This edition of the antiques series comes from Sheffield in Yorkshire. Presenter Paul Martin leads a team of antiques experts, including Thomas Plant and James Lewis.
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Today's show comes from the city renowned for producing
the world's finest steel and finest cutlery, for over 800 years.
Of course, we're in Sheffield, and welcome to Flog It!
Our "Flog It!" faithful have assembled at the Cutlers' Hall
Originally built in 1638,
this building has been home to the Cutlers Company,
the guild that has looked after the city's
world renowned industry ever since.
The first hall on this site,
which has been replaced by the current building,
cost the princely sum of £86, 3 shillings, and 10 pence.
Let's hope today we can find some antiques and collectables
that are worth considerably more than that.
We've got hundreds of people here, laden with bags and boxes,
ready to see our experts.
And steeling themselves to sift through the treasures today
is the sparkling Anita Manning, and the ever youthful Thomas Plant,
both working their magic with the crowd.
They're all eager to go in.
There isn't a minute to waste, so without further ado,
let's open the doors and look at some antiques.
-Come on, then.
Our teams have their work cut out for them,
with over 500 antiques to be inspected and valued.
But which of today's items going off to auction will prove to be
a cut above the rest?
Will it be this Victorian tortoiseshell locket,
complete with gold chain?
Or will this silver tankard have its owners
raising a toast in the saleroom?
Don't go away, all will be revealed later on in the show.
This trio of grand chandeliers dates to the 1950s,
the originals were damaged during the Sheffield Blitz
of the Second World War.
But they're casting such a fabulous light on the crowd below.
It's such an exciting atmosphere.
And up in the minstrels' gallery,
Thomas Plant is ready to shed some light on our first item.
Fantastic chandeliers here in Cutlers' Hall,
and this is a tasty little lighthouse we've got.
Paul, tell me how you acquired it.
Car boot find, addicted to car-boots.
Tell me, Paul, are you in the boot before it comes out?
-Light, the little torch..
-I never go in the boots, I don't agree with that.
No, just as they're getting it out, maybe.
So, what was the story behind this?
Early morning, three weeks ago, Keepmoat Stadium,
which is Doncaster Rovers' stadium,
they have a gigantic car boot every week
and basically the lady just got it out, and I just...
-The quirkiness of it...
-So, it's a lighthouse, but what actually is it?
-And I said it's a tasty little light.
Well, if I lift off the cap, we can see the actual wick
and where it would have been fired.
And so I'm sort of wanting to give you
a little bit of my thoughts behind it.
-It's in aluminium.
OK, we've got a bit of oak round here,
maybe a bit of stained beech, and again, there, a bit of aluminium.
Now, whether this lighthouse was made by a happy amateur,
or it was made for somebody like the Trinity House organisation,
who look after our lighthouses, established by Henry VIII,
and this is a magnificent lighthouse,
but it's something which would have been...
After dinner, the ladies would have adjourned,
and the gentlemen would have sat round the big mahogany dining table
and passed round this to light one's cigars with,
if you were involved in that sort of organisation, society,
-and that's what I think it is. But it is 1920s.
It can't be any earlier, can it, cos of the aluminium.
-Oh, right, so it was introduced... AMERICAN ACCENT: Aluminum...
Well, aluminium was really introduced
-in the first part of the 20th century.
We sort of built airships out of it, and other things.
It was a new metal, and so it would have been quite expensive,
and this would have been quite an expensive little thing,
and it's actually been made particularly well.
I love the brick work here, and the little windows are great.
-Yes, the windows were great.
-So, have you got an eye for things?
It's got to be unusual.
It can't be your everyday 20 cabinet people, sort of thing.
It's got to be something like that, just bizarre.
-Can I ask, and be cheeky? What did you pay for it?
-Well, the lady...
-Was it pounds?
-It is pounds.
-It was pounds.
-It wasn't pence.
-Was it one figure pounds or was it two figure pounds?
It was under two figures, it started at two figure pounds
-and it got down to one figure pounds.
-Are you a hard negotiator?
I would try me best, yeah.
Basically, she wanted £12 for it.
-How much did you pay?
-Uh, I actually paid £8...
-..in the end, yes, even though I thought it was worth £12, but...
-..the principle, try me best.
-Well done, you.
What's this going to make at auction?
-It's not going to make massive amounts of money.
-But I think we can put it in at £30 to £50.
-Brilliant, yeah, good.
-Yes, very, aye.
-It shows you a small profit.
Brilliant profit, yeah. That's the idea.
-Let's put a reserve on at £20.
-I think that's fair?
-It's a quirky item.
I like it. Hopefully somebody else does.
That's a great little item to have found in the early hours of a car boot sale.
I'm sure it will light up the saleroom.
Meanwhile, Anita is about to sail into her first valuation.
Sue, when this item came on the table, the first thing that struck me
was how lovely and shiny that top part was.
Were you up all last night, polishing?
No, not last night, but I do like to keep my silver nice and clean.
-I do like polishing silver.
-You do like polishing.
-I like silver.
Well, we are in Sheffield, the home of silver and silver-plate.
Well, let's look at it as a whole.
It's quite an exciting piece, Sue.
Let's look at the base first of all.
It gives us the mark for Macintyre
and we have this early green signature for William Moorcroft.
Now, this little biscuit barrel dates from the time when
James Macintyre and William Moorcroft collaborated.
And that was between, I think, about 1897 and 1912,
so we can be very specific about that date.
And we can see, when we look at this object, as a forerunner
of what we know as traditional Moorcroft,
where we had the pipe-lining,
we had these lovely blue colours, and gilts.
-So, we're looking at the forerunner of Moorcroft...
..when he started up with his own studio.
-So it's quite exciting.
Now, one of the most obvious things,
-and it was a wee bit of a disappointment, I must say...
..we could see that has been damaged.
And we can see the crack here, which runs right along the body
and back up again, but we see that it has been repaired
-by these rivets.
-Rivets, I know.
It's always been like that, Anita.
It's always been like that?
This was repaired a long, long time ago, quite soon after it was made.
-Now, certainly before 1912, because there was no superglue.
And this is how it would have been repaired,
by riveting the two broken pieces together.
And to me, I don't find it ugly or terrible.
I think it's just part of the history of it.
It's part of the history. It's been riveted together.
And I come from the Clyde, and that has a great tradition of riveting,
so I don't mind a bit of riveting myself.
-But what it does do is affect the price.
Well, I didn't know how much it was worth, anyway.
If this had been in perfect condition,
we would have been £400, £500.
Oh, would we?
-But with the damage, it takes away so much of the value.
It would render it to probably under £100.
-But, I think that it's worthwhile putting it on the market.
Now, are you happy with us to put it forward with a price of, say, £80?
-You're very definite about that, Sue.
I've got to be,
because it means a lot
and I don't think my family will appreciate it.
-Well, let's put it to sale.
-Estimate, £80 to £120.
-Oh, that's a good one, I've heard that before, Anita.
-Was that one of mine?
-One of several.
So £80 to £120,
but I think we should bring the reserve to perhaps about £60.
And I'm hoping that that might fly.
Well, I'm with you there, Anita, I do, as well.
-Thank you, Sue, for bringing it along.
-Thank you very much.
It's been lovely.
With people still arriving in our valuation day,
there's a real buzz around the floor of the hall
and above it.
Well, it's a fantastic atmosphere at Cutlers Hall, Sheffield, today.
The "Flog It!" Team are out.
I mean, we've got loads of people from Sheffield,
and we've also got something which measures that atmospheric pressure.
-First of all, E.G.B. - is that a relation?
-I don't think so.
Let's open it up. Fantastic pocket or travelling barometer.
Tell me about it. How did you come about it?
My father bought it a long time ago, and when he died, I got it.
Your father, was he somebody
interested in scientific instruments,
or was he a traveller? Did he like the weather?
He was interested in antiques, and anything interesting.
He was a chemist and he was just fascinated in anything that took his fancy, really.
-Why have you kept this?
I don't know. It's just one of those things that was kept.
-And you know it's for measuring atmospheric pressure?
And have you had it out of the box?
-Yes, and there's some information in the bottom.
Well, I think we'll have a look at that, but if I just do this,
-if I just blow on here... does it move?
-It moves, yeah.
So that's obviously the aneroid barometer in there working,
so that's quite good fun, and it's in this fantastic gilt metal case.
We see a lot of these pocket barometers.
This one, however, is a bit special.
The reason why, it's a good size.
A lot of these pocket barometers
-are half this size...
..and they're sort of happy amateur ones.
This weather watch,
as it's been described,
is a real tool.
We have the altitude marker, which, as you move it,
it moves the pressure on here.
I think we might have to look in here for a bit more of the instructions.
And of course, we've not even mentioned who it's made by, have we?
-I think, if we open this...
we've got here Negretti and Zambra,
established in 1850.
I think it was Henry Negretti
and Joseph Zambra were the two gentlemen who established
this business in the 1850s,
mainly doing photographic
and scientific instruments.
They were patronised by Prince Albert,
so there are the premier makers
of these types of instruments.
So whenever you see anything
with the name Negretti and Zambra on,
it is just brilliant.
So why did you bring it today?
Well, I was interested in coming to "Flog It!", and we've had it sitting there for some time,
so I thought it was the nearest one that I could come to,
so that's why I've come today.
And is it something you've thought about selling
-because it just sits there?
Obviously, if one was to say Negretti and Zambra,
£50 to £80, it'd be disappointing.
-It's not worth £50 to £80, I can tell you that.
My estimate would be £200 to £300. Fix it at £200, the reserve.
Um, I think I would like a little bit more on the fixed reserve, please.
-Oh, you would like a little bit more?
-Yeah, £250, say.
-If you really wanted to do that, let's do it.
-£250 to £350, with a fixed reserve at £250.
-Shall we do that?
-Yes, that's fine.
I mean, it's not one I've seen before, so it could do rather well.
OK, thank you very much.
Now, are you going to be there at the auction?
No, unfortunately, we're away on holiday.
Well, I hope it's somewhere good.
-Well, Madeira, so...
-Oh, well, there you are.
What could be nicer?
Well, let's hope that barometer fetches enough
for Barbara to take another lovely holiday.
Well, it's fascinating to see such a fabulous array of antiques
turning up at our valuation tables.
Everyone has a unique story, and there's more to come.
But right now, we've reached our halfway point in the show.
It's time to put those first valuations to the test
in the auction room, and here's a quick recap of all the items
that are going under the hammer.
The early birds may get the worm,
but Paul managed to bag this lighter in the early hours.
Will it spark the bidders in the saleroom?
Susan's biscuit barrel may have seen better days
but I'm sure it will make for a riveting auction.
And this barometer is bound to create a great atmosphere
in the saleroom, but can it also fetch
a stratospheric price?
We don't have to go far to find out.
Our items will be put under the hammer
-just across town at the Sheffield Auction Galleries.
Well, this is it. The sale has just got under way.
And remember, if you're buying or selling at auction,
there is a commission to pay. Here, it's 15% plus VAT,
whether you're buying or selling.
Auctioneer Rob Lee has just started the auction,
so let's catch up with our owners and get on with our first lot.
First up is that table item,
machined from a chunk of aluminium into a lighthouse.
-I love this, it belongs to Paul. It was a car boot find?
-Do you do many car boots?
-Uh, I love going round them.
-We do the odd one, but I love the four o'clock on a Sunday morning.
Four o'clock Sunday morning! You see, you've got to get up early.
It is out there but you got to get up early, Thomas, haven't you?
-Would you do it?
-No, I wouldn't, not at four o'clock in the morning.
But I tell you something,
this is one of my favourite things in this sale.
-A 1920s stroke 1930s oak and alloy table lighter,
formed as a lighthouse,
with a detachable glazed lamp-cover, enclosing the lighter mechanism.
Getting rare, this lighthouse material. £30 for it.
£12 is your start price. £15, I'm after.
Quirky, great item.
£20, I'm out, going out 2-2? Who's on £22? £22, new bid.
-Oh, bid in.
-Someone in the room isn't very keen.
-£30 bid on the front.
-£35, new bid. £40. £45? £40 with the lady on the front.
Must be £45 elsewhere.
-Got to be £45 to progress. New bidder.
£45, gentleman standing. Anybody else have £50?
-It's going to go at... £50, new bid!
Gentleman standing at £55, have we done? Hammer's going to drop.
Well, we doubled the lower-in, and that's what it's all about.
-Yeah, that's a nice thing.
-And good for you.
-Impressive, good profit.
-Couple of bottles of Rioja.
-I'll get back out this Sunday, see what happens.
And next up, not quite in perfect condition is our second lot.
Oh, crumbs, guess what's coming up next?
Yes, it's that broken biscuit barrel.
-Well, it's cracked. It's got studs in it, as well, hasn't it?
-Rivets, who put those in?
-I don't know, it's always been in it.
It's great, though, because it is Moorcroft.
Macintyre and Moorcroft, I love it.
-But the damage will let it down a bit, won't it?
AUCTIONEER: Circa 1908, William Moorcroft and Macintyre and Co.,
The pottery biscuit barrel. Very nicely decorated.
-Must start it at £55. Lovely design.
-That's a good start.
I'm out. Who's on £75?
£75. £80, sir? £85? £90. £95?
Well done, Anita!
£90 bid so far. Anybody else for £95?
Lovely piece. Top of the shop at £90, have we finished?
Hammer's going to drop!
All done, are we?
-There you are, the hammer's gone down.
There's such a long pause between the auctioneer
saying the hammer's going down
and then it actually going down!
But it went eventually, after 30 seconds. That was a cracker.
And finally, hoping to add to the exciting
atmosphere in our saleroom, it's that beautiful barometer.
It's just a shame that Barbara's on holiday
and missing all the auction action.
-I think this is real quality. Great maker, the best.
-Oh, it's super.
Negretti and Zambra, the best London maker,
and they did great scientific instruments
and this is one of them.
This is for your proper ballooner.
Well, let's gauge what it does, right here and right now.
This is it.
A late Victorian compensated aneroid barometer, by Negretti
and Zambra of London. Great name.
Another plus point, we've got the original leather-covered case.
Must start it at £200.
£210, I'm after, £210?
It needs to be, to move on. £210.
£220. £230. £240, £250.
I'm out, but I'm out too soon. £260, it needs to be.
It's only just started, hopefully.
£260. £270. £280.
-This is more like it, Thomas.
-Much more like it.
-Two serious phone-bidders, look, having a battle.
Very old school, yes.
£320, with Liz's phone.
Anybody else with £340?
Shout out if we've missed you.
Anybody else want to bid?
It's going to go at £320.
Have we done?
-Hammer's gone done.
-That was good.
And I know when Barbara and Gareth get back from their holiday,
they'll have a cheque in the post,
-and they'll be over the moon with that result.
£50 bid on the internet, anybody else for £55?
Well, there you are. Our first three lots under the hammer.
You certainly need nerves of steel in an auction room
but thank goodness this is the city of steel.
There's plenty of it about.
Now, there's one group of people here in the city,
who kept the wheels of industry turning
through our country's darkest hour.
While we're here in the area filming,
I went off to find out more about them.
Sheffield has always been known for its high quality cutlery and silver.
And when the Industrial Revolution came along in the 1700s,
it also became famous for mass production.
By the end of the 19th century,
mills and factories in the region
were using massive steam-driven machines, like this one,
to produce more steel than any other city on the planet.
This was a heavy industry of massive machinery and punishing work.
Working in the mills was tough,
at times dangerous, business.
It was seen as a man's world, but all that changed in 1939.
With the outbreak of World War II,
it became necessary for companies to step up production,
to meet the demands of modern warfare.
They switched from making knives and forks to aeroplane parts
and from sewing machines to machine guns and other items of weaponry,
like this massive great big Grand Slam bomb.
It weighs ten tonnes, and it was made by Vickers-Armstrongs.
Whatever the military wanted,
it could be made right here, in Sheffield.
However, as war dragged on,
more and more men were called upon to fight overseas.
And with very few men left here to do the heavy industry work,
factories struggled to keep running.
It was then that the women of South Yorkshire were called upon.
Although they weren't officially conscripted,
single women, those without young children
and any whose jobs weren't deemed vital to the war effort,
had to register at the labour exchanges.
Suddenly women, from all backgrounds,
found themselves in the tough world of the steel foundries.
I'm here to meet Kathleen Roberts and Kit Sollitt,
two of the women who were made to work in the steel mills
during the war.
You were both told, then, to just turn up for work at the factory.
It must have been quite daunting to start with?
It was either that, or the army, or the land army.
Even though I was married
I was sort of called up
-and I couldn't pick and choose where I wanted to go.
-Were you frightened on your first day at work?
All the muck, the stench,
the smoke, the fire.
Yeah, frightening environment.
I used to think, "I'll never be able to stick this out."
What did the men think at the time?
Were there still men working there?
-They didn't think a lot of us, did they?
-Middle-aged men didn't.
The young men did.
I expect, the language was quite shocking in the factory as well?
-You weren't used to that sort of environment, were you?
It was. You learned words you never knew existed.
Yeah. Very naughty.
What were you actually doing?
We had coils of steel
-and we had to roll them till they were more or less like ribbon.
-And we never knew what they were meant for.
-They never told you?
No, we asked every week when we got our orders,
"And what is this for?" And we'd be told...
-"Mind your own business!"
-We never, ever knew.
-I was in the steel foundry.
You had to push all this stuff into a barrel,
wheel it right down the foundry
under the bessemer that would be going.
Used to have to put a damp sack over me head to run direct under it,
cos if a molder was working at the bottom of the foundry,
you were expected to take this mixture down to him.
At the end of the first day, I said to this chap,
"I'll never stick this." He said, "Oh, you will.
"You'll get used to it, you'll have muscles like me." I hoped not!
"Oh, no thanks," she said!
Even so, women like Kathleen and Kit
did stick it out in the factories for years.
But the work wasn't just strenuous, it was also dangerous.
We didn't have health and safety regulations in those days,
-and people lost fingers...
They lost hands, they...
Some really nasty accidents.
Did you ever get injured?
I did hurt my back pretty bad one day.
And, uh, I was taken to hospital,
and as a result, they put me in a plaster cast,
and I still have back trouble to this day.
-It was jolly hard work, and never got a thanks.
Nobody ever thanked us when we left work.
But what an achievement, though.
You know, without the women, these factories would not have run.
-Well, they couldn't have done, no.
However, when the war ended in 1945 and the men came back to work
and took up their jobs in the factories,
the efforts of the thousands of women, like Kathleen and Kit,
were soon forgotten.
That was until three years ago,
when Kathleen brought the story to the attention of a local newspaper.
Finally, after 70 years,
the women of Sheffield who helped keep the steel industry rolling,
were given the recognition they deserved.
We were all in sort of a dream,
we just couldn't believe that it was happening.
It was marvellous, it's marvellous. It's taken a long time, hasn't it?
-Because Kit's 93...
You're what? You're 93?!
-Yes, I am.
-..on the fourth of January.
-Well, you don't look it!
-We've no walking sticks, do we?
We're still knocking around.
Thank you so much for talking to me today,
because you both are heroes to this city. You really are!
And I think it's fabulous, as well.
We've had a long life, but we're still here.
Today, the mills of South Yorkshire are still the envy of the world,
producing vast quantities of the finest steel, machinery and cutlery.
You name it, they can make it.
And I think it's safe to say their continued success
is down, in no small part, to the women of Sheffield,
ladies like Kathleen and Kit,
who helped keep the factories running throughout the war years.
And it's brilliant that their achievements
have now been recognised and given a place in history.
Back at Cutlers' Hall, in the centre of Sheffield,
there are still plenty of antiques to be valued.
And while our dedicated team of experts
pour over each and every one,
I took the chance to look at an item
that is a real part of this building's history.
Now, I expect you're wondering what a Hawksbill turtle
is doing on the wall here at the Cutlers' Hall,
and its association with Sheffield's steel.
Well, I can tell you.
It goes back as a far as 1773,
when a merchant presented a turtle to the Cutlers',
imported live via the Liverpool docks.
They didn't know what to do with it,
so they killed it, and cooked it, and ate it as turtle soup.
And thus began a tradition of eating turtle soup at every annual meeting,
right up until 1912.
And hawksbill turtles have been harvested for their shells
as far back as Roman times.
It's a very valuable material that can be used in all sorts of products.
The Cutlers' here used the turtle shell
for the handles of knives and forks, and of razors.
Now, there's 13 sections on this shell. You can see them here,
look - one, two, three, four, and so on.
These can be peeled off into separate layers, thin layers,
so they almost look translucent.
Or they can be put back together under heat, fused,
to create a thicker section. This makes the shell look a lot darker.
It can also be carved. It can be tooled and fashioned.
It can also be inlaid with precious metals
like brasses and pieces of silver.
But thank goodness, this trade was banned by CITES in 1973.
Today, we use a modern plastic.
It looks just as good, and you wouldn't know the difference,
so it means a happier life for these fellas.
We do see a lot of antique tortoiseshell items on "Flog It!"
because those made before the ban can still be sold
and Anita has a particularly fine piece on her table.
Georgina, I love jewellery,
and it's a delight to have that lovely tortoiseshell locket
along at "Flog It!" today.
Can you tell me a little bit about it, and where you got it?
Well, an aunt gave it to me ten years ago, my Ruby wedding,
and she had acquired it, I think, from a friend many years ago.
-Have you worn it?
-A few times.
-You've enjoyed it.
So, why pass it on?
Is it not something that you would wear regularly?
Well, I don't have any daughters.
I have a lovely daughter-in-law,
but I don't think she'd want to wear tortoiseshell.
-Well, let's have a look at it,
think about the date and time that it was made.
It is a traditional piece of Victorian jewellery.
Made maybe 1860, 1870,
so it has a good age,
and it is encrusted with this gold decoration.
-It is gold, is it?
-I would say that it is.
We often had gold and tortoiseshell combined,
and it is a nice combination.
There's a decoration called pique
where the gold is inlaid into the tortoiseshell.
But this is like overlaid, but it is very sweet.
If we open it up...
Did you keep photographs in here?
That's my aunt's husband that's in it.
-He died quite a few years earlier.
But I still think it's a good thing
to pass it on to someone who will enjoy it.
We have another Victorian piece here in the chain.
This has been part of a Victorian guard chain,
-which is the long 60-inch chains...
..that ladies wore round their neck,
and they kept maybe little watches or little pencils on it.
Very often these were split.
If there were three daughters,
-it might be split into three parts of 20-inches each.
So this has been split.
And the catch here is not original,
-that's been put on at a later date.
-Oh, has it? Right.
So, it's quite a nice wee Victorian lot.
I'm not sure tortoiseshell is as popular
as it was maybe five or ten years ago,
but it is still a nice collectible
for a person who wants to collect Victorian stuff.
Price on it, you're maybe £100 to £150.
-In that region.
Would you like to go ahead and sell it, within that estimate?
Yes, yes, that would be fine.
You're not going to miss it?
I don't know. I feel a bit guilty, because it was my Auntie Connie's
but I need to get my engagement ring repaired, so it would go towards...
I think that's a very good thing, I mean...
I can't wear my ring, and you think,
"Well, I could probably get the cash up to do it,"
-but this would be a way of...
-Of helping it along?
-Yeah, good idea. Well, let's put it to auction,
and let's hope that there are lots of Victorian jewellery collectors
-at the sale.
-Thank you very much for bringing it along.
Having come down from his lofty heights on the balcony,
Thomas has dug up a very unusual item.
it is amazing what is unearthed at these "Flog It!" valuation days.
This might shock a few people. It certainly did in the past.
Tell me, what do you know about this?
Not so very much at all, really.
I acquired it recently, in the last two weeks.
-Have you done some research?
-I thought it was something medical,
but I couldn't research it cos I didn't know what it was.
Well, it is one of these extraordinary things,
these electric shock machines.
The Victorians were obsessed
by sort of shocking one's body into doing certain things.
You know, nervous disposition, deviances of some kind, hair loss.
You've got some combs here to sort of rub over your hair,
to make your hair grow back.
Here, this one was obviously to go over parts of the body, I'm sure.
I think there is a slight theory that this treatment had some form of affect...
-..But I just don't know how much,
and I think, at a home sort of level,
you've got to be pretty crazy to sort of find the socket,
plug yourself in, and end up rubbing yourself down with this.
-Just imagine you got a bit carried away and the glass broke.
It'd be awful!
I mean, that's really quite a rare Bakelite plug in there, isn't it?
And a Bakelite handle, and I don't think it's ever been used.
No, I don't, no.
You see, you've got from weak to strong, high frequency,
but I would imagine there'd be the odd collector out there
-who might be interested in this.
-What do you think this wood is?
-This is going to be beech wood.
-Yeah, it's nothing special, to be honest with you.
-The date of this object, I would say 1940s, 1950s.
I don't think it's pre-war.
It's just, it looks in too good condition.
From a value point of view, as it's in such nice condition,
it's got to be worth £30 to £50. What do you think?
-Well, I thought about £25 to £40.
-You should be doing my job.
No reserve on this, it's got to go. Otherwise, it goes in the bin.
It certainly will.
-And let's hope we're shocked at the result.
OK, that's enough of the puns, Thomas.
Anita, please restore some decorum to the proceedings.
Pat, this is a wonderful item.
It was made in 1763,
and it was made by one of London's most prestigious silversmiths,
So, it's a marvellous item. Tell me, where did you get it?
Well, it belonged to my partner, who unfortunately died earlier this year.
He, I think, was given it by an uncle of his,
who lived in Boston, Massachusetts.
Ellis, when he was about two,
went to the United States with his mother and father.
And unfortunately for the family,
Mother and Father lost all of their money during the Wall Street crash,
and Ellis, with his younger brother now,
was shipped back to Liverpool to Grandmother,
and I think his uncle gave this to Ellis at that time,
and said to him,
"If you ever need money, sell it."
What a wonderful story.
Well, he died at 95 and he didn't sell it.
He hadn't needed to sell it.
And he didn't...
Well, I think he probably did, at some stage, but he didn't sell it.
Yeah. It's quite an impressive looking little guy.
-It didn't start off life, however, in 1760s like that.
At that time, it was a plain drinking tankard,
with no decoration, probably a slightly flattened lid,
-and none of this embossed work on it.
It would be simple.
In the Victorian era,
where we had the industrialisation
and wealth that was brought by industrialisation,
people wanted ornate decoration.
It was as if it showed their wealth,
-and this has been elaborately worked on.
If we look along here, we see its flowers, its leaves,
all sorts of busy decoration on the body.
And when we turn it round,
we see that it has become a pouring vessel.
I think Ellis knew that it had been altered
and that the spout had been put on later,
but I don't know whether he knew that it was embossed later.
Yes, I mean, it's an intriguing item.
And it shows us how antiques
can change with the style of the period that they lived through.
-The purists don't like it,
but I think that it's all part of the hurly and burly of life.
We have the addition of this embossed work,
we have this pouring spout here,
and I kind of think that this lid has been pushed up a little bit.
So, tell me, what are your thoughts, did you like this item?
I think I would have preferred
it in its original state.
And, had I not seen the advertisements for "Flog It!",
I would have completely forgotten about it.
And I saw that, and I thought I would bring it along,
and that's what I've done.
But it's an interesting story, how it came back here,
and also an interesting story about what had happened
during the course of its nearly 300-year-old life.
As it is, in today's market,
-I would put an estimate of £300 to £500 on it.
Would you feel satisfied to let it go forward at that price?
Yes. If somebody wants it...
It's better than somebody has it that wants it,
rather than it's in the back of my cupboard.
Well, I think it's wonderful, and I love the story,
and that's what "Flog It!" is all about.
So, we'll put it to auction, £300 to £500.
-We'll put a reserve of £300, if you wish.
-It's had a colourful past.
Let's hope it has a colourful future.
-Yes, and I hope whoever gets it enjoys it.
-OK, thank you.
Well, that's it, our experts' final choices.
You've just seen them, and what a day we've had here.
Sadly, it's time to say goodbye to our magnificent host location,
Cutlers' Hall, as we head over to the saleroom for the last time today,
and here's a quick recap of all the items we're taking with us.
Will Georgina's tortoiseshell run at the auction
and fetch enough to get her ring repaired?
I don't think many people
want to try a bit of electrotherapy,
but let's hope this set sparks some interest in the saleroom.
And this silver tankard may have
undergone plenty of facelifts,
but I'm sure the collective will see the beauty that lies
just below the surface.
We're back in the auction room for the last time.
Robert Lee's in full flow. He's fast approaching our lots.
First up is the exquisite tortoiseshell locket.
-Georgina, you're a woman of style. You look stunning.
And so is your item that we're putting under the hammer,
this Victorian tortoiseshell locket. I think it's beautiful.
Why don't you want it?
Yes, well, I always thought it looked a bit like plastic,
-and the aunt that left it to me, left me quite a few other items...
..which are more sort of like costume jewellery, which I prefer.
Well, I love it. I love jewellery, and I love tortoiseshell,
and it really is just a cracking piece.
Nice big piece, will suit today's market.
-Yeah. Anyway, look, good luck with that.
-Thank you very much.
Good luck. We're going to put that to the test. Here we go.
247, 19th century oval tortoiseshell locket,
with a pique style in-laid detail. It's a beauty, isn't it?
-We'll start the bidding at...£85, £95, £100...£110, I'm after.
£110, £120, £130...
I'm out. £130, gentleman in the room. £140, £150 now.
£150 in the room, £160, £170, sir?
This is good, look at this! And there's a telephone coming in.
£180 on the internet, £190 I'm after.
This is excellent, this is real quality.
New bid in the room, £200, £210 sir?
£240, I'm after £230 in the room.
£240, £250 sir?
£260, I'm after £250 in the room. £360, now.
-£280, £290 now.
£270 in the room, £280, £290 now.
£300 I'm after. £320.
£380, I'm after £360 in the room.
-Oh, I can't believe it.
£400. £380 with the internet.
Anyone want £400 for it, it's going to sell at £380.
One last look, hold it now with £380...
-What a result, £380!
-That was a nice wee surprise.
-That was really good.
You must be over the moon with that.
-Yes, I am.
-So, that was real quality.
-Yes, that's marvellous.
And quite a few people saw that, they really did.
We had the internet, we had the phone,
and we had a lot of competition in the room.
Now I'll be able to get my engagement ring repaired.
I've actually taken it into the jewellers,
so it's going to be nearly £100 to get repaired, so that'll be good.
That'll sort that out, and then you can wear that again.
Georgina gets to wear her engagement ring
and hopefully that locket will adorn its new owner.
But I'm not so sure our next lot will see much use.
Carole, let's hope we don't get arrested right now.
We're about to give the bidders a bit of high voltage.
Yes, it's the electrotherapy treatment machine.
No reserve, it's here to go.
Have you had a few laughs with that at home?
Well, I was only given it recently by a family member,
-so no-one's seen it, actually.
-You haven't plugged it in?
-You could have had a few practical jokes with this one.
Obviously, it doesn't appeal to you and you just thought,
-bring it along to "Flog It!" and we'll sell it.
-Yes, that's right.
-Cracking little thing, really.
-Well, they're quite weird, aren't they?
-I mean, we don't really do it now, do we?
-We could with this.
1950s Tesla violet ray electrotherapy device
with assorted glass wands in a fitted wooden case.
I've got commissions. £28, £35, £40.
£45 I need elsewhere.
-£45 it needs to be to move on. Anybody else fancy it?
For the electrotherapy device.
Give yourself a shock.
With me at £40, holding now, we're at £40...
-£40, that's cracking, that's really good!
-I'm happy with that, yeah.
That's going to end up in a bygone museum somewhere, I would imagine.
-It was perfect.
-Or on a dinner party table.
-Can you imagine that at a dinner party?
-Plug it in.
-Put your finger in that!
Look, well done. Thanks for bringing that in, because it gave us all a big laugh
-at the valuation day.
What an unusual item.
It just goes to show, you never quite know what will turn up in an auction room on "Flog It!".
And going under the hammer right now,
we've got a George III silver tankard,
later converted by the Victorians to a jug with a pouring spout,
belonging to Pat.
Nevertheless, despite that, we've still got a value of £300 to £500.
-There's a lot of silver there.
-There is a lot of silver.
-So, fingers crossed.
-Well, I'm hoping that it will do its £300.
It certainly deserves that.
If it had been left alone, it would have made a lot more,
and the purists would have liked it as it was.
Sure. This is it, here we go.
George III hallmarked silver tankard by John Swift,
London 1763, later converted to a jug by the Victorians.
Lots of interest on it.
Lots of interest,
that's not going to melt then.
£420, £440, £460, £480, £500.
£520, £550, £580, sir.
-This is what auctions are all about.
£580 on the phone, £600, £620.
-£650, £680, £700.
-Whoa! £720, £750.
That phone bidder is desperate for this, look.
£800, 820, £850.
£900, £920, £950, £980.
£980 bid so far.
£1,000 I need elsewhere.
£980 on the phone.
One last look around. Have we done?
-Hammer's gone down.
£980, what a cracking result!
Just shy of £1,000, Pat.
You've got to be over the moon with that.
-I'd be hopping up and down right now.
Well, it just shows you. We really didn't know at that point.
£300, brought to auction, and the market decided.
-What a way to end the show here in Sheffield!
With Pat over the moon with £980.
It just goes to show, there are always surprises in an auction room.
See you next time.
This edition of Flog It! comes from Sheffield in south Yorkshire.
Presenter Paul Martin leads a team of antiques experts, including Thomas Plant and James Lewis, as they search for interesting and valuable items to take to auction. Among their finds are a tortoiseshell locket, a Georgian tankard and a shocking electrotherapy kit. Paul meets two of the Sheffield women who were recently awarded honours for keeping the steel mills running in the Second World War.