Antiques series. This episode comes from Guildford Cathedral. Paul Martin is joined by experts James Lewis and Mark Stacey, who are on the hunt for interesting antiques.
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Today's show comes from Surrey, but can you guess where we are?
The town behind me is home to 135,000 people.
It was also once home to Lewis Carroll.
And today, for one day only, it's home to "Flog It!"
Can you guess? Well, you got 20 seconds to work it out.
Roll the titles.
Today's valuations are taking place in Guildford -
the most populated district in Surrey.
And a town that dates back to Saxon times.
But today's venue is much more modern.
The cathedral overlooking the town was opened to the
public in 1961 and has been welcoming worshippers ever since.
We have a very healthy congregation here today.
And I know a lot of these people will be hoping
the angels will be looking down on them.
Especially if their items have been chosen to go through to auction,
where they could be worth a small fortune.
Somebody in this crowd has got something that's worth
a great deal of money. It's our job to find it.
So let's get on with it. Are you ready to go in?
-Come on then.
Delivering the valuation sermons today are our experts.
We've got James Lewis and Mark Stacey, and they are already
fighting over something they've spotted in the queue.
-He doesn't like me.
-Of course he does.
He wants to touch the Welshman.
No, he just smells old meat on you.
So, as the crowd take their seats,
here's what's coming up in the next 45 minutes.
Today we are travelling the world. We've got this vase from Persia.
This walking cane from Japan.
And this music box from Switzerland.
Plus, I will be exploring the story of Marianne North,
who travelled far and wide to paint unusual and exotic plants.
Now that everybody is safely seated inside,
the first port of call is our off-screen experts
who are based here, because they have to assess,
analyse and appraise every single item that goes through to auction.
Let's catch up with our experts
and see what they are waxing lyrical about.
Margaret, I have to tell you that I was not expecting to find
a big lump of Persian silver here in Guildford today.
I looked at it and I thought, am I tired?
Have I had too much wine for lunch?
But no, it is slightly wonky, isn't it?
It is very much on the skew, yes.
Have you fallen out with somebody and hit them over the head with it?
-No, I just dropped it. Many years ago.
-Did you actually drop it?
I dropped it, many years ago. But I did.
And it's been in the loft ever since.
Of course, Persia now, the majority of Persia is Iran.
Persian silver isn't common to find here.
So you must have an interesting story about how you came by it.
It's not that interesting.
My father had a customer who was Persian, as we called them then.
And when he came over to visit my father, he brought it as a gift.
That's not a bad thing for a customer to be giving.
What did your father do?
He was an importer/exporter of oriental carpets.
-Ah! OK. So he was dealing with a lot of Persians?
Lovely. But they are wonderful pieces of art.
I think they're beautiful and they are wonderful to be seen made.
-You know, the noise, the cacophony of noise...
Have you been out there?
-Yes, I have.
-Go on, tell me about your trips there.
I went when I was about 20, for the first time.
And I went back about five, six, seven years ago.
Because I thought, I must go back and see the same.
-And I thought, well, I would like some more silver.
when I went back I found that it's all European-type now.
-They don't do any of this. You couldn't find them...
Yeah, you couldn't find it at all.
And it was very disappointing, actually.
Do you know, I think it's a little bit like the Chinese market,
in a strange sort of way. When the Ayatollahs took over,
in the same way as when Chairman Mao was in charge in China,
looking back, in China, to the imperial past
and I suppose in Iran their similar royal past, in China,
if you were caught with imperial silver or imperial bronze,
-you could actually be executed.
-Oh, yes. Yes.
And in Tehran in Iran,
people were burying things in their back gardens left, right and centre.
And this is the sort of thing that they were burying.
I can see traces of black here.
It was all black when I started cleaning it, yes.
And it was actually quite a torturous thing to do.
Somebody has got to spend some more hours on it.
Yeah, it needs a bit of work.
But let's have a look at what we're dealing with here.
Because, when you're looking at Persian silver,
I always feel that it takes its influence from all over the world.
-There was an awful lot of trading between Persia and China.
-And here we have a dragon.
Almost certainly influenced from the Chinese.
-There's another one there.
And where we have engraving and chasing on a smooth ground there,
we have a much more Islamic-style reserve.
And much more Islamic influence in its design.
The handles have no resemblance to Chinese.
But again, they go back to the Islamic influence.
So it's a really interesting piece of silver.
-About 1880, I should think.
-You think it's as old as that?
I think so. 1888-1890. We've got a silver mark here.
And I can't read it.
-Don't ask me.
-It's not because it's too small,
it's just that I don't know what it means.
But I know a chap who does, so I could find out for us.
Preliminary estimate, even bent over like that, 300-500.
But I think it should make a bit more with a following wind.
-But I like it very much.
-Thank you very much.
-Thank you so much for bringing it.
-It's a good thing.
Hopefully the bidders will see past the damage,
and the silver vase will shine at auction.
Over to Mark Stacey now, who's found something unusual.
What a delightful item you've brought in, Annie.
-But you don't like it.
Because it just looks like it's a whole lot of little dead
bodies attached to a stick. So I don't like it, no.
I spotted you sitting in the cathedral here
and went straight over to it.
Cos I only saw the head of it, actually.
And I recognised straightaway that it was Japanese.
Carved with those almost thousand faces, little Noh masks,
as they're called. They are charmingly carved.
It's obviously been loved cos a lot of them are worn.
It's been a favourite walking cane for somebody. Over many years.
It fits into a period we call the Meiji period.
And I think this would date to around about 1900.
So it's 100-odd years old.
-It's carved ivory at the top.
And you have white metal on the tip and around the collar.
-It's probably silver but it won't be to an English standard.
Which is why we generally refer to it as white metal.
But the other thing that I just absolutely love,
if we just look at the shaft, it's bamboo.
And the carver has rather humorously carved this snake motif.
The snake is heading towards a little toad.
-And he's also signed it here.
-Yes, I saw that.
This is a little Japanese signature.
And I think it's absolutely wonderful.
It's not in perfect condition. There's a few splits to the ivory
and there's a couple of splits to the bamboo.
-But this is a real collector's item.
-Have you ever thought of a value?
-I have no idea what it could be worth.
So if I said it was worth £50 would you be disappointed?
I have to be honest, I wouldn't be disappointed at all.
Well, I'm not going to say that.
I think, actually, there's going to be a lot of buyers for this.
A lot of collectors. Walking canes are very, very highly sought after.
-And I think this would have an estimate of around 200-300.
And it might even make more.
Yeah, so I better tell my husband what I'm doing, hadn't I?
-Does he know you've brought it?
-No, but he likes it and I don't.
Could you persuade him it'll be all right?
It might take a few glasses of wine tonight. What do you think?
-I have every confidence in you.
I think you could be very persuasive if you want to be.
-Are you happy to put it into the auction?
-And we'll put a reserve on it.
-Of £200 fixed.
So we won't sell it below 200,
because it is such a charming object.
-Well, thank you.
-It's making me smile all the time I see it.
-I'm glad that you like it.
-I adore it.
Remember, there are strict rules on selling ivory,
but that cane is fine because it dates well before 1947.
Even after 12 years of doing "Flog It!" we never know what will
come through the doors.
And during a break in the filming, a guy called David arrived with
something that could be very special.
-What can you tell me about this?
-I can tell you it's Turner.
-I got it off a dealer who had it for several years.
-Is it signed?
I've no idea. I haven't seen it. I only have the paperwork.
How did you come by this?
I look after an art dealer who's got three of these Turner paintings.
Over the years I've looked after him, lent him money all the time.
He just came up to me last week and said, "It's yours.
"It'll sort out everything I owe you."
-Is this something you're thinking of selling?
-Without a doubt.
I'm a working class guy. That in my home wouldn't look correct.
I don't know what to say really. My gut feeling is it looks right.
And it feels right.
Can I show this to a colleague and get a second opinion?
-Course you can.
-Can you take a seat here?
Of course I can, yeah. You want that with it?
Yes, please, yeah.
Gosh, it's not every day we come across a...
a watercolour by Turner. One of our greatest painters.
Is it right or isn't it right? I don't know.
Who can I ask? I know. I'm going to ask Anthony.
He's our fine art expert. Where is he?
Anthony is one of our off-screen valuers.
And he's right here. So...
Anthony. Do you mind if I be really rude and butt in?
Can you have a quick look at that?
It's all on the back.
I mean, they've got "Joseph Mallord William Turner" on here
but it's not by Turner, in my view.
Oh, it's in Andrew Wilton's catalogue.
-Andrew Wilton is THE world authority on Turner.
-Nobody will argue with him.
-Whatever he says goes.
So that's right?
I think it is. If it's in his catalogue then it is.
I would have thought 25,000-30,000 would be a reasonable
estimate at auction.
-One needs to study it much longer to make...
You just heard what Anthony said there.
It does need a bit more research.
Thing is, we mustn't get carried away at this stage.
My gut feeling is that it looks right. It feels right at the front.
But on the back, all of this is just a bit too clean,
a bit too new, a bit too positive. All the information is there.
That's the kind of thing that puts me off it.
And you can find out
if that painting is real or not later on in the programme.
Let's hope it's good news for David.
Time to see what other treasures are waiting to be found.
Back to James Lewis.
Lisa and Marion, let me take you back to the mid-19th century,
before the days of TV, before even "Flog It!" had started.
No radio, where the
only music you could actually entertain yourself with, unless
someone was playing the piano or a violin, was something like this.
Mechanical music started really in the late 18th century.
By the 19th century it was in full flight.
The best musical boxes are made in Switzerland.
-And this one is actually a Swiss one.
But it's having said the best were made in Switzerland,
almost all of them were made in Switzerland.
Also the also-rans as well.
Swiss family or something that has been imported locally?
No, it's a family heirloom.
-It was my great, great uncle's.
-OK. Was this on your side of the family?
Yes, it was on my father's side of the family.
OK, let's look outside first.
The panel and the top here is, I think, papier mache.
It's quite difficult to tell without seeing the reverse side of it.
And it's, of course, set into wood.
The majority of these musical boxes are ebony in border,
normally have a rosewood panel in the centre,
with a little arrangement of musical achievements in the middle.
I've never seen one with a mother of pearl inlaid
lacquer panel before.
But if we look at the little figures there, they are Chinese men.
But very strangely, in an English or European landscape.
Already we've got a complete mix of styles.
Let's open it up.
There we are.
We got the airs here. Ten airs. Ten musical tunes.
Whenever you are looking at a musical box,
the more tunes the better. And ten is quite a good number.
Then you also look at how complicated it is.
Does it play on bells, on drums, on cymbals?
This one has bells, playing on three bells.
No drums. But a short cylinder.
The shorter cylinders are normally the cheaper boxes.
Let me open it up.
We can see a steel comb here.
And that steel comb, it's important that it is in good condition.
Because every little steel tooth that is damaged
is about £15-£20 to repair. So it soon starts to add up. There we go.
It's not a bad quality box. But it's not great. Do you play it regularly?
-Not regularly, no.
We go through stages where we get it out and wants to listen to it again.
Then it goes back for safekeeping.
When it first came, we were fascinated by it.
And it was in very poor condition. My dad spent ages cleaning it.
I don't think we could even tell that the butterflies were coloured.
-And he painstakingly cleaned it up for us.
-He's done a great job.
Really good job. OK. It will end up going to a collector, I'm sure.
-I hope so.
-Value, I should think it's going to make £200-£300.
Something like that.
-It's in working order I presume, is it?
Are you happy to let it go?
Because once this starts you've got no choice. Here we go then.
What a day we're having.
Everybody is thoroughly enjoying themselves.
And our experts have made a cracking start.
They have found the first items to take off to auction.
It's time to put those valuations to the test.
But before we do that,
here's a quick reminder of what we are taking with us.
There is the leaning vase of Persia.
We've got the intricate Japanese walking cane.
And let's hope the music box hits the high notes in the auction room.
We've travelled from Surrey to the West Sussex town of Washington,
where we are hoping our items will do well for our sellers.
In charge of today's proceedings is auctioneer Rupert Toovey,
who looks like he's ready to go. First up, it's that music box.
Will it sell, that's what we want to know.
-You're looking really doubtful!
-Yeah. I am slightly doubtful.
I want this to sell, I really want it to sell.
But I am slightly doubtful.
I brought the bag just in case it doesn't.
-It's a big bag.
-Got the shopping trolley.
-I hope it goes. I really do.
A late 19th-century Swiss musical box, playing ten airs.
Lovely thing there.
Bids to match. We are opening at £250. 250 here. Can I see the 280?
£250. 280 can I see? 280. 300. 320.
£300 I have here with the book. At £300. Is there any advance on 300?
Yes, the hammer has gone down! £300. Top end of the estimate.
-There you go, your record is safe.
-Ye of little faith.
James is top of the pops. Well done. Thank you for bringing that in.
-That's very good.
-Gosh, I was worried.
'It turns out my reservations were wrong and Marion
'and Lisa are going home with smiles on their faces.
'Talking of faces, the walking cane is up next.'
-So you don't like it. And your husband does.
So you basically won, you're not giving it house room.
How did you get around that?
We had a little conversation about it.
Does this happen often?
-Probably, yes. I think women normally win.
-They do, they do. Yes.
This could fly away. I haven't seen such a nice one for a long time.
-No, you see, I found the faces full of character.
-So did I.
Each one is different.
And there is just something very, very interesting about it.
Let's put it to the test. It's going under the hammer now.
Japanese ivory and bamboo walking cane, Meiji period.
We are opening the bidding here on the books at £180.
180 here. Can I see the 190?
-I think it'll get 200.
-£180. 190. 200. 220.
-No? 200 it is here with the book.
At £200. Can I see the 220?
At £200. Is there are any advance? £200. Selling now. £200.
-Well, it's sold.
-I'm so surprised.
-I'm quite surprised as well.
But you were right with the valuation.
Well, the estimate was right,
but I really thought that might go certainly mid or even top.
I thought the cluster of faces on the top would really help
sell that but it clearly didn't.
Yet another reminder that you cannot predict what will
happen at an auction. But Annie is going home happy.
Time to see if the damaged silver vase will attract the buyers.
It looks like a trophy. But I know it's not.
It isn't, it's a vase, silver vase.
-And Persia, obviously the old Iran.
-And this is from what is now Tehran.
This is the beauty of the internet, really.
Buyers can find this from all over the world
and hopefully this will be going back to Tehran for big bucks.
-All for you.
-Oh, I hope so! THEY LAUGH
That's what it's all about.
Let's find out what the auctioneer thinks. Here we go.
Let's hand the proceedings over to Rupert.
Persian silver two-handled vase. Early 20th century.
It's a beautiful object. Lovely size as well.
We are opening the bidding here at £300.
£300. Can I see 320? 350. 380. 400.
420. 420 now in the room.
420 now. Can I see the 450? £420. Can I see the 450?
450. 480. 500.
-500. 550, Tom. 600.
-Would you like to go 700?
At £700 now on the phone.
At £700 now on the phone, against you all.
£700. Is there any advance at £700? Fair warning. 700.
The hammer's gone down. You'll take that, won't you, £700?
-That'll help you out.
Not bad for a vase with a dent.
Not bad indeed, James.
There you are, that concludes our first visit to the auction room.
It was a little bit touch and go in places.
But hey, that's auctions for you.
You can never predict what's going to happen.
Earlier on I took a trip to Kew Gardens, just outside of London,
to take a look at some work by an artist from this part of the world.
Take a look at this.
The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew houses one of the most famous
collections of plants in the world.
And it attracts well over one million visitors each year.
The curvaceous lines and perfect symmetry of Kew's Palm House,
designed by architect Decimus Burton, has long been
an instantly recognisable icon here at the gardens.
And quite rightly so.
But today I've come here to explore a much more modest building,
one that I believe to be a hidden gem.
And there it is, look, a Victorian pavilion.
The Marianne North Gallery,
tucked demurely away on the corner of the east side of the gardens.
The question is, who was Marianne North?
She was born in 1830 in Hastings, which is
just a short distance from today's auction.
Her parents were wealthy
and she travelled abroad with her father, who was an MP.
That wanderlust combined with the love of exotic plants,
which she had seen here at Kew, would shape the rest of her life.
At the age of 40 she began her astonishing trips around the world.
She was very close to her father, and when he died in 1869,
she decided to travel as a way of filling up her life
and learning to live without him. And boy, did she globe trot!
Between the years of 1871 and 1885, she visited
America, Canada, Jamaica, Brazil, Tenerife, Japan, Singapore,
Sarawak, Java, Sri Lanka, India, Australia, New Zealand,
South Africa, the Seychelles and Chile.
Everywhere she went, she would paint.
In total, she brought back 832 paintings.
A snapshot of the world's flora and fauna in situ.
She really was unlike most women of the Victorian era.
She shunned marriage
and travelled the world to follow her artistic passion.
I can't wait to see inside now the restoration is complete.
'I'm meeting up with author Laura Ponsonby,
'who has written a biography about Marianne.
'And we are going to take a closer look at her work.'
-I'll get the door for you.
-Thank you very much.
Come in. Come in and have a look.
-Isn't it amazing?
-It's very overwhelming. It's full of colour.
-Have you ever seen anything like it before?
-No, I haven't. I have not.
And I tell you something,
my first feeling is there is not an inch of wall space.
I think you are more or less right. And everybody who comes in goes, wow!
I never knew this was here.
First thoughts when you actually focus on the artwork,
they don't look like the sort of
botanical, scientific paintings you would expect.
-You know, the ones done in watercolour.
-No, they are not that at all. You see, they are oils.
-And very rich.
Oil on paper. And she absolutely adored colour.
She started painting in oils when she was in her 30s.
Before that time, she painted in watercolour.
-Her basic thing was to show a plant in its habitat.
-It is in situ, yes.
That's exactly how you'd expect to see it, isn't it, really?
It's a snapshot. It's a little photograph.
-Where is this? I think I've been there.
-Yes, you have.
-That's in Sri Lanka.
-Yeah, I have been there.
That's in the Kandy Botanic Garden.
And this is, in fact, a jackfruit tree.
And, like Kew, it's got a river going round it as well.
Just look at the work! You can see the countries where she's been.
Australia. You can see Jamaica, America.
-She was an adventurous, tough woman.
-She was an adventurous, tough woman.
But she spent months in some countries without servants,
without any help.
She did. In India, for instance, she spent nearly 15 months, I suppose.
She had letters of introduction. She knew someone...
Sure, and her father was well-connected.
Yes, you are absolutely right. So she went all over the place.
What does it tell you about her, really?
That she was really determined?
She was determined, she was very adventurous
and wanted her own way, I think.
-The sort of lady you'd love to meet, I bet.
-Yes, I would like to.
I think she was amusing. She could be quite difficult sometimes,
but a good sense of humour.
And had known a lot of interesting people. Very determined.
She showed that determination when she convinced
the director of Kew to allow her to build this gallery in the grounds.
Not only did she pay for it,
but she took a year away from painting to arrange the pictures.
It's probably a daft question, but do you have a favourite?
Well, I mean, there is
one in the little annexe at the back that I really like.
-And it's interesting too.
You know, it's not just scientific detail.
As you walk past some of these images,
you can see little river snakes and the eyes of crocodiles
poking their heads above the surface of the water.
Which you can easily miss, but they are there.
Anyway, it's in here. It's just in the corner.
It's a plant which is called Northia. It actually named after Marianne.
The first name, the genus name.
She did it when she was in the Seychelles.
-It's a lovely image, isn't it?
-Yes, it is nice.
-You can see it's got a little bird in it.
-Yes, I've just spotted that.
A couple of fruits. I think she brought that back...
You have to look hard,
cos some of these little animals are camouflaged.
Yes, she hides them away. It's quite interesting, isn't it?
Suddenly you see a monkey or a bird, or something of that nature.
How would you sum up Marianne's legacy?
I think it's unique, really. I don't think there is anybody else
who has done anything quite like that.
And of course, it's so interesting where she has been
and all her experiences, and I think people enjoy that,
looking at the places perhaps they've been to on holiday
and they come and see what Marianne painted.
-It's very interesting.
-I think so. It's most fascinating.
I think this place is well worth a visit.
I'm going to come and spend a few more hours in here.
-Yes, you certainly could.
-Thank you so much for showing me around...
-Not at all.
-..and being my guide today.
'Marianne often ventured to places
'that were virtually unknown to Europeans.
'And some of her paintings show plants that were new to science.
'Helping to advance our knowledge of the natural world.
'But the years of exhausting travel took their toll,
'and she retired to Gloucestershire, still surrounded by flowers.
'She died there in 1890,
'a long way from the exotic locations that she loved.'
Marianne North, the intrepid traveller, has provided us
with an exquisite Victorian set piece,
tucked away in this corner of Kew Gardens.
And inside, the most extraordinary collection of botanical paintings.
Although not classical, are all the richer for it.
I think we can safely say Marianne North
and her gallery are definitely one-offs.
We are back at the valuation day in Guildford.
In just a few minutes we'll have an update on the painting
that could be a Turner.
But before that, let's find some final items to take off to auction.
Over to Mark Stacey.
-Jane, this is a heck of lump, isn't it?
-It certainly is.
Tell me the history of it, please.
I think my mother bought it from an auction house back in the '50s.
I remember it a long, long time.
She used to keep it in the cloakroom, full of umbrellas and walking sticks.
-Wow! Well, it's big enough for that, isn't it?
-In the '50s, I suppose, this was considered out of fashion.
People wanted the more modern designs, you know,
the straight lines and things.
But as soon as we see this type of pottery,
with this very distinctive pink-y interior and these lovely
subtle colours, there is only one factory you think of, really.
-Based in Dorset.
It's beautifully decorated with these stylised flowers.
-Such a lovely range of colours in there.
-It's a nice shape.
It would take quite a lot to fire this. A big lump like this.
If we have a look underneath...
we've got a lovely set of marks there.
We've got the marks for Carter, Stabler, Adams - Poole.
-Which is the early mark, the 1920s-30s mark.
So that fits in.
They kept reducing these designs and sometimes you just see them
-with "Poole pottery," and they are slightly later.
But it's a really, really good piece.
There's a little bit of damage, isn't there?
-Yes, there is a slight chip.
-Which could easily be restored.
Yes, that's always been there, I'm afraid.
I think it really is a lovely object.
-Why have you decided to sell it now?
-We've got six grandchildren now.
And they love charging around.
It was in the lounge and we have a new rescue dog as well,
who plays with a ball. And I thought, it's going to get smashed.
It's such a shame if it got smashed beyond repair.
You need the right space for it as well, don't you? Aesthetically.
It's not going to be safe, I'm afraid.
I must say, I must be honest with you, Jane, I think
a few years ago this would have been worth a lot more money.
I think if it was absolutely perfect we would easily expect to get
-the £500 mark for it.
I think we've got to take into account the small chip on it.
-And the fact that Poole isn't...
-It's not as popular.
..quite as fashionable as it was.
-I would properly suggest an estimate of £300-£500.
-I'd be happy with that.
-To put a reserve on it of 300.
-So it protects you.
-No, that's fine.
I really mean it, I love it and it's the most impressive
-piece of Poole I've seen for quite a long time.
-Lovely, thank you.
Thanks for bringing it in.
An eye-catching piece of pottery there.
Now back to James, who has found an important
and impressive collection of militaria.
Jimmy, I have to say, we see loads of medals on "Flog It!"
Every valuation day, maybe ten or 15 groups.
But they are normally these three.
They are named after three cartoon
characters in the First World War - Pip, Squeak and Wilfred.
But this one, the Military Cross,
it's the first time I've ever seen it on "Flog It!"
-That's a good thing. Are they family medals?
How did you come to get them?
My wife had a small shop, antiques shop, for about 20 years.
She passed away seven years ago and obviously bits
and pieces used to come into the house.
-And get left behind. And that's how I've come to get this.
She always there wasn't quite sure what they were worth
-and wanted to make sure.
Who was it that won these? Do you know much about him?
Only what I read of the little bit of history. This is his identity card.
It was James Rowland West.
-He was in the Berkshire Regiment.
-First of all.
After that he was in the Dorset Territorial Army.
Well, the first thing we need to know whenever we are looking
at a Military Cross is, why did he win it? What did he do?
Cos that's part of the story. You got a photograph of him.
You've got some papers to do with him.
You've got the miniatures, you've got the medals.
But what's the story?
I have to say, I'm not great with technology.
I was afraid I was going to drop it so I have my own helper,
my own Debbie McGee here.
Thank you very much, Debbie.
This is a supplement to the London Gazette, 18th July, 1918.
"Captain James Rowland West, Royal Berkshire Regiment.
"For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in an attack.
"He moved about fearlessly among his company,
"controlling and supervising their advance.
"And when a platoon was losing direction,
"he crossed a fire swept zone to redirect them.
"He took command of another company,
"which had lost all of its officers, in addition to his own,
"and showed splendid leadership and courage throughout."
-So, a very brave man.
-And a very skilled soldier as well.
So there we go. And that, knowing the story puts it in perspective.
For a man to have that peace of mind to say, they're in trouble, I'm
going to risk my life, crossing all of that gunfire, to look after them.
-And to cross back. I mean, I couldn't do it.
And I don't think very many people could.
An incredible man.
But then Hitler raises his head 20 years on, World War II.
The man, I'm sure, would have liked to have been back in the Army,
-fighting the Germans.
But he's too old, so he ends up in the Home Guard.
And here we have an inquisition into the death of this man.
-So, what happened?
-He was on a training exercise in Warminster.
They had these aircraft, Hurricanes, coming over,
involved in the training exercise. And killed 14 people.
-A British Hurricane?
-I think there was more than one Hurricane involved.
-What on earth?!
Did they suddenly have a rush of blood to the head
and think the Germans were in Warminster?!
Well, I think there was smoke and fog, things like that.
They got involved... And this guy was one of them.
-It happens so often to these great heroes, doesn't it?
Lawrence of Arabia.
-All the things he did and he ends up in a motorbike crash.
-It's an amazing story.
They are a great set of medals.
I think your wife did the right thing not just putting them
-in the antiques shop. I'm sure they are going to make about £1,000.
-And I wouldn't be surprised,
if the right people get behind it, they might make a shade more.
-Auction estimate - 800 to 1,200.
I would recommend a firm reserve of eight. Don't let them go below that.
-I'm sure they will do well.
-OK. Thank you very much.
And thanks for bringing this along to "Flog It!" today
-and sharing a wonderful story.
-OK, thank you.
Earlier in the programme we met David, who came along to the
valuation day with what he believed was a painting by Turner.
On the back was the name of an art expert - Andrew Wilton.
We've arranged for the two of them
to meet at London's Dulwich Picture Gallery, where hopefully
we'll find out once and for all if that painting is genuine.
-You've got a picture to show me?
-I certainly have.
The label refers to small paintings he did on blue paper,
and this is on blue paper,
-so I can see why your former owner linked it up with this series.
A lot of them are views at Petworth. This is clearly not Petworth.
-I'm afraid it's clearly not by Turner.
It doesn't bear any resemblance to anything that Turner ever did,
apart from the fact that it's on blue paper.
But, of course, a lot of artists worked on blue paper.
What's interesting about this drawing is that it does
remind me of a Turner water colour. It says, "The Thames near Windsor."
We must be somewhere near Eton College.
I can show you what that looks like.
Fortunately there is a book here that reproduces both
the view of Windsor and the view that he did of Eton College.
Just downstream from Windsor.
Here is Eton College, and the Etonians on the bank,
reading and talking.
Here are some local people with eel pots.
There was a great deal of eel fishing in the Thames.
Turner was very interested in that as well.
Wherever he went, he was interested in what people were doing.
When we look at this drawing, we don't see any of that interest.
It's a very generalised evocation of a river with some trees
and the notion of a few people.
Apart from the compositional parallel with this view of Eton,
there's not much to identify it at all.
I hope you can see that this is a different
way of looking at the world from this one.
Yes, I do see the difference. And that's all I can say to you, really.
The good thing is, you like it.
And you can enjoy it as a picture on your wall.
I hope it's been useful even if it hasn't
been as thrilling as you might have wished.
Certainly not as thrilling, but it has been very useful.
Thank you very much.
Feeling a bit sick. I believed it was real.
I believed I had a little nest egg sitting there. Very disappointed.
But God loves a trier and I shall try again.
I'll keep going and going and going, I'm going to take it home now
and put it on my wall and just enjoy looking at it.
So, it turned out that painting
wasn't quite what David was expecting.
But I'm sure you'll agree it was very exciting.
Time to head off to today's auction now.
And here's a reminder of what's going under the hammer.
There is that huge ceramic vase.
And that poignant collection of World War I medals.
We are back in West Sussex, where today's auction is taking place.
The next item up for grabs is that colourful pottery.
Going under the hammer right now, another "Flog It!" favourite -
a bit of Poole pottery.
I remember my days when I went down to the factory
down in Dorset, before they closed down.
They are now open in Stoke-on-Trent, so they are still in business.
-But this is from the 1920s, Jane.
-A really nice piece.
I think it was painted by a lady called Anne Hatchard as well.
-Oh, right. I didn't know that.
Right, let's put this to the test.
Carter, Stabler, Adams - Poole Pottery vase.
1920s. Painted by Anne Hatchard,
and monogrammed with a Truda Carter patterned YT.
It's a wonderful thing. Little chip to the foot, but lovely.
Opening the bidding here at £220. 220 here. Can I see the 250?
£220 here. 250? At £220. 250 can I see?
£220. 250. 280. 300.
300 now with the phone. At £300. Beating the book. At £300.
At £300. Can I see 320?
At £300. 320 can I see? £300. On the phone at £300.
We are selling at £300.
That gavel's just gone down. £300.
-Jane, it's gone. You've said goodbye.
You don't have to take it home.
-No. That's good.
-Yeah. Are you happy with that?
Yes, I'm happy with that.
'Yet again, Mark's valuation was right on the money.
'Time now for our final lot of the day.'
Going under the hammer right now, a collection of medals.
There has been a great deal of interest here.
Awarded to James Rowland,
who was accidentally killed in 1942 in a Hurricane demonstration.
They belonged to Jimmy, who was left them by his wife.
Unfortunately he can't be here today. But his friend Jim is.
-To confuse things a bit.
-Just call me Jimmy.
Do you know much about his medals?
I didn't know a lot until the "Flog It!" show.
Jim had the paperwork on the inquisition into his death
when he was shot by a Hurricane, unfortunately.
But it was "Flog It!" that found out how he won the Military Cross.
-A very brave man in the First World War.
Survived that and then got killed in 1942, rather tragically.
Well, I've been told there are telephone lines booked on this.
-The collectors are seriously after this one.
-When it comes to medals,
anything with a great story is what sells it.
We've got the provenance, we've got the story, unfortunately
we don't have Jimmy, but we'll talk to him hopefully later. Here we are.
We are putting them under the hammer. Let's do it.
Group of four First World War awards to James Rowland West,
comprising the Military Cross - George V issue, the 1415 Star.
A wonderful group of medals and a wonderful story to go with them.
We are opening the bidding here at £800.
800 is the lowest we can start. £800. Can I see the 850?
£800. 850 can I see?
850 now I have here on the phone. At 850.
-Would you like to go to 950?
-950. 1000. 1,100.
Would you like to go 1,100?
-1,100. 1,200 here. 1,300?
-£1,300 on the phone. 1,400 can I see?
1,300. 1,400 can I see?
£1,300. 1,400 now. Thank you, sir.
Jimmy would be pleased with this.
Would you like to go 1,900?
£1,800 in the room. At 1,800. 1,900 can I see?
£2,000 I'm bid on the phone.
At 2,000. £2,000. Can I see 2,200?
2,200 can I see?
At £2,000, Tom, with you on the phone. At £2,000.
Is there are any advance on £2,000?
Yes! What a great result!
What a great result for a wonderful piece of history.
Our experts have said it time and time again on the show,
it's the story behind the object, the provenance, the social history,
that's what you bought into then. £2,000. What a way to end the show.
You must tell Jimmy. Well done, Jim. Thank you very much for coming in.
See you next time for many more surprises on "Flog It!"
But for now, from West Sussex, it's goodbye.
This episode comes from Guildford Cathedral. Paul Martin is joined by experts James Lewis and Mark Stacey who are on the hunt for interesting antiques and collectables that will hopefully sell at auction.
James unearths some World War One medals and Mark finds an impressive vase made by Poole Pottery. But will a painting, thought to be by Turner, turn out to be what it seems?
Paul also takes a look at the story of Marianne North, a pioneering and adventurous artist who travelled the world painting plants.