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This vibrant, busy street is full
of incredible stories and real treasures.
But back in the early part of the 1970s,
it was like any other high street in the United Kingdom.
So what happened to change it so dramatically?
Well, before we find out more, let's head over to our valuation day
to find some treasures of our very own.
Welcome to Flog It!
Today, we are in Leicester, one of the most ethnically
and culturally diverse cities in the UK.
Residents hail from over 50 different countries.
Home to our valuation day is the city's impressive De Montfort Hall,
a venue which, over its 100-year history, has seen a vast
range of acts gracing its stage,
from Tina Turner to Frank Sinatra, as well as hosting Navratri.
The Hindu festival celebrations here in Leicester are some
of the most popular in the UK,
and we are hoping to see a truly eclectic mix of treasures, too.
While hundreds of people have already turned up,
just look at this queue - it goes right out of the grounds.
We're going to have a busy day today.
And, hopefully, someone here has got something in these bags
and boxes that is worth a small fortune.
Who knows, we could even have our first millionaire.
Let's make Flog It! history!
Hoping to find the star items are our two eager experts -
the battle-ready Claire Rawle...
Beats the opposition over the head, yes.
..and Catherine Southon, who is already hunting out the characters.
-My honest opinion?
You mean, no, you don't want my honest opinion?
-Where is the nearest rubbish bin?
-No, don't do that.
Whilst everyone takes their seats
and the experts search out their items,
here's what is coming up on today's show.
We've got three very different lots, which hail from far-off lands.
But which of these foreign finds will fly?
Will it be this stunning mother-of-pearl Japanese panels?
The tribal South Pacific club and spear?
Or the very cosmopolitan French Dougal toy?
We'll find out later, as these well-travelled items go under
the hammer, hoping to find homes here, in Leicestershire.
And it looks as though Catherine has one of those cosmopolitan items
on her table right now.
Bev, good to meet you.
Nice little cardboard box you've brought here.
-Shall we have a look inside?
Dougal! Little Dougal from The Magic Roundabout.
Although I remember him being more...
-sort of a yellowy colour...
-..rather than sort of white.
So, where did you get him from?
My mum bought it from a white elephant sale.
What had drawn her to it was the fact it was French.
-It was written in French.
Because the lid of the box is all in French.
I mean, it's a little bit worn.
And here, it just does say the equivalent of The Magic Roundabout.
And you have got the pictures there of the roundabout.
And on the top, the name Pollux, which I think is Dougal.
I think that actually was Dougal, which is lovely.
But generally speaking, he's not in bad condition.
I mean, the thing is, with this,
because it has been in its original box, this rubber
is all in lovely condition, cos it does, sort of, tend to...
break up a little bit and it does tend to tear.
Now, it was actually produced...
The Magic Roundabout was produced in England
and in France in the '60s, so, sort of, mid-'60s, 1965,
but the fact that it is from France, it just makes it, to me,
-it makes it a bit more interesting.
And the fact that it is white, as well...
What are your thoughts on it being white?
Um, I did my own research and, apparently,
it started in France, The Magic Roundabout,
-and Dougal was white.
So, he could be an early Dougal.
-It could be.
-You don't have a soft spot for old Dougal?
No, because I think
someone who collects Magic Roundabout toys,
it would be nice for them to have something a bit different.
Where does he live at home?
-In the loft. With the spiders.
-No. It is time to move you on, Dougal.
It is time to move you on to happier places.
I'm not going to give you a big estimate on this, I'm afraid,
-It's only going to be about £40 to £60.
-That's fine, yeah.
-With a £30 reserve, is that all right?
-That that's absolutely fine.
Do we know what your mum paid for it?
-Probably only a few pounds.
-I imagine it was pence.
-Thanks, Bev, for coming along.
-That's OK. Thank you.
-And I'll see you at the auction. Thank you.
-Good to see you. Glad you came along today.
With your pencil box. What do you know?
I mean, have you just dug this out of the back of a drawer?
Um, yes, it's been in my cupboard a little while.
We've had it in the family for at least 70 years.
-You didn't use it, then?
-Didn't keep your pencils in it?
-No, no, I didn't.
-You just thought, Flog It! is in town?
Yes, cos my granddaughter is hoping to go off to college soon.
And I thought, if it makes any money to help with her fees
-for the equine course she is taking.
-So, do you know where it came from?
-No, I've no idea where it came from.
It's always been around.
It dates from probably about 1910, 1915, something like that.
It's actually made of papier-mache.
And then it was lacquered, to give it this black finish.
And then, originally, you would have had some lovely,
bright gilt paintwork round the side.
And then, this wonderful chrome
and lithographic panel in the centre of the flight of the zeppelin,
being hailed as flying. I mean, it was a new thing.
-It must have been a fantastic thing to have seen.
There is some really enthusiastic collectors of airships
and all things zeppelin out there,
because there are, sorts of bits of memorabilia with them on.
So this, I think, will appeal, just to add to somebody's collection.
It is one of those quirky objects that,
if you put a sensible estimate on it, especially with online bidding,
it will get picked up and, I think, do quite well.
-My feeling is you should look for between £40 and £60.
And I'd put a discretionary reserve of 40, the lower estimate.
-Does that sound all right?
I think it might go higher. I have seen items with zeppelins go higher.
But there's no point in frightening everyone else off.
-So, if you are happy with that, we will go forward.
-And, hopefully, help towards the equine studies.
Fingers crossed we'll get a sky-high price for this quirky little item.
'Queen of the skies, seen here from a Universal newsreel camera plane
'as it sped over New York.'
The zeppelin became the cutting-edge form of air travel
at the end of the 19th century.
Passengers were transported under an enormous, rigid,
balloon-like structure, full of highly-flammable hydrogen gas.
The space age looks and the excitement of the new
made this form of transport highly popular.
But in 1937, the German airship Hindenburg made
a transatlantic flight which was to hasten the demise of the airship.
Due to land in Lakehurst, New Jersey,
the voyage ended in disaster.
'The Hindenburg appeared a conquering giant of the sky,
'but she proved a puny plaything in the mighty grip of fate.'
As she attempted to dock, the airship burst into flames
and 35 people lost their lives.
This tragedy quickly changed people's opinions
of these giants of the sky.
And in a few years, the zeppelin's glory days were a distant memory.
There are hundreds of people here today with interesting items
they no longer want.
But I have been thinking about the things which are the most
precious to us, those we'd never get rid of.
While the queue are waiting for their valuations,
I've been asking them a rather tricky question.
If you had to leave your family home within a matter of days
and put one or two precious items in a suitcase, what would you choose?
Would it be something sentimental, something valuable
or something that you made that you cannot put a price on?
I've got a little questionnaire for you, which I'm going to hand out.
If you had to pick one item to take with you, what would you choose?
-Your son. You can't squeeze him into a suitcase.
But think of an item, think of an object.
-What can I win?
-Well, you can't win anything.
-You're absolutely crazy.
Just fill in that and I'll come back to you and see what you say.
So, whilst the queue ponders this poignant question,
Catherine is valuing a silver tea set,
which the owner is more than happy to part with.
June, this is a lovely, little, shiny tea set that you have
brought into Flog It! today.
Tell me about it, where did you get it from?
Well, it was an inheritance.
And I very much appreciated being left it,
but I'm afraid it has been sitting in the attic for about ten years.
-You inherited it from...?
-From a friend.
-Silver is not quite your thing.
-It is not quite my thing.
-China is a little bit more my cup of tea.
-My house is full of different china.
Well, let's have a little look at this.
I mean, it's very typical of the period, late Victorian,
-with this, sort of, half-fluted design...
..on the sugar bowl, the milk jug and also on the teapot.
Now, I have had a little look at them.
They have got slightly different dates.
One is 1899 and the other two are slightly later, 1901.
But they are all of that sort of period.
And they do go together as a set.
-Now, on it, it has some initials on the front,
like interlocking initials, each piece,
with an R and I can't quite make out the other initials.
Do you know where they come from?
I think they must've been family pieces.
I'm quite sure that they had been passed down through the family.
Right. It's nice that you have got this gilding inside, as well.
It is really nice quality.
I mean, the sad thing is, when people buy these today,
-they are often scrapped, which is very sad.
But there is a nice lot of silver there,
a good heavy weight of silver.
And the value of it, as such, would be about £300 to £500.
-Would it really?
-What do you think of that?
That sounds a lot more than I was expecting, because this
sort of thing is not really desired much these days, is it?
Well, it's not. I mean, that's the thing,
-you wouldn't use something like this today.
You wouldn't really have it on your table when you have people around.
I would put this in with an estimate of £300 to £500.
And as you are quite happy to sell,
we will put a reserve on of 250. How does that sound?
-Yes, that sounds good.
-Are you happy with that?
So I'll see you at the auction, in a couple of weeks' time, raring to go?
-Does that sound good?
-It does, it just sounds the job.
And I'm quite familiar with auctions.
-I started my working life in an auctioneer's.
Oh, right. Well, you will be well at home there, then, won't you?
So June is pleased to let her tea set go.
But what things do our crowd really want to hang onto?
It's back to our questionnaire.
Any more pieces of paper to hand back?
Oh, thank you. Look at that, you have all been busy.
Thanks very much.
OK, there's about ten here. Let's look at some of the answers.
My engagement ring.
My fretwork clock.
Photos of the family in lovely silver frames
and one of the family tree.
That's really, really nice.
Oh, my train set.
Toothbrush. Well, you can put that in your pocket, as well.
It seems to me people are thinking practically and sentimentally, and
not really value wise, which, in a way, is quite important, really.
It is all about the sentiment.
It is all about your heritage and hanging onto it
and that sense of belonging, which you can't put a price on.
For all of us here at the valuation day,
this questionnaire is just a bit of fun,
but for many of the Asian community who live in Leicester,
this exact scenario was a frightening reality,
one we will be finding out about a little bit later in the show.
We've already seen hundreds of people
and we're only halfway through the day.
So, now it is time to make our first trip to the sale room.
And here's a quick recap of what is up for grabs.
Bev's French Dougal might not be the right colour, but Catherine's
hoping this makes him rare and, thus, a must-have for collectors.
Will Sylvia's zeppelin pencil box soar or will it leave
the bidders deflated?
And June's tea set is definitely worth its weight in gold.
Well, silver actually.
Let's hope our experts have got their valuations right.
It's time to find out.
Today's auction comes from Gildings, in the quiet market
town of Market Harborough, which is in stark contrast to the colourful,
multicultural city of Leicester, which is 16 miles up the road.
But we're hoping for some hustle and bustle here today at auction.
And remember, at all sales, there is commission to pay,
and here at Gildings, the rate is 15%, plus VAT.
Well, that is what I love to see -
a jam-packed sale room, full of bidders and fine arts
and antiques up for grabs. This is where it starts.
We're putting our valuations to the test right now.
Mark Gilding is on the rostrum.
I'm going to catch up with our first owners.
Let's get on with the show.
Well, I've just been joined by Sylvia and Claire, our expert.
-This is for the granddaughter?
-Yes, that's it.
-So she's going off to study at college?
-An equine course?
Yes, that's it.
-Does she have horses herself?
-She has got one, yes.
I blame the parents.
-That's an expensive hobby, that one.
We need top end of the estimate. Let's put it to the test.
What is it worth? We are going to find out.
Here's a papier-mache pen box with a printed design of an airship.
There we go, showing with Gary.
Interesting little box, this one.
A lot of interest on the book here.
So, starting with me at £40.
-£40, I'm bid.
-We are in, Sylvia, we are in.
-£40 bid. To 45.
At 45. Now, £50, I'm bid. 50 on my book.
Five, I will take.
50 bid, then. The bid is with me still and selling at £50.
-It's gone, £50.
-Can I honestly say?
And thank you for bringing that in. But it just sparked a little memory.
One of the main reasons why I got into the antiques trade
was my uncle was an antique dealer. He had a shop and, in his shop,
he had a grand piano.
But underneath the piano,
he had one of the wheels from one of the zeppelin airships.
And it was like a ship's wheel, it was massive thing.
And I, accidentally, when I was a little young kiddie
of about six or seven, walked over and I trod on it, and he said,
"Don't touch that, that's from one of the zeppelins that flew over."
He gave me this big lecture and,
"Oh, that is a bit of history there."
And, you know, in a way, he inspired me to get into this business,
and it was all because the zeppelin and standing on that ship's wheel.
-So, there you go.
So, now you know where my love of antiques comes from. Thanks, Uncle.
And now for another memory from my childhood.
If I said to you, "It's time for bed, Zebedee," boing!
You'd know what was going on about.
Yes, The Magic Roundabout. Beverly, you have put a smile on everybody's
-face at the valuation day.
With your white Dougal.
I didn't think Dougal was white, though.
-No, we thought he was yellow.
-I thought he was yellow.
-This one is white.
-This one is special.
-Well, I like his little face.
He has got character, hasn't he?
Grew up watching that, Magic Roundabout. It was great fun.
Right, we're going to see what he is worth. And here we go.
Good luck, Beverly.
So what do we say for this, then? Well, you tell me.
I'm going to start at £5 and you tell me what you want to pay.
At £5. I'm bid only at five. Eight. Ten.
12. 15. 18. 20. 22.
£22, I'm bid now. 22. At 22. 25 do I see?
Watching all carefully, make no mistake. 22.
-And away, then, at 22.
-We're not selling, are we?
-They were mean.
We were barking up the wrong tree.
We didn't get that reserve.
Such a shame, but sometimes you can only find out how desirable
something is by putting it under the hammer.
Now, let's see if Catherine has any luck with her next lot.
-You inherited this from a good old friend.
And there is quite a lot of it here.
We are talking a fair bit of money here.
A fair bit of weight.
Yeah, there is a bit of weight there, which is where the value is.
Well, let's hope we are valuing this for its artistic merit rather
than its scrap value,
because, you know, this deserves to be saved, really.
I'd feel happy if it wasn't scrapped.
Well, fingers crossed it won't be. OK? June has a fascinating story.
If this is sells, we will tell you about it in just a moment.
But first, let's see some hammer action. Here we go.
Late Victorian, three-piece, silver tea set.
Sheffield, 1899 to 1901.
The bidding opens with me here at £360.
-Well, we have sold it, haven't we? Straightaway.
420 in the room now. At 420.
And all my bids are lost here, at 420.
There is no bidding in the room.
420. And a quick sale, then, at 420.
-£420. That was short and sweet.
-That was very quick.
Sold on its artistic merits, I think. That was a good result.
-It was, I'm very pleased.
-With the money...
This is so interesting, I'm going to hand it over to you.
Come on, tell me this story, because it is wonderful.
I would like to spend some of it in going to Holland.
56 years ago, I threw a bottle in the sea, in the English channel,
and it was picked up about six weeks later on one
of the Frisian Islands, the largest Frisian island, Texel,
by a beachcomber. And we have been friends, corresponded ever since.
I have been over there, he has been over here.
But I heard earlier this year that he had died.
And I thought that was the end of a nice friendship.
But his son, who I hadn't seen for 41 years, has got in touch with me
and has been over and wants to continue the association,
-and invited me over. I'd like to go over.
-Isn't that fabulous?
-It's an amazing story.
-That's a great story, isn't it?
So you are going to use some of the money to go over.
And visit over there.
That's brilliant, that's absolutely brilliant.
Well, that is our first set of items under the hammer.
Now, while we were in the area filming,
I've been off to the city of Leicester to find out what
makes it so vibrant and culturally diverse.
And, as I discovered, back in the 1970s,
an unbelievable act changed this city for ever.
In the early 1970s, Leicester was much like any other city
in the Midlands.
But in 1972, some 6,000 miles away, in Uganda,
a landlocked country in East Africa,
one man's political beliefs were about to have
a lasting affect on this city.
Idi Amin was the president of Uganda from 1971 to 1979.
He was a ruthless dictator.
And in 1972, he announced a shocking policy -
Africanisation of the country.
Asians made up only 1% of Uganda's population,
but controlled 90% of its wealth.
So, Amin wanted them out, to return the country
and its economy to the Africans.
Amin ordered the expulsion of a staggering 80,000 Asians
from the country that they called home.
He believed that they were Britain's responsibility, as Uganda
had been ruled by the British.
And that is why I said that the responsibility of Asians
in Uganda, it is the responsibility of Great Britain.
The Asian community was given just 90 days to leave Uganda
and were only allowed to take one 30kg suitcase
and £55 in their pocket.
All of their other belongings they had to leave behind,
from homes to businesses, jewellery to graves.
Jafar was expelled from Uganda
when he was a young man of just 21.
Today, he is a prominent businessman.
But his memories of Uganda are still vivid.
I remember Uganda as a beautiful country.
I lived in a small village called Masindi.
My father had built up over, sort of, 30 years a very thriving
hardware, DIY, building materials business.
And in first week in September, Idi Amin announced from
the barracks that he had a dream
and that he has been asked to expel all the Asians from the country.
When we heard this, we thought this was simply a joke
and we started laughing. How will this country survive without us?
The professionals, the doctors, lawyers, accountants.
But as the days went by, you know, he became very serious.
So we started thinking,
"Look, let's prepare for our departure from the country."
We had so much to bring and we could only bring what we could carry -
clothing, some photographs.
My mother had a lot of china, cutlery and crockery
and so on, very expensive items there.
But in the back of our minds, we were saying,
"Look, does it matter what we carry?"
All we cared for was our lives, really. Because it was so bad.
Now, imagine having to pack all the important and sentimental things
that you have gathered throughout your entire life into one suitcase.
How impossible would that be to choose?
I'd find that extremely difficult.
Not only would you have to put in sentimental things that give
you a sense of connection to your past and your homeland,
but also things for the future to prepare you for this new life
in the UK. A lot of people had preconceived ideas
about what it would be like here.
So, not only would you put something in that is a family heirloom,
but also something practical, to keep you warm
in the freezing cold winters here.
Something like a blanket.
Almost a third of those expelled from Uganda came to Leicester.
And 40 years on, the city has collected together
some of those precious items that they brought with them.
These two gold pendants just there - that horse and that elephant -
and that tiny little carved wooden giraffe belong to Nisha,
who was a young girl, aged just nine,
when her parents were expelled from Uganda.
Nisha is very passionate about her heritage and that inspired
her to set up this expedition here at the museum, which she works at.
-And she is with me right now. Pleased to meet you.
It must have been such an emotional thing to do, put this together.
I think, yes, it was.
And it is quite a big story for Leicester, so it was important to us.
But once I got into it, it became very emotional because,
you know, the story is about yourself.
And how did other people in he community feel?
Were they forthright in coming forth and saying,
"Yes, you can have this?"
I think they were forthright in wanting to talk to us,
and there were very, very excited about it.
But, I think, 40 years on, memories fade.
And somehow, they wanted to glorify what had happened
when they came here, so they wanted just the good memories,
none of the sort of hardships they experienced when they came here.
And how did you go about selecting which items you would use?
Obviously, that was a hard decision by you, not just by the owners.
I think it was difficult to get objects, because what people
brought with them was very, very little.
They weren't sure about giving it to us because...or lending it to us
either, because these are things that were very precious to them.
I can imagine you had to be quite selective.
Can you pick on one or two?
Um, I think the Katanga shirt behind you.
And that brought back a lot of memories about people
wearing them, people going to events with them,
something that was quite meaningful and special to them.
And then, the other thing is this, sort of, Ugandan passport,
because you always link passports and things to identity.
-And this is about you.
And, actually, looking at that, the stir of emotions you felt
and people felt, as well.
-You went through that as a young girl.
At nine. What were your particular memories?
My parents, kind of, disguised it as "We're going to go to London,
"we're going to go on a holiday."
So, when we got here, I think, initially, the first week,
You know, just going round London on the tube with my older sister.
We spent a few days in London and then we moved to Leicester,
because we have some family here.
Nisha's world was turned upside down by the expulsion from Uganda.
But for her family, Leicester soon became home
and they thrived and prospered here, just as in Jafar.
The image I had of England in my mind,
cos I was still very young,
was that it was a very wealthy country and I expected
gold-plated buildings and, you know, a land of milk and honey.
We all lived in one house, three-bedroom house,
with five brothers, two sisters, mother and father.
My father, he had to bring all the groceries, everything on the bus.
When I used to see him standing at the bus stop,
it used to make me cry because I used to see him
in a chauffeur-driven car back at home.
So we had some very difficult times the beginning.
As we went along, we found jobs and made some money.
Then we had cars and our houses and so on.
But that was a long way away.
Now, who would've thought some 40 years ago, one man's action,
and thus the arrival of the Ugandan Asian community here in Leicester,
would change this city into the vibrant,
multicultural place that it is today -
a city that can rival any other in the UK.
Welcome back to De Montfort Hall.
As you can see, it is still pretty much a full house down there.
Let's now catch up with our experts
and see what else we can find to take off to auction.
And battle commences with Claire.
-Wow, Linda, you are onto the teeth.
-These are amazing.
So, tell me a bit about them, their history, how you got hold of them.
Well, I don't know an awful lot about the history.
All I know is that, when we were growing up at home, they were
always hung up on the hallway.
-We were always told never to touch them.
-You weren't allowed to play with them?
-No, no, no.
-Beat each other up with them?
So, where did they come from, then?
I think my father got them from the war,
brought them back from the war.
-But we don't know, because he has died now.
-Oh, it is difficult.
Where did he serve? What was his history in the war?
He served in North Africa and Italy and Palestine, I think he went.
Unfortunately, we never asked him. And now I feel really...
-Isn't that always the way?
-Yes, I know.
You always think, "If only I could ask."
Let that be a lesson to people. Ask! Write it down.
But it's interesting that he served in Africa
and then went through to Palestine,
because these actually are a little bit further east again.
-That one is from Fiji.
And that is Maori, from New Zealand.
Originally, they would have been made for war.
So, the one in your right hand is a Fijian club.
Now, it is known as the gun stop club, because, obviously,
it looks a little bit like the stop of the gun.
-That's the end, then, sort of, the barrel end would be down there.
-I expect they're both quite solid and heavy?
-Yes, they are.
-Is your arm getting tired?
-It is a bit.
-I'll leave you holding them.
-Yes, they're made with a very dense wood.
These two will date from about 1900.
They are not hugely old, in terms of tribal art,
that goes back over the centuries, but the way they are carved,
they really caught my eye, because they are beautifully worked,
especially the Maori one, where you get this very,
very distinctive scrolling pattern.
And again, with the Fijian work,
it is almost like a, sort of, chip carving.
I think they have both been carved in a very traditional
form by a traditional carver, rather than mass-produced for a later
-Have you got any idea, at all, of price?
-Nothing, at all?
In fact, we nearly didn't pick them up when we cleared the house out.
-Oh, wow. For the two - I estimate 300 to 500.
-So, glad you picked them up.
I think that is a very sensible estimate.
I think they will sell together,
-because they are from the same region of the world.
And I think, put a reserve,
perhaps just dip it under the lower estimate at 280,
which I think is a very encouraging price for people.
If they see a price like that, they will think, "We'll go for those,"
which at the end of the day, is what you want them to do.
-So I think they'll do well.
That was an interesting valuation.
You see, you can learn so much from listening to our experts.
Before we look at our next item we're going behind the scenes.
This is Aubrey. Hi, Aubrey. One of our off screen valuers.
We've got six working.
They basically do a little bit of preliminary research.
What have you found out?
We've got three lovely little bits of Victorian jewellery here.
Gold, turquoise and seed pearls.
Really desirable and very saleable objects.
Do you weigh the gold?
Do you look at the pearls, to see if they're good seed pearls?
Look for quality, look for craftsmanship?
There's a number of factors. The weight of gold is an important one.
Together with the quality of the stones - how well made they are.
And also, the appeal of them.
Whether they are commercial and saleable items.
-Yeah, and these are good?
-They're really nice.
You've got a lovely little pendant with a heart, which is always
popular. Rings always do well. And then you've got a lovely brooch.
In your opinion, what do you think? 2-300?
200-300, maybe towards the top end.
Our off screen experts work flat out behind the scenes on a busy day
like today. They could each be seeing up to 400 unique items,
making sure everyone who comes through the door
gets a valuation and some insight into their objects.
These guys are invaluable to our screen experts.
Talking of which, next up, it's Catherine.
Helena, this is a lovely collection of Tunbridge Ware you've got here.
There are some really nice examples. Where did you get it all from?
I've been collecting for many years.
I suppose I started collecting in the 1950s.
Some of them I got very cheaply, years ago.
I wasn't earning very much money and now they just sit wrapped up
and I don't have them out.
What made you start collecting Tunbridge Ware?
I've always collected something.
From a child, there's always been something.
As a child, you were always...
First of all, it was stamps and then scrapbooks.
I always had lots of those things.
-Of course, where's the one from Hastings?
You used to see all these sort of things. Presents from seaside places.
-They were souvenir pieces, really, weren't they?
Most of what you have here is late 19th century.
This is a lovely tea caddy. I love the domed lid. It's very attractive.
All individual pieces.
Slivers of different types of wood that have been glued together.
Are there any here that are real favourites for you?
I suppose this is my favourite. Cos I know it's beautiful.
The workmanship in it is fantastic.
As I'm looking at it, I'm saying it's all Tunbridge Ware,
but we've got three pieces which aren't.
This is one that, sort of, stands out. Lovely little box.
Blonde tortoiseshell veneer.
But what I would probably do is sell it all together, as one lot.
-Would you be happy to sell it together?
That is the most valuable piece, as you probably know.
And I would say, something like this, on its own, is probably
worth about £60-£80.
But I would sell them together in a group lot, for £300-£500,
with a 300 fixed reserve.
And let's hope you can move it on and maybe buy something else.
-Something different to add to your collection.
And so from one type of holiday souvenir to another
of a very different kind,
but no less intricate in their craftsmanship.
Hello, Allison, Harry. Good to see you.
Glad you came in with your lovely screen panels.
What can you tell me about them?
They belonged to my great aunt.
I inherited them
and they were hanging in my flat for the years I was there.
Got married, about ten years later, we downsized
and a lot of things ended up in a cold, damp shed,
-including these two ladies here.
-They're not really appropriate for my decor.
So, when you had them originally they were not in these frames.
-Were they just separate?
-They were together. They were hinged.
As I remember them, they were a screen,
-which stood on the floor.
-They're definitely Japanese.
They'll date probably from the end of the 19th,
beginning of the 20th century,
when so much stuff was coming out of Japan.
So many people had contacts over there, family.
Don't know whether any of your family were possibly linked
-Possibly. My aunt was one of 13 so...
-Oh, my goodness.
So she had some brothers who were travelling,
so perhaps they came back from there at some stage.
They would have been brought back as souvenirs
and they were made for the export market.
They weren't made for home use.
So, basically, you have the two figures
and these areas are all bone.
And you can tell that because you have the brown flecks,
because bone has blood vessels in it.
So you have the brown flecks there.
And then you have the engraved decoration, which is then inked,
to give it the detail.
But when you come up to the face, you can see it's a much smoother,
more glossy finish to it. They are ivory,
to give the proper skin tone,
so she doesn't look like she has nasty blemishes on her face.
And again, carved and inked and, because they're old,
definitely pre-1920s, let alone pre-1947,
you haven't got any issues with selling the ivory.
Just to highlight it, the areas around the collars
and the sleeves, you've got shell.
Mother of pearl.
You can probably see the light coming off it,
giving it that lovely satiny look.
Amazingly, they're not in bad condition.
-You haven't enjoyed seeing them on the wall, Harry?
They don't suit where they were.
They don't go in your bedroom, either? Strange that(!)
Have you got any idea, at all? Thought about price?
-Absolutely none. Which is why we came along today.
I would suggest putting an estimate of 200-400 on them and I'm
always keen on putting the reserve just below the lower estimate.
-So, perhaps, about 180?
So, having got the money for them,
any idea what you're going to put it towards?
-What did we decide?
-Harry, what would you do with it?
-I don't really know, to be honest.
-You don't buy stuff for yourself?
-Games, yeah. Are you going to allow him to do that?
No, I think he knows that. It will go towards the garden.
What a brilliant day we've had here at De Montfort Hall,
our magnificent host location.
Everybody has thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
We found some real gems, but sadly it's time to say goodbye,
as we have unfinished business in the auction room.
We're going over to Gildings for the last time
and here's what's coming with us.
Will the tribal spear and club stand a fighting chance in the sale room
and, potentially, make the long trip back to their homeland?
Amazing that that little bit of holiday memorabilia can be
worth hundreds of pounds.
Fingers crossed, Helena's examples are no exception.
And there's no home for the Japanese panels at Allison's place.
They've even been kicked out of the shed!
But before we see the auction in action, it's time to find out
what auctioneer Mark Gilding thinks about the club and the spear.
On the auction preview day, I took the opportunity to pick his brain.
Look what we have here. Some ethnographica.
All of our experts are frightened to put a value on this kind of stuff.
Cos this is a minefield. It's so complicated.
You really do have to know what you're looking for.
And after what happened to poor old Michael, with our aboriginal
shield, you can get it wrong.
At £30,000 - going once.
Going twice, you're last chance on the internet, for 32,000.
Third and final time.
Apologies. We can't be an expert on everything
and I thought I'd given it my best shot.
So, with this tricky field,
does Mark agree with Claire's valuation of £300-£500?
Auctions are all about competition.
And having two objects where people can really get stuck in
and battle it out,
that's where we can achieve towards the top end
-or above the estimate for the vendor.
-Good luck, anyway.
We're not talking 5-10 grand here,
but, hopefully, we're talking 500.
A few hundred pounds is a pretty good value.
We'll just have to wait and see.
But first up, it's those delicate Japanese geisha panels.
It's great to see you again, Allison.
-Have you been looking forward to this?
-And where's young Harry?
-He's at school.
-He's missing all the excitement of the auction.
This is where anything can happen. These could be highly sought after.
-We're looking at £200-£400.
-Yeah, we'll hope so.
That's a lot of money for something in a cold, damp shed.
-They look beautiful.
-They are beautiful.
Yes, they are. Let's see if we can find them a new home.
We're putting them to the test right now.
Japanese panels. Mounted and framed. Lots of bids here.
-£40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 110, 120.
130, 140, 150, 160, 170.
175, I'm bid.
180, and all my bids are out now.
At 180. we're in the room. at 180.
180, in the room and selling, at 180.
Just under reserve. Bit of discretion. We got them away. £180.
-That's a good sound, isn't it? That sold sound.
-The mallet goes down. Yep, good?
Some lots just scrape through by the skin of their teeth.
I would have liked a little bit more for those pretty things,
but that's auctions for you.
Our next owner, Helena, who has been collecting Tunbridge Ware since
the 1950s, sadly cannot be with us today, but we do have her items.
All wonderful bits of micro mosaic, made in Tunbridge Wells.
And we do have our lovely expert here, Catherine.
Who has put 300-500 on them, which I think is sensible.
I think it's a good estimate. And the thing is, it's a dealers lot.
Definitely. Here to be split up.
Hopefully, a couple of dealers are going to go for it. Split it up.
Make their money on the best pieces. Good luck.
Let's hope we get the top end. Here we go.
I really like this Tunbridge Ware. Casket-shaped tea caddy.
Bit of inlay. Nice little collection of stuff here.
Bids on my book are starting at £190. 200, 220, 240, 260, 280.
We're racing away.
-300 I'm bid now. 340. I'll stay in 20s, 360.
-Helena will be pleased.
380, online now. 400, online. New bidder.
You're out at the back. It's 400 online.
At £400, I'm bid. Fair warning.
The bid's with the internet and selling, at 400.
£400, the hammer has gone down.
Mid-estimate, that's OK. We're happy with it.
And I'm sure Helena will be.
That's more like it and, finally, let's see how
the club and the spear do.
Going under the hammer right now, we have a bit of ethnographica.
A Fijian club and a Maori ceremonial spear, belonging to Linda,
who cannot be with us, but we do have her sister.
-What's your name?
-Pleased to meet you.
Thank you so much for standing in at the last minute. Where's Linda?
-What's she up to?
-She's on her holidays.
-Where's she gone?
To Nice. How lovely. Do you have any other brothers and sisters?
I have two brothers. They're going to share it, if they go.
I think they ought to go.
Although they haven't got huge age, the quality is there.
I think they were carved by craftsmen
and not made for the mass market, are they?
But, unfortunately, the money is in the history side of it.
The social history, which is lacking because they are fairly new.
That's the sad bit about it, but, nevertheless, £500,
an awful lot of money, if we get that.
-Let's try, shall we? This is it.
Lovely carving on these. A bit of interest on the books.
Opening with me at 180, 190, 200, 210, 220, 230, 240, 250, 260,
It's totting up in the right direction.
Have you got that on the internet at 280? 290, 300.
320, 340, 360, 380, 400.
In the room at 600. 650, 700.
And 50. 800.
-And 50. 1,000.
-Oh, my God.
In the room at 1,200. 1,300 online.
1,400 online, 1,500 online.
You're out at the back, I'm afraid. We're 1,500 online.
1,600 new bidding.
At 1,600. 1,700 online.
1,800 I'm bid.
At 1,800, fair warning, internet.
At 1,800, we're with a telephone bidder, this time, at £1,800.
That's what we like to see. That was a great result.
You'll have to ring your sister up and tell your brothers.
I think you'd rather be here than Nice right now?
You're seeing that little golden moment.
Thank you so much for bringing that in and well done.
-That's what we like to see.
That's what an auction is all about.
People getting carried away and the price goes through the roof.
Join us for many more surprises next time, but sadly we have run out
of time in Market Harborough and, so, until the next time,