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Today we're in Lancashire, a county renowned for its history,
heritage and its hotpot.
Later on in the programme,
I'll be investigating the interiors
of this stunning Elizabethan mansion house.
But first, it's over to our valuations which are taking place
in another grade one listed building
of a totally different kind.
Welcome to Flog It!
Today's valuation day is at Blackpool Tower,
the brainchild of local businessman and Mayor, John Bickerstaff,
who, after falling in love with the Eiffel Tower in Paris,
decided to build something similar in his hometown.
At over 500 feet in height,
the structure was just as imposing on the landscape
as the Parisian wonder.
His vision was a tower with an entertainment complex below it.
When the door to Blackpool Tower
opened for the very first time on 14 May 1894,
the great British public turned up en masse to marvel at the structure
and ascend that great big tower to take in the spectacular views.
Over a century later, there's still a wonderful great big queue here.
The people of Blackpool have turned up,
laden with unwanted antiques and collectables
and they're all here to ask our experts that all-important question,
ALL: What's it worth?
Stay tuned and you'll find out.
Today's grade one listed experts are James Lewis and David Fletcher.
-Have you seen anything exciting?
-One or two things, James.
How about you?
You know, I haven't found anything really exciting yet
but my theory is that Blackpool is a party town.
You're a party boy, James, you know about these things.
Of course, I'm still young and fit.
Yeah right, whatever!
So the audience are making their way to their seats.
Our experts are taking up their first positions
and We're set find all those important items
to take off to auction.
Today we'll find out which of these make hundreds of pounds
when they go under the hammer.
Will it be a collection of pocket watches, or this group of medals!
Find out which does the best later on in the show.
This spectacular venue is steeped in so much history.
It has been entertaining the crowds for well over a century.
People from all over the United Kingdom have flocked here
and back then, the original entry fee was six old pence,
that's 2.5p in today's money.
Thousands and thousands of people have been entertained
by the world's top performers,
including Britain's most popular clown, Charlie Cairoli,
who got up to his tricks here down in that circus ring for 40 years.
So let's get cracking with today's valuations
and 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 would happen is Social Services would be called in!
But I have to say when I look at these,
that is exactly what it makes me think of, times when I was a kid.
My mum was a qualified pharmacist, my dad was a pharmacist,
my grandmother was a pharmacist so whenever I went
to my grandparents' house, they used to keep the sugar in a drug jar.
Oil and vinegar and all this sort of thing, so slightly strange,
I admit, but jolly practical.
A lot of these are very nice examples because you've got the gilded
and the glass labels, especially on the blue.
We've got a really interesting make. How did you come to have them?
A pharmaceutical background?
-My brother-in-law was a chemist who retired 25 years ago.
When he retired, the shop closed down.
Some of these bottles, he took with him to his new house.
He put them in the cellar and forgot about them.
When he decided to move a couple of weeks ago, cleaning the cellar out
and he said, would you like to take these bottles to the car boot?
I thought, they're too good to take to the car boot,
so I brought them along today.
I think you're right,
we have a mix and there are more in the box that I saw earlier.
On top of the ten plain ones we're not seeing on the table,
we've got these and these are by far the most interesting.
SYR stands for syrup so these are syrup jars, syrup bottles,
that have a slightly strange stopper because most drug jars
and 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 put the stopper in,
leave it overnight, it's going to set fast and you'll never get it off.
These syrup jars have that, like a little dropper almost,
but it prevents the bottle getting stuck with it.
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 is ribbed, so if you are a pharmacist in your shop,
that suddenly tells you you have picked up a poison bottle.
The fact that it is ribbed. It is an immediate warning.
-We've got an interesting mix. No great family link for?
No sentimental value at all.
Well, the blue glass with the labels in good order
are worth about £10, £12 or £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.
-Happy to go ahead on that basis?
Let's give it a go, I'm sure it will do well.
-You never know, it might make a bit more.
-That would be great.
Let's hope they appeal to someone as much as they do to James.
Time to head outside now to the seafront where David Fletcher
is enjoying the sunshine and some ceramics.
Marie and Norman, hello and welcome to Flog It!
Who needs to be in the West Indies when you have a day like this.
You've brought with you a vase manufactured by the Moore factory.
What can you tell me about it?
My father bought it for my mother
when they were on honeymoon in Brighton in 1951.
-OK, and do you like it?
-I do, yes. I think it's very attractive.
-Do you like it, Norman?
-I'm not sure about it really.
I think it's really well made, you can see the detail on it,
but it doesn't really appeal to me.
Is it the sort of thing you'd have bought for Marie on your honeymoon?
I don't think so, no.
OK, let's talk about it in more detail.
It's clearly marked and we know that this mark was used
by the Moore factory between 1880 and 1900.
In 1891, these were additionally marked, "Made in England",
and this is not marked, "Made in England",
so we know it was made within a period of 11 years.
It is very typical of decorative items that were popular
at that time in the late 19th century.
-It looks Victorian, doesn't it?
I think it's perhaps not everyone's cup of tea
because you might argue it is slightly over decorated.
Why are you selling it?
We recently moved up here from Essex to be near our grandchildren.
Although it's lovely, it is delicate
and the grandchildren are quite lively.
You're concerned they might break it, I'm not surprised, really.
-They would want to handle it.
-Of course, children do, don't they?
OK, I must be a little analytical here.
As I'm sure you've noticed, there are a couple of pretty small chips.
They are going to put some people off,
so we must be mindful of that, I'm afraid.
By and large, it's in pretty good condition.
I am confident that it will do well at auction.
It's not going to set the world alight.
You're not going to go off to the West Indies for your next holiday.
-Blackpool for the time being, I think.
-On a day like this, it would be good.
-I reckon this will make between £60 and £100.
-Are you happy with that estimate?
We will put a reserve of £60 on.
I am confident it will make beyond its top estimate.
-Thank you and I will see you at the sale.
Flog It! is at the Tower Circus for just one day.
For some people, this place is a second home.
Keeping heritage alive is not just about buildings and traditions
and possessions, it can also be about performing arts.
Let me introduce you to Lassie and Maureen.
I know you are the producer here in the circus today.
-You've also been a performer in your time?
-I have been flying trapeze for 21 years.
-Flying trapeze up there?
-Gosh, what's it like up there?
-I bet it is.
You obviously met your wife in the circus, Maureen, how do you do?
-What did you do in the circus?
-I was a foot juggler.
Were you? Gosh!
Just paint the picture.
You're laying on your back, legs in the air, juggling balls?
That's correct, with balls and barrels and cigars.
-How did you learn to do that?
-With great difficulty.
It isn't an easy act but it's a nice act.
I know you're passing these skills on traditions on
because meet the next generation of the family.
Hi guys. What's your name?
Monkey the clown.
Mr Beale, nice to meet you.
How many generations is it now in the family? Six, seven or eight?
I think it's nine generations on my mother's side
and seven generations on my father's side, the fellow in the blue suit.
-You were born to do this, weren't you really?
Are you going to settle for being a clown all your life
or will you do other things?
Will you do the trapeze and juggling or...fire, sort of, walking...?
-Well, to be honest, clowning is the pinnacle of circus.
At the end of the day, you're the main attraction in the show.
We've done that many things - we've been acrobats, jugglers, trapeze...
-You can do all of that.
A clown has to learn all those skills, doesn't he?
-A good clown should know how to do anything.
-Yes. Well, good luck.
If you want to catch these guys, this whole family, in action,
they're performing here six days a week and it's well worth seeing.
Back outside now to the prom where David is hoping to hit the target
with his next item.
-Welcome to Flog It!
Now, I know we live in dangerous times,
but I hadn't expected to see a young lady like you walking down the prom
-with a pistol in her hand.
-A young lady!
But thank you for bringing it along.
I know I shouldn't ask a lady her age,
-but would you mind telling me how old you are?
-Four years from the Queen's telegram.
My cousin's 102.
Well, it must be the ozone blowing off the sea up here, I think.
-And how did you come to own this, Betty?
It was passed down the family to me from my mother-in-law's great aunt,
then to my husband and then to me.
Well, I'm not very good at working generations out,
but that must take it back very nearly to the point
it was actually manufactured.
Well, it may be older than that,
because I think it was used at the Battle of Waterloo.
I think it was probably made just a tad before then,
I think it's 18th-century.
And it really is a lovely survivor of that period.
It's slightly battered and it's cracked
and just a little bit the worse for wear, but we'd expect that.
Imagine what it was like, assuming it was used at Waterloo,
and we think it was,
actually having to fire and load a weapon like this.
Your life depended upon it.
It wasn't terribly accurate, the range was short.
Who knows? You might even have had to use it just to club someone
when you got to close quarters.
And that, I'm sure, would explain some of the damage.
It's by a manufacturer called Heath,
and these two star marks here refer to the fact that it's been proofed.
In other words, at some stage in its life,
if you'd have pulled the trigger, it wouldn't have blown up in your face.
And of course what you had,
as you know, was a flint that was placed just between those
two metal jaws there which gives it its name - flintlock pistol.
Now, we always ask this, but why do you want to sell it?
Well, I'm moving from a roomy house to a small one,
and the family have enjoyed it over the years,
-but now I've no room for it.
And you might be able to spend the proceeds on buying
something nice for your new house.
I'd just love it to go towards a ceramic hob.
Ceramic hob? OK. We'll put it through the sale then, if we may?
-I suggest an estimate of £100-£150.
-Good, you pleased with that?
-And a reserve of £100.
That would be great.
-OK, I look forward to seeing you at the sale, Betty.
-And thank you very much for coming in today.
-It's a pleasure.
Well, here we are, behind the scenes.
This is the shot that you don't normally get to see.
We have a room like this at every valuation day,
designated as a holding bay.
All the people you see in this room have been picked out by our experts
because their antiques could possibly be going under the hammer.
You could say, at this stage, they're the lucky ones.
But will their items make a small fortune?
We're just about to find out.
We're going to embark on our first trip to the sale room
to put those valuations to the test
and here's a quick recap of our experts' first choices.
John's hoping his chemist bottles can brew up a profit.
There's that decorative vase brought along by Marie and Norman.
And also Betty hopes her pistol will go with a bang!
We've taken a short hop down the coast to Lytham St Annes
for today's auction
and the man in charge of the bidding is Jonathan Cook.
Right now, going under the hammer,
we have a porcelain bowl made by the manufacturer Moore
who I've not come across before, so this is quite interesting for me.
Good luck, Marie. Good luck, Norman.
I know this was a wedding present for your parents, wasn't it?
My father bought it for my mother on their honeymoon.
Have you inherited it since?
-And it's been just a decor at home and you've decided to sell.
-OK, well, good luck. I've not come across this before.
Well, Paul it is quite collected.
I think for a lot of people today it's rather over-decorated,
-but I'm pretty confident it'll do OK.
-OK, top end of the estimate?
Plus a bit more? Is it a come and buy me?
-Well, let's say mid estimate, shall we?
-All right. Fingers crossed.
Moore, figure of porcelain,
posey bells, circa 1880s, modelled with a cherub, bids of £50.
Any advance on 50? At £50, five, £55.
Any advance on 55?
-£60 in the room. Any advance on 60?
-It's going, isn't it?
At 75, 80.
At £80 in the room.
Are we all sure at 80? Sell away then at £80, no further interest.
All done at 80.
-It's gone. You've got mixed feelings now, haven't you?
Are you feeling a bit upset?
Half of me is. Half of me is.
-But, no, it's time to move it on.
Selling at auction can be quite emotional
but David got his estimate spot-on.
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. Definitely.
The interesting thing with these chemists' bottles
-is that a rare label can make a massive difference.
And you've got some lovely enamel labels amongst them,
some red poison bottles. They're a good bunch.
I bet if you took them to that car boot, like your...
-It was your brother, telling you to?
-That's correct, yeah.
I bet you'd have only got a tenner for them.
-Be lucky if you get that at a car boot!
-No, tenner for the lot.
-Yeah. Well, let's hope.
Let's hope we get the top end of James' estimate
and get a little surprise.
Collection of 20 chemists' pharmacy bottles, various sizes and shapes.
Bids there of £30.
At £34, 36, 8, 40.
At £40, 42, 44.
6, 8, 50.
All the bits are coming 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 interest at £80? All sure at 80?
£80, the hammer's gone down. Good result. Well done, James.
Yeah, you wouldn't have got that at a car boot, would you?
-Definitely not, no.
So far, our experts have been right on the money with their estimates,
so let's hope the bidders have this pistol in their sights.
-Betty, it's good to see you again.
-And you, Paul.
Going under the hammer,
we're putting that early 19th century flintlock - pow! -
to the test.
Lovely, lovely little pistol.
Yes, and I'm fascinated that you're going to
reinvest the money in this ceramic hob.
-Yes, that's what I need.
-Do you cook often?
-Oh, yes, I cook a lot.
-Well, not exactly.
-But I do cook for the family sometimes.
Well, perhaps Paul and I might come round one evening.
Oh, well, why not? That would be lovely. I'd enjoy that.
Here we go, let's put it to the test.
Early 19th century English flintlock pistol.
Bids there of £100. Any advance on 100?
The auctioneer liked this. We had a chat about it yesterday.
He said it could get the top end, plus.
We're up there already, nearly.
160, 170, 180. 190.
-190 on the net.
Any advance in the room? At 190. On the net, then...
200 on the telephone.
-£200 on the telephone. 220.
£220 on the net. Any advance on 220?
All finished, then, at 220?
240. Any advance on £240?
-That's doubled my estimate.
Betty, Betty, this is good.
£260. Are we all finished at 260?
270 if it helps? 270.
-270 on the phone.
-Any advance on 270?
All sure in the room? At 270.
No further interest?
-Gosh, that hit the target, didn't it?
£270. Well done, you!
Thank you for bringing that in.
Well, that's the first batch of antiques under the hammer.
So far, so good.
Now the thrill of coming to an auction
and the excitement of seeking that one missing bit of your collection
is not a modern concept.
For centuries, people have been hunting out items of history
and antiques to adorn their walls.
Now, not far from here is a place called Browsholme Hall,
which has a fascinating collection of antiques
compiled over 14 generations of the same family.
It is quite unique.
I went along to investigate. Take a look at this.
Browsholme Hall is one of over 5,000 listed buildings in Lancashire.
But what makes this one more special than most
is it's the oldest surviving family home in the county,
having been passed down through 14 generations of the Parker family.
It's estimated that over 90 of Lancashire's historic stately homes
have been lost over the last century,
having either been demolished
or left to fall into a state of disrepair.
Browsholme Hall, however, is one of the county's proud survivors
and it's been in the same ownership for the last 500 years.
Now, that is an impressive claim to fame
only made possible by the courage, the conviction
and the incredible antiques of its inhabitants.
The house was built in 1507 by Edmund Parker,
using money that he inherited.
Through the years, each generation has made its own mark
on the building and that's continuing today
with the current owners and members of the family,
and I'm here to take a look around.
But, first, I want to introduce you
to two men from the Parker family tree
who I believe have been instrumental in cementing
the ancestral roots of Browsholme Hall over the last five centuries.
And we're going to start with the first gentleman, the current owner.
-Here we go. Hello, pleased to Nietzsche.
-Welcome to you, Paul.
What a lovely day as well.
'Robert Parker was left the house and its collection of antiques
'aged just 19, when he inherited it from a distant relative.
'And, whilst most people of that age
'would have sold up and spend the money on partying,
'Robert chose to stick to his family roots
'and has lived here ever since.'
This is a marvellous house.
What was the house like when you inherited it?
Well, when we first came to the house,
we found a house that was almost unliveable in.
The water supply was poisonous, the electricity supply was dangerous.
There were no kitchens, no bathrooms.
So not something you could comfortably move into by any means.
Right. Obviously, all of your ancestors
have had a fabulous eye for antiques. They're great collectors.
Is it something you've inherited?
And who do you think was the main man?
The rooms that you'll see today
are really the creation of Thomas Lister Parker,
who was one of the early antiquarians.
Unusual at the beginning of the 19th century
to actually start admiring what went before
rather than collecting new and modern things.
-From the day?
-From the day.
So the room as you see it today is his creation.
What had accumulated in this house in 300 years before he inherited it.
Do you mind if I take a look around?
Because, really, this is my kind of thing,
this whole period, sort of the 1600s.
-Can I be nosy?
-OK, thank you.
Thomas Lister Parker owned the house from around 1796 to 1824
and it was him who first discovered all the collections
stored in Browsholme's attic.
Whilst generations before had obviously acquired the items
over the years, they have certainly not appreciated them.
Luckily, Thomas had an eye for antiques
and he went on to buy many more.
Most of the items here in this room were bought by the family
centuries ago to be used - practical pieces of kit
which have now become precious antiques for us to enjoy today.
The first thing that grabs my attention
is this huge, great big dresser.
Is it a dresser? No, it's not.
If you look closely, you can see it in fact is four separate chests.
These chests were made for the family in the 1600s
and they are beautifully carved.
But Thomas, in the 1800s, put them all together to make this dresser
to make something practical to display all of these antiques on.
And it is absolutely remarkable.
Just look at this, this is a panel from a local abbey.
But it just shows the wonderful carving
of the secular work of the monks.
This is classical Renaissance at its very best and here, look,
if you look closely, you can see Saint Catherine of Alexandria.
So we're talking around circa the year 250.
You associate Catherine with the Catherine wheel,
this is the term we know today, the Catherine wheel.
How did that come about?
Well, she was persecuted for her religious beliefs,
tied to a wheel and beaten to death.
Horrific, what went on back then.
Another of Thomas's purchases was this painting,
which shows the hall as it looked when he was alive.
This watercolour is by John Butler,
renowned watercolour artist back in the 1800s.
He specialised in interiors and he helped the family out quite a lot.
This was done in 1807
but, if you look at the hall as it was back then,
you can see a lot of the pieces of furniture and artefacts
are still here today, some 200 years later.
I've spotted these chairs - can you see?
There's quite a few of them but there's two here, look.
But look at the abuse somebody has given this chair over the centuries.
They've obviously enjoyed sitting in it and they've adapted it
to be turned into a rocking chair for extra comfort.
But that gives us a fascinating insight,
not just to the antiques and the architecture of the house,
but of what the things were used for,
the social history of the family - work, rest and play.
Thomas Lister Parker was a great patron of the arts,
spending huge sums of money on collections of paintings
but, in 1824, he spent up and ran out of money
and was forced to sell the house he loved so much.
Although, luckily enough, it stayed in the family
when his cousin bought it.
Gosh, I absolutely love this house.
I wish I was born a Parker!
You know, every room you walk into, it embraces you,
it does have a magnificent family feel about it
and that is so important.
This staircase is another feature
installed by the ever-present Thomas Lister Parker.
And its dates back to the early part of the 1800s.
But that same glass window there on the landing -
well, elements of that date back even further.
He put this together in the 1800s, really, as a montage,
as a piece of colour, something to enjoy.
Not for religious purposes but really for antiquarian purposes
and I can point out some of the early pieces here, look.
This little picture of Christ, that dates back to around about 1250.
Here, this little panel, that's around sort of the mid-1500s,
that's the Tudor Rose, look, Henry VIII.
And, here, I quite like that.
That's sort of what the pagans really worship
and that's the Green Man. Look at that, isn't that lovely?
That, again, from the 1500s. Beautifully detailed.
And, being a family home, obviously enjoyed by everybody,
even the youngsters would like to look at this window.
But these bars have been added for protection, really,
to stop them from getting too close
so they don't poke their fingers through the glass.
It's easy to see why Thomas's collection
attracts thousands of visitors each year,
but some of his items haven't proved popular
with the later generations of the family.
The clock on the east wing dates from 1816
and although it's been restored, earlier residents chose not
to repair the mechanism because it has an extremely loud tick,
which makes it impossible for people in the rooms below to sleep.
What an incredible house.
Actually, I should rephrase that and say what an incredible home,
because that's what it is.
The building is not just of historical interest
and significance, but also, its contents,
they've been in the same family for 14 generations,
they've been looked after and cherished,
and it's a wonderful insight into the Parker family social history.
It's their heritage, they've protected and looked after it.
And it's good to see a building used for the same purpose
it was built for - a family home.
Welcome back to Blackpool and our valuation day.
-Everybody is in good spirits here, aren't you?
-All enjoying yourselves?
-Cor, what a yes!
Are there any noes going on? No! We are all a happy bunch here.
Thank you so much, because without this lot, we would not have a show.
It's all about you. If you've got any antiques
and collectables you want to sell, we would love to see you.
But right now, we're going back to the valuations,
and James Lewis has wasted no time finding a collection of watches.
Maureen and Brian,
you have on the table here about 100 years of the history of the watch.
Obviously, these didn't all belong to the same person.
What is the story, what is the history?
Well, they've come from different homes, as people died,
father-in-laws collected stuff from other people,
some are from stepmothers, and they've been
put in a box in our house in the back of the wardrobe and left there.
So, they've come from everywhere and you've just put them together.
Well, let's start with the biggest and most obvious.
This little chap here, it's known as an open face pocket watch,
Roman numerals, enamel dial, solid silver case,
a standard middle-class working man's pocket watch.
And it is a key wind, so you have to open the back to wind it up.
This one is more floral, more ladylike, but around the same
sort of date, maybe 10 years later, 1890, 1900 here.
And then, we have a little wristwatch.
But we have two other wristwatches here.
Now, the strange thing is, what does that look like to you?
-It looks like a pocket watch.
That is a transitional wristwatch that somebody said,
"Oh, people are now wearing watches on their wrists.
"How very strange!" So, all he has done is this designer,
Ingersoll, have taken a pocket watch and put little brackets on it,
so they can put a strap on it.
And that's what the very earliest wristwatches looked like.
So, let's have a look at this one.
Because this, for me, is the most interesting one.
It's dated on the back Christmas 1914, from Lady Werner,
Number 71, of the 12th Lancers.
The 12th Lancers were also known as the Prince of Wales'
Royal Cavalry, so somebody here is wanting to give individual presents
to each of the mounted cavalrymen. Now, why would you want to do that?
Well, it is a Royal Regiment, and who is it by? From Lady Werner.
I looked up on the internet earlier -
Lady Werner, Ingersoll watches - and apparently, in Christmas 1914,
she gave one of these to every member of the 12th Lancers. Why?
There is no record, we don't know.
Now, you would think they were quite rare, wouldn't you?
A watch like that, given to the 12th Lancers,
and I thought, "Oh, this is interesting." A bit of military
history, a bit of royal history, provenance on the back.
Really disappointing - they are worth 30 quid!
I found two others that were sold. I had never seen one before today.
But there we are, it's worth about £30 for this watch.
But then, we move on to this one, which is
a nine carat gold case, original leather strap, and it's retailed
by Garrard's, who were one of the leading retailers
of jewellery and silver.
It's something you would have had to have
a decent amount of money to buy, to start with.
So, we've got a bit of a mix - we've got 1880, 1890,
then we've got 1960s and here, we missed that one, 1930s.
That's worth a fiver, that's worth 15, that's worth 30,
that's worth 30. So, where are we up to? About 85, and that.
-That's worth about another 60-100.
So, I think the right way of selling them is to put them
-together as one lot, with an estimate of £150-£200.
-Is that OK for you?
-Yeah, that's fine.
That was the one I was really excited about
and that is the one that's worth probably the least.
There we go, we all learn, day after day.
That was the one we thought would be the most interesting.
-Want to sell them?
150 as a reserve, I'd recommend.
Well done, thank you for bringing them.
Continuing the military theme, let's go back to David Fletcher,
who has made his way into the tower circus.
Thank you for bringing this group of medals in.
Nothing tells us more about our nation's history,
our military and social history, than medals.
I just like you to talk me through them
and explain why we've got two separate groups.
These medals here are the First World War
-and they were by my mother's uncle...
-Awarded to him.
They were awarded to him, yes.
He had seen service in India and he had been to Egypt.
-The World War II medals are his son's.
-Jack, who was killed.
He was a rear gunner in a Lancaster,
and obviously they were awarded to him posthumously.
And this letter refers to that.
It's written to his mother by Margaret Ampthill, Lady Ampthill,
who was Chairman of the Red Cross at the time, and in so many words,
she expresses the fact, you know, your son has died
and our sympathy goes out to you.
Nothing you can do, the poor chap has gone
-and he was only a young man.
The First World War medals will be engraved with
-the name of the recipient.
Let me just pick the star up first,
because it's easier to read the inscription on these.
-And this says Private W Stewart, 21st Lancers.
So, as far as collectors are concerned, that is a good regiment.
And these medals were awarded
to every soldier who survived the First World War
and they were known colloquially as Pip, Squeak and Wilfred.
He also received this medal for long service and good conduct,
which was awarded after the war.
-This group here belonged to his son?
-They did, yes.
So, these won't be inscribed,
because Second World War medals were not.
That can be a problem, because it means it might be difficult
to establish provenance, because we would only have a particular
person's word that they were awarded to the man or woman
they were meant to have been awarded to.
But in this case, we have lots of good provenance, really,
so there is no problem with authenticity.
What makes this collection particularly interesting
is that it is a father and son collection, of course, but also,
it contains an Air Crew Star, and they are rare and collectable.
I mean, of course, your enthusiasm for a group of medals like this
has to be massively tempered by the sadness that relates to them.
Well, it is sad, but I've had them put away
since they were left to me, for at least 15 years.
And I'd like them to go to, perhaps a museum or something,
where they will be displayed.
Especially as we've got all the correspondence and things.
All the supporting documentation is very important.
I think, hope and believe that they will be bought by a museum,
possibly even the RAF Museum or the regimental museum.
Of course, we can't say that that would happen,
but you know, there is every possibility it might.
-Now, have you any idea as to what they might be worth?
-Not really, no.
I've not looked them up at all.
Well, the jewel in the crown, I think, is the Air Crew Star,
which is the most valuable of the medals.
On its own, I think it is worth £200, £250 perhaps.
I would rather hope that the collection...
Well, I'm optimistic about this,
I'm optimistic that the collection will make between £500 and £800.
What I would like to do is to put a reserve of £450 on them.
Just tuck it in below the bottom estimate.
But it is an important collection, so I think we'll have a good result.
-That's lovely. Thank you very much.
-I'll see you at the sale.
A poignant collection of wartime history there.
Now, let's go back to the circus ring,
where James Lewis has found today's final item.
So, tell me, are you a collector, are you a trader,
are you a car-booter who's found it for a bargain 50p?
Tell me the history.
I've not got a lot of history, it's been in the family for a while,
-but I don't know a lot about it. I am a bit of a hoarder...
But it's time to unleash some of these things that I'm hoarding.
-Righty-ho. Well, do you know much about it?
I'm hoping you can tell me.
Well, let's start with the trinket pot, for the dressing table,
that is combined with a hat pin cushion.
If we look around the edge,
this is repousse work that is very much in the Dutch style.
But I was very surprised to see a Chester hallmark there, for 1905.
GN and RH - George Nathan and Ridley Hayes. Good local makers.
So, we're talking about an Edwardian pincushion in the Dutch style.
They've obviously just been inspired by a bit of Continental silver.
The scrap value of the silver is next to nothing, it is
a very thin oval band, so very little silver there,
but there are lots of collectors for silver trinkets,
and especially pincushions.
So, what do you think will be affecting the value of this?
-The intricate figuring?
I'm not sure about the pincushion, because it's worn a bit.
Whenever you look at any object,
the things that generally make its value are the market,
how fashionable it is, whether it has anything intrinsically valuable
like a scrap value to it, and whether it has any great provenance.
Condition is the other thing. But in terms of pincushions,
a bit of wear to the surface of the velvet is acceptable wear.
If we just push this up,
you'll see what a lovely plum colour velvet it would have been.
But the thing that is important is this.
Because as you polish,
the first thing that is going to rub through is the noses on the figures,
the ends of the hats, and as it wears through,
you see light through. So, if you hold it up,
if you can't see any pinholes of light,
then it's in good order.
-If you can see holes coming through, it halves the value.
All right? So, there we go, don't worry about a bit of rubbed velvet.
With it, we have three solid silver...
Oh, hang on.
Correction, TWO solid silver and one silver plated thimble.
Those are worth £10 each, that one is worth next to nothing.
So, £20 worth of silver thimble.
-What do you think the pincushion is worth?
OK, guys, you've been watching long enough.
-What do you think that's going to make?
You are all fairly close.
100-150, I reckon is what it's worth.
So, I think I might as well retire and leave it to you lot.
So, I'm off!
And we're off, too.
Well, it has certainly been a busy day here in Blackpool,
everybody has enjoyed themselves and we have all been entertained,
and that's what it's all about.
But right now, it's time to say goodbye to our magnificent
venue today, as we head over to the auction room for the very last time.
And here is the pick of the bunch of our experts' last choices.
Time's up for the watches, brought in by Brian and Maureen.
There's that collection of military medals.
And these silver sewing trinkets.
Welcome back to the auction room, here in Lytham St Annes.
Let's join up with our experts and put the rest of our
antiques to the test with auctioneer Jonathan Cook on the rostrum.
And remember, if you are buying or selling at auction, there is
commission to pay.
Here, it is 15% plus VAT,
and any other hidden costs like printing, storage or insurance.
Factor that in, won't you, to the hammer price?
So, without further ado, let's get going with our next lot.
Well, they have been kept hidden away in a wardrobe for many
years, they have now been liberated and can now see the light
of day, a collection of watches belonging to Brian and Maureen.
You freed them! The emancipation of the watches!
Why did they get put in a wardrobe in the first place?
One of those things, you put them away thinking,
we'll sort them out, and you forget about them.
What have we got, £150, maybe £200 for the watches?
Yeah, it's a classic dealer's lot, this one.
Do them all up, split them up and sell them again.
But at least you managed to hang on to them,
they are safe in the back of the wardrobe
and hopefully there is £200 here in this lot. Good luck, Maureen.
Collection of vintage watches, lots of them there.
Bids of 140, 150, 160, 170, 180, 190,
200. At 220. At 220 on the internet, any advance in the room?
At £220, then, on the net at 220.
-At £240. On the net at 240, any further interest?
At 240, then, on the net at 240.
-A great result.
That is a very good result, isn't it?
We have to clear out the rest of what's hiding behind that wardrobe!
Or under the bed, or in the cupboard.
Well, thankfully, you found them, anyway.
-You know, we didn't use them.
Just goes to show the value of hidden treasure!
Now, time for some pieces of silver.
Our next lot is the silver pincushion with some thimbles,
belonging to Jeanette. I think this is a cracking little lot.
Back at the valuation day, there was
no discussion within the valuation of a reserve.
I know you've got in contact with the auction room
-and you sensibly put £100 on, which is what James recommended.
I think the thing is, with something like that,
-it's best to just put a safety net on it.
With silver at the moment, so much of the silver is
selling for its scrap value, but it can go for very little.
But having said that, this is so pretty,
-it's in lovely condition, it's not old.
-This won't go to melt.
-No, it won't.
-No, it's too worked, too beautiful.
Let's do it, here we go.
An Edwardian fine silver pincushion trinket box,
decorated in high relief, together with three silver thimbles.
Bids with me of £70,
-any advance on 70?
-Well, straight in, maybe a little bit more?
85, 90. 95, 100. 110, at £110, 120, 130, 140.
At 140 on the net. 150.
150 in the room, lady's bid at 150.
Are we all stuck?
160. At 160 then, on the internet at 160.
Any advance on 160? 165, if it helps?
165, at 165 in the room, any advance on 165?
At £165, are we all sure?
-Well done. Quality, see? Quality.
-You were right, weren't you?
It's lovely, very pretty.
-Are you going to treat the granddaughter now?
Time for the final lot on today's show.
Next up, a fascinating group of World War medals
belonging to Eileen.
Eileen, there is one very rare medal amongst these, do you know that?
-The Air Crew Star.
The Air Crew Star is rare in itself, this was awarded to
the rear gunner, and the poor chap was killed on a bombing raid
over Germany, and that makes it even rarer.
Let's find out what the bidders think,
it's going under the hammer now.
Set of medals, four of them in total, lots of commissions,
lots of interest,
start them off at £400.
420, 440, 460, 480, 500.
-We're in now, look, straight in at £500.
-550, 600, 650,
at £650, any advance on 650?
Gent's bid in the room at 650, are all done at 650?
At £650 then.
700. 750. At £750. Any advance on 750?
I'm nervous for you!
At 750 in the room, all sure? At 750 to sell.
-They've gone at the top end, £750.
-That's very good.
I had hoped they would make a bit more,
but I'm pleased with that, we did a lot of research on them,
we discussed them pretty fully, didn't we?
-I think that's about right.
-Are you happy?
-That's good, yes.
The auction's finished and everyone has gone home happy,
that's what it's all about.
If you've been bitten by the bug
and fancy seeing what your antiques are worth, we would love to see you.
Bring them along to one of our valuation days and hopefully,
we are coming to a town very near you soon.
But for now, from Lancashire, it's goodbye from all of us.