Flog It! is in Somerset at the Fleet Air Arm Museum. Experts Christina Trevanion and Thomas Plant join presenter Paul Martin to go through hundreds of antiques.
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I'm here in the control tower at HMS Heron,
the Royal Navy's airbase in Somerset.
It is the largest base in the country,
with 4,000 personnel stationed here.
And today, so are we. Welcome to "Flog It!".
There is a real art to landing and taking off in naval aircraft.
Nowadays, an aircraft can land horizontally onto their hangers,
but in the early days, with planes like the Sopwith Pup,
it was far trickier.
The Navy have only been flying aircraft from ships since 1911.
Although today's aircraft are much safer,
their crews still face incredible challenges.
Throughout the day,
there will be aircraft taking off and landing just behind us.
Today's valuations will be taking place inside
the Fleet Air Arm Museum, which is
situated on the base here at Yeovilton.
We've deployed some of our top antique experts on a mission
to value today's items - Admiral Thomas Plant
and Commanding Officer Christina Trevanion.
-How long does he go for? Oh.
-Well, the longer you wind it...
Somebody here in this queue is going home with a small fortune today,
and they don't know it.
It's our experts' job to find those treasures, put them
through to the auction room, where we will be making somebody's day.
And that's what this is all about.
Today, our fleet of off-screen experts will be commandeering tables
to bring you the very best insights from the front line of antiques.
Coming up in today's show,
Christina gets nostalgic about the glory days of foreign travel.
Can you imagine tripping up the steps
with your crocodile-skin suitcase? Brilliant!
And Thomas creates quite a stir in the sale room with a set
of Fougasse propaganda posters.
We've got a huge team with us here today at the Fleet Air Arm Museum,
many are positioned under that stunning Concorde.
Today's valuations are taking place amongst some wonderful examples
of aviation history.
So, Joe, I am struggling to hold your attention a little bit here,
you keep sort of longingly looking over my shoulder.
Tell me, have you got a particular attraction to this plane?
Well, yes indeed. My father, in fact, helped to build it.
-It is an airplane that, as I believe, is called the Fairey Delta
Which was designed for a world speed record.
-Oh, I see.
I think they built two, so this may be one he worked on,
but certainly he worked on one of them.
-It's nice to see one in the flesh.
-I bet. Wow.
-Back to the antiques.
Tell me about this rather gorgeous travelling trunk
that you brought in.
It was given to me by my mother, never been able to use it.
It is so heavy, I can barely lift it.
-Gosh, it is quite heavy, isn't it?
-And do we know who RVM is?
-Sadly, not, no idea.
The colour of it is like a rich toffee caramel, isn't it?
-Crocodile skin, which is slightly controversial now.
But in the 1920s, when this was made, incredibly fashionable
and suggested a sort of exoticism, really,
that in that sort of glory days of travel.
How appropriate that we are stood next to the 1960s version
of exotic travel,
with Concorde in the background, it's wonderful.
Can you imagine tripping up the steps
with your crocodile-skin suitcase?
When we look inside, it's got all the...
Lift that top up there.
It's got all the fittings which would originally have
included everything that you needed for travel -
glass bottles with tops, with all your potions and lotions
and powders and all sorts of things.
-It would have been literally your travelling dressing table.
This fabulous watered silk purple interior dates it for us.
-Oh, does it?
The purple is slightly later, so we know that this was certainly
-a 20th century one rather than a 19th century one.
Really, a piece of this calibre and this quality,
we would expect to find a maker's name.
And we have one, which is great, on this lock of furniture.
Drew & Sons, Piccadilly, London. That doesn't surprise me at all.
A really premium, quality maker.
Beautiful, beautiful dressing case.
Very sad that it hasn't got the bottles,
however there is a market for these crocodile-skin cases.
They are every sort of interior designer's dream, aren't they?
They're just beautiful. And the colour and the pattern...
And it's certainly helped in its value by the fact that it
-is in such excellent condition.
And this is obviously helped by the fact that we've got
the original protective dust cover.
Let's pop that down there. So...
-What are we thinking?
I don't know, 150, 200, something like that.
Oh, my goodness, you don't need me here at all!
For a more comfortable estimate, I would say 100-200.
-Because we do see quite a lot of them.
-We don't see them in such good condition.
-But we do see them with bottles still.
-What are your thoughts about that?
-That's absolutely fine.
-Are you sure?
-And if we were to put a reserve of 100.
-So we wouldn't let it go for any less than 100.
-Is that OK?
-That's absolutely fine.
-And why are you selling it?
-I can't even lift it!
If I was going away for the weekend,
I wouldn't have anything inside it.
-You'd have good muscles when you came back.
Imagine how heavy it would've been with all those bottles.
-Good Lord, it would have been... Yeah.
I'd have a nice young man to carry it for me.
Oh, gosh, wouldn't that be nice?
-And Joe, obviously.
Brilliant. Well, let's see if we can find a good new home for it.
-Thank you very much, Christina.
-Thanks so much for bringing this in.
Wonderfully evocative, that suitcase.
Our next classic item has a timeless glamour.
-Angie, is that right?
You've brought along a very nice, I think, bangle.
-It's a bangle, not a bracelet. Bracelets are loose.
Like a tennis bracelet, which is chain-linked
and hangs from the wrist.
Bangles are fixed and they are hard
and they don't have a movement to them, so it is a bangle.
With aquas, rose quartz, aquas.
And then in between it are these little naive-cut diamonds.
So it has got a fantastic... And a great use of stones here.
It dates from the Edwardian Period, so 1900 to 1920.
It has got a real boldness to it.
A real sort of showiness.
Normally Edwardian bangles are quite thin, with stones
and diamonds on either side, but this has real showmanship,
real pizzazz, real chutzpah.
It has got something going for it.
It is a good-looking object.
There are a few things which are wrong with it,
but that is an old piece of jewellery.
But otherwise, it's a general repair job and shouldn't cost much.
But extremely wearable today. Is it something you've worn?
-No, I never have, but my mother wore it all the time.
-Why haven't you?
Is it not your colour?
Well... I don't know, it just wasn't me.
And because it moved around my wrist
and I thought, "It's going to come off and I'm going to lose it."
Do you have much idea about value?
Well, I would hope the reserve will be around the 500 mark.
I would want to say between 400 and 600, and fix it at 400.
I think you've got a better chance then.
If one is too strong, you tend to kill the sale immediately.
-But like all things in life, it is that risk at £400.
What are your thoughts?
Well, I'm trying to raise some funds
cos my granddaughter in America has been diagnosed with leukaemia.
-So I was trying to raise a bit of money to help the family.
-So that is why it's being sold?
We've put it at 500 to 700 and with a fixed reserve at 400.
-What do you think about that?
-Five to 700, 450 reserve, shall we do that?
-Yes, let's do that.
Well done, Jerry. Interjected in well. I think it should make that.
It is a good-looking item, and I hope it makes a lot more.
I look forward to seeing you at the auction.
BOTH: Thank you very much.
A lot of sparkle there.
The building is full of wonderful treasures here today.
So, I thought... I love it that you brought me a nice local piece in.
Thank you. Local? That's a surprise.
-Definitely not very local.
In fact, this bowl has certainly travelled quite a long way.
-Tell me about how you came about it.
-Well, it was left to me from
my parents when they passed on. I loved the depth of it.
-Yes, quite unusual. It's more of a basin...
..I would say, rather than a bowl or a plate. It is very much a basin.
But if we turn it over, look at this wonderful back here.
This is very much a Chinese porcelain.
This sort of pitted gray porcelain is typical of Chinese porcelain,
and this is absolutely what we here in Great Britain were trying
to replicate in our porcelain and couldn't do.
With the addition of China clay, in the early 19th century, we did.
But up until that point, this was like the Holy Grail.
The Chinese knew that and they started exporting it to this
-country in very much this style.
This however is slightly later.
-This is actually a late 19th, early 20th century example.
This beautiful porcelain - there's a white,
almost translucency to it. And very much hand-painted.
We can see all the individual brushstrokes, it's really beautiful.
-Do you like it?
-Oh, I like it.
The only trouble is, it has been in the cupboard for a long time.
Mainly for safekeeping, I do have a dog that runs about a bit.
Your dog, I think, has got to it before you've noticed it though,
-I have no idea, I hope he hasn't.
Well, we have got a very, very fine hairline crack
just on the rim there.
Collectors will not like that, sadly.
But I think at auction we are going to be looking at a slightly
conservative estimate of maybe £100 to £200.
What are your thoughts about that?
Well, I would like to see more £200 than I would 100.
-Wouldn't we all!
150 to 200, with a reserve of 150 would be a...
Oh, my goodness, you drive a hard bargain.
-Well, we've got to try.
-We've got to try.
I think that is on the cusp of having a no sale,
but as long as you are prepared for that...
An estimate of 150 to 200, and a firm reserve of 150.
And we'll just hope that somebody really likes it.
Pat, tell me about this delightful box.
Well, it was given to me 55 years ago...by my very first boyfriend.
Very first boyfriend, 55 years?
55 years. Don't try and find out how old I am!
I'm not doing that in my head, I promise.
So, was this a gift? Did it last?
Yes, it's lasted quite a while
but he went off to uni to become an architect
and I was left at home and that was the end of that.
-This was a memento?
-This was just an "I love you, have this."
-First love, it was first love.
-Lovely, isn't it?
-Yes, it is.
-It is lovely.
-All those things.
-All those things.
-All those wonderful things.
-Special things and then heartbreak.
-Yes, but that's...
-That part of it, isn't it?
-Yeah, it is all part of it but it is so special, that time.
-It's beautiful. Silver-gilt inside so mercury gilded...
..inside, with this guilloche enamel.
It is marked 925 on the back.
-Most probably it's going to be continental.
And this guilloche enamel, which is translucent,
with the engine turning on the top, has this wonderful opalescence to it.
-Like a piece of Lalique.
This is what you see, this pretty opalescence.
-It's dead, dead pretty.
-How old would it be?
-Yes, good question. How old would it be?
I would have thought between 1920 and the Second World War.
-I think it's sort of that sort of period, Art Deco.
The Deco period. A little pillbox.
Where has it been?
In my jewellery box, in the cupboard.
-So, in your jewellery box in the cupboard. You haven't seen it...
-Probably the last time you saw it was over a year ago.
So, you should sell it
-because somebody will put it in their bijouterie cabinet...
..a cabinet and they will put it in there and it will be on show.
-Yes, yes, which is better.
-Which is much better.
Now, OK, it's not going to be worth a king's ransom.
No. Oh, what a shame!
No. It's a £60 to £80 little box but it's sweet.
-I would suggest 60-80 with a discretionary 60.
Was that all right?
-Thank you for bringing it in.
It's been quite nice to sort of discuss the...
nuances and the fun of one's first kiss.
MUSIC: Love Is In The Air by John Paul Young
And now for a piece of local interest.
The Roper family have lived at Forde Abbey for over 100 years now.
Today, the 2,000-acre estate is opened to the public,
but the family are primarily farmers.
By working closely to the land,
they've managed to be self-sufficient.
It is a tradition they have inherited
from the founders of Forde Abbey, the 12th century Cistercian monks,
a French Catholic order who came to Britain
from the Burgundy region of France.
A breakaway group from the Benedictines,
the Cistercians strove for a more austere way of life,
believing a simple life lived in poverty
was a way of getting closer to God.
Working the land and being agriculturally self-sufficient
was key to the Cistercian way of life.
Alice Roper is the younger generation of the family who
have inherited the monks' incredible history.
This, presumably, is the same vegetable garden the monks used.
This has been a vegetable garden as far back as history tells us.
We imagine the monks would have had grown all their vegetables here.
-Obviously the kitchen is just round the corner.
Absolutely. We still grow all the veg for the tearoom and everything now.
-Which is lovely, isn't it?
-It's lovely, yes.
Carrying on in their footprint.
Alice's mother Lisa has her own herd of Red Ruby Devon cattle,
which provides meat for the estate.
The family also produce goats' milk and work the surrounding farmland,
as the monks did before them.
In 1148, just seven years after construction started,
the first 12 monks were ready to move in,
and the Cistercian community stayed for the next 400 years.
You can understand why when you step inside this building.
It really does embrace you. There's the most wonderful feel to it.
This is the great hall,
where the monks would have greeted their guests
and addressed each other en masse
and, of course, dined here when the abbot was present.
Mind you, when the monks lived here for those 400 years,
there was absolutely no heating.
It would have been really, really cold, exceptionally damp
and quite austere.
..I still think it would have been a fantastic place to live.
For me, the cloisters are probably the most beautiful
part of what remains of the original abbey.
This is where the monks would have walked for exercise and meditation.
Every day began with a prayer at two o'clock in the morning,
and most days were spent in silence.
Although the Cistercian philosophy was to lead a simple life in
a state of poverty, the reality was the order became incredibly wealthy.
Many local landowners bequeathed their estate
to the monks upon their death.
In exchange, it was requested that the monks prayed
for their deceased souls.
Incredibly, there still exists a log book recording these donations,
and Mark Roper, Alice's father,
has grown up with this ancient religious document.
You have the monastic cartulary...
which is which is created by the monks. It's all written by them.
Apparently, it is really title deeds of lands that they were
given in exchange for a life after death.
Right, OK. Obviously this is how they accumulated their wealth.
I think they did.
I think that's exactly how they did, because the monks, apparently,
their writ ran at about 30,000 acres.
How did you come by this?
Was this part of the treasures of the abbey or...?
Oh, God knows what happened to it,
but it turned up again in a collection
of people called Phelips.
My grandmother bought in the early 20th century.
-So now it's in its rightful place.
-I think it is, yes.
as well as being hugely successful landowners,
the monks were scholars and devoted many hours
to their philosophical writings in the cartulary, the scholar's room.
Alice has really embraced their history.
I gather this is where all the intellectual work was done
while the others were toiling hard in the field.
Yes, this is where the official monks would do
all their writings, which they used to do.
They used to do elaborate etchings down the side
of their books and things.
All the wonderful illuminated manuscripts and things like that.
That's it. And the third abbot was deemed to have a huge library.
It consisted of 12 books, but in those days,
if you imagine, they're all done by hand, they were probably big volumes.
But 12 books back in 1140 was deemed to be a very large library,
which is a bit funny nowadays.
So having seen this, would you like to see where they used to sleep?
-Sure, yes, please. Is it close by?
OK, this is the monks' dormitory, which is where the
monks would have slept.
If you can imagine, it wouldn't have been exactly like this.
Not in this length, it would have been divided up?
Yes, it would have been.
Each one of these windows would have been a cubical for a single monk.
-There to there, that's your space.
-That is your space.
-What was in that space?
-In that space, you had a bed.
They'd have had a candle and they'd have had a desk that they
would pray at, and obviously their Bible and their...
A hook where they would have had two different cassocks -
one for the winter and one for the summer.
-They changed twice a year and that was it.
-No layers then.
-Not in the freezing cold?
-No, they would have frozen in here.
We've always said that they acted as the olden day social services.
Poor people and destitute people would come to the monasteries
and the monks would look after them.
They would feed them in return for the paupers
working on the land and helping out.
-That's a fair exchange.
-It is a fair exchange.
They used to look after the sick as well,
-and act as the local hospital and poor house.
I'd imagine many people had arrived knocking at the door, poor people.
Once they had a meal and a bed for the night,
they probably stayed for many years.
Although the monks left over 400 years ago,
their presence can still be felt at Forde Abbey, and the Roper
family pay daily homage to them in the way they run the estate.
Well, I must say, everything is turning up here
today in the world of fine arts and antiques.
I should say, it's flying in.
But right now it is going to be flying out -
straight to the auction room.
We are ready with our first set of valuations to put to the test
in the sale room.
For those with wanderlust, this Drew & Sons suitcase
might just be the ticket.
Diamonds, rose topaz, aquamarine, gold.
If bling is your thing, this exquisite bangle is a must-have.
And will Arthur's blue-and-white,
late 19th century bowl bring the Chinese collectors in?
Will Pat's art deco pillbox, a gift from her first love,
find the perfect partner?
We've travelled 22 miles to Bridgwater,
the historic market town divided by the River Parrett.
In the past, these riverbanks were a rich source
of clay for the local brick and tile manufacturers.
Later in the show, I'll be meeting some potters who continue to
work with local materials.
But right now, it is time to get on with our auction.
And on the rostrum today, it's Claire Rawle,
a familiar face on "Flog It!".
Well, it is the moment of truth for Arthur.
Was he right to stick to his guns with that top-end fixed reserve?
Well, I've got my fingers crossed for both of you.
We've got this large, 19th century Chinese bowl going under the hammer.
I love this, absolutely love it.
-How long have you had this?
-Been handed down to me from the family.
Right, so it means a lot to you.
I can understand why you want to protect it, you know, with £150.
If you don't get that, it is going home.
Chinese is incredibly popular at the moment,
but it is 19th century and we have got some damage there,
just worries me we are not going to get to that reserve.
There was a damaged piece just a minute ago,
and that made very good money as well.
I think this will sell. Do you know, I have got high hopes for this.
I really do. I do.
Don't worry, don't worry, don't worry.
-Let's put it to the test.
-Yeah, the bidders will decide.
The large, Chinese, blue-and-white bowl. Nice one there. Lot 252.
-And I have to start away at £100.
-I knew that.
At 100. Do I see 110 anywhere?
At 110. 120. 130. 140.
At 150. Now 160 anywhere? At £150, it is a room bid.
The Internet is not out. At £150, then. You're all done.
The bid is in the room. Selling then.
I knew that would sell.
-Well done. Well done, you.
Panicking at the last moment.
You were confident on the day. Well done as well.
-You stuck to your guns, £150. It's gone.
Job done, we are all happy.
If you have got anything like that, we would love to sell it for you.
Bring it along to one of our valuation days.
Details of up and coming dates and venues you can find
on our BBC website. Log on to...
Or follow the links, all the information will be there.
If you don't have a computer, check the details in your local press.
We'd love to see you.
Angie and Jerry, fingers crossed, it's good to see you again.
We've got a packed sale room.
Thomas, totally agree with the valuation - £500 to £700.
We are talking about that wonderful bangle.
Lots of detail and lots of gold. It is quality, Thomas.
It is superb quality.
It is lovely and the colours work so well on the bangle.
I think it should do quite well.
All the money is going towards...? Tell us, remind us again.
Well, Kendall, my granddaughter, has been diagnosed with leukaemia.
And that is quite costly in the States.
-It will go towards the medical costs.
-Yeah, well, good luck with that.
Good luck to her as well. Right, let's put it to the test.
It's going under the hammer right now.
Let's hand the proceedings over to Claire Rawle.
Coming on to Lot 12. This is pretty. Nice little gold bangle here at 380.
At 380, do I see 400 anywhere?
At 380. At 380. Now 400?
At 380 it's going to be, then.
400 on the Internet. 420 with me.
At 420. Now 450 out there? At 420.
450 it is. Net bid now.
Slows things down a bit, but crikey it's valuable, isn't it?
You all done in the room? Selling then at £450...
-Just got it away. Just got it away.
-But it is gone. It's gone.
You're happy, aren't you, really? We need the money.
-That is what it is all about, isn't it?
-Well, good luck in Florida.
-Thank you very much.
Going under the hammer right now
we have the enamel silver pill box belonging to Pat.
This was given to you by your first love 55 years ago.
-Yes, it was.
-A long time ago.
-Yes, it was.
-You've managed to hang on to it, though.
I'm hoping this will sell, cos my daughter who delivered me
-today works for Mind. She teaches horticultural.
She's a therapist with the Mind organisation,
so if I get some nice money for this, then that's going to go...
-..to my daughter's charity.
Great. She's here today.
Let's hope there's no missing bids right now,
cos our lot is just about to go under the hammer. This is it.
Nice item, this.
The little enamelled, silver triangular pill box.
This one, I'm straight in at 65, £70. At 70. 5. 80.
Right. It's gone.
140, bid's here. At 140. Now 150 anywhere? At £140.
150. Telephone bidder.
At 150. On the telephone this time at 150. At 150.
Are you all done now? It's going to sell at 150... 160. He's back again.
160. Do you want to go 170?
170 on the telephone. Are you sure?
-There are a lot of collectors for this.
-Yeah, there is.
-£170, hammer's gone down. That's a sold sound.
-We're happy with that.
-I'm very happy with that.
-All the money's going to the Mind charity.
Really happy, thank you.
Going under the hammer right now,
Jacqueline and Joe's crocodile case. It is absolutely exquisite.
It is not complete, though, but it has got all its compartments.
Where did the contents go, do you know? You never had them?
-It was given to me like that.
-And what did you do with it?
-It was in the bottom of our wardrobe.
-And that's it. That's its life.
That's where it's been, but that's why it's in pristine condition.
-What have we got, £100 to £200?
-The leather case alone is worth that.
-You'd hope so.
And the work involved.
If you asked somebody to make that today, they'd charge you £500.
Anyway, it's going under the hammer right now. This is it.
Very nice case indeed. I've got to start away at £85. At £85. At 85.
Do I see 90 anywhere? At £85.
90. Five. 100.
In the alcove at 100. 110 on the net. 120 on the net.
130. Off it goes.
At 130. 140. 150.
At 150. 160. 170.
-At 170. 180.
-There's a lot of people that collect these kind of things.
Do you want to come back in...? No, it's going again.
200 we're up to. 220.
-Quality always sells, and it just oozes it, doesn't it?
-Anyone want to come back in? No?
At 220, then. The bid's on the Internet at 220.
You all sure? Selling then at 220...
Well done, £220. Well spotted. Spot on as well, top end of the estimate.
Sheer quality, that's what got that sold.
-Well, well done.
-Hope you enjoyed the "Flog It!" experience.
-Yes, we have.
-We can die now totally happy.
Well, we are literally surrounded by craftsmanship from the past here,
in the saleroom in Bridgwater, as you've just seen with
those items that have just gone under the hammer.
But what about the craftsmanship of today?
Well, I travelled south across the border to Dorset to meet
a family of potters. Take a look at this.
It's incredible what you can find tucked away in remote
parts of the British countryside.
Nestled in the village of Mosterton
is a small family ceramics business.
The oldest and founding member is David Eeles.
And after 50 years...
Three generations of the Eeles family are still
here in the village of Mosterton, in Dorset, throwing pots
and earning a living from their wares.
David, now 79, focuses on decoration.
He uses fine oriental brushes and his style is very much
influenced by early Chinese and Japanese ceramics.
-Hello, David. Pleasure to meet you.
Thank you for taking time out to talk to me today. Sit down, please.
-Nearly 80 years old, and like a true artisan,
still working with your hands.
Why was clay your medium in the first place? What drew you to clay?
In art school, initially,
they gave you all these wonderful crafts to try.
One that came along at the age of about 15 was ceramics,
and I just got hooked by it.
I mean, it is such a plastic medium, you can make anything with it.
-It's very versatile.
I've developed a technique of glazes
and colours over the past 60 years,
which are mainly based on Chinese work,
but it means that when you find one that really works, you hang onto it.
One of the greatest crafts in the world, without any
shadow of a doubt. I love it.
I'm still doing it and I shall be doing it till my dying day.
Well, I hope you do,
-and I hope there are many more years to come as well.
-I hope so.
David hasn't always lived in Dorset.
His formative years were spent in London.
Like many aspiring artists of his generation,
he attended Willesden College of Arts and Crafts,
in North West London. It was a thought-provoking
and inspirational time for the young David,
who shortly after graduating, married Patricia,
a fellow student, and set up shop in Hampstead's artist quarters.
Ceramics was their specialism and their pottery soon became
a thriving part of London's arts and crafts scene -
their traditional slip pots being sold in some of London's most
By now, the Eeles family was expanding,
and so they decided to leave London behind,
choosing instead a 17th century coaching inn
for the family-run business.
What is so unique about the Eeles' ceramic business
is that it has been, and continues to be, a truly family affair.
Patricia is less hands-on these days, but sons Simon
and Ben have worked alongside their father since their teens.
Well, your father was inspired by potters from the Far East,
so I guess you are carrying on the tradition here.
Yeah. All these glazes you see here are all Oriental-type glazes.
We've got a Shino glaze there. We've got Chun glazes here.
It's sort of an off-white, nice blue colour.
That's made up with English materials,
granites and feldspars from Cornwall.
We've got a molecular formula that we work to, which is
the molecular formula of a Chinese glaze.
-Gosh, you are almost chemists, aren't you?
-We have to be, yeah.
To get good quality glazes all the time, the recipes are all kept,
all written down, so we get exactly the same recipe each time.
Yep. That's how we do it.
The Oriental-inspired Eeles family pottery has been making
Japanese raku-style pots for ten years.
It is a look that is achieved at the glazing stage,
and they have kindly agreed to let me have a go.
-Right, the glazing.
-OK, Paul, what we are going to do is
we're going to dip it in the slip and then the glaze.
So if I do one to show you what to do...
-So we dip it in here. Just down to the top.
-Just to the neck.
-Just to the neck.
-Lift it up and let it drip.
-Stop it dripping and then you just put it down there.
-If you do yours, and then that one can be drying.
It is exceptionally porous.
It is, yeah, it's very porous, so the actual moisture gets sucked out
-Oh, look, there's a little, tiny bit missing there.
That's all right, you can go back in again.
There you go, that's fine. And just drop that down there.
What we are going to do now, Paul, is we've got to put the glaze on.
You have a go. Don't do the same mark as you did before.
That's right. And just hold it there, it will all just drip off.
-That is quite satisfying, isn't it?
-Yeah, it is.
-That will be the bit that will go hard glasslike in the firing...
-..and chip off the pot later.
-There would go.
And then it becomes a waterproof vessel - you can
-fill it up with water, put some flowers in it.
Hopefully it all fires well and doesn't blow up in the firing.
No, it won't.
While the glaze dries out a bit, there is an opportunity for me to
catch up with older son Ben by the Chinese-inspired, triple-tier kiln.
Basically, that's an oven for finishing pots,
and this one takes 5,000 pieces.
Ben, this is incredible.
A three-chamber kiln, and you helped build this with your dad.
I did, yes. I was 16, I had just left school.
It was one of the first jobs I had with Father.
We built it over the winter and it took us
about three months to build it.
It's like a giant bonfire,
but it takes us 35 hours to fire and it uses
about six tonnes of wood altogether to fire it up all the way through.
And even after that, it takes four days to cool down,
and it is still hot enough inside to bake a potato.
You have got a lot of work in there. Is that a year's work?
Yes, it is. We fire it up once a year.
We used to do it about twice a year,
but we do the raku a lot now, so that has sort of taken over.
But shall we go off and see the raku kiln now?
-Yeah, cos that's fired up, isn't it?
So they are ready to go in now.
They have been warmed up in the electric kiln
and they are ready to go in.
So what we'll do is we're going to pop these in here
using tongs, because that is pretty hot in there.
That is about 800 degrees in there. That is the one you did, Paul.
-You can see the bit that you missed the glaze on the top there.
So that is yours. That goes in there.
So, say, they will be in there for about a half an hour
and then we'll lift them all out again.
We have a little digital read around here
so we can tell what the temperature is in the kiln.
So that is 633 degrees centigrade.
So as we've just stoked, you'll see that will start to rise.
I tell you what, it is so cold. It really is cold.
There is a bitter wind blowing. We are in the middle of February.
But this is the kind of job, I guess,
you look forward to doing if you are a potter.
-In all weathers.
-We are all pyromaniacs at heart.
-We love a bit of flame.
-What is the temperature, Paul?
-Yeah, that is 1,000 degrees now.
A quick look in here, Paul.
See, that's the temperature it is in there. You can see.
Cool, what a white heat. That has got a shiny look to it now.
I think that is ready to go.
Get them out with these tongs cos it is very hot in there.
Just lift it out and then drop straight in the sawdust.
And that will catch fire, and then Ben has to put the sawdust on.
That has gone in the sawdust and, if you see, there is a lot of smoke.
-And what that is doing is penetrating through
the cracked glaze into the pot.
So when the pot is cold, you chip the glaze off
and you've got that ghosted pattern of smoke into the pot.
Sure, I understand that.
And because that sawdust is so uneven and the air gets
through it, that's how you create those lines, isn't it?
Yeah, it sort of goes just through the glaze,
so just as much smoke as you can get.
I can see the appeal of using the raku technique.
There is something incredibly immediate and gratifying
about the whole process, and the results are fabulous.
Well, they have cooled down.
We have given it ten minutes and now for the moment of truth.
-There we go. Tip it out.
-Tip it out.
There it comes.
-Looking rather black at the moment.
-It does, doesn't it?
Looking sorry for itself.
So you can see now where all the smoke has gone through all the little
pinholes, into the pot behind and created that smoke pattern.
There is a little bit of clay here that needs to be washed off later.
So that will all be washed off. It's beautiful, isn't it?
That is really clever.
Look at that lovely, strong line through there, Paul, it's beautiful.
That lovely black contrast.
And you know this one is yours, Paul,
cos you got that black bit,
where you didn't quite get the glaze quite to the top.
-I think that is the nicest one of the lot.
-Oh, you're just being kind.
Beginner's luck in that dip, I think.
You've got a job. When are you going to come back and do it again for us?
Maybe in the summer.
It has been wonderful finding out about such a long-lasting
and successful family business.
Here is to many more years of Eeles pot-making.
Welcome back to our valuation day venue here -
situated at the military naval aviation base.
I am stepping inside the Fleet Air Arm Museum now,
where it is lights, camera, action.
Let's catch up with our experts
and see what else we can find to take off to auction.
You've brought along a cotton handkerchief that has
a name on it, synonymous with nursing. Very important.
But tell me, how did you come by this?
Well, it was given to me by a lady called Miss Willit.
And I was going off to do my nursing training
and she just thought it would be a nice present for me to have.
And how long did you nurse for?
-Over 30 years.
-Do you miss it?
-Yes, I do.
-What kind of nurse were you?
General nurse in general practice.
You must have seen all types.
You get your favourites.
But then you get really fond of them.
This matron at the school, she was a descendent?
Yes, she was a great niece of Florence Nightingale's.
-Great niece of Florence Nightingale.
-Just in the forefront, wasn't she?
A bit of a firebrand, a bit of a leader.
I think she was a great innovator in nursing methods
and she set up a nursing school in St Thomas's.
She was one of these celebrities we all knew about.
-And we still talk about her today.
So we've got Nightingale, 1865, on this silk handkerchief.
It is quite big for a lady's handkerchief, isn't it?
-It could have been a table centrepiece as well.
If you think about it, it doesn't have to be a hanky
cos of this very pretty Honiton lace border around it.
Where has it been in your house?
Just in a drawer, wrapped up in tissue paper.
I think it has got a bit of value.
-You know, she's a bit of a cult figure, isn't she?
And if you have got the right people and the Internet
and the right collectors, I think this could go for hundreds.
And obviously, the provenance is the important factor in all of this.
In my eyes, I would have thought this is worth at least £200.
200 and 300, and we could put a discretionary reserve at the 200.
-Is that all right?
-Yes, that's fine.
-I like it.
-That's more than I expected.
I think you've got to find the right people. I think it is quite special.
-Thank you very much.
Finding the right buyer is key to any piece going to auction,
and some will have a wider appeal than others.
Take a look at Christina's next find.
It might not be everyone's cup of tea.
So, I hope you are not afraid of heights.
I'm clutching your teapot here because we are perched up here.
There's a wonderful view with everything behind us.
Tell me where it has come from.
It was my mother's, and she may have got it from my gram, I don't know.
Do you know if there were originally any other pieces with it?
-No, I only know that piece.
-It certainly tells us what it is.
I mean, I think even without having to look at its bottom, I think
a good guess is this particular style,
-especially these palmetto leaves, tell us that it is Doulton.
And we have got the nice mark on the bottom here which proves
it for us, which is quite an early Doulton mark.
We've got artists' marks ER and HHH.
We've looked up a few of those,
they don't seem to be any of the big names.
When you have got Barlows, you can add a few notes onto the end of it,
but sadly, nothing we can attribute to any of the famous artists.
Doulton actually originally started by producing sewer
pipes in the late 19th century.
-Which is what this material was...
So often people think they have got items made from sewer pipes,
which isn't necessarily the case. Don't worry,
you haven't got a sewer-pipe teapot.
Doulton was very instrumental in encouraging
artists from the local Lambeth School of Arts to producing
these wonderful ornamental wares and he very much encouraged them,
which is why we get some really wonderfully wacky Doulton
pieces just like this.
But I think the thing that strikes me
about it is this wonderful shell design.
It's just really beautiful.
-Do you like it?
-Yes, I love it.
-It's rather sweet, isn't it?
-I do love it.
-Just a bit unusual.
-It's a different and it's tactile.
-It is, absolutely. Do you sort of want to...?
-Yeah, feel it.
I think that is a wonderful thing about Doulton is that it does
throw some rather unexpected things that you.
And it is very much of its time.
-The Victorians were wonderfully eccentric.
I am slightly concerned.
-There should be a little lip, as in a normal teapot spout.
Some person has obviously chipped it on the end and had it ground down.
Unfortunately, that will affect the value.
And then we have also got a couple of other little chips
just on here as well.
So I think at auction...
..we are probably looking somewhere in the region of
-maybe £60 to £100, how would you feel about that?
So if we put an estimate of 60 to 100,
-and then perhaps if we put a reserve of £50 firm...
And we'll hope that it doesn't fall off this very precarious table
up here on this wonderful balcony before we get it to the auction.
While our valuations are going on around me,
I thought I'd take the opportunity
to have a quick look around the museum.
Everywhere you turn, you are surrounded by aviation history.
Just take a look at this, a wonderful old piece of aviation art.
It was salvaged from the side of a Firefly, of 1772 squadron,
which flew in the Pacific during the Second World War.
It was shot down by the Japanese.
Thankfully, the pilot, Chris Maclaren,
and his observer, Wally Prichard, survived.
And this panel was rescued and kept as a memento.
Isn't that lovely?
And there it is signed, look, Chris and the observer, Wally.
And I love the way these two characters have been portrayed,
almost as a comic caricature of Popeye and Bluto.
Aviation art is thought to have begun in the German
and Italian military at the beginning of the 20th century.
It appears like tribal markings for those going into battle,
and the tradition continues today.
Take a look at this, for instance,
a relatively recent piece sprayed with stencil onto
the side of a Lynx helicopter, which was flown during the First Gulf War.
It's in the style of a musical artist from the 1900s, Flory Ford.
Others are more sinister.
I wanted to meet a modern-day aviation artist here,
at Yeovilton, but no-one could be found.
It seems these unofficial markings are considered the military
equivalent of graffiti
and often those behind it want to remain anonymous.
The Banksy syndrome.
Let's hope Thomas has more luck identifying the artist
behind our next item.
Robert, tell me. You have brought along these propaganda posters.
How did you come by them?
Well, I bought a collection of books from an elderly
lady about 15 or 16 years ago, took the books home,
put them in the loft and three or four years ago,
I got them out to start sorting them out to sell. And in amongst them,
I found an envelope, and it had these lovely posters in it.
So are you in the book trade?
Yes, I had my own bookshop in Bournemouth for 12 years.
Retired five years ago.
And now I sell a few books on the Internet, second-hand,
-just to supplement my passion.
-These are by this man called Fougasse.
-Cyril Kenneth Bird is his real name.
-Fougasse was his pen name, I suppose, so to speak.
The interesting thing about Bird, the artist,
was that he was in the First World War.
-And he was at Gallipoli, so that hideous battle.
-And it was quite rare for a Brit to be in Gallipoli, an Englishman.
He was badly wounded and injured out
and then I suppose he turned to cartoons, convalescing, and drawing.
-He was editor of Punch.
-And these are of World War II,
-cos we can see Adolf here, can't we?
-Yes, we can.
-Adolf Hitler, there he is there.
-And you've got Herman Geren.
-The two ladies in the '40s, lipstick and rouge.
Having tea, Russian tea. And don't forget, "Walls have ears,"
and there is Adolf there, in this repeating pattern.
It has got a real
-humour to it.
-So it was making the public aware.
-But in a humorous way.
I think they're worth between four and £600.
-I think they are.
-Because they are in such good, clean condition.
I would reserve them at roundabout three,
with a little bit of discretion, but I think that will be fine.
You've got the militaria interest, decorative appeal
it's quite funny, quite good.
I mean, they're good lavatory pictures.
-Do you know what I mean? They are, aren't they?
-Yes, they are.
They are. And I quite like them.
-So anyway, that is what I would say.
-Well, thank you, that's very good.
-I'm very pleased with that.
-Now, if we achieve the £400,
what do you want to do with that money, buy more books?
No, I've got plenty of books at the moment.
My wife and I now are both retired, we enjoy the sunshine,
so I think it will go towards the cost of two airline tickets.
There's such a diversity of items!
Take a look at this piece.
-George, Kirsty, hello.
Now, erm, first of all, I want to compliment you on your look.
-You're referring to the tattoos.
-And are you interested in antiques?
We are very much!
It is a daily occurrence that sit down, cup of tea,
Go to car boots, go to any antique fairs we can.
We really are a little bit too enthusiastic about it!
It's good...people look at us and think,
"No, you're too young to like that!"
-We say, "No, it's for everyone!"
-So, tell me about the plaque.
What happened and what went through your mind
and was this a purchase or was it an inheritance?
-This was a purchase from a boot sale.
-Yeah, local to here.
Local to here and we walked around and I wanted to buy something.
I couldn't...looked around, didn't find anything and then spotted that.
Instantly fell in love with it but walked off.
He wasn't sure wasn't sure if he wanted it,
I had to keep prodding him. If you want it, go and get it!
So, tell me, what attracted you to it?
I think it's the filigree and the flower frame
and then, like, the Virgin Mary.
It just sort of caught my eye and I was just like,
"I really, really like it."
-You've not been to Lourdes?
It's in southern France, in the Pyrenees,
erm...this is Bernadette, she apparently saw
the Virgin Mary at least 18 times while gathering wood.
And the basilica or the cathedral is built on top of the cave where
she saw the Virgin Mary, hence the scene you have here.
-It all fits in, doesn't it?
-It all makes sense, yeah.
It all works and within this very Gothic arch,
with this oriole window here, it dates, I would say 1920s.
A souvenir one would have bought if you were a tourist.
Now, the added bonus to all of this is the musical box.
Did you know there was a musical box?
I did, when the lady sold it to me
but she didn't have the key and I don't have a key that fits it.
-Have you wound it up?
I haven't, I don't even know what it plays.
We don't know if it works or anything.
It's one of those mysteries.
Well, it's quite nice, it's a bit like adding value.
The person who buys this is going to add value by finding a key.
-So, how much did you pay for this?
Well, come on, let's see if we can double your money
and if not make a bit more.
-I mean, I'm going to put £30 on it.
-That's more than what I thought.
-It's more than what we thought,
-to be honest.
-Put £30 and let's reserve it...I don't know, 15.
I think that would be fair and give you a bit of profit.
So, do you want to have a little antiques shop one day or...?
-I'd love to.
-It would be nice.
I think I'd be a rubbish antiques dealer,
cos I wouldn't want to sell anything,
I'd want to keep it all and look at it!
Well, you never know, with the profit you make on this,
you'll be able to buy something at the auction.
-That would be good!
-I'll look forward to seeing you there.
-We'll look forward to seeing you too.
-Thank you very much.
-Been a pleasure.
Well, that's it.
What a marvellous time we've had here at the Fleet Air Arm Museum
and HMS Heron.
But before we leave the military base for the last time today,
here is a quick recap of what we are taking with us to the auction room.
Careless Talk Costs Lives.
Fougasse's iconic propaganda posters should resonate
with the collectors.
With such a popular name attached to it, someone is bound to reach
deep into their pockets for this silk handkerchief.
And it is certainly quirky,
but will Angela's Royal Doulton teapot find a new home?
This Lourdes souvenir is sure to find a devoted buyer.
It's not just the selling that auction houses do.
Before they can advertise their wares,
they need to be sure of their authenticity.
I caught up with auctioneer Claire Rawle, who had been getting
a bit twitchy about that Florence Nightingale handkerchief.
Thomas got excited about this, he put £200 to £300 on it.
This was given to Liz when she started her nursing career by a
great-niece of Florence Nightingale, so the provenance is there.
Looking at that signature,
Thomas was led to believe it belonged to Florence Nightingale.
Right. Well, actually, there are quite a lot of letters
and things archived of Florence Nightingale's.
In fact, we've sold some here.
So it was quite easy to check the writing,
and it is not her signature.
Does that differ greatly from Florence's signature?
It does in certain key areas.
The N is quite similar,
but it is once you get to the end of the signature.
If you look at a lot of documents
and letters with her signature on it, then I think once you
get around the G and the end of the signature, it's not, it's just...
I mean, it is obviously hand written,
of that date. That's like a laundry mark, really.
-But it is not her signature.
-It's not hers, no.
Anything that has her personal connection is worth a small fortune.
And because of this new information, Claire has amended the valuation.
What have you put on this now?
Well, we are down to £80 reserve, so 80, 120,
which with the family history, I think we stand a chance of getting.
Well, you never know what is going to happen in an auction,
so let's get on with it.
Right, Liz's handkerchief, or should I say Florence Nightingale's.
I had a chat to Claire.
She has reduced the valuation to £80 to £120.
And she believes great provenance,
and that is what it is all about, but not her signature.
Well, good luck with this anyway.
Hopefully you can get the top end plus a little bit more.
It is going under the hammer now.
Linked to Florence Nightingale.
Well, you've read the history, it does come from the family.
And I've got 55 here to start it away.
At 55. At 55. Do I see 60 anywhere?
Bid is with me at 55. At 55.
At 55. 60. Five?
Go on, one more. You know you want it.
-Claire is doing her best, isn't she?
-She is, isn't she?
No! You call that a tissue?
75, it is still with me. 80 if you want it.
75. Are you sure? You all done?
-Well, sadly, it is not going to sell at that.
-Tried her best.
-Tried our best.
-Thank you anyway.
It is one of those difficult things on the valuation day.
It is so immediate, you don't get too much time to research.
If it was Florence Nightingale's, I'm sure it would have flown away.
I think, Liz, you're meant to keep this.
It has got a family connection and it was given to you
-because of your nursing career.
Maybe hang onto it for a little while.
Perhaps I'll give it to a museum, I expect, send it to London.
That's a good idea.
Angela, good luck, good luck.
We've got a bit of damage on this, a bit of grinding down.
I'm talking about the Doulton Lambeth stoneware teapot,
which is just about to go under the hammer.
-Why are you selling this?
-Because I'm afraid I will break it.
-Are you really?
-Sturdy old stuff, stoneware.
-It's durable, that's what it was made for, you know.
-A bit of use.
-Anyway, look, it's going under the hammer now.
The Royal Doulton Lambeth stoneware teapot,
with the seashell decoration to it, lot 272.
And I have to start away at £42. At 42.
Do I see five anywhere?
Bid's at 42. At 42, now five.
At £42, now five. At 42, now five.
At 42. At 42 it is, then. 45.
48. 50, sir? 50 I have. I've got 50 here.
Do you want to go five at the back?
Five at the back. At 55. Are you sure? At 55.
Right at the back of the room, then, at £55. You all done?
It's going to sell at £55.
Well done, the man at the back there.
-He must like it.
Brilliant, I love it.
Well, Angela's teapot found a new home.
Our next sellers bought their item in a car boot sale
for a rock bottom price.
Your Lourdes plaque is just about to go under the hammer.
-You paid about £10, did you?
We got a fixed reserve put on by Thomas of 15, so we don't
want to make just a fiver profit, we want to double this.
We want to send you out so you can keep car booting.
-I must say, look at these shoes.
-I wore my best shoes today.
-They're fantastic! Do you go car booting together?
-Do you get competitive?
-Um, I...yes, yes.
So why do you want to sell this one?
It's just one of the things that takes up a bit of room.
You'd rather get rid of it and buy something else, wouldn't you?
Well, hopefully, hopefully, it will find a new home here
and will double their money, because that's what it's all about really.
I hope so, I really do. It's an awkward subject, you know,
religion doesn't always sell as well,
but it's just a wacky thing with a musical box,
so somebody can have a bit of fun with it, making it work.
Let's put it through the test. It's going under the hammer right now.
Lot 132, so I have to start this at £12. At £12, looking for 15.
15 I have, thank you. At £15, do I see 18 anywhere?
Bid's at 15 in the room. At 15, 18, 20, 22, 25, 28, 30...
-That's a lot more.
-..32, at my right at £32. At 32, now five anywhere?
At 32, are you all done? It's going to sell at £32.
Brilliant. £32. That's a great result.
That's definitely better than I thought it would be.
There is commission to pay, don't forget.
It's 15% plus VAT here, but it does vary from saleroom to saleroom,
-so well done with that.
-Yes, I'm happy with that.
I think you're happy with that as well.
Now they can invest in a new antique.
And straight from the home front, Robert came across these posters,
hidden among some old books he'd bought.
I think they could generate quite a stir.
Careless Talk Costs Lives.
You know what is going under the hammer right now.
They belong to Robert, and I think these are highly collectible,
I really do.
Why are you selling them?
Well, I've had them a long time.
They came in a book collection that I bought
-and they have been in the drawer.
Look, they're going under the hammer right now. Let's put it to the test.
Here it is.
A set of eight.
Careless Talk Costs Lives series by Fougasse.
Nice series, this,
and I have actually had quite a bit of interest in them.
So I am going to have to start them
Straight in and we've sold.
At £480. At 480, do I see 500?
500. I've got to go 550.
So I am now looking for 600.
At 550, now... 600 on the telephone.
At £600 on the telephone. At 600, looking for 650
if the other telephone is going to do anything.
At £600 on the telephone here. At 600.
Are you all done now? Internet's... No, 650 on the Internet.
At 650, looking for 700.
700 on the telephone.
At £700. 750 on the net. At 750.
800 on the telephone. At £800.
At £800. Now 850.
At 800 is on the telephone. All out on the Internet. He's hovering.
At £800 on the telephone. You all done out there?
-Thank you, thank you.
It doesn't get much better than that, does it?
-It really doesn't.
-Thank you so much for bringing those in.
-Thanks for giving me the opportunity.
-How about that!
What a way to end today's show here, in Somerset.
I hope you have enjoyed it.
I told you there was going to be a big surprise, didn't I?
Join us for many more, but until then, from all of us, it's goodbye.
Flog It! is in Somerset at Europe's biggest naval aviation museum - the Fleet Air Arm Museum. The incredible collection is housed at HMS Heron, the Royal Navy's aviation base in Yeovilton.
Antiques experts Christina Trevanion and Thomas Plant join presenter Paul Martin as the team set out to go through hundreds of antiques and collectibles brought along by members of the public to the valuation day in Somerset. The lucky ones make it to the auction room, where anything can happen.
While in the Somerset-Dorset region, Paul Martin drops in on a family-run pottery business, where father and sons have been working alongside each other creating their wares for decades, and has a go himself. Paul also travels to Forde Abbey, once home to Cistercian monks on the Somerset-Dorset border, where he meets a family whose religious heritage influences their everyday lives.