Antiques series. Flog It! comes from the the Discovery Museum, Newcastle upon Tyne. Paul Martin finds out about the Northumbrian landscape gardener Capability Brown.
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I'm here in west London where later on the programme,
I'll be finding out how one man
revolutionised the way large gardens and parks were designed.
Of course, I'm talking about Lancelot Capability Brown,
but first, I need to get to the valuation day,
which is over 300 miles away.
Welcome to "Flog It!"
We're north of the river in Newcastle upon Tyne
and our venue is the Discovery Museum.
The museum's origins date back to the North East Exhibition of 1934.
It celebrated what Newcastle was capable of,
which is exactly what we're hoping to discover today.
And it looks like there's no stopping
the people of Tyneside today who have turned out in force
to get their antiques and collectibles valued.
Somewhere in this queue,
someone has something that's worth a great deal of money
and it's our experts' job to find it.
Using his wealth of antiques knowledge,
our expert Nick Davies,
who's already delving through people's treasures in the queue.
Right, what have you brought today, what have you got in the bag?
It's exciting - you know what's in the bag. I haven't got a clue!
And following on full of flair and fun
is the formidable Anita Manning.
You've got a terrific lot of stuff in there, ladies,
and we'll look forward to getting them all unpacked
when we get upstairs.
We're making the most of our special venue today.
We're going to be carrying out valuations
at the ground level in the entrance hall
and in the great hall that sits at the very top
of this wonderful, historic building.
You're about to move in a minute!
That's for sure. Come on, you're one step nearer.
While everyone finds their seats,
let's take a peak at what's coming up later.
Which one of these items from a bygone age
will make double our expert's estimate?
Will it be these ornamental buttons?
Or this eclectic collection of jewellery?
Or will this delightful little piece of silver steal the show?
Stay with us to find out.
Well, it really is lights, camera, action now.
We have our on-screen experts,
we have our off-screen valuers working away behind the scenes,
but more importantly, we have this fantastic crowd
all laden with unwanted antiques and collectibles,
so let's hand the proceedings over to our experts.
It's up to Anita Manning. Let's see if she can find that real gem.
Lisa, welcome to "Flog It!"
It's lovely of you to come along today and to bring along
this super little early 19th century silver vinaigrette.
Have you had this little box for a long time?
-About ten year.
-About ten years?
-Had you never thought of selling it before?
-Not really, no.
It just lay about.
-You didn't think that it was of any value?
Why did you bring it along today?
Because my friend, Lesley, wanted to come.
I was coming with her and I said,
"I'll just get it valued while you're there."
Tell me where you got it.
An ex-boyfriend gave it to us for a birthday present.
-Was that a nice birthday present?
-I couldn't believe it.
-What did you say?
Well, I didn't say anything. It was just the way I looked at him.
-I wanted a car.
-You wanted a car and you got a vinaigrette?
Did you know what it was?
Well, I didn't know. He explained to us what it was.
-But it didn't press your buttons?
-Is he still your boyfriend?
-No. Definitely not.
-Did that have anything to do with it?
-Might have done.
OK, let's look at it.
It's a little silver box and if we look in the box,
we will see that there is a little decorative grill
and it's quite a pretty-looking thing.
What would happen is that underneath this grill,
there would be some cotton wool or some linen or something
and it would be soaked with an aromatic oil.
-Now, this would be carried about by a lady
and if she was overcome by unpleasant smells
on the street or the fact that the bones in her corset were too tight,
she would take out her little vinaigrette,
-she would have a sniff of it and it would revive her.
So that's what it was for and I don't know what sort of message
your boyfriend was sending you.
-This is a particularly nice one.
I want to look first of all to the exterior of that.
Little vinaigrettes tend to be small things
so that they can be tucked into a little pocket
-or it can be hung on the end of a chain.
This one is in the shape of a little purse
or a little suitcase and that's unusual.
It's a little bit different from the ordinary rectangular ones
and this will make it a wee bit more appealing...
-..to the buyers. I've got you smiling now!
I've had a look at the dates in there.
It was made in Birmingham and Birmingham was a centre
of the manufacture of small silver items.
It was made in 1817, so it's nearly 200 years old
and it was made by Simpson & Company,
so we've got a lot of information there
and as well as the information that the box is telling us,
-we have a story of how people lived...
..and what they needed to carry about with them.
Now, does any of this information
make you like this wee box any better?
No, not really.
OK, it's a lovely wee thing.
The estimate I would put on it would be, say, £100-£150.
If you want, we could put a reserve on it...
-..of £100, but to give the auctioneer
-a little discretion on that.
-Would you be happy with that?
-I've be over the moon.
-You'd be over the moon?
-Yes, I would.
It's not going to buy you a car.
No, well, a night out, though.
-A good night out in Newcastle.
Well, I look forward to seeing you at the auction
and let's hope it takes a wee flyer,
-cos it's a wee bit unusual.
Lovely, thank you very much.
Well, it just goes to show,
one person's trash really is another person's treasure.
Downstairs, Nick has found something much more commonplace.
Or is it?
So, Ruth, have you come far today?
-Just from Sunderland.
-Excellent, so not too far.
Now, tell me how this has appeared here at "Flog It!"
What's the history behind it?
I don't much about it.
I've always grown up with it
and I think it was my maternal grandparents'.
And then my mother had it and when she died, I got it.
-OK, so it's been in the family...
-And I have displayed it.
-You have displayed it?
-I noticed a bit of wire on the back.
It's always been there.
-Being hanging off the wall, has it?
Which is a bit odd, cos do you know what it's for?
Yes, it's a teapot stand.
It's a teapot stand, so it shouldn't be hanging on the wall,
it should be sat on the table. In the wrong place all these years.
Never mind. We've got this faience tile in the middle, here,
with the birds and the bees.
It's probably going to be late-1800s, early-1900s.
I think it's by a company called Thorns, who are Black Forest.
-It's that neck of the woods.
Might be Switzerland, German border, that type of area,
but it has a little secret, doesn't it,
-which I'm sure you're well aware of.
It is a music box as well.
It plays four tunes, which is lovely.
We've got a little lever on the side here
and if we just push that down nice and softly...
..it plays a nice tune you can have your afternoon tea with.
Not a tune I recognise, I must admit.
But then I've never had one of these before.
So there we are - something a bit unusual,
and that's what the market likes.
So have you used it at all?
Have you put any pots on it, or has it just been...
-It's just been hung on the wall.
-And do you play it often?
No, I test it out about once a year.
-And when I got it down yesterday,
it wouldn't play, so I reckoned it needed a little drop of oil.
Some...in the mechanical music world
would squeal a little bit at that.
They try not to recommend it, so I think we've got away with it,
it's fine, it's not making a great deal of difference to it
and it's running smoothly now.
There's some nice carving.
This is typically Black Forest, the carving round the outside,
and when I looked at it first,
I thought, "Oh, no! It's got loads of woodworm!", but it isn't.
There's tiny little dot details
and these little scallops all the way round the outside.
It's me being a pessimist, as I am, you see.
It's a good size.
I would put it in at round about 80-120,
somewhere in that region
and it should do fine at that sort of money.
Might do a little bit more, you never know.
It'll be interesting to sell at auction
and I don't think we'll have much of a problem selling it, to be honest,
and I think probably a reserve at round about £70
and just stress the novelty factor of it and I think it'll be fine.
-You happy with that?
Thanks very much for bringing it down.
I'll see you at the auction and fingers crossed,
-it does well.
A musical teapot stand, what fun.
My turn next with a "Flog It!" favourite.
Valerie, you can recognise this a mile off
and I bet you can at home as well.
Come on, come on, what is it?
-Yes, you've got it, it's Moorcroft.
It's just those distinct colourways.
It sort of tells you the richness about it,
the style of it.
Look at all that tube lining.
Make sure there's no chips on that, cos that's slightly raised.
Wonderful, wonderful piece of pottery,
one of the great names in potters, really, isn't it?
From Stoke-on-Trent and I think the company dates back to about 1902,
when they were in production.
William Moorcroft was working for MacIntyre-Moorcroft
and then branched out in 1912 by himself,
moving not far away, still in the potteries,
and you have to credit Moorcroft, really,
for not only being a very good potter,
being a very good artist, but also an extremely good chemist,
because those colourways are so particular to Moorcroft
and they kept these sort of ingredients secret.
They didn't want other potteries to know,
cos they'd copy their colourways.
-Do you know what pattern that is? That's the hibiscus.
Now, this isn't from the early period.
-I can tell that straightaway.
The first thing you do - turn it upside down
and take a look at the bottom.
It's stamped "Moorcroft", can you see that?
-Yeah, I can see that by...
-But, also, it's got its original paper label.
"By appointment", look, "to Her Majesty Queen Mary."
-"The late Queen Mary."
-"The late Queen Mary."
Now, this tells us that this was stamped after her death, OK?
And the stamp would last for 25 years, but Queen Mary died in 1953,
so this stamp would be on there until 1978,
so I can date this vessel now between that period.
Right, I had no idea how old it was, to be honest. Absolutely none.
How did you come by this?
We bought this when we were walking around in a shop, to be honest.
We saw it, we liked it, but now we're collecting more local stuff.
-Well, I think you're going for the right thing.
You're going for something slightly more academic,
something slightly more niche
and local, which I think is the right thing to do.
Can you remember how much you paid for this?
Probably a couple of hundred pounds, because we did like it at the time
and we thought it was probably a reasonable investment as well.
-I think it's got a lot going for it.
I think we could turn your £200 into £300-£400.
-We could double your money.
And I think it's a good time to sell that
and then you can obviously trade upwards.
That's what I would be doing.
Wanting to get something else to go with our own collection.
Yes, to keep.
-Good for you. Look, it's been lovely talking to you.
It's been great to meet you
-and, hopefully, on the day we'll double your money.
Valerie's got the right idea there.
Before we head off to the sale room,
let's take another look at all the lots going under the hammer.
I get the feeling that Lisa's not going to be sad to see
the little silver vinaigrette go.
Let's hope that quirky musical teapot stand
strikes a chord with the bidders.
And I'm full of confidence that the Moorcroft vase will do well.
It has everything going for it.
We're heading east towards the coast
for today's fine art and antiques sale,
courtesy of the Boldon Auction House in the small village of East Boldon.
Look, that chap's here to buy. He's picked up a bidder's paddle.
In order to buy something, you've got to register your name
and address and identify yourself.
You can pick up a bidder's paddle, then you're free to bid.
Hopefully, he's going to buy some of our lots.
Now, remember, there is commission to pay
and there is a buyer's premium.
Here it's 17.5% plus VAT,
but it varies from sale room to sale room, so check the detail.
It's all printed in the catalogue and do your sums,
because it does add up.
Right, let's get on with the sale.
Taking the hot-seat to sell our lots is auctioneer Giles Hodges.
Going under the hammer right now, we've got a silver vinaigrette
in the form of a little purse, belonging to Lisa,
stamped Birmingham 1817.
This is quality. It's a really, really nice-looking thing
and I think the collectors will like that.
Good story, I loved the story - you got this for a birthday present,
you didn't know what it was,
you didn't like it, you don't want it
and you were expecting something completely different, weren't you?
Yeah, I was expecting a car.
-Doesn't get much different, does it, really?
Anyway, look, it's good quality, it's good craftsmanship.
Let's find out what the bidders think, shall we?
It's going under the hammer right now.
A little silver vinaigrette.
Lovely little one in the form of a purse,
with a silver gilt grill. Birmingham 1817.
Bit 80 to start it.
-See, they like it, Lisa.
Good. I'm pleased somebody does.
180 downstairs. Now the internet.
At 180, bid.
At £200. 10?
At £200, it's at the door.
At £200 and we're... Oh, 210.
At 210, we're seated.
Shake of the head at the back of the room.
£210, are we all away at 210?
-They loved it! They loved it!
-We're happy, aren't we? Big smiles all round.
-Good day out.
-Good day out.
I'm glad Lisa got a good price for that.
Now going under the hammer,
we've got a 19th century musical teapot stand belonging to Ruth.
-Does it sing Polly Put The Kettle On?
-I don't think so.
-No, we didn't recognise any of the tunes.
-None of the tunes at all.
It's such a novelty, really, though, isn't it?
-Obviously, you've used it, had a bit of fun with it.
Didn't you put the teapot on it?
-He was shocked when I said it.
Never used it. Hung on the wall.
Well, in that case, it's in very good condition.
-Yeah, it's actually not been harmed
and that's probably one of its virtues.
That's we should get the top end of the 80-120.
Why are you selling this?
-Well, I love it and I'm missing it already...
..but I've had my three-score years and ten,
so I don't want it to end up in a skip.
Oh, that's a bit negative, isn't it?
Right, let's find out what the bidders think, shall we? Here we go.
A late 19th century musical teapot stand
with the tile decorations at the centre.
Bid 30, straight in at 30.
At £30. 5, anybody else?
Getting there, Ruth.
..5. At £75.
It's in the room at £75.
Have we got discretion?
-It's fine. There was a reserve of 70.
£75, ladies and gentlemen. We're all done...
-Sold it! It's gone.
I don't know whether to celebrate or not now,
because I know you're a bit disappointed that it's gone.
-I am happy.
At 220, 230 now.
Right, my time to be the expert, and we've got a great name in ceramics.
It doesn't get much better than this - Moorcroft,
belonging to Valerie, who's very nervous, aren't you?
-I know you are. Is this your first auction?
No, I have been to a couple,
but it's the first big thing that I've sold, I must admit.
-I've bought a few little things.
Well, we're looking at the top end of this. You know that, don't you?
-I'd like 450. I'd like a little bit more. So would you, I know.
There are some other bits of Moorcroft here,
which really does help, because the collectors won't travel a long way
-to buy one piece, but there's about ten items here, isn't there?
-Have you had a nosy?
-Are you going to buy anything?
Come on, let us into the secret.
There's some Maling saucers that I'm quite interested in.
-Bit of local stuff.
-Yes, definitely. That's what I'm into.
Exactly. Good for you as well.
-And we talked about that at the valuation day.
Right, the moment has arrived.
Let's hand proceedings over to Giles Hodges.
The Moorcroft hibiscus-patterned baluster-shaped vase
with the autumnal ground.
I'm bid 200 to start it.
At £200. At 200.
-We've sold it.
-Excellent. Yes, it's gone.
..380. 400 now.
At £380. It's in the room. On the right.
At £380. Are we all done?
Wasn't bad going, was it?
-Not too bad, no.
-Happy with that?
-Yes, thanks very much.
-And you can reinvest that...
-I will do.
-..in a bit of Linthorpe, you see.
-I'm going to.
And that's the great thing about antiques.
You got it in a second-hand shop.
-So now it's going to be third-hand, hopefully fourth
and fifth throughout its life. Classic recycling.
-It doesn't get greener than antiques, does it?
-No, not at all.
-It really doesn't.
-And you can learn so much from them.
-So get out there and get buying. Thank you so much.
-I'm going to.
Now Valerie's going to invest her money in something local,
and we're going to find out more about a local man who's been
referred to as England's greatest gardener.
Over the years on "Flog It!",
we've visited some of the country's finest stately homes,
from Chatsworth up in the north to Petworth down in the south,
Ickworth in the east and Berrington Hall in the west,
and like many of our great country estates,
they all have one thing in common -
their grounds have been designed by a man whose name has become
synonymous with 18th-century English landscaping.
Lancelot Brown was born in 1715 in Northumberland, just a short
distance from where today's valuations are taking place.
After leaving school, he got a job as a garden boy on a local
estate, and slowly started to learn his craft.
He worked at a number of stately homes and by the age of 23,
he'd moved away from the north for a position on the gardening
staff of Lord Cobham in Buckinghamshire.
And it was there that he worked with an architect named
William Kent, who is recognised as one of the founders of what
is known as the new English style of landscaping.
Brown admired and respected Kent - he even married his daughter -
but it would be Brown who took this new style of landscaping
to the next level.
He set up his own company in London and was soon highly sought after
by the aristocracy from all over the country.
His gardens really were the height of fashion
and anyone who was anyone had to have a garden designed by Brown.
His style was to use wide, green lawns punctuated with
clumps of trees, to give a feeling of a romantic, natural scene.
But the irony was - nothing about it was natural.
Everything was planned, right down to the smallest detail.
He described himself not as a landscape gardener
but as a place-maker, and so radical were his changes that he's been
criticised for destroying the work of previous generations
to make way for gardens built to his own standards.
Lancelot Brown got his nickname "Capability"
because of his habit of telling his clients their gardens had
great capabilities - and in his hands they certainly did.
He was hugely prolific,
responsible for redesigning over 170 gardens, which is
a fantastic achievement, because they're not small, suburban ones -
they're all on a grand scale, and this is one of them.
Syon Park in west London.
Brown was so prolific because of the speed at which he worked,
which enabled him to work on many gardens in parallel.
He'd often spend just half a day surveying the land on horseback,
and another half day marking out so the labourers knew what to do.
The man responsible for maintaining Brown's work here at Syon Park
is head gardener Simon Hadleigh-Sparks.
-Hi. Pleased to meet you.
-It's a pleasure.
-This is absolutely beautiful.
You'd think you were deep in the countryside,
-rather than five miles from central London.
What were the grounds and the gardens like
before Lancelot Brown got his hands on them?
Well, actually, during the time of the first Duke and Duchess,
the house and the grounds were pretty much run down,
especially after the severe frost of 1739,
So they called in Brown and he massively changed
the entire landscape here at Syon Park.
So what are we looking at here? Was this lake here?
-No. This was actually the prehistoric channel of the Thames.
And he built this lake on the prehistoric channel.
Diverting the water from the Thames back here?
Well, it was a marshy land before that,
and he removed a road which was over here,
and then he landscaped the entire park,
-because Brown was very much a sort of trees-and-grass man.
How many acres are here?
We're actually 200 acres, which includes the gardens
and the parkland here.
That's a lot of work, and obviously a lot of labour, at a time
-when there was no machinery.
-Well, yes, as you say,
it's quite easy nowadays just to bring in some diggers...
You can do a lot with a few diggers.
..but in Brown's day, there was none of that,
and just to emphasise that, he was here for 25 years,
-creating the landscape you see now.
-It took that long?
-That's a big project. This is not a small garden, is it?
So hundreds of men would have been employed throughout that 25 years.
How many gardeners are there here today?
There are eight of us at the moment.
-Something like this landscape here, essentially, is untouched.
So this is as it was when he did it.
-So his vision has lasted this long, and...
-It was perfect.
-It was perfect.
-In its day, and it's perfect today.
We don't have to do a lot, yeah.
Isn't that marvellous? And you wouldn't want to add to it anyway,
-would you? There's nothing you could do, really.
Lancelot Capability Brown continued his association with
great country estates, but it wasn't just the rich
and the famous who would enjoy the fruits of his labour.
This is Wimbledon Park in southwest London.
It also was designed by Lancelot Capability Brown,
but this time for members of the public to enjoy.
The 18th-century writer Hannah More said about this park,
"I did not think there could have been
"so beautiful a place within seven miles of London.
"The park has so much variety of ground and is as un-London-ish
"as if it were 100 miles out."
And I'm sure that was his aim -
to bring a part of the countryside to the city centre.
Brown died in 1783, but he lives on in the gardens he designed,
and if you feel inspired by his work
and want to see some of it, because of his prolific output, hopefully
there will be a great example not too far from where you live.
Come and see the legacy he left behind, which is
unparalleled in English gardening.
Welcome back to our valuation day venue, here at the Discovery Museum,
the first science museum to be built outside of London in the country.
Let's now catch up with our experts to find more antiques to take off
to auction, and hopefully we'll have that one big surprise.
And something rather distinctive has caught Anita's eye.
Val, welcome to "Flog It!".
It's lovely to have you along,
and you've brought this very nice piece of Lalique.
-Tell me, where did you get it?
-From my sister. She just said...
Well, she does a lot of clearing out.
She says, "I'm getting old. Nobody wants this, nobody wants that..."
-Where did she get it?
-I've no idea.
She's just had it for a long time, but she likes antique shops,
she likes jumble sales, charity shops. If it's nice, she buys it.
I thought, "And you thought that was nice?" she says,
"Well, you're wanting it, aren't you?"
I says, "Well, yeah, go on, then. I'll put a plant in it."
-But what if that's worth a bob or two? Are you going to tell her?
-OK, do you know what it is, Val?
-I just know the name Lalique.
The name Lalique.
That's one of these magic names in the world of art and antiques.
Originally, he made jewellery,
and he made the most wonderful, wonderful pieces,
and instead of using precious stones in his jewellery,
which would have made them very, very expensive, and taken them
out of the price range of so many of even the smart Parisiennes,
he used glass, and this jewellery became very popular,
and he developed from using glass in his jewellery to making
pieces of wonderful glass, and this glass was made from the late 1800s
up to this one, which would have been in the 1940s.
When I look at it, the first thing that I do when a piece of glass
comes in front of me, I will tend to lift it - and this has good weight -
and that is some indication of the quality of glass,
if it's a nice, weighty piece.
I also look for the signature,
and I'll perhaps show you that in a wee minute,
but I want to draw your attention first of all to these lovely
bands and embossed glass, as if they've been carved out.
And these bands are decorated with grapes and leaves,
so it's a sort of happy, rejoicing little vase.
Might even have been an ice bucket.
When your sister gave it to you, was she just fed up with this,
-or did you ask her for it...?
-She didn't use it for anything,
and it was just in the garage for quite some time.
I said, "Well, that'll get broke."
-She said, "Well, you can have it if you want it."
-It's a nice thing.
-It just looks nice.
-Now, did you notice a signature?
Well, my friend who's in the antique thing said, "That'll be Lalique."
I says, "What's Lalique ?"
He said, "Well, if it's got a signature on, it'll be Lalique,"
so that was when I started looking, but I couldn't find it at first.
-It took some time.
He used various different signatures or ways of marking his glass,
and these ways often told us
what period the things were made in, and this one here,
it's like a hand-signed signature, and it's "R Lalique. France."
Now, this indicates to us that it was made before 1945,
but because of the stylistic qualities of it,
it's putting it in that mid-'40s for me,
so although it's not one of the most desirable pieces of Lalique...
-No, I didn't think it would be!
-But it still is, Val. It still is.
-I would put a conservative estimate of £100 to £200.
-Would you be happy for it to go to auction within that estimate?
-Shall we put a reserve on it?
£100, I would say, with a little bit of discretion,
but I'm sure it's going to go much further than that,
because it's a bonny, bonny piece of glass.
-Thank you for bringing it along.
-Thank you very much.
-Are you going to tell your sister?
-Are you going to share the money with her?
No, I'll take her for lunch.
Well, that's only fair.
This next lot that Nick has picked out looks like a little
treasure to me.
Well, hello, Clive.
Thank you for coming down to "Flog It!".
And what have we got here?
We've got a set of six buttons.
-How did you come by these?
They belonged to an old aunt of mine.
-When she died, they were in the house when we cleared it.
So you say they came from your aunt.
Do you remember the history behind her? Was she local, or...?
She was local, and we think, but I'm not sure on this, that she
-used to be a reporter for a local newspaper.
-That's a good thing. But she never had big buttons on her coat?
-That you can remember.
Any idea how she would have come by them, at all?
No. I just wondered if they'd been handed down to her by somebody else.
-Now, I think these date from around about 1900.
The ladies... Gainsborough-style lady,
the portrait panel in the centre, is a transfer. It's not hand-painted.
And you can see on a couple of them, her neckline is slightly lower
than the others, where the transfer's slightly slipped.
But they're on porcelain.
So if we just turn one over there on the back,
you can see they're on porcelain, and they're overlaid
with silver, probably a low-grade silver, I suspect.
There's no marks on them whatsoever, but I'd hazard a guess
that they're probably French,
possibly Dutch, but Continental definitely.
And the great thing about them
is 100-odd years later we've got all six.
Often with earrings they lose one, let alone a set of six buttons.
So that's brilliant.
But for collectors of buttons - and there are plenty of them -
they're something a bit different, unusual.
We see quite a lot of silver buttons with Art Nouveau ladies' faces etc,
but these Continental ones are a little bit different.
And they're in a lovely box, as well!
And it's the original box.
They fit very snugly, and there's no doubt about that,
so it will help increase the value.
Value-wise, I would probably put them in
around about £50 to £60 at auction
and put a reserve on them of around about 40.
-Is that the type of price you expected?
-In that region.
-Somewhere in that region.
And what do you think you'd do with the money if we get them sold?
Well, we're going on a family holiday to Majorca, so that will be a help.
Well, it all helps. We can sell them for you
-and hopefully make you a few pounds for your trip.
Well, Clive's face certainly lit up on hearing that valuation.
Now, before our next lot,
I want to shed some light on something I've found in the museum.
Now, what I have in front of me is something we all take for granted,
and it's used in countries all over the globe.
This is a replica of the first ever electric lamp,
invented by Joseph Swan, a Gateshead resident.
It was first shown in Newcastle in 1878,
and it received a patent two years later,
and Swan's home in Gateshead was the first domestic house in the world
to be lit by the electric lamp.
So there's a great piece of history right here.
The manufacturing took place here in Newcastle
until Swan went into partnership
with American inventor Thomas Edison,
and then the manufacturing process moved down to London,
where it was known as Ediswan.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
And right now, it's time for us to make a little history
as we find our next item to put under the hammer.
Anita has found a group of items that also light up the room.
Sally, I love playing with wee groups of jewellery like this.
It's absolutely great fun.
But tell me first of all, where did you get them?
They're all from both sides of the family, mother and father.
-So they've been with me all my life, or I've known about them.
Have you worn any of these?
I've worn the crescent
and I wore the silver one about two months ago in the local show.
I was a suffragette.
-So I had to wear something across my neck, and that fitted.
-With the purple...
-Yes. Yes. The right colours.
The others, no, I haven't really worn.
-Right. So just really kept in a box.
-Pretty much, yes. Yes.
Let's have a look at them and go through them,
because they're quite interesting wee lots here.
Do you know anything about what the bracelet's made of?
-Well, it's beetles.
Real beetles, but quite where from I don't know.
So we have this scarab beetle bangle. Is this one that's escaped?
-Is that an extra? Is that a "just in case"?
-Well, I would assume so.
-Maybe they've been breeding.
I hadn't thought of that! ANITA LAUGHS
So, it's not mounted in gold, but it's an interesting piece.
-You have some little pins here.
Again, I've looked at them all,
and I can find no hallmarks on any of these things.
-And I was surprised at that.
But that's not to say that they're not gold.
It may be that they've been made specially and not hallmarked,
and this can often happen.
You've got two little pins here, one with a little pearl
and a plain one,
and these would have been used on a neckerchief or a little scarf.
This one is a particularly lovely one.
It's Edwardian, so it would have been
some time at the very beginning of the 20th century.
We have a crescent moon here, and the crescent moon, I think,
is a beautiful symbol. It's a beautiful image.
And you have these little graduated seed pearls along the crescent.
Now, the colour of it seems to indicate, to me,
that it might be a higher-carat gold,
so I would have expected that to be 15 or 18,
-but there's no hallmark at all.
-Again? I've never looked.
Yeah. This one here,
your wee suffragette one, sterling silver, and a purple-coloured stone.
It's not an amethyst.
What sort of date are we looking at for the silver one?
You could be looking 1930s, 1940s, that type of date.
It's a fairly classic style, just a plain pin with a central stone.
But this one here is the one that I find most interesting.
Again, no hallmark.
The colour of the pin here is slightly different
from the colour of the mount of this central piece,
and I'm tending to think
that this has been stuck on as an afterthought.
It looks like gold. It's a sort of expensive safety pin!
But if we look at this and if we look at it carefully,
we can see an image of a tiger here,
and what has happened is that it has been painted on the back.
So this has been enamelled or hand-painted.
-And if you look at it, the work is very good.
-Intricate, isn't it?
It's good-quality work.
So, this part here is what I like most of all your items here,
and I think it's the thing which will draw people to this lot,
because to put that into auction I'd want to put it in as one lot.
How do you feel about selling it now, Sally?
Well, it's just sitting in a box,
and it's silly for it to sit in a box, really.
-It's not the only stuff that I have,
-I have other stuff. I quite like the tiger.
-You like the tiger now?
ANITA LAUGHS I always did like the tiger,
-but I would never have worn it.
I would put an estimate of 80 to 120...
-..on this little group. It may do more than that.
Would you be happy to put them forward to auction at that estimate?
Yes. Yes, I think I probably would. If it was a fixed reserve at 80, yes.
We'll put a fixed reserve, then.
But I'm sure we'll get a good chance of these little bits taking a flier.
-Thank you for bringing them. I'll see you at the auction.
Yes, great. Thank you.
Some excellent workmanship there.
Well, what a marvellous time we've had here at the Discovery Museum,
our host location for our valuation days.
We've been surrounded by fine art and antiques
and great advances in science.
We've learnt a lot about local history
and also history that has shaped this nation.
But right now, we need to make some history of our very own.
We're going to the Boldon Auction Galleries for the last time today,
and here's what's going under the hammer.
It may not be particularly early,
but the vase does have the name Lalique on it.
Need I say more?
Clive's buttons are highly decorative.
I think they will certainly appeal to the collectors.
And finally, Anita's come-and-buy-me,
80 to 120 for all those beautifully made pieces of jewellery.
What a bargain!
The saleroom is packed here in East Boldon,
where auctioneer Giles Hodges is on the rostrum.
Let's hope our final three items will race to a great price.
And first up, it's Valerie with the Lalique vase.
Have you been thinking about this moment for the last few weeks?
-Thinking of not coming.
-Thinking of not coming?
-Have you been to many auctions before?
-So this is the first.
OK. Sum it up for us. What do you think?
It's quite interesting, isn't it,
-when you see a lot of things that's going on there?
It's chaos. You don't know where to look, to start with, really,
because there's too much going on, fine art and antiques everywhere.
The best thing to do is come to an auction preview day
prior to the sale, look around, ask the auctioneer -
they're duty-bound to help you, they've got all the knowledge -
and feel a bit more relaxed.
So, we see a lot of Lalique on the show, and it is quality, isn't it?
It's good glass. And it's the name that attracts the collectors.
Right, OK, let's go over to Giles, shall we,
and put this lot to the test?
Got the piece of Lalique,
the clear ice bucket with the bands of leaves, the graping vines.
I'm bid 60 to start it. At £60.
-5, anybody else, now?
-It's that typical cocktail era.
-It's got the look.
-For just putting ice cubes in.
-Yeah. It's exceptional.
5. 90. 5. At £95.
It's in the room. Again at £95.
It's against the internet, as well.
At £95 for the first. I'll use my discretion.
-He's going to sell it.
-He's going to sell it.
We're away. At 95.
Done. Good job. Giles has worked his magic on the rostrum there.
That's what you call a man who believes in our lots.
-And a great salesman, as well. So, we just got it away at 95.
-Yes, of course!
There you go, quality always sells.
Now it's time for those fabulous buttons.
Clive, you don't look like the sort of chap
to own six Continental enamelled buttons!
-How did you come across these?
I got them from an old aunt, who died when she was over 90.
-So they've been around for quite a few years.
-Lots of memories, then.
-But time to let somebody enjoy them and, more importantly,
-do something with them...
..because you don't see these every day of the week, Nick, do you?
No, and the condition's great, and they're in the box.
-No chips, no cracks.
-They're just a good example of what they are, so...
-Should be all right, hopefully.
There's a lot of people browsing on the preview day and today.
And this is the kind of thing that they didn't set out to buy.
They'd probably come to buy a piece of furniture or something
and thought, "Actually, they're nice.
"It's not a lot of money. I'll buy those."
-That's the sort of punter we want right now,
because it's going under the hammer. So this is it.
Continental porcelain buttons,
each with a little portrait of a lady, and I'm bid 20 to start them.
At £20 for a set of buttons. At 20.
5. 30. 5. We're in the room at 35.
-This is good.
-We're at the back of the hall on the left at 45.
-60 on the internet. At £60 it's away on the net. 65.
80. £80 right at the back of the hall.
Are we 85? £85 on the internet. The room is now out.
90. Lady's back in at £90.
-Another fiver on the net, please.
-This lady's determined.
She's holding her bidding paddle up and not putting it down.
"They're mine, they're mine, they're mine!"
At £90 are we all done, ladies and gents? At 90.
Do you know, looking at those, Clive, I mean,
they're subtle yet they say class, they say something exquisite.
-A really good example of what they are.
I'm glad other people appreciate it as well.
-Thank you so much for coming in.
-Thanks very much, Paul,
-and it's credit to you.
Good job. I really like those.
Our next lot is a fashion item, but will it be in vogue today?
We're going to find out. I've just been joined by Sally and Anita,
and we've got six unique brooches. Did you ever wear them?
I think I've worn one of them, but I'm obviously not a broochy person!
-Anita's a broochy person. You are, aren't you?
-I love my jewellery.
You like the big, bright ones.
Yeah. And what we've got here is a little collection of bijouterie,
and the buyers love that.
They think they're getting quite a lot for their money,
so we're all together!
What is your thing, then? You don't do brooches. You've got earrings.
You like earrings and jewellery, things like that?
I like going to the pub!
Fair comment. Right, well, you could be doing that after this lot.
It's going under the hammer now.
We've got the unusual gilt-metal inset bracelet
and the five other brooches, and I'm bid 80 to start them.
At 80. 90. 100.
110. I'm out at 110.
160. 170. 180. 190.
220. We've stopped. It's upstairs right, at £220.
£220 all told.
The hammer has gone down. Sounds like drinks all round, doesn't it?
Oh, absolutely, yes! Yes, one or two!
There you are, that's it, the hammer has gone down on our last lot.
It's another day in the office for "Flog It!", and what a day it was.
I thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope you did, too.
If you've got any antiques and collectibles you want to sell,
we would love to see them. Bring them to one of our valuation days.
Details of up-and-coming dates and venues
you can find on our BBC website,
or check the details in your local press. We'd love to see you.
But for now, from the North-East, it's goodbye from all of us.
Flog It! comes from the the Discovery Museum, home to a fantastic collection of science and social history. It is the first science museum outside London and located in the centre of Newcastle upon Tyne.
Paul Martin is joined by experts Anita Manning and Nick Davies. Members of the public arrive at the museum laden with hundreds of antiques and collectibles to be valued by the Flog It! antique experts. Later in the show, a number of items are sold at auction.
Paul finds out about the famous Northumbrian landscape gardener Capability Brown.