Antiques series. Flog It! comes from Ickworth House, a Georgian mansion in Suffolk. Paul heads to the Suffolk coast to explore the House in the Clouds in Thorpeness.
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"The fairies really own this house or so the children say,
"In fact they, all of them, moved in on the same self day."
Now that's a fanciful poem to write about a house but, then again,
this is no ordinary house.
This is the House in the Clouds!
We're in Suffolk. Welcome to "Flog It!"
Later on, I'll be exploring the mysterious House in the Clouds
but first it's time to head to our valuation day venue,
itself one of the most extraordinary buildings in Suffolk.
Ickworth House, a neoclassical mansion.
It was begun in 1795 by the fourth Earl of Bristol, a bishop
who didn't go to church but had a passion for Italian architecture.
So much so he diverted revenues from his diocese
to indulge his excesses and fund the house of his dreams.
For one day only, Ickworth House is home to "Flog It!"
People are walking through the wonderful Italianate gardens
ready to join our early birds,
hundreds of people in the queue, already laden with antiques and collectables,
all hoping for a favourable valuation from our experts.
If they're happy with that valuation, what are you going to do?
ALL: "Flog It!"
And amongst the crowd, our experts are already hard at work.
What about the other one? Now he's gone, pull out the Picasso.
Today, we have the charming Philip Serrell.
-What have we got in here, then?
-Oh, it's a train set.
-Was that yours as a child?
-Mine and my older brother's.
-So it's at least 100 years old, then?
And the equally beguiling Will Axon.
Oh, look at that, a real box of treasure.
It says "Cheltenham Spa".
That might mean it's something like, Regency.
Ooh, I'm a bit out of my depth here!
So it's time for the "Flog It!" Crowd
to make their way into the west wing and for our experts to head
to their tables because there is plenty to fit in.
Oh, how lovely!
On today's show, these items were bought for a song.
-I paid £1 for it.
-I think they were just trying to clear the stall.
Well, good for you.
-They're working out at 14 pence each.
-14p a go?
I'll need to come and see you.
110 downstairs. 120...
But which will hit the high notes over at the auction?
130... 140... 150...
160... 170... 180...
190... 200... 220... 240...
With the good people of Suffolk settling into their seats,
it's time to get on with the valuations and where better
to start than an intriguing 19th century bundle on Philip's table?
-Sheena, how are you?
-I'm good, thank you.
-It's a lovely day, isn't it?
And you've brought along a little eclectic mix, here.
-I have, yeah.
-Are they yours?
-Two of them are.
The brooch actually was left to my daughter.
-A family auntie?
-She was, yeah. She was a character.
She used to like to go to auctions.
So this little lot here is part of her eclectic mix that she might have bought through the years?
It's possible. I mean, I had a lot more things but, when she died, we sent off to an auction.
-Did they do well?
-They did, actually.
-I was gobsmacked.
-Really? Let's hope that continues, shall we?
Right, let's see what you've got.
These are a pair of French opera glasses.
-They fold up and then that just fits in your bag.
-That's it, yep.
-And these are a pair of little pince-nez, aren't they?
-They are, yeah.
-You'll do yourself a mischief.
How are they supposed to see through those?
-It's not going to do it for me, is it?
-No, not a good look.
These are going to be back-end of the 19th century.
Then we've got a mourning brooch.
This has got a nine-carat gold mark on the back
like a little target brooch.
Again, back-end of the 19th century but what's interesting
about this is that, in the back, there's the remains of someone's hair.
A lock of the dead person's hair would have been
taken before they were buried and very often it was woven,
-lattice-like, and put into the back and they became mourning brooches.
Very often, the front is enamelled black, you can have dates of
when the person was alive, but I think they're quite interesting.
-It's quite a fun Aunt Bessie lot that, isn't it?
-They are, yeah.
-I think that we should sell it as one lot.
And I think auctionary value is going to be £50 to £100.
-So a leg for a cow?
-A leg for a cow? What does that mean?
Well, I want a cow.
Right, OK. Is there a doctor near you?
-Because I think you might need help.
-I've lost the plot, yeah.
-It's gone, completely.
-It's because I moved.
-Really, you want to buy a leg for a cow?
-I want the whole cow.
So you've got a little smallhold and you want a cow? How much does a cow cost?
-I haven't a clue.
-About £500 or £800, isn't it?
-Yeah, so going to have to do really good with these!
-We're going to have to do really well.
-Let's put it in, estimate £50 to £100, fixed reserve, £40.
Good on you. Let's hope we can go and get a cow.
Well, people bring their possessions along for all sorts of reasons,
although buying a cow might be a first.
I was very pleased to see our next item walk through the doors.
Tracey, thank you so much for bringing a piece of furniture in.
-We brought it in for you.
-That was the whole idea.
We just don't see enough! Please bring furniture in because this is the only piece
we have here today.
I'm absolutely in love with it as well.
I think this is a little treat and if I just go like that,
you can see it flattens out into a good working surface.
But if you do this...
and put that up...
you've got a lectern or a little easel.
It's portable, you can fold it up.
It's almost like a little bit of campaign furniture.
Right, I like this, I'm off! How long have you had this?
I've only had it about six months. Because we live in a modern place,
I'm not allowed to have furniture like this in the house.
So I buy stuff, photograph and measure it and everything
-and then I sell it on to buy another piece.
-1930s, I would say.
It's made by Hatherley in Gloucestershire.
Now this design was patented by Charles Allen Jones
in the 1880s, this whole geometric bracing.
And you can see it in Hatherley stepladders.
Do you know the good old Victorian stepladders?
Well, I've had a couple of those myself, just to look at and monitor kind of thing.
My dad has one as well!
Sadly, we don't have it any more but it had exactly the same thing, made of English oak.
I think it's faultless as well, it's had a lot of use, its nice
and dry, but look at the top.
Somebody has put something here that's stained the oak. I like that.
That's part of this table's use and social history.
It's got character and personality and I'm sure,
with a bit of polish, this will look absolutely beautiful.
Well, I think that's superb and just look at the lines on that.
-Yes, it's classic, I think.
-That's 20th century modern at its best.
-How much did you pay for this? £20. Is that all?
I think you could easily double your money at auction.
-That would be great.
-Would you like to sell this?
Yes, I need to sell it and buy the next piece.
OK, well, let's put this into auction with a valuation
of maybe £40 to £60 with a reserve on at £40.
-That would be great.
-I'm sure you'll get that and hopefully you'll get the top end because somebody
that loves design will absolutely love playing with this.
And I'm not the only one who's having fun with today's items.
Let's head over to Will Axon in the appropriately-named pleasure grounds.
Well, you know what?
I think I could see myself in the shoes of the third marquis,
perhaps taking a stroll in my Italianate gardens
with my rather fine, white metal-topped cane but Richard,
this belongs to you, not me, and I'm not the third marquis.
Unfortunately I don't live here, but you can't have everything!
-No, that's quite correct.
-Tell me, where has this come from, Richard?
Handed down, I think, from my father.
Do you ever remember him with it, taking a stroll, perhaps?
No, he never did, I don't think.
He probably got it in an auction cos he was an auctioneer as well at one time.
When I first saw it in the queue I thought, what we've got here
is a typical Malacca cane with this white metal top, I thought possibly silver.
Now, bog-standard swordsticks,
we see a lot of them in the sale rooms but what interested me
on this one is if I draw it somewhat dramatically...
-..That's what I like about it.
Look, we've got this crossguard here, spring-loaded,
that opens up as you draw the sword.
Now, that's a really nice touch
-and I haven't seen that before on a swordstick.
This is just a little bit, shall we say, a cut above the rest?
Now I've had a closer look at the blade.
-Have you ever noticed this before? A little inscription, "Toledo."
-No, I didn't notice that.
So there's a Spanish connection there, so I'm thinking this could
possibly be a souvenir piece, late 19th century, that sort of period.
I just like it. It's good quality, unusual.
I think the sort of standard swordstick with a white metal top,
you're looking at £50 to £80, maybe up to £100, that sort of level.
But I think because of the crossguard, this is going to be a little bit more unusual,
so I would like to use that £100 as a starting figure
and hope that it would make more than that.
So I'm thinking perhaps an estimate of £100 to £200,
-would you be happy with that?
-I think so, yes.
Well, I'll tell you what. Someone out there, a collector of swordsticks,
they're going to find it as interesting as I have
and I'm sure on the day we won't have any trouble selling it.
£100 to £200, let's reserve it at £100 with a bit of discretion
just in case, but I don't think we're going to need it,
and I think Elizabeth is going to be pleased to have this in her
sale and I think the bidders are going to respond positively.
Well, Will, it's time to find out if you're right.
We've certainly had a busy morning so far.
Our experts have been working flat-out
and they've found their first items to take off to auction.
This is where it gets exciting, anything can happen,
but right now let's find out what the bidders think.
They can determine what it's worth.
While we make our way over to the sale room, here's a quick
recap of all the items that are going under the hammer.
There's Sheila's mixed 19th century lot.
Will it raise enough for a leg for a cow?
With this metamorphic table, there's a chance for someone to own
a piece of great 20th century design.
And will Richard's unusual swordstick have the edge
over in the sale room?
We've headed northeast to Diss for today's auction,
to be in the capable hands of a regular "Flog It!" Expert,
auctioneer Elizabeth Talbot.
And the first lot going before the bidders is Sheila's three items.
Are these the sort of things that have been left to you over the years
-and they've been stuffed away in the attic?
-Yeah, they're Auntie Bessie's.
I think this could be a trade lot.
-By keeping it together, hopefully it will attract some more.
-Makes it more buy-able, yeah.
Here we go, we're going to find out what it's worth.
We have three 19th century items.
For those lovely items, all in the lot together, start me at £50.
£50, surely. Some good, collectable pieces there at £50.
40 bid, 40 I have with the lady, now I'll take two.
£40 only, I'm looking for two now.
42... 45... 48... 55... 60...
60 with the lady to my left.
I'm looking for five elsewhere. 65 now, where's 70? Any advance?
-70, back again. I'm looking for five.
-This is good..
I think we hit the nail on the head. A dealer will buy that.
As you say, somebody that part-time trades will buy that
and split it and sell it in the fair later on. We're happy, you're happy.
-And I hope you're happy as well.
It's a good start. Now, who'll be strolling off with Richard's lot?
I really like this swordstick, which is
-disguised as a bamboo walking cane.
-Well, you better buy it then!
I'd love to, we're not allowed to buy.
-I'd like to see it do around £200.
-I'll be happy.
-Oh, I would.
It's going under the hammer now. You've heard what we have to say about it,
you've probably got your own opinions,
but let's find out what this lot think in the sale room, shall we?
The late 19th century bamboo-encased swordstick, there it is...
-It's all gone quiet.
-.. Fine piece, marked "Toledo".
I have interest on the sheet shown and I'll start here at £100.
-£100 I have.
110... 120... 130... 140... 150... 160...
170... 180... 190... 210... 220...
I have 220, looking for 30.
230... 240... 250... 260...
-I think we're in the room, now.
-This is good, 260.
260, I'm looking for 70.
260, the phone is out. Any advance?
-Good price, very good price.
-It was unusual. Well done.
And if you've got anything like that, we would love to see it.
Bring it along to one of our valuation days.
Right, now it's my turn to be the expert in this jam-packed sale room.
Going under the hammer we've got that wonderful metamorphic
table that I valued, belonging to Tracey.
Unfortunately, he's not very well, so he can't make it today. Fingers crossed you get well soon.
I hope you enjoy watching this because Elizabeth
is on the rostrum and, fingers crossed, she's going to sell it.
We're looking for round about £40. Here we go, this is it.
And now I'm feeling nervous!
The early to mid-20th Century oak metamorphic table converting
to an easel. Very clever piece of furniture.
-This is a good piece.
-I do hope you're right.
I have interest on the sheet shown here
and I start at lower end of estimate at £40. 40, I'll take two...
Straight in at 40!
This is lovely at 40, now I'm looking for 2.
42... 45... 48...
50... 5 and 60...
Oh, great! Tracey will be pleased.
I'm just taking the gentleman further behind, sir. 65 and 70...
5 and 80.
They love it!
85, new bidder. 90... 5, 100... 110... 120...
130... 140... 150.
I'm now out. It's in the room at 150, I'm looking for 60.
It's by the door at 150, any advance?
£150 and that hammer's gone down!
That's a great sale and I hope you enjoyed that moment watching this at home, Tracey.
That's a good result,
especially when you remember you only paid £20 for this table!
A great find.
Earlier on in the show we saw Ickworth House,
our magnificent venue for our valuation day.
That was one man's vision to create that house.
Not far from here in Suffolk, one man's vision created a whole
village as I had the pleasure in finding out.
In 1908, a Scottish barrister called Glencairn Stuart Ogilvie
inherited the village of Thorpeness on the Suffolk coast.
Originally a small fishing hamlet,
Ogilvie decided to carry out an extraordinary experiment -
to transform Thorpeness into a fantasy holiday destination.
His vision was to create a place of dreams with whimsical architecture,
fairy tale features and unique elements I'll be exploring later.
Here, people could enjoy a traditional English
holiday in surroundings that would stimulate the adults
and fire the imagination of the children.
Ogilvie had holiday homes built in the Jacobean
and Tudor revival styles,
and they're all furnished with everything a holiday-maker
would require for the perfect wholesome break.
Tennis courts, a golf club,
a church and even a pub were all centred around the boating lake.
Today, the Ogilvies still have a strong presence in the village
and Glencairn's great grandson, the current Glen Ogilvie,
is a font of knowledge about this enchanting place.
His idea was to have a village where there was something for everybody,
and he's famously quoted as having said, "If children are happy, parents
have a holiday," and I think that's as true today as it was back in 1910.
It certainly was with our children
and indeed with our grandchildren now.
At the heart of the village, the Meare is an enormous boating lake covering over 60 acres.
But this is not a natural lake. It's completely man-made
and was designed by the creative Ogilvie to be full of make-believe
features inspired by Charles Dickens
and a friend of the family, JM Barrie of Peter Pan fame.
The construction of the lake started in 1911
and was completed two years later in 1913.
It was dug out all by hand by local men, some of them local fishermen
when they couldn't get off to sea,
but it's nowhere more than three feet deep so it's safe for children,
although we've had hundreds of wet muddy children,
including me, my children, my grandchildren...
In August 1912, the very first regatta took place on the Meare
and continues to this day as an annual tradition in the same
way that many of the families who come here for their holidays
have been doing so for generations.
But there's one particular tourist attraction in the village
that I've come to take a closer look at today, and you can't miss it.
You can spot it a mile off.
Seemingly floating over the rest of Thorpeness,
one can see what appears to be a cottage lodged in the trees.
But all is not quite as it seems.
Back in 1923, Ogilvie built a steel water tower to provide
a basic water supply to the Thorpeness village.
The result was, well, a great big blot on the landscape, something
horrible on the horizon that you could literally see for miles away.
He didn't know what to do with it but there was a solution.
A friend of his, Mrs Mason, actually said, "If you turn
it into a house, I will live in it." and that's exactly what happened.
There is the end result.
With the help from an architect,
Ogilvie carried out an ingenious disguise.
The tank was clad in wood
and even fitted with windows to make it look like a small house.
And the supporting steel structure was boarded in to provide
unique living accommodation below the tank.
It really is The House In The Clouds.
Hi, are you Sylvia?
-Yes, I am.
-Oh, pleased to meet you.
-Hello Paul, do come in.
The Ogilvie family sold the property to Sylvia Le Comber
and today it's a private residence.
And as a special treat, I've been invited in to have a look around.
-It's nice and warm.
-It is nice and warm. And the kitchen's...
So, this is the first room we come to, really, which makes sense,
doesn't it, the kitchen and the dining room, because,
let's face it, you wouldn't want the kitchen on the top floor,
-carrying all your shopping upstairs, would you?
-So, Mrs Mason was the first person to live here.
Yeah, how long ago was that?
She moved in in 1923 and I think it was '39,
might have been '40 when she moved out. The war caused it.
-Yeah, and when did you move in?
-And you've had lots of happy years here?
-We certainly have.
Can I have a guided tour, can we start climbing some stairs?
-Please, go ahead.
-OK, I'll follow you.
The House In The Clouds's first incumbent, Mrs Mason,
was an interesting character.
A published children's author,
Mrs Mason lived here with her four children.
Come in, Paul, to the drawing-room, here.
-This is a nice room.
-It's very arty and bohemian.
First impressions, anyway.
This is some of Mrs Mason's work, there is
The House In The Clouds poem, number one.
"The fairies really own the House, Or so the Children say".
Do you think this is a real, sort of, family house,
where lots of children can have fun?
Oh, yes, oh, it is like magic to children,
it's quite amazing how it has that effect.
Well, this was obviously built for Mrs Mason, you know,
designed for her to live in, that's why it has that fairytale quality.
Mr Ogilvie, when he built it, he built it for her
and he called her his lady of stairs and starlight, now isn't that lovely?
Yeah. And there's plenty of stairs here, I would imagine.
Was it always called The House In The Clouds?
Oh, no, it was the intention to be called The Gazebo,
but she said that was a hideous name, she said,
-"This is my House In The Clouds".
-It's a much better title, isn't it?
-Let's face it.
-Fits it perfectly.
-Well, this is the first floor explored, can we go higher?
Right, you've got your walking boots on.
There are five bedrooms in the house all leading off the main staircase
but it's what's above them that I'm interested in.
Here we are. I always run up these stairs.
Oh, I love this.
Absolutely love this.
So, are we now standing inside what would have been the water tank?
-We are. 50,000 gallons of water, when I moved in.
-That's a lot of water.
-You wouldn't want a leak, would you?
You wouldn't, but it was very, very solidly built.
It was in four-foot steel panels, bolted together,
but it didn't stop Hitler from getting at it.
It was during World War II that disaster struck.
In June, 1944, Germany launched its latest weapon against Britain.
The V1 flying bomb, which delivered a ton of high explosive
each time one hurtled to the ground.
Anti-aircraft guns were redeployed to East Anglia to intercept them.
Enemy aircraft over the Channel.
One was sighted over Thorpeness by the Royal Artillery
and the anti-aircraft gun fired. It missed the bomb
and hit the water tower.
The shell entered the house on the south-east corner
and punctured the tank.
-It went in one side and out the other side.
-It missed its target but got the tower.
Presumably, a big flood. Was somebody living below at the time?
Oh, yes. There were three Miss Humphreys living in the house.
One of the Miss Humphreys was terribly sick
and the other two Miss Humphreys had to get her down and out.
Anyway, the ladies actually did get their sister down...
-And out of the house?
-..and out of the house safely.
So how did they get the tank out,
did they have to chop it up in bits up here?
Oh, no, no, it had been very, very well maintained
and so we unbolted it, we took them down on the pulley.
-I'll tell you something, that's some height. You've got to have a head for heights.
-Yes, you have, yes.
It's making me feel a bit dizzy, looking down there.
-Especially when it moves.
-Yeah, I can feel it wobbling now.
And, of course, you can hear the wind, can't you?
-It just really does give this building a battering.
-So what's it like a thunderstorm?
-Oh, it's magic.
-It's electrifying, I mean, quite literally.
-I'll bet it is!
Yes, you see it out to sea and sometimes it's not even raining,
it's just a whole body of light comes around you.
-It is wonderful.
Thank you so much, Sylvia, for showing me round your house.
It's been a great pleasure.
It's not just a House In The Clouds, I think it's a house of dreams,
-A house of dreams and fun, yes.
Welcome back to our valuation day here at Ickworth House.
As you can see, hundreds of people are still waiting
here for a valuation, so, let's now catch up with our experts
and see what else we can find to take off to auction.
And we're going to head outside, first, to the Italianate gardens,
where Will Axon is talking to Sean and Becky.
What can you tell me about it? Where is it from?
-Well, two, three years ago we went to Fordham car-boot sale...
-I know it well.
-..which is near Newmarket and I paid £1 for it.
I think they were just trying to clear the stall, but obviously without the clock.
It was towards the end, as well?
-Well, good for you. What drew you to it, Becky, did you...
Well, I just like grandfather clocks and a miniature one,
-with the flowers and things on it.
-So it just drew my attention to it.
-It is striking, isn't it?
It is very striking, yes, it's beautiful.
We tried to find a clock to go with it but we had no luck.
It would have been lovely, wouldn't it, to have it complete with the timepiece movement,
but I think you've got the main part of the piece,
the piece that's going to really attract the bidders at the auction.
We've got The Foley, which was produced for Wileman and Co,
designed by Frederick Rhead.
We've got this nice registration number here,
which gets us to the date of 1899.
So, if you think about that, at the end of the 19th century,
fairly modern for its time, isn't it? Fairly, sort of, on trend.
Funnily enough, the house we're standing in front of, again,
at the time, was very much on trend.
It shows you how fashions change, doesn't it?
I'm really attracted to it
because of this wonderful hand painting, here,
these bright colours, this very, sort of, natural,
organic feel about it. And you've got this lovely little quote here,
it's actually a Shakespearian quote, "Prithee, what's o'clock?"
I mean, I'm going to be, sort of, picking hairs, here,
but we do have just a little bit of damage, here and there.
Not major, I mean, for the hardcore collector it is an issue,
condition is everything, we do keep telling people that.
But, I tell you, for £1, I think you've done pretty well.
It's got real potential, but I think, let's not be greedy.
-It doesn't stand you in at a lot of money...
..you only paid £1 for it, we don't have the timepiece,
we've got a little bit of damage.
You know, I'm going to be mean and say,
let's stick it in at, sort of, £100-£150 and let the market decide.
-You happy with that?
-That sounds, that sounds good, yeah.
As I say, it's a good profit.
It's a good profit, I mean, it's got everything going for it,
bar the little chips here and there.
-So, we're agreed at an estimate of 100 to 150?
We'll fix the reserve at £100 and, to be honest, I think we could have
a little flyer, here, so it's going to make well over 100, I'm sure.
-Next time you're at the Fordham, leave all the good stuff.
-I'll give you some tips.
-Yeah, cheers, mate.
And Sean and Becky aren't the only ones picking up a bargain,
as Phil's finding out from Barry.
So, tell me, are you a bookworm?
No, it's a thing I've just recently been getting into.
I'm going to start my own bookshop up, just books like these,
second-hand, cheap, so people can afford them,
then travel around Europe.
Buying or selling?
Selling, I've got 2,500 that I've managed to buy to date.
You've got what?
-I've got 2,500 I've managed to buy to date.
-Yeah, in the space of the last year.
-In a year?
-Yeah, I've been going to auctions.
-And how much they cost you?
They're working out at 14p each and these,
I was lucky enough to find some gems.
-So you've got a good 42p worth here, haven't you?
What are you going to shift them around Europe in?
I've got a big Mercedes van I've nearly finished doing up, now.
I should still be able to make some money,
maybe buy some antiques as I go along.
-So it's going to be a real voyage of discovery, this, isn't it?
-It should be good.
-It's quite exciting, isn't it?
-I'm looking forward to it.
-Yeah, good man.
In my eyes, I think I can discount this one,
The Voyages Of Captain Francis Drake,
because I just think it's a very interesting cover,
it's, sort of, quite Art Nouveau in the way that it looks,
-but for me, I can be a bit dismissive of that one.
I like this because I'm a bit of a fan of George Orwell. I loved...
I did Animal Farm for my O-levels at school, a long, long, long time ago.
I just really enjoy George Orwell, I think he's a good author.
-This is a second impression...
I think this one's probably, I don't know,
perhaps between £5 and £15, something like that,
but I love this one here, this is a Beatrix Potter, Frederick Warner and Co publishers.
Published in 1909, so it's a first edition, isn't it?
-Published in 1909, but again, not hugely valuable.
-Perhaps, £20 to £30, something like that?
So, you might have £20 to £40 worth, in broad terms.
-Would you agree with that?
-I would agree with that.
Because you've done your homework, haven't you?
14p a go, I'll need to come and see you.
So, we've got perhaps £20 to £40 in auction value.
In terms of reserve, I'm tempted to tell you to put 50p on them,
That'll still sell you a 2p profit.
I'd probably put...
-£10 on them, to be truthful with you.
-And they should sell then.
-Yeah, they should do.
But, you know, the book trade's interesting and I wish you all the best.
I've got a feeling, as time progresses,
you might increase your spend-level from 14p.
I'd say that's a fairly admirable spend-level.
Let's see how much profit he makes at the auction.
Now, today's valuations are taking place in the west wing.
But that's just one part of Ickworth House,
which was home to the earls and the marquises of Bristol for nearly 200 years.
Now owned by the National Trust, inside Ickworth's splendid Rotunda,
you can find a renowned collection of paintings.
Now, here in the dining room,
there's a rather charming group of family portraits.
In the centre is Theodora, a Victorian heiress who later
went on to marry the fourth marquis in 1896.
Either side of her are two portraits of their daughters.
On the left is the eldest daughter, Marjorie
and on the right, the younger daughter, Phyllis.
Now, Marjorie found sitting for her portrait rather irksome,
so the artist, William Edwards Miller,
decided to use young Phyllis as the subject matter for both models,
then returning to Marjorie for the finer details,
the facial expressions, the skin tones, the hair and the hands.
While Phyllis was sitting for both portraits,
she chatted to the artist about her naughty dolls.
So, as a reward for being so patient and obliging,
the artist made her - and I can't believe in going to say this -
a dolls' spanking machine.
-And I believe this is it here, with Chloe, hello Chloe.
-A dolls' spanking machine.
-It's a little bit unusual.
-So, how does it work?
-Shall I show you?
I've got my doll here, so, if I put it under,
just like that, the poor thing.
So there's our naughty doll being told off.
Do you know, that's a bit of fun, really, isn't it?
I mean, looking at it like that,
it's kind of like a naive piece of folk art, really.
-It is, yes.
-Do you like it?
-I do, yeah, why not?
-So do I.
-It's a bit of fun.
What do the visitors think? I mean, are they aware of this?
It's not something we usually get out of the collection, but I'd imagine they'd love it.
I'm sure, I'm sure when they're watching this, they'll all
ask for you to get it out and show them and have a demonstration.
-Well, I'd be quite happy to.
-Well, I've seen it all, now.
And can I just say, kids, the BBC doesn't condone doll spanking,
even if they've been very naughty.
Now, also inside the glorious Rotunda,
on his best behaviour, is Will Axon, although his next
item has been on the receiving end of some rough play.
Tell me you didn't drop this
and smash it into 100 pieces, did you?
This was, when I bought it, 40-odd years, 41 years ago,
-it was already being repaired.
-Not very well.
I'm sure people at home are looking at it and have shouted
at the telly what they think it is, we'll put them
out of their misery, it is, of course, a piece of Martinware.
Now, you've got a pretty long-standing affiliation
with the Martin Brothers, haven't you?
Yes, my father had lent some money to an antique dealer that was
-a friend and he couldn't repay the debt.
And he said, "Well, take all this Martinware", which at that time
-wasn't worth hardly a song.
It was about 30-odd pieces.
After my father died, they were still there,
but regretfully my mother decided to sell the lot,
so I went one day and no Martinware in the house.
-Without even telling you?
So we had to start our collection from scratch.
What a shame, because, how long ago was that?
-It must be 40-odd years ago.
-Oh, right, OK.
-So, even then, they were probably making good prices?
but nothing like now.
-If you still had them now, well, we'd be in serious money...
..because that's quite a collection.
For those of you who don't know,
the Martin Brothers were pottery manufacturers based in London,
who produced a distinctive type of stoneware from the 1870s
through to the First World War.
They became famous for their eccentric,
grotesquely modelled Wally Birds and sculpted face jugs,
which today can fetch thousands of pounds in auction.
-It's the grotesque part that I like.
Every morning, I used to get up past them and one was looking at me
and smiling and then the next time,
it was a miserable old face on the other side.
Let's look back at the vase, because I love it, I think it's great,
you know, the decoration, this whole finish that salt glazing gives you,
-because that's what they concentrated on, this salt glaze finish.
The kiln would come to a high temperature
and salt would literally be thrown into the kiln
and that would fuse with the clay and that would give you this...
-Sort of burnt look.
you've got some matte, you've got some lustre,
what's super as well about their pieces is if I turn this piece up,
we can actually have a look underneath.
We've got a full set of marks, there.
RW, is that Robert Wallace?
-Yes, Robert Wallace Martin.
And then we've got Southall and we've got a date here, 1893.
So, really, it's a nice, well-marked decorative piece,
-which unfortunately at some stage, someone's dropped.
But at least made the effort of putting it back together.
-Now, I'm going to say to you,
let me put it in the sale with an estimate of £200 to £300.
-I think what that will do, it'll generate some interest.
Let's fix the reserve at £200.
Yes, I don't want it to go for less than that.
No, you know, to be honest with you, I'm confident that it is going to do well.
Let's hope Will's prediction comes to fruition,
as we wrap up today's valuations.
Ickworth House, full of history and heritage
and I think we've made a little bit of history, ourselves, here today.
Hundreds of people have turned up
and we've found some marvellous little treasures,
our experts have now made their final choices of items to
take off to auction, so it's time to say goodbye to this magnificent host location.
It doesn't get much better than this, does it?
But right now, we have to make our way over to Diss,
to the auction room, and here's what we're taking with us.
Sean and Becky couldn't find a timepiece for this miniature
long case clock.
Will one of the bidders be able to complete this piece?
Bought for around 14p each,
Barry's books are sure to realise a profit, the question is how much?
And finally, will the tempting estimate on this piece
of restored Martinware from 1893 catch the eye of the collectors?
Welcome back to TW Gaze in Diss, where there's a packed
auction house, all under the command of auctioneer Elizabeth Talbot.
Now, in perfect condition, this Martinware vase could fetch over £1,000.
Let's see what it will make in its current state.
Well, you can't go wrong with a bit of Martinware, I had to say that,
being a Martin, it's quality throughout.
Quality always sells!
Gerald, it's great to see you,
thank you so much for bringing in a bit of Robert Martinware.
Now, I know this lovely vase has a crack running right around it.
-It has lots.
-A big one.
-It's been in two to three bits and re-glued.
Good luck, both of you, good luck.
I'm going to enjoy this moment, here we go.
The Martin Brothers stoneware vase...
..there it is, decorated with the fighting dragons and serpent.
Start with £200.
-Martin Brothers, there, £200, surely.
£200 is bid, thank you, £200 I have, I'll take ten.
Bids are in at £200, by the door, I'll take the ten.
it's a maiden bid at £200,
it will sell at £200...
Just in front?
220... 230... 240...
250... 260... 270... 280...
290... 300... 320...
Oh, creeping up!
380... 400... 420...
Any advance on £420? The phone is out.
At 420 on the vase, at 420, now, any advance on for 420?
-That was marvellous.
-Very good indeed.
I was absolutely delighted.
-Thank you very much.
-Thank you. It's nice to see a bit of history.
Well done. I appreciated you bringing it in.
It was a pleasure.
What a great result for Gerald.
But for our next lot, there's been a last-minute change of plan.
Barry has upped the reserve.
-Phil, you don't know this yet, do you?
-But the reserve has been upped.
-Just a little bit.
Just a little bit
-So, why did you change your mind?
I was just talking with a couple of other people outside,
-that the Beatrix Potter might be worth more because of the condition it's in.
I think the proof of the pudding will be it either will or won't
and I think it might be a bit optimistic, but I hope you get it.
The three books,
including the first edition Beatrix Potter, Ginger and Pickles.
I do have interest on it, I start, here, at just £38.
40 bid... 42...
55 with me, at 55 now, 55... 60... 65...
70... 75... 80... 85...
-This is good, isn't it?
Come on. Come on, please.
£100, in the room at 100, at £100, now, with the lady at £100,
any advance on £100?
Well done, Barry. Well done.
It does make good reading, doesn't it?
It does, and good watching, I hope you enjoyed that.
And we wish Barry all the best with his new book-buying business.
He's clearly got a great eye for it.
Now, prithee, what's o'clock?
Yes, it's time for our last lot of the day.
Well, hopefully, we're going to turn £1, yes £1,
into maybe £200, right here, right now, with Sean and Becky.
-It's great to see you again and who is this?
-This is Ollie, my son.
Ollie, pleased to meet you. Do you like what Mum and Dad are selling?
-This pottery, the pottery long case clock?
It's an acquired taste, isn't it? It really is.
There will be someone out there who's got the clock part,
thinking "I just need the long case part."
It's there to run, isn't it, really?
It's all in Elizabeth's hands, enjoy this, won't you? Think of the money.
Here we go.
The Art Nouveau clock case, which is a clock case, no movement or
face, it's a lovely piece, stylish piece and typical of the period.
And I start here at £55.
-She's teasing us.
60... 65... 70... 75...
can't see you.
80... 85... 90... 95...
100 is now in the gallery, 110 downstairs.
I hope we haven't over-talked it.
120... 130... 140...
220... 240... 260...
This is more like it, we're going up in £20, now.
280... 300... 320... gallery is now at 320.
At 320, the clock face, at 320.
At 320, the phone is out.
At 320 in the gallery, any advance on 320?
Not bad, not bad profit from £1, is it?
From my local car-boot, as well.
Time to get you lot to stay away.
And that's what it's all about, folks.
I hope you've been as inspired as I am.
Well, that's it, it's all over, the hammer
has gone down on our last lot and I hope you've enjoyed the show.
And hopefully it's inspired you to take part in the show.
If you'd like to sell your antiques, we would love to see you.
Details of up-and-coming dates and venues you can find on our website.
Just log on to bbc.co.uk/flogit, follow the links, all the information will be there.
If you don't have a computer, check the details in your local press.
Come on, dust them down and bring them in.
But until then, from Diss, it's goodbye.
Flog It! comes from Ickworth House, a Georgian mansion in Suffolk built for the Earls of Bristol.
Paul Martin is joined by experts Will Axon and Philip Serrell. Together the team pick out a selection of interesting antiques and collectables to be sold at a local auction. Will casts an appreciative eye over a piece of Martinware but will a miniature long case clock bought at the car boot for £1 prove to be the star find?
Paul also heads to the Suffolk coast to explore the magical House in the Clouds in Thorpeness, a fantasy holiday village built in the early years of the 20th century.