Paul Martin and experts Anita Manning and James Lewis are at the historic Blackpool Tower Circus to pick out a selection of interesting antiques and collectables.
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Today's show comes from the northwest coastline.
I'm 500 feet up in the air. Can you guess where I am?
Yes, you've got it. Blackpool. Welcome to "Flog It!"
The town of Blackpool hit the big-time
when visiting the seaside became affordable for the masses,
with attractions including a theme park,
three piers, and, of course, the world-renowned Tower Ballroom,
where many a Strictly celeb has samba-ed the night away.
The most famous attraction, of course, has to be the tower
itself, providing thousands of tourists with spectacular
views along the coastline, alongside the ornate
luxury of the ballroom and the excitement of the Tower Circus
drawing in thousands of people over the years.
There's a great queue here today.
This lot are here laden with antiques
and collectables, all hoping they're going to make a small
fortune in auction later on in the programme.
And there's one question on everybody's lips, which is...
-ALL: WHAT'S IT WORTH?!
-They're going to find out.
Ready and waiting to entertain the crowds today is our main man,
-Is it full?
And warming up for her first performance at the circus is
leading lady Anita Manning.
I think it would be nice to do a wee piece on that
because we are in Blackpool, the home of the naughty postcard.
So, without further ado, let's open the doors and start the valuations.
Today, we will find out which of these is worth the most.
Some Chinese terracotta animals that could be over 1,000 years old,
or this concertina that could hit the right note at auction.
Find out which fares best later on in the show.
And kicking off the proceedings, Anita's taking a closer
look at those postcards that she spotted in the queue.
Richard, Sonia, father and daughter. Welcome to "Flog It!".
It's lovely to have you along in this fabulous venue.
You've brought me along an album of postcards.
Richard, tell me, where did you get them?
Many years ago my great aunt, who was a spinster lady,
liked to frequent all of the hotels and places,
and she would have Blackpool and Morecambe
and all the other areas around,
so everybody, we got this huge build up of cards.
Let's have a look.
This is your original album here and it's nice to have kept them
in the album because it's kept them in good condition
and condition is important.
If we look at these ones, we can see at the beginning some early
Donald McGill postcards, and we see
a little reference to a soldier here.
"The voice that breathed o'er Eden fall in the draft!"
And we've got two...
Not the most glamorous girls, and again they are discussing
the Army, and here we've got a reference to old Churchill.
You've got early Donald McGills and that is good.
They're smashing. Do we know how many we have, Richard?
Tell me, why are you selling them, Richard?
Now that the family is spread about,
I wouldn't know who to give it to, I wouldn't know where to leave it
and I have visions of it being dropped into a skip.
Sonia, you've obviously enjoyed looking through these.
Do you have any sentimental attachment to them?
I do for the joy they've brought looking at them, but I agree with my dad -
if we could sell them to someone who would appreciate them
as much as we have, then I would rather they go to
someone like that than, like my dad said, they could get lost.
Postcards are good in today's market.
You've got 160-odd there - some are worth more than others.
I would like to put between £100 and £200.
Would you be happy to sell them at that?
-I was thinking a reserve of £100.
-Would you feel happy?
And a low and wide estimate will encourage the bidding.
So, I am hoping that does very, very well indeed.
James Lewis is taking a trip down Memory Lane.
I think if most people said that
poison bottles and drug jars
reminded them of their childhood, the first thing
that would happen is the social services could be called in!
But I have to say, when I look at these,
that's exactly what it makes me think of.
Times when I was a kid, because my mum
is a qualified pharmacist, my dad
was a pharmacist, my grandmother was a pharmacist,
so whenever I used to go to my grandparents' house,
they used to keep the sugar in a drug jar,
and oil and vinegar and all this sort of thing.
So slightly strange, I admit, but jolly practical!
How did you come to have them - a pharmaceutical background?
My brother-in-law was a chemist,
-who retired 25 years ago now.
And when he retired, the shop was closed down.
Some of these bottles, he took with him to his new house,
-put them in the cellar and forgot about them.
So when they decided to move a couple of weeks ago,
they said, "Would you like to take these bottles to the car boot?"
-And I thought, "They're too good to take to the car boot."
So I brought them along today.
-There was a whole pile more in the box that I saw earlier.
So on top of the ten plain ones that we're not seeing on the table,
we've got these, and these are by far the most interesting.
S-Y-R stands for "syrup".
So these are syrup jars, syrup bottles,
that have a slightly strange stopper,
because most drug jars and drug bottles have a ground glass stopper,
where the outside of the stopper and the inside of the neck of the bottle
are ground so they make a very good seal.
But if you imagine having something sticky and sugary
-in a ground glass stopper...
..as soon as you've put the stopper in, leave it overnight,
it's going to set fast and you're never going to get it off.
So these syrup jars have that. It's like a little dropper almost.
But it prevents the bottle getting stuck with the stopper.
The other interesting feature
is a bottle like this, the green glass one.
As soon as you pick that off the shelf,
you realise that it's ribbed, so if you're a pharmacist in your shop,
that suddenly tells you you've picked up a poison bottle,
the fact that it's ribbed. It's an immediate warning.
-No family, great family link for you with...?
-No sentimental value at all.
Well, the blue glass with the labels in good order,
are worth about £10, 12, 14 each.
Some with chipped stoppers, so we'll make a bit of an allowance.
The ribbed glass without the labels are less.
-Then we've got the oil jar, worth maybe £6 or £7.
So I reckon, if we put an estimate of £60-100
on the collection, it's not huge,
it's better than car boot prices,
but not a massive difference.
-It's a day out for the children.
-It is, and for something
that was just left in the cellar,
-it's better than nothing.
-You never know, it might make a bit more.
-That'd be great.
A great collection found by James.
Alana, welcome to "Flog It!"
It's wonderful of you to come along and be in this fabulous circus ring.
-Have you ever been here before?
-The circus, yes.
Um, well, I essentially grew up here,
my family have been involved since...
-..decades ago, since the first Tower ballet.
-That's my fantasy.
I want to be the woman who stands on the back of the big white
horse trotting around the ring.
-What was your favourite act?
-I loved the elephant.
I used to love when we took him for walks on the beach and stuff.
You took an elephant for a walk on the beach? Ha-ha! For a paddle.
Well, it was more of a dunk rather than a paddle, really.
They were a bit heavy. Yeah, it was a lot of fun.
-It's things I'll always remember.
Tell me, what have you brought me along today?
Well, I've got some retro games - Mouse Trap and Risk!
-Some pretty awesome games.
-Where did you get these?
I found these in a charity, spotted them
and you know when you get that nostalgia of, like, days gone by?
-Did you play board games as a kid?
-A lot, yeah.
Who did you play with?
I played with my grandma loads - in between toast time
and snuggles there was always a board game.
So, this has taken you back to lovely times with your granny.
-Well, I think this is great fun.
You're the expert on this, what sort of dates would this be, maybe 1960s?
These are the first-edition ones.
As far as I am aware from what I've seen on the internet and things.
How much did it cost you?
I haggled a little bit and got them down to both of them
for 40, which I thought was pretty good because they are quite old
and I have looked online
and they are selling online, but incomplete.
This type of thing was mass produced, but it is reflecting the time
and because it was a toy, many of them were discarded or broken
and what you're telling me is this is a first-edition one
and it has everything there.
-You paid retail for them - auction is slightly different.
I would like to put them in estimated, say, 20 to 30.
Would you be content with that?
-If we say £20 reserve with a little bit of discretion.
If they don't get that, you will get them back again.
Yeah, that's fine.
Obviously I've bought it for a bit more,
but that's the risk you take, isn't it?
Who knows? But let's hope they do well in auction,
and it's been great fun looking at them.
Thank you for bringing them along.
That's all right. No problem.
And you can see if those games win or lose at the auction.
I think every child grows up being told by their parents,
"Don't get a motorbike, it's too dangerous,"
but there's something almost
very basic in the human instinct that wants to
go as fast as possible,
and that danger to give you the rush of adrenaline and there's nothing
more dangerous than in the 1920s and '30s than these guys were doing.
My word, these are all speedway riders from that period?
They are, they were my mother's collection from her
days from mainly Belle Vue, Manchester.
Belle Vue and White City, the two big speedway tracks.
-So, was your mother a massive speedway fan?
I think she was.
I had three uncles who were obviously her brothers
and they were all into bikes. She was the younger of them.
I suppose she's grown up with the brothers with motorbikes around,
so they went to Belle Vue and she went with them, as far as I know.
I think even took me in my younger days when I was a young child.
-So young, I couldn't remember it.
-Are you a biker?
-No, can't ride a push-bike!
-Come on. Everyone can ride a push-bike.
-I can drive a car, but not a push-bike. No, I can't.
OK. So, how old was your mother
when she was going to the races - eight, ten?
Probably she started from that young age and into her teens.
I suppose it's what you could call the pop of her day.
On a Saturday night at Belle Vue was the speedway racing
and you got to meet them afterwards.
Here we have proof of the fact she met them.
Max Grossenburg, who was an Australian speedway
and one of the most famous of his day,
and there he is standing looking dashing in his long leather coat.
-I think he must have been known for that.
We have some of the guys up here. Look at what they're wearing.
It's padded, but it wouldn't give anywhere near the protection
of the guys that they have today.
It's a really interesting collection,
but it is quite a varied mix.
We've got the scraps that are put together for personal interest,
the cigarette cards appeal to one market, autographs that appeal
to a separate market and photographs that are a different market again.
The one thing that links them all is the biking interest.
I think the thing of most value is the photograph.
I think that's probably worth 30, £35, but by the time we add it
all together we've got a lot of worth probably 50 to 80.
-Is that all right for you for a starting bid?
The right thing to do is to find a home,
somebody who has a passion for it and let these things live on.
-Let's see who turns up at the sale.
-Yes, OK. Fine.
Just up the coast from Blackpool is another seaside resort.
I'm here at the Winter Gardens in Morecambe, once home to
some of the biggest names in show business
and arguably one of the grandest theatres in Lancashire.
But the heyday has long gone and the glamour has faded,
but thankfully all is not lost.
The theatre was built in 1897 and formed part of an entertainment
complex that included a ballroom and seawater baths.
Most of those features have long since been demolished,
but the theatre still remains,
although it has been closed for more than 40 years.
And it's here in the main auditorium that generations
of theatre-goers flocked to see some of their favourite performers.
This stage has seen the likes of Laurel and Hardy,
Laurence Olivier, and not forgetting the comic genius
Eric Morecambe and his stage partner Ernie Wise.
It must have been terrifying walking on stage to a packed house
because that is a big space.
All those eyes looking down on you, what an atmosphere!
And the acoustics are superb in here with the barrelled ceiling.
When it was full, over 2,150 pairs of eyes would have been on the stage.
If you bought the cheapest tickets available,
it got you a seat in this area.
While it may be a long way from the stage, it is close to that.
This is the original ceiling that was put in in 1897.
It would have been cast out of plaster in smaller
sections at ground level and then raised into position and decorated.
If you look through that hole up there,
it gives you a marvellous view of the ceiling detail,
but also how this incredible plasterwork is held up.
There's a great deal of weight up there, it is
secured into place by ties -
lots of strands of wire which have been tightened up,
looped over this rolled steel joist so it takes the complete weight.
The ties, the wire, is then covered over with more plaster of Paris
and decorated into the ornate work so it is completely hidden.
But it's not just the ceiling that is full of detail here.
The whole place is full of architectural delights.
In its prime, the theatre would have been a grand
and ornate place to visit and also, in the days before TV, it would
have been a centre of entertainment for the local
community as well as for visiting holiday-makers.
Going to the theatre was thirsty work back in the day.
There would have been five bars here serving drinks to the audience
and in this one bar there's a team of dedicated volunteers working
hard to restore it back to its former glory.
Evelyn, you've been involved with this restoration
-project from day one. What year was that?
So, have you got fond memories as a theatre-goer, a young girl,
coming to watch performances here?
Yes, the first time I ever came into the Winter Gardens,
my mum brought me and my sister to see Cinderella, the pantomime.
And I thought it was absolutely wonderful.
The theatre was all lit up.
So, you and a group of friends got together to form an action team,
-to get this restoration project under way.
We got the opportunity in 2006 to purchase the building,
which we did, and we've been slowly trying to do work to reopen it again.
Is there anything I can get involved with?
I am sure, Paul, we can get something for you to do.
Come on, then!
Along with Morecambe's Winter Gardens,
it's estimated that around 50 theatres in the UK
are at risk of being lost for ever.
It makes the work of the volunteers even more important.
I'm going to give a helping hand to local artist Shane Johnstone,
who's restoring some of the original mosaic in the entrance hall.
He, like the rest of the team, offer their skills
to bring the theatre back to life one tile at a time.
So, you've got a bit of damage here.
What's the first thing you're going to do?
First we'll take a tracing of the damaged hole.
Do you want to have a go?
Yes, I can rub that around the edge...
All you do is rub round the edge,
gently look for the edge of the hole, and the damage.
So, what happens next?
What we need to do now is to find a piece that's undamaged,
and take a tracing from that.
-Like that section over there.
-That looks good to me.
I can see what you're doing now.
You know, it is so simple when you really think about it.
OK, lots of buckets of mosaic tiles here.
Yeah, these are all the salvaged tiles.
So what we need to do now is recreate the pattern
by sticking the tiles on here.
You can't rush this, can you?
No, you can't rush it. You've got to do it carefully and thoroughly.
Get a sense of achievement quite quickly, really, don't you?
Once you get two colours down, working together.
You make progress, and you see the artwork develop in front of you,
and it's very satisfying work.
Well, we've cut it out now. We've got rid of the excess brown paper.
One more dab of glue - I've got the last mosaic to put on.
-In we go.
-There we are.
I'll leave that up to you to carry over there
and put into place.
There's a sense of achievement's gone on there.
-Do you want to put it in?
-No, go on, you do it.
I know, obviously, that's got to go down on adhesive,
-but we won't do that right now. Let's just see the process.
So, once that's adhesived in, we fold this over,
we flip it down, insert into the space...
Once that's set in adhesive and it's gone off,
you can get a sponge with some warm water on it
and just soak that brown paper off, and it'll just peel off, won't it?
It'll peel off and it'll reveal a lovely new restored mosaic.
Well done. What a lovely process.
If you visit the theatre,
you can actually walk over our work now, can't you?!
-How about that?
-Thanks for your help.
Well, I've thoroughly enjoyed my visit here to the Winter Gardens,
and it's great to see the work of the volunteers
who are so clearly passionate about protecting their local heritage.
And talking about mosaics, there's a lovely example here.
This was first put down in the late 1880s,
and as you can see, "pavilion" was misspelt.
But I'm sure that's going to be left
for everybody else to look at and admire.
And I must say, if you are ever in the area,
do pay the theatre a visit, because it's well worth seeing.
It's nearly time to put our first items under the hammer,
but before we do, let's have a quick recap of all the items
we think will be entertaining the bidders.
Wish you were here -
it's the collection of postcards brought along by Richard and Sonia.
John's hoping his chemist bottles can brew up a profit.
And Alana is willing to take a risk on these board games.
Let's hope she traps the big money.
There's that collection of Speedway memorabilia.
For today's auction, we've travelled nine miles south to Lytham St Annes,
also a Mecca of entertainment, but this time of a sporting nature.
It is famous for its internationally renowned golf course,
but let's hope today's lots are not under par.
The man in charge today is auctioneer Jonathan Cook
and the room is full of potential bidders.
Our first lot is the collection of postcards.
So, this was a family tradition collected by your great aunt
and it stopped around the '60s and that's
when I started to collect saucy postcards
going on holiday in the '60s and '70s, and this is your great aunt.
-Can we show the camera?
-She was born in 1898.
Doesn't she look happy?
-Is this a sad moment, selling this, really?
-Not really, no.
-I would rather they went to someone who would appreciate it.
Good luck, everybody. It's time to put those values to the test.
Let's hope they find a new home and get looked after
and are kept together.
This is it.
Early 20th-century album. Comical postcards.
We can start them off at £80. 85. 90. Five. At £95. Any advance on 95?
100. At £100 on the net. Any advance on £100?
At £100 on the internet. Are we all sure? 110. And 20. And 30.
And 40. And 50. And 60. 170. 180.
-We are nearly at the top end of the estimate.
-At £180, then.
All on the net at 180. Any further interest in the room? At 190.
On the net at 190. Any advance in the room? At 190, all sure?
All finished. At 190.
That's good, isn't it? Everyone is happy. It was worth doing.
Definitely worth doing. Well done. A good result there.
Now, it's time to roll the dice for our next lot.
Alana, fingers crossed,
and I know you are crazy about board games, aren't you?
-Not a lot of money involved. £20, hopefully £40.
I just wanted to meet you guys! That's all it was.
-I've got to get on.
Let's put it to the test
and find out what this lot think - it's now down to the bidders.
Lot 220. 1960s. Ideal mouse game. Risk! by Waddington. 1960s.
On the internet at £20. 22. 24.
At £24 on the net.
-Any advance in the room? At 24 on the net. Are we all sure?
-We can all live without it.
It has gone within estimate.
-What did you pay for those two games?
-I did pay a bit more.
I was hoping there might have been some big kids in the room. But no!
But somebody else will have a lot of fun playing with them.
-Whoever bought that got a real bargain and hours of fun.
Let's see how James does with his first lot.
-Good luck with the chemists' bottles, John.
I'm pleased you decided to put them into auction,
rather than sell them at a car boot.
-The interesting thing
-with these chemist bottles is a rare label can make a massive difference.
And you've got some lovely enamelled labels amongst them,
some ribbed poison bottles. They're a good bunch.
And I bet if you took these to that car boot,
like, it was your brother that was telling you to?
That's correct, yeah.
I bet you would only have got a tenner for them.
-I'd be lucky if you get that at the car boot.
-A tenner for the lot.
Well, let's hope - let's hope we get the top end of James's estimate,
and get a little surprise.
Collection, 20 chemists' pharmacy bottles,
various sizes and shapes.
Bids there of £30, 32, 34.
At £34, 36, 38, 40.
At £40, 42, 44.
6, 8, 50.
-Look, all the bids are coming in online,
can you see that? They're not in the room at all.
At 75 on commission, looking for 80.
At £75, are we all sure at 75?
-Any further interest?
-I think that's a good result.
At £75, are we all done?
Are we all sure?
-80. £80 bid...
-Fresh legs, right at the end.
£80, are we all done at 80? Any further interest
at £80? All sure at 80?
£80, the hammer's going down.
-Good result. Well done, James.
Yeah, you wouldn't have got that at a car boot, would you?
-Definitely not, no.
Time to bring down the chequered flag on our first visit to
the auction room. Vroom, vroom! We are revving up now.
Things are going well and you know what I'm talking about right now.
Yes, the speedway memorabilia. It is a hard thing to put a value on.
You have 50, £60.
Yeah. It was a very difficult one to estimate
because there's not a massive collectors field for them.
If it had been in Grand Prix or motor racing it would have been
-Anyway, good luck.
-This was the old days.
Lot 435. Speedway interest.
Bids of £34 on the net. £36. 38. 40.
44. 46. 48. 50. Five. 60. Five. 70.
Better than I thought.
-90. We're getting to £100.
At £100 on the internet.
Any advance in the room? 110. New bid in the room at 110.
-Any advance on 110?
-This is brilliant!
140. 150. 160. 170. 180.
190. 200. 220.
Must be something worthwhile in there to someone.
-It's rare, isn't it?
-Well, it is.
All finished at 240? 250 if it helps. 250.
-Fantastic, Jonathan. Well done.
-At £260, then.
All finished at 260? No further interest at £260.
-Gosh, I didn't expect that.
-Nor did we. £260.
It's only bits of paper, after all.
Yeah, but it's speedway memorabilia. A lesson to us all -
don't chuck things away.
Show them to experts first, bring them along to a saleroom
and find out what they're worth before you chuck things.
There's plenty more of my mother's I could bring again.
Let's get round there! Come on.
Are we all done at 90?
At most auction rooms there are loads of paintings for sale.
Some range from £20, by unknown artists,
right up to millions of pounds by masters of the medium.
While we were here filming in the area, I decided to try
my hand at the art of watercolour and have a lesson with a master.
See if you think if I've got what it takes.
This is Towneley Hall near Burnley.
For over 500 years it was home to the Towneley family.
But for the last century it's been owned by the local authorities,
who now use it as a museum and art gallery.
I'm here to meet local artist Jeff Butterworth,
whose talent with watercolours has made him one of
the country's most prolific painters.
-Good to see you.
-Pleased to meet you.
-The weather's on our side, isn't it?
-Shall we get going?
Yeah, follow me.
How long have you been painting? All your life?
More or less. Yeah.
I did start in 1980,
and I joined the British Watercolour Society.
The first exhibition I did, I won the competition.
-That's quite an accolade, isn't it?
-Yeah. And then...
-You won it again...
-..to top it all, I won it three times.
-Yeah, I won it actually three times.
-That's quite an impressive CV -
you are a well-established watercolour artist,
you've exhibited all over the place. How would you describe your style?
As a realist.
OK, so it's photographic representation to a degree.
-It is, yeah.
Why are we meeting up here today? What's special about this place?
Well, I've been coming here since...
Well, the first time I came here I was five.
-Really? Lots of childhood memories.
And now I'm artist in residence at Towneley Hall.
Gosh, that's nice, isn't it? It's come full circle for you.
It has, yeah. It's been quite a good time, really.
-I mean, that's a beautiful-looking shot there, isn't it?
Is that something that we hope to capture today?
Well, if I take a photograph of the view now,
it's got a good composition,
the path's leading me right towards the hall.
-Well, I'm up for going inside.
You've got your camera with you.
..take a photograph of it and then we can work off the result.
-There we go.
-Happy with that one?
The art of watercolour evolved around the 18th century,
when artists would use watercolours to create an initial snapshot
before committing to an oil painting,
much like Jeff uses his camera to capture the landscape today.
Right, where do we start? We've got our image, we've printed it out...
Yeah, we've got our image.
So now we've got to do an outline drawing of the buildings
and the path and the trees.
-So that's the first step.
OK. Can I do my own interpretation of this, or am I copying your style?
No, you interpret it how you think fit.
Watercolour paintings are still hugely popular,
and the collection here at Towneley includes work
by some of the best-known practitioners of the art,
including this one by the world-renowned Joseph Turner.
I think I've got something I can work with,
-I'm quite happy with that.
So, shall we start to paint?
-What do you start with,
the sky and work downwards, or dark to light or light to dark...?
-I always work from top to bottom.
But more importantly, from background to foreground.
So if there's anything that's lighter than the dark background,
-we use a masking fluid.
so you paint over it with the other colours,
but then rub that paint off so it leaves the blank paper to paint on.
That's it, yeah.
You've got a wonderful assortment of brushes here -
sort of flat brushes, fine brushes, mixing brushes...
Yeah, that one's for you.
I've got a nice selection here, some sable brushes...
-OK, that's the best hair to use, is it?
-Yeah, it is,
it's a very expensive brush, but very good quality.
-Well, we need to choose some colours.
So, are we going for blues with some whites that we have to mix
in order to get that?
In watercolour there is no white, it's the paper.
So if there's any areas that are pure white,
then it's areas that we're not going to touch.
Do you know, I didn't know that.
-Can I watch YOU for a little while?
See what you tackle to start with and how you do it,
-and I'll try and copy.
-I'll start with the sky...
-..and take it from here.
What we want to do first of all is to wet the paper,
ready to accept a colour on it.
-So it's harder to paint detail on dry paper, then?
Right, I've learned something there.
You want to carefully work round the building...
Notice there's not much colour on it at the moment.
Now I'm going to put some of the masking fluid on.
-Because you've come to a tree.
-I see, yes - as if the sky's sort of grinning through the branches.
Well, while you finish off that
I can at least make a start on the sky now.
Yeah. Well, this is about done now, so we'll leave this to dry.
It's a lovely brush to work with.
Flat bushes are really nice.
-They cover the paper...
-Cover a broad area.
-Right. Are you going to do some masking fluid?
-Yeah. Can I?
-I've never used that before.
-Yeah. I'll show you how to do it.
Just a quick dip in.
-And then a few dabs?
And paint on where it's dry - don't go onto the watercolour.
It's a gentle process. What's the most difficult thing to paint?
-Do you think so?
You've not much scope, really, to be loose with architecture
if you're trying to get the thing right.
We'll work our way across and do the background trees,
and then work on the building, work on this section.
I'm finding it really relaxing.
-But it's something you can't rush.
I understand that now from watching you.
Although you're working at quite a good pace.
Have you a critical eye at this stage?
Well, I'm working out the technicalities of it,
building the thing up.
Cos all of a sudden, I'm sort of working with
three different shades of green here and making them merge
and seeing what happens,
and just letting the paper
-and the water dictate what's happening.
'The thing that makes watercolours
'more difficult than oils or acrylics
'is the paint is much more liquid, and it wants to move.
'With thicker materials, it stays where you put it.
'But with this kind of painting, you have to learn to work
'with the materials and adapt your technique accordingly.'
A good tip for doing foliage
is to get an old brush,
something like this...
get a little bit of colour on it and then just...
-It'll make things like that, you see?
But you need to do it on a dry background
so you can build it up like that.
That's a nice look, isn't it?
-I'm kind of happy with that in my own way.
-Yeah, it looks...
-Shall we move on to the buildings?
I've already started with the roof.
And at the top is Payne's grey,
-which we've already used a little bit on the trees.
So, basically, it's the same as we've done already -
-we start at the top of the building and work down.
You've painted all over the country, Jeff, landscapes everywhere,
in different lights and different conditions -
it must change dramatically for you.
Yeah. I find that there ARE differences in the light -
southern England has perhaps a mellower feel to the landscape
and the light.
The further north you go
the more harsh the colours can be, but...
basically you still work with the same palette.
Should I carry on with
this building here,
or do I do the tree first?
-Which comes first?
-Finish off each section before you move on.
-What, even the window detail?
-Yeah, do it all.
Bear in mind that it's not all red, there is some green...
I know. And there's a bit of brown, isn't there?
It's quite tricky, really.
I can see why you work from a colour photograph now.
Yeah. Although I have done quite a few black-and-white ones.
'A few hours in, and I'm finding this really relaxing.
'It takes a lot of concentration, but when you're in the flow,
'it's really easy to let your mind wander
'as the picture comes together.
'Although I think I need a lot more practice
'before I reach Jeff's standards.'
Well, Jeff, three hours is up...
I've rushed ahead, I know I've finished mine...
I'm happy with it, but when I look at mine compared to yours,
this looks typical of a schoolboy compared to a professional.
But I've learnt a lot today in my three hours.
And I've learnt that there's a lot of control in your work.
-There really is.
Thank you so much for giving me a lesson here today.
-Shall I sign this?
Who knows - maybe the gallery'll hang it on the wall for a week.
Put a price on it, yeah!
-I'll sign it with watercolour, shall I, rather than pencil?
There you are.
-I enjoyed that. Thoroughly enjoyed that.
Now, this is Jeff's finished piece.
It's easy to see why his work is held in such high regard.
We're back in Blackpool for today's next lot of valuations.
Let's go straight to the Circus Ring,
where Anita is dolled up...
-Ladies, welcome to "Flog It!" You're mum and daughter.
-Whose dolls are these?
-Where did you get them from?
-From an antiques fair about 30 years ago.
-Do you collect dolls, Jean?
-How many do you have?
-Near enough 50, 60.
Gail, what do you think about your mum collecting all these dolls?
-Is she a mad collector?
And what sort of period do your dolls come from?
From when they were babies. And they're going up to 50 now. So...
-Right, so...did your mum take your dolls from you?
-Yes, she did.
-They'd rather play out.
Well, it's nice to think that you have kept dolls.
These ones are baby dolls, and they're probably from the 1940s.
Early '50s. I remember having this type of doll myself.
What I like about them is that we've got a little bit of music.
-And we get a little tune.
DOLL PLAYS TUNE
What is the tune?
I don't know what the one is, I can't get it. One plays Rock-A-Bye Baby...
So these are obviously lullabies to send our babies to sleep.
On this little doll here,
she's fallen down like Humpty Dumpty
and broken her crown. She has been repaired at some point.
This one we have some condition issues. Her face is a bit crackly.
And she's lost her thumb.
But this little girl here has a little teddy bear,
and he's quite sweet. Where did you get him?
It was my daughter -
she worked in a care home, and one of the ladies gave it to her.
It's quite an interesting little creature.
It's from Germany, where the best teddy bears were made.
And this little one was pre-war.
-So there's a good bit of age.
And the little teddy bear
comes in the shape of a wee purse.
And that's quite sweet.
There's no factory name there,
but we do know that he is German.
And he's quite an interesting wee creature.
Coming to auction,
I would put these as a group.
Because we have condition issues with the baby dolls.
And the little teddy bear is probably
the item which is going to sell this group.
Now - did you pay a lot of money for these at the time?
No, not really.
-£20 I think. Something like that.
What I'd like to do is to put quite a modest estimate
on this little group.
-I would like to put an estimate of 80-120.
-Is that fine with you?
Um, yeah. Maybe a little more than that, if I can.
Would you like me to go 100-150?
-You would prefer that? OK. 100-150. The reserve, £100.
-With auctioneer's discretion.
-We might get a surprise, especially with that wee guy in tow.
JAMES SNORTS LIKE A PIG
I have to say, Norman, it's a while since I played farmyards.
-But these, actually, they're not toys, are they?
They're something far more interesting.
Now, the fact that you've got two
makes me think that you actually probably know what they are.
-More or less, yeah.
-So, tell me, did they come from the same place?
No, the big pig came from York - bought that in an antique...
-In York, right.
-This one I actually got from a market in Shanghai.
-Oh, did you?
-And how long ago did you buy that?
-About eight years ago.
-I found out that I was born in the year of the pig,
so that led me to buying pigs.
-Oh, so you collect pigs?
-Yeah. I had over 2,000 at one stage.
Do you go to China a lot?
I've been a couple of times, yeah.
It's an amazing country, isn't it?
It's an amazing country, with an amazing culture,
and amazing skills.
One of their best skills is faking and copying other things -
whether it's English Royal Crown Derby or whatever,
they just copy everything, and they do it brilliantly.
These are meant to be
Han dynasty/Tang dynasty tomb figures.
The idea was they would accompany the dead person to the afterlife,
and be a source of food and something to trade in the new world.
Now, the way of telling would be to drill a section
and do what they call the Oxford test,
where they drill down into the leg - almost always into the leg -
and they take a carbon date of the clay
and they tell you whether it's old or a reproduction.
But the fakers have now discovered
that this is what they're doing.
So, they get a genuine old piece,
grind up the clay
and make the legs of the old piece.
So it is very, very difficult to tell.
It would be nice to be able to do the Oxford test on it,
but it costs about £200 to do it.
So, what did you pay for them?
-I paid £50 for the pig...
..and £15, possibly, for that.
-Your Shanghai piece...
..I think is definitely a fake.
-The pig is more interesting.
My gut reaction is it's got a bit of age,
but I don't think anything like 300-600AD.
We come to value, I guess,
and this is going to be one of the most difficult parts of it,
because without that Oxford test
you can't say for sure
that it's genuine.
What to do?
I think the best way of cataloguing this
is to say a Chinese "Han" -
in inverted commas - dynasty
Give them a good description,
it will then be picked up online,
but we're not saying it's a genuine Han dynasty -
it's "Han" in inverted commas.
I think if we put an auction estimate of £60-100 for the two,
it's not going to show you a great return if it only makes that,
but it does give them a chance to fight for it
if they think it's right.
-Happy with that?
Bit of a gamble, but you never know -
-you might end up taking home the bacon.
A tricky one there for James.
We'll find out if the bidders at the auction
think they're real or fake a little bit later on.
Let's go back to Anita now and see what she's discovered.
Eric, Carol, what a wonderful thing you've brought in
for "Flog It!" today.
It's a concertina.
Can you tell me a bit about the background - where did you get it?
Were you ever a busker yourself?
No, no. I can't play it.
I acquired it somewhere down the line.
Whether it was in the loft of a house that I purchased
or whether I acquired it in connection with a business I was running,
I haven't a clue -
I've had it that long, 25, 30 years,
and it's always been there, and I just couldn't get rid of it!
Well, let's hope WE can pass it on to someone who will play it,
-or perhaps a collector of concertinas.
This one, I think, hasn't been pulled in and out too much,
so the condition...
SHE STRIKES A NOTE
I'm tempted to give a wee tune here!
SHE PLAYS DISCORDANTLY
I'm afraid I'm making it sound like a squeaky cat!
But the bellows are good.
I think it maybe needs a wee bit of love and attention
with these little pegs here,
but, in the main, in good condition.
If we look at the front here
we can see we can see the little plate...
-..which tells us that it is a Wheatstone
and that's what we look for.
That was a 19th-century instrument maker.
They made up till the 1930s, '40s - maybe even the '50s.
But it was the best of instruments.
If we look at the back of it,
we can see this number here.
Now, each concertina has its own individual number,
and you can trace that back to when it was made.
-Did you know that, Eric?
Yes, I actually did it - went onto their web page,
and I traced it back, and it was made in 1913.
You can actually see the ledger that it was written out on.
-So just at the very beginning of the war.
Just at the beginning of the war.
-Valuation... Have you had it valued before, Eric?
I would put a value of £500-800 on it.
I can be a wee bit conservative at times,
so I'm sure that that type of estimate will attract the bidding.
-And it may fly - it may go above the top estimate.
-But would you be happy to sell it at that?
-You're happy with that.
I'm sure it'll play a fine tune for us when it's sold.
-Thank you very much.
In the past, concertinas have had mixed fortunes on "Flog It!",
making anything from a couple of hundred pounds to over a thousand.
We'll see how that one does a little later on.
Now, if you're a fan of the show,
you're bound to recognise today's final item.
Joan, can you hear that?
All those people shouting at home, "Clarice Cliff, Clarice Cliff!"?
Yes - because if you're a "Flog It!" viewer,
you know exactly what that is.
-It's one of the "Flog It!" favourites,
it just wouldn't be a "Flog It!" without a bit of Clarice Cliff.
So, tell me, we know all the history of Clarice,
we've been over it so many times.
But, what's the history of this one?
Your personal history.
Just always having it in the family.
Just there, full of daffodils and tulips and that.
-And it belonged to your parents?
And do you remember it as a little girl?
Yes. I remember my mother saying she paid half a crown for it.
Half a crown!
Do you remember where she got it from?
-Er, yes - a pot shop that used to do auctions.
-Over in Yorkshire.
-OK. Well, I think your mum did very well,
because she's obviously got a good eye.
Clarice Cliff being the archetypal leading designer
of the Art Deco period
and the Art Deco movement.
This is known as Melon pattern, for obvious reasons -
we've got a very stylised green and pink melon on this side.
The bands are in blue, pink and green.
There was one with reds and oranges that was more common than this,
but also slightly more popular.
This would have been produced around 1935,
so it was in the height of Clarice Cliff's Bizarre, Fantasque period,
when everyone believes that Clarice Cliff was at her best.
After the war she sold her name, so a lot of wares are produced
that have a bit of a weak design with a Clarice Cliff name to it.
But the reason why they're weak is that Clarice Cliff never saw them.
This is a piece that Clarice would have designed, would have executed
and would have been a key person
-in the production of this piece.
-So she paid half a crown for it...
-..in the 1930s.
Now, half a crown in today's money is what?
-Half a crown is...
-About two shillings, and 2½p...
-Two shillings and...
See, that - I'm no wiser with two shillings
-than I am with half a crown!
Two shillings and sixpence - sixpence is 2½p,
-a shilling is 5p, isn't it?
-So... That's 12½p!
That's not bad.
Well, your 12½p
has changed into about £100-150.
-That's not bad for 12½p!
-That's not bad, no.
-Pleased with that?
-Flog it! Let's flog it, why not?!
Well, we certainly had a show-stopping day
here at the Blackpool Tower,
with hundreds of people coming through the door
to have their antiques and collectibles valued.
It's now time to say goodbye to the Tower
as we head down the coastline south to Lytham St Annes,
to the auction room.
And here's a quick recap of what's sailing with us.
There's the well-loved dolls and that teddy bear.
Norman's sending his little piggies off to market.
This concertina will try to squeeze out the big money.
And there's the "Flog It!" favourite - the Clarice Cliff jug.
Welcome back to the auction room in Lytham St Annes.
As you can see, it's a busy day here.
The room is still packed full of bidders,
and hopefully this lot will be eager to buy our next batch of lots.
Now let's catch up with our owners,
who are waiting nervously in the wings. Let the action begin.
First up, it's those terracotta tomb figures,
and time to find out if the bidders think they're real.
Norman, you've been collecting terracotta pigs for about -
what, 20-odd years?
-20 years, yeah.
-Yes. You're fascinated by pigs.
I had up to 2,000 at one stage.
Why are you starting to sell off this particular pig?
-I'm going to move into a one-bedroom...
-Oh, you're downsizing.
-Into sheltered accommodation.
-There's no room for the pigs.
Right, James, you've seen a lot of this.
Yeah, I mean, very difficult to say whether they're right or wrong,
so all we can do is wait and see.
It's now down to the bidders. This is it.
Bids of £40 on these two, any advance on 40?
At £40, have we got...? 42, on the net at 42.
Any advance in the room?
At 42. 44, 46.
At £55, any advance on 55?
£60, on the net at 60.
Any advance on £60?
On the net, then, at £60. Are we all sure? All finished?
No further interest?
-You were spot on.
-You were spot on.
-They're great value.
People often say, "It's gotta be worth more than that, it's old!"
-But it just shows - it doesn't make any difference.
They're still only £60.
It is mad, isn't it?
I particularly like those, a lot. Very sculptural.
That's about what I paid for them both.
-You got your money back, did you?
Good luck with the downsizing, good luck with the move, as well.
-And hang on to the rest of the pigs.
-I will do, yeah.
So, just a small addition to Norman's piggy bank.
Jean and Gail, it's good to see you. Joining in the fun now.
What are we selling? We've got two dolls and a teddy bear.
-Why have you decided to sell now?
-I don't know.
-It's just because you were coming into Blackpool.
We thought we'd have a try.
-Come along, bring something for Anita to look at.
-Join in the fun.
We've got a reserve of £100.
We have the two dolls - the condition isn't pristine,
but we've got a sweet little teddy bear purse,
-and that's quite an unusual wee thing.
So as a group, I think we'll pull through,
-hopefully to the bottom estimate.
It's all down to this lot now - the bidders in the room.
Two similar composition baby lullaby dolls. Musical movements.
On the net at £80. 85.
-They've gone, haven't they?
-Any advance on 85?
And 10. 20. 30. 40. 50. 60. 70.
It's just gone straight to 190!
At £300 on the internet. Any advance in the room?
-I can't believe it!
£300 then, are we all sure at 300? On the net at 300...
Hammer's gone down.
-£300. You did all right, didn't you?
-You're not buying any more, are you?
-No. THEY LAUGH
-You made a good investment.
-Exactly. At the right time.
-A good investment.
-That's what it's all about.
Time to see if the Clarice Cliff collectors
are willing to part with THEIR cash.
We've come downstairs to the cafe area,
because Joan has a few mobility problems. There's a lot of stairs
to the auction room, which is on the first floor,
so we've set up a laptop with a live feed to the sale room,
so we can hear and see all the action, Joan.
And that's where it's going on, look, upstairs.
-But we're now part of this.
-So, how are you?
-Looking forward to this?
-Be glad when it's finished.
-I bet you will!
Nerve-racking, aren't they, auction rooms?
Why have you decided to sell your Clarice Cliff today?
Just cos it's Clarice Cliff, and I thought it was going well.
Well, we always seem to do well on "Flog It!" with our Clarice items
and I don't think this one will be any exception - do you, James?
No, I mean, Clarice is one of those things that everybody knows.
Loads of collectors,
and especially when it's online across the whole world, like this.
-It's bound to sell. And it's a rare colour, as well, this one.
It broadens the market, doesn't it?
Well, fingers crossed,
we're going to get that top end right now, because this is it.
Here we go!
Lot 259, Clarice Cliff hand-painted Melon pattern jug,
pastel shades, interest here, starting of at £90.
Interest, look, straight in at 90.
At £100. 110 at the back, 120.
130 and I'm out.
Any advance on 130?
130, 140, 150 on the net.
At 160, 170, 180.
At 180 in the room, at 180.
It's in the room.
Any advance on 180?
190 on the phone. 200.
£300, then, are we all sure?
At £300, then. All finished at 300...
Joan, that was brilliant. That was a brilliant result,
and it was great to watch it live down here.
Thank you for being a part of that and bringing in your Clarice.
Oh, I have to bring Clarice in, it's not "Flog It!" without Clarice.
It's not, is it? No! Job done.
A good result for Joan and her jug.
We're back upstairs now for today's final item -
Eric and Carol's concertina.
We've sold them on the show before, and they have made around £800,
so you're right on there. £500-800. I wonder if we'll get it.
-Well, Wheatstone's really the Rolls-Royce...
..of concertinas. And if you've got one, that's the make that you want.
Let's put this to the test, shall we?
-And I'm sure this is going to fly away. Here we go. Good luck, everyone.
Lot 160, early 20th century concertina.
Bids of 300, 320, 340.
At 340, 60, 80, 400.
£500. In the room at 500.
600 I've got on the net.
-Any advance on 600?
At £600. 650.
At £650 on the internet.
Come on, please, more. More. Come on, please.
-700 on the phone.
At £700 on the telephone. 750.
On the telephone at £800.
Any advance on 800?
At £900 on the telephone. Any advance?
At £900, then, are we all sure at 900?
Any further interest?
£900, on the telephone at 900.
-Isn't that wonderful?
-£900. Don't forget, though, there is commission to pay.
Everybody pays it. It's 15% plus VAT,
but still a lot of money for something you found in the loft.
-That's right, yeah.
-If you've got something like that in the loft...
-Played a pretty tune!
-..we want to see it.
-Yeah, he pushed all the right buttons there...
-..that's for sure.
-He certainly did.
Thank you very much for bringing that in.
And do you know what? That's just rounded off such a brilliant day
-here in Lytham St Annes.
I hope you've enjoyed the show - we've loved being here.
Join us again soon for many more surprises.
But until then, it's bye-bye.
This episode comes from the historic Blackpool Tower Circus. Paul Martin is joined by experts Anita Manning and James Lewis. Together the team pick out a selection of interesting antiques and collectables to be sold at a local auction. James discovers some terracotta tomb figures that could be over 1,000 years old, and Anita gets her hands on a collection of seaside postcards. But the real star of the show is a well-preserved concertina. Paul also takes a look at one of Lancashire's most famous theatres, the Morecambe Winter Gardens, and tries his hand at some watercolour painting with renowned artist Geoff Butterworth.