43:48

Erm, nearly 60 years, cos it was a wedding present.

0:43:480:43:50

It's a beautiful thing. Why have you made up your mind it's time to go?

0:43:500:43:53

Because it's not very practical for today's living, really.

0:43:530:43:57

We don't use it. We used to use it quite a bit. But not any more.

0:43:570:44:01

-That's dining in style, isn't it?

-Well, yes.

0:44:010:44:04

-Now, do you know what these hallmarks mean?

-No, I don't.

0:44:040:44:08

-If we look there...

-Yep.

0:44:080:44:10

..that P is a date code,

0:44:100:44:12

-which I think is around 1910, something like that.

-Right.

0:44:120:44:16

-That's a leopard's head.

-Yep.

0:44:160:44:18

And that tells us that this was assayed in London.

0:44:180:44:21

There were assay offices in Sheffield, Birmingham, London,

0:44:210:44:25

and that's where, to prove that something is silver,

0:44:250:44:28

you sent it to the assay office, you had to pay for it,

0:44:280:44:31

and they stamped it just like this,

0:44:310:44:33

-and that's basically your hallmark to say that it's silver.

-Right.

0:44:330:44:37

So if you turn it up, on the bottom, it's got...

0:44:370:44:41

"Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Company, Regent Street, London."

0:44:410:44:45

-Right.

-You don't want better than that, do you?

0:44:450:44:47

-Oh. Well, that sounds good.

-That is the best.

0:44:470:44:49

They were set up in 1880,

0:44:490:44:50

and I think in 1952, they merged with Garrard,

0:44:500:44:53

so you've got the best retailers' name.

0:44:530:44:55

And they were the best. This is a wonderful quality thing.

0:44:550:44:58

-Oh, right.

-So, now, we've got to decide what it's worth.

0:44:580:45:01

-This has an intrinsic value as an item.

-Yes.

0:45:010:45:04

But almost in a way, the base price of this

0:45:040:45:07

-is the scrap value of silver.

-Mmm.

0:45:070:45:09

-So, what we do...

-Yep.

0:45:090:45:11

..is we get some scales out...

0:45:110:45:13

..and we just put that on there... like that.

0:45:140:45:18

I think they've given me the heaviest elastic band in the world.

0:45:180:45:20

-Oh, right.

-OK? And then we just get that up there like that, look.

0:45:200:45:24

I thought it was about 9oz, but the old scales are showing up at 10.2,

0:45:240:45:28

and it always pays to be a little bit cautious.

0:45:280:45:30

So, you know, it's between, I would say, roughly 9 and 9½ ounces.

0:45:300:45:34

I don't think my hands are that steady when I'm supporting it, so...

0:45:340:45:38

-But it gives us a clue. That's the point.

-Yes. OK.

0:45:380:45:40

-9oz. There we are.

-OK.

0:45:400:45:42

And we know that silver is very roughly

0:45:420:45:45

about £10 an ounce at the minute - between £10 and £12 an ounce.

0:45:450:45:48

-Oh. Right.

-And I think an auction estimate for this is in the...

0:45:480:45:52

and this is a base price - is £80 to £120.

0:45:520:45:56

Might make £100 to £150.

0:45:560:45:58

But I do want £100 for reserve.

0:45:580:46:02

Right. Here's the simple question. Do you want to sell it?

0:46:020:46:05

-Well, yes.

-Right.

0:46:050:46:06

Then how about if you put an estimate on it of £100 to £150

0:46:060:46:10

and you put a reserve on it at £100,

0:46:100:46:12

but you give the auctioneer 10% discretion?

0:46:120:46:15

-OK.

-All right? So that he's got £10 he can play with if he wants to.

0:46:150:46:19

But I think...I'd be disappointed if he needed it,

0:46:190:46:22

cos I think that's a really stylish thing.

0:46:220:46:24

-Yes. It's a lovely shape.

-It is, yeah.

0:46:240:46:26

I think our silver sugar sifter is going to go to auction

0:46:260:46:30

and we're going to get the sweet smell of success.

0:46:300:46:32

Good. I hope so.

0:46:320:46:34

'It's a good-quality item, so there's no reason why not.

0:46:340:46:38

'Now over to Elizabeth, who's also found something stylish.'

0:46:380:46:42

-Reenie, hello.

-Hello.

0:46:420:46:44

You've made a real highlight for my day today

0:46:440:46:47

by bringing in this lovely Clarice Cliff.

0:46:470:46:49

What is the history behind this set?

0:46:490:46:52

Well, my husband, his brother and sister bought it

0:46:520:46:56

for their mother's and father's silver wedding.

0:46:560:47:00

-And when was that?

-In 1932.

0:47:000:47:02

-Really?

-Yes.

-And where did they buy it from?

0:47:020:47:05

-From the Ideal Home Exhibition.

-OK.

0:47:050:47:08

So, they were buying very fashionable things in those days

0:47:080:47:11

-to make a very special present.

-Mm-hm.

0:47:110:47:14

I suppose the family have lost any idea

0:47:140:47:17

of how much they paid for it at that time?

0:47:170:47:19

-I don't know.

-No, they wouldn't know.

0:47:190:47:21

-So, you have inherited it through the family?

-Yes. Yeah.

0:47:210:47:25

-And do you like it?

-REENIE CHUCKLES

0:47:250:47:28

Well, we've always looked after it.

0:47:280:47:30

Well, I used to let the children play with it.

0:47:300:47:33

-Oh, did you?

-THEY BOTH LAUGH

0:47:330:47:35

So, like a little tea set to have a bit of a play with?

0:47:350:47:37

-But do you like it, though?

-Yes, we like it, yes.

0:47:370:47:40

-It's different, yes.

-It's definitely different.

0:47:400:47:43

We've always kept it, you know, in a cabinet.

0:47:430:47:46

Well, they were obviously buying it in a very important era,

0:47:460:47:50

both in terms of Clarice Cliff's own career

0:47:500:47:53

and also in terms of the height of fashion

0:47:530:47:55

that she was producing for at that stage.

0:47:550:47:58

So, what we have here is a set which is called the Bonjour shape,

0:47:580:48:03

and the pattern, very appropriately for today,

0:48:030:48:06

is called the Summer House pattern.

0:48:060:48:08

-Oh, yes?

-And it's part of the Fantasque range that she made.

0:48:080:48:12

But what's important about this from a collector's point of view

0:48:120:48:16

is the angular elements to it -

0:48:160:48:18

so, the handles,

0:48:180:48:20

the solid, blocked-in, triangular handles on the cups,

0:48:200:48:23

this amazing triangular-section spout,

0:48:230:48:26

and of course, the handle on the coffee pot,

0:48:260:48:28

which is also triangular.

0:48:280:48:30

And all these elements to the milk jug and the sugar basin

0:48:300:48:33

all reflecting this very Art Deco feeling that was introduced

0:48:330:48:37

in all of the high-end design in the 1920s and '30s.

0:48:370:48:41

Now, they were buying this in 1930...?

0:48:410:48:43

-Well, as far as I know, in 1932.

-Yes. OK.

0:48:430:48:47

So, that would tie in beautifully.

0:48:470:48:48

Now, I can't help noticing that,

0:48:480:48:50

probably through the play of the children, I don't know,

0:48:500:48:53

there are one or two little hairline cracks and chips.

0:48:530:48:55

That's the trouble. I'd let them play tea parties.

0:48:550:48:57

Well, all I can say is that it's kind of a shame,

0:48:570:49:00

but it adds to the story, it's all part of its history.

0:49:000:49:02

You've brought it along today

0:49:020:49:04

because you decided that it's time to part with it?

0:49:040:49:07

-Yes, in a way.

-And have you any idea of its potential value?

0:49:070:49:12

-Do you know what it might be worth?

-Not really.

0:49:120:49:14

I know they were worth a good bit a year or two back,

0:49:140:49:17

but not quite so much now.

0:49:170:49:19

You're quite right. Things have settled down and come backwards a little bit.

0:49:190:49:22

There was such an explosion of interest

0:49:220:49:24

and the values were so high two or three years ago,

0:49:240:49:26

it kind of had to give way a little bit.

0:49:260:49:29

But I think it's just the elements of distress

0:49:290:49:31

which are visible on some of the pieces

0:49:310:49:33

which will keep that value, sort of, reined in a bit.

0:49:330:49:37

I think that we should really be looking

0:49:370:49:39

at an open market value at auction of between...

0:49:390:49:43

I'd have thought £800 and £1,200 for it.

0:49:430:49:46

-Mm-hm.

-Um...

0:49:460:49:48

It is a very specialist market.

0:49:480:49:50

There is enough here, I think, to draw a lot of attention,

0:49:500:49:53

and despite the damage, I would hope it would make that sort of money.

0:49:530:49:58

-Yes.

-So, we place a reserve on it at £800,

0:49:580:50:01

if that's all right and suitable for you.

0:50:010:50:03

-Yeah.

-Hopefully it will make somewhere above £800.

0:50:030:50:07

-Yes, OK.

-Wonderful.

0:50:070:50:09

Well, thank you so much for packing it up

0:50:090:50:10

and bringing it safely to us today.

0:50:100:50:12

-It's lovely to see it.

-That's all right. We've enjoyed ourselves.

0:50:120:50:15

'What a lovely lady, and I like the design. It's rather chic.'

0:50:150:50:20

What a fabulous day we've had here at Layer Marney Tower.

0:50:210:50:24

We have found some real gems worthy of such historic settings,

0:50:240:50:29

and I know everybody's thoroughly enjoyed themselves, haven't you?

0:50:290:50:31

But right now, we've got some unfinished business,

0:50:310:50:34

so it's time to say goodbye to Layer Marney Tower

0:50:340:50:36

as we head over to the auction room for the very last time.

0:50:360:50:38

And here's our experts' choices to be put under the hammer.

0:50:380:50:42

'Elizabeth spotted this converted gas light fitting,

0:50:420:50:46

'which is highly decorative.

0:50:460:50:47

'Philip is hoping for the sweet smell of success,

0:50:490:50:52

'and I think he will get it from this silver sugar shaker.

0:50:520:50:55

'We have this cracking Clarice Cliff coffee set,

0:50:550:50:59

'which should bring the collectors out in force.

0:50:590:51:01

'The classic Leica camera is very likely to be snapped up.

0:51:010:51:05

'We're back in Rayleigh, at Stacey's Auctioneers,

0:51:090:51:12

'where today's sale is taking place.

0:51:120:51:15

'Before the auction started, I had a chat with auctioneer Mark

0:51:150:51:18

'about Reenie's coffee set.'

0:51:180:51:20

Now, you know I'm not a big Clarice Cliff fan,

0:51:220:51:24

but when I see this, I kind of like it,

0:51:240:51:27

because I know it's rare - the Summer House pattern.

0:51:270:51:30

And you don't see this every day of the week.

0:51:300:51:32

Lovely coffee set. There's a tiny bit of damage.

0:51:320:51:35

We've got £800 to £1,200 on this.

0:51:350:51:37

-And this was bought at the Ideal Home Exhibition in 1932.

-Really?

0:51:370:51:40

So, you see, it's got great history. It's got everything going for it.

0:51:400:51:43

I agree with you, Paul. Great pattern.

0:51:430:51:45

One problem I do have is the lid - it's not the right lid.

0:51:450:51:48

If you have a look at it and have a play around with it...

0:51:480:51:50

-LID JIGGLES

-Yeah, far too small, isn't it?

0:51:500:51:53

And it's also got an orange band.

0:51:530:51:55

So, it should be a yellow band, as the same as the saucers.

0:51:550:51:58

-We didn't pick up on that.

-So that's a little bit of a problem.

0:51:580:52:00

But in saying that, it's a rare pattern, it's still going to sell.

0:52:000:52:04

We've got a huge amount of collectors for this Clarice Cliff,

0:52:040:52:06

and it's going to make £1,200 plus.

0:52:060:52:09

So, despite the wrong lid,

0:52:090:52:11

-it's going to do the top end of our estimate?

-No problem.

0:52:110:52:13

OK, if it had the right lid, what, £1,800, then?

0:52:130:52:15

I would hope so, yeah. Yeah. But it makes a big difference.

0:52:150:52:18

It does, doesn't it, actually?

0:52:180:52:20

-Unless you're colour-blind.

-HE LAUGHS

0:52:200:52:22

'We didn't spot the problem with the lid,

0:52:230:52:25

'but it sounds like it's still one to watch.

0:52:250:52:28

'First, though, we have the light fitting up for sale.'

0:52:280:52:31

Going under the hammer right now,

0:52:310:52:33

we've got a vintage converted gas lamp.

0:52:330:52:35

It belongs to Carol, who, I think, has got a good eye for detail.

0:52:350:52:38

-Haven't you?

-Yeah.

-And you've bought a lot from old salvage yards.

0:52:380:52:41

I have. I had an old cottage and was always on the lookout for things.

0:52:410:52:45

-Yeah. And it's great fun, isn't it?

-I love it, yeah.

0:52:450:52:47

-Elizabeth.

-Yes?

-Is this a difficult thing to sell?

0:52:470:52:51

You need the right person with an eye for it, as were the case.

0:52:510:52:53

If you've got the spot for it,

0:52:530:52:55

it's a perfect original feature for an interior.

0:52:550:52:57

So it might prove difficult,

0:52:570:52:59

but at the money, it's a good buy, for an original.

0:52:590:53:01

It's a good buy for the money.

0:53:010:53:02

But as Elizabeth said, we need somebody with imagination.

0:53:020:53:05

< A brass gas lamp as catalogued. £20 to start.

0:53:050:53:10

£20 is bid. £22. £25.

0:53:100:53:13

At £25 now. Any advances? £25 for the last time.

0:53:130:53:17

Are we all done at £25?

0:53:170:53:19

-£28.

-Oh!

-Just. Ooh! We're going to do it.

0:53:190:53:21

-We need £30, don't we?

-Dealer's discretion.

0:53:210:53:24

£28 now and selling.

0:53:240:53:26

-It's gone.

-Good. Well done.

-You've decluttered, haven't you?

0:53:280:53:31

It doesn't suit the house. It's best sold to a collector.

0:53:310:53:34

Good. I'm glad somebody will have use for it.

0:53:340:53:36

'Well, that's right - if it's not being used or enjoyed, move it on.'

0:53:360:53:40

140...

0:53:410:53:42

Right, going under the hammer, well,

0:53:450:53:47

we've got that wonderful Leica camera

0:53:470:53:48

and I am standing next to a man, George,

0:53:480:53:51

who was born with quality,

0:53:510:53:52

he was born with the eye, weren't you?

0:53:520:53:54

Because at the young age of 16, you knew quality when you saw it.

0:53:540:53:57

-That's right.

-You persuaded Grandad to buy it.

-I did, yes.

0:53:570:53:59

Anyway, we're going to find out what the bidders think.

0:53:590:54:02

Here we are, this is it. Good luck.

0:54:020:54:03

We come to the Leica camera as catalogued.

0:54:050:54:07

I have two commission bids.

0:54:070:54:08

I must start the bidding, to clear the book, at £210.

0:54:080:54:11

- The bid is at 210. - That's good.

0:54:110:54:14

210, 220 anywhere? 220 on the internet.

0:54:140:54:16

230 is back with me.

0:54:160:54:18

240, 250.

0:54:180:54:20

My bid, on the commissions.

0:54:200:54:21

Against you, internet bidder.

0:54:210:54:23

At £250, fair warning, then,

0:54:230:54:25

it's a commission bid and I shall sell.

0:54:250:54:27

Hammer is going down.

0:54:270:54:29

-Did it. It's gone. You're happy, a happy man.

-I'm very happy, yeah.

0:54:290:54:32

-At least it's going to a home that can appreciate it.

-Yeah.

0:54:320:54:35

Do you know, I think that's iconic. I'd like that on a shelf at home.

0:54:350:54:39

-It's a piece of sculpture as well.

-Oh, gosh, yes.

0:54:390:54:41

-It doesn't get much better than that.

-No.

0:54:410:54:42

Great result!

0:54:440:54:45

Going under the hammer right now, we have a silver sugar shaker.

0:54:470:54:50

It's Edwardian, but it's in the Queen Anne style,

0:54:500:54:52

and it belongs to Anne, who I know is feeling a little bit nervous,

0:54:520:54:54

because this is your first auction, isn't it?

0:54:540:54:57

-Really, it is.

-An antique auction.

-Yes.

0:54:570:54:58

But look, fingers crossed we get this away.

0:54:580:55:00

-Cos this is for charity.

-All the money's going to charity?

0:55:000:55:03

Can you remind us which charity again?

0:55:030:55:04

-Farleigh Hospice, near Chelmsford.

-OK.

-For a very dear friend.

0:55:040:55:08

OK. And are you involved with this charity?

0:55:080:55:10

No, I'm not, but she was,

0:55:100:55:12

and raised thousands of pounds on sponsored walks,

0:55:120:55:14

and we lost her last year.

0:55:140:55:16

-Oh, that's sad.

-I hope it does really well for you.

0:55:160:55:18

Yes. Good luck, both of you.

0:55:180:55:20

< We have a Queen Anne-style silver sugar sifter, as catalogued.

0:55:220:55:25

< Commission bids, I have. Must start the bidding at £80.

0:55:250:55:28

£85 anywhere? Are we all done, then, at £80 only?

0:55:280:55:31

Cheap lot. And I shall sell, then, at 80 pou...

0:55:310:55:33

£85, thank you. £90.

0:55:330:55:35

£95. £100. £110.

0:55:350:55:36

£120. £130. £130 on the commission, against you at the back.

0:55:360:55:40

That was a nice little climb. Very quickly.

0:55:400:55:43

Last chance, then, please, at one hun...

0:55:430:55:45

Come again? £140. New bidder. I'm out.

0:55:450:55:48

Commission bid's now at £140. £140 on my left.

0:55:480:55:50

At £140. Hammer's going down.

0:55:500:55:54

-That's a good result.

-I think that sold well.

0:55:540:55:56

-Good-looking thing, though.

-Got a good result?

0:55:560:55:58

-Yes, I'm pleased.

-£140. Happy?

-Yes, I am.

-Good, good.

0:55:580:56:01

'A good amount of money for the hospice. I am so pleased.

0:56:020:56:05

'Now here's Reenie with her lovely coffee set.'

0:56:050:56:08

Well, I know we always say it, but Clarice Cliff doesn't let us down.

0:56:090:56:13

It is one of our old favourites,

0:56:130:56:15

and we've got a lot coming up for you right now,

0:56:150:56:17

hopefully for you to enjoy.

0:56:170:56:18

We could have a surprise.

0:56:180:56:20

It belongs to Reenie, and not for much longer.

0:56:200:56:22

-It's great to see you!

-Yes.

0:56:220:56:24

It's that wonderful Summer House pattern.

0:56:240:56:26

Why are you selling it, anyway, Reenie?

0:56:260:56:28

It's just a matter of making more space.

0:56:280:56:30

OK. Hopefully, we're going to get that top end plus a lot.

0:56:300:56:34

-I hope so.

-Oh, I think we will.

-Do you reckon?

0:56:340:56:36

Well, Clarice always does the business, and you know that.

0:56:360:56:39

I was just a bit hesitant, cos a bit damaged.

0:56:390:56:41

You know, if I was bidding...

0:56:410:56:43

It's better to be cautious. Better to be cautious.

0:56:430:56:45

Good luck, Reenie. This is it. We're over there, look.

0:56:450:56:47

We come now to the Clarice Cliff Summer House pattern coffee set.

0:56:490:56:52

Lovely set, it is, too,

0:56:520:56:54

and to prove it, I have one, two, three, four, five commission bids.

0:56:540:56:58

-Wow.

-I must start the bidding at £950.

0:56:580:57:01

Straight in at £900. Well, it's gone.

0:57:010:57:05

£1,000 on the internet. £1,050 is bid.

0:57:050:57:08

Against you, internet bidder.

0:57:080:57:10

£1,100.

0:57:100:57:12

£1,050. £1,200, I will take, internet bidder.

0:57:120:57:15

Thank you. £1,200.

0:57:150:57:17

-£1,250 is back with me.

-Top end of the estimate now.

0:57:170:57:19

£1,250 now. £1,250.

0:57:190:57:20

£1,300 if you like. £1,300 is bid.

0:57:200:57:23

£1,350 back with me.

0:57:230:57:25

Commission bid's at £1,350.

0:57:250:57:27

£1,400 if you like, internet bidder. Have you finished?

0:57:270:57:30

It's here with me on the commissions, then, at £1,350.

0:57:300:57:35

£1,400. New bidder in the room. £1,400.

0:57:350:57:37

-That was... That was late legs!

-Sneaky!

0:57:370:57:40

£1,500. I'm out. It's in the room now at £1,500.

0:57:400:57:45

Any advances? Are we all done?

0:57:450:57:47

The hammer's going down.

0:57:470:57:50

-Whack! £1,500.

-APPLAUSE

0:57:500:57:52

Just over the top end of the estimate. We did it.

0:57:520:57:56

-The auctioneer was right.

-He was right, yes.

0:57:560:57:58

He was confident he'd get that away, despite the damage.

0:57:580:58:00

You see, it doesn't pay to restore things.

0:58:000:58:02

It doesn't matter if it's damaged.

0:58:020:58:04

Just put it into auction and let somebody else have the problem.

0:58:040:58:06

Well done, you. 20% commission here, including VAT.

0:58:060:58:11

-So, you'll get a cheque in the post in a month.

-Yes.

0:58:110:58:13

-Happy with that?

-Yes.

-You've got to be over the moon, haven't you?

0:58:130:58:16

I know your son's here with you looking after you,

0:58:160:58:18

so, look, take care and thank you so much for coming in.

0:58:180:58:21

Oh, she's off already!

0:58:210:58:22

'Well, she's off to celebrate with the family, and why not?'

0:58:240:58:28

Well, that's it. The hammer's gone down for the last time

0:58:280:58:31

for us here in the east of England.

0:58:310:58:34

It's not easy putting a value on an antique, as you've just seen,

0:58:340:58:37

but I think our experts did rather well.

0:58:370:58:39

I hope you've enjoyed today's show.

0:58:390:58:41

We've thoroughly enjoyed being here in Essex.

0:58:410:58:43

So until the next time, it's goodbye.

0:58:430:58:45

This episode comes from Layer Marney Tower in rural Essex, where Paul Martin is joined by experts Elizabeth Talbot and Philip Serrell. Together the team pick out a selection of interesting antiques and collectables to be sold at the local auction house, including a spectacular Clarice Cliff coffee set and a beautifully modelled bronze of an alsatian dog.

Paul goes in search of the Witchfinder General, one of the county's most notorious characters, and heads to Southend Pier, which is a staggering 1.3 miles long.