Antiques series. Paul Martin presents from Southwell, near Nottingham, where experts Caroline Hawley and Mark Stacey find antiques and collectables for auction.
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MUSIC: Hallelujah Chorus by Handel
This is Southwell Minster,
situated in the heart of Nottinghamshire
in the market town of Southwell,
a farming community.
You're probably thinking, well, not a lot has happened here,
but you're wrong.
Because these walls have witnessed some key events that have
shaped our great history.
Later on in the programme, we'll be finding out more about them.
But right now, we need to find some antiques.
Welcome to "Flog It!".
When a minster has been around for 1,000 years like Southwell,
you wish the walls could talk.
Nestled in the heart of the town of Southwell,
the Minster has transformed itself from its modest early
Anglo-Saxon beginnings as a small parish church,
to a Norman status symbol, through to the cathedral it is today.
I'll tell you what else,
the snow is coming down but it hasn't dampened our spirits.
Because everybody is here to have their antiques and collectables
valued here at Southwell Minster.
This place has seen political intrigue during
the Elizabethan period, it's seen the Civil War,
and later on, I'll be finding out more about the dramas that unfolded here.
But right now, we've got some dramas of our very own,
because in these bags and boxes
are antiques and collectables that all tell the unique story of our
social history, and later we will be putting the lucky ones through to auction.
And if you get a great valuation from our experts,
-what are you going to do?
-ALL: Flog it!
Well, let us hope there will be plenty of intrigue amongst our experts -
Caroline Hawley and Mark Stacey - as they poke around for
the best objects.
But not everyone has come for a valuation.
We've come just to see you. THEY LAUGH
Can you just say that again, but louder?
And flattery gets you everywhere, Mark.
And now he's trying it on with Caroline.
It's like Lady Chatterley's Lover.
I feel like the stable hand, compared to the Lady of the Manor.
Steady on, Mark! You'd better get back to all those bags and boxes.
Despite the cold, it looks like we have a lot of happy people here
raring to go, so let's get this huge crowd indoors,
into this venue that's bursting with history.
In the show today, we cover the span of ages.
Caroline's turned football player with an early 20th-century toy.
-I think they're exceptionally rare. I like them.
They're lovely, aren't they?
We've a kitsch 1950s collectable that doesn't suit all tastes.
-I don't like it.
-I have to admit, I actually quite like it.
And a high-class wartime Rolex.
-Somebody actually threw that in a skip.
But which of these objects doubles its estimate at auction?
Find out later.
Well, you can just feel the presence of all the characters that
have passed through these doors over the millennium.
It's been a roll call for the rich and the powerful,
from Cardinal Wolsey to Charles I, to one of our greatest artists,
and as the crowds are now safely seated inside, it's time for one
of our own movers and shakers to get on with the valuations.
And that's Caroline, who's ready to kick things off.
-Right. Here we go. Whoa! Oh!
So, of all the things I expected to find today, John,
I did not think I'd be sitting here, playing football with you.
What a wonderful set of footballers!
-Now, tell me about them.
How long have you had them?
-Well, my father gave them to me when I was about 12.
-And he had them when he was a child.
-So, when was your father born?
He was born in 1906.
1906, so these are from the early part of the 20th century.
I don't think the ball is the original one.
-The ball's a cork ball, here.
-That's right, yes.
I think they're probably made by Britains,
which was a major company, making these lead toys, which perfected
the art of hollow lead soldiers
and footballers in about 1893.
So this ties in perfectly with that date.
THESE are articulated, so we can do this...
-Look, his arms go up as well.
There's a few bits of damage.
-I mean, not much. There's a couple of armless players.
-And apart from that, it's just the paint.
They've been well played with, which is great.
In my opinion, I think that's fantastic.
These should have been played with.
-And look at the long shorts.
-Footballers don't wear shorts like that now, do they?
-They don't, no.
And do you have some great memories of you and your father playing?
Oh, yes. Me and my dad, we had a lot of time with this.
And who usually won?
Oh! This is obviously the Great British team.
This here, with the stripes, I mean, some of the colour's worn off,
but the red stripes,
as far as my limited football knowledge goes, is Sunderland.
-Now, I know that, John, because I have got an ancient Sunderland
footballer at home - my present husband is an old footballer.
-Yes. And one of the teams he played for was Sunderland.
-So he'll be very proud that I recognised them.
These are actually in better condition than my present husband,
but anyway, that's another story.
Well, I think if we put an auction estimate of £200 to £300,
with a reserve of £200, I'm sure they will do very well...
-Are you happy with that?
-Yes, I'm happy with that. Yes, thank you.
-Brilliant. Well, let's hope they top the league for you.
-Let's hope so.
Do you mind? Can I butt in?
-Aren't they great?
-Fantastic. Are they Britains?
They're not marked, but I think they probably will be, won't they?
And they were given to John's father in about 1910.
-I think they're exceptionally rare. I like them.
-They're lovely, aren't they?
-They caught my eye.
-And they're complete. Two complete teams.
Good luck. We'll see you at the auction. Good luck.
-Thank you very much.
Well, I love those and I'm betting on such a charming piece
finding a keen sports lover at the saleroom.
As the crowds continue to pour in,
we're making history of our own today.
1,300 people have passed through the doors,
making this an all-time record turnout for "Flog It!".
Now, that's what we call dedication.
You and I...
Now, Mark's got something that might not, at first glance,
appeal to everyone.
Now, Alan, where on earth did you get this figure from?
-It belongs to the wife.
-Does she know you've brought it?
Yes, she insisted I brought it.
-She's had it since her mother died about ten years ago.
-But her mother had it since my wife was 11 and she's now...
-You should never say... Oh, you're in trouble.
-Yeah, she's now 68...
-You're in trouble.
-..so she's had it over 50 years.
-Yes. Well, it actually dates, I think, to the 1950s.
-And it's what I call a kitsch collectible.
They're made by a German factory called Hummel and normally,
they're little children skiing or climbing trees or doing something.
I mean, this is a real...giant one.
And I love the way she's sort of looking so intently at this book,
painted with a duck and a flower.
She's pointing to the flower.
These are based on a drawing by a Franciscan nun called
Sister Maria Innocentia.
And they were very, very popular. Years ago, 10-20 years ago,
they used to be hugely popular with Americans.
I have to say, I've never seen this model before.
And I think it's... Of its type, it's beautifully done.
It is marked underneath.
You can see the little Goebel's Pottery mark
and there's a little mark that says Western Germany.
So we know it was made after the war.
1945 or later. So that fits in again with that 1950s theme,
although the drawings were copied from the 1930s.
And I think it's... Of its type, it's beautifully done,
and it's got a sort of quirky charm about it, hasn't it?
Yes, it has, really, but I don't like it.
-I have to admit, I actually quite like it.
Don't think bad of me.
-Your wife obviously doesn't like it either.
No, it brings back bad memories for her
because her mother got it just after her father had died,
so every time she looks at it, it just brings back the memories, so...
I'm sure in a sale, somebody's going to want to buy this figure
cos I think she's absolutely charming, in a way.
And I think we've got to be sensible about the estimate though
-and put £80 to £120 on it...
..with an £80 reserve.
But it wouldn't surprise me if it made £150, £200.
-Because collectors of this would like it.
Because of its size and because of its nostalgic look,
-if you know what I mean? You're happy to sell it with us?
We'd like it to go to somebody who'd probably appreciate it a lot
-more than we do.
-Yeah, that's a good idea.
-It's stuck in the cupboard.
No, I think we're definitely going to find a buyer.
I'm absolutely certain there's going to be two or three people
-who want this.
-Yeah. So, yes, we'll sell it.
-Thanks for bringing it in.
Not for Alan, maybe,
but I agree with Mark - there's a buyer out there for everything.
That's the joy of "Flog It!".
Now, while the valuations are coming thick and fast,
I've got time to clear up a debate that's been raging here
at the Minster today and for decades.
# You say ee-ther and I say aye-ther... #
Now, do you say "Suth-ull" or "South-well"?
-You do, do you?
-Why do you say that?
-Because that's what the locals have always said.
-What's your name?
-Where do you live?
In Farnsfield, which is a surrounding village.
-OK, what do you say?
-I say South-well too.
-You say South-well too.
-Again, cos the locals do.
-Do you say South-well?
-Wow! Look at this!
I know just the man to clear up the pronunciation question - Dean John.
When there was a railway station here,
the station master always used to say, "All change, this is South-well.
"All change, this is Suth-ull."
-So both have been used.
Well, thank you very much.
I think we got an answer there. It is...a nation divided.
# Let's call the whole thing off. #
But there's no debate about the quality of Caroline's next object.
-Thank you very much for bringing along these lovely watercolours.
Would you like to tell me what you know about them?
My husband and I collected them about 25 years ago.
-Quite a few, we had about ten.
-At one time, yes.
Both signed, lower left here, Frank Gresley.
-He was from a family of painters.
-His father, James...
And his brothers, Harold and Cuthbert.
His dates are 1855 to 1936 and I think these are early 20th century.
-Typical of the period.
They're sort of late Victorian, very pretty,
sentimental watercolours, and they are so beautiful.
I mean, I don't know about you, but I'm a lover of Thomas Hardy.
-And all things of that period
and I feel as if, in these pictures,
I would love to be walking down that path, in the dappled sunlight.
And these lovely girls here...
You can see the two girls and the cows walking along.
They're beautifully painted and this other one, here, you can see
the sheep settling down under the trees,
the little church in the background...
They're probably not the most fashionable of subjects,
-but to me, it's timeless. It's a summer day.
-You have nowhere to display them now?
-No. No, I haven't.
Gresley did an awful lot of this and specialising in scenes along
the River Trent...
And you were telling me he used to paint for a pint.
-He used to paint for a pint.
-Well, I bet he had a few pints then
-because he was quite a prolific artist!
I would say, an auction estimate of possibly £200 to £300 for the pair.
-For the pair.
-For the pair. Possibly a bit more.
-I would hope for more than that.
-Would you like a reserve on them, Carol?
-I think so.
-I think they out to have 250 on them.
Well, in that case, we can't have a reserve higher than the lower
-estimate, so shall we put them 250 to 350?
-With a reserve of 250.
-Yeah, I think so.
-And are you happy with that?
-Yeah, I'm happy with that.
-Brilliant. And I'm sure they'll do well.
-Thank you for bringing them. I love them.
Dawn, where on earth did you get this lovely Cartier watch from?
Well, when my father died,
I know there were a lot of things in the loft.
So, me and my sister went up and had a look in the loft
and that's where we found it. Didn't know where he got it.
-In a box, or...?
-No, just like that.
Just like that? Gosh.
-And you don't know where he got it from?
-No idea at all.
Well, it's a very interesting watch,
it's by a very well-known watchmaker who's called Cartier.
And this particular model is called a Roadster and we know that
because it's titled on the back - Cartier Roadster.
So, you found it when?
Erm, just before Christmas.
-Oh, right, so quite recently.
And you haven't done anything with him, you thought
-you'd bring it along today.
-Yes, that's right, yes.
-Wonderful, I'm glad you did.
-Oh, right, thank you.
Of course, what we're all looking for is the gold versions from the 1930s.
All right, yeah.
This is a stainless steel model from the 1950s, probably.
But the movement will be very top quality.
They're also known for their stylish designs and gentlemen these days
like these chunky, good-looking watches and this fits that bill.
-All right, yeah.
-It's a great shape.
-Have you ever thought of the value?
-No, I haven't. Not at all.
Well, I would suggest putting it in at £800-£1,200 with a £700 reserve.
-Now, are you and your sister happy with that?
-Nobody wants it in the family?
You can put it towards something you want.
That's it. Holiday or something.
-Oh, it sounds lovely, doesn't it? Can I come with you?
-Yeah, you can.
Come in my suitcase.
It's time for me to take the opportunity for a look around the area.
George Gordon Byron, born in 1788, became the sixth Lord Byron
and the owner of Newstead Abbey at the age of just 10.
Now, imagine inheriting this as a 10-year-old boy.
But it wasn't until 1808,
when Byron was 21 years old, that he finally took up residence here.
Now, the problem was there was no money to go with these fine surroundings.
So Byron did what any attractive 21-year-old would do,
he made it his bachelor's pad.
As well as being a poet, Byron was a good-time guy
and a magnet for both men and women who would come and stay here.
Byron would throw lavish parties.
His pals would dress as monks, while Byron himself dressed as the abbot.
Curator Heidi Jackson has been looking after the Newstead Abbey
collection here, owned by Nottingham City Council, for nearly 30 years.
What did this place mean to Byron?
It must have appeared to him like an enormous gothic Wendy house.
-He certainly had fun here.
-Yeah. It was a playhouse really, wasn't it?
-Let's face it.
And he also venerated it as the home of his ancestors.
He knew everything about the history of this place and his family.
-Did it inspire him to write here?
-Oh, yes, he loved the place.
He enjoyed playing here. But he also came here to write.
He was not to be disturbed when he was in his study.
If the door opened, he would put his hand up
-and whoever was in the doorway would know not to bother him.
-Let's talk about him as the great lover.
-That reputation as a philanderer.
-Yes. Yes. Yes.
-It's a well-known reputation.
-I don't know.
The more tender side of Byron isn't so often referred to.
He was always falling in love, right from boyhood,
right from the age of eight.
I think he said his heart always needed to alight on the nearest perch.
-And he was very tender.
-And very charismatic.
-Very charismatic, but also very caring.
-And an intelligent guy.
-I think that's obviously the attraction, isn't it?
He attracted people like a magnet.
Well, he had extraordinary personal beauty. He had a beautiful face.
He had an athletic body because he was quite a sportsman
and a brilliant mind, also a wicked sense of humour.
Also he was affectionate and caring.
-He sounds like the chap that we all want to know.
Yes, quite a catch really.
But, as I say, he was always, always falling in love,
and usually with the wrong person, often with a married woman.
And then running away from it.
Well, yes, having to extricate himself from a...mmm, difficult situation.
Byron would escape from his amorous adventures in London to the freedom
and the solitude of Newstead.
And when he wanted to be alone he would climb these stairs.
And up into this secluded bedroom.
And this is, in fact, Byron's bed that he brought from Cambridge.
And by the side of the bed he kept a loaded pistol.
And you can see it there.
It's said he always kept a pistol nearby
whenever he stayed at Newstead in case he upset anybody.
In fact, one of his lovers, Lady Caroline Lamb, is quoted as saying,
"Byron was mad, bad and dangerous to know."
And I think that proves her point.
Clearly men and women came and went in Byron's life.
But there was one relationship which seemed to try his patience more than most.
Let's talk about his mother
-because that was also a difficult relationship.
-Yes. Yes, it was.
They loved each other to bits but they fought like cats and dogs.
And he referred to his mother's diabolical disposition.
She did have a fiery temper and they did spend a great deal
of his adolescence fighting with each other.
No wonder, though, he was always playing truant from school.
He was running up enormous debts,
borrowing lots of money from money lenders and plotting the seduction
of all the local ladies, young ladies in Southwell, and dedicating
-to them some of the raciest poems produced by a young man.
-No wonder. No wonder she was...
-No wonder the mother was livid.
She was just...
On one occasion, she is said to have thrown a poker at him.
But the poor woman, she really was worried to distraction by his
"scrapes", as he called them.
You know, I have sympathy for Mrs Byron. Very much so.
Like any young lord at the time, Byron loved to travel
and took a trip to the Near East.
He was away for two years,
but when he returned home he received bad news.
His mother was desperately ill
and sadly passed away before Byron could get back to see her.
At the age of 23 he felt the loss deeply.
He couldn't even face up to going to her funeral.
Instead, whilst that was taking place,
he took part in a boxing match right here in this very room.
Despite their differences, he thought of his mother as his great friend.
And he continued to miss her right up until his dying day.
In 1812, just a few months after her death, Byron published the poem
Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, and he became an overnight success.
Or, as he put it, "I awoke one morning and found myself famous."
But in his personal life he was to exchange one troubled
relationship for another.
In 1815, it seemed Byron had put his wild past behind him.
He married Annabella Milbanke.
But as they say, you can't teach an old dog new tricks.
His dalliances continued.
And disgusted, Annabella left him for good,
taking with her their five-week-old daughter Ada.
The deed of separation was signed on the 21st April in 1816.
And four days later, with spiralling debts and creditors chasing him,
Byron left England for good.
The scandal drove him out of London's high society
and into self-imposed exile abroad.
It's a depressing chapter in Byron's life,
his daughter taken away from him forever by an embittered mother.
Lady Byron denied Ada all knowledge of her father.
She wasn't even allowed access to look at the family portraits of him.
But there is an astonishing outcome to this story.
Byron's adult daughter, Ada Lovelace, now married,
became an incredibly successful computer scientist,
credited as being the first computer programmer,
which was a big achievement for a woman back in the day.
Ironically, she puts that success down to her ability to combine
science with poetry,
which is a brilliant tribute to her father, Byron.
Ada never met her father.
But after he died in 1824, she did visit Newstead Abbey.
She fell in love with the place and the father she had never known.
So she made an extraordinary decision to be buried beside him
in the family tomb at the little church of Hucknall,
just up the road from Newstead.
So, was Byron capable of finding true love
and feeling love with a big heart?
Well, this monument has the answer
because on it there's an inscription which reads,
"Near this Spot are deposited the Remains of one who possessed Beauty
"without Vanity, Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferocity
"and all the virtues of Man without his Vices."
That inscription and monument is a testament to his dog, Boatswain -
man's best friend, his beautiful Newfoundland,
a companion for five years - who was sadly bitten by a rabid dog.
Now, rather than have Boatswain put down, Byron nursed him right up
until the day he died, without any fear of being bitten himself.
So that tells me one thing - it tells me Byron did find true love.
We know about the fact that he was an unreliable lover.
We know the fact that he was an awkward son and a disloyal husband.
But, boy, did that man have one big whopping heart.
And there it is, look. He loved his dogs.
Now, if you want to see some characters in the Minster,
other than our experts, then look no further than up there in the choir.
14th-century stone carvings.
I think these are marvellous.
Obviously, the stonemason had free artistic licence
and a great sense of humour.
That one in particular, look, the guy's scratching his bottom.
That really is quite funny.
But it gives you an idea of the sort of people that were walking
through the door back then,
sort of burly, sort of ugly, thick stock characters,
which brings us to our first visit to the auction.
Let's hope we can keep those bidders' hands in the air
on our lots and here's a quick recap
of all the items going under the hammer.
John is lined up to score with that lovely early football set.
There's Alan's oversized Hummel figure.
He might not be mad about it, but there could be a big fan out there
to take it off his hands.
And there are Carol's delightful paintings by local artist
Frank Gresley - the perfect antidote to winter.
Dawn's classic watch might afford her that holiday abroad
she's been hoping for.
For our auction today, we've popped into Nottingham,
a city bursting with industrial history.
It was producing coal from the 15th century onwards
and by the 19th century, mines had spread right
across Nottinghamshire, accounting for 6% of the nation's coal output.
And it all came through here, on the Nottingham Canal.
Today, we've come to the salerooms of Mellors and Kirk, which is
situated just at the back of the canal.
And it's Nigel Kirk who will be keeping an eye on proceedings
here today. And don't forget,
he'll be adding 15% plus VAT as commission for any sale.
And first, it's the beautiful game - John's miniature lead football set.
We got two to three.
Hopefully, we might get a little bit more than three,
somewhere nearer five.
-Which would be really nice.
They're just different to the soldiers that we see all the time.
-It's a different subject, isn't it?
-Yeah. Totally different subject.
-Good luck. Cos I love them. I love them. This is it.
Early 20th-century set of 22 painted lead alloy figures of footballers.
And £120 for this lot, I am bid. At 120.
At 120. 130 for it.
130. 140. 150.
160. 170. 180.
-He's going! Come on!
-180. 190. 200.
-220. At 200...
-We've sold them.
-All done, at 200...
-Just on there. Wow!
-Happy with that.
-Well, that was very good.
-You know what they say, don't you?
Back of the net!
What a result!
Next, will Alan's rare Hummel figure score with the bidders?
It's good to see you, Alan, again.
-This Hummel figure's of the large size.
-I've not seen as big a one as this, have you?
-No, I haven't.
-This is the largest I've seen for quite some time.
-Do you like them?
No. I don't.
Mark, though... You've quite an extensive collection of Hummel.
I try to keep it quiet. It's the world's largest collection.
I try and keep it under my hat. But this one is so kitsch. I love it.
-It's just got a real quirky feel.
-OK, good luck. Here we go.
275 is the unusually large Goebel figure of a little girl.
Modelled by MJ Hummel. £50 for it?
50 bid. At 50. 60. 70. 80.
80. 90. 90. 100.
110. 120. 130.
At 120, on my left at 120.
And I sell.
Gosh, that was quick, wasn't it? 120.
You're happy with that. We didn't like it, did we?
I'm glad it's gone.
So am I! We didn't like it!
Getting into gear right now.
One of the first sports watches to go under the hammer.
It belongs to Dawn, it's a Cartier. Great name.
-Bit of a bloke's toy, this. It really is, isn't it?
-Very nice thing.
I said to Mark, "What sort of watch are you wearing?"
Because I like big, chunky watches. Come on, Mark, show us.
-I'm not wearing a watch.
-So I said, "How do you tell the time?"
-Listen to this.
-I use my mobile phone.
-It's true, a lot of people use it. It's there, isn't it?
And it's more accurate than a watch. Fingers crossed we get £800-£1,200.
Yes, it's a nice-looking thing and as you say, the name is good.
We're going to find out right now because this is our lot. Good luck.
This is where it gets exciting, anything can happen.
Here we go.
The Cartier Stainless Steel Roadster large wristwatch.
I'm feeling quite nervous.
-Me too, I'm not sure about it actually.
-Nor am I.
Is bid at 500. And 50. 600. 650. 700. 700, I am bid.
Well, we've got the reserve.
-750 over here.
-Oh, we're over the reserve now.
-800. 850. 900.
That's it, that's good. We're there.
-Oh, spot-on, Mark.
-At £1,100, the bid is on my left.
Selling at £1,100.
£1,100 The hammer's gone down!
-I did get a bit worried.
-There was a sticky start, wasn't there?
-It was, it was.
-Is this your first auction?
You can see what we say when we say it's a bit of a roller-coaster ride of emotions.
One minute, you're up there enjoying it all, next minute,
-you think, actually, I'm not. This isn't going to sell.
-We got there.
How about that? Your first auction and a big sale.
I'm pleased with that.
And now, the last of our lots -
Carol's pastoral paintings by local artist Frank Gresley.
Do you want to see them go today? Do you like them?
-They are a little bit stuffy.
I think they're a little bit stuffy, but there is still a market for this.
Well, there are collectors of Frank Gresley.
-We used to collect them at one time.
-It's the name, isn't it?
-The name will get them.
-They're good local...
-Not a lot of money either.
-We're hoping for 250.
-OK, that's not a lot of money.
Not for the pair.
We're going to find out what the locals think right now. This is it.
435. A pair of watercolours by the Derbyshire artist Frank Gresley.
-And £250 I am bid.
350 for them? 350. 380.
380. 400. At 380, I am bid now. £380.
Any advance? And selling at £380.
-You see? Art is an arbitrary subject, isn't it?
It really is. What I like, you may not like.
-You may like... So...
-And they're fashionable to someone.
-Yes, if you've got the house for it.
There's always a market for something in an auction room.
We're coming back here later on in the show,
so don't go away because I can guarantee one or two big surprises.
Now, our stunning valuation day venue, Southwell Minster,
ticks all the boxes worldwide for its architecture,
but it's also famed for its history, spanning well over 1,000 years
and it's witnessed some key events which have shaped our nation.
To understand Southwell, you have to go back to its very beginnings.
Picture the scene, when the Romans were in Britain,
nearly 2,000 years ago.
This was the perfect spot for them,
with hills which helped their defence of the area
and plenty of water for transport from wells, hence the name -
And all of this explains why before the Minster in all its various forms
was a glimmer in the architect's eye, the Romans built the
obligatory grand villa right here, and there's evidence of that here.
Look at that. Fragments of a fresco, painted into the wet plaster.
You can see an image of a goddess, looking down on you.
And it's remarkable how that has survived.
This is just a fragment from one of the bathhouses,
but this was no ordinary villa.
It was on a huge scale, one of the largest in the country
and of great significance.
But unusually, it had no fortifications.
This wasn't defensive architecture.
The Romans felt their presence was strong enough here,
they could just relax and enjoy themselves.
This was a mark of things to come.
The churches of Britain are like layers of wallpaper.
Start to peel away the layers
and you'll be surprised what glories and stories you'll find beneath.
From 956, on the site of the Roman villa,
the first Anglo-Saxon church was built.
And there's a great example of waste not, want not,
right here underneath my feet.
Look at that. Hey, presto. Let there be light.
That's the last surviving example of the Anglo-Saxon church,
but if you look closely, you can see it's reclaimed Roman build.
That's Roman paving and Roman mosaics.
A wonderful example of tessellated work.
So everybody was at it, reclaiming periods of history
and that's what it's all about.
But it was when the Normans arrived
and added their touches that this place really began to flourish.
And this is the nave.
Work began on it in 1120 and the result is these wonderful
soft Norman arches, running the length of this incredible building.
And as you look up, your eye is drawn towards the heavens.
It really is quite inspirational,
emulating the French churches of the day.
Really saying - look, we have arrived. This is how we do things.
Watch and be inspired.
This surely was the magnet drawing bishops and kings to Southwell.
Charles Leggatt is fundraiser here and he's got an encyclopaedic
knowledge of the great and the good who have passed through these doors.
So, why was Southwell a "must" place to visit? Was it perfectly situated?
-Literally, between London and York.
And it's easily defensible. Good agriculture.
So much so, that it became a very popular destination,
not just for the archbishops who built their palace here,
-but for the medieval kings.
Remember, we're very close to what was the main arterial road
north-south, known as the Great North Road, now known as the A1.
-And so, if the King's coming from London...
-It's so convenient.
Exactly. It's extremely convenient.
I'm just picturing the visitors' book.
-I mean, it would read rather well.
-It reads extremely well.
I mean, you really do get virtually all the medieval kings,
from Richard I through to Richard II, staying here.
One of the key figures who appeared at the Minster was none other
than Cardinal Wolsey, spiritual counsellor
and government minister to Henry VIII.
He was appointed in the early part of the 1500s.
He had a long relationship with Southwell and he spent many a time
at the bishop's palace, the remains of what you can see behind me there.
He would come here and relax and get away from all the cares
and the affairs of state in the court of Henry VIII,
and believe me, there were quite a few of those.
Wolsey's biggest headache was that he failed to secure
a divorce from Catherine of Aragon, Henry's first wife,
who had not managed to provide Henry with a son he so wished for.
Wolsey, in 1530, is told by Henry VIII, "Look,
"I've had enough of you," you know? "Get out of my sight.
"Get off back to your work as Archbishop of York."
But Wolsey only comes as far as here and it's here, at Southwell,
that he's frantically trying to work out his final last-minute plans
to appease Henry VIII, to say to the King,
"Look, it's not my fault that Pope Clement VII
"won't grant a divorce from Catherine of Aragon."
And he's here for the whole of the summer,
but at the end of the summer, Henry VIII changes his mind
and says to Wolsey - "Actually, come back to London.
"I want you back in London."
And undoubtedly, Wolsey would have been given a show trial and executed.
Henry VIII, remember,
was very much into blaming the messenger for the bad news.
And Wolsey only had bad news to give at that stage.
It's not hard to guess Wolsey's state of mind when he wrote...
He would have sat within these walls and contemplated the fate
that Henry had in store for him when he returned to London.
Now, Wolsey made his journey from Southwell to the Tower of London,
but he actually didn't make it to the tower.
On his journey, he died.
It was November 1530.
The twist in the tale is he escaped the executioner's axe,
but he wasn't the only VIP to walk where I am today.
100 years later, we had a visit from King Charles I.
As civil war raged into its ninth year,
Charles I, fleeing for his life from the Parliamentarians,
arrived at Southwell.
Charles believed the Scottish troops encamped here would give him
safe haven, but when he arrived,
he was handed straight into the hands of the Parliamentarians.
But there's a nice story during one of the King's earlier visits here,
when he was staying at the palace, that he needed a new pair of boots
and a local shoemaker in the town was visited by this man,
because the King went into the town in mufti, not as the King,
and the shoemaker, James Lee,
refused to serve this strange man cos he said he'd had a dream
the previous night in which he had been forewarned that
a stranger would visit him and if he was to serve this stranger,
no good would come of it
because the hand of destiny was upon this man and he was fated.
It was a strange foreshadowing of the drama to come.
And soon after being handed back to his enemies,
Charles was tried and executed and the palace ransacked.
It was the beginning of the end for the Minster.
In 1711, the western spire was hit by lightning,
which caused fire damage to the whole structure,
and it was slowly left to deteriorate.
But in 1884, the Minster was given an injection of cash
to upgrade the building.
Southwell finally earned its stripes.
It was named a cathedral,
although the moniker of a minster has somewhat stuck a little.
But it was given the status to match its vital role in our history.
The valuations have been going apace in the Minster.
Now, I wonder
if Caroline can shed some light on the history of her next item
that she's just about to value and she's down there at ground level.
-John, nice to meet you.
-Nice to meet you, Caroline.
-And this is a lovely watch that you've brought along.
-And it's got the magic name on it, hasn't it?
-Yes, that's the one.
So, how have you come by this?
For ten years, I ran a recycling centre...
-Yes, so you could earn the money to buy such a thing.
-No, somebody actually threw that in a skip.
-Yes. HE CHUCKLES
-And you just saw it glinting in the skip?
-Yeah, that's it.
How extraordinary! And it works, does it? Do you wear it?
It does work. I've worn it once.
-When was that?
-20 years ago on my daughter's wedding.
-Oh, did you?
-Dates from 1938, 1939...
-I don't think the strap is an original one.
-Simply because the watch is 9 carat gold...
-Yes, it is, yeah.
This buckle here, should, in my opinion, be 9 carat gold,
if it was the original strap.
-But no matter, that's not important.
And you were telling me earlier that you'd repaired it.
The second hand dropped off it...
When I actually got it, the second hand was off.
-Well, if you'd been chucked into a skip, I think you'd have a bit missing.
So, the second hand was off and you had it repaired.
-Do you remember what it cost you to repair?
-They did put a new winder on as well cos the winder was very worn.
And did you send that back to Rolex to do that?
The jeweller that I took it to, yeah.
-They said they couldn't touch it. It had got to go back to Rolex.
-So it stands you £127?
Now, this, as it's a 9 carat gold Rolex in great condition,
it's always been made for a man of means,
so consequently, it's a valuable thing.
I would say, in today's market, it's going to be worth £300-ish,
so I would think a presales estimate of £250 to £350,
-with a fixed reserve of £250?
-Yes, that would be all right.
-Are you happy with that?
-Yes, I am.
And I'm sure the buyer will be very, very happy with it,
-but not as happy as you, who found it in your skip!
-I'm so jealous! Thank you, John. See you at the auction.
-Yes, you will.
Don't forget, if you've got a vintage watch hidden away,
check if it's a good quality Swiss movement,
from the likes of Omega, Longines or Tissot,
and you'll be laughing if you have a military watch from the 1960s
and '70s, as these are very popular.
Now, I've found something brought in by Anthony,
that marks the best of British engineering and which played
a vital part in military operations during World War II.
Tell me, what are we looking at here? You can explain.
We're looking at the control wheel
and throttle quadrant from Guy Gibson's aircraft.
And this would have been a Lancaster bomber.
Yeah, from the Dams raid, so he actually handled these on the raid.
This is an incredible piece of history. How did you come by it?
Father ended up with it.
It was actually broken up, the aircraft,
-at RAF Bracebridge Heath, near Lincoln...
And been in our possession ever since.
-And we are in heavy bomber country.
-We are, absolutely.
This whole area...
Yeah, hundreds of airfields, from the north of Lincolnshire
and Yorkshire, all the way down.
So, what do you intend to do with these?
Are you going to keep them forever,
or pass them on to the next of kin and keep them in the family?
Well, they're no good sitting in a loft or in someone's house.
They need to be in a local museum, in bomber country.
-But definitely in England and preferably in Lincolnshire.
Is that something you're looking to do,
-put them into a museum around here?
-Yes, it is.
Maybe Anthony's control panel could find
a home at the Lincolnshire Heritage Aviation Centre,
where I had the good fortune to see the inside of a Lancaster bomber,
though it was on the ground.
And there was that control panel and steering wheel in situ
that Anthony is so lucky to have found.
Here we are. Right up in the cockpit.
The first thing that struck me was the lack of space inside.
Secondly, now, once I've crawled the length of this aircraft,
is there is not a lot of protection.
The pilot had no GPS, no satellite navigation system,
no air-traffic control telling him what to do.
He relied on his navigator and this chap had a compass, a map,
a ruler and a watch, basically.
It was crucial, plotting out
where precisely these bombs had to be dropped.
It's incredible to think that the Lancaster bomber was the mainstay of
the RAF, carrying the biggest load
and being one of the most successful night-time bombers.
Today, just three working Lancaster survive,
so for Anthony to have a piece from an original is quite amazing.
I think the value is in the story behind this item, don't you?
-Thank you so much for talking to me.
It really is a wonderful thing to see.
And all I can say is, chocks away and over to our experts.
What a lovely flight of ducks, ladies. Now, who do these belong to?
-They belong to me.
-Right. So, Sue, how have you come by them?
They were left to me by my uncle.
-It was about 15 years ago.
-And do you like them?
Well, I do and I don't.
I think they're quite attractive but my husband absolutely hates them
and he decided to display them in our cellar,
in the games room on the wall where we play darts and table tennis.
-So I was afraid that they may get damaged.
They are a set of Beswick ducks, designed and produced between 1938
The designer of them was a Mr Watkin.
And if we turn this one over and look at the back, we can see here,
-Beswick, England. And the original hanger to hang it up.
And they were very, very popular and very evocative of a certain period.
Now, do either of you follow Coronation Street?
-Well, I do, yes.
-And do you remember seeing something like this in Coronation Street?
-Do you know whose house these were in?
Hilda Ogden, exactly.
And they were just so iconic, really,
and almost a bit of a laugh.
But they're actually quite fashionable now.
And it's unusual to get a set of four in perfect condition.
I've examined them all, there's no breaks.
And over the years I've handled loads of these.
And a lot of them are broken at the wings, the necks,
cos they're quite fragile and you can imagine they fall off the wall
and various things.
Now, they do have a value. Do you have any idea of what sort of value?
-I was thinking about £100.
-You're dead on.
I would give them an estimation for sale between £80
and £120 with a reserve possibly of £80.
-Do you want a reserve on them?
-No, I'm happy to let them just find their own value.
-That is great.
A confident lady - and you have every right to be confident -
because they WILL get that.
And the object that's landed on Mark's table shouts 1960s.
-And your lovely son Tate, is that right?
-It is, yeah.
Tell me about this.
It's designed by Geoffrey Baxter, it's called Whitefriars Glass,
it's called a hooped vase,
designed in the 1960s and in a colour called tangerine.
Gosh! I don't need to be here.
I can go home.
-Cos you've just told me all the things I should have told you.
But what I want to know about it is - where did you get it from?
-I actually got it from a car boot.
-So, do you go to a lot of car boots?
-All the time?
When the weather's nice and I can take the children.
We're used to the big banjo vases and the bricklayer vases,
but these hooped vases, we don't see very often.
They're not quite as desirable as those standard pieces, I suppose.
No, not as recognisable.
Not as recognisable, but the colour is lovely on this.
It's like a great big boiled sweet.
The factory, of course, goes back a long way.
The Whitefriars factory was originally
-founded in the early 18th century.
-By James Powell.
And they produced a wonderful early 18th century glass,
right up to the '20s, and then in the '60s,
they wanted something more avant-garde
and they employed Geoffrey Baxter to produce this series of barkwares.
They went out of fashion, of course, in the '70s and '80s,
-but now back in fashion again.
And it's a cracking example of that era, really.
-You paid quite a reasonable price...
-Well, £35 is not a huge amount, is it?
I think we've got to be realistic with the estimate.
-Have you got a figure in mind?
-I have seen them on the internet for sale as a buy-it-now price of £280.
-I'm not expecting that.
I think putting it into auction, we've got
to be looking at sort of 100 to 150, with a 100 reserve fixed.
But I think the collectors will still come for it.
Hopefully, on the day, a couple of hundred quid.
-But I think you do have to be realistic about it.
I suppose if we get a good price, you'll go off car booting again?
-They've got some good antique shops round here.
-Oh, have they?
-They have, yeah.
-I haven't had a chance to look round. I'll have to come back, I think.
-Jason, it's lovely to meet you both and I'll see you at the auction.
-Thanks very much.
Well, Tate might not be that excited about the prospect of the vase going
to auction, but I'm sure there will be plenty of bidders for this
lovely piece of Whitefriars.
So, over to Caroline now for our final object of the day
and it's worth the wait.
Thank you so much for bringing this absolutely beautiful pendant.
I know, it's lovely but I just really have not a clue as to...if
it's old or...anything about it, foreign or medieval or...
-It's a mystery object.
-Right. Well, let's see if we can unravel it.
First of all, how did it come into your possession?
Well, my mother kindly gave it to me and she got it from my father.
We don't know where he bought it,
but he was rather good at finding sort of treasures
and things like that and I have worn it a couple of times only,
-to both my daughters' weddings.
-Oh, how lovely!
-So, that was...
-And did you wear it on a gold chain?
-On a chain, yes.
Well, it's really lovely.
It is gold, it's not marked at all, but it's probably 18, 22 carat gold.
It's baroque pearls, emeralds and rubies.
The stones are quite crudely cut
and these beautiful misshapen river pearls...
Can you see the tiny, tiny ones here?
I would think it's mid-19th century and it's possibly of Indian origin.
And can you imagine the beauty that would wear that?
It would just look stunning with either a plain dress,
or you can imagine it with her hair all up and across her forehead.
Did your father travel a lot?
-Not to India anyway.
-Do you have any idea of value?
-I don't know.
One sort of assumes if it's kind of rubies and things,
it might be quite valuable, but I really don't know.
Well, I would think an auction estimate of between £300 and £500...
-But if we protect it with a fixed reserve of 300, just so it's...
-That would be good.
-I think so.
And I think that'll go to a happy home and be worn.
That would be lovely, yes.
A piece of jewellery that wouldn't look out of place on the lapel
of any king who has come through Southwell Minster.
Well, what a colourful past Southwell Minster has had and
I'm sure there are still many more corners still to be
discovered here, but sadly for us,
it's time to say goodbye to the Minster,
our valuation day today, and this magnificent crowd of people,
as we head over to the auction room for the very last time.
Has Whitefriars aficionado, Jason, backed a winner
with his tangerine-tinted piece?
There's Andrea's gem-studded gold pendant that will surely
dazzle the bidders.
And John's utterly classic watch, unearthed from a skip
and waiting to be worn again.
Carole's counting on those Beswick ducks
to create a soap opera drama at auction.
Our auction today is in the city of Nottingham,
about 15 miles from Southwell, home to the medieval castle
and now a museum and art gallery.
And today, we've come to the salerooms of Mellors and Kirk,
which is a stone's throw from the castle.
Now, hopefully, our experts will be able to defend their valuations,
here at auction.
And don't forget, there's commission to pay when you sell here.
It's 15% plus VAT.
And the man on the rostrum today is Nigel Kirk,
who's about to get going with our first lot, those very kitsch ducks.
We've got the ducks. Unfortunately we don't have the owners. We don't have Sue and Carole.
But we do have with us, right now, Sue's daughter, Heather.
-And it's great to see you, it really is.
-So, do you like these ducks? No?
-Been on the wall?
They've been on the wall for a very, very long time, yes.
-I'm not a big fan of Beswick, I must admit. But these things do go.
A lot of people out there collect it
-and they're really serious about Beswick.
They're very iconic. They're sort of...
-It's Hilda Ogden that immortalised them, isn't it?
-Drives you quackers.
-Absolutely. SHE QUACKS
-So you don't mind selling these, do you?
-No. Absolutely not.
No. Right. Let's put them to the test, shall we?
Let's find out what they're worth. Here we go.
-Four Beswick graduated flying mallard wall plaques.
£50 for them? Is bid. At 50, 60.
-That chap wants them there.
-Yes, he does.
-This guy there, he's serious.
-People do want them.
120. 130. 140.
150. 160. 170.
170 I'm bid. 180 for them? At £170 in the room.
< Selling at £170.
-Ducks are on the BILL. £170. Well done.
-Thank you very much.
-Tell your mum, won't you?
-Give her the good news.
-I certainly will.
And her and Caroline will be off spending the money on more days out.
Hilda Ogden would be pleased.
-Jason, it's good to see you again.
-You know your Whitefriars.
-A little bit.
-You do, don't you?
-A little bit.
Remind me again of the story - where did you pick this up?
Just from a car boot. It was £35, out early in the morning.
-It is out there, isn't it?
-Cheap enough, isn't it? 35 quid.
People are still selling Whitefriars glass for around £20 to £30 to
£40 and you can buy it and you can bring it to an auction room
-and you can double your money.
My mum and dad had Banjo vases and Drunken Bricklayer vases as well and
they had a big shelf with the light coming through, as a room divider...
Shelf, shelf, shelf, think of Abigail's Party, think 1970s.
-That sounds very '60s, '70s...
-It was. With Whitefriars glass.
-They used to go out and buy it.
-It's stunning, actually.
Good on you though. Hopefully, we're going to make a profit here.
Let's put it to the test.
And £50, I am bid. £50.
60 for it anywhere? 50 anywhere?
60. 70. 80.
80. 90. 100. 100, I am bid.
110, do I see? Against you online. 110, I am bid online.
-Come on, a bit more.
130. 140. At £130, online, I sell.
Selling at 140...
-Not a bad profit, £140 in the room.
-You can't beat that.
I'm happy with that.
-Will you go out now with that money and buy more Whitefriars?
You never know what's there on a car boot, so sometimes you're lucky.
-He's a bit of a dealer.
So it's not just Whitefriars you home in on.
-It's anything you think you can make a profit on.
-Yeah, pretty much.
-That's the way to do it.
-Got to get up early though.
He won't do that!
Mark could learn from Jason,
who is definitely the early bird who got the worm, with a profit of £105.
Next, it's Andrea's jewel-encrusted gold pendant,
found by her treasure-seeking father.
Auctioneer tends to think it's more of Iberian origin,
-rather than Indian.
It is a little bit crude, it is mid-19th.
If that was early 19th, I think we could almost quadruple that value.
-But hey, look, this is an auction. Anything can happen.
-And I know you've done a bit of fiddling with our valuation.
-We did have a £300 reserve on this.
-And that's now 400.
-That's now £400.
-So, you rang the auctioneer up, did you?
-I did. Yes.
You thought it's too little to let go.
I just thought I'll keep it if it sort of doesn't go for very much.
-I don't blame you.
-Good luck. It's time to say goodbye to it.
I don't think you'll be taking this home. Here we go. We're putting it under the hammer.
The Iberian emerald, ruby, pearl and gold pendant.
-And £200 for this...
-Come on, ladies! Put your hands up!
200. 220 for it.
220 for it. 220.
-That's the old reserve.
380, I am bid.
-That's all right.
£380, all done.
-At... 400, I am bid now. Online.
-400. 420 for it?
-That was close.
420 anywhere? Fair warning.
And selling at £400. Online.
-£400. Well done to you.
Because I think whoever was bidding on that may have only took it
-up to 300 in the first place, so wise move. Happy?
-Thank you. Lovely.
-And if you've got anything like that you'd like to sell,
we would love to see you. Bring it along to one of our valuation days.
Details of up-and-coming dates and venues, you can find
on our BBC website.
If you don't have a computer, check the details in your local press.
We would love to see you. Come on, dust them down and bring them in.
£400, a kingly sum for Andrea.
And now to our final lot, that elegant Rolex watch,
saved from its fate in a skip by eagle-eyed John.
It's good to buy watches in auction, but if you do get them
-repaired, send them back to that manufacturer.
-Yeah, it's the all-important name.
-It is, isn't it?
-Quality. And you know what we say on the show?
-Quality always sells.
Quality always sells.
Let's put it to the test.
Lot 15. Rolex 9 carat gold gentleman's wristwatch.
£200, I am bid already on commission for this lot.
200. And 20. 250. 280.
280. 300 on commission.
-320. 320. 350.
-Someone in the room over there.
380 online. 400. 400. 420. 450.
-Yeah, keep going! Every little helps.
-480. 500. 550.
-This is more like it.
-It is quality.
550. 600 online.
650 for it?
And selling, online at £600.
That is a sold sound! £600!
-That's a lot better than £250.
-Correct! You're right!
-We're happy with that.
-That was a bit of a come and buy me.
-It's a lot of money.
-Are you going back to the skip?
That won't be there, will it?
But there are plenty more skips in Nottingham. Good luck, mate.
And John will no doubt be scouring them.
We've had a great day here. I hope you've enjoyed watching the show and you've learned something.
That's the main thing. Join us again soon for many more. Until then, it's goodbye.
This episode comes from Southwell Minster in the town of Southwell, near Nottingham, where experts Caroline Hawley and Mark Stacey find antiques and collectables to take to auction. Paul Martin finds out how Southwell Minster has had a cavalcade of historical figures pass through the doors, from Cardinal Wolsey to Charles I, at some dramatic moments in British history. Paul also explores Newstead Abbey, the country seat of poet and renowned lothario Lord Byron, and finds out there is more to him and his relationships than meets the eye.