The Flog It! team is in Newcastle upon Tyne at the Discovery Museum, the region's science and social history museum.
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Today, Flog It! is in Tyneside,
an area steeped in shipbuilding heritage.
The larger-than-life vessels built on this river
have defined the landscape and left a legacy for generations.
It's hard to overemphasise the impact the shipbuilding industry
has had on the people of Tyneside.
For centuries, the majority of men in this area
either worked in the district's numerous coalmines
or in shipbuilding,
driving forward incredible innovations
now part of our nautical history.
This is the first ever steam turbine powered ship.
Around the time of its launch in 1894,
it was easily the fastest ship in the world.
The Turbinia is a wonderful example of the shipping heritage
that's housed here at Newcastle's Science And Local History Museum.
And today it's the host venue for our valuations.
The people of Tyneside are arriving in their droves.
-Oh, look, a bit of maritime memorabilia. What's this?
Oh, look at this!
We shall be talking about that ship later on in the programme.
And to carry out today's valuations,
we have the antique elite reporting for duty.
Always with a keen eye for detail, Anita Manning.
Oh, it's great fun, isn't it? Great fun!
And he might like a joke,
but Adam Partridge seriously knows his stuff.
-How much do think it's worth?
-It's going to be priceless!
They're a lively bunch here today!
Let's hope today's valuations are as entertaining.
In today's show, Anita meets her match,
when a legendary billiards champion challenges her to a game.
-You can give me a few tips.
-It would be wonderful to get you in action!
A lot of men have said that!
-Thanks for coming along.
And Adam is in heaven when he meets a fellow boxing fan
with a signed copy of Muhammad Ali's autobiography.
Let's not forget, this is the century's greatest sportsman,
some people say.
The people of Tyneside have turned out in force today
to get their antiques and collectables valued.
This wonderful space is just one of the rooms used
by the Co-operative workers, who were based here
between 1899 and 1972, when this place
was used as a distribution headquarters
for all the shops in the local area.
So we've got the lights,
we got the cameras and the people of Tyneside have brought the action.
The great thing about a Flog It! valuation day is you never know
what you're going to find.
Somewhere amongst this massive crowd is a little treasure,
and hopefully we can make some history of our very own
right here, right now, on Flog It!
Let's hand things over to Anita Manning. Could this be the item?
Now, Alf, I know I have the privilege
at this moment of being sitting next to a legend.
But I want you to tell me first of all, Alf,
where you got these napkin rings.
I was English billiards champion and they asked me to play in
the world championship. I was booked in at Karachi to play an exhibition.
I made the highest break that had been made in Karachi - 319.
-So this was a little gift?
-I wonder what they're worth.
They've never been touched. I'm not going to put these on my table!
I'm not that - what do they call it? - aristocracy!
They'd go well on the table at Buckingham Palace
or the Duke of Northumberland's.
But not on Alf's table!
Not on my table! LAUGHTER
But there are quite a nice present.
Could you tell me when that match was? When you were in Karachi.
-Yes, it would be 1964.
-1964. Let's look at it.
It's a nice little box and I quite like the label, which says
"Kashmir Silver Works," and it's from Karachi, the main city there.
And if we take one of them out...
They are what I would call white metal.
White metal, is it?
They could be a low-grade silver.
Very often in the Indian subcontinent,
-you had silver which was of a lower grade.
-A lower quality.
So they can be that.
And they are quite nice things, and if you had a title,
there's a little cartouche where you could have put your initials.
-They could have put "Alf the Champion."
Have you retired now, Alf?
I've retired competitively, but I still go and practise.
And once I get to a billiard table -
not many people will think of this - I'm in heaven!
You can forget about all the other heavens,
that billiard table is heaven to me.
And this is you as a...?
That is me in London in 1955.
That's the Northumberland and Durham Snooker champion.
-But I'm mainly a 3-ball...
-You were quite good-looking guy.
You still are!
Now, Alf, tell me - why do you want to sell
these things, if they are part of your career in playing
-billiards and snooker?
-Well, to me they're inconsequential.
As soon as I die, they're in the recycling, or wherever.
-It's of no consequence.
-It's only a...an object.
You have your photographs and you have your memories of Karachi.
So shall we put these into auction?
-Put them in and see...
-Property of a gentleman.
-They're not worth a lot of money, Alf.
But if we put them in, maybe, er...
£50 to £70, something like that.
That... That is a...terrific amount of money.
I started work
44 hours a week in the rag trade
-for one pound.
We'll put them in...
We'll maybe put a reserve of, say, 35 on them.
-I'm sure they'll do that.
But maybe if we do well with these,
we can have a game of billiards afterwards,
and you can give me a few tips.
It'd be wonderful to get you in action.
A lot of men have said that.
Thanks for coming along.
What a really interesting man!
You never know what or who is going to turn up on evaluation day.
Now, over to Adam Partridge.
-Do take a card.
Thanks. Any card?
It was a good way of illustrating what this object is.
A ivory card case.
So, where did you get from?
I don't know. It's always been in... in the family.
It's just always been there?
It's not inherited from someone or...
-I don't which side of the family, but it's a family thing.
And, of course, our first concern with anything ivory -
is it old enough?
Instantly, the answer's yes with this.
The date line is 1947.
If there's any doubt, it should not be sold.
But this is late...right at the end of the 19th century.
-From Canton. Canton in China.
Its name is Canton export ivory,
because there are a lot of these about.
And they were made for the Western market, for cards,
and shipped it to Europe.
And they are all a similar type of style.
Heavily carved, intricately carved, on both sides and, erm...
There's been a resurgence in the Chinese market.
Most of these are being bought by Chinese people...
erm...interested in their history and heritage, et cetera.
So, in the last couple of years I have noticed some pretty
strong prices for ivory card cases.
Why are you selling it?
Well, basic decluttering.
Got lots of stuff that, yeah, time to go.
-No sentiment attached.
-Get it sold.
-Let's get it and flog it!
Now, there's been a bit of a conflict of opinion
between me and my off-screen consultant valuers
who think I am rather too keen on it,
but my estimate is higher than theirs.
-Do you have any idea on what it's worth?
I am going to suggest 300 to 500.
-Which is a pleasant surprise, isn't it?
And I think you should make that.
The only things that draw me back a little but,
which was pointed out by one of the other valuers,
is a little bit of damage.
-Just a very small bit of a crack on the top there.
I really don't think that matters that much.
And I think it's a pretty good example.
Well we'll take it to auction and see what happens.
I'm really looking forward to it.
Because my feeling is that it might make a bit more.
-Thank you very much.
-That's a pleasure. Lovely thing.
And from an antique with minute detail,
to something on a slightly larger scale.
The museum has a wonderful maritime collection
and here with me now is curator Ian Whitehead to talk through something
which looks like it's from the vibrant 1970s -
something I'm familiar with, these colour schemes!
Yes. It is very much of that period.
It is from the 1973 cruise ship Vistafjord.
-These were the original swatches for this vessel.
-The original swatches.
The interior designers would have worked from these.
Chosen colours from the layout,
-obviously, with the client, said, "Yes, let's go for that."
And I'm not big on cruise ships,
but if I had to go on a cruise right now,
if I could be in some kind of boutique set-up like that
surrounded by colour like this,
I'd be a happy bunny.
Well, the ship is still running as Saga Ruby.
She's 40 years old.
Does it have a colour scheme like this?
Eh, I doubt it, she's been majorly refitted three times.
1973, last cruise ship built on the Tyne.
She was a very high-quality ship that came out of the
Neptune Shipyard of Swan Hunter. Great testament to the work of...
-..the workers there.
-This is the golden era, isn't it?
This is what Great British engineering was all about.
-Superb lines on a superb vessel.
-Thank you so much for showing me this.
-It's been a pleasure.
And later on in the programme I'll be visiting the yard
where the Vistafjord was built
and finding out more about the last shipbuilders on the Tyne.
But right now, it's time to join Anita on our
final valuation before our first visit to the auction house.
Jenny, welcome to Flog It! It's exciting with all this stuff
-going on round about, isn't it?
You've brought us a wee couple of scamps along today to look at.
So tell me a wee bit about them, tell me where you got them.
Well, in 1947, my husband, he was 16,
befriended a German prisoner of war.
The camp was fairly open, you know,
they used to work in the fields, agriculture,
so they became friends of the family,
and the family always kept in touch long after the war,
and long after George - that was his name - went back to Germany.
Did you ever visit him in Germany?
Yes, we visited several times, him and his wife Carla.
One of the times they gave us these two figures, Max and Moritz.
-Had you admired them?
-No, I'd never heard of them, I'd never seen them.
-Do you like them?
-Not really. They're not really my thing.
They're German characters from a children's book
and they're very well-known to German children.
The first book that come out containing these characters,
by Wilhelm Busch, came out in about 1886,
-so these little figures are from that time...
-..1890 to 1900.
And they were BELOVED of the German children.
This wee guy here is bronze.
He's well cast, he's well modelled and he's sitting on a marble base.
Now, I have looked quite carefully and cannot see any name,
cast mark or anything that gives us
an indication of who did the bronzes.
But what I can say is that they are of quality,
and that makes them interesting.
Price-wise, I would say...
-..in the region of 150 to 250.
-Would you be happy to sell them at that?
-I certainly would.
Have you been dying to get rid of them for years?
Well, no, I hadn't even thought about it, but that's very nice.
What would you do with the money?
Well, my friend who I've come here with today, Di,
we go everywhere together looking at car boots and antique fairs,
so I think we'd have a day out at an antique fair.
Oh, right, and perhaps buy something that you DO like
and that you will fall in love with? Maybe a bit of jewellery.
-That'd be nice.
-Shall we put a reserve on the little figures?
Yes, if you think...
We'll put a reserve of maybe just 130, just to protect them.
I'm sure that they will fly
and that they will be well-fancied by the buyers at the auction.
-Good, I look forward to it.
-Thank you very much for bringing them along.
Let's see what's being served up right now.
Graham, thanks for coming along to "Flog it!"
And it's always nice to see things of local interest.
-You've got two volumes here of the History Of Newcastle.
Where did you get them from?
From an antiquarian book shop.
-How long ago did you...?
-About 15 years ago.
So, not that long ago. Do you have a collection of antiquarian books?
-All local history or...?
-Most of it. Most of it.
-And you're starting to sell this off?
So you've got the two volumes here.
A well-known book by Brand, isn't it?
But obviously when we're looking at a book
the main page we want to see is this title page here.
History And Antiquities Of The Town And County
Of The Town Of Newcastle Upon Tyne.
This is by John Brand, master of arts of London,
-and that is 1789.
-That makes it the first edition, I think.
First edition, leather bound, with all the maps intact and everything.
Everything's in it.
I'm just going to see...
Let's show a sample of one of the foldout maps.
There's a nice example of one.
How recognisable is that nowadays?
Other than the cathedral, nothing.
-Other than the cathedral?
-But that's a rather nice engraving isn't it?
Black and white engraving. A good view of Newcastle.
And both volumes are full of these
and explanatory texts of the history of this fine city.
I'm guessing that you paid quite a lot for them
from a local book-seller.
But you've enjoyed them, you wanted them,
you've had the pleasure of owning them
and now it's time to move them on.
Let's be realistic. What's your aspirations...
What do you think they're worth now at auction?
I think probably around about the 300.
Yeah, I think we should do that.
At what price would you rather have them back if you think,
well, if they don't make...? Would it be 300? Slightly less, 250?
-Shall we fix the reserve at 250?
-I think that's sensible.
And we can put an estimate then of 250-350.
Two people get stuck in an auction,
you might end up drawing a bit more on them.
Um, they are lovely things to own
and what better place to sell them than the local auction?
Before we head off to auction,
there is something I would like to show you.
Magnificent cruise ships,
world famous ocean liners like the Mauretania,
larger than life supertankers, the Ark Royal,
and other naval vessels have all been built on this river.
The Tyne's depth and connection to the North Sea at Tynemouth
makes it the perfect location for shipbuilding.
For 600 years, shipbuilding was the lifeblood of this area.
In fact, the ferry we're on today - the Pride of the Tyne -
was one of the last to be built, in 1993.
For centuries, shipbuilding provided an income
for thousands of families in this area.
Much of the work was contract work,
but there was no shortage of it, so it wasn't surprising that
sons often followed their fathers and grandfathers into the yards.
We met some of the people whose lives
revolved around the shipbuilding industry.
The bit I always loved was the process.
One day there wasn't a ship there,
the next day the shipwrights were there, the keel went down,
the ribs went up, the frames, then the plates went on,
and at the end of the process was something you could be proud of.
It's got nothing to do with egotism, but you can look at something,
and in your small way, there was part of you in that.
The river was home to over 20 shipyards during the
19th and 20th centuries, employing thousands of workers.
There was Readhead's, there was Brigham's,
there was the Middle Docks,
there was Smith's Docks on the other side of the river -
that's where the energy came from.
The activity of all the shipyards, that was the heart, the soul,
the life of the river.
It's impossible to underestimate the impact the shipbuilding industry
had on the people whose livelihoods depended on the Tyne,
and even if one of your relatives didn't work in the industry,
you knew somebody who did.
I can remember my father, who worked on the river in latter days,
he had been at sea for most of his life,
but he worked as a rigger on the river in the 1950s and 1960s,
and if it was very busy
and ships had to be docked or undocked or shifted - which is where
you took a ship out of its tier for another one to move in or
move out - we might not see him for a couple of days at a time.
And then he would come home and sleep the clock around.
And then he would go back and it would start all over again.
Family life was governed in many ways by tides and ships.
At Wallsend you had the great big supertankers,
these huge great supertankers looming over basically a back yard wall.
And I think people had pride in them.
They could see where their husband went. The kids could see it.
"My dad, my dad's working on that."
Even if you couldn't see the ships, the sounds of them
being built echoed up and down the river.
You constantly heard the sound of ships' hooters,
of shot-blasting, of hammering.
It went on all day and all night.
I think the main thing on the river in those days was the buzzer.
Each yard had its buzzer, the buzzer determined
when you started and when you finished.
And I suppose people around that way, they lived their lives to the buzzer.
But time was running out for the industry towards the end
of the 20th century, leaving huge holes
both emotionally and physically.
Everywhere you look along the river bank here you can see
signs of a once thriving shipbuilding industry.
Just here you see this massive concreted area,
that was once Smith's shipyard.
I've come to look at the Tyne's last shipbuilding yard, Swan Hunter.
It was the biggest yard here.
In total, 1,600 ships were built here between 1864 and 1994,
when the last workers left the site.
Now that is what I call a view.
Just look at that - the Tyne in all its magnificent glory.
You can imagine the manager standing up here, can't you?
Sort of saying, "This is our shipbuilding empire."
Not only could they keep an eye on the workforce,
but they could join in the celebrations of the launch days.
They must have been such a wonderful spectacle,
thousands of people here in the docks and on the quayside.
The day a ship was launched, it was a special day.
There seemed to be a buzz went round the yard.
"There's a ship being launched today.
"Join us at the launching platform." There was usually a band there,
all the speeches are made, all the ladies are there
with their fancy hats on.
The final chocks are knocked out.
And sometimes there's a slight pause because the ship hasn't moved,
and there's a sort of, "Ooh..."
Then slowly, off she goes.
And it's graceful.
Not in any hurry, just making her own slow way down into the river.
Everybody's hip-hip-hooraying, "Three cheers for the ship",
and if you're stood in the right place,
as the ship went off into the drophole,
to me in my imagination, the ship looks as though it was curtsying.
And to me, it was magical. The ship looked as though it went...
And there was a space there for the next one.
For the past 20 years, there has been no next one.
The shipyards began to shut due to the lack of industry investment,
modernisation and competition from abroad.
Entire communities fought hard for their way of life
and very existence.
There was meetings, marches, the unions were involved.
There'd be a lot of sad, disappointed and I would think angry people.
They've been building ships on the river here for hundreds of years,
and then for a whole industry to disappear...
The generation that lost its jobs in the shipyards
was effectively written off.
I think it was anyway.
Men who were only in their forties and fifties,
they never worked again.
And that was so tragic. And it still makes me angry today.
Countless families were affected in the region, and when the
largest shipyard - Swan Hunter - finally closed in 1994,
Allen was there.
The very last day at Swans, we had to come out of the yard,
and then I walked up the top of Swans Bank,
and I watched all those proud men, and they looked proud to me,
coming up that bank,
and some of them had a black plastic rubbish sack...with them.
It must have been their bits and pieces of a lifetime of working
in a shipyard, coming up that bank, and I thought, "This is not right."
It might have made sense to somebody, it didn't to me.
Today, many people on Tyneside are still struggling to come
to terms with the repercussions
caused by the end of the shipbuilding.
But the pride around the incredible ships built on this river
will live on for generations.
If, when you come into this earth, and you leave something
when you've gone that wasn't there...
before you, your life's been a total success. You've created something.
Well, our experts have been working hard, we're halfway through
our day now, which means it's time for our first trip to the saleroom.
So while we make our way over to the Boldon Auction Galleries,
here's a quick recap, just to jog your memories,
of everything that's coming along with us.
Will Alf's unused silver napkin rings draw in the local nobility?
Let's hope the bidders don't play things too close to their chests
when it comes to Sally's ivory card case.
18th-century, leather-bound first edition,
these history of Newcastle books
are sure to get the local historians excited today.
And loved for years in Germany, will Jenny's playful
Max and Moritz figures
appeal to a buyer today?
For today's auction, we're in East Boldon.
The famous Jarrow March went through this area in 1936,
when protestors took a stand against the extreme poverty
and unemployment suffered in Northeast England
during the Great Depression.
Whether it's boom or bust, the auction house seems to
serve both, and is often a measure of the times.
Let's see what today serves up.
Now, look, that chap's here to buy, he's picked up a bidder's paddle.
In order to buy something, you've got to register your name
and address and identify yourself.
You can pick up a bidder's paddle, then you're free to bid.
Hopefully, he's going to buy some of our lots.
Now, remember, there is commission to pay,
and there is a buyer's premium. Here, it's 17.5% plus VAT,
but it varies from saleroom to saleroom, so check the detail,
it's all printed in the catalogue,
and do your sums, because it does add up.
Right, let's get on with the sale.
These 18th-century, leather-bound books are pure quality.
Belonging to Graham, who is with me right now.
Well, I'm excited about this, you were looking over there then,
you were lost in thoughts, weren't you?
-I was looking at other lots - going...
-You're nervous, aren't you?
We're a couple away. Now, I know you paid big money for these, didn't you?
First editions, little bit tatty on the covers
-but you can forgive that.
-Because everything's intact, maps, pictures,
pullouts, nothing rebound.
They are a nice, genuine, honest set.
We're talking around what, 17...?
Proper antique! That's what that...
Look, time is up, I'm getting a cue now, this is it.
Your lot is coming up right now, so good luck.
I'm bid 140 to start them.
140, 150, 160.
190, 200, 220.
At 260, front row.
380, front row - you're out, sir.
At £380, for the first and the last...
At £380, and we're away.
Definitely local interest there.
-Just knew they'd sell in the room, didn't you?
-Good valuation, Adam.
-Oh, thank you very much.
And the next item to go under the hammer is that set of
silver napkin holders from Pakistan.
And it's a real honour to be standing next to Alfred,
who is - who WAS, I should say - English billiards champion.
-He's got a good tale to tell.
-He's a wonderful storyteller.
-78 years, you've got a lot up there, you know.
-He has got a lot up there.
Our lot is coming up now.
I'm bid 40 to start with. 45, 50, five, 60, five,
70, five, 80...
With me at £80. Anybody else?
85, 90, 95?
Knocks the bid out, at £95, to the room,
at £95, all done, at £95.
-That would be a great break in snooker.
-A poor billiards break, but a great snooker break.
-Do you know where the money's going?
Cos I'm going to double that, it's going to go to
the under-19 boys championship and
the under-16 boys and girls championship
of the English Amateur Billiards Association.
Oh, fantastic. Know what?
What you're doing is helping to encourage
the youngsters to come into the sport,
because without any fresh blood, this sport would not carry on.
'What a great guy!
'Still passionate after all these years,
'and thinking of the players of the future.'
If we play our cards right we could get
the top end of Adam's estimate here.
I love this, absolutely love this Chinese carved ivory...
-It's a good 'un, isn't it?
-Yeah, exquisite detail.
-I mean, it's incredible, where'd you start?
And you've had this knocking around
for a little time now, don't know where it came from.
All my life it's been around, just sort of sitting in a cupboard.
Well, hopefully we should do the top end.
And I think, yeah, I'm going to go for the top end of estimate.
I'd like to think as well, fingers crossed.
This is where it gets exciting.
The Chinese carved ivory calling card case,
and I'm bid 160 to start me.
160, 170, 180, 190, 200,
220, 240, 260...
-At 260, 280 now...
-Worth a bit more, I think.
80, anybody else?
At £260, are we all done and dusted?
-He's sold, he's sold.
-Reserve was 250.
Well, it's gone, and we're happy.
Yeah, not sitting in a box any more.
-It's gone to somebody that'll enjoy it, hopefully.
-Sure, a collector.
'And it's the specialist collector we need for our next item,
'or perhaps just someone with a playful nature.'
Well, our next lot is bound to put a smile on your face.
Max and Moritz, the German comic figures. Jenny, I love them.
And you can't help but smile, can you?
-And Anita spotted them.
They were absolutely wonderful, they do bring a smile to your face
and I can just imagine them, cheery little figures on the mantelpiece.
Now we're going to put it to the test in the room.
Let's find out what they think, shall we?
Fingers crossed there'll be a couple of phone lines on this.
-Ready for it?
-This is what you've been waiting for.
This is what we've all been waiting for.
Hopefully there'll be a surprise - here we go.
The small pair of bronze figures, Max and Moritz,
little turned marble plinths. I'm bid 100 to start them.
100, 110, 120, 130...
At 130. 140, 150, 160...
In the room, the commission's out,
at 160, it's in the room.
170, no? At £160, all done?
-Yep, yep, they're gone.
-You're happy, aren't you?
Well, that was fast and furious.
That concludes our first visit to the sale today.
We're coming back here later on but it's wonderful to be surrounded
by fine art and antiques and looking at the beautiful craftsmanship.
While we were in the area filming I thought I'd check out
a local artist who has left an incredible legacy
both nationally and internationally.
His name is Thomas Bewick and he lived just west of Newcastle.
This is the view that Thomas Bewick grew up with.
He was born here at Cherryburn in August 1753.
And for me, seeing this place for the first time in my life,
it's utterly captivating.
I am so in love with it.
So it's hardly surprising that Bewick's early years
were so influential.
Wood engraver and naturalist Thomas Bewick
revolutionised print art in Georgian England,
and some would say he was Northumberland's greatest artist.
His parents, as well as Cherryburn itself and all of its farm animals,
were hugely important to Bewick.
He was the eldest of eight children.
He helped out with the livestock, he often assisted the milkmaids
and by the age of 13 he even had his own flock of sheep.
And it was here by the fire that Thomas Bewick
did some of his first illustrations.
With no paper, he used bits of charcoal to draw on the hearth.
Clearly, from early on, Bewick the artist was trying to get out.
He was constantly in trouble as a young boy,
playing truant from school.
Instead of attending,
he'd go roaming around his beloved Northumberland countryside.
Because of his lack of interest in school
he was sent to be tutored by the local vicar.
Fortunately, his father recognised a passion,
an interest in drawing, so he sent the young 14 year old
on a seven-year engraving apprenticeship to Newcastle.
It was the end of his childhood.
And leaving Cherryburn was incredibly hard for Bewick,
who wrote in his memoirs,
"I can only say my heart was like to break,
"and as we passed away, I inwardly bade farewell to the whinny wilds,
"the Mickley Bank and to the Stob-Cross Hill,
"to the water banks, the woods and to particular trees."
During his apprenticeship,
Bewick showed great aptitude towards wood engraving.
But on the weekends he would think nothing of walking the 11 miles
home back here to Cherryburn.
Thomas' beloved home is now looked after by the National Trust.
I've arranged to meet up with Shona Branigan
who teaches wood block printing to members of the public here,
and she's also going to talk me through Thomas Bewick's
way of working.
Right, well, what he did was he actually worked on boxwood
which is this kind of wood.
-Yeah, a dense grain, isn't it?
-Very hard work.
It takes a few hundred years to actually grow to this width.
That's also why I suppose most of his images were really, really small because...
A tiny piece of wood. It doesn't get much bigger.
-It doesn't get a lot bigger at all.
-Now, the tools used
look like metal engraver's tools used to engrave sheets of copper.
Yes, they're exactly the same that are used.
He made his own tools when he was an apprentice,
and yes, they are exactly the same.
-They all have slightly different shaved edges...
..which will give you different marks,
-either thin marks or slightly...
-Do little jobs, yes.
It's an incredibly absorbing thing to actually spend your time doing
cos your whole world kind of comes down to this little piece here.
Yeah. And I've noticed with these blocks, look,
that you're working from the sort of dark-to-light technique,
-is that right?
-That's exactly it, yeah.
So you cover the block dark and then you start to gauge away...
-..producing the white line?
That's right. You actually...
Yeah, this is one of Bewick's original wood engravings.
Everything that's removed from here will print white
because the ink sits on the surface of the block.
-And he's done different things to sort of show distance.
You can get different relief by sanding the block down
in totally one place, can you?
In different parts, he's lowered the surface from the rest of it...
-I can see that. Yes.
-..which means that it'll hold less ink
in the printing press. And then when the print...
If you see this particular print from this block,
that section there is lowered and it's got a grey tone to it.
-It has, hasn't it? Which is a little bit lighter.
-Yeah, that's right.
Shona, I take it there was no printing equipment here at the house
-during Bewick's lifetime.
When the house was taken over as a museum in the late 1980s
-all of the printing equipment was donated...
..by a printer, which is great though because it means that
having the printing facility here we can actually print Bewick blocks
and have prints to sell to the public.
He would love the fact that his work's still being printed
and sold to people.
And also to print other people's wood engravings as well
and keep the craft alive.
Bewick's visits back to Cherryburn
became less frequent when his father died.
Poignantly, it was at this point that he began his own work,
Quadrupeds, a book that deals with 260 mammals from around the world.
It reached a wide audience and it gave him
some celebrity within his own lifetime.
The Quadrupeds book was Bewick's first personal work
and he pursued with a real passion.
This was the Age Of The Enlightenment, or
The March Of Intellect, as Bewick called it.
And he was very much part of intellectual and philosophical
discussions of the day.
There was a growing interest in the natural world,
fuelled by the voyages of the great explorers of the time.
Bewick worked closely with these men, who would bring back animals
for him to draw, such as monkeys and a platypus,
often preserved in the ship's rum.
Bewick relied on taxidermy to make many of his illustrations.
And what's also remarkable about Bewick's work is,
he made information about the natural world available
to the wider population.
Up until Bewick's time, having access to the beautifully printed
illustrations was very much the preserve of the upper classes.
So, when all 1,600 copies of the first edition
sold out within a month,
Bewick was instrumental in getting them on library shelves
and starting a wider circulation.
This would have pleased Bewick greatly,
not just because his book was an outright success,
but because he was a very affable chap with no airs and graces.
His background had put him in contact with people
from all walks of life and he was so happy to share his illustrations.
And every engraver that has come along since has stopped
and looked at his work in awe.
We're now back at the Discovery Museum in the centre
of Newcastle, the location for our valuation day.
People are still arriving as I'm speaking,
which is good news for us - more antiques to value.
Let's catch up with our experts
and see what else we can find to take off to auction.
It's over to Adam Partridge.
Well, John, my eyes lit up
when I saw you with the Muhammad Ali boxing memorabilia.
Tell me, how did you come to own this?
Well, I went, like it says on the programme, in 1978 to watch him.
-You were there?
-At the Las Vegas Hilton.
-Must have been a pretty exciting trip.
So you've got the biography, signed by the great Muhammad Ali.
Where were you when he signed it?
-That was in the lounge of the hotel at the Hilton.
-The hotel lounge.
-And what was he like, did he sign it with pleasure?
Let's not forget, this is the century's greatest sportsman,
some people say, and possibly the most famous boxer
there will ever be.
-Muhammad Ali, I think he won the Olympic gold medal in 1960.
And then he was a very young heavyweight champion
-at the age of 22. This is 14 years later, isn't it?
So, sadly, he's on the wane by now, and he lost this fight,
didn't he, to Leon Spinks?
-Yes, lost on points.
-And are these photos you took yourself?
-I took them...
-Was this in the build-up to the fight?
-Yes, used to...
-Was this the weigh-in?
-No, training, you could pay to go and see them train.
-They were all training in the Hilton.
-Was that impressive?
Ali, that's how he lost really, cos he didn't train that well.
Do you think he was cocky enough to think he'd just walk through him
and didn't train properly enough?
Well, his training sessions were good,
but he wasn't as good as Leon Spinks.
Spinks trained solid and everybody knew...
It just shows I suppose, that even if you're "The Greatest",
-you still have to put the work in.
Now then, why have you suddenly decided to sell them, John?
I've just had them in the drawer.
We've got grandchildren and I'm frightened somebody
takes them out and starts...
It'd be a shame if someone took a crayon...
-"Aw there's a book, I'll write on it."
-It would ruin it, wouldn't it?
I'm really glad you've brought them,
there's an interest in sporting memorabilia,
you've got a great name, the downside is the value's
not that high because he signed a lot of stuff.
He was a nice guy and he'd sign and sign and sign,
so the signature's not that rare.
But as a collection of items there, I think
you're probably worth £30-35. Sound all right?
That's all right for me, I've not a clue, I'll take your word for it.
Is there any price at which you'd rather have them back?
-No, just let them go.
-Let them go.
There are lots of collectors of sporting memorabilia out there
and hopefully this is going to appeal,
because they don't come much bigger.
-So I'm looking forward to seeing how it sells.
-Hopefully we'll get a knockout price.
-Thank you very much.
Time there for Adam. It's over to Anita now for round two.
Ann, welcome to Flog It! It's lovely to have you along
and it's lovely to see these terrific bits of Mason's.
Tell me, how did you come by them, is this the kind of thing you like?
Tell me about your association with Mason's.
Well, 30 years ago I moved into a Victorian terrace, a three-storey
big one, and of course it needed
quite a lot of filling out, as it were,
and I started picking up bits and pieces here and there,
-and now I've got over 60 pieces.
And the other things are just spread through the house?
-But why are you wanting to sell them, Ann?
Well, sadly, I'm moving. My house is up for sale at the moment.
And I'm moving into a 1930s bungalow.
And I will have to buy things that match my new house.
I will take some of these things with me, but not these pieces.
Tell me, why Mason's in particular?
I just think they're robust and strong and decorative.
Let's have a look, we've got a pair of matching vases here,
they're transfer printed, and let's have a wee look underneath.
We have the backstamp for Mason's there,
but we can see an engraved or an incised stamp for Ashworth's.
Now, Ashworth's bought over Mason's in the late 1800s,
they bought over all the patterns and moulds and so on.
But, I mean, these things are from the 1870s/1880s,
so they are a good age.
We have some damage on this, but it's a very pretty early piece,
and this, the finial on this teapot here
has been repaired, it has been stapled.
-I think it's interesting the way they staple things, don't they?
I love that as well.
So, estimate on them, I would say...
-£50/£60, £50 to £70...
-Oh, that would be fine. Yeah.
..and perhaps give the auctioneer some discretion on a reserve of £50.
I'm not really worried about a reserve, really,
I just want them... to be loved somewhere, really.
-You want them to be loved.
-Sad, isn't it?
-No, it's not sad at all.
I mean, they are just pots, aren't they?
-I think it's absolutely lovely, it will certainly draw the bids in.
-It's been lovely to meet you and good luck with your new house.
-Thank you very much.
And we're on the move too now as Adam marches in
for our final valuation.
-Jim and Jean.
Very nice to see your collection of regimental swagger sticks.
I feel I should be standing straight when I talk to you with these.
And you're a former Lancashire Fusilier yourself, aren't you, Jim?
Yep, I was a physical training instructor.
OK, is that what gave rise to the collection?
Well, I saw one online and with it being Lancashire Fusiliers,
I bid for it and won it, and my interest grew from that.
People watching this, some people aren't going to know what a swagger stick is,
so perhaps you could explain that.
I'm standing with it like that, probably not correctly,
what were they used for?
Well, when you were on parade, say, 18th/19th century,
and you wore long hair, improperly dressed...or button undone,
the NCO might just come along and give you a whack on the back.
-Give you a little crack on the back with it?
-And then later it became just a sort of ceremonial thing?
-A mark of more...
-A mark of your rank and that.
-A mark of your rank and station.
This one's particularly interesting and is why we've singled it out.
-Of course, it's a Lancashire Fusiliers' one, isn't it?
But it's engraved here to... GE Tallents.
-Now, you've done a bit of research about this, haven't you?
-Yeah. He was a young lieutenant in 1915 at Gallipoli...
..where he won the DSO... attack on Hill 114,
then later on, 1920, became a major,
he took over the barracks in Bury
and in 1923 he was a lieutenant colonel,
he took over the 2nd Battalion, The Lancashire Fusiliers in India.
-So he had a pretty distinguished military career, didn't he?
So, how did you find this one? Was that online as well?
-Yes, that was online, I was quite lucky with that one.
Go on, you're smiling, it was cheap?
-Yeah, very cheap.
Well, it just... I put my bid in and I got it for £19.
£19, that's not bad at all.
Jean, what do you think of the collection?
I think it's brilliant, I've really had to force him to bring them today.
-Yes, I really have.
-What, you've forced him, but yet you are an enthusiast, so what...?
-He's downsizing and we need to get rid of quite a bit of stuff.
-It'll hurt him doing this, but it needs to go.
What sort of thing do you think they are going to fetch?
-I've got an idea of 300 or 400 quid.
-Yeah, probably, yeah.
-Well, there's 12 of them, aren't there?
-And simple maths... They're worth more than 20 quid each, that's 240, isn't it?
-30 quid each is 360, so they must be worth that.
And some of them are going to be worth a bit more,
but on average, 30 quid a lot.
-So if we put 300 to 400?
Jean's nodding anyway!
-Is that all right?
-Put a reserve of 300?
If they don't make it, nothing lost, there's no charge,
-but you'll be able to take them back home...
-Back home, yeah.
I can understand the pain that you might feel when they move on,
but if it's any consolation - if and when they sell -
-they're going to go to a collector just as passionate as you.
Thanks very much for coming, I've really enjoyed talking to you.
-this little clog is instantly recognisable.
-Yes, it is.
-You know what it is.
-I do, yes, Clarice Cliff.
Some people love Clarice Cliff, some people hate them.
I love Clarice Cliff.
I loved her because she was a rebel,
she was a genius and she was clever enough to marry the boss.
-Tell me, where did you get this?
I got it from a friend of mine who's sadly gone now.
And I was just at the house one day, admired it,
saw it was just lying on a windowsill, and I said,
"We need to put this in a cabinet to keep it safe."
And she just went, "No, you can have it."
An argument sort of went on, and I always lose arguments with her,
so I brought it home and put it in the cabinet.
So you're obviously, like me, an admirer of Clarice Cliff.
Yes, I do like some of her stuff. I like the colours
and I like that era, you know.
-Let's look at it a wee bit more carefully.
It's in the shape of a little clog,
so it would have been a novelty item. But quite interesting.
If we look at the underneath, we see that it's in the Bizarre range,
Fantasque, and we see the signature of Clarice Cliff here.
This would have been made in the 1930s.
-And the pattern is called the Melon pattern.
So we can identify that exactly to the time.
What I like about this particular pattern
and this particular colour weave,
is I love the combination of blue and yellow and orange there.
I think they shout at you, they shout Clarice Cliff.
I was a bit concerned that there wasn't colour all over.
I thought it would have been coloured in.
And I just thought maybe it was missed on the production line
-or something, no?
-Well, the production line of Clarice Cliff's
studio or workshop,
-there wouldn't have been machines there.
What you had were a group of good-looking women called
the Clarice Girls, who were trained by Clarice Cliff,
who executed her designs.
-So she wouldn't have been letting anybody miss bits out.
-If that bit's missed out, it's meant to be missed out.
So, we know that Clarice Cliff is sought-after,
and this is an unusual little object.
-What do you think on value?
-I don't know.
I know they came in different sizes. I don't know, £100?
-I think you're very good.
I think you're just right on the spot there. And if we estimate it...
-Let's make it low and wide.
£100 to £200,
-and that's giving plenty of expansion.
Plenty of expansion. But I think we will put a reserve on it.
-Yes, I'd like a reserve on it.
-I think we should put £100 reserve.
Are you happy with that?
-Yeah, that sounds OK.
-Let's go ahead.
-So, thank you very much for bringing that along.
-Thanks very much.
Well, sadly it's time to say goodbye to our host venue today, the Discovery Museum.
We've had a brilliant time here but our experts have now found
their final items to take off to auction.
So as we say goodbye to the Discovery Museum,
it's hello once again to the Boldon Auction Galleries,
and here's a quick recap of all the items we're taking with us.
Will John's signed Muhammad Ali autobiography
pull in the bidding heavyweights?
Ann says they've got to go, but will the bidders think so too,
when it comes to these Victorian ceramics?
And they're a niche market,
so will the military collectors be standing to attention
for Jim's swagger sticks?
Clarice Cliff lovers will be delighted by this novelty clog.
In Boldon, the sale is in full swing
and auctioneer Giles Hodges is about to test our next lot.
Coming up now, bizarrely enough, is a clog,
-and it's a left shoe, isn't it?
-Yes, it is.
It is the left shoe, am I right? It's not the right foot?
Did they make pairs or were they all left feet? Karen, what do you think?
-Probably didn't make pairs, I would think.
-No, I reckon they're all left feet.
-Why are you selling this? Do you like it?
-I do like it.
But I just brought it along and thought, "Well, give it a go."
"What's it worth?" And hopefully, £200.
Have you sold many of these clogs?
Yes, lots and lots of them.
They are not rare, but they're novelty
and they bring a smile to folk's faces, and that's why we like them.
Question is, will they pay top money for it?
We're going to find out right now.
We've got the little Clarice Cliff Melon pattern clog.
-I have one, two, three, four bids.
-Listen. Four bids.
I'm straight in at 140.
-Well, it's sold, Karen, hasn't it?
150. 160. 170.
The bid's upstairs in the room at 170. The commissions are out.
At £170, ladies and gents. Are we all done? At 170...
Yes! The hammer's gone down.
That is a classic collectible, isn't it?
It really is, yeah.
Will you reinvest that money in antiques or...?
No, I think I'll just treat myself.
We're going away for a couple of holidays,
so we'll probably use it for that.
-There you go.
-Clarice Cliff never lets us down.
Let's hope the same can be said of our next item.
Well, I've just been joined by James, Jean and Adam, our expert,
and we all have a swagger in our step, because so far we've sold all our lots.
We have the swagger sticks coming up now, there's a collection of 12.
You never know, if there's a collector out there that really,
really wants these, James, like you -
you've made this a big part of your life - they will buy heavily into them.
-I hope so.
-Yeah. You're going to be sad, aren't you, when these go?
On three or four of them.
On three and four, we'll talk about that in a minute
because it's going under the hammer right now.
of 12 fusilier swagger sticks...
I'm bid 200 to start them.
At 200 for the swagger sticks.
At £200, 20 now.
220, 240, 260, 280, 300.
It's in the room at £300.
At £300, are we all done?
At £300, and we shall be away at £300.
There we go, they've gone, well done. Well done, both of you.
Which ones will you miss out of that collection?
-The Lancashire Fusiliers and the Northumberland Fusiliers.
-Have you got any other memorabilia at home?
-Yeah. So you haven't sold everything?
-Jean's enjoyed the experience, haven't you, Jean?
-The Flog It! experience!
'Perhaps not so enjoyable for Jim, who is being very dignified
'about his downsizing, and our next seller is in the same boat.'
Well, I've just been joined by Ann, who is in the process of downsizing.
You're moving from a Victorian terrace to a bungalow, smaller?
-A '30s bungalow.
-A '30s bungalow?
So are you going to go for a little bit of Art Deco look, then, or...?
-Yes, but not Clarice Cliff.
-Not Clarice... No! No, I don't like...
Don't get me going, whatever you do!
I love Clarice Cliff, stop knocking it!
But anyway, we got a lot of lot here - we've got some vases,
you got a teapot and stand... There's a lot
-and there's no reserve, so it's here to go.
Fingers crossed we will get that £50 to £60 and not the £10.
Right, let's put the value to the test.
Giles is on the rostrum,
let's hand the proceedings over to today's auctioneer.
There we are, I'm bid... I've got two commission bids
and 50 starts me, straight in at £50.
Five, anybody, now?
At £50 for the lot. Five, anybody?
At £50, it's all quiet.
At £50, the internet's quiet too.
At £50, ladies and gents, for the first and the last time, at £50...
-Just on the bottom reserve, though.
-You said no reserve on this, didn't you?
-I said no reserve, you know...
-Could have gone for a tenner!
-I think we're all happy with that, don't you?
'The auction house can be the perfect location
'to trade the old for the new.
'Let's hope Ann finds what she's looking for
'to decorate her new home.
'It's the countdown for our last lot.
'Let's hope we get a good price.'
Right, we're just about to deliver that knockout blow with this
next lot belonging to John, and a little bit of Muhammad Ali,
-who you saw fight.
-In Las Vegas.
I was rather hoping it would sort of be more punchier than that,
but it is a knockout, isn't it? Let's face it, this is a good thing.
Yeah, yeah, and if it doesn't sell well, we'll take it on the chin.
-There you go, you thought about that one.
It's a good 'un, aye!
Let's see if we can deliver that knockout blow right now,
it's going under the hammer, good luck.
I have, again, one, two, three, four bids. I start at 75.
80, five. 90, five.
100, 110. 120, 130, 140, 150, 160.
It's on my left at 160. 170.
This is, this is two people, as you say, getting carried away,
punching it out with each other. Who's got the deepest pockets?
At £180, are we all done at 180?
-That's very nice.
-That's a big smile on your face, isn't it?
Well done, Adam, for spotting that in a queue as well.
-Well, I'm surprised.
-It's just cos the wife says, "Oh, you'll be lucky to get 50 for it!"
-I thought we had it bang on there, but...
It just goes to show, if you've got anything like this at home,
bring it in to one of our valuation days and you could be
standing in an auction room like this, going home with 180 quid.
It also proves that when you're collecting autographs,
the big names always hold their value.
'And that one was definitely a winner.
'Luckily for John, the bidders went the distance
'and it's time for us to ring that final bell.'
Well, there you are, that's it, the hammer has gone down on our last lot,
it's another day in the office for Flog It!,
and what a day it was, I thoroughly enjoyed it, I hope you did too.
If you've got any antiques and collectables you want to sell,
we would love to see them.
Bring them along to one of our valuation days.
Details of up-and-coming dates and venues you can find on our BBC website
or check the details in your local press. We'd love to see you.
But for now, from the North East, it's goodbye from all of us.
The Flog It! team is in Newcastle upon Tyne at the Discovery Museum, the region's science and social history museum, with incredible collections relating to Tyneside's nautical history.
Antique experts Anita Manning and Adam Partridge join presenter Paul Martin as the team set out to go through hundreds of antiques and collectables brought along by members of the public to the valuation day in Tyneside. The lucky ones make it to the auction room where anything can happen.
While on Tyneside, Paul finds out about the river's last shipbuilders whose whole lives revolved around an industry that came to an abrupt end in this area at the end of the twentieth century. Paul also travels to the birth place of Thomas Bewick, the famous Northumbrian engraver whose work made images of previously unknown animals available to the wider public.