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Ah, the city of dreaming spires.
That famous phrase was coined by the poet Matthew Arnold.
He fell in love with the architecture
in this university city.
Today, we're in Oxford at the Oxford Union,
one of the most famous debating chambers in the world.
And I'm pretty sure we've got one or two things to debate
over the items we find today.
Welcome to "Flog It!".
Oxford boasts the oldest university in the English-speaking world,
and it's made up of 38 colleges which are the lifeblood of the city.
There is stunning architecture to be found at every turn,
and today "Flog It!" comes from Oxford Union.
Built in 1853, the union has gained a reputation
for the cut and thrust of its debate,
and even today no topic is out of bounds.
The union has a long history of playing host
to a variety of diverse speakers,
from Mother Teresa to Kermit the Frog,
and today, it welcomes our "Flog It!" production team
of over 40 people, including six camera crews,
and literally hundreds of antiques brought in
from the good people of Oxford and beyond.
And they're all here to ask our experts
that all-important question which is...
ALL: What's it worth?
And what are you going to do if you're happy with the valuation?
ALL: Flog it!
"Flog It!" experts include self-confessed magpie
Christina Trevanion, who's on the lookout for something sparkly.
Oh, it glitters, I like it.
-And is it something you're thinking about selling?
-Nice fetching red sticker.
-Thank you very much.
And Mark Stacey, who's always up for a bit of friendly banter.
What on earth is that?
Is that a family album?
-No, afraid not.
Who will be the first to find today's hidden treasures?
-That looks nice.
-It does, doesn't it?
It does, doesn't it? Hi.
-Don't be beguiled, I saw it first.
And what better place to host a show?
A world-class debating chamber,
an independent temple to free speech.
It was designed by Alfred Waterhouse,
and it's been full to the brim with speakers since 1878.
Now, let's hope their powers of persuasion
rub off on our experts who are ready to get valuing antiques.
Coming up in today's show...
..Mark succumbs to temptation.
-I couldn't resist it.
-I couldn't resist it.
Christina uncovers something a bit surprising.
We've got this wonderful foundry mark on the bottom here.
No wonder he was a bit frisky.
And Thomas reveals his insider tip on pearls.
Tell us, Thomas, we all want to know.
..these were natural, all of them natural...
From the architectural wonder of Oxford Union
to another wonder of the world, our first contributor, Anne,
is keen to sell her tea set to make a very special pilgrimage.
And it's Anne with an E, is it? You're quite definite about that?
Most very definite. I am a proper Anne.
Well, I'll make sure we write that down on the paperwork.
Anne with an E.
Tell me about this charming three-piece tea set
you've brought in.
There is quite a story to it.
When I was married, we went to Chester for Christmas.
We stayed with the Nuns of Chester.
And I went out shopping and I saw this.
I bought it for £250...
-It's quite a lot of money, isn't it?
And I went back to the retreat house with the nuns...
and I put it in my basket under the bed.
And when we left, I said to Robert,
"You did put the silver in the car, didn't you?"
"No, I thought you did."
Oh, no, so it was still left under...
I said, "Oh, we've left it under the bed in the retreat house!"
SHE LAUGHS So you had to go back and get it?
and the nun who answered said,
"Oh, does the Cooper family always take the family silver with them?"
I'm sure it's the first time they'd ever had that, Anne.
-Well, you've bought a very nice set.
The shape's very Victorian, Anne.
And if we actually look under the teapot
we've got a full set of hallmarks there,
including the little mark for Queen Victoria.
The Queen Victoria's head.
Um, and then it's hallmarked for London,
and the date letter is 1858.
-So, it's mid 19th century.
And there's also a maker's mark for John Hunter.
It's quite a good weight as well, isn't it?
-I'm assuming you've had it an awfully long time.
-Yes, and I use it.
-You use it still?
I'm old-fashioned, I love afternoon tea,
and I occasionally have friends in for afternoon tea.
-It's very grand, isn't it?
How could you bear to part with it, Anne?
-I have a great project for next year.
I am going to go to India, somehow,
to work in the rural area...
helping them to live a better life,
but also, I must see the Taj Mahal e'er I die.
-I'd love to see the Taj Mahal.
-Well, I'm sure I am going to.
-Oh, wow, you're very lucky.
-I hope so.
So, we need to cash you some money to get you on your way
Well, I think it's going to be quite commercial.
And I think if we were putting this set into auction,
we'd want to put an estimate of something like £600-£800.
Oh. That is great news.
And we'll put a reserve of 600.
-That would be wonderful.
-Would you be happy with that?
-And I really hope this makes
a really good price for us at the auction,
and we get you to India.
But will you promise to send us a photograph of you
sitting outside the Taj Mahal?
Of course I will.
Send it to the "Flog It!" office and they'll send me a copy as well,
cos it'll be lovely to see you fulfilling an ambition.
It would be just wonderful. I'm determined.
I can see that, Anne.
What an incredible lady.
The pressure's clearly on to make Anne's dream a reality.
Now, I'm up here in what's known as the Strangers' Gallery.
This would have been as far as nonmembers,
and ladies would have been allowed to go in the old days.
And talking of ladies, we have the gorgeous Christina
who's just below me there,
and it looks like she's found something incredibly interesting.
Let's take a closer look.
Jill and David, what a wonderful box of tricks you've brought in
for me today.
Where have they come from, cos you've got this wonderful set of
Lewis Carroll, Alice In Wonderland slides
from Alice In Wonderland the book.
Yes, these were given to my father back in the 1950s.
-He was a headmaster.
Colleague of his who was retiring knew that he was interested,
and he said, "You'll have more use for them than I will."
So, he gave them to him, and most of the time since then
I think they've been tucked away in a cupboard.
But I thought there'd be a little bit of local interest today
with Lewis Carroll having spent a lot of time
at Christchurch in Oxford.
Absolutely. I mean, really, really local really, isn't it?
Um, you very, very kindly brought the book in as well.
-Which is the 42 illustrations by John Tenniel,
obviously the great Punch illustrator.
-Was that where he came from? I didn't know that.
Yeah, he illustrated prolifically for Punch.
Every illustration in the book...
-Appears on the magic lantern slide.
-The magic lamp.
If we hold them up to the light we can actually see
the illustrations quite clearly on the glass plates.
-The book, yeah.
..relating it to the book as well, which is fantastic.
And imagine reading it, and then...
-Especially this with the Cheshire cat.
-I love that wonderful big grin.
The bit about the grin that disappears, isn't it?
what have we got here? We've got this one.
"The hatter hurriedly left the court
"without even waiting to put on his shoes."
-Lovely titles, aren't they?
They're brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.
Really, they are in remarkable condition
bearing in mind they're glass.
I'm going to put that one back in there now.
-Value-wise, it is very difficult to know...
-I can imagine.
..a market for them. I mean, there is a market for them
-but there's not a huge market for them.
They're not probably as collectable as you would hope,
bearing in mind how delicate they are and how long they've survived.
Would you be willing to sell the book as well? Because...
-It's why we brought the book in
and put them together because we felt that
it's just as you said, it's nice to see the pictures.
-It brings it to life a bit more, doesn't it?
-It really does.
And I love the fact that we've got this book,
and it belonged to Alice Williams,
who I'm sure is absolutely no connection at all
-but isn't that wonderful?
-No, she didn't,
she was actually a cousin of my father-in-law, David's father.
And dated 1911.
-Similar sets have made in the region of around about £50 at auction.
And we'd be happy to put it in at sort of £50-£70
with maybe a discretionary reserve of 50.
That would be fine.
-Thank you so much for bringing it.
It's been so lovely to tie up the slides to the pictures
and really have a good look at them.
It's been fantastic.
-See you at the auction.
Here's hoping, come the auction,
those slides won't fall down the rabbit hole.
From one famous fantasy story to another,
much older myth, come look at this.
I think it's the union's masterpiece.
The library was the union's first debating chamber,
and on the wall there are some rather spectacular
When the new debating chamber was almost finished, the architect
was visited by his friend the artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
And as the walls were bare, Rossetti offered to paint them.
Rossetti was a founding member of the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood,
along with William Morris, Millais and Waterhouse.
They were a group of young artists who wanted to
transform and revitalise British art.
And their theme was King Arthur, his Knights and the Legends.
Tennyson had just published his poem
Le Morte d'Arthur - The Death Of Arthur,
and it fired up the imagination of the young artists.
The problem was, they were so enthusiastic to get painting
they didn't prepare the walls properly.
So, from day one, the murals started to deteriorate.
There have been two restoration attempts on them,
so, thankfully, they won't disappear too soon.
I've been told, rumour has it, that an ex-librarian...
came in here after hours with a felt tip marker
and started colouring in the bits that were missing.
Well, I'm sure her intentions were good.
Now, here's hoping these murals survive for the next generation.
What an amazing place to study.
But these murals aren't the only treasure in the Oxford Union today,
Mark's come across an Art Deco beauty.
You've brought this absolutely stunning necklace in to show us.
-Now, is it something you've been wearing?
No, I've never worn it. It's too small for me.
I inherited it when my mother died.
-And did you know she had it?
-It was hidden around the house somewhere?
When we were clearing out her apartment
I found it in her underwear drawer.
-I do not know anything about it.
I wish I did.
Yeah, me too, because it's a corker, it really is.
-It's beautiful, yes.
-You'd almost be tempted when you first saw it
to think that it was costume jewellery.
-Did you really?
I wasn't aware of...it was real pearls.
I had a feeling that it was a diamond, um, but that's all.
-It harks back, of course, to a different generation...
..where people dressed up to go to dinner, you know,
a choker of pearls in the evening,
-balls and cocktail parties.
-A different lifestyle.
And I can see a lady wearing that to the cocktail party.
-The clasp, I think has been added later to the pearls.
-Well, the clasp I think is Art Deco actually.
-You know, it's got that sort of geometric look.
Set with diamonds and sapphires.
-Gold, probably 18 carat, it's not marked.
To set diamonds you have to set them in a white metal
-because it reflects the inner stone.
If you set them in a yellow metal, you don't get that twinkle,
that sparkle so much.
-It certainly does that.
-It certainly does that.
There's a bling element here.
Um, the pearls themselves are graduated which is a nice sign.
I've tested them. You know the test for pearls?
Run your teeth around them.
Cos real pearls are very gritty and they rub on the teeth.
I think actually the clasp is slightly more commercial
-than actually the pearls are.
I wonder, whoever buys this
would try and make it into a more commercial piece of jewellery.
-Yes, because they'd probably get more wear out of it that way.
I mean, it's always tricky with these sort of things
-because jewellery is a very personal thing.
I would say the diamond alone there is probably about ¾ of a carat,
and then you've got three reasonable-sized stones.
I certainly think it should make £800 at auction,
it depends how we pitch the estimate.
-My colleagues and I feel we ought to say 600-800...
-..with a 600 fixed reserve.
-So, we don't sell it below £600.
-Would you be happy with that?
-Yes, I would.
-I'm sure somebody will fall in love with it.
Maybe even a young, slim, beautiful woman who wants to wear it,
-again, as a pearl choker.
-I would love to wear it but...
-That would be lovely, wouldn't it?
-My neck is too fat.
I think most people's neck
is a little bit on the thick side for this. It's very small, isn't it?
-They were very slim in those days, weren't they?
-I'm sure it'll sparkle on its own.
Thank you very much.
Well, we've had a marvellous day here at the Oxford Union so far.
We've seen all manner of things come through the door.
Let's hope our experts, our very own talking heads
are on the money with those valuations.
It's time to put them to the test.
We're going to the auction room for the first time,
and here's a quick recap of what's going under the hammer.
Will our buyers snap up Jennifer's Art Deco necklace?
Or will it be Anne's silver tea set that sets the auction alight?
Our final item is those quirky Alice In Wonderland slides.
Will they capture the imagination of the bidders?
They're brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.
From one iconic site to another,
today's auction comes from Greenham Common.
The auction house is literally built on the site
of the former RAF base which housed cruise missiles during the Cold War
and sparked the Greenham Protest.
It's manned by none other than our very own Thomas Plant...
£1,000 is in the room. Is there any advance at £1,000?
..who's taken a shine to that diamond and pearl necklace.
-Thomas, they don't suit you.
-They don't, do they? No.
But they are beautiful. They've got a slight Art Deco look to them.
-These are wonderful pearls.
-That's where the value is?
-Well, no, no.
-Not quite, no.
Interesting enough, yes, they're lovely pearls.
-They are cultured pearls.
-We believe these to be cultured.
-Explain what you mean why that.
So, the cultured pearl means that
a bead has been implanted inside the oyster
and the oyster has covered it in its nacre
-which is this lustre you see over the pearl.
And then it's extracted out again.
A natural pearl is a piece of grit
which the oyster has taken in itself, rolled it around
and created a natural pearl so it's all pearl.
-And how do you tell the difference?
Tell us, Thomas. We all want to know.
-There is a difference. The easiest way is to X-ray them.
Right, and that's the only definite way.
And what are you looking for in an X-ray then? Just a bit of grit?
You see a bead. You actually see the bead.
The actual plastic bead which is put inside the pearl.
What do you value those cultured pearls at without the clasp?
Uh, literally £50 a strand.
-£50 a strand?
-Yeah, that's what you get...
-Well, that's OK, isn't it?
-That's £150 there though.
£150, but is the clasp worth 450?
-That's beautiful, isn't it?
-That will get taken off there.
-..and put onto something else.
The stone is about just ¾ of a carat.
-So, these are a touch and go, these are £600-£800.
They might make... I've had a bit of interest.
-What people are looking for are natural pearls.
They are hot to trot.
-If these were natural, all of them natural...
They may not be natural pearls
but it's still a beautiful Art Deco necklace.
Will the buyers dive in?
Well, I've certainly been looking forward to this lot
ever since the valuation day.
The Art Deco three-string pearl necklace
-belonging to Jennifer, who's right next to me now.
Fingers crossed. Hello. Isn't this exciting?
-It is, isn't it? We've got a packed auction room.
It's full of wonderful treasures, and I know,
Mark, this should...should get the top end, shouldn't it?
Well, I don't know a lot about pearl necklaces...
-..but it was the clasp that caught my eye.
-It's the Art Deco clasp.
-That's where the value is.
That will get taken off and put onto something else.
-It's a beautiful-looking thing.
-It's beautiful, isn't it?
-Why are you selling this?
It doesn't fit me,
and I've decided to do a headstone for the family plot.
-And so I want the money to go towards that.
Let's get down to business, shall we?
Let's put it under the hammer and hopefully find it a new home.
-Here we go, this is it.
This is a fine Art Deco three-string baroque pearl necklace
with platinum and diamond sapphire clasp. The clasp is amazing.
Lovely-looking clasp and the pearls are great as well.
I can start the bidding with me here at £400.
At £400. At 400.
480. 480 against you all.
At £480 it's with me.
At £480, is there any advance?
-That's not looking good.
-No, it doesn't, does it?
-Passed the lot at 480.
-I'm surprised about that.
-The bidders weren't here.
-Do it another time.
-There is another auction room on another time.
-Keep it for a specialist jewellers, that would be my advice.
-Yeah, good luck.
-I've enjoyed it anyway.
Yeah, well, that's it, it's the Flog It experience,
-getting to the auction room, yes.
-Yes, definitely, definitely.
What a shame.
I just can't believe we didn't find a home for the Art Deco icon.
Let's see if Anne's tea set can fare a little bit better.
For our next lot I've just been joined by Anne and Mark our expert.
And I know Anne is looking forward to doing
some voluntary work in India.
Fingers crossed we can raise enough money for that flight.
-I do desperately hope so.
-This is touch and go.
It is touch and go, cos tea sets, you know,
-are not the most commercial items.
We don't take tea like we used to, you know?
But this is quite an early Victorian set - 1858.
It's nicely chased. Architecturally it was quite interesting.
-It's very decorative.
-It's not a typical spun one,
so there's some virtue in its craftsmanship.
And it's got a bit of weight to it, so it should lift the 600
but hopefully a little bit more if we can.
Here we go.
This is a fine Victorian three-piece silver tea set.
There we are.
For J Mayer. Teapot, sugar basin and milk jug.
And I can start the bidding with me here at £500.
-At £500 against you all at 500.
-Come on, it's going to be close this.
At 520. 550. 580. 600 I have.
-He's got 600, so we've got the reserve.
At 600, is there any advance at 600?
-..against you all.
-Just got the reserve.
-Just on the reserve.
Do you know something?
I had my doubts.
I knew it'd be touch and go.
-And so did Mark. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Well, look, it's gone - only just.
We had our doubts but that is a good result.
£600, plus commission here whoever bought that.
That takes it to that scrap value,
so it wasn't going to get a penny more,
which is a shame, it wasn't valued on craftsmanship but on weight.
Look, enjoy the £600.
That's going towards that trip of a lifetime.
-Thank you. Thank you for coming in.
At least that's a good chunk of cash towards Anne's flight to India.
Our final item is those unique Alice In Wonderland slides.
-Jill and David, it's great to see you again.
We are going under the hammer right now, 42 magic lantern slides
of Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland.
-Absolutely love these, I really do.
-Why are you selling these?
Well, basically, we haven't got a magic lantern projector, so...
-You can buy one.
-We could, but where would we put it?
But there are collectors out there.
There's plenty of societies that have magic lanterns.
They hold regular meetings, and they swap slides,
and they give demonstrations
and it evokes this wonderful period of pre-television.
You're sitting there in this Victorian England
-watching these wonderful slides.
Queen Victoria did this as well.
-Let's conjure up some magic, shall we?
-Yes, yes, hopefully.
Let's put it under the hammer.
Next lot is this set of
42 Alice In Wonderland slides,
each numbered with scenes of the story,
painted by Macmillan & Co, there we are.
Presented in a black metal carry case.
Together with an Alice In Wonderland book.
It's a lovely little lot, this one.
I can start the bidding with me here - 35 and 40.
35 I have. Looking for 40.
40 and 45.
And 50 and 55.
-He's very keen, isn't he?
70. And 75.
At 75 it is against you all.
Is there any advance at £75?
Selling then at 75...
-Well done. £75 straight in.
-Wasn't it quick?
-Brilliant. And you...
Cos I know that you're very keen family historians,
have you managed to track down YOUR Alice?
-Well, we know the Alice who was in the book...
..and this is a picture of Alice and her parents.
That would have been taken at about the age
she would have been when she was given the book initially.
About 1910, 1911.
-Oh, it's great to have that.
-I really just love it.
-A real Alice.
Well, those slides really bring to life the magic of Lewis Carroll.
I really hope the new owner enjoys the madness of Wonderland.
Off with her head!
Before we leave the auction room in Newbury, it's time for us
to tell the story of a lost architectural treasure.
The "lee-do" or the lido,
however you want to pronounce it, is enjoying something of a revival.
Now, just outside of Newbury there's a group of local campaigners
who are determined that their local outdoor swimming pool
is not going to miss out.
Looking around this lido, it's hard to believe this was once
the place to be seen.
But rewind 40 years,
and King's Meadow was once a teenage hang-out,
the British version of the American drive-in.
This place would be queued out of the door,
with keen swimmers, and the average cost to take a dip
was just sixpence.
Today, King's Meadow is a shadow of its former self.
It closed to the general public in 1974,
and since then it's suffered damage, decay
and even the threat of demolition.
As you can see, it is in a sorry state.
It needs a lot of TLC,
in fact, £1.5 million worth of TLC to be precise.
If this goes then so does a vital part of our heritage.
So, can this lido make a big splash again?
King's Meadow Lido was built in 1902,
and although it's a listed building
it is dependent on volunteers for support.
With such a big amount to raise,
the King's Meadow campaigners have a long way to go.
Leading the charge are Anne and Richard Jessel.
When you think of it, it's 110 years old.
It isn't looking so bad, to be honest.
Anne was a high board diver who spent many a day
practising her backflips at the lido.
I used to be a diver and my parents used to take me around the country,
and a lot of the lidos that I used to dive in
very sadly...they have now disappeared.
I mean, just look at this pool.
110 years old, built specifically for ladies, OK?
Ladies have the priority here.
Considering there was a gentleman's pool right opposite,
they had the right idea when they built it half canopied like this
because in those days women bathers were very, very private.
So, um, I've always said that the first month of bathing in this pool,
nobody would be allowed in unless they were all wearing
-Edwardian bathing dress.
-That'd been nice if...
When we get to the point of restoring it back
for everybody to use.
Look at the way the quality of all the work, architecture,
everything is so nice.
This must not disappear.
Well, this is safe here for you, Anne, it's the shallow end.
-Diving board shouldn't be here.
-What do you mean, it's safe for me
at the shallow end? I'm a diver.
The golden age of lidos began in the 1930s
when outdoor swimming was all the rage.
Over 150 lidos sprang up across the UK.
They provided cheap public swimming
and were part of a greater modernist movement
to encourage health and fitness.
If you couldn't afford to go abroad in the summer,
the lido was the next best thing.
96-year-old Charlie swam in this pool almost everyday,
and he's still fighting fit.
You feel alive in the open air.
You feel refreshed.
Even with rain, you get warm rain on you...
..when...in the summer,
so, it doesn't matter if it's raining.
But everything is lively...
..and the people are so much happier.
What was the lido like in its heyday?
There was often queues to get in.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable pool.
But their popularity could not last forever.
Many were put out of business in the 1960s and '70s
when foreign travel became much cheaper
and most people could afford to go abroad and they shunned the lido.
But in recent years outdoor swimming has been enjoying
something of a renaissance,
and the lido has been caught up in this wave.
To see what King's Meadow Lido could become
take a look at Clifton Lido in Bristol.
It was almost demolished to make way for flats,
but in 2007 it was saved and underwent a £2 million restoration.
Mel Sainsbury is once again a Clifton Lido regular.
I used to come in the '70s...
Hot summer of '76 with my small children.
And it's amazing to have an oasis like this,
and how I missed it and mourned it when it was closed all those years.
The benefits of outdoor swimming cannot be underestimated.
It's a wonderful place early in the morning.
I swim before dawn three times a week at least.
But to see the winter, or summer, or spring,
to see the day dawning,
it just puts a whole new (SIGHS) perspective on your day ahead,
cos it makes you feel...makes you feel real somehow
and connected with yourself, it's fantastic.
Clifton Lido is now a private health club,
but the original aim of the lido was cheap public swimming.
The building has been restored but the message has been somewhat lost.
However, in this economic climate the restoration of lidos,
like King's Meadow, depends upon
the passion and the enthusiasm of lido fans.
Anne and Richard are still fundraising,
and if they succeed they will ensure
that the next generation of outdoor swimmers enjoy the bracing waters.
How can we possibly lose it?
I mean, Reading would look upon this, if it was restored,
or WHEN it is restored, I hasten to say,
as a jewel in the town.
Well, it's clear, the appetite for outdoor swimming is here.
And what better way to build on the back of a successful Olympics
than to restore our lidos back to their former glory?
So, come on, pull on a pair of bathers, pop on a swim cap
and take the plunge outdoors.
There's a great atmosphere filling the Oxford union,
and I have the best seat in the house,
the president's chair, where I can survey the entire chamber.
Our experts are hard at work,
so let's catch up with Christina who spotted the first item.
Elizabeth and Neville, I love this.
Thank you so much for bringing it in today, it's absolutely beautiful.
Tell me a little bit about it.
Well, it came down through the family,
well, from my aunt actually...
-..who was married to an American service guy.
-And... So, I've no idea where they'd bought it...
..but I've had it for about 15 years.
Do you use it as a doorstop? It's incredibly heavy, isn't it?
-It would make a good doorstop, wouldn't it?
-Did you carry it in with you today?
Well, it's a Japanese bronze dating from about 1920.
And it's actually a copy after the original
which is in the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
It's got that wonderful sort of movement and fluidity about it,
-It's just stunning.
-I love the pose.
With this wonderful sort of front leg raised, it's beautiful.
And if we turn it over we've got this foundry remark on the bottom here,
so, we can see... Unfortunately, we can't track down who that was by,
but it is certainly a very, very good copy.
Why are you selling it if you like it?
Well, we've got so many pieces really,
it's finding a home for everything.
Japanese metalworkers were some of the finest in the world,
especially during the 19th century.
This is slightly later than that but I still think it will find
a market at auction as a decorative bronze.
I think we're probably looking somewhere in the region maybe of
£80-£120 as a decorative item,
-not a doorstop, I hope people won't use it as a doorstop.
-So do I.
But I still think it's rather lovely, um...
The Chinese oriental market really has been incredibly buoyant
for early wares over the last few years,
but Japanese not so much, which is why my estimate is quite cautious.
-So, I think if we set an estimate at £80-£120
with a reserve of 80,
how would you feel about that?
-Yeah, that'd be fine.
And would you like to do a discretionary reserve or firm at 80?
-I think I'd like a firm reserve.
-A firm reserve.
-So, if it doesn't sell, you're happy to have it back.
And we'll hope that he'll trot his way out of the auction house.
What a sculptural piece.
I'm sure there'll be a market
for a Japanese bronze like that at auction.
Our next item of the day needs no introduction.
And despite his protestation, Mark is keen to get his hands on it.
-How many times have we filmed Moorcroft on "Flog It!"?
-Loads, isn't it?
-Yeah, quite a big percentage I should think.
And I said to myself when I came into the Oxford Union today
that I wasn't going to film another piece of Moorcroft.
-I couldn't resist it.
-Have you had it long?
-I've had it at least 40 years.
-And was it an inherited piece?
-You bought it?
-I bought it.
-Could you remember how much for?
I can't, no, but it couldn't have been very much.
-But you just fell in love with it like I have?
Originally, William Moorcroft worked at a factory
called Macintyre's in the Art Nouveau period, so, the late 19th century.
-1895 to 1910-ish.
-This is 1920s.
-And... But it's a very, very sought after pattern...
-And it's a good size, isn't it?
-Yes, it is.
And if we have a little look underneath...
..we can see the impress mark.
-And we can see the WM mark.
-And there's also remains of a paper label.
-Now, you've had it a long time.
-Yes, I have.
And you've always known it was a great piece.
-I didn't know.
-Tell me why.
-I didn't at all.
Well, it was only sort of on recent programmes of all the
antique shows on the television that I've realised,
"Ah, I think I might've got something like that."
And you brought it to "Flog It!".
-I saw you were in town so I brought it along.
-I'm so pleased you have.
Now, when it comes to valuation...
it's almost a difficult one, isn't it?
If I was putting it into an auction I was running,
I would probably be conservative...
-..and say 700-900.
Don't look at me like that, Marion. SHE LAUGHS
My colleague, however, who's helping me today...
-..is much more optimistic than I am.
-..and he thinks 1,000-1,500.
Which one would you prefer, Marion?
-Now, why did I guess you were going to say that?
-Well, I think it's worth a stab, it's worth a punt.
What about a reserve?
-I would like a £1,000 fixed reserve, please.
And if we do sell it successfully,
have you earmarked the money for anything in particular?
-Well, we have got a golden wedding anniversary coming up.
-Now, that's 50 years?
-50, yes. In February.
-You don't look old enough, Marion.
-Uff, on a good day!
-Let's hope we get a lot of money.
-Get a golden price for it.
-Yes, that would nice, wouldn't it?
-Thank you very much.
The golden price to celebrate a golden anniversary.
But before we go off to auction, we've found some Oxford students
who are not only smart but they can belt out a good tune.
In homage to all the beautiful architecture here,
we have our very own a cappella group, The Oxford Gargoyles,
with their own debating version of Mas Que Nada.
I now hand the proceedings over to Rebecca. Thank you.
# Dum, do, do-do, dum, do, do
# Dum, do, do-do, dum, do, do
-# Ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba
# Oba, oba, oba
-# Ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba
# Oba, oba, oba
# Mas que nada
# Sai da minha frente eu quero passar
# Pois o samba esta animado
# O que eu quero e sambar
# Este samba que e misto de maracatu
# E samba de preto velho
# Samba de preto tu
# BA-BA-DA-DA-DA. #
APPLAUSE DROWNS OUT SOUND
It's been a busy day here for Mark and Christina,
a few surprises on both sides.
But now, it's off to the saleroom.
We must say goodbye to the Oxford Union and, "Hello, Newbury,"
to Thomas Plant who awaits us on the rostrum.
And here's a quick recap of what's going under the hammer.
Will it be the Japanese bronze horse that sets the pace
in the auction room?
Or will the tried-and-tested Moorcroft vase win the day?
It's a familiar face on the rostrum, Thomas Plant,
who will hopefully help our lot soar in the saleroom.
Against your all...
..Thomas is keen to examine Marion's Moorcroft.
He has some suspicions about its true age.
We've handled and we've seen a lot of Moorcroft
over the last 12 years on the show. It's quality throughout.
This is not a particularly early piece, is it?
Well, we didn't think it was particularly early.
-I think it's a modern piece.
-We don't like the paper label.
-I don't like it.
The way it's been washed off and then stuck back on.
Cos that paper label should have said, "To the Queen...
"..Queen Mary," on there. "By appointment of the Queen Mary."
And we don't like the chip out of it here.
And it just looks a bit...
It's a bit fresh.
Mark has put 1,000-£1,500 on this.
What's your gut feeling on this? 8-12?
It is 8-12. It might have even been 7-9.
But there's a fixed reserve at 1,000,
and we've had mixed reviews from certain people
wanting it and not wanting it.
So, we are quite concerned that it might not sell.
The glaze is very, very sharp.
It's very sharp for a piece reporting to be 1930s...
-That's not 1930s.
-..1940s, you know? It's not, is it?
No, it's not, no.
I'd say '60s to '70s.
-That's what worries me.
-Well, I'd like to be proved wrong.
I'd like to think that sells for 1,000, £1,200 for Marion's sake.
-For everybody's sake.
-It just doesn't look or feel right.
-No, it doesn't.
So, is Marion's Moorcroft actually a later edition
than Mark originally thought?
But first, will that bronze horse gallop away with it?
Neville, Elizabeth, fingers crossed, OK?
The bronze horse, a touch of the Far East
is just about to go under the hammer here in Newbury.
I think this is the right area to sell this in.
We're right by the racecourse, it's just down the road,
Lambourn is up the road as well, all the gallops are around here.
-It's a bit sporty.
-Yeah, let's hope it'll generate some interest.
-I hope so.
-Right, well, let's put this one to the test, shall we?
The horse is just about to go under the hammer.
Lot number 385, and this is this
modern Chinese bronze figure of a horse,
marked to underside.
Bids here with me, and I start this one at £55.
At 55. 60. And 65 with me.
At 65. Against you all at 65.
80. 80 we've got in the room.
At £80 in the room first
then we're going to the telephone.
£80, it's brilliant.
Any advance at £80
that's in the room?
100. 110. 120.
-Oh, back in.
210. Go on.
No? Are you sure?
230, are you sure?
At £230, make no mistake, on the telephone.
£230, against you all,
-Trade was done in Newbury.
-Thank you very much.
You're welcome. Brilliant.
-Yeah, they liked it. It was the right market.
It shows the influence of telephone bidders on the auction as well.
-It was the telephone against the room.
-It galloped away.
It certainly did.
First past the post.
Now, to the debate surrounding the big M.
Is it 1920s or not?
It's now in the hands of the bidders.
When you talk about ceramics, there's one great name
you can always throw into the mix, William Moorcroft.
I mean, he's up there with the best of them.
And that's what we've got right now, Moorcroft bowl belonging to Marion.
-Now, we had a little chat yesterday, the auctioneer and myself
on the preview day, and we've are looking at it and we thought,
"Does it will 1920s? We're both not sure."
-We're not sure about the little paper label either.
-I think it's OK actually.
-You think it's OK?
-I think it's all right.
I think the glaze is nice.
-It's just you don't see this pattern very often.
-It's a good size.
-It's a good colour.
-It's a very good colour.
Architecturally it stands nicely as well. I do like the colours on this,
-I really do.
-The colours are nice.
Have you enjoyed looking at it?
-Well, it's been put away for quite a long time.
I... You know, you can understand jewellery, and silver
and pocket watches being put away,
but surely not something that stands so well.
Well, we used to have it out until we knew what the value of it was.
-Right, OK. Then you got slightly worried?
-..wrapped up and put away.
-OK, good luck.
Let's hope the Moorcroft collectors are in this room right now.
It is jam-packed, and it's over to Thomas with his gavel.
Next lot is the Moorcroft Pottery Eventide vase here.
A tubeline design. There we are. Lovely-looking lot.
Bids, start here with me at £800.
-820. 850. 880.
-He's got a phone line over there, look.
900. And 920.
1,000, that I'm at.
1,100. 1,200. 1,300.
-I think we're going to say it's...
-It's good, yeah.
15... 1,550 I'll take if he wants it.
-Two telephone bids.
No? At 1,500 with you, madam.
Giving the best opportunity.
At £1,500 against you all...
£1,500, top end of the estimate. Well done, Mark.
-Pleased with that.
-Yeah, that is brilliant.
-You took it to the right person.
-Mark knows his ceramics.
-Well, you liked it right from the start, didn't you?
-I did, yes.
-Well, congratulations on that as well, and enjoy it.
-That is lovely.
-Thank you so much.
If you want to have something valued
bring it along to one of our valuation days.
I'm sure our experts will help you out.
Who knows? You can make a small fortune at auction as well.
Come along to one of our valuation days.
Details you can pick-up on our BBC website,
or check the details in your local press
because we will be coming to a town close to you shortly,
so, keep an eye out for us.