Essex 23 Flog It!


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Essex 23

Paul Martin presents from Layer Marney Tower in rural Essex, where experts Elizabeth Talbot and Philip Serrell find antiques and collectables for auction.


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We're at the home of the British oyster industry,

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and later on, I'll be getting hands-on with a conservation project

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that hopes to save this world-famous delicacy.

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We're in Essex. Welcome to "Flog It!".

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We'll be back at the coast later on in the show,

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but right now, today's valuations

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are taking place at one of the county's

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most famous stately homes - Layer Marney Tower,

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Britain's tallest Tudor gatehouse.

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The tower rises an imposing 80 feet into the air.

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And hundreds of people have turned up here today

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from all over the surrounding area,

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hoping their antiques and collectables will reach

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the dizzy heights in the auction room. But before all that,

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they're here to ask our experts that important question, which is...

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ALL: What's it worth?

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And the two people with the answer are our "Flog It!" experts.

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Today, we've got the erudite Elizabeth Talbot...

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That's lovely, a piece of history.

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-Are you looking to sell that, then, are you, or...?

-Yeah.

-Yeah?

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..and the very knowledgeable Philip Serrell.

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What on earth is that worth?

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So, as the people of Essex take to their seats

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and our experts prepare for a busy day of valuations,

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let's look at what's coming up.

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We have something really exciting.

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It is a rare and intriguing picture by a troubled artist.

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It's quite a coup for "Flog It!".

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I think there's a considerable amount of value here,

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because of its rarity and its story and its provenance.

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We have the rare, framed 1960s original collage

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by Kenneth Halliwell.

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See how it does in the saleroom later.

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The area I'm standing in right now is known as the holding bay.

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This is where the lucky owners are brought with their items

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to be researched before they hit the filming tables.

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And talking about the valuation tables, let's get straight over to

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Mr Philip Serrell, our first expert,

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who's got a real gem on his hands.

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Let's take a closer look ourselves.

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-Charles, how are you?

-I'm fine, thanks very much.

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Been waiting long today?

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All day, but it's been most enjoyable because its a lot of fun, nice people here too.

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It might be worth it. What have you brought along, then?

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-Well, these are figures that I saw when I was in India.

-Yeah.

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They represent various trades, as you see.

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And because I was in India towards the end of the Japanese campaign...

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-When would that have been?

-That was in 1944, '45.

-Yeah.

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And I was an engine fitter servicing aircraft that were being

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-used at the end of the...

-Can I ask you a very rude question?

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-By all means.

-How old are you?

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A week ago, I was 90.

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You're joking!

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-It's a fact.

-90?

-90.

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Well, I don't know what's in the water,

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but I think I could probably do with some. Really?

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That's remarkable, seriously.

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And I don't feel a day over 20, so... No, no, that's an exaggeration.

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Yes, 90. And when I came home, my fiancee at the time...

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We had visited an aunt who had recently been

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to a house clearance sale.

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-In India?

-No, no, no, this was back in the UK.

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And she had bought these on spec.

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And because I was recently returned from India and I thought,

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"Oh, look, I recognise some of these people."

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She said, "Do you like them?" I said, "Yeah."

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-As she gave them to us.

-Really?

-Just like that.

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And so they have been in my possession,

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and my wife's, who has now passed away.

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-Yeah.

-And they have been in my possession ever since.

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I think they're very much 20th century.

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Yes, do you think? Where might they have been made?

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I would think they were probably made in India.

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-They're made out of, I think, terracotta.

-Yeah.

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And my guess is that they were made

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somewhere between about 1900 and 1920.

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They are all various named trades, are they?

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That's right, and their names on the little base. For instance, khansama.

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Khansama, what would khansama do?

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A sort of a waiter. There's probably a tray...

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-He's probably carrying a tray.

-So he's carrying a tray.

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-Good facial features, aren't they?

-Well, yes.

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-And little whiskers there.

-Yeah.

-And the modelling, I think, is excellent.

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I mean, for instance, that one is a water carrier.

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-Can I turn it around?

-Yes.

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And that's a bhishti.

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Carrying the water in an animal skin.

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This is your favourite one?

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Well, I think this one. He's the groom, he's carrying a saddle.

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So, you have made your mind up, Charles,

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-that after all these years, it is time for them to go.

-I think so.

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Um, I don't think you are going to get rich on the proceeds.

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-I think they should carry an auction estimate of £80 to £120.

-OK.

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I'd put a reserve on them of £80,

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give the auctioneer 10% discretion.

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And I think if you had a bit of luck, they might make 150.

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I actually think they're quite fun things.

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-Yes.

-What I think is more remarkable is you, really.

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What was your happiest memory of India?

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We got...

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We got to know an Anglo-Indian family who made us welcome in their home.

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-Yeah.

-And there were some very attractive girls there.

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-But they were all...

-I'm going to stop you there.

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I think this is... Charles, this is a daytime programme,

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we can't go any further with your story.

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-It's beyond...

-Let's just hope they sell well at the auction.

-OK.

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Oh, I wish he had let him finish the story.

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Interesting owner and interesting item.

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Now, over to Elizabeth,

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who is enjoying the wildlife in the rose garden.

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Barbara, I love your little birds. Thank you for bringing them in.

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Do they have a story behind them?

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Not really too much of a story from my point of view.

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I've almost sort of inherited them or I picked them out from an

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elderly neighbour who was getting rid of and anything you wanted, really.

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-So you chose these as your...

-Yeah, it was a reminder of him

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-and, yeah, the happy times we'd had with him.

-How lovely.

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-Yeah.

-And are you a seamstress or a sewer at all?

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Um... A sewer. Or was a sewer, yeah.

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I mean, they're novelty pin cushions,

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which were a very popular element

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in the sewing box of Victorian ladies and Edwardian ladies.

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And right through to the First World War,

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you would find variations on novelty pin cushions.

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And the silver ones come in lots of natural forms.

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You get everything from elephants and hedgehogs

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to different sorts of birds. There are collectors

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who will sort of look specifically for some of the rarer models.

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But what I like about yours is that you've got two different sizes,

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you've got a nice little family here.

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They have obviously been, I think, re-stuffed

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and recovered at some time.

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I don't think that's necessarily the right fabric to the top.

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Nonetheless, they have been preserved as little cushions,

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which is superb.

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And the assay marks tell me that they

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were made by the silversmiths company of Sampson Mordan.

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-Right.

-A very famous manufacturer of particularly novelty

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and miniature items.

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And he was working right up until the First World War.

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Right. Do you think a Birmingham assay?

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Because the chap who used to...

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Mr Walker came from Birmingham, the family were...

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-Interesting question, they are actually Chester.

-Oh, right.

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They could have been Birmingham, but in this case, they are Chester.

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And the dates are 1912, 1914 and 1916, quite interestingly.

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-So, no rhyme or reason to that.

-No.

-Just fact, really.

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So, why are you parting with them?

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Well, first of all, the interest was to bring them here and see what

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you thought of them, if they were silver, and if they were, any value.

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-And I don't really think my children will be fighting over them.

-OK.

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So it might be a thing to just, yeah, you know, move on and...

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-Part with at this stage.

-Yeah.

-Well, Barbara, I think realistically

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we should put those in to auction with an estimate of £100 to £150.

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OK, thank you.

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But I suggest that we place a reserve of £100 firm, or fixed,

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so that that's the minimum that we would accept on the day.

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-I think that is very fair...

-Right, OK.

-..for you and for them,

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and I think 100 to 150 is a good expectation.

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-Right. That's great.

-Wonderful.

-Thank you very much.

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Something for the collectors there.

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Now, those are not the only beautifully made small objects

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at Layer Marney Tower.

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Homes like this often have little hidden gems tucked away,

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and this is one of them. You can't miss it, though.

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It is a giant dolls' house.

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It would have been a real labour of love for the person who made it.

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It's called Mandalay, and it was started in 1979

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by Miss Iris Patricia Kemp while she was waiting for a heart operation.

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Her father had seen a picture of a Georgian dolls' house

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in a magazine, so he copied it.

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He made the superstructure, the shell, and Iris did the rest.

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And the house just grew and grew and grew into 18 rooms.

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And it's all here!

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And when you stand back and look at the detail,

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it really is quite exquisite. There is so much going on in every room.

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And once she'd finished furnishing

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and decorating each room, she even created a family to live there.

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And she gave them all names.

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We've got Mrs Greenway, look, the cook,

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prepping the supper for the evening.

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And here, at the bottom of the stairs in his suit,

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that's Matthews, the butler, in charge of all the domestic staff,

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possibly the most important person in the house.

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Now, that is a fascinating piece of family history, a unique piece.

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Now let's join up with our experts,

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and hopefully they're looking at something fascinating

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and unique as well.

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Philip has found something that makes him feel very much at home.

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-This is daft, you know, David.

-What?

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-Well, because I have driven up from Worcester.

-Yes, I know.

-OK?

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And I've driven, what, 180 miles to be in Colchester.

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If I walk out my office and go 50 yards down the road, that is

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-where these were made.

-Yes.

-So, where did you get these from?

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-These belonged to my wife's grandmother.

-Right, yeah.

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And, um, she passed them onto her daughter-in-law.

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And, um, so Chrissie's mother

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has asked us to bring them along to "Flog It!".

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I think they're lovely. They are really, really lovely.

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And, you know, you don't need to look at the mark too much,

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-cos I know exactly what they are. They are Royal Worcester.

-Yes.

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They were made somewhere between 18... I would think,

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-'72, '75 and about 1880.

-Yes.

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In terms of decoration, you know, they're almost Japanese

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in influence, with these ferns, the guilt ferns, and the insects.

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Very Japanesque in style, really.

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And that was the rage from about, I don't know,

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1865 through to about 1880.

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-And I think this is beautiful. This is a dressing table set.

-It is.

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Got a pair of candlesticks, a pair of little jars,

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probably for hat pins, two pots.

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This is a ring stand. And a little tray.

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If you want to be really picky,

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you've got some gilding that has rubbed around there.

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But this rich enamelling of these butterflies, I think,

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-is absolutely fantastic. And they are all different.

-Yes.

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And it is all in good order as well, which is lovely.

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-I think you need to put it in at 200 to 300 estimate.

-Right.

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-And reserve it at 180. That's what I would do.

-Yes.

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-And it'll sell all day long.

-Yes.

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I really, really hope that a private collector buys these

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and takes them home and enjoys them, because I think they're lovely.

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-I've got a feeling they might get broken up or split up.

-Yes.

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But, you know, hey-ho. That's...

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Whatever makes the money for you, that's all that matters.

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When you think Chrissie's grandmother bought this in 1920

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or in the '20s, and evidently she paid £7...

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-That was a tump of money.

-Wasn't it?

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-Huge amount of money.

-That was a tump of money.

-Yes.

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If it wasn't so hot I'd work that out,

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but we'll just settle for "a lot of money",

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-and I hope you get as much at auction.

-Yeah.

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That Worcester set gives us a glimpse into a bygone era.

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It's not unusual to have collections of cigarette cards

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brought to "Flog It!", but every collection is unique and individual.

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So, Maurice, tell me about yours.

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Well, this was collected by my father and my grandfather,

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-between the wars, mainly.

-Uh-huh?

-And I've inherited them.

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And they've just been in the wardrobe for the last 20 or 30 years,

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and nobody really looks at them,

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so I decided to sort them out and file them up like this.

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So, this is just one book of obviously a much larger collection.

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-How many would you...?

-I reckon there's 1,000 in the collection.

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-Really?

-There's two catalogues like this and a lot of loose ones.

-Yes.

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-There's a lot of cards.

-There are a lot of cards, yes.

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And some albums, as well, with them stuck in, as well.

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It's fascinating, because there are quite an array

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of different cigarette manufacturers represented in the collection.

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For some smokers, they had one brand that they favoured

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and they stuck to that,

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and that's all that you would find in a collection of cards,

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but this one has everything from the Lambert & Butler,

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right through to Gallahers and all the others.

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Some rarer, some more common factories,

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and some of them are not marked at all,

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so it's quite a cross section.

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And some of them date from the 19th century -

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so from actually Victorian times...

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Victorian times, that's right.

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People don't always recognise that they date from that early.

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But right through until the '20s and '30s.

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-Have you got any favourites amongst the...?

-I have.

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Those, those early ones.

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-These football ones, Gallaher ones.

-Oh, the football ones?

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I really like those ones.

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-Yes.

-And these rare Crowfoot Cigarettes and those ones there.

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-With the animals on?

-Yeah, lovely animals, they are.

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So, you've done all the hard work,

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you've laid them out, so people can see nicely what there is,

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-and now it's time to sell them.

-Now it's time to sell them, yeah.

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Cigarette cards, they're not infrequently seen at auction,

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but each collection can attract bidders for different reasons,

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and all it takes is for one collector to be desperately

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chasing a card that they haven't got in their collection

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and another person to be chasing the collection for a different reason,

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because they want this set, that set -

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and you've got that competition,

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which can make it do magical things on the day.

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So it's quite difficult to be accurate.

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I would recommend an estimate of £100-£150 for the collection...

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-Yeah. I'm happy with that.

-..and that that we put a £100 reserve on it,

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we put it firm and fixed, so if it doesn't make £100, which,

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gosh, it should do - but if it doesn't, I would put them

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back in the wardrobe and keep them for the future

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because, you know, it's an insult not to sell them for at least £100.

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-OK, I'm happy with that.

-That all right?

-Yes.

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This is Hylands House just outside of Chelmsford.

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And it's a great example of how buildings like this

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don't have to become relics or museums.

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This place has stayed relevant for each generation

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ever since it was built.

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English judge Sir John Comyns

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built the house as a family home in 1730.

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The original design was a red-brick building,

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which was very much the style of the time.

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Now, the majority of grand mansion houses like this one have remained

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in the same family for generations, spanning 300 or 400 years.

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They've become a symbol of power and family permanence. Not this one.

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It was only in the Comyns family for three generations

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and then it was bought and sold on the open market,

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like any other modern house today.

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You can see it bears no resemblance to the original build -

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and there's a good reason for this.

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In 1797, the new owner, a Danish merchant,

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engaged the services of Humphry Repton,

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a pupil of Capability Brown,

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to redesign the building and the grounds,

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and what stands today is very much Repton's work.

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White walls and classical columns were now in vogue,

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and it's a style that the settlers took with them to America.

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Now, does it remind you of anywhere?

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MUSIC: The Star-Spangled Banner

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Yes, that's right - the White House.

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You're not the only person to think so,

0:15:580:16:00

because a number of film and TV directors have used Hylands

0:16:000:16:03

to replicate the presidential home.

0:16:030:16:07

But the real story of the building lies inside,

0:16:070:16:09

so let's go and take a look around.

0:16:090:16:11

Through the years, various owners have called Hylands home,

0:16:140:16:18

and they've enjoyed its grandeur.

0:16:180:16:20

It has also played an important part

0:16:200:16:22

in the lives of many ordinary people,

0:16:220:16:25

who stayed here in much less pleasant circumstances.

0:16:250:16:28

Now, this room was originally the library.

0:16:300:16:32

Today, it's used as the boardroom, where meetings take place.

0:16:320:16:36

But between the years of 1914 and 1918, it was known as Ward B.

0:16:360:16:40

Like many other great stately homes, they were taken over and adapted

0:16:400:16:44

to be used as military hospitals, to take care of wounded soldiers

0:16:440:16:48

during the First World War.

0:16:480:16:50

And it's believed that 1,500 servicemen were treated here.

0:16:500:16:54

After World War I, the house returned to being a private home.

0:16:560:17:00

But just a few years later

0:17:000:17:01

Hylands would once again play a vital role on behalf of the country.

0:17:010:17:06

I've arranged to meet Kerry Lowen, estate manager of the house,

0:17:070:17:11

to talk about this period of its history.

0:17:110:17:14

Kerry, why was Hylands so important during the Second World War?

0:17:140:17:18

It was chosen by the SAS to be its headquarters -

0:17:180:17:22

the newly-founded SAS - in 1944.

0:17:220:17:25

And from here, they planned all their exploits overseas.

0:17:250:17:30

So why did they choose THIS place?

0:17:300:17:32

It was already marked down by the MoD for the Navy

0:17:320:17:35

and not being that close to the sea...

0:17:350:17:36

-No, we're quite landlocked, aren't we?

-We are, very.

0:17:360:17:39

And the SAS were looking for a headquarters.

0:17:390:17:43

We believe that Lieutenant-Colonel Paddy Blair Mayne knew the owner,

0:17:430:17:49

-the last owner, Christine Hanbury...

-Right, OK.

0:17:490:17:51

-..and therefore they came here.

-There was the correlation.

-Yes.

0:17:510:17:54

-OK.

-Yes, I believe so.

0:17:540:17:55

-And the house was the right size...

-Absolutely.

0:17:550:17:57

-And the infrastructure, the road system...

-Plenty of space.

0:17:570:18:00

-It was perfect.

-Yes.

0:18:000:18:01

There was a lot of land, they could actually parachute down to it, couldn't they?

0:18:010:18:04

I guess they could. Fortunately they didn't.

0:18:040:18:06

They did a lot of other things but not quite that.

0:18:060:18:08

And I'd imagine there some wonderful stories.

0:18:080:18:10

I know there's a story you wanted to tell me about this staircase.

0:18:100:18:13

Yes, about the jeep.

0:18:130:18:15

There were two American officers who were visiting,

0:18:150:18:18

and Paddy, he had a bet with them

0:18:180:18:21

that he could get their jeep up this grand staircase.

0:18:210:18:25

-Gosh.

-So, immediately...

0:18:250:18:26

-It's quite narrow, isn't it, when you look at it?

-It is.

0:18:260:18:29

And I must admit, when I heard the story, I didn't believe it myself.

0:18:290:18:32

But actually I've seen a Willys Jeep, and you could fit it up there.

0:18:320:18:35

-Wow.

-And he managed...

-Only to that first landing, though...

0:18:350:18:38

Yes, he managed to drive it through the entrance hall

0:18:380:18:40

and up to this first landing.

0:18:400:18:42

-Got it stuck, to great cheers of hilarity...

-Yeah.

0:18:420:18:46

Undeterred, he marched over to the stables,

0:18:460:18:49

which was where the other guys were sleeping,

0:18:490:18:52

because the house was only used for officers and sergeants,

0:18:520:18:56

marched them back over here, eight of them,

0:18:560:18:58

and got them to carry it from there up to the grand staircase landing.

0:18:580:19:02

-I bet they were laughing their heads off all the way.

-They were.

0:19:020:19:04

And woke Mrs Hanbury up in the process...

0:19:040:19:07

-And she caught them?

-..and she caught them. Scolded them severely and sent them to bed.

0:19:070:19:12

-That is a great story.

-Yeah. Yeah.

0:19:120:19:14

Well, you mentioned Mrs Hanbury, the owner of the house.

0:19:140:19:17

How did she get on with the SAS, the troops that were stationed here?

0:19:170:19:21

I think she kept a very close eye on them, and the house itself,

0:19:210:19:24

but actually I think they got really well

0:19:240:19:26

because we know that she got invited on more than...

0:19:260:19:29

a couple of times a week to join the officers in the officers' mess,

0:19:290:19:34

-which was actually the library.

-Mm.

0:19:340:19:36

Having lost her own son,

0:19:360:19:38

I think she did keep a sort of mothering, watchful eye over them,

0:19:380:19:41

and when they left, and waiting for them all to come back.

0:19:410:19:45

When Christine Hanbury died in the 1960s,

0:19:450:19:48

Chelmsford Council took over the property.

0:19:480:19:51

They opened the grounds to the public almost immediately,

0:19:510:19:54

and in the 1980s, started restoration work on the house.

0:19:540:19:58

Eventually, the fabric of the building was repaired and restored,

0:20:000:20:03

and soon afterwards work began on bringing the interior back to life.

0:20:030:20:07

Now, you have to remember that this was a house that was bought and sold

0:20:070:20:10

so many times, it didn't have the wealth of content

0:20:100:20:13

that other great historic houses have.

0:20:130:20:16

So the curators here have worked extremely hard to find objects

0:20:160:20:20

that may have once belonged here -

0:20:200:20:22

like this beautifully-figured walnut longcase clock.

0:20:220:20:25

It was made by Edward Hudson of Chelmsford, a local maker,

0:20:250:20:30

circa 1745. It has two dials -

0:20:300:20:34

the outer dial, which is in brass, the chaptering has Roman numerals.

0:20:340:20:39

The subsidiary dial has been silvered, that's the second hand.

0:20:390:20:42

The beautiful thing about this second hand

0:20:420:20:44

is every time it moves, a little figure up there

0:20:440:20:48

swings backwards and forwards. It's the image of the Grim Reaper,

0:20:480:20:51

reminding us that time is passing by.

0:20:510:20:55

I think that's quite wonderful.

0:20:550:20:58

Hylands House,

0:20:580:20:59

a glorious piece of history that has stood the test of time.

0:20:590:21:03

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

0:21:150:21:18

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

0:21:180:21:21

because our experts have made their first choice of items to take off to auction.

0:21:210:21:25

You've heard what they've had to say, I've got my favourites,

0:21:250:21:28

and I know you have too. But let's put it to the test in the saleroom -

0:21:280:21:31

let's see what the bidders think, and here's a quick recap of all the items going under the hammer.

0:21:310:21:35

Charles's marvellous collection of terracotta Indian figures

0:21:360:21:40

is unusual, so it should be noticed at the auction room.

0:21:400:21:43

The three silver pin cushions fashioned as birds

0:21:450:21:48

are classic collector's items.

0:21:480:21:50

There's always collectors for cigarette cards -

0:21:520:21:55

so Maurice's collection will do well.

0:21:550:21:58

And lastly, the glorious dressing table set

0:21:590:22:02

from Philip's hometown of Worcester.

0:22:020:22:04

For today's sale, we've travelled south, to the town of Rayleigh

0:22:090:22:12

and the auction house, which is packed with potential bidders.

0:22:120:22:17

The man in charge today is Mark P Stacey,

0:22:170:22:19

who is sharing the rostrum with his brother, Paul.

0:22:190:22:22

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

0:22:220:22:25

We are starting with the collection of Indian figures.

0:22:270:22:31

When I grow up I want to be just like Charles, cos I think you're fabulous.

0:22:310:22:34

-You are still playing tennis, aren't you?

-Yes.

-And you're 90.

0:22:340:22:37

-I'm taking up wing walking soon.

-Wow!

0:22:370:22:41

-I bet you could beat me at tennis as well.

-Easily.

-Yes, yes.

0:22:410:22:44

-Cos you're a keen, regular player, aren't you?

-Absolutely. I'm good at it, too.

-Mm.

0:22:440:22:48

Only I say that, of course, you wouldn't.

0:22:480:22:50

I reckon this is a rare occasion where our vendor is older than the lot.

0:22:500:22:54

You may well be right.

0:22:540:22:56

Talking about the lot, though, I do really like those ten Indians.

0:22:560:23:00

-They're fun.

-I know they're made for the export market,

0:23:000:23:03

but I think there's something about them. The lot's going under the hammer.

0:23:030:23:06

Now we move to lot 530,

0:23:070:23:10

a collection of ten assorted Indian painted clay figures.

0:23:100:23:13

There we are. Very unusual.

0:23:130:23:15

A commission bid, I have.

0:23:150:23:18

Starting at £70.

0:23:180:23:20

Commission bid at 70. At £70 with me. It's a commission bid.

0:23:200:23:23

Any advances now at 70?

0:23:230:23:25

At £70 now, last opportunity, then.

0:23:250:23:28

It's a commission bid and selling at 70...

0:23:280:23:31

The hammer's gone down on £70,

0:23:320:23:34

it was the lower end of estimate. That was fast and furious, Charles.

0:23:340:23:37

Blink and you'll miss that one. Sorry it didn't get any higher.

0:23:370:23:40

Totally satisfied anyway,

0:23:400:23:43

and it's been an enjoyable occasion,

0:23:430:23:45

-a lot of fun, too.

-It's great fun. Auctions are great fun.

0:23:450:23:47

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

0:23:470:23:50

Bring it along to one of our valuation days.

0:23:500:23:52

Details of up-and-coming dates and venues are on our BBC website

0:23:520:23:55

or check the details in your local press.

0:23:550:23:57

Dust them down and bring 'em in, and we'll flog 'em.

0:23:570:23:59

What a fantastic man!

0:24:010:24:04

I've just been joined by our next owner, Maurice,

0:24:070:24:09

and our expert Elizabeth.

0:24:090:24:10

Going under the hammer right now

0:24:100:24:11

we've got a collection of cigarette cards.

0:24:110:24:13

All of these are loose, thank goodness,

0:24:130:24:15

they're all in the sleeves.

0:24:150:24:16

-They are.

-And that's why we're looking at around £100-£150.

0:24:160:24:19

-Yes. And there's lots of them.

-Great albums.

-Lots of them.

0:24:190:24:21

Right, let's find out what the bidders think. Here we go.

0:24:210:24:24

Moving on, lot 590,

0:24:260:24:28

large collection of cigarette cards including Wills, Players.

0:24:280:24:31

Two albums, and there's two boxes there, as well.

0:24:310:24:33

I have two commission bids and I must start the bidding at £80.

0:24:330:24:36

Bids at £80, 95 anywhere?

0:24:360:24:37

At £80, bid. 85, thank you, sir.

0:24:370:24:40

90's on the internet. Against you, 95.

0:24:400:24:42

At £95, now.

0:24:420:24:43

It's in the room at 95.

0:24:430:24:45

Come on, come on.

0:24:450:24:46

100 on the internet against you, sir.

0:24:460:24:49

110.

0:24:490:24:50

110 is bid. 110 now.

0:24:500:24:52

In the room against you on the internet. One more?

0:24:520:24:54

Are you all finished, then, at £110?

0:24:540:24:56

It's in the room, and I shall sell at £110.

0:24:560:24:59

Hammer's going down.

0:24:590:25:01

-They've gone. Gone within estimate.

-Yes, I'm happy with that.

0:25:020:25:06

If they'd been stuck down - £20.

0:25:060:25:09

He says. They sell them much lower than that.

0:25:090:25:11

-Yes, definitely. So well done.

-Thanks a lot.

0:25:110:25:14

-Thank you for bringing them in.

-Yeah, thanks a lot.

0:25:140:25:16

Going under the hammer now, we have our Royal Worcester

0:25:190:25:21

dressing table set, belonging to Chrissie and David.

0:25:210:25:24

David, good to see you again.

0:25:240:25:25

I know, Chrissie, you had to rush off to work,

0:25:250:25:27

but at least you could make the auction. I know these are yours.

0:25:270:25:30

-They were Grandmother's as well.

-They were, yes.

0:25:300:25:33

-Sad to see them go?

-Yes, but they have been in a box for 27 years.

0:25:330:25:37

-Doing absolutely nothing.

-Absolutely.

-Up in the loft.

0:25:370:25:39

-So why not sell them?

-Yep.

-Let somebody else enjoy them.

0:25:390:25:42

And on the day, we had our Royal Worcester expert with us,

0:25:420:25:44

-Mr Philip Serrell...

-They should fly.

-They should fly.

0:25:440:25:48

A very nice Royal Worcester dressing table set enamelled

0:25:490:25:53

in butterfly decoration on a blue ground, lovely lot there. Lot 715.

0:25:530:25:56

Commission bids, I have. Must start the bidding at £140.

0:25:560:26:00

140 is bid. 150 anywhere?

0:26:000:26:02

140. 150. 160. 170.

0:26:020:26:05

At £170, advance if you wish at 170.

0:26:050:26:08

I shall sell, then, at £170.

0:26:080:26:12

It's a fair warning, I'm selling at 170...

0:26:120:26:15

170 and sold.

0:26:150:26:17

-It's gone down.

-I'm disappointed in that. Genuinely disappointed.

0:26:170:26:21

What were you hoping for, Philip?

0:26:210:26:23

A difficult thing to sell. Because they're not fashionable. Um...

0:26:230:26:27

But I think that someone could break those up,

0:26:270:26:30

and I thought they might have just topped 250, 280.

0:26:300:26:34

-But you've got to put the estimate right to get there.

-Sure.

-Absolutely.

0:26:340:26:38

-You're happy, aren't you?

-Yes, yes.

-Absolutely.

-Job done.

0:26:380:26:40

Well, at least they may be staying together as a set.

0:26:420:26:45

Just been joined by Barbara and our expert, Elizabeth.

0:26:460:26:48

I'm talking about collectables,

0:26:480:26:50

and of course, there is a market all over the world for collectables.

0:26:500:26:53

They buy online. Everyone is using the internet.

0:26:530:26:56

They are texting each other and they are tweeting,

0:26:560:26:58

exactly what we are doing right now with the little birds.

0:26:580:27:01

But since the valuation day, I know we have still got that fixed reserve

0:27:010:27:05

-but you have put the value up slightly, haven't you?

-I have.

0:27:050:27:08

-And you've raised that reserve, haven't you?

-I have, yes.

0:27:080:27:11

-We didn't want to go CHEAP, you see(?)

-Cheap-cheap!

0:27:110:27:15

These little novelty pin cushions are highly sought after.

0:27:150:27:18

They are, and it is nice to have three, so I have high hopes

0:27:180:27:20

-for them.

-200 to 300?

0:27:200:27:22

-Yeah, should do it.

-Should do it. So there's no worry, is there?

0:27:220:27:25

You didn't have to worry about that.

0:27:250:27:26

Let's find out what the bidders think, they're going under the hammer.

0:27:260:27:30

We come to the set of three graduated silver pin cushions

0:27:320:27:34

in the form of hatching chicks. Nice little lot, that one there.

0:27:340:27:38

Commission bids, I have. Must start the bidding here with me at £100,

0:27:380:27:41

commission bid's at £100.

0:27:410:27:42

-Straight in, Barbara, at £100.

-Good.

0:27:420:27:44

120.

0:27:440:27:45

130. 140. Against you. 150.

0:27:450:27:48

160. 170.

0:27:480:27:50

180. You're out.

0:27:500:27:52

180, my bid.

0:27:520:27:53

-Come on, come on, bid more, bid more.

-Commission bid.

0:27:530:27:55

£200, my bid, against you on the internet.

0:27:550:27:58

210. 220, my bid.

0:27:580:27:59

Two people...

0:27:590:28:01

220 now.

0:28:010:28:02

Finished on the internet?

0:28:020:28:04

230 coming back in, 240's my bid.

0:28:040:28:06

At 240 now. Against you, internet bidder.

0:28:060:28:08

-Commission bid's at 240, any advances, please?

-Yes.

0:28:080:28:11

There's a phone over there.

0:28:110:28:13

260 is against you.

0:28:130:28:14

270. 280.

0:28:140:28:16

Against you, sir. One more? 290.

0:28:170:28:20

300, I have.

0:28:200:28:21

-That's more like it, isn't it?

-Right, very good, yeah.

0:28:210:28:23

310. 310's on my left. 310 now.

0:28:230:28:26

310 on my left, coming in on the phone. At 310 now.

0:28:260:28:29

At 310 now. Bid's on my left,

0:28:290:28:31

are we all done?

0:28:310:28:33

Fair warning, last chances then, please. At £310.

0:28:330:28:36

Hammer's going down.

0:28:360:28:37

-Exciting, thank you.

-That is a sold sound.

0:28:380:28:40

That was worth the wait, wasn't it? It really was.

0:28:400:28:43

-And you didn't have to worry.

-Right, yeah.

0:28:430:28:45

I WAS thinking, "Have I done the right thing?"

0:28:450:28:47

Those birds were very popular and got double the estimate.

0:28:480:28:51

Well, some good results there and some very happy owners,

0:28:520:28:55

and that is what it's all about.

0:28:550:28:56

Our first visit to the auction room, done and dusted.

0:28:560:28:59

We're coming back here later on in the programme, don't go away.

0:28:590:29:01

Now, Essex has become best known in recent years for its party culture,

0:29:010:29:05

but it's also home to a very traditional industry,

0:29:050:29:08

that of the oyster fishermen.

0:29:080:29:10

It's a food that's enjoyed all over the world.

0:29:100:29:13

But times are getting a lot harder for the men who catch them.

0:29:130:29:17

I went to Mersea, which is just a few miles up the coast, to find out more.

0:29:170:29:21

The Essex coast is one of the best places in the world to find oysters.

0:29:320:29:36

Richard Haward's family have been dredging oysters

0:29:360:29:39

here on the Blackwater Estuary for generations,

0:29:390:29:42

all the way back to 1792.

0:29:420:29:44

And I am here to spend the day with Richard and his son Bram.

0:29:500:29:53

At this time of the year, it is

0:29:530:29:55

actually illegal to fish for native oysters.

0:29:550:29:57

So fishermen like Richard and Bram can only land their catch

0:29:570:30:01

when there is a letter R in the month,

0:30:010:30:03

so the season really runs from September until April.

0:30:030:30:06

And as we are filming this in the heart of the summer -

0:30:060:30:09

it's actually August - there is no fishing.

0:30:090:30:11

But there is still plenty of work to do, and I'm going to help the guys out.

0:30:110:30:14

So, Bram, what exactly do I need to do?

0:30:140:30:18

-Put those on for a start?

-Yep.

-Keep nice and clean.

0:30:180:30:20

Today it's not about going fishing,

0:30:260:30:28

but tending to the stock of oysters growing in the estuary.

0:30:280:30:31

What is a good catch? On a good day, how many oysters can you land?

0:30:360:30:40

-Uh... 5,000, plus.

-Really?

-Yep.

-That's a lot of oysters, isn't it?

0:30:400:30:44

Yeah, it is a lot of oysters, but you do a lot of hours for that amount.

0:30:440:30:47

Dad loves it, doesn't he? I mean, he loves being here. Look at him.

0:30:470:30:51

Even though he's past his time and age, he doesn't look it.

0:30:510:30:55

-I started at four o'clock this morning.

-Did you?

0:30:550:30:57

So what are the hours for an oyster fisherman?

0:30:570:31:00

-I started at four this morning.

-You started at four?!

0:31:000:31:02

-Why, because of the tide?

-Tide, yeah. There's low tide then.

0:31:020:31:06

I was hand picking them, picking them by hand.

0:31:060:31:08

You can only really fish at low tide, then, can you?

0:31:080:31:10

No, but when you go handpicking, you are obviously in the mud,

0:31:100:31:14

picking them up by hand.

0:31:140:31:15

Then you wait for the tide to come up, and then go catch them in the boat.

0:31:150:31:18

-So you just make the most of it.

-Yep.

0:31:180:31:20

-When the boat can't get out, you do it...

-Yeah.

0:31:200:31:23

-Well, good on you. Was Dad up at four?

-Yeah, right(!)

0:31:230:31:26

What are we going to be doing today, Richard?

0:31:340:31:36

We're going to be catching, we hope, mainly small oysters,

0:31:360:31:38

which we're going to take from here on the river

0:31:380:31:41

and relay on our own beds in the creeks, where they should get

0:31:410:31:44

better food and grow and fatten and make a much better oyster.

0:31:440:31:47

-Is that something you have to do every season?

-Well, yeah.

0:31:470:31:50

Some you can take straight out of the river, but they are rarely

0:31:500:31:53

as good as anything you can produce in the creeks.

0:31:530:31:56

That is the way it has been done for a long, long time.

0:31:560:31:58

Richard's family are part of a conservation project

0:31:580:32:01

to protect the rare British native oyster,

0:32:010:32:04

which has been in decline for years.

0:32:040:32:07

We are hardly catching any native oysters at all at the moment.

0:32:070:32:11

We leave them there to spawn, and then for the spawn to settle

0:32:110:32:14

and become what we call spat and then grow

0:32:140:32:17

but that takes four to five years before they're big enough to sell.

0:32:170:32:20

So it is a very, very long-term project.

0:32:200:32:23

-Why are they in decline?

-Probably overfishing years ago.

0:32:230:32:27

Erm... Combined with...predators.

0:32:270:32:32

Several things eat oysters, especially when they're young.

0:32:320:32:35

Erm...

0:32:350:32:36

Changes in the water, the quality of the water. Combination of all of those things.

0:32:360:32:40

There were wild oyster beds all around the British Isles.

0:32:400:32:44

A lot of those beds now are just nonexistent

0:32:440:32:47

and have been probably for nearly 100 years.

0:32:470:32:49

Obviously you've been in business all your working lives,

0:32:490:32:52

but I mean, this family business goes back generations, doesn't it?

0:32:520:32:56

-Yeah, I'm the seventh, Bram's the eighth.

-Yeah.

0:32:560:32:58

-Hopefully there'll be a ninth.

-Yeah, there will be a ninth, and he's in training.

0:32:580:33:02

'This is time-consuming work.

0:33:080:33:09

'And when they are fishing, the boat will often be at sea for eight hours

0:33:090:33:13

'a day, and may return with a catch of only 100 kilos of shellfish.

0:33:130:33:17

'And they need at least 150 kilos just to break even.'

0:33:190:33:22

What we've got here are rock oysters, and you can tell

0:33:230:33:25

-cos they look like rocks, I guess.

-That's right.

0:33:250:33:28

-Native oysters are sort of rounder and smoother.

-That's correct.

0:33:280:33:31

So basically what we're doing now

0:33:310:33:34

is just separating oysters

0:33:340:33:36

-that have got stuck together.

-That's correct.

0:33:360:33:38

Do you separate them because it would stunt their growth

0:33:380:33:41

if they're stuck together?

0:33:410:33:42

It would stunt their growth, make them grow a funny shape.

0:33:420:33:44

And quite honestly, if you left them too late,

0:33:440:33:47

-you wouldn't manage to part them into single oysters.

-Really?

0:33:470:33:50

I don't think I'm strong enough.

0:33:500:33:51

It's jolly enjoyable on a day like this,

0:33:510:33:54

-but obviously you're out in all weathers.

-Yes, in the middle of...

0:33:540:33:57

And this gets rather difficult if it's pouring with rain and cold.

0:33:570:34:00

And cold. Yeah, the rain's not really a problem. The cold...

0:34:000:34:05

The problem when you become an old man like me...

0:34:050:34:08

-PAUL LAUGHS

-How old are you now? If you don't mind me asking.

-68.

0:34:080:34:12

-And you're still working every single day.

-Yeah.

0:34:120:34:15

When do you think you'll retire? Will you ever retire?

0:34:150:34:18

-My boy says never.

-Never.

0:34:180:34:20

-Well, Bram needs a hand, doesn't he? Let's face it.

-Yep.

0:34:200:34:22

For a few more years, anyway.

0:34:220:34:24

The trouble is I won't do what he tells me, so...

0:34:240:34:26

Is he in charge now?

0:34:260:34:27

He's in charge of the boat, yeah.

0:34:270:34:29

-So this is your stretch of water?

-It is, we own this bit of seabed.

0:34:350:34:39

-How much of this seabed do you own?

-We've got seven acres here.

0:34:390:34:42

Seven acres, that is a large area, isn't it? That really is.

0:34:420:34:45

-And are there marker buoys showing where...?

-We've got

0:34:450:34:47

-marker buoys and we've got withes - sticks that mark what we've got.

-OK.

0:34:470:34:52

-So, I guess we've got to get these back in the water?

-Yep.

0:34:520:34:54

OK. So just literally straight in?

0:34:540:34:57

Well, slowly. Don't go too quickly, else they'll all end up in a heap.

0:34:570:35:00

If you just...

0:35:000:35:01

I see, cos you don't want them to land on top of each other.

0:35:020:35:05

No, you want them spread out.

0:35:050:35:06

So they're down there now for how many years?

0:35:060:35:09

-Probably three or four, I would say.

-Three or four years.

0:35:090:35:12

-Can I do this one?

-Yes, you can do that one, but be careful.

0:35:120:35:14

-Don't go with it.

-No.

0:35:140:35:17

-Welcome to your new home, guys.

-Yep.

0:35:170:35:19

Where will these end up once they've been picked up?

0:35:200:35:23

Where will they be sold to?

0:35:230:35:24

Well, a lot of them we sell into London

0:35:240:35:26

because London's nearby, 60 miles, and a big sender.

0:35:260:35:29

And we've got our own stall up there as well.

0:35:290:35:32

But other than that, round the country, Middle East, Far East...

0:35:320:35:35

-All over Europe?

-Little bit, not so much at the moment, but...

0:35:350:35:39

There you go, guys.

0:35:410:35:42

Last one...

0:35:420:35:44

There we are, that's the work done for today - but Richard

0:35:470:35:50

and Bram will be back doing exactly the same thing tomorrow.

0:35:500:35:54

I've had a marvellous time here helping these guys out.

0:35:540:35:57

It couldn't be any better.

0:35:570:35:59

And I think it's wonderful that generation after

0:35:590:36:01

generation of the same family are keeping a local traditional

0:36:010:36:04

industry well and truly alive. And long may it continue.

0:36:040:36:09

Welcome back to our valuation day here at Layer Marney Tower.

0:36:210:36:24

And as you can see, we still have hundreds of people

0:36:240:36:26

waiting to see our experts, so fingers crossed

0:36:260:36:28

we're going to find some real gems right here, right now.

0:36:280:36:31

So let's join up with our experts and take a look at our next item.

0:36:310:36:35

You've brought a lovely historical piece in today, Jill.

0:36:380:36:40

-What can you tell me about your cribbage board?

-Not a lot, really.

0:36:400:36:44

This was left with my mother's things, and we inherited it.

0:36:440:36:49

And we were afraid that when anything happened to us,

0:36:490:36:52

the children would just throw it away, they wouldn't be interested.

0:36:520:36:55

-Just disregard it as "that old thing".

-Yes, yes.

0:36:550:36:57

At first glance, it looks a very sort of plain

0:36:570:36:59

and straightforward piece of engine-cut brass.

0:36:590:37:03

Cribbage boards have an interesting history.

0:37:030:37:06

They were believed to be invented by a British soldier and poet

0:37:060:37:09

called Sir John Suckling in the 17th century, so quite a long time ago.

0:37:090:37:14

Um, and it was sort of a game, where you put in your little pegs, or

0:37:140:37:19

even sort of pared down matchsticks, and keep score along the board.

0:37:190:37:24

But obviously, you can score dominoes or card games with it.

0:37:240:37:27

And it was adopted particularly on board ship

0:37:270:37:30

and by military personnel.

0:37:300:37:32

It is an easy to carry along game and you can sort of have

0:37:320:37:35

lots of that, whiling away at boring hours in trenches, etc,

0:37:350:37:39

and whilst on board ship, playing with your colleagues.

0:37:390:37:43

Yours is late, it is a 20th-century piece of brass,

0:37:430:37:46

which intrinsic, isn't worth a lot, it's not that unusual.

0:37:460:37:50

But what makes yours special is the engraving right in the middle.

0:37:500:37:54

And it is...

0:37:540:37:55

Now, can you, via your mother, tell me anything about that?

0:38:020:38:05

No, nothing at all.

0:38:050:38:07

Is there any family connection to the ship or anything?

0:38:070:38:09

-Not as far as I know, no.

-OK.

0:38:090:38:12

Well, certainly, to my knowledge,

0:38:120:38:14

there have been several HMS Excellents

0:38:140:38:17

through the years, over the centuries,

0:38:170:38:19

and it has always been associated with being a training ship.

0:38:190:38:22

Gunners would use it to practise their shooting

0:38:220:38:26

skills from on board ship.

0:38:260:38:28

And that was really what it was known as being.

0:38:280:38:31

What it is is a little pocket...

0:38:310:38:34

It's a slice of history there, ready for somebody to tap into.

0:38:340:38:38

And in the current market, military and naval

0:38:380:38:42

and British history is very much at the fore of people's consciences.

0:38:420:38:45

A very popular field for collecting.

0:38:450:38:47

So, it is a very modest piece,

0:38:470:38:50

but actually it is quite a heart-warming piece, too.

0:38:500:38:53

In terms of value, unless further research throws up

0:38:530:38:57

a huge discrepancy, I think the value

0:38:570:38:59

is actually going to be quite modest.

0:38:590:39:02

I would think roundabout

0:39:020:39:03

-sort of £30 to £50 at auction would be realistic.

-That's fine.

0:39:030:39:06

-Does that sound all right?

-Yes.

0:39:060:39:08

And we'll put a reserve on, if you would like one?

0:39:080:39:11

-Yes.

-A reserve? Lower end of the estimate, at £30.

0:39:110:39:13

That would be fine.

0:39:130:39:14

We'll fix it at 30, and then you've got peace of mind.

0:39:140:39:18

-And we'll see what the response is to it.

-Thank you.

0:39:180:39:20

-Thank you for bringing it in.

-Thank you very much.

0:39:200:39:23

If only that cribbage board could talk, the stories it could tell.

0:39:230:39:27

We've taken a step away from the valuations,

0:39:290:39:31

which are taking place outside, in the glorious sunshine,

0:39:310:39:34

to the shade of the great barn, a cooler part of the building,

0:39:340:39:37

in fact, the oldest part of the estate here.

0:39:370:39:40

And I've just been joined by Iris.

0:39:400:39:41

And thank you so much for bringing in a Kenneth Halliwell collage,

0:39:410:39:45

dated 1966.

0:39:450:39:47

Now, I had the good fortune of filming with "Flog It!"

0:39:470:39:49

recently about a playwright from Leicester called Joe Orton,

0:39:490:39:53

who was Halliwell's live-in partner. And of course, Joe Orton,

0:39:530:39:56

you know, one of the greatest playwrights of the 20th century,

0:39:560:39:59

tackled subjects which so many people were frightened to

0:39:590:40:01

talk about on stage - What The Butler Saw, Loot, plays like that.

0:40:010:40:05

Still very, very popular today.

0:40:050:40:07

Now, while Orton's career was taking off, unfortunately...

0:40:070:40:12

-Halliwell's was declining.

-Halliwell's was declining, yes.

0:40:120:40:15

What can you tell me about this and how did you come by it?

0:40:150:40:17

We used to own a second-hand record shop in Ilford.

0:40:170:40:21

And my partner and I went round to an elderly lady.

0:40:210:40:25

And she had this above the mantelpiece.

0:40:250:40:28

And I was quite fascinated by it, but I wasn't sure what it was.

0:40:280:40:32

I went to look and I noticed it was Halliwell, and I questioned her.

0:40:320:40:35

And she said that a neighbour was a friend of Joe Orton's

0:40:350:40:39

-and Kenneth Halliwell's.

-Right, OK.

0:40:390:40:41

So I asked if she would be interested in selling it,

0:40:410:40:43

because she seemed to need some money at the time.

0:40:430:40:46

And she said, yes, she would be interested.

0:40:460:40:49

-And I made her an offer and she accepted.

-Right.

0:40:490:40:52

-And have you had it on a wall ever since, enjoying this?

-No.

0:40:520:40:55

-I took it home and...

-Where has it been?

0:40:550:40:58

I considered putting it on the wall,

0:40:580:41:00

but I thought it was a bit depressing.

0:41:000:41:02

And I've got a cousin in Devon who said to me,

0:41:020:41:05

"Do not put it on the wall because it is bad karma."

0:41:050:41:08

-Really?

-So it never ever went on the wall.

0:41:080:41:11

What do you think is depressing about it? I...

0:41:110:41:14

Structurally, I think it is very, very good.

0:41:140:41:17

There are the eyes that stare at you.

0:41:170:41:19

And I think the stairway doesn't lead anywhere.

0:41:190:41:22

No, I don't think it's supposed to, really, is it?

0:41:220:41:24

I think Halliwell felt his life...

0:41:240:41:26

Was slightly trapped and he was going around in circles.

0:41:260:41:28

And there was an exhibition, I think.

0:41:280:41:30

Well, Orton's career really peaked in 1966, he persuaded Halliwell

0:41:300:41:34

to have an exhibition on the King's Road of all his collages.

0:41:340:41:36

This possibly would have been one of them.

0:41:360:41:38

It's dated '66, it could have been for that exhibition.

0:41:380:41:42

Possibly.

0:41:420:41:43

-But sadly, none of his work sold.

-No.

0:41:430:41:46

And a year later, in '67,

0:41:460:41:48

he killed Orton and then committed suicide...

0:41:480:41:50

-That's right.

-..in his flat, in Islington, in North London.

0:41:500:41:53

-In Noel Road.

-Yes, yeah.

0:41:530:41:54

I think he's a man with exceptional talent, actually,

0:41:540:41:56

-and I think he's been overlooked.

-Yes.

-I really do.

0:41:560:41:59

And I think there's a considerable amount of value here

0:41:590:42:02

because of its rarity and its story and its provenance.

0:42:020:42:05

My gut feeling is if you put this into auction with

0:42:050:42:10

an estimate of around £800 to £1,200, I think it will sell.

0:42:100:42:14

Yes.

0:42:140:42:15

What's the least amount of money you would let this go for?

0:42:150:42:18

Well, I think a reserve of 1,000 would be correct.

0:42:180:42:22

OK.

0:42:220:42:23

If we pitch that at 800 to 1,200 with a reserve at 800,

0:42:230:42:27

would you be happy?

0:42:270:42:28

I think...I think tucking it slightly under the £1,000 mark

0:42:280:42:31

gives it a chance to get that £1,000.

0:42:310:42:35

-Yes, yes, I agree.

-Yeah?

0:42:350:42:37

I'm confident it will get that.

0:42:370:42:40

I think there will be a lot of interest

0:42:400:42:41

because it's been a long time since one of these has gone on the market.

0:42:410:42:44

-Yes.

-And this is a particularly good one.

0:42:440:42:47

-Hm. That'd be great.

-Yeah.

0:42:470:42:50

That's a really exciting picture to see

0:42:500:42:52

and definitely one to watch at the auction.

0:42:520:42:54

Now, back out in the sunshine,

0:42:540:42:56

where Elizabeth has a table full of bright Staffordshire ware.

0:42:560:43:00

Well, Lynn, if all, you've come dressed for the wedding.

0:43:000:43:03

-You look beautiful.

-Thank you.

0:43:030:43:04

But you've actually taken your accessorizing to another level

0:43:040:43:08

because you have brought along this amazing set to match your outfits.

0:43:080:43:11

It wasn't planned, it just happened, honestly.

0:43:110:43:14

A lot of hard work went into that, it's very beautiful.

0:43:140:43:17

Well, thank you for coming along and bringing a coffee set with you.

0:43:170:43:21

And do you know much about it?

0:43:210:43:22

Not too much, just that I think it's probably 1930s

0:43:220:43:28

and it came from a maiden aunt of my husband's.

0:43:280:43:33

I noticed that it had Shelley on the bottom.

0:43:330:43:36

And it is just very, very pretty.

0:43:360:43:39

And, Yvonne, you know this set as well?

0:43:390:43:41

I don't know the set, but I do know Auntie Dot,

0:43:410:43:43

and she was a lovely, gentle lady,

0:43:430:43:47

very quiet and just a lady, really.

0:43:470:43:51

But Lynn was very kind. She knows I was desperate to get on the show.

0:43:510:43:55

So she found this treasure to bring.

0:43:550:43:58

So you are both getting something out of the day today.

0:43:580:44:01

-Yes, definitely, definitely.

-Good!

0:44:010:44:03

The Shelley which I suppose we all think of is the bright

0:44:030:44:06

-and colourful, avant-garde pieces.

-The different handles, yes.

0:44:060:44:10

Which were running parallel with the Art Deco period

0:44:100:44:14

that was so strong in the design world at that stage.

0:44:140:44:18

Now, what you have here is a service which is...

0:44:190:44:22

-I know you know the name of the flowers.

-Anemones.

0:44:220:44:25

Well, this is actually the Anemone pattern.

0:44:250:44:27

And the name of the shape of both the cups

0:44:270:44:32

and the coffee pot is the Vincent shape.

0:44:320:44:35

Seeing it here on this beautiful day, the sunshine coming down.

0:44:350:44:38

-On the lovely blue cloth.

-It just seems...

0:44:380:44:41

I mean, it's in lovely condition and it's very English and it just...

0:44:410:44:46

It is very happy, a happy service.

0:44:460:44:48

Having seen it all spread out now, can you bear to part with it?

0:44:480:44:52

Yes, I can. Yes.

0:44:520:44:54

I think we're looking at round about £100 to £150

0:44:540:44:57

within total.

0:44:570:44:58

-Does that sort of still suit you?

-Yeah, I haven't...

0:44:580:45:01

Up until I was going to bring it, I wondered if it would only be

0:45:010:45:05

sort of worth about £60, something like that, so that's...

0:45:050:45:08

It should be worth more than that.

0:45:080:45:10

And I think if it doesn't reach £100, I would certainly not

0:45:100:45:13

-worry about hanging onto it for a little while longer.

-OK.

0:45:130:45:17

-Another visit to "Flog It!".

-Yes, another visit, yay!

0:45:170:45:20

-So if we put it through... If you are happy to sell it at that.

-Yes.

0:45:200:45:23

A £100, £150 estimate.

0:45:230:45:25

We'll set a reserve on it of 100,

0:45:250:45:27

so you've got peace of mind on the day.

0:45:270:45:29

And we'll see what we do on the day. Does that suit you?

0:45:290:45:34

That would be absolutely wonderful, thank you.

0:45:340:45:36

Thank you so much for bringing it in

0:45:360:45:37

-and I hope you enjoy the rest of your day.

-I'm sure we will,

0:45:370:45:40

-thank you.

-Thank you.

-Thank you very much.

0:45:400:45:43

I wonder if we're going to see them both at the auction.

0:45:430:45:45

Layer Marney Tower isn't just an important, historic building,

0:45:450:45:48

it's also a family home.

0:45:480:45:50

And two of the current members of the family are right here,

0:45:500:45:52

right now. Nick, good to see you, and his daughter, Alice. Hi.

0:45:520:45:56

-Now, Nick, you grew up here and your parents bought this house.

-Yes.

0:45:560:45:59

That must have been quite incredible at such a young age.

0:45:590:46:01

Well, I was actually born here in the bedroom that we live in,

0:46:010:46:05

sleep in, whatever now.

0:46:050:46:06

So it's all I've ever known and I think that probably takes away

0:46:060:46:09

-some of the glamour, because you just get used to it.

-Sure, sure.

0:46:090:46:12

What made your parents buy this building?

0:46:120:46:14

-Were they after an historic building to do up?

-No, they weren't.

0:46:140:46:18

They were married in the church next door in 1957.

0:46:180:46:23

And my father was out in South Yemen, posted out of there with the Army.

0:46:230:46:26

My mother wrote to him and said,

0:46:260:46:28

"Layer Marney's come up for sale."

0:46:280:46:31

Just because by the by and, "Your daughter Victoria's well"

0:46:310:46:34

and this and that. And he wrote back and said, "Buy it."

0:46:340:46:36

She bought it. Against all advice.

0:46:360:46:38

Well, Alice, I notice you're wearing a "Flog It!" T-shirt.

0:46:380:46:40

-You're helping out with us today.

-Yeah, yeah.

0:46:400:46:42

-What was it like growing up here for you?

-Erm... It was fantastic.

0:46:420:46:45

It's the perfect, perfect place to....

0:46:450:46:48

-Play hide and seek.

-Grow up. Play hide and seek!

0:46:480:46:50

-Great parties!

-Really great.

-Poor old Dad.

0:46:500:46:52

Thank you for taking time for talking.

0:46:520:46:54

-Cos I know we've got work to do!

-Yeah!

0:46:540:46:56

Shall we get on with it? Come on.

0:46:560:46:58

And now over to our resident fashion guru,

0:46:580:47:01

Mr Philip Serrell.

0:47:010:47:03

-Peter, how are you doing?

-I'm doing fine, thanks.

0:47:030:47:05

-It's a warm day, isn't it?

-Phew, yes!

0:47:050:47:07

You've got very appropriate clothing on.

0:47:070:47:09

My daughter'll be killing me now, cos she told me not to wear it!

0:47:090:47:11

Yeah, well, there are shirts, and that is a shirt.

0:47:110:47:13

Did you ever have a part in Hawaii Five-O?

0:47:130:47:16

This is my "No, Dad" shirt.

0:47:160:47:18

"No, Dad, don't wear it."

0:47:180:47:20

-So, you brought these along.

-Yes.

-I think they're lovely.

-Yep.

0:47:200:47:23

This is salt-glazed,

0:47:230:47:24

and it's very much in the shape of a 17th-century German bellarmine,

0:47:240:47:29

but probably English. Stoneware.

0:47:290:47:32

-And this is a lovely cobalt blue.

-Yes.

0:47:320:47:35

And this, sort of, shrinkage on here is, when it's fired,

0:47:350:47:38

the glaze just shrinks and you get almost, like, this mottled effect.

0:47:380:47:41

And I think they're absolutely lovely,

0:47:410:47:43

but condition is just everything with these.

0:47:430:47:46

-And the condition just ain't good, is it?

-No.

-Why's that, then?

0:47:460:47:49

Well, because it was in the bottom of a swimming pool,

0:47:490:47:52

-laying like that, and a digger caught it.

-Oh!

0:47:520:47:54

About 20 foot down in the ground.

0:47:540:47:57

Did you see these the minute the digger caught them, or...?

0:47:570:47:59

That one I did, yeah.

0:47:590:48:01

It glanced off the top and just caught it,

0:48:010:48:03

and then, obviously, we got down into the bottom and started...

0:48:030:48:07

-Having a good dig around.

-By hand, and then...

0:48:070:48:09

-Did you find any more?

-No. They were the only two in there.

0:48:090:48:12

We dug the rest of the pool, and that was the only two there.

0:48:120:48:15

-And when was this?

-25 years ago, easily.

0:48:150:48:17

There was supposed to have been a brewery there.

0:48:170:48:19

-Whether there was or not...

-That's a lovely story.

0:48:190:48:22

-Yeah, it's great.

-Let's leave it at that.

0:48:220:48:23

Let's not look into this too deeply, let's just leave it at that.

0:48:230:48:26

I think they're cool things, actually.

0:48:260:48:28

What I really like about that is you've got a loop handle there,

0:48:280:48:31

-so someone has got a strap of clay...

-Yeah.

0:48:310:48:33

..they've put it on there

0:48:330:48:34

-and they've just pushed that down like that...

-Yeah.

0:48:340:48:36

-..And then it's gone down there, and then it's just...

-Thumbprint.

0:48:360:48:39

It's just thumbed. And it's salt glazed,

0:48:390:48:41

because the salt gets chucked in to the kiln at a certain temperature,

0:48:410:48:45

and it gives it that, sort of, mottled, brown finish,

0:48:450:48:47

and I just think they're lovely.

0:48:470:48:49

-They're just a bit of fun.

-Yeah.

-OK? They are just a bit of fun.

0:48:490:48:53

I mean, do you just want to see the back of them or...?

0:48:530:48:55

Yeah, I mean, they've been hanging about for yonks

0:48:550:48:58

and my wife's now fed up with polishing them and cleaning them

0:48:580:49:00

-and...

-Yeah.

0:49:000:49:02

-Wives have a habit of doing that, don't they?

-Yeah.

0:49:020:49:04

-Yeah, they do.

-I'm under instructions.

-Really?

0:49:040:49:06

-Yeah.

-It's a tough life, innit?

-It is a tough life.

0:49:060:49:09

Erm, I think that I would put probably a 30-50 estimate on them.

0:49:090:49:14

Oh! As much as that(?)

0:49:140:49:15

And I'd reserve them at 20 quid and keep everything I'd got crossed - everything I'd got crossed.

0:49:150:49:19

And she was hoping to retire!

0:49:190:49:23

Yeah, well, she CAN...

0:49:230:49:25

but not on the strength of these.

0:49:250:49:27

And I think you should wear that shirt at the auction

0:49:270:49:30

because that would provide a suitable distraction to the bidders,

0:49:300:49:32

and they're not going to see that damage.

0:49:320:49:34

-I'm sure I can find a better one!

-Really?

0:49:340:49:36

Oh, all right. OK.

0:49:370:49:39

I love it when people find things like that.

0:49:400:49:43

Well, there you are, our experts have now made their final

0:49:470:49:49

choices of items to take off to auction,

0:49:490:49:52

and I think there could be one or two surprises there.

0:49:520:49:55

So sadly it's time to say goodbye to our magnificent

0:49:550:49:57

host location, Layer Marney Tower.

0:49:570:50:00

Right now, we've got some unfinished business to do in the saleroom.

0:50:000:50:03

And here's a quick recap of all the items we're taking with us.

0:50:030:50:06

This cribbage board with its inscription really is

0:50:060:50:10

a little piece of history.

0:50:100:50:12

And I'm looking forward to seeing how this Kenneth Halliwell

0:50:140:50:18

collage does in the saleroom.

0:50:180:50:20

It's pretty, it's Shelley and it's not a lot of money,

0:50:230:50:26

so we will be saying goodbye to Lynn's coffee set.

0:50:260:50:30

I liked Peter's stoneware jugs,

0:50:310:50:33

and the story of how he found them was first class.

0:50:330:50:36

We're heading back to Rayleigh in Essex,

0:50:390:50:41

where our sale is taking place.

0:50:410:50:43

Let's now find what auctioneer Paul Stacey

0:50:430:50:46

makes of the Halliwell collage.

0:50:460:50:47

I love this. I really do. If I could own this, I'd love to buy it.

0:50:480:50:52

It belongs to Iris. It is, as you know, a Kenneth Halliwell collage.

0:50:520:50:55

And I had the fortune of finding out about Kenneth Halliwell

0:50:550:50:59

and his partner Joe Orton when I did a piece for "Flog It!"

0:50:590:51:01

about six months ago.

0:51:010:51:03

And I went to the museum in Islington

0:51:030:51:05

where there is a large collection of his work.

0:51:050:51:09

I never thought I would see an original come on the market

0:51:090:51:13

in my life, so for me, this is a great "Flog It!" find.

0:51:130:51:18

It's...it's a very rare thing, with so much history behind it.

0:51:180:51:22

It is a definite winner, there is no doubt about that at all.

0:51:220:51:25

-How many phone lines have you got booked?

-Three at the moment.

-Great.

0:51:250:51:29

And I think there's... You know, potentially there could be

0:51:290:51:32

other buyers that'll also just come

0:51:320:51:33

just purely to buy this

0:51:330:51:35

because it is such a unique thing.

0:51:350:51:37

Halliwell did without a doubt live on the edge anyway.

0:51:370:51:41

Erm... And everything else.

0:51:410:51:43

I think the whole thing is fantastic, very, very interesting.

0:51:430:51:47

-Unique thing. It's going to do very, very well.

-Yeah.

0:51:470:51:50

Good luck with that. Well, I don't need to say good luck,

0:51:500:51:52

it's going to sell itself.

0:51:520:51:54

-It's going to be good, yeah.

-We'll just wait for the surprise.

0:51:540:51:56

Whatever you do, don't go away, this could get very interesting.

0:51:560:52:00

But before we find out how it does we have a couple of other items

0:52:010:52:04

to go under the hammer.

0:52:040:52:07

Our next item isn't a great deal of money,

0:52:070:52:09

but it is a great deal of fun

0:52:090:52:10

and you can get a great deal of use out of it if you play games,

0:52:100:52:13

especially cribbage. Because it was made, wasn't it, Jill,

0:52:130:52:16

-as a cribbage board?

-Yes, that's right.

-It's machine polished,

0:52:160:52:19

-it's a nice piece of brass.

-Yep.

0:52:190:52:20

But you can score with other games.

0:52:200:52:22

I use them for dominoes and things like that, lots of family fun.

0:52:220:52:26

And not a lot of money, so hopefully

0:52:260:52:28

someone's going to buy this and put it to use.

0:52:280:52:30

-Hope so.

-It's going under the hammer now.

0:52:300:52:32

Moving now to 560.

0:52:330:52:35

We have a brass peg cribbage board with the inscription

0:52:350:52:39

HMS Excellent, 1916.

0:52:390:52:42

Commission bids, I have, straight in at...

0:52:420:52:45

-Commission bid!

-Yes!

-£38 is bid. It's a commission bid with me at 38.

0:52:450:52:49

Any advances now? 38 is bid,

0:52:490:52:51

40 we're looking for. 40, thank you, sir.

0:52:510:52:54

Back of the room at £40. 42.

0:52:540:52:56

One more takes it if you want it, sir. 45 now.

0:52:560:53:00

Back of the room at £45 and selling. Are we all done?

0:53:000:53:03

-Yes!

-That was all right.

-It was good, wasn't it?

0:53:050:53:07

-Thank you very much.

-Someone's going to put that to use.

0:53:070:53:10

Yes. Thank you.

0:53:100:53:11

That is an excellent start.

0:53:120:53:14

Let's hope it's a sign of things to come.

0:53:140:53:16

A wonderful little lot going under the hammer right now -

0:53:170:53:20

two 19th-century stoneware flagons, belonging to Peter

0:53:200:53:23

-and his wife Tiggy, who we didn't meet at the valuation day.

-No.

-Thank you for turning up today.

0:53:230:53:27

-I feel we will get that top bid.

-I hope so, they're lovely things.

0:53:270:53:30

-I like the salt glaze one.

-Lovely texture to the body.

0:53:300:53:33

Right, let's find out what the bidders think.

0:53:330:53:34

They're going under the hammer right now. This is it.

0:53:340:53:38

Lot 745, we come now to small stoneware flagons, as catalogued.

0:53:380:53:41

Where we going to be with this lot? 10 to start us, 10.

0:53:410:53:45

Cheap lot for £10. 10 bid, thank you, sir. 12, anywhere?

0:53:450:53:47

Are we all done at 10?

0:53:470:53:49

12, 14, 16.

0:53:490:53:51

And 16, and 18, now.

0:53:510:53:52

£18. Are we all done? Fair warning, I'm selling at 18.

0:53:520:53:56

Hammer's going down...

0:53:560:53:57

-Well, he sold. He sold at 18.

-I can retire on that.

0:53:580:54:02

-Absolutely right.

-But I tell you what,

0:54:020:54:04

you've had the pleasure of finding them, cleaning them

0:54:040:54:06

and owning them, and I think that's where the value is, really.

0:54:060:54:09

-You saved them, that's the thing.

-Yeah. They're back in circulation.

0:54:090:54:12

-Exactly.

-Absolutely right.

0:54:120:54:13

OK, normally on the show we are selling Shelley tea sets,

0:54:200:54:23

but right now we're selling a Shelley coffee set.

0:54:230:54:25

It's going under the hammer, and it belongs to Lynn,

0:54:250:54:27

who's right next to me. Hello. And I know you're here with Yvonne.

0:54:270:54:30

-You're best friends?

-We are.

-You were both at the valuation day.

0:54:300:54:33

I think it's a first for us on the Shelley coffee set.

0:54:330:54:35

-Is it really?

-Yeah, we've had hundreds of tea sets.

0:54:350:54:37

Well, it is more unusual, but it's such a bright and vibrant pattern,

0:54:370:54:40

in lovely condition, and it's a Vincent shape, so hopefully...

0:54:400:54:43

-And it should draw in the bidders.

-I hope so.

-OK. And it's complete.

0:54:430:54:46

Let's find out what they think. It's going under the hammer right now. Good luck, girls.

0:54:460:54:50

We come now to a decorative Shelley patterned coffee set, as catalogued.

0:54:510:54:55

Where are we going to be? Let's get going at £90.

0:54:550:54:58

£90 straight in. £90 is bid.

0:54:580:55:00

Thank you. 95 anywhere?

0:55:000:55:02

95. 100. 110. 120.

0:55:020:55:05

120 on the commissions. 130 anywhere?

0:55:050:55:08

Coming in, madam? 130, thank you.

0:55:080:55:10

140's against you. 140. 150.

0:55:100:55:12

160 is with me. Against you at £160 now.

0:55:120:55:17

It is my commission bid against you in the room.

0:55:170:55:19

I'm selling on the commissions at £160.

0:55:190:55:22

Hammer's going down...

0:55:220:55:24

-There you are, it's gone. Sold.

-That's great.

-That's brilliant.

0:55:240:55:26

-That is brilliant.

-We're happy, you're happy. Great valuation.

0:55:260:55:29

So - you've experienced the valuation day,

0:55:290:55:32

they saw the whole process go through,

0:55:320:55:34

-you've now witnessed the auction.

-Yes.

-Wonderful.

0:55:340:55:36

-And you're going home happy?

-We are, very happy. Wonderful day out.

0:55:360:55:39

And it made a little over the top estimate for them.

0:55:400:55:44

Well, it has been a long wait, but it is my turn to be the expert.

0:55:440:55:47

Yes, we are talking about the Halliwell collage.

0:55:470:55:50

Iris has just joined me in this packed saleroom.

0:55:500:55:52

-I tell you what, it's getting hotter by the minute.

-It is.

0:55:520:55:55

Especially as your lot is going under the hammer.

0:55:550:55:57

-What's going through your mind right now?

-I'm just nervous.

0:55:570:56:00

Are you? I'M nervous for you as well.

0:56:000:56:02

Look, I know it's going to sell - I've got in contact with the museum in Islington

0:56:020:56:06

and I know there are three phone lines booked.

0:56:060:56:09

I've had a chat to the auctioneer on the preview day

0:56:090:56:12

and he's very excited about it.

0:56:120:56:14

-He's had lots and lots of interest.

-That's really good.

-So...

0:56:140:56:17

Iris, I think you could be doing a little dancing,

0:56:170:56:21

you're in the money. Well, are you ready for this, Iris?

0:56:210:56:23

-I certainly am.

-So am I.

0:56:230:56:25

Let's hand the proceedings over to the auctioneer

0:56:250:56:27

and find out exactly what the bidders, what the phone lines

0:56:270:56:30

and what the internet thinks.

0:56:300:56:32

Let's get some big money. Here we go.

0:56:320:56:34

We have the rare, framed 1960s

0:56:360:56:39

original collage by Kenneth Halliwell.

0:56:390:56:42

Shall we say about 500 to start?

0:56:420:56:44

500 anywhere? 500 I've got straight in, thank you.

0:56:440:56:46

600. 650.

0:56:460:56:49

700. 750. 800. 850.

0:56:490:56:54

900. 950.

0:56:540:56:56

1,000. 1,100.

0:56:560:56:59

At £1,100 now. Gentleman standing at 1,100.

0:56:590:57:02

At 1,100...

0:57:020:57:03

Could be going in the room. It could be going in the room.

0:57:030:57:06

1,100.

0:57:060:57:07

..1,200. Against you.

0:57:070:57:09

1,300. 1,400.

0:57:090:57:11

-1,500.

-We've got a phone line now.

0:57:110:57:13

We've got a phone line coming in. This is getting exciting.

0:57:130:57:16

1,600.

0:57:160:57:19

1,800.

0:57:190:57:20

1,900.

0:57:200:57:22

2,000. 2,200.

0:57:220:57:25

2,400.

0:57:250:57:26

2,600.

0:57:260:57:28

-What's going through your mind now?

-It's amazing.

0:57:280:57:30

At 2,600, for the last time, are we all done and selling?

0:57:300:57:35

27. 28 I'll take, sir.

0:57:350:57:36

2,800.

0:57:360:57:37

From the museum, with the 2,800.

0:57:370:57:40

..For the last time and selling at 2,800...

0:57:400:57:43

Your sale, well done. Thank you.

0:57:430:57:46

£2,800 for Iris!

0:57:460:57:48

Oh! What's going through your mind?

0:57:480:57:50

-It's brilliant.

-Yeah?

-Brilliant.

0:57:500:57:52

Oh, how exciting was that? I told you there was going to be

0:57:520:57:55

a surprise. We have Mark joining us now from the museum.

0:57:550:57:57

I interviewed Mark a few months ago. This is Mark from the museum

0:57:570:58:00

in Islington. Come in. You were the lucky buyer.

0:58:000:58:02

-Whew! It was close, wasn't it?

-It was close. We were a bit worried.

0:58:020:58:05

-You got to your threshold nearly.

-Very near.

0:58:050:58:08

-One extra hundred. How about that?

-Well, I'm delighted.

0:58:080:58:10

This is the lady who's looked after it for the last two years.

0:58:100:58:14

Thank you very much. Appreciate it for the Borough of Islington.

0:58:140:58:18

And the good news is, everybody can go and see it.

0:58:180:58:20

You can go to Islington, you can see the museum there.

0:58:200:58:22

We've been there on "Flog It!", it's well worth it.

0:58:220:58:25

And Iris, thank you so much for looking after it.

0:58:250:58:27

-And enjoy that money, won't you?

-I will.

0:58:270:58:29

I hope you've enjoyed today's show.

0:58:290:58:31

Please join us again for many more surprises.

0:58:310:58:33

But right now, from Essex, it doesn't get any better than this. Goodbye.

0:58:330:58:37

Paul Martin presents from Layer Marney Tower in rural Essex, with experts Elizabeth Talbot and Philip Serrell. The teams pick out a selection of interesting antiques and collectables to be sold at the local auction house. Of particular note is a rare and intriguing picture by a troubled artist. Paul visits the home of the British oyster industry and gets hands-on with a conservation project that hopes to save this world-famous delicacy. Paul also visits a stately home lived in by the SAS during World War II.