Antiques series. Paul Martin presents from the Museum of Science and Industry in the heart of Manchester with experts Anita Manning and Michael Baggott.
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This is the site of the first passenger railway line in history.
It was opened in 1830 and it allowed the working man to travel
from Manchester to Liverpool in half the time and at half the cost.
Just one of the reasons why Manchester has an esteemed legacy as
the world's first industrial city.
And the men in the mural over there, that's another story.
We'll be finding out more from Manchester's Museum of Science
and Industry later on in the programme.
Welcome to Flog It!
The Industrial Revolution in Manchester led to enormous wealth
for some, but extreme poverty for others.
The city's population quadrupled in just 50 years,
at the turn of the 19th century.
And as Friedrich Engels commented,
living conditions for some were wretched, damp and filthy.
But as Manchester city grew, so did the people's fight.
And it's probably
the relatives of some of these people here, in today's crowd,
that played a major part in Manchester's working-class
campaign for the right to vote,
free trade and also better working conditions.
But thankfully, our battle is a little less serious today,
as our experts hunt out the best antiques and collectibles
to take off to auction.
And it could be you going home with a small fortune.
We'll find out later on in the show.
Fingers crossed and good luck, everyone.
What a fabulous queue we have here today!
Let's get the doors open and get on with it!
As our massive queue enters the MOSI,
they are first struck by the impressive digital sculpture
that shows some of Manchester's most important people and places.
But today, it has been hijacked by our very own experts,
who couldn't resist appearing on another TV screen.
Pretty in pink and legend in the sale room, it is Anita Manning.
And the man with an encyclopaedic knowledge of silver,
Mr Michael Baggott.
And today, they've found items from around the globe
and throughout the decades.
Anita has got a ship that sailed the China seas.
And the seas were a wild, wild place.
Michael has got his hands on an Inuit carving
from a far-flung polar region.
And I chance upon one of the most beautiful books I've ever seen.
And the bidders love it, too.
Well, everybody is now safely seated inside the venue.
We have our experts in place. They've found their first items.
So let's now catch up with Michael Baggott,
who is first at the Flog It! tables.
We'll take a closer look at what he's spotted.
Jeff, I better not upset you with you my valuation today,
cos you've brought this in.
Where has this lethal weapon come from?
Well, recently, in my bedside cupboard.
It goes there at night?
-Yeah. Just lying in a drawer.
-Have you had cause to use it?
-We are very law-abiding people in Manchester.
But where did it come from originally?
-It belonged originally to my great-great-grandfather.
-His father kept a pub in Lancaster.
At the age of 19, he left to seek his fortune.
Went down to London, married a London girl,
-didn't work out for him. This is in the 1840s.
Came back, finally settled in Manchester,
joined the police force at Ashton.
Was then moved to a place called Farnworth,
where he was promoted to police inspector.
And it was there, I believe, that he was given that particular truncheon.
Well, we are dealing with a very early period
in, sort of, police history.
And this is, sort, of a crossover.
Cos people will think of a truncheon
as a grip with a slender tapering for service.
-This is far more decorative.
-And this falls into what we call a tipstaff.
And they are what is carried much earlier. They had a functional use.
I mean, you could, you know, whack someone over the head with that
-if you really had to, but it is more your badge of office.
-You've got VR - Victoria Regina.
You've got the crown, the warrant.
On the other side, we've got
a little shield with a coat of arms on it.
That would be for the district that employed his service.
-And we've got these initials here.
Sometimes they will be the initials of an officer, but very rarely.
Often these initials will actually refer to a place.
-So like, if we were MC, we might be Manchester city.
-I don't know what the arms are for or what the initials are.
But I can guess there is a tipstaff collector out there that
-It's turned out of mahogany.
And it has got all this decorative ring turning.
And then it has been varnished.
And, I mean, look at the colour of it.
-Yeah, beautiful, isn't it?
-Lovely. And just wear, you know...
A couple of hundred years of fingers have been around that.
I mean, I have to ask the question, why have you decided to sell it?
It's in my bedside cabinet. It's not on display.
Absolutely. Let's say...
£150 to £250.
-If you are happy with that.
-And a fixed reserve of 150.
-Yeah, I'd like a fixed reserve.
You know, it is a wonderful bit of social history.
And I am delighted you brought it in today.
Just as long as things don't go badly at the auction
and I get the back of it on my head, but I don't think we will.
-Thanks very much for bringing it in.
-You are quite welcome. Thank you.
That's a real collector's item,
but will the tipstaff fans be at the auction or bidding online?
Wait and see. Next, Anita has found some old junk.
Jackie, an interesting item you have brought along today,
this little silver Chinese junk.
Can you tell me, where did you get it?
Well, my friend, Terry, bought it 20 years ago
from a car boot in Cheshire.
Did he tell you what drew him to it?
He is very fond of ships and boats.
Having been an engineer and designer,
he likes anything interesting. Yeah.
Oh, right, right. It was probably made in the 1920s.
It would have been made of silver,
but it would be a low-grade silver, it wouldn't be
a sterling silver, and it would have been made for the tourist market.
But don't let that put you off, at all, you know,
these are quite positive things.
When I look at that,
I'm thinking about the South China Seas,
around Hong Kong,
and what was happening in the late 19th, early 20th century,
and the South China Seas were a wild, wild place.
When we look at the little boat,
we can see the little cannons on the boat.
And I find that fascinating.
When you think of the traffic and the pirates,
they would need some sort of protection here.
And we have these marvellous sails.
Oars, if they were becalmed.
I mean, it's not a finely-made thing. It's quite crudely done.
But it is a lot of fun.
-What do you think it is worth?
-£60 to £70?
-You are quite good, are you looking for a job?
So, we will put it into auction, £50 to £70.
Will you be happy to sell it on at that?
Oh, yes, that's fine, thank you.
Let's hope that it sails beautifully into the sunset
-and makes a lot of money.
# When my ship When my ship, when my ship... #
It may not be of the highest quality, but this ship has stacks
of character and keeps a moment in history alive.
And now it is back to the present day and Mr Michael Baggott.
Jeff, where has this magnificent decanter stand come from?
It came from my father, actually, he was in the antique trade years ago.
Oh, he was a dealer? Was he dealing in silver or everything?
No, just generally, everything. Furniture, all sorts of things.
When he retired, he had quite a number of items, you know,
and this was just one of them.
And when he died, my mother took everything over.
And when she died, my sister and I split everything between us.
-But you decided to keep this.
-Yeah, I decided to keep that, really,
cos it was such an ornamental thing and it looked nice on the...
I had it on a bureau and it looked quite nice.
So it has not been up to here with sherry, whisky and brandy.
I never actually used it for that, actually.
Just lately it has been put away in a cupboard, because of the cleaning.
It got a little bit tarnished.
So the polishing has, sort of, put paid to it in your house.
-Well, it has really, yeah!
-I mean, it is typical high Victorian.
-Is it? Yeah.
if you wanted a picture of what high Victorian was,
-this would suit it perfectly.
-The decoration is all over the place.
I mean, we've got scrolls, anthemion shells.
-There are little dolphins, stylised dolphins on the feet.
-And these immensely-fussy stoppers.
This one is a bit low and this one is a bit high.
I never noticed that, I thought they were all the same.
I just wonder if they are not the original stoppers.
We've got the electroplate labels.
-And the whole frame is electroplated.
-Sadly, not solid silver.
And we've got the electroplater's mark of Padley and Parkin Limited.
And they were working in about 1849 to about 1855.
-Which is slap bang
-when you'd expect this sort of thing to be made.
I think it was probably a more popular thing
when your father had it than it is today.
So I think it would have to be
put into an auction at an attractive figure to another trade buyer.
-I think...let's say, £100 to £200.
-Put a fixed reserve of £100 on it.
-That's OK, yeah.
I think two people might just fall in love with it,
wonky stoppers or not,
and it might go on and make a great sum at the auction.
-So thanks very much for bringing it in.
Jeff, you'll never have to polish it again.
Wave goodbye to it now.
You get a lot for your money with those decanters, but the market
for elaborate Victorian ware is not what it used to be.
How will it fare when it goes under the hammer?
We'll find out in just a moment.
But first, some precious treasure discovered, thanks to Flog It!
..in today's current market, I am always delighted to see
gold coins coming in to auction.
-Tell me, where did you get these ones?
Well, it's my... My dad passed away two years ago
and I got them then. They were just in a box.
When I found out Flog It! was coming to Manchester town centre,
I thought, "Ooh, I'll look in my dad's box."
And I found these. I thought, "I'll take them with me."
So, you didn't know that they were there, until this morning?
Yes. It's... I never bothered to look in the box.
The price of precious metals has risen substantially
in the last few years.
This is because people are not getting big interest in the banks.
-The price of the property has gone down, stocks and shares
-have gone down.
-At times like this,
people go back to what they know, what they can feel in their hand,
and that is gold.
-We have two sovereigns.
-We have a half sovereign and we have
-a sovereign in a ring mount.
Now, did your dad collect coins especially or is there anything
that drew him to collecting gold or coins or whatever?
He always had an interest in all different types of coins.
-Even the old penny coins.
-Were you allowed to play with them?
Sometimes we were, because he used to have them
in special little packets and he used to slot them all in
and we would go and say, "Wow, Dad, they're great!"
Your dad was a very astute man, especially in buying the gold coins.
-The nominal value of these coins...
..was £1, at the time.
-So, what are they worth now?
Erm...£50, maybe. Maybe £60 for the bigger ones.
Well, they are more than that. They are more than that.
-What I would do is I would sell these as a group.
I would put an estimate on these
-of £550 to £750.
-I didn't realise they were...
-550 to 750.
For those little coins?
-We will put a reserve price on these at 550,
-but giving the auctioneer just a touch of a discretion.
-But you've got a wee fortune.
-I know, I can't believe it!
-Thank you very much.
-I know they will do very well.
Thank you very much, Anita.
While everyone is busy here,
I am off to do something completely different.
Manchester is bursting with diverse buildings.
From Italian-inspired palazzio structures
like the old Free Trade Hall
to the finest examples in neo-Gothic.
Every building here helps tell the story of Manchester,
from the development of the textile industry in the 18th century
through to Manchester's colossal rise
as the world's first industrial city.
Each era brought new building styles for different purposes.
Banks, warehouses and municipal buildings were used by businessmen
as a symbol of their wealth and success, and these big architectural statements
also said they had pride in their city.
Many of those buildings are still standing here,
in a city that's built on ambition,
and today, I'm taking you on an architectural tour of Manchester,
and what better way to do it than by a chauffeur driven limo?
-Pleased to meet you.
-Pleased to meet you.
Well, John, driving a taxi.
John, how long have you been
a cabbie driving the streets of Manchester?
Oh, this year, Paul, I daren't think.
-It's around about 30 years this year.
-You must have seen the city change a lot.
Well, it's changed dramatically.
It's still changing even as we speak, as you see,
as we're driving round the city, all the new buildings
and the old buildings all blend in nicely together, don't they?
-Where do we start?
Well, what we'll do is, we'll start off and we'll break you in gently.
We'll go the Friends' Meeting House,
which is one of the early Greek revival buildings in Manchester,
-and then we'll move on from there.
Manchester may have been established by the Romans,
but no Roman buildings survive.
What you do see here, though,
is an abundance of buildings that may look old,
but they're not nearly as ancient as they appear.
Now, here we are. This is the Friends' Meeting House,
built by the architect Richard Lane in 1828.
It's a place where the Quakers would come and meet and worship.
Now, although the building's not quite 200 years old yet,
it has the feel and the presence of something
that's ancient and prestigious.
That's because it's built in the Greek revival style,
and by mimicking the ancient Greeks with this perfect form and symmetry,
wonderful columns with Ionic capitals at the top,
you create a building that has real majesty.
And another clever trick that the architects discovered
by setting it back from that noisy road there
with these wonderful steps that goes up to a raised ground floor,
you have a building of such majesty,
you could almost imagine you're in ancient Greece.
Richard Lane's building marked the start of Victorian architecture
in Manchester. The Victorians took inspiration from around the globe
and throughout history to give their structures an air of antiquity.
And no edifice did it quite as well as this - Manchester Town Hall.
Now, you couldn't come to Manchester and talk about architecture
without seeing this building, the town hall.
It's absolutely awesome. It's a powerful-looking building,
yet it's full of dignity
and architectural detail and ornamentation.
It's a symbol of strength and inspiration,
and that's exactly what the architect and the town planners
of the day had in mind.
Alfred Waterhouse's town hall was built in 1877,
but its style harks back to 13th century gothic.
It echoes the power and the might of the UK's early cathedrals,
and it said to the world that Manchester meant business.
What a fabulous building. It's what I would describe as
an architectural gem, a real joy to walk around.
But I love the fact that it tells the story of
the most significant people throughout this city's history -
scientists renowned the world over for their great achievements,
people like John Dalton here, beautifully carved in marble
right in the main entrance area.
And whilst busts of businessmen and politicians adorn the corridors,
the working man is not forgotten.
On the outside, on the exterior of this fine building,
there's this massive, great big roundel
which tells us the city's roots, based on the textile industry.
Right down to the wonderful floors, all the mosaic work,
the worker bees, thousands, thousands of them.
This represents the hard graft that everybody put in
throughout the Industrial Revolution,
making this city what it is, really, today.
The worker bees generated the wealth that paid for these buildings,
and they did it from a far less salubrious environment.
This is where the architecture most strongly evokes
the story of Manchester.
These disused mills either side of me were built in the 19th century
to produce cotton on an unprecedented scale,
and even by today's standards, these buildings are absolutely huge.
These massive constructions were built
for practicality rather than beauty,
and conditions inside were often cramped and dangerous.
The Ancoats area has a real atmosphere and feel to it.
On one hand, you can imagine these mills being full
with thousands of people working incredibly hard for long hours,
in dangerous conditions, and on the other hand,
it reflects the demise of the Industrial Revolution.
This whole area has gone from representing wealth and industry
to becoming a symbol of unemployment
and the end of the textiles industry.
Today, there is new life being breathed into Ancoats,
and the city centre is thriving with buildings and investment.
And there's one building in particular that you cannot ignore.
Beetham Tower dominates the skyline
as its 47 storeys cut through the blue.
For me, it shows how the city has developed in the last 200 years.
Thanks a lot.
From its 23rd floor, you can see the Gothic, the classical
and the contemporary buildings that tell the tale of that progress.
The Victorians demonstrated Manchester's ambitions
with the buildings they designed and erected.
Power and strength symbolised in architecture, and it's a message
that's still emblazoned across the city skyline today.
Fingers crossed, everybody.
Good luck later on in the programme, because it could be you,
you or you going through to the auction.
That's exactly where we're going right now
for our very first visit. Our experts have worked flat out.
They have been industrious.
We're going to put those values to the test.
And here's what we are taking with us.
Hello, hello, hello. What have we here?
It is a tipstaff from the 19th century,
and is up for grabs today.
The Chinese junk would make a great gift for a sailing buff.
It might go down a storm in the sale room.
And Jeff's grandiose decanters won't match many modern interiors.
Will this deter the bidders?
Gold prices fluctuate, so the sovereigns could make
the top or the bottom end of the estimate.
There's only one way to find out - it's off to auction, which is held
in an old school hall 15 miles from Manchester,
in the town of Knutsford.
Frank Marshall Saleroom was established in 1947
and sells everything from bronze beasts to chubby cherubs.
Nick Hall and Peter Ashburner are in charge of the sale today,
and it's their duty to get as much money as possible for every item.
The sale is online, so bidders from around the world will be
logging on right now for our first Flog It! lot.
Now, not only is this little truncheon in fabulous
condition, from the Queen Victoria era, but we also have
the gentleman who owned it, the policeman who owned it,
and all of his career record!
This is what you can't find out.
This is what is not written on the tipstaff.
So this is probably one in, what,
200 or 300 that we'll see that still has it.
-It makes a big difference.
Let's find out what the bidders think right now.
It's going under the hammer. Here we go.
The Queen Victorian mahogany turned wood tipstaff.
What are we going to say for this?
Who's going to open the bidding for me?
I'll ask 150.
£100 and away, surely.
Bidding, 100. At £100, on bid.
-And ten. 120.
-Right, we are off.
-We are in.
-That was short and sweet.
Anybody got 30 now? At £120.
-You're out on the right, make no mistake.
-I can't believe this.
Anybody got more? Anybody online?
At 120, then. Any advance now on 120?
I'm sorry, we're not quite there with that one.
Well, do you know something?
I'm absolutely pleased, really. Because...
Now you've brought this along,
I think this makes the complete package.
Get this photocopied and... Or when you do offer it up to the
next sale room, offer it up as a complete package. Yeah.
Because that did arrive a little bit too late.
We just found out about that while the auctioneer covered the rostrum.
-I think it was not meant to go.
-Yeah, so do I.
-I think he probably had something to say about it.
Now here's a tip.
If you've got some provenance that goes with an item,
make sure you get them both to the auction house in time
so they can be catalogued together.
It might mean the difference between a sale and a no sale.
And talking of sale...
Our next lot is that Chinese junk, belonging to Jackie.
And it is really sculptural, isn't it?
I remember it from the valuation day.
You can't forget this lot, can you?
-And you zoomed in on this, you loved it.
-I love it.
I was in Hong Kong at Christmas time, and I saw lots of these
fabulous boats in the harbour, the South China Seas.
-And they really just sparked my imagination.
Well, let's hope we can do the same to the bidders in the sale room.
Let's hope they have got a great imagination.
It's going under the hammer now.
Fine Chinese white metal model of a junk in glazed case.
Rather stylish, isn't it? Right, where were going to go over this?
Who's going to start me at £50?
Yes? 50. 50 bid. At 50.
Seated bid at 50. I'll take five.
At £50. Anybody else want a go?
-There is a bid in now.
-Is there a five? Anybody online?
-Anybody else in the room?
It is £50, seated in the centre of the room,
and I'm going to sell it.
Selling it, Jackie. £50, hammer has gone down.
-£50, just made it.
-It just made it.
-Are you happy enough at that?
-I'm sure Terry will be as well.
-Over the moon, in fact.
Next, they were found under a bed
and brought along to the valuation day.
How much will they sell for?
Going under the hammer right now, we've got a lot of gold.
Two full sovereigns, one half-sovereign,
one full sovereign bound in a ring.
Carol, it's great to see you again.
Who've you brought along? Who's this?
This is my twin sister Anne.
Hello, Anne. Do you know what, I thought I was seeing double then!
Yeah, you are twin sisters. You can see it, can't you?
-You really can.
I guess you've both got joint ownership of this, haven't you,
-so you're going to divide up the proceeds.
We're going to put it to the test right now. Ready?
-Let's do it.
I can start the bidding at 560.
-I'll take 580 if you like.
620. At 620 in the room.
640, 660. All online now.
680. At 680, online bidder.
Any advance now?
Both online now, 680, 700.
-£700 and 20.
At £720, all done?
Online at 720, selling at...
-Come on, don't stop there.
And it's online.
-Top end of the estimate.
-That's a good result.
-Are you happy?
-Yes, very happy.
Let's hope this next lot lifts the spirits in the sale room.
Right now we've got a bit of Victorian electroplate for you -
Jeff's decanter and stand.
Why are you selling this, Jeff?
It has been in the family for such a long time
and it's never had anything in it, any spirits or anything.
It would add to the value right now.
-What are we looking at, about 100, 150?
-100 to 200.
I remember ten years ago these at auction making £500, £600.
-Because of the high Victorian taste. It's gone.
It was all about showing off for entertaining,
-but now it is all about minimalism.
Right, we're going to find out exactly what this packed
auction house thinks of the electroplate.
It is going under the hammer now.
Ready to go for gin, brandy and whisky, whatever's your flavour.
Where are we going to go? I've got commission interest.
I'm coming straight in on the book now at £100, firm.
We're now at 100.
110. 120. 130.
140. 150. 160.
Must have a couple of heavy drinkers in Knutsford.
Yeah, it has made its money straightaway.
It has literally made its money.
And ten. 210 now. It is against you online, it is against the room.
It is all on commission.
At £210, bids are with me.
At 210, I sell.
Last chance, all sure?
-Well, that was a great result.
I think that was a brilliant result, £210, Jeff.
-Very pleased with that.
-I think we are in the right area.
-Big Victorian houses with Victorian interiors.
We've hit the right place with the right object.
That is a great result.
Maybe decanters are coming back into fashion.
Manchester has had many famous sons
and daughters throughout history, from Emmeline Pankhurst to LS Lowry.
But one of the most extraordinary men from this city charted
the history of 20th century America
and created a social record of unparalleled distinction.
Broadcasting House, in the heart of London, is the most famous
of all the BBC's buildings and its original home,
so it is a fitting place to talk about the work of one
of the BBC's most legendary radio broadcasters, Alistair Cooke,
born in Salford, near Manchester, in 1908.
For 58 years, Alistair Cooke presented Letter From America,
the world's longest-running speech radio programme,
from the BBC studios in New York.
Now, at the time of his death in 2004,
the then acting Director General of the BBC described him
as the outstanding commentator of the 20th century.
The Letter, which started on March 24th, 1946,
was originally devised as a 13-week series.
What follows is part of the very first episode that Cooke
re-recorded in 1996.
In it, he describes his trip over the Atlantic on a ship packed
with GI brides, leaving a war-weary Britain for their new lives
in the United States.
'I sailed back on the Queen Mary with a couple of thousand GI brides.
'And I recall now the great liner thundering its great horn
'as we slipped away from the dock at Southampton.
'All the mothers were clinging to the rail
'and all the babies were clinging to their mothers.
'Along the entire curving length of the ship's main deck,
'the handkerchiefs fluttered in an unbroken line,
'like washing day in Manchester.'
The formula for The Letter never really changed that much.
It broke all broadcasting records by reaching 2,869 episodes.
And remarkably, Cooke himself only missed three of the weekly
broadcasts throughout that entire epic run.
And the letters themselves acted like a secular sermon,
charting the history of the 20th century through the daily
life of one of the most powerful countries in the world.
Over almost 60 years, his 15-minute reflections
touched on everything from the assassinations of the Kennedys,
the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, the Watergate scandal
and the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers on 11th September.
'I found myself, by one casual chance in a thousand,
'in a small, narrow serving pantry
'of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.
'There was suddenly a banging repetition of a sound
'that I don't know how to describe, not at all like shots,
'like somebody dropping a rack of trays.
'There were flashlights by now,
'and the button eyes of Ethel Kennedy turned to cinders.
'And down on the greasy floor was a huddle of clothes,
'and staring out of it, the face of Bobby Kennedy,
'like the stone face of a child lying on a cathedral tomb.'
His proud assertion was that
until he sat down at his portable typewriter on Thursday morning,
he didn't actually know what he was going to write about.
This is his very typewriter here, at Broadcasting House.
So what you got was the texture of daily life, conversations with
cab-drivers and shopkeepers
and store holders that he bumped into and met.
His last letter was written four weeks before his death,
at the age of 95.
A reporter at heart,
Cooke not only wrote Letter From America for the BBC,
he worked as a foreign correspondent for The Guardian newspaper
for 25 years and he made memorable television programmes
in both the US and the UK,
including the monumental BBC series Alistair Cooke's America.
But he followed a strict regime - work always stopped at cocktail hour
and the evenings were kept for pleasure.
Letter From America is older than Radio 4 itself.
It started out life on the Home Service
and then moved over to the new station when it was created in 1967.
And now the programme has taken another remarkable turn.
The dusty old reels have been given a 21st century makeover.
It is now available on the BBC's website.
But many of the early episodes were not recorded by the BBC,
and these unique reflections could have been lost forever.
But thanks to 90-year-old Roy Whitaker, that's not the case.
Roy, can you explain how you helped the BBC with their archive?
Well, the BBC put out a request
for anyone who had any early
recordings of Alistair Cooke's Letter From America.
I got in touch with the BBC and, to cut a long story short,
two reps from the BBC came down to our home address to view
the quantity of tapes that I had.
And in all, there were over 200 cassettes.
And it worked out to well over 1,000 recordings altogether.
And when did these recordings start from?
Well, my recordings started from 1978. And almost without fail,
I didn't miss a recording until the day he retired.
What was it about Alistair Cooke? I mean, why were you such a big fan?
Because he is such a wonderful speaker.
He had such a wonderful way of putting things over.
And he had such quips that he dropped in.
I was just fascinated by his command of the English language.
only 15 minutes every Friday,
and Sunday morning it was repeated again,
I could listen to them forever. Yeah.
Unfortunately, I've not got round to doing that.
But they are there. If I live
long enough, I'll do some of them, that's for sure.
'In no time at all, a new profession was born,
'that of marketing research.
'And the marketing researcher became to industry in this country
'what the oracles were to the Greeks.'
I ought to give credit to another gentleman, David Henderson.
He contacted the BBC, too.
-And he is responsible for a lot before the 1970s.
The BBC, from the two contributions,
they were able to resurrect
Well, it sounds like we are really in debt to both of you.
Thank you so much, Roy, it has been a pleasure to talk to you.
My pleasure. Absolutely.
Roy's recordings prove that antiques don't have to be silver or gold
to be valuable.
Maybe you've got something in the attic that is
precious beyond pounds and pence,
like Alistair Cooke's unique, historical records,
which can now be accessed by everyone.
The question is, what is that worth?
Well, the answer is obvious - priceless, of course.
Back at our valuation day,
the engines of industry are still running, and the fuel
for Michael's fire is a stunning carving from an indigenous people.
Bruce, thank you for coming along with this very intriguing figure.
Before I say anything about it, where did it come from?
I bought him at an auction in Dorset. There was no bids on him,
-so I went and made an offer to the people in the office.
How cheeky was the offer you made?
I started off at five pounds and went up by 50ps.
Did it take a long time to buy it at that rate?
They gave up at £7.50 and told me to take it.
-They told me I could have it.
-I'm going to remember that technique.
You wore them down.
I should've offered them 20p, I made a big mistake.
And you'd have got it for six quid.
We've basically got, as you know, a soapstone carving of an Eskimo,
-or more correctly, an Inuit.
And it falls into this very interesting group of Inuit
carvings that were done, but done to be given as gifts,
mainly due to the Western influence.
Before probably about 1870, 1860,
the carvings that they made were purely within their own culture.
And they can be in soapstone or the more desirable
ones can be in a species of slate called argillite.
And that is very telling, when you see something in this material.
-Does that give it a date, then?
-It can be earlier but it can be later.
Dating is a problem. It is a thorny issue.
I would imagine this to date from the first quarter
of the 20th century. It has got a lot of wear to it.
We've got the bone used. And we've got little bits of damage.
-The base is cracked. And that has happened over time.
Now, this has got the sense of being handled, and soapstone does wear.
It is quite a soft material.
when we are uncertain of date is an even bigger problem.
Is it more than £7.50, Bruce?
I think that's more than £7.50.
Let's put it in at £100 to £200.
And it is going to be photographed, it is going to
be put on the internet.
And it is going to be described as an Inuit carving.
So basically, anybody in the world looks on the internet catalogues,
and believe me, there are many,
many people that type in "Inuit carvings" once a week,
will see this, and they will probably know better than you
and I when it was made, who made it and what it is worth.
But I think for the moment,
-if you are happy to risk your £7.50 figure...
-I will risk my £7.50.
It is as much a learning experience for me
as it probably will be for you on the day, Bruce,
but thank you so much for bringing in such an interesting item.
Thank you very much.
Art and sculpture has always played a big part in Inuit society,
and this carving represents that ancient tradition.
I hope someone in the sale room recognises its worth.
Thank you so much, everyone, for coming in today,
because without you, we would not have a show.
Hold up what you've got, let's see!
Let me take my pick. Let me beat the experts to all the goodies.
Well, I'm going for the nearest thing, actually.
Wow, look at this!
Look at that!
That looks like a very early pair of secateurs,
something for Alan Titchmarsh.
-1920s or '30s?
1913, pair of English secateurs.
Look at that, still working, oiled up and cleaned.
-Do you use them?
-Put your finger in.
-Yeah. Chis. Oh!
Prune the privet heads.
Well, good luck with that. Well, what have you got here? Oh!
-I've got a very old...
-And they're all hand-painted.
Can I have a look at these? What is your name?
-My name is Kath Dawson.
-Kath, how did you come by these?
Well, originally, in the 1960s, my first job was as an art designer,
-a textile designer, at a mill up in the Rossendale Valley.
And when I was made redundant, which was only after a couple of years,
I was asked, would I like to pick a book,
and this is what I picked.
I think the condition is superb, absolutely superb.
This is how it was as I was given it, you know, so...
This man, Seguy, was quite influential, you know,
-with the colours and the designs.
-It is very good.
I did take it to somebody about three years ago who was prepared to
-buy it from me.
-And how much were they prepared to offer you?
They were offering £1,000 three years ago.
-Are they still about?
I haven't contacted them, though.
-And is it something you're hoping to sell in one of our auctions?
It just seems such a shame that it's wrapped up
in brown paper in my wardrobe.
My gut feeling is there is a value here instantly of a round about
£500, if you add up the individual sheets.
There is around about 15 or 20 really good plates here,
all in great condition.
And if you think every plate might be worth
-round about £30 to £40, you've already got £500, haven't you?
I mean, I am quite happy to go with your valuation on that.
-I do personally think it is a bit punchy.
I think what we should do is we should look online,
look on the internet,
-find out exactly if any of these copies have sold before.
Look after you, put you in our best interests.
And then I'll go and do the rounds with our off-screen experts.
This is where it could get quite interesting.
If you wait here, OK? I'll be five minutes, and we'll do a quick recce
-and we we'll come back with some kind of figure.
It will be interesting to know if any of them have heard of him.
-I will let you know in a minute.
Right, so follow me. This is where it all happens here.
These are the filming tables.
But we've got some off-screen experts over there.
Allison, Nick, you wouldn't mind just having a look at that,
would you? It is complete.
And just doing a little bit of research,
-find out if any have been sold before...
-..and what they've made.
-The condition is very good. I'll be back in a couple of minutes.
Stay with us to find out what the research reveals.
Jim, when I saw this in the queue this morning,
I thought, "That is a beauty."
Is this the family silver, Jim?
No, no, this is the charity shop silver.
-You bought this in a charity shop?
Do you go round to charity shops or was it just a chance buy?
I go down and have a look all the time, but it was a chance buy,
it was just dumped in, black.
Maybe it looked like pewter, so I thought, I'll have a look anyway.
-How much did it cost you?
-About a fiver.
-About a fiver.
-Did you find out anything about it?
But because there are no hallmarks, I wondered if it was silver or tin.
I didn't really know, so I thought, "I'll bring it."
Well, it is silver.
Now, there are various aspects of the teapot that
I look at just to make sure and to be reassure myself.
The feel of it first of all. The feel of it is right.
If feels like silver.
If we look at the lid here,
we can see this beautiful,
well-finished little nut inside.
That's denoting quality.
They wouldn't do that if it was plate.
We look at the shape of it.
Now, this is what we call a drum teapot.
And the date of this is about 1780.
So it is an 18th-century piece of silver.
I know the date of it because of the style.
And the quality.
And when we look at this engraving round here,
this is bright-well engraving.
And this is telling us that there is, again, quality to it.
And in its time,
it would have glittered like diamonds.
And we look at the spout here.
Again, it is very low in the teapot,
and this is another indication of age.
So all these little things are giving me hints,
which will build up the whole picture.
Now, why do you want to sell it now?
We're thinking about emigrating in the near future,
-so we need funds just to get us there.
And you think we are going to get more than a fiver on it?
-If you get a tenner, I've doubled my money.
Well, you are going to get more than a tenner for that.
-Estimate, 100 to 150. Would you be happy to sell it at that?
100 to 150, a reserve of £100.
And maybe give the auctioneer
-just a little bit of discretion.
But I don't think you'll need it. I think this will do very well.
-Thank you very much.
-Thank you for bringing it along.
Now, some very unusual owls.
Roy, thank you for bringing in this lovely pair of little pepper pots.
How did you come by them?
-I got them off the internet.
-A long time ago?
-About three weeks ago.
-Three weeks ago!
What was I doing... Why wasn't I paying attention?
Do you buy a lot of silver on the internet, or...?
I've just started buying silver, yeah.
About six months ago.
-Like, the babies' rattles
and the Vesta cases and things like that.
So what started you off?
I just like buying animal objects, so if it's in the form of an animal,
I'll buy it.
When you bought them, what were they described to?
1952 was the date that the guy put on them,
and just pepper pots, salt and pepper pots.
Right. Well, if we have a look here, we've got
a full set of hallmarks just tucked on the tail,
and indeed, we've got hallmarks for 1952.
-Chester is an assay office
that, in the '40s and '50s, started to produce less and less silver.
Right. Less was marked there, and in fact,
it closed in the 1960s.
So it's very unusual to get large novelty pieces marked that late.
That's the first thing.
And the second thing is, they're really good quality.
They're copying the first novelty pepperettes in the form of owls,
made by Charles Thomas and George Fox
-in about 1840, 1850.
Then towards the end of the 19th century,
all these little pepper pots get much smaller.
It's as if they're harking back
-to the ones that were made 100 years ago.
They are handmade, the feet are cast,
and they're engraved to simulate feathers.
I suppose the crucial question - well, two crucial questions -
is, why do you want to sell them? Cos you bought them three weeks ago.
-Cos they're not old enough.
-They're not old enough for you!
You're a puritan. You're a man after my own heart, Roy.
And the other big question is, what did you pay for them?
-350 was not an unreasonable price to pay.
-That's with postage.
With postage and everything included.
In fact, you probably couldn't go into a dealer's
-and buy those for 350 today.
-So that's good value.
Now, at auction, I think we would be sensible to put £300-500 on them,
-and a fixed reserve of £300.
And that gives them the best chance of getting up to that £500 mark.
So if these do well, you want something earlier and smaller.
I'm going to go on holiday with it.
Oh, it's holiday!
-I suppose you can't spend all your money on silver, can you?
They're lovely things, and they really are unusual at that date,
so thank you so much for bringing them in,
and I hope they fly away at the auction.
Right, done a bit of research.
It happens that one complete set, a set of 20, sold recently,
in London, in auction,
catalogued at £700 to £900,
-and they made £600.
-So, are you happy with £500?
If I can get more, that would be better.
Do you know what? Well, look,
we'll put it in at £500 to £800,
with an estimate of £500 to £800,
a fixed reserve at £500, not a penny less,
because we know one made £600 recently.
But the technique used for painting these butterflies
-and textiles, we said they were all hand-painted...
..is known as pochoir.
-And it is basically paint going through stencils.
-I'm excited, aren't you excited?
-I really am.
And I hope they go to a good home.
And I hope you get the top end as well. You see, you can learn
so much on Flog It! I have learned something today. Pochoir.
-Never heard about before.
-No. Thank you very much.
And that's a great example.
Well, I have to say, everybody has thoroughly enjoyed themselves
here in the Museum of Science and Industry.
We've found some real gems.
Sadly, it is time to say goodbye as we head over to the auction
room in Knutsford, and put those last set of valuations to the test.
Here is what is coming with us.
Robert bought this Inuit carving directly from an auction house
when no-one else wanted it.
Now, will it set the auction room alight this time or will it
be left out in the cold again?
The English teapot is a classic design and, bought for just a fiver,
what return do you think Jim will make on his charity shop bargain?
And the owls cost Roy £350.
Will they prove to be a wise investment?
And I can't wait to see
if the 1924 butterfly book metamorphoses into big money.
I chatted to auctioneer Nick Hall about the stunning pochoir album.
-Well, my favourite lot of the sale.
-Are they, really?
-Kath's hand-coloured prints.
-I mean, she was in the textiles industry.
When she left, she was given this. And if you look through the book,
you can see, it's not about butterflies.
-The inspiration was the colour of the butterfly.
-How it makes these wonderful patterns.
Now, she was offered £1,000 for these not so long ago.
-That was a fair offer.
-I would've taken it.
-Yeah, I think I would, actually.
-The people that have offered that
-sort of money are coming to the sale tomorrow.
Obviously, we've marketed this online.
So hopefully, we'll have the right bidders here.
-There'll be some competition.
-There'll be competition.
Whether we get that £1,000 she was offered, I don't know.
Hopefully, we'll get around about £600 to £800.
I feel confident we'll get that.
-If everything is right in the world, Paul, they should do.
-But the world of the auction can be a cruel one.
Let's see whether the bidders are kind to our Inuit hunter.
Michael and I have just been joined by Robert,
who purchased this for £7.50 in an auction room in Dorset.
We're hoping to get around £150 to £200 for this Inuit carving.
It is a wonderful little fishermen, fishing away.
I absolutely love it.
I totally agree with Michael, it is
a really hard thing to put a date on.
Look for a bit of wear, but being stone, it's not that obvious.
-It doesn't acquire a pattern.
-As to value, I haven't got a clue.
But what it does have is wonderful shape and form.
It has got a lot to it and I can see why you were attracted to that.
-If it doesn't sell, I'm quite happy to take it home.
-I don't blame you.
Let's find out what the bidders think.
They might have a different idea. We could be making a lot of money.
It is going into the hammer now.
It's a mid-20th century Inuit figure.
Rare things, these Inuit carvings. Where are we going to go?
Have we got the buyers here today? I wonder.
Start me, where, at £100? £100 for it somewhere, surely.
Bring me the 100. 80. 50.
Get the ball rolling at £50.
Who's in at 50?
Who's bidding on this lot? 50 online, thank you. 50 on bid.
Any of the phones coming in?
Someone's having a nibble on the lot.
Any of the phones coming in, yes or no? At 50.
Five with you, thank you. Back on the phone now. At £55.
-Would you have a phone bid if you were only going to bid £55?
Quiet online. 60 against you. Five.
70. That's 70 here, at 70.
80 now. 80 on bid. At 80.
85 on the phone.
95 with me. I'll take 100.
That is 95 against you, phone bidder.
It is yours at £100. The book's out.
It's on the phone at £100.
Any advance on £100?
With you then, on the phones, at £100, and selling...
-All sure and done? Last chance.
-Hammer's gone down, £100.
That's not a bad return, is it?
We didn't get the top end, but for £7.50,
we turned that into £100.
I'm glad our fisherman caught a new owner.
Now, high-calibre English silver.
Well, I've just been joined by Jim.
And going under the hammer right now, we've got a silver drum teapot
with a value of £150 to £200, a reserve of £100.
And all the money is going towards a trip, a trip of a lifetime.
-In fact, you're emigrating, aren't you?
-I am indeed.
Well, look, good luck with that.
-I hope so.
-He's off to South Africa. Why South Africa?
-That's where my partner comes from.
-We're going back to her roots.
-So you've been there?
-I've been there a few times.
-You'll be in safe hands,
-you'll be looked after.
-I hope so.
-Are you selling everything you own in this country?
Everything's got to go, and this is a start.
A silver drum teapot. Let's see what we can do.
Let's see if we can get a couple of hundred pounds.
It is going under the hammer now.
Argyle-shaped teapot, classic Georgian design about it.
Unmarked, but we think almost certainly will be silver.
Where are we going to go? Start me at 150 for it.
-Thanks, at 150.
-Silver dealers are there, you see?
-Any advance from 150?
At £150, the bids are in.
On my left at 150. Any advance? 160 online. 170.
170 now. Gent in the room at 170.
170. It is against you online, come on, give me another.
It is 170, yes or no? Is that it? Short and sweet.
The bid is on my left, in the room, at £170.
-Yes! £170. That's OK, isn't it?
-Every penny helps.
Must be a nice feeling, actually, thinking everything in your life,
you'll sell, you want as much money for everything - the house, the car,
the possessions. Get on a plane with just a suitcase full of clothes
-and start a new life.
-And a big suitcase full of money.
And a big suitcase full of money, yeah.
Now, Roy's owls.
Something tells me Roy here has been doing a little bit of sort of
-buying and sort of selling, a bit of speculating?
Three weeks before the valuation day,
-you purchased these two little silver owls.
-I did, yeah.
Which was sensible money, I think. I think that's bang-on.
Let's just hope we get your money back and a little big of profit, OK?
-OK, here we go. They're going under the hammer.
Lot 575 is a pair of hallmarked silver pepper pots
in the form of owls. These are rather fun, aren't they?
Right, who's going to start me at £300?
-And a deathly silence fell.
A couple of wise old owls over there.
Surely you'll start the bidding. 300?
Couple of hundred to start me, then.
Yes? 200, I have. At £200. 10.
220. 230, 40, 50, 60,
70. 280, 290, 300.
300, front row, I've got. At £300, right at the back.
At £300, only bid.
Right at the front, seated bid at £300.
-I said late Chester silver.
..otherwise I'm selling them. At £300, front row
will take them, then, at 300.
-Cor, they struggled a bit.
-Got them away, but...
-You've lost a little bit.
-Never mind. You learn.
You've had the joy of owning them, though, and you've learned, exactly.
And you can only learn by your knocks.
No-one in this industry is born an expert.
It's something you have to learn.
If all I'd lost, Paul, was the difference between
what Roy's paid and sold for, I'd be a happy man.
And finally, the French designer book of butterflies.
You told me at the valuation day you were offered £1,000 for
-this a few years ago.
Now, I've talked you into putting it into the sale, you know,
at a lot less than that, but I think...
I just think, you know, opening it up to the market,
letting the whole world know this is available, I think
we could get some better offers.
-Hopefully. So, any regrets?
Do you want to go through and sell this now?
No, I just hope somebody can appreciate it instead of it being
-wrapped up in brown paper in my wardrobe.
So let's get on with the sale and see what this lot think. Good luck.
Fantastic album of illustrations, papillons,
the butterflies, by Eugene Alain Seguy.
I've got commission bids. We've got phone bids.
-I'm going to start straight in on reserve at 500 now.
At 500, on bid with me at five.
At five. I've got 20 where? Who's in next?
I've got five. I've got bids coming online.
At five... 20, 40, 60, 80. Six.
20, 40, 60, 80. Seven.
20, 40, 60, 80. Eight.
820, 840, 860, 880. Nine.
20, 40, 960, 980.
-We've done it.
-You're off 1,000.
-It's going online.
13. 1,350. 14. 15. 1,500.
-These butterflies are flying away!
-And 50. 1,700.
At £1,700, the bid is online at 1,700.
The phones haven't had a look in yet.
-We did the right thing putting it into auction.
-Still bidding on the phone?
-I'm going hot and cold.
These butterflies are flying online at £1,850.
1,900. Still going.
-Don't stop there.
-I've got butterflies.
1,950. Let's round it up, make it two.
£2,000. The bid's online.
Any advance on two?
At 2,050. 2,050.
2,100. At £2,100.
The bid is online still at 2,100. Commissions are out.
-The phones are out. It's online.
The bid is online. At £2,200.
Anyone in the room waiting to come in, now is your chance to shine.
It's 2,200 here. Who's in the room? Who's to bid? 2,250.
Anyone coming in against it?
-At 2,250. Online at 2,250.
Any further bids? Last call, last chance.
Selling away now at £2,250...
All sure and done?
-And it is all yours!
-Obviously, there's commission to pay on that,
but, wow, what a result!
-What's going through your mind right now?
-I don't know.
-I bet you are. You are speechless!
-Yes, I am.
Oh, but you know what?
-We did do the right thing putting it into auction.
Well done. There's tears in your eyes.
What a way to end the show here.
I told you there'd be one or two surprises.
If you've got anything like that, we want to see it.
But until then, from Knutsford, it is goodbye
from one very happy Kath and myself.
Paul Martin presents from the Museum of Science and Industry in the heart of Manchester with experts Anita Manning and Michael Baggott, where the team picks out a selection of antiques and collectibles to be sold at auction. The selection includes an Inuit carving, a French book of butterflies and a ship that sailed the China seas.
Paul chances upon a rare and beautiful art book that is hugely contested in the sale room.