This episode comes from Ickworth House, an Italianate palace in the Suffolk countryside. Paul Martin is joined by experts Adam Partridge and Will Axon.
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Meet Oakham. He's a rare Suffolk Punch horse.
They're known as Suffolks for short.
And if you haven't guessed where the show is coming from today,
the clue is in the name.
And I don't mean Oakham. Welcome to "Flog It!"
Today's valuations come from Ickworth House,
which I'm sure you've guessed is in Suffolk.
Ickworth is an Italianate palace built for the extravagant
Hervey family - the Marquesses of Bristol.
Created in 1795,
the Hervey family were surrounded by a community of staff
and villagers, who made the estate a self-sustaining
way of life for nearly 200 years.
Now a Grade I listed building, the National Trust look after
the house and the estate for all of us to enjoy today.
And they've certainly got their work cut out today.
We've got a wonderful crowd that have turned up,
laden with antiques and collectibles,
all hoping they're one of the lucky ones to go through to the auction
later on in the programme.
But before that can happen,
our two experts have to get busy with those stickers.
I'll give you a yellow sticker.
Can we have a look in your bag, see what we've brought along?
-What colour are you, yellow?
-Yellow today, look.
I can see more than four or five yellow stickers from here.
I've been up early.
We've got the ever-eager Will Axon...
Right, the late arrivals at the back of the queue.
What was it, lie-in today, was it, this morning?
What have we got? Come and show me your treasure.
And the equally industrious Adam Partridge.
Anyone fancy a pinch of snuff?
-Go on, then.
Today "Flog It!" have the run of Ickworth,
with valuations taking place within the West Wing,
inside the splendour of the rotunda and amongst the Italianate gardens.
So, what are we waiting for? Let's get everybody in.
On today's show we've got two unloved items.
He saw it and took a bit of a gamble on it,
and paid far too much, I think.
You've brought along this lovely glass vase.
Whatever you say. SHE LAUGHS
-You don't like it?
-I don't like it.
50, I'll take five.
But which one will raise the roof over in Yorkshire?
He's just wanting to steal the show, isn't he?
You'll just have to wait and see.
Fingers crossed, everybody. I hope you have a great day.
As you can see, everybody's safely seated inside the West Wing
which, at one stage, was used by the Hervey family to play squash in.
The Fourth Marquess installed the court.
Right now it's time to catch up with our experts
and get on with the valuing.
And talking of the Marquess of Bristol, we are
heading over first to the elegant surroundings of the rotunda,
where the Hervey family are watching over Will Axon in the dining room.
Colin, I've been reliably informed that the Fourth Marquess,
who is hanging on the wall down behind us there,
had a Wolseley Super Six in his garage.
But I think what he should have had is the old Mercedes Kompressor.
I mean, it's quite a bit of kit, isn't it?
-Tell me, are you a toy collector?
-Yes, I do like my toys.
I go to the car boots and have a look about. Get what I can.
-So you're a car booter?
-Ever gone to auctions to buy?
-No, I haven't been to auctions yet.
My initial thought was that it was a Schuco clockwork car.
But it's not.
-I suppose it's pronounced Gescha.
The firm was established in Germany, in Nuremberg, circa 1923.
That sort of period. As we always say with toys,
the box is as important, almost, as the toy that's in it.
So, you've got the original box, which is nice.
Let's call it a little bit scuffed.
It's certainly not in mint condition, is it?
Let's open it up and see what's inside.
-Look at that, the car inside is in lovely condition.
And I see here as well in the box we've got the original key,
that's always nice to have as well.
This is a bit of fun as well. The old sort of starting grid.
-Yeah, a pit board starting grid.
-Yeah, pit board starting grid.
With a few names there, probably F1 drivers of the time.
-At the time, yeah.
-Campbell - that's Malcolm, I think.
-Is it Donald's father?
Fagioli, we all know an Italian racing car driver, don't we?
I imagine he would have been in the Ferrari, not the Mercedes.
-Yeah, I should imagine so.
-We know you got it from a car boot.
I'm going to be cheeky and find out how much you paid for it.
-Tell me, go on.
-The grand sum of £5.
-Oh, dear, a bluey.
-You had to pull a bluey out, did you?
-Yeah, a bluey out, yeah.
I did try and knock them down but they weren't going to have it.
I would say, on your fiver, let's stick a nought on the end.
-How do you think a sort of £50-£80 as an estimate?
-Yeah, you happy with that?
-Yeah, 50 to 80.
-Let's reserve it at that £50, yeah?
-I tell you what, does it work?
-Yeah, it works fine. It's fine.
Let's have a look. Hang on, let me get this key.
If I give it a wind up...
I won't wind it up too much because what I don't want it to do
is go flying through that door, into the library
-and knock over the priceless vase.
-Nor do I.
It's still yours, you are liable for this. I'm doing it under duress.
Let's pop her on the carpet and off you go, Mercedes.
Phew! No damage caused.
It's a bit more dent-proof over in the West Wing,
where Adam has found some reassuringly robust silverware.
-Well, Jackie, what a lovely set of bonbon dishes here.
-Now, tell me, where did you get them from?
-They were my grandmother's.
But they've been in the family for a long time.
-They have, haven't they? I think they are delightful.
-And they're nice quality, as well.
-They are unusual.
They're very nicely worked. I'll just pick one up.
Some of these are paper-thin.
These ones, I'm putting force on them there
and they're not bending an inch. So they are quality.
They are nicely worked, pierced and embossed.
They're by a decent firm of makers.
There's a D&F on the bottom, which stands for Deacon and Francis.
Which was a Birmingham manufacturer. The date letter there is for 1891.
-They are lovely. And you've got a set of six.
-In the original case. Do you use them at all?
The occasion doesn't really arise to put them out now.
I think you've put your finger on it there
because people don't really use them.
And you're not going to think, oh, I must get those out the side board,
those six silver dishes, and fill them up with things.
Which is a great shame. It would be nice to get them out.
You need other things to go with them.
-You know, beautiful glasses, beautiful china.
-You're quite right.
But clearly, they have
-some sentimental value as well, don't they?
-Down to the price, then.
We've had our off-screen valuers look at them.
-They've told me £150-£200.
-Not enough, is it?
-I think they'll make about £300.
-How does that fit with your expectations?
-Yes, that's better.
-Much better, yeah.
I'd like to put an estimate of £200-£300 to encourage interest.
-What do you think about that?
-Yep, that would be fine.
What's the very minimum you think you'd take for them?
-Yeah, I think that's sensible.
In which case, we'll have to put the bottom estimate at 250
because you cannot mislead people. £250-£300.
-And they go on the internet?
-Oh, yeah. Photographs on the internet.
-I shall make sure of it.
What would you do with the money if it made £300?
Well... My son is getting married next year.
-A trip up there, I guess.
-OK. A wedding next year.
-And you're happy about that, I presume?
-I am, yes.
-Good choice, has he made a good choice?
-Oh, yes, she's lovely.
I'll be very happy to call her daughter-in-law.
Oh, good! What a lovely story. And thanks very much for coming.
-You're very welcome.
Now, behind the cameras on a evaluation day,
there's a whole team of "Flog It!" crew making it all happen.
But what happened behind-the-scenes in a stately home?
The history of Ickworth isn't just restricted
to the grand rooms upstairs.
We all know life was just as busy below stairs.
Where I am now would have been the busiest part of the house.
It connects the main kitchen to all the little service stations
that you can see here.
Stations were preparing food, game cupboards, dough bins,
dairy areas, cold storage, you name it, it's all here.
You can just imagine, can't you, scullery maids, chambermaids,
footmen - all under the watchful eye of the housekeeper and the butler.
So, in an orderly fashion,
let's make our way to the sunshine of the pleasure grounds.
we're standing in this wonderful garden before this 18th-century
Italian-inspired rotunda, which is quite something, isn't it?
And you've brought along something that's been
inspired by a culture on the other side of the world.
Why don't we open it up
and show everyone at home what you've brought in today.
A rather special, I think, travelling easel clock.
Where does it come from?
We only found it when my parents passed away
-and we had to sort the place out.
We found it in the wardrobe or drawer, I can't remember.
So it's never been out on display, you don't remember it?
-Don't remember it at all.
-Do you have any idea where your parents got it from?
The only thing I could think of is that
-it's possibly from their parents.
Because it's actually got a rather good pedigree, shall we say.
We've got a mark here on the inside of the cover -
Callow of Mount Street in Mayfair. Really top-class retailers.
I mean, you're talking, you know, this is where
the moneyed folk went to buy their goods.
And then, the clock itself, it's certainly striking, isn't it?
I mean, this is what we call chinoiserie decoration,
inspired by the sort of Western interpretation of Chinese designs,
very popular around the time of this clock, circa 1920, should we say.
You've got this shagreen background. Shagreen is ray skin.
It's an expensive material - it's a sign of quality.
Then you've got this rather fine lacquering.
You can see it's almost proud of the surface, it's 3D.
That's just a building up of layers of lacquer
that takes some time and certainly skill.
Then you've got this faux bamboo border.
Which, again, is just a little touch that lifts it above the rest.
Georgie, your parents obviously didn't think much of it,
-cos they had it tucked away.
Tell me, do you like it?
-I'm not sure, really.
-You haven't made your mind up?
-Maybe when I tell you what it's worth.
I'm going to try and see
if I can get it into sale with an estimate straddling that £200 mark.
-Could we say £150-£250 as an estimate?
-You're happy with that?
Let's have a bit of confidence on my valuation
-and fix the reserve at 150, what do you think?
-Yep, that's fine.
Georgie, it's really nice for you to bring this along to us today.
All that's left now is for Elizabeth to do her job on the rostrum
-and hopefully get it away at the auction.
-Georgie, thanks very much.
-Thank you. Thank you.
I was very pleased to see our next item walk through the doors.
Tracey, thank you so much for bringing a piece of furniture in.
-We brought it in for you.
-That was the whole idea.
We just don't see enough! Please bring furniture in
because this is the only piece we have here today.
I'm absolutely in love with it as well.
I think this is a little treat and if I just go like that,
you can see it flattens out into a good working surface.
But if you do this...
and put that up...
you've got a lectern or a little easel.
It's portable, you can fold it up.
It's almost like a little bit of campaign furniture.
Right, I like this, I'm off!
How long have you had this?
I've only had it about six months. Because we live in a modern place,
I'm not allowed to have furniture like this in the house.
So I buy stuff, photograph and measure it and everything
-and then I sell it on to buy another piece.
-1930s, I would say.
It's made by Hatherley in Gloucestershire.
Now this design was patented by Charles Allen Jones
in the 1880s, this whole geometric bracing.
And you can see it in Hatherley stepladders.
Do you know the good old Victorian stepladders?
Well, I've had a couple of those myself, just to look at and monitor kind of thing.
My dad has one as well!
Sadly, we don't have it any more but it had exactly the same thing, made of English oak.
I think it's faultless as well, it's had a lot of use, it's nice
and dry, but look at the top.
Somebody has put something here that's stained the oak. I like that.
That's part of this table's use and social history.
It's got character and personality and I'm sure,
with a bit of polish, this will look absolutely beautiful.
Well, I think that's superb and just look at the lines on that.
-Yes, it's classic, I think.
-That's 20th-century modern at its best.
-How much did you pay for this?
-Is that all?
I think you could easily double your money at auction.
-That would be great.
-Would you like to sell this?
Yes, I need to sell it and buy the next piece.
OK, well, let's put this into auction with a valuation
of maybe £40 to £60 with a reserve on at £40.
-That would be great.
-I'm sure you'll get that and hopefully you'll get the top end because somebody
that loves design will absolutely love playing with this.
It's time for me to take the opportunity
for a look around the area.
In 1908, a Scottish barrister called Glencairn Stuart Ogilvie
inherited the village of Thorpeness on the Suffolk coast.
Originally a small fishing hamlet,
Ogilvie decided to carry out an extraordinary experiment -
to transform Thorpeness into a fantasy holiday destination.
His vision was to create a place of dreams with whimsical architecture,
fairy-tale features and unique elements I'll be exploring later.
Here, people could enjoy a traditional English holiday
in surroundings that would stimulate the adults
and fire the imagination of the children.
Ogilvie had holiday homes built in the Jacobean
and Tudor revival styles,
and they're all furnished with everything a holiday-maker
would require for the perfect wholesome break.
Tennis courts, a golf club,
a church and even a pub were all centred around the boating lake.
Today, the Ogilvies still have a strong presence in the village
and Glencairn's great-grandson, the current Glen Ogilvie,
is a font of knowledge about this enchanting place.
His idea was to have a village where there was something for everybody,
and he's famously quoted as having said, "If children are happy, parents
"have a holiday," and I think that's as true today as it was back in 1910.
It certainly was with our children
and indeed with our grandchildren now.
At the heart of the village,
the Meare is an enormous boating lake covering over 60 acres.
But this is not a natural lake. It's completely man-made
and was designed by the creative Ogilvie to be full of make-believe
features inspired by Charles Dickens
and a friend of the family, JM Barrie, of Peter Pan fame.
The construction of the lake started in 1911
and was completed two years later in 1913.
It was dug out all by hand by local men, some of them local fishermen
when they couldn't get off to sea,
but it's nowhere more than three feet deep, so it's safe for children,
although we've had hundreds of wet muddy children,
including me, my children, my grandchildren...
In August 1912, the very first regatta took place on the Meare
and continues to this day as an annual tradition, in the same
way that many of the families who come here for their holidays
have been doing so for generations.
But there's one particular tourist attraction in the village
that I've come to take a closer look at today, and you can't miss it.
You can spot it a mile off.
Seemingly floating over the rest of Thorpeness,
one can see what appears to be a cottage lodged in the trees.
But all is not quite as it seems.
Back in 1923, Ogilvie built a steel water tower to provide
a basic water supply to the Thorpeness village.
The result was, well, a great big blot on the landscape, something
horrible on the horizon that you could literally see for miles away.
He didn't know what to do with it but there was a solution.
A friend of his, Mrs Mason, actually said, "If you turn
it into a house, I will live in it." and that's exactly what happened.
There is the end result.
With the help from an architect,
Ogilvie carried out an ingenious disguise.
The tank was clad in wood
and even fitted with windows to make it look like a small house.
And the supporting steel structure was boarded in to provide
unique living accommodation below the tank.
It really is The House In The Clouds.
Hi, are you Sylvia?
-Yes, I am.
-Oh, pleased to meet you.
-Hello Paul, do come in.
The Ogilvie family sold the property to Sylvia Le Comber
and today it's a private residence.
And as a special treat, I've been invited in to have a look around.
-It's nice and warm.
-It is nice and warm. And the kitchen's...
So, this is the first room we come to, really, which makes sense,
doesn't it, the kitchen and the dining room, because,
let's face it, you wouldn't want the kitchen on the top floor,
-carrying all your shopping upstairs, would you?
-So, Mrs Mason was the first person to live here.
Yeah, how long ago was that?
She moved in in 1923 and I think it was '39,
might have been '40 when she moved out. The war caused it.
-Yeah, and when did you move in?
-And you've had lots of happy years here?
-We certainly have.
Can I have a guided tour, can we start climbing some stairs?
-Please, go ahead.
-OK, I'll follow you.
The House In The Clouds's first incumbent, Mrs Mason,
was an interesting character.
A published children's author,
Mrs Mason lived here with her four children.
Come in, Paul, to the drawing-room, here.
-This is a nice room.
-It's very arty and bohemian.
First impressions, anyway.
This is some of Mrs Mason's work.
There is The House In The Clouds poem, number one.
"The fairies really own the House, Or so the Children say".
Do you think this is a real, sort of, family house,
where lots of children can have fun?
Oh, yes, oh, it is like magic to children,
it's quite amazing how it has that effect.
Well, this was obviously built for Mrs Mason, you know,
designed for her to live in, that's why it has that fairytale quality.
Mr Ogilvie, when he built it, he built it for her
and he called her his lady of stairs and starlight.
Now, isn't that lovely?
Yeah. And there's plenty of stairs here, I would imagine.
Was it always called The House In The Clouds?
Oh, no, it was the intention to be called The Gazebo,
but she said that was a hideous name, she said,
-"This is my House In The Clouds".
-It's a much better title, isn't it?
-Let's face it.
-Fits it perfectly.
-Well, this is the first floor explored, can we go higher?
Right, you've got your walking boots on.
There are five bedrooms in the house, all leading off the main staircase
but it's what's above them that I'm interested in.
Here we are. I always run up these stairs.
Oh, I love this.
Absolutely love this.
So, are we now standing inside what would have been the water tank?
-We are. 50,000 gallons of water, when I moved in.
-That's a lot of water.
-You wouldn't want a leak, would you?
You wouldn't, but it was very, very solidly built.
It was in four-foot steel panels, bolted together,
but it didn't stop Hitler from getting at it.
It was during World War II that disaster struck.
In June 1944, Germany launched its latest weapon against Britain.
The V1 flying bomb, which delivered a tonne of high explosive
each time one hurtled to the ground.
Anti-aircraft guns were redeployed to East Anglia to intercept them.
Enemy aircraft over the Channel.
One was sighted over Thorpeness by the Royal Artillery
and the anti-aircraft gun fired. It missed the bomb
and hit the water tower.
The shell entered the house on the south-east corner
and punctured the tank.
-It went in one side and out the other side.
-It missed its target but got the tower.
Presumably, a big flood. Was somebody living below at the time?
Oh, yes. There were three Miss Humphreys living in the house.
One of the Miss Humphreys was terribly sick
and the other two Miss Humphreys had to get her down and out.
Anyway, the ladies actually did get their sister down...
-And out of the house?
-..and out of the house safely.
So how did they get the tank out,
did they have to chop it up in bits up here?
Oh, no, no, it had been very, very well maintained
and so we unbolted it, we took them down on the pulley.
-I'll tell you something, that's some height. You've got to have a head for heights.
-Yes, you have, yes.
It's making me feel a bit dizzy, looking down there.
-Especially when it moves.
-Yeah, I can feel it wobbling now.
And, of course, you can hear the wind, can't you?
-It just really does give this building a battering.
-So what's it like in a thunderstorm?
-Oh, it's magic.
-It's electrifying, I mean, quite literally.
-I'll bet it is!
Yes, you see it out to sea and sometimes it's not even raining,
it's just a whole body of light comes around you.
-It is wonderful.
Thank you so much, Sylvia, for showing me round your house.
It's been a great pleasure.
It's not just a House In The Clouds, I think it's a house of dreams,
-A house of dreams and fun, yes.
Up until 1914, the Fourth Marquess employed over 50 staff
here at Ickworth House.
Before we head off to auction,
I want to show you one of the two back staircases
that the servants would have used to move around the house unseen.
Hip baths were still used in the bedrooms right up until 1910.
The servants had to carry hot and cold water
up and down these stairs to service them.
Nowadays the stairs are still in use by the National Trust staff
and, of course, me. But right now, we're heading off to auction.
Here's a quick re-cap of what's going under the hammer.
I'm sure this 1950s clockwork racing car will get off to a flying start
in the auction room.
Adam disagreed with the off-screen valuation
and put a higher estimate on these bonbon dishes.
Let's see if he's right.
Georgie's travelling clock truly is a work of art.
Will it bring in the chinoiserie collectors?
With this metamorphic table, there's a chance for someone to own
a piece of great 20th-century design.
We've jumped over the county boundary into Norfolk,
to the historic market town of Diss, for today's auction at TW Gaze.
There's already a good crowd browsing the saleroom.
But before the bedlam of the auction, I caught up with
today's auctioneer, veteran "Flog It!" expert Elizabeth Talbot.
I've got one particularly favourite lot that I want to show you, really.
-It's the bright red Mercedes sports car.
-And it's not your one parked outside.
-Mine's a green one.
-It's this one here.
I think that is tremendous.
And I think it's a bargain at 50 quid.
I think this is a little gem, actually,
because not only is it in lovely condition, and with its box,
but I have never seen one personally with its little scorecard.
-I think for a collector that is just...
-It's a must-have.
-That's a must-have.
Colin paid a fiver for that.
I'd like to buy that for a fiver. I really would.
-I'd give him a profit right now.
-Yes, it's a super little piece.
Albeit 1950s, but I think there's a nostalgic thing about it.
I think increasingly there's a lot of coverage about 1950s racing
memorabilia at the moment. And that fits beautifully into that era.
-And it looks iconic, doesn't it? It really does.
Yeah, well, good luck with that.
Now it's time to see how Colin's little gem fares
as the auction gets under way.
Unfortunately, Colin is a bit poorly today,
but his car is in pole position.
Vroom, vroom, we're all revved up, aren't we?
-Yes, ready to go.
-It's just a shame Colin cannot be with us.
He couldn't make the sale
but we do have his little red Mercedes sports car.
-A sweet little thing.
-It's boxed, it's complete.
And if it was mine, I wouldn't be selling it.
Now, it's sweet, isn't it?
-I wouldn't mind scaling it up for the real thing. Imagine that.
This is lovely. A boxed 1950s German clockwork Mercedes Kompressor.
Start me at 50.
-50 straight in.
Gallery at 50. I'll take the five.
Surely must go further than that.
At £50. Where's five?
60. Five. 70.
£70, looking for five now.
70 in the gallery. At 70. Any advance on £70?
Anybody else can join in at 70. It's a lovely collector's item.
-He'll be pleased with that.
-Well done, Will.
-Thank you. I hope he gets better soon.
-So do I.
I hope he enjoyed his little moment watching it.
Well, it was certainly a healthy profit for a £5 outlay.
How much 21st-century interest will there be for a silver set from 1891?
-Good luck, Jackie.
-Every penny will help.
All the money's going towards some flights up to Scotland
-for your son's wedding.
Congratulations. I think it's going to be a brilliant day.
-We're selling six silver bonbon dishes.
Adam has just said we should get £50 per item.
-Yes, I think so. They're a proper matching set, in a case.
Very nice. If they don't sell today, I'll be amazed.
We have a set of six silver bonbon dishes
with pierce and scroll detail.
There's good interest here. I start at £160.
They're worth more than that.
170, 180. 190, gallery. 200.
250 now in the gallery. It's 250 above.
The gentleman has bid at 250. Are you all done?
It comes as a bit of a shock, doesn't it?
It's fast and furious in an auction room.
It's like... Blink and you'll miss it.
-OK, we're £50 short of our golden target of £300,
-but, look, they have gone.
-They have gone.
And that's the main thing.
-I think we valued them right on the money there.
Right, now it's my turn to be the expert in this jam-packed saleroom.
Going under the hammer we've got that wonderful metamorphic table
that I valued, belonging to Tracey.
Unfortunately, he's not very well, so he can't make it today.
Fingers crossed you get well soon.
I hope you enjoy watching this because Elizabeth
is on the rostrum and, fingers crossed, she's going to sell it.
We're looking for round about £40. Here we go, this is it.
And now I'm feeling nervous!
The early to mid 20th-century oak metamorphic table converting
to an easel. Very clever piece of furniture.
-This is a good piece.
-I do hope you're right.
I have interest on the sheet shown here
and I start at lower end of estimate
at £40. 40, I'll take two...
Straight in at 40!
This is lovely at 40, now I'm looking for two.
42... 45... 48...
50... Five and 60...
Oh, great! Tracey will be pleased.
I'm just taking the gentleman further behind, sir. 65 and 70...
Five and 80.
They love it!
85, new bidder. 90... Five, 100... 110... 120...
130... 140... 150.
I'm now out. It's in the room at 150, I'm looking for 60.
It's by the door at 150. Any advance?
£150 and that hammer's gone down!
That's a great sale and I hope you enjoyed that moment
watching this at home, Tracey. That's a good result.
Up next is Georgie's superb travel clock from the 1920s.
Why are you selling this?
I found it when we were sorting out Mum and Dad's place.
-It's been sitting in the drawer ever since.
-Fingers crossed, here we go.
The early 20th-century Callow of Mount Street in Mayfair
chinoiserie travel clock.
I start at £100. 110. 120. 130. 140.
Right, we're in.
At 150, a quality piece. 160. 170. 180.
190. 190 in the middle. 200 in gallery. 210.
Downstairs at 230. Where's 40? It's 230, middle bid. Any advance on 230?
-240, new bidder.
-New bidder altogether.
300. Fine, £300.
£300 in the middle bid now. £300. The lady's out.
Any advance on the £300?
Yes, hammer has gone down! £300. Top end.
-That's good. Well done, you, for bringing it.
-That was a nice surprise, wasn't it?
£300, nice round figure.
She thought she was going to take it home. I told you no, it's away.
-George, it's gone.
-I know. Ooh!
I think George can't quite believe it. A great result.
That's it, that concludes our first visit to the auction room today.
We are coming back later on in the programme.
Now, the wonderful thing about salerooms like this is,
we're surrounded by fine art and antiques.
It's all here to be sold. Which means it gets a new lease of life.
It's not consigned to the past.
And that's exactly what a group of volunteers are doing with
a very important part of Suffolk's regional history.
And it also plays a major part with Ickworth's history, as well,
as I found out. Take a look at this.
When the First Earl of Bristol inherited the Ickworth Estate
in 1701, the Italianate palace hadn't been built.
At the time, the family could only afford to enhance the park
and create the walled garden.
When eventually the family did find the funds to start building
the house - nearly 100 years later -
they chose a site much further up the hill.
Quite a distance from the walled garden,
whose produce was needed to feed the family, staff and guests.
The head gardener would telephone the cook
and the housekeeper daily to find out what produce was required
and also, what colour dinner service was going to be used.
Then he would pick the appropriate vegetables
and fruit and the right coloured flowers to match the dinner service.
And all this would be sent up to the house. How did it get there?
Well, with the help from a very hard worker.
And that hard worker was a Suffolk Punch horse called Kitty.
In the 1920s, Kitty hauled produce from the walled garden
up to the house every day.
Fred Astridge, whose uncle worked in the gardens, remembered Kitty well.
She was the most gentle creature that you could ever wish to meet.
And she became virtually a 15-year friend of mine. I loved her.
And I never failed, when I walk through the garden, to stick
a couple of windfalls in my pocket, walk round Kitty's paddock,
and Kitty knew straightaway when I was there.
She'd come and push her muzzle into my pocket.
I used to take the apples out and give them to her.
Suffolk Punch horses, or Suffolks for short, hold a unique
place in the history of the county after which they are named.
Once in widespread use, today they are extremely endangered.
Their survival status - critical.
The Suffolk Punch Trust in Woodbridge is trying to safeguard
the future of this unique animal.
And the chairman, Philip Davies, has invited me to see
some of the work they do with the horses.
What makes this breed, the Suffolk Punch,
a standout from other heavy horses?
-Why are they so different?
-This extraordinary history.
They've been bred on this farm for 250 years. That's quite exceptional.
The other thing is, in East Anglia they really fit into the countryside
because so many people had fathers or grandfathers who worked with them.
So it's really rather more than a horse in this area.
It is an icon of this countryside, really.
Yeah. That's quite unique, isn't it,
having an unbroken chain for 200 years?
-It's completely unique.
-Nothing compares to it, does it?
As well as being used for farm duties,
the breed were also used for laying roads
and pulled non-motorised commercial vans and buses,
some examples of which the Trust have rescued for posterity.
However, there is one missing today.
-Tracey, thanks for the lift.
Tell me a little bit about the work you do with the horses on the farm.
The work that we do ranges from the traditional farm work...
..right through to doing cart rides, cos we have the public in.
-How many are there on the farm?
-We have 15 at the moment. 15 Suffolks.
We are expecting, hopefully, fingers crossed,
another four to arrive with us.
It's nice making a connection with them
-when they're foals, watching them grow up, isn't it?
-Then starting to school them.
-Personally, you can't beat it.
You can really, really see them change, develop their characters.
Not one horse is the same.
Generally they have great natures. They are gentle giants, aren't they?
-Well, I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree.
You've got the odd bad one, have you?
It really does come down to the amount of input that goes in
when they're young.
They need to be used to you, they need to be used to being handled,
which is how you can work with these horses
as quietly and as calmly as we are
-without getting hurt.
-They're too big.
-Yes, they are.
Suffolks are actually one of the oldest breeds
of carthorse in the world, with the longest written pedigree.
And by the time of the First World War, the Suffolk Punch was
one of the most popular work horses in East Anglia.
All Suffolk foals were registered in stud books,
such as this one from 1880.
Creating a stud book is a practice that continues to this day.
This is quite interesting.
There are quite a few volumes here of stud books for different years.
Look at this. A nice, weighty book. Plenty of horses. That's 1940.
But look at the difference to 1960. Look.
There's nothing there, virtually. From the Second World War,
the numbers of Suffolk Punches spiralled into decline.
And it was because of this. During the 1950s and 1960s,
almost all of the Suffolk Punches were replaced by the tractor,
and in particular, its hydraulic lifting gear.
You see, with horses, when you finished ploughing the field,
you had to pull the plough back to the farmhouse.
If you went over country tracks and rough terrain, you had to
manually lift the plough, put it on the cart and pull it.
With a tractor, you just raise the lifting gear.
And off you trundle. It is hassle-free.
Or I should say, harness-free.
So it raises the question,
what does the future hold for the Suffolk Punch?
Tracey, I can see you're putting a plait in the horse's tail.
-Are you getting ready for a show?
-Yes. Yes, I am indeed.
Now that their farming days are predominantly behind most
of the Suffolk Punches, what is their main use today?
Believe it or not,
there's an awful lot of people who have now got into forestry work.
-Where they're using the horses...
-To get into areas where you can't get a tractor.
They're obviously much, much kinder on the actual ground
than what a tractor would be.
Not only that, the other thing that has actually proven to be
quite popular is that they're becoming ridden horses.
There is no reason you can't ride these horses.
You just need to take into consideration their build
and what they're able to do.
They're designed to be the weightlifters
as opposed to the athletes.
-That's the way, really, you should think about it, isn't it?
-Look, good luck with that.
-Thanks very much.
I can see that's going to take a good, what, half an hour.
Yes, well, I'll be here for a little while longer
cos I've messed it up because I kept looking at you. THEY LAUGH
-I'll let you get on with it. Thanks for a lovely morning out.
Thanks very much indeed.
The Suffolk Punch is an important part of this country's heritage.
And it's marvellous to see the love the local people have
for these gentle giants.
And I'm sure, left in their capable hands, there's going to be
a bright future for the Suffolk Punch.
Welcome back to our valuation day, here at Ickworth House.
As you can see,
hundreds of people are still waiting here for a valuation.
Let's now catch up with our experts
and see what else we can find to take off to auction.
Will Axon has headed back inside the rotunda to find
a fitting setting for his next item.
Angela, here we are in the wonderful dining room at Ickworth House.
Surrounded by these large artworks hanging on the wall.
Let's just scale it down a little bit to what you've brought in
to show us today.
You've brought in two, I think, charming 19th-century pictures.
Very different but equally charming.
Tell me what you know about each picture.
Well, they've been in the family for many, many years.
-I just remember growing up with them.
Now I find that they don't fit in with the present modern-day
accommodation I have.
-I think it's time to pass them on.
They are just the sort of slightly quirky, genuine pieces that I like.
So let's start up at the top here.
We've got this charming little 19th-century silk work picture.
Originally, when I first saw it, I thought
it was a little pen work on the silk.
-But I looked closer and it's all hand-stitched, isn't it?
We've got the old rural family group there with the dog,
making their way perhaps to market
or perhaps on the way back.
Slightly sort of romanticised early 19th-century image.
Underneath we've got this very, sort of bacchanalian scene of cherubs
and fauns getting drunk and cavorting in the garden.
I noticed in the corner there...
-Here's a rotunda!
-You've got your own little rotunda.
Wonderful that that echoes everything about the building
that really stands out and makes it special.
They're just good, genuine items
and, to be honest with you, the sort of thing that
I would perhaps put my hand up at an auction for.
-They're not worth a fortune.
-But I like them.
I think they're sweet.
I would say maybe the little needlework is worth £20 or
something like that. Right. Probably £30 for the little plaster cast.
-I would like to think that for the two
we should be looking anywhere in the region of £50-£80.
-Well, I'm revamping my patio.
-So I need every penny.
-So anything I get from the sale...
-Yes, will go towards that.
-We are agreed at £50-£80. Let's reserve them at 50.
-With a bit of discretion.
-Rather than not sell them for the sake of a bid.
And hopefully we'll be able to put a few pots
-and plants towards your patio fund.
-Yes, that would be very good.
Back in the West Wing, the crowds are still streaming
and our off-screen experts are busy valuing all manner of items.
Look at that, it wouldn't be "Flog It!"
without a Pelham puppet, would it?
-What's your name?
-How long have you had the puppet?
-Probably all my life.
Probably since I was about five or six.
-Did you give him a name?
-I don't think so, no.
-I can't remember when I was that age.
-He's great, isn't he?
-He is fantastic.
-He's in very good condition, actually.
-It is, isn't it?
-Yeah, it looks to be an early 1960s one.
It was Bob Pelham who started making puppets in 1947.
All the early puppets were made from recycled materials
often found in scrapyards.
From their factory in Marlborough, in Wiltshire, they produced
more than 9 million puppets over a period of nearly 40 years.
And today, Pelham puppets have become very collectable.
I think that fella is great. I really do. Have you got the box?
I don't know, I may have. I can't find the box. It could be at home.
-The box is worth 30% of the value of this puppet...
..if it's in good condition.
Value-wise, with the box in good condition,
this fella is worth about £150-£160.
-Because he is in great nick.
I'm sure Lindsay will have a good search
when she gets home for that all-important box.
Adam is sat with another "Flog It!" expert.
-Jan, I believe this isn't your first time on the programme.
-It isn't, no.
You've come back for more,
so the first experience must have been all right.
-It was fine.
-Was it? How long ago was it?
-At least ten years.
Actually, it was back in 2002, Jan.
I'm selling at £275.
-Superb. Hat-trick. What a hat-trick.
'Gosh, that takes me back.'
We're back in the area and you thought you'd give it another go.
I certainly do, yes.
So you've brought along this lovely glass vase.
-LAUGHING: Whatever you say...!
-You don't like it?
-I don't like it.
Why don't you like it, what's wrong with it?
-Um, I don't know. It's a bit garish, isn't it?
-A bit garish?
-It's nothing that I would put out on show.
How did you come to own it?
I think it belonged to my husband's great-great-aunt.
-It ended up with you, did it?
-I don't think anybody else wanted it.
-It's lovely quality. It's Bohemian glass.
-Which is now the Czech Republic area.
But we refer to these as Bohemian glass.
-It's end of the 19th century. So, over 100 years old.
-And super quality.
-Overlaid to get that effect you see.
That milky effect on the top.
And with these gilded, decorated panels.
But it's super quality. It's a really nice thing.
-But there's no marking on it.
-There's no marking on it.
But in our terms, it doesn't need a mark cos it's written all over it.
-Is it growing on you yet?
-Clearly, you're on the table here, it must be worth something.
I'd have thought £100-£150.
-Which is presumably a bit more than you thought.
-I've got no idea.
-I had no idea.
-Do you want a reserve on it or...?
Great! I like that. You are definitely going to flog it, then.
-It'll definitely make 80 whatever happens.
And it could go on and make a bit more than 150,
-but I reckon we're about right with the estimate.
-OK, that's fine.
That's great, thanks for coming. What would you do with the money?
-Give it to my grandchildren.
-How many have you got?
Right, so split it between them. They can do what they want with it.
Maybe Jan's grandchildren could start their own collection
with the money.
Now, over in the Italianate gardens is another example
of fabulous craftsmanship.
Just looking at this box when I spotted it in the queue,
it smacks of quality, doesn't?
And here we are in front of Ickworth House,
and you can just imagine the Third Marquess, in the 1870s when this
was produced, going through his correspondence and paperwork.
Tell me, how have you come by this?
Is this something that's come to you through the family?
It's my son, actually.
As a sideline, he likes to buy little old wooden boxes to refurb
and sell on cos him and his girlfriend are trying to get
a deposit together for a house.
-Which, as we all know, is quite a task.
-That's a lot of boxes he's going to have to refurbish.
He saw it and took a bit of a gamble on it and paid far too much, I think,
and his girlfriend wasn't very pleased.
So when they heard you were coming here today,
she asked me if I would bring it on his behalf.
-And see if we can get his money back?
Let's open her up and have a look inside.
What first strikes me is the condition.
I mean, it's almost as good as the day it was produced, isn't it?
We've got marks here - Patent ABC - dispatch box.
And we've got a wonderful mark here from the retailer.
We've got Jenner & Knewstub. They were "to the queen."
So you are talking really top-end retailers.
We've got various loops here to perhaps hold pens, rules and so on.
If we open this up, this flap folds down nicely.
We've got a little aide-memoire here for taking notes,
as well as a little blotter here for writing letters and so on.
It's been well used, look.
-That's probably authentic to the box itself, isn't it?
And a nice touch here. Look at that.
The quality of that sliding across.
And then you've got these rather nicely...with gilt tooling,
Either for correspondence or invoices, that sort of thing.
Your son obviously took a shine to it. How much did he pay for it?
-OK, well, I think he has paid fair money for it.
Because that's the kind of level I see it at.
-I see it at about £200-£300.
We'll fix the reserve at £200.
Elizabeth is obviously going to take her commission
so it might end up with him making a small loss.
But all we need is two people on the day to really fall in love with it.
And who knows, it could make top estimate.
In which case, he's quids in and he can go back
to his girlfriend and wave the 20s in her face,
and spend them on himself.
Adam's about to get a bit of religious education.
Damaris. Your name is Damaris?
-Damaris, that's a very unusual name.
-It comes from the book of Acts in the Bible.
-It's a biblical name.
Damaris was a follower of St Paul.
-Have you met any others?
-I met one once, I taught one once.
Where did you get this copper from?
When I was first married, which was in 1964,
we wanted a coal bucket and we went to the local market.
-Where was that, then?
-Are you a Lancashire lady?
-Yes, I'm from that area.
We saw this, but, of course, it was all black and horrible
and I didn't realise what it would look like.
Yes, it's come up beautifully, hasn't it?
-I've cleaned it ever since.
-I've always cleaned it, yes.
-Do you remember what it cost you?
That's a Lancashire lady for you.
-Dare I tell you?
-That's not that much, is it?
-It was a lot then, though.
-Of course it was.
I wanted to know, really, how old it was.
Well, that's an easy one, really,
because of the style of decoration to it.
It's very much the Art Nouveau, Arts and Crafts style.
-I thought it was Arts and Crafts.
-Yeah, it's sort of 1900s...
..where this was very popular.
You've got these stylised flower heads and these
spades from club suits, aren't they?
There are a number of designers that made these sort of things.
There was Voysey and Benson
and there was the Newlyn school of copper.
Yes, I wondered about that.
-Have you seen any markings on it when you've been cleaning?
-You'll be more familiar with this than anybody.
-No, I've never found a marking.
I think it's going to be indeterminate as to
where it was made but it's very likely to have been made
in the Cumbria's metal workshops.
It might be Keswick?
It's certainly an Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, 1900s coal bucket.
So, cost ten shillings. Today's value?
One man I talked to thought it might be 80 to 100.
I think it'd make a bit over 100, really
but 80 to 100 is about the right estimate.
-How would you feel about that?
-Yes, that's all right.
I've found out something about it and that's really why I brought it.
Well, that's right and if it makes a good price, 150, 160...
-It would, wouldn't it?
I'll buy something I like that I don't need.
-Something you like, that you don't need.
-Like a piece of jewellery.
-A luxury item?
-Very good. Lots of people are going to like that.
That's it. As you've just seen, our experts have now made their final
choice of items to go off to the auction,
which means it's time to say goodbye to Ickworth House,
our wonderful valuation day venue.
We've been surrounded by heritage and history.
It's been marvellous to be here. Have you enjoyed yourselves?
-Yes, and we've all learned so much as well.
And that's what it's all about.
But right now it's time to say goodbye,
as we head over to the auction room in Diss.
And here is what we're taking with us.
There's the Arts and Crafts copper coal bucket
found in Clitheroe market for ten shillings.
I'm sure there will be interest in the saleroom
for the 19th-century silk work and those cavorting cherubs.
It isn't to Jan's taste,
but this glass trumpet vase is superb quality.
And campaign writing boxes originally travelled abroad
with their serving officers.
Let's see how much mileage this one has at the auction room.
Welcome back to Diss, where auctioneer Elizabeth Talbot
is conducting the bids from the front of the house.
Going under the hammer right now, we've got a 19th-century mixed lot.
A wonderful little silk work and a plaster cast belonging to Angela,
who's just joined me right now in a packed saleroom.
Let's find out what the bidders think, shall we?
Hopefully, we'll get around £80, top end. Fingers crossed, here we go.
The late 19th-century framed plaster plaque.
And the associated embroidered silk landscape.
There we go, that's pretty pieces there.
Starting at 50.
£50, surely. Come on!
Nice romantic collectables there. 30, I'll take.
Come on, where are you at £30? 30. 32.
35. 38. 40, gallery.
42. 45. 48. 50.
50. Now where we started at 50. I'm looking for five.
55 is gallery. 60. Five. 70. Five.
75 is now centre gallery. At 75, looking for 80.
Are you all done at 75?
Yes, the hammer has gone down!
-That's a good price. Well done.
-Happy with that.
-That's a very good price.
-Very good estimate there!
-We get it right sometimes.
-Anyway, that was good. That was successful.
-Happy with that?
-Very happy. Yes.
That will certainly help towards Angela's patio fund.
From the back garden to Central Europe with Jan's Bohemian glass.
-I don't like it.
-I was just about to say that.
-There is a clue there, isn't there?
-It's an acquired taste.
-If someone doesn't like it and they want to flog it...
-Don't hold back.
-If suddenly you find out it's worth a couple of hundred pounds,
why would you want a reserve? You want to flog it. Get it sold.
-I really admire that.
The late 19th, early 20th-century Bohemian glass trumpet vase.
Beautiful gilt decoration for this.
See, she likes it.
Elegant vase. Interest on the sheet shown here.
I'll start at £55. Bids are in at 55.
60. Five. 70. Five.
80 in the room. At 80, I'm out.
-Come on, come on. A few more bids.
At £80, back left, any advance on £80?
Jan, it's gone. It's gone at the lower end.
A bit disappointing, but nevertheless, you didn't like it.
Let somebody else enjoy it.
The danger was that if it struggled and you took it home,
-it'd probably end up getting damaged or smashed, wouldn't it?
And as we know, Bohemian glass isn't to everybody's taste.
Going under the hammer right now we have a very stylish
copper coal bucket belonging to Damaris.
Now, you bought this copper coal bucket in a black
-and tarnished condition.
-I did, yes.
-Lots of love has gone into cleaning that.
-Because once you start cleaning it you've got to keep doing it.
Let's face it.
It has a touch of sort of Keswick school meets Newlyn school about it.
That lovely applied metal thing that went on in the early 1900s.
I think that's what singles it out as a valuable thing
-rather than a 20-quid copper thing.
There's a bit of punched detail as well. Repousse, as they say.
Look, good luck. We're putting this to the test right now. Here we go.
Lot 140 next, interest on the sheet shown and I start here at just £65.
At 65. Where's 70? 70. Five.
£85. Bid at 85.
-Sadly not at that top end that we were all hoping.
-But it's gone.
-No more brassing.
No more cleaning! I think that's the good news here.
That's the moral - no more cleaning.
Yes, that's fine, I'm quite happy with it.
I'm sure our last lot of the day will be something to
write home about.
Right now we are ready to do battle with our campaign writing box
belonging to Mandy, who's with me right now.
-It's your son's, really, isn't it? He collects.
We know the story, of course,
that he's in trouble with the missus for spending £200.
-So fingers crossed we'll get his money back.
-Here we go.
-There's enough people here.
-Let's get the young lad out of trouble.
The late Victorian Jenner & Knewstub campaign writing box.
This is lovely.
I'll start at a very low £75...
Gosh, that's low, isn't it?
£75 is bid. At 75. Now I'm looking for 80.
80 bid. 85. 90. Five. 100.
110. 120. 130.
140. 150. 160.
170. 180. 190.
-He's out of trouble.
-And I'm out.
It's now £200 in the room. I'll take the ten.
-£200 I have. Is the phone coming in?
-210 is bid.
220. 230. 240.
He's either got phone or the internet.
290. 300. I'll take 20.
-What's his name?
360. 400. 420.
-Here we go.
-My goodness me!
-He's going to be so pleased. She's going to be so pleased.
Any advance on £420?
-Oh, made me jump!
In the room at 460. Any advance on £460?
He's just wanting to steal the show, isn't he?
-Is that 70 or 80?
-Round it up again.
480 in the room. I don't believe him.
480 standing in the front very patiently. At 480.
Any advance on £480?
£480. We turned up for battle and we won the fight.
-Damon, you've got talent, mate. He's got some talent, hasn't he?
Oh, my goodness!
He's going to be so pleased. She's going to be so pleased.
I suggest he puts the money towards buying more little boxes to do up.
You can tell her that. THEY LAUGH
I hope you're watching
and I hope you've enjoyed the show because certainly
we've come to the end of our day here in the auction room in Diss.
And what a wonderful way to end. Everybody's happy. We're happy.
Join us next time for many more surprises.
But until then, from Diss, it's goodbye.
This episode comes from Ickworth House, an Italianate palace in the Suffolk countryside. Paul Martin is joined by experts Adam Partridge and Will Axon, who try to help members of the public make money out of their antiques by taking a risk at auction. Will is impressed by a chinoiserie travelling lock found at the back of a wardrobe, but it is a campaign writing box that raises the roof over at the auction - and keeps the crowds in the saleroom entertained! Paul also meets the people trying to safeguard the future of the Suffolk punch horse, which holds a unique place in the history of the county after which they were named.