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I'm 1.3 miles out at sea,
on the end of the longest pleasure pier in the world.
And later on in the programme, I'll be exploring the history of this structure
and the impact it had on the town you can see behind you.
But right now, it's a long way back to shore
so I'd better get a move on. Welcome to "Flog It!".
We'll be back in Southend later on in the show but for today's valuations,
we're just outside the oldest recorded town in Britain - Colchester.
The venue is Layer Marney Tower.
Built around 1520, during the reign of Henry VIII,
with its exceptionally tall Tudor gatehouse,
it must be one of the most striking buildings in Essex.
And for one day only, it's home to "Flog It!".
Well, hundreds of people have turned up from all over Essex.
-The sun is shining. Everybody is in good spirits, aren't you?
I've a feeling we're going to have a marvellous day here at Layer Marney Tower.
Of course, they are all here to see our experts.
They want to get straight to the valuation tables.
They've got one question on their lips, which is, "What's it worth?"
And if they're happy with that valuation, what are you going to do?
ALL: Flog it!
And looking out for those all-important auction items
are our invaluable experts.
Morning, all. Morning, morning, morning. How are you? Morning.
-We've got the much-sought-after Elizabeth Talbot.
-Oh, my goodness.
Look at this! I'm going to put a dot on you. Is that all right?
-And the priceless Philip Serrell.
-Do you know what that is?
Well done. However you peel these, I don't know.
That's a joke, you see, because...
-They're slow here.
-Sorry about that.
As everyone settles down for a busy day of valuations,
let's take a look at what's coming up on the show today.
Which of the following three classic items will be
the cause for celebration for one of our experts?
Will it be this classy camera?
This distinctive clock?
Or this splendid bird of prey that ends up flying away?
Keep watching to find out.
Well, everybody is now safely seated.
The lucky ones have found some shade underneath this magnificent tulip tree.
But right now, let's get on with the valuations
and it's straight over to Elizabeth Talbot.
Barry, you've brought a lovely book about dogs here which in itself,
is quite a rarity. Is this something you've had in the family a long while?
-I've had it about ten years.
-Is it something you inherited, then?
-No. I found it in a dustbin.
-Did you really?
Somebody had just discarded it and thrown it away?
Thrown it away and I saw it in there and so I took it out
because I was after the picture.
-I was going to frame the pictures for the wife.
And I saw it was a first edition so I just put it up in a cupboard.
-It's been in a cupboard for nearly eight years.
Well, I am very grateful that you didn't sort of cut it up
and separate it because it's
Cassell's Illustrated Book Of The Dog,
which is not a very common volume found on the open market.
But yet it is a very strong subject and people love dogs.
We are a nation of dog lovers.
And this was printed in 1881, during the Victorian period,
and Victorians also loved their dogs.
And as we go through the book, this is what is very interesting,
and it is what attracted you to it in the first place.
The colour lithographs which are illustrated all through the book.
Victorians were very clever at producing fine quality prints.
They had the technology,
they had the printing machinery in those days
to produce high-quality illustrations.
-How many of these would you say there are?
-I think it's 30 of them.
30 of the colour ones. Yeah.
It was written by, I think you pronounce it,
Vee-ro Shaw or Verro Shaw.
And what is quite interesting is that he was
assisted by the leading breeders of the day
and throughout this volume, not only is it beautifully illustrated
but there are some very interesting facts about how to score dogs
in shows and things and what you're looking for
and how to breed them and how to care for them, etc.
-So are you a dog keeper or breeder?
-Yes, I've just got the one dog.
-A long-haired Jack Russell.
-Very fond of her? Part of the family?
Yes. All soft and dewy-eyed when you think of her.
I want the money so I can pay a vet bill. Vet bills on my dog.
It would be nice to be able to invest a book about dogs...
-Treating my dog, yes.
-Ah, well, you want to look after her properly.
The condition of the book itself,
obviously, it's had quite an interesting chequered history.
That will have an influence on people's reaction to it.
The cover is a bit damaged
and, as we flip through, you will see that the pages
are starting to show quite strong signs of what is called foxing.
It's kind of a mould. And the purists would be quite critical
about the condition of the paper.
There are techniques these days of stemming
the flow of the deterioration of the foxing.
Somebody would probably spend quite a bit of money on just
halting its progress so that it would then be conserved.
I think we've got to be fair to you so that...
Obviously, we don't want to give it away.
But at the same time, if you made a decision to sell it
and it's got these negatives which will affect the value,
that we sort of pitch it so that it's a reasonable
and sensible estimate. I would have thought that
if we put it in for auction at between £300 and £500,
-and we'll try a £300 reserve on it.
-Yes, I am more than satisfied.
If we put £300-£500, I think we are crediting it with the interest
and the rarity that I believe it has,
without getting too carried away,
just because of its condition, really.
-Yes. Satisfied by that.
Well, we shall hope to see you at the auction
and hope the sun's shining then down on us as well.
-Super. Thank you so much for coming in.
What a wonderful book to find in a dustbin!
Well, it is a hot day so I'm not surprised by Philip's next choice.
I could do with one of these. Have you got a nice cold one?
-I'll treat you to one later.
-Really? You're up for it.
Tell me all about this thing, Gloria.
My brother-in-law, Bill, was in the Merchant Navy
and he was involved in the bottle drop in the Atlantic Ocean.
-Bottle drop. What bottle drop?
It was to celebrate the bicentenary from 1759 to 1959.
So, we have got "Special bottle drop Atlantic Ocean to celebrate
"and commemorate Guinness's bicentenary in 1959."
-That's cool, isn't it?
So your brother, Bill, was entrusted with this
in a freighter in the Atlantic in 1959
to throw that overboard. And he didn't.
That one didn't get thrown overboard. No.
Actually, I think there was two.
-I think his wife has got one as well.
-You are not seriously
suggesting to me that a merchant sailor stole a bottle of Guinness?
Well, I am sure a few others disappeared as well.
So what is inside?
It is a letter of authenticity and it asks the recipient of the bottle,
once they've broken it open,
to contact Guinness and claim that they have actually found one.
I've no idea how many of them have actually been recovered.
-That'd be really interesting to find out, wouldn't it?
-It would be interesting to know, yes.
-Presumably there was never any booze in it.
I can't understand why your brother pinched it, then.
-No, he was a good drinker. Shh!
-Don't tell anybody that.
-So these were the original message in a bottle, weren't they, really?
-Yes, they were.
I mean, it just strikes me what a great bit of advertising, isn't it?
-It was an ideal one.
-Really cool thing. It's a bit of fun.
What's it worth? Who's going to buy it?
Well, do you know what, there is a big area of memorabilia
and you've got the toucans that Carlton Ware did and you've got lamps
and all those sorts of things and they're very, very collectable and they're sought after.
I've never, ever seen one of these before.
So it's a real guess job as to what it might be worth.
It wouldn't surprise me if it made ten quid
and it wouldn't surprise me if it made 30 or 40 quid.
I think you've got to pitch it somewhere between those parameters.
-How does that sound?
-It's time to go, isn't it?
Well, it's a family heirloom
but it's just been stored away so...
It's a bit of fun, isn't it?
We just thought we'd see what it fetches.
-Let's hope Guinness is good for you!
-Yes. Thank you.
With all the action going on,
I slipped away to find out more about our marvellous venue.
Layer Marney Tower was built by Henry, first Lord Marney.
He wanted to build a magnificent palace,
a place to reflect his status in England
as Henry VIII's Lord Privy Seal.
Work began around 1518.
It would be a showcase home for craftsmen from all over Europe.
But five years into the project, Lord Marney died
before the building could be completely finished.
His son, John, the second Lord Marney, took over the project,
completing the gatehouse, which still stands today.
But sadly, he passed away two years later, in 1525,
and work completely stopped.
But here we have a scale model of what the building would have
looked like if the complete footprint had been finished.
If you look here, you can see the original barn, the gatehouse,
the Long Gallery and the church,
buildings that are still here today which we can appreciate outside.
But if you look there, look, around the inner courtyard,
you can see the bits that are missing,
the three sides that would have enclosed that.
So this house was definitely built
as 15th century fortified architecture.
It was a house built for defence
as well as a palace to show off and say, "Well, look at me! Here I am!"
Next we have a terracotta vase but not a ceramic one.
-Dennis, how are you?
-I'm fine, fine.
That's not a local accent, is it?
No, I'm from Chicago, originally.
-That a little bit west of Essex, isn't it?
-Yes, that's right.
-This is fantastic.
-Really, lovely, Patrick Caulfield?
-Yes, that's right.
-Tell me how you came to own it?
I worked for an architect business and we were moving office
and they decided to downsize their artwork, I think.
-They sold off a lot of the artwork to the architects in the firm.
-How many Caulfields did they have?
-They had about a dozen.
-They bought these new?
It should have a gallery label on the back, should it?
Yes, it does, yeah.
The important thing about all modern art, really,
is labels on the back and here we can see Waddington Galleries Ltd,
Cork Street, London.
The title of the subject is Terracotta Vase 1975.
It's a screen print and it's by Patrick Caulfield.
Terracotta Vase and there it is.
Signed just here. Numbered...
-44 of 70.
Caulfield was very minimalistic, wasn't he?
It's got a kind of architectural simplicity to it.
There is a very minimal number of colours
and the vase is just, literally, a simple black outline with
-a hint of colour there.
-You are absolutely right
-because the vase is nothing, is it?
-No, it's a...
It kind of moves backwards and forwards, depending on the lighting,
or where you position it, the angle you're looking at it.
Why are you selling it?
Well, we're going to downsize our house
and this kind of thing will probably end up not fitting
into a smaller house. It needs a big space.
-What did you pay for it?
And you said they had another 11 Caulfields?
Some of them went for about £500.
Why did this one make that much less?
Because it had imperfections in it.
There is a mark here and a scratch there.
What do you think it's worth?
Well, I was rather hoping about £1,000
but, given that it's got imperfections,
maybe, £500-800, something like that.
I don't think you need me, Dennis. I think you're spot on.
I think we should estimate it at £500 to £800
and perhaps reserve it at £450. That would be my advice.
-I think it's lovely.
-Well, I'll take your advice.
-Thank you for bringing it along.
-Thank you very much, Phil.
-If I was allowed to, I would love to buy it myself.
Yeah, I like it.
I really liked that too, but Philip's right,
we're not allowed to bid on any of these items.
There you are, we have just found our first three items
and we're ready to put those values to the test in the saleroom.
Here's a quick recap of what we're taking with us.
As you know, I am a great dog lover,
so I'll be crossing my fingers during the sale of Barry's dog book.
I'm hoping that glorious commemorative Guinness bottle
stirs some memories in the saleroom.
Both Philip and I would love to own the Caulfield print.
Let's hope that's a good sign.
For today's sale, we've travelled a few miles down the road
to Rayleigh, courtesy of Stacey's Auction House.
We've got a room packed full of bidders,
eager to get their hands on our lots. We can't hold off any longer.
Come inside and join us and let's get on with our first lot.
We have the benefit of two auctioneers today,
Mark P Stacey and his brother, Paul.
It's a family affair.
First up, we have Gloria.
This is where it gets exciting, this is where we put those values to the test
and here we are right in the saleroom.
Yes, the message in a bottle. It was by Guinness, wasn't it?
Or, was it by The Police, let me think?
I got there, eventually, yeah.
-I worked it out.
-Lots were dropped, 150,000.
I wonder how many survived?
Let's find out what the bidders think, here we go.
Moving now to Lot 570.
We have a brown glass Guinness bottle celebrating the bicentenary.
Shall we say about £10 to start, then?
-£10 I've got, thank you.
-We're in, someone in the room.
£10 is bid. £10 is bid.
Any advances now? At £10 only.
The opening bid of 10. Are we all done now, last opportunity.
I shall sell to you sir, then, at £10.
It's gone. Opening maiden bid of £10, straight in.
That's just about a pint for both of us.
It is, actually.
No, actually, a pint for you and a half for Philip and myself.
-I don't like Guinness.
-Don't you like Guinness?
-Never tried it!
Then it's definitely a pint for you and me.
It was a bit of fun, though, wasn't it? Thank you so much.
# A message in a bottle... #
That is a really interesting and quirky item and a first for us.
If you love dogs, you'll love this next book.
It is The Book Of Dogs and it belongs to Barry.
Why are you selling this?
I need money for the vet bills for my dog...
Oh... What dog have you got?
A Jack Russell. She's allergic to something. We don't know what.
OK, hopefully with the proceeds of the sale of this book,
we can get her much better.
I'm pleased you're a dog lover. I'm a dog lover and I know you are.
A bound copy of the illustrated Book Of The Dog.
Lovely book that one there, £200 start straight in.
200 is bid, thank you, sir. 210 anywhere?
210, 220, 230, 240,
250, 260, 270...
Any advances at £270?
-It's a fair warning, last chance, then.
Unsold, I'm afraid, at 270.
-Would you have taken 270?
Don't ask that now, don't ask that now.
Maybe you can have a word with the auctioneer and he can find the
vendor that was offering 270
and you could accept that after the sale.
At least, the dog can get better. I mean, that's what it's all about.
That's what we're here for,
to try and get that little Jack Russell better.
That was disappointing.
Barry later decided to put it back into the next sale at Stacey's
with the lower reserve.
So, fingers crossed.
OK, so far so good. Now the tension is really building.
If you're into 20th-century British modern art,
it doesn't get much better than this, Patrick Caulfield.
We have a screen print going under the hammer right now.
It belongs to our guest here, Dennis.
Philip is our expert, who zoomed in on this.
It was the bright red, he saw it from a distance.
It was like a bull to a rag.
-There are names and there are names, aren't there?
-This is a name.
Why are you selling this?
We're downsizing and this really needs a big space
-to have a big print like this.
-So will we get that top end, guys?
-I hope so. I hope so.
-The condition might just, might just...
-Something with the edges?
Yeah. It might just hold it back a little bit.
-You know, it's a hot name, isn't it?
-It's a hot name, yeah.
It's a good name to invest in.
OK, moving now to Lot 550.
We have a large framed silk screen, as catalogued.
A bit of interest in this. Where shall we be for this, then?
Shall we say about 350 to start.
350, anywhere? £350.
360, 380, 400,
420, with you, sir. 450. 480.
650 is bid. Are we all done now? The hammer's up at 650...
-It's gone down.
It's a good price.
What artist will you go for now? Will you reinvest in fine art?
I will be going for my own sculptures that I make.
That doesn't get much better.
And we may get one of those in "Flog It!" in a few years' time.
-Yes, well, we'll sell one for you.
Well, we'll have to take him up on that.
Now, today's sale is taking place just few miles away
from one of the country's most popular seaside towns.
Of course, I'm talking about Southend and I went there
recently to investigate the history of its most famous attraction.
At a staggering 1.3 miles long,
this is the longest pleasure pier in the world.
It has stood here in Southend for nearly 200 years.
Unlike many other piers, this was built for purely practical reasons
and had a huge impact on the town.
In 19th century Britain,
visiting the seaside was a popular weekend activity
but Southend was missing out on all of this for one very simple reason.
It had nowhere for the passenger ships
to set down their cargo of travellers.
William Heygate, a resident of Southend,
was frustrated at seeing passing trade
sailing by and onto other towns like Margate and Clacton,
where docking facilities were better.
He, and other businessmen, pushed for a pier to be built in the town.
In 1830, Southend's first ever pier was built.
It was constructed entirely of wood
and it stretched 600 feet out into the sea.
But that was still too short to allow ships to dock at low tide.
Over the next few years, it was extended
and it became the longest pier in Europe.
It even had its own resident,
a chap called William Bradley, who lived on the end of the pier
for over 20 years in a small cottage which served both
as a home and a lighthouse.
He was even a one man lifeboat rescue service,
who saved dozens of people and he was awarded medals
from the Royal Humane Society and the RNLI for his bravery.
Towards the end of the 19th century,
the Bank Holidays Act came into effect.
It essentially forced people to take time off work, something that
would have been unheard of for poor people at the time.
Soon, thousands of day-trippers,
especially from the East End of London,
were boarding steamboats and heading to the coast,
and being the closest destination to the capital,
Southend was in a prime location, and at its peak,
the pier was handling 26 passenger ships every day.
The pier was proving more popular than anyone predicted
and the sheer volume of traffic really
took its toll on the wooden structure,
so a new pier was built in 1890, constructed of iron, at a cost
of £70,000, which in today's money equates to £4.1 million.
Something was needed to get people from one end to the other,
so the ingenious Victorians built a railway to ferry visitors around.
The new pier and the railway were a huge success and by the 1920s,
business was booming.
When World War II broke out in 1939,
the Royal Navy took over the pier and closed it to the general public.
The pier and the surrounding area were renamed HMS Leigh
and it became the control centre for all shipping going in
and out of the Thames for the duration of the war.
But at the end of the war in 1945, the pier reopened to the public and
a few years later, it reached its heyday,
with visitor numbers topping a staggering seven million each year.
What are you going to do at Southend?
We're going to have a lazy day and we're going to
sit at the end of the pier and watch the seagulls feeding.
And we're going to have a lunch there.
-A picnic lunch?
-Are you? What are you going to do, Beryl?
I'm going to watch the sea birds and I'm going to look at the sand
and see if I can collect some pretty shells.
However, the success of the pier was not to last.
Disaster struck in the 1950s,
when the pier pavilion was destroyed by a major fire.
And things went from bad to worse.
During the 1960s, cheap package holidays became popular
and the number of people visiting the seaside went down.
The pier began to decline
and along with that, the structure started to decay.
With yet more fires and the closure of the railway for safety reasons,
the council proposed shutting the pier.
But public outcry from the people of Southend prevented it.
People like Peggy Dowie, who set up the Southend Pier Museum in 1989.
Peggy, why does the pier mean so much to you?
Because obviously, you've put this museum together.
Well, like so many people of my age, and also even younger,
they've grown up with it, and it's part of your life. It is mine.
And it's not just a structure going out to sea,
it's a living thing and everybody across the world loves a pier.
Were you a Southend girl born and bred?
-Born and bred, very proud of it too.
-I bet you are.
And this is a major part of Southend social history.
It's the heart of Southend.
You've done a terrific job, putting this museum together,
and I love these old coaches and trams.
I think this one's brilliant, the Toast Rack tram! It's brilliant!
You can tell why they called this the Toast Rack.
Yes, this dates back to 1890.
Was this horse-drawn or was it electric?
-No, electric. The first electric tram on any pier.
-State-of-the-art, at the time.
-Where did you find that?
We found it in a garden, being used as a chicken shed.
-I can't imagine this as a chicken shed.
-We were told about it.
The guy gave it to us, provided we bought him a shed of the same size.
And then we restored it with the help of the local woodwork college.
And they had great fun repairing it, restoring it,
every bit of authenticity has gone into it that's possible
because for all the years that it was laying in the garden,
it was quite rotten in places.
-But it survived.
-And you've done a magnificent job of restoring it.
Yes, it's been a wonderful project.
Well, Peggy, I'm going up on the pier now.
I'm going to get down to the far end and take a look at the coastline.
Lucky you. Nice to meet you. Thank you.
The good news is that, in recent years,
the pier has been restored to its former glory and it has well
and truly put Southend back on the holiday map.
The English poet Sir John Betjeman said of Southend,
"The pier is Southend, Southend is the pier,"
and I can't help but agree with him.
Welcome back to our valuation day
here at the magnificent Layer Marney Tower,
just outside of Colchester.
As you can see, it's still in full swing.
Hundreds of people waiting to see our experts, hoping they're
going to be one of the lucky ones to go through to the auction later on.
So, let's now catch up with Elizabeth Talbot.
And she's spotted something rather fine in the rose garden.
Michelle, you're accompanied by a very handsome young man here today.
What can you tell me about your eagle?
It belonged to my grandmother and when she died, she left me everything
and this was the one thing that I thought might be worth something.
At her funeral, the lady that gave it to her came up to me and said,
-"Always look after the bird."
-OK, so do you like him?
This is why I've brought him today cos he's just
sort of in the cupboard and I don't want him to get broken, so...
He's actually in very condition.
Yeah, he's been in storage ever since I've had him.
-I've just packaged him up and put him away.
-OK, well, he's by the Royal Copenhagen factory.
-Did your grandmother collect Royal Copenhagen?
She just got given it by someone she used to work for.
It is by Royal Copenhagen. It is a 20th century piece of porcelain.
The factory itself has origins way back,
certainly, in the 18th century,
and there was a chemist or an alchemist called Muller, who would experiment with the recipes,
if you like, for the ceramics that the factory produced
and it went through sort of the 18th and 19th century,
through the 20th century, renowned for really high quality porcelain.
And what the Royal Copenhagen factory has maintained is
this beautiful white body of ceramic.
It's always renowned for its quality of modelling.
It does a lot of figures, little girls
and picturesque and pretty figures,
but it does a lot of natural history pieces as well.
I have to say, I haven't seen an eagle like this sell.
And he's a very large example.
But he's definitely a modern collector's piece.
-So even if you don't like him, I think a lot of people will.
A lot of people here today have said that they like him.
Like you, I couldn't live with him,
but I appreciate how handsome he is and that he's got market value.
I think currently you should be looking at an open market, or an auction value, of £200-300.
-Happy with that?
-Would you like a reserve?
-Um, say about 200?
-200-300 estimate and hopefully he'll soar on the day.
-Thank you so much for bringing him in.
-See you at the auction.
What a beautifully made figure.
Now, Phillip's next, and he's displaying his creative flair.
I'm just getting him in frame. Just getting him in frame.
-Hi. I'm Phillip. How are you?
Good to see you, George.
If you're going to have a camera, this is the one to have, isn't it?
It is, indeed, yes.
Ernst Leitz, it is the Rolls-Royce of cameras, isn't it?
It is, indeed. You can't get better.
No, you can't. And you can date them by the serial number, here.
-Have you looked up the date?
-Yes, we have.
We've placed it sort of just before 1940s. '35-'40.
-This is pre-Second World War.
I just think they're a really good thing.
I think it was Oskar Barnack who designed these cameras,
pre-1920s really. Have you owned this since it was new?
No, when I was about 16, my grandfather
and grandmother were going to go to America and I said,
"You need a decent camera," we went out and we bought this together
and I had to teach him how to use it.
-When did you buy it? '60s?
-'50s, '60s, something like that.
1960, something like that. And what did you...? What did it cost you?
-I really have no idea. I can't remember.
-Were you into your cameras?
I was into cameras. I used to enjoy developing my own films.
That's why I convinced them to buy this and I could develop the films when he got back.
-A bit of a hidden agenda, really.
-You got him to buy you...
-And hopefully, one day, it might be passed down to me!
-How sneaky is that?
It's funny cos I was recently going to buy a camera
and I was looking at the modern equivalent of one of these
and somebody said to me you'll pay £500
for the camera and £1,000 for the name because it is the best name.
-So, why now do you want to sell it?
Well, purely because film is so hard to get, it's all digital,
they've killed it, and I believe Kodak have also gone
out of business cos people aren't buying the film.
That sounds to me like you're a dinosaur, sir!
-This is called progress, you know!
-No, but I agree with you.
-It's all digital now.
-You lose the old arts, don't you?
You still get digital cameras where you can adjust and fiddle,
but most people just leave on auto.
So, what you're saying, really, is that that is the craftsman's camera.
-I've recently sold some Leica cameras
-and they're massively collectible.
So, in a way, you could put a pound to two pound on it
and it'll still make what it's worth.
Having said that, we're not going to do that.
I think we need to put £200-400, as a broad estimate on it,
-with a fixed reserve of £200. Are you happy with that?
Of course. It's better than sitting in the back of a drawer.
George's camera was made in Germany just before the outbreak
of the Second World War.
Ernst Leitz, a German Protestant, and owner of the Leica firm
at the time, helped many Jewish people escape from persecution.
They trained up Jews known to be at risk as sales staff and obtained
exit permits and sent them to safety to work in their showrooms overseas.
It is believed that they saved hundreds of people
from the Holocaust, and the Leica Freedom Train,
as it is known, can be compared to the famous Schindler's List.
Now, let us find out a little more about one of Layer Marney's
most celebrated guests.
Throughout its history,
Layer Marney has welcomed some very distinguished visitors.
The most famous of all would have been Henry VIII.
He stayed here in 1523 and he actually slept in this room,
the bedroom that I'm in right now.
And to tell me more about it is Sheila. Hello. Pleased to meet you.
The current lady of the house.
-That's a good title.
-What a house to own.
So, how do we know Henry stayed here and what was the occasion?
He came for pleasure to meet his old friend Lord Privy Seal Henry Marney.
We know he came here because Henry VIII used to sign documents
every day, and some of them, he used to place where they were.
So, we know he came from Beauly Abbey.
He spent six weeks there, came over here,
spent two nights in August 1522.
And then he left us and he went on to Stansted Hall,
-and from Stansted Hall, he went on to Castle Hedingham.
-What a royal occasion.
He would have brought quite an entourage with him.
Extraordinary, because the whole place is unfinished.
So, he came with all his entourage to stay in a house that hadn't
got the roof on, and they hadn't built the back of it.
-But he didn't mind.
-He didn't mind.
He was so excited by the quality of the work that was going on, he wanted to see it.
It is astonishing, the brickwork and the masonry is superb.
And the terracotta. That's what this place is really special for.
Obviously, you're in charge of a lot of the archive here,
you seem to know a lot about it, so are you constantly delving
-and searching for more information?
One of the frustrations of a house that has changed hands
so often is the original archives disappear
and so we don't have a lot of archives, so we're always looking out
for more, always trying to find more information, and it's really fun
when you find something that you didn't know before.
-The whole house is such a treasure and good luck with it.
So, if anyone watching has anything they could add to the archive,
I'm sure Sheila would like to hear from you.
Time now for something of real quality.
Ed, you've brought a charming little timepiece, little clock,
for me to look at today. What can you tell me about it?
-Is it close to your heart?
-Not really, no.
I bought it many years ago.
Well, about 30 years ago, when I had a hotel down in North Devon,
and I saw the shape and I liked it
because I had a big Minster Fireplace in the lounge
and either side were arches that were exactly the same shape as the clock.
And I've had it ever since.
Sold the hotel and not any real need for the clock any more.
So, you mentioned the shape
and this shape is actually known as a lancet case.
Typical sort of peaked arch like that.
-It's actually very eye-catching and very elegant.
-Yes, yes. Thank you.
-That's why I bought it.
-What's also very distinctive is the casing.
This is made out of a very tightly grained birdseye maple,
not to be confused with burr walnut.
But the very sinewy, tight,
knotty sort of grain gives this wonderful pattern
and the quality is taken forward, it has a silver face and chaptering.
And it has the stringing in ivory round the outside.
So, top quality things used to make this lovely clock.
-Do you know anything... Who it's made by or...?
-It's a German make.
I believe it's Winter... Winterhalder and Hofmeier, something like that.
-I can never pronounce the name.
I only found that out a couple of years ago, looking in the back
-and saw it was printed in very small letters.
-Again, very often,
the highest quality manufacturers are the most modest.
They don't emblazon the front, you have to squirrel around at the back.
There, if you look carefully, there's often the maker's name.
It dates from about 1900 so it's very much just into
the late Victorian, Edwardian era.
It is copying, very much, an 18th-century style of clock.
It's almost harking back to the elegance of the Georgian period.
On the back door, to let the sound out from the gong,
this beautifully pierced brass grill.
So all the elements are there of a nice 18th-century type of clock.
-Does it keep good time?
I've actually just had serviced.
The movement is beautifully shiny and clean at the back.
And it is all...
It does look as though it's in good order,
but, obviously, having just had a clean, it's that bit better.
It's a charming piece. It sits on the mantelshelf somewhere?
No, it sits in the back room now.
There's no need for it. The house isn't like the hotel was.
It is not being appreciated by me, or by anybody else at the moment.
So it would be better to find a home
and, hopefully, get some money for it.
Because if I get the money, I plan
to actually visit the hotel I bought it for.
Oh, really? Is that still up and running as a concern?
Since I sold it it's had two other owners - the second's in there now.
So I want to go and visit that.
Well, my considered opinion is that it will attract interest
if we place it on the market at sort of between 300 and 400,
-or between £300 and £450. That sort of level.
Does that sort of make you suck your teeth?
Erm.... It doesn't. But I would want a reserve of, say, £300.
-Yes, no, I would agree with that.
-I would not let it go of any less.
-And if it is marketed the correct way by the auctioneers,
possibly there'll be somebody who would like it.
I think so. I mean, I think that if we set it at,
say, 300 to 500, if you like,
but with a 300 reserve, you've got that peace of mind.
The sale will represent it well, it'll be advertised internationally,
so German interest may pick up on it, too.
If it goes to a good home, that's the main thing.
Well, it's got everything going for it.
Well, there you are.
Our experts have now found their final items for auction
so it's time to say goodbye to our magnificent host location,
Layer Marney Tower, as we head over to the saleroom for the last time today.
And here's a quick recap of what we're taking with us.
The Royal Copenhagen bird of prey has style,
and there are plenty of collectors out there.
The classic Leica camera is very likely to be snapped up.
Edward's lancet-cased clock is in tiptop condition.
It's got to go.
Welcome back to Stacey's Auctioneers here in Rayleigh in Essex,
where we're putting our experts valuations to the test.
Now, remember, if you are buying or selling in auction
there's commission to pay.
Here, it's 20% inclusive of VAT,
but these rates do vary from saleroom to saleroom,
so check the details - it's printed in the catalogue -
or better still, ask a member of staff.
Right, let's get on with our next lot.
We're starting off with that super piece of Royal Copenhagen.
-We're looking at £200-£300?
It's a very stylish thing.
Fingers crossed. Let's find out what the bidders think.
This is it - it's going under the hammer right now.
Moving on, Lot 760 -
large Royal Copenhagen model of a bird of prey.
Lovely bird, there.
Commission bids, I have. Must start bidding at £150.
£150 is bid. 160, anywhere?
Coming in on the phone, 160.
-That's a good sign - two phone lines.
200, I am out. Internet is coming in...
210 on the internet.
270 on the internet.
£270 is bid.
280 anywhere? Are we all done, then?
Last chance, then, please. I'm selling at £270.
Condition. Condition. Condition.
That's what it's all about, isn't it? That's what got it away.
There is commission to pay,
so factor that in to the cheque when it arrives.
But, otherwise, it's a bit of spending money.
And well done, Elizabeth - spot on with that estimate!
Now, let's see if the camera does as well.
Right, going under the hammer we've got that wonderful Leica camera
and I'm standing next to George who was born with quality.
He was born with the eye, weren't you?
Because, at just 16, you knew quality when you saw it,
-and you persuaded Grandad to buy it.
-I did, indeed, yeah.
Anyway, we'll find out what the bidders think. Good luck.
We come to the Leica camera, as catalogued.
I have two commissioned bids.
I must start the bidding to clear the book at £210.
220, on the internet.
230 is back with me.
250, my bid, on the commission. Against you, Internet bidder.
At £250, fair warning then,
It's a commission bid, and I shall sell, hammer's going down.
-Did it. It's gone. You're happy?
-I'm very happy.
At least it's going to a home that can appreciate it.
Yeah. You know, I think it's iconic. I'd like that on a shelf at home.
-It's a piece of sculpture, as well.
-A piece of sculpture.
-It doesn't get much better than that.
OK, right, time is definitely up for Edward's German Edwardian clock.
It's real quality. Will it fly away?
We're just about to find out.
But we have had a development since the valuation day.
I know you put three to five on this and I totally agree with you.
I think this is real quality.
You had a phone call from the auctioneer, didn't you?
That's correct. They asked me if I wouldn't do so.
He didn't think it was worth three to five.
We had a fixed reserve at 300, which you put on,
and now he's reduced that reserve to 200.
I didn't really want to, but the clock is no good to me any more.
I don't use it, it's stuck in a room,
so if it goes to a good home, that'll be the main thing.
The auctioneer knows his market,
you've got to respect what he feels he can get for it.
-We'll find out today, so...
Well, we'll find out. This is where it gets interesting,
because it is, at the end of the day, in the antiques world,
all a matter of opinions.
So let's find out what the bidders think. Good luck!
Fine quality burr maple-case mantel clock as catalogued -
must start the bidding to clear the book at £220. The bid's at 220.
Coming in - 230.
-We didn't need to worry.
Advance at 320. Coming in on the phone.
340 is bid.
-(I can value clocks!)
500. And 20.
-(Elizabeth's enjoying this!)
At £600. Any advance? Are we all done?
Last chance, then, please.
-Elizabeth, well done.
You see, at the end of the day, it is a matter of opinion!
Look there's 20% commission to bring in,
inclusive of all the VAT and the other lotting costs,
but that's a decent amount of money for you to,
hopefully, go and invest in antiques, no?
No, I will go to the hotel where I used to have the clock.
-How about that?
That was what you had in mind, all along?
Yeah, he said that on valuation day. Lovely thought.
-What a nice trip! Enjoy it. Think of us.
-I certainly will.
If you've got something like that,
bring it in and we'll flog it for you!
Well, that's it, it is all over for our owners -
another day, another saleroom -
and all credit to our experts,
because they were spot on their money today.
And to our two auctioneers, the Stacey brothers.
But a big thank you to you,
because without your items, we would not be able to "flog it"!
See you next time.